Spring is Sprung

March 31, 2010

My true sign of Spring is the song of the peepers. Maybe I should call it a racket, a din, a gala symphony. Pseudacris Crucifer, the spring peeper, named for the little cross on its back, is a small frog that breeds in ponds and swamps throughout the US and Canada. After hibernating under logs or under piles of leaves the warm sun calls them out and slowly the males begin their mating call chorus persisting  to a frantic pitch at night from March through May or so. It’s always so sad to hear just one or two who haven’t found their mate forlornly calling as summer is coming.

This time of year used to signal the time for my boys to go explore the woods for other signs of spring- bits of green poking through the soil, birds arriving back from the winter in the south. Micah inevitably turns over a rock and finds a groggy salamander or two and he can always spot a peeper- so small and camouflaged.


The Humble Push-Up

March 9, 2010

Joanne Ezinga specialized in fitness and triathlon training for women. She is a certified personal trainer, USA Triathlon Level 2 Coach, USA Cycling Level 2 Coach, and certified by the American Red Cross in CPR, First Aid, AED and is a lifeguard. Impressive, eh? In this month’s newsletter she highlights the humble push-up. Why is that interesting to me? Because right now I can’t do one- ever since I had a frozen shoulder I just haven’t built up the strength to do it. Just last week, my friend, T showed me on Skype her wall push-ups and I really felt empowered to be able to build strength again! Then here was Joanne, with the wall push up again! It must be worth trying.

There are many benefits to doing push ups- besides looking strong  a push up is something that anyone can do whether or not they have money to spend on fitness equipment.  results of consistent push ups are visible after a relatively short period of time- but more important is the weight-bearing effects on our bones.

Wall Push-ups – These are great for someone with wall push upslimited strength.  Stand facing a wall, arms level with shoulders and shoulder width apart.  Lean into wall and lower body in pushup fashion so nose almost touches the wall.  Push body weight through hands and return to start position.  Control the force of the movement in both directions. Increase the intensity by increasing the lean. Try a narrow and wide hand position -this will target different sections of the pectoral muscles.

Thanks, T and Joanna.

In India is could become an imprisonable offense to speak against GM seeds! India is a center of origin for rice in the same way as Mexico is for corn. Apparently India’s government has been allowing GM rice trials. Arun Shrivastava writes a powerful and convincing article in GlobalResearcher about the numbers of trials and the dangers in the lack of order and restraint in the testing.

There is a new bill in the Indian parliament on GM food and Chapter 13 section 63 of the draft bill says, “Whoever, without any evidence or scientific record misleads the public about the safety of the organisms and products…shall be punished with imprisonment for a term that shall not be less than six months but which may extend to one year and with fine which may extend to two lakh rupees or with both.” Inran Khan in expressreporter.com reports about this new law which if passed effectively muzzles anyone from speaking out unless they are a scientist!

It is deeply saddening to me that India- the mother country of rice, home to thousands of strains, is in danger of being taken over by mono-cropping and muzzling of the voices of their people. No other plant has had such a deep-rooted influence on the lives of  the people in Asia who have been cultivating rice, for centuries, if not from time immemorial. This single crop binds India, China, Bangladesh, Philippines, Thailand, Burma, Vietnam and all other traditional ‘rice-nations’. It is a dangerous turn of India when citizen’s cannot speak their mind without fear of being jailed. Hopefully this bill will be amended or not passed!

Days are now shorter? due to Chilean earthquake? Patricia Lemer sent me a fascinating article was published today on the Space.com site. According to research scientist Richard Gross at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. the earthquake should have shortened the day length by 1.26 milliseconds. I’m afraid I didn’t notice that. And it also altered what I understand as the earth’s wobble- or Earth’s figure axis by about 3 inches. How do scientists know this kind of information? His findings are based on early data available on the Chile earthquake and calculated with computer models.  As more information about the earthquake characteristics are revealed, his prediction of its effects will likely change.

What is Permaculture?

March 1, 2010

Permaculture focuses on design with a vision and a goal of seeking to meet human needs while increasing ecosystem health.