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Month: May, 2011

News Desk: Cowboys and Pit Crews : The New Yorker

by Scott Smith

People worldwide want and deserve the benefits of your capabilities. Many fear they will be denied them, however, whether because of cost, availability, or incompetence of caregivers. We are now witnessing a global societal struggle to assure universal delivery of our know-how. We in medicine, however, have been slow to grasp why this is such a struggle, or how the volume of discovery has changed our work and responsibilities.


Gardening 2011

by Robinson

Scott and I worked in the garden all afternoon. We planted the tomato seedlings (‘Black Cherry,’ ‘Orange Strawberry,’Brandywine,’ ‘Flamme’), pepper seedlings (‘Wisconsin Lakes,’ Jalapeno ‘Traveler Strain,’ Sweet Banana Peppers, ‘Gypsy’), tomatillo seedlings (‘Purple de Milpa’), and zucchini seeds (‘Black Beauty’). Just as we finished the rain came down followed by the tornado sirens. Tomorrow I’ll plant one more row of squash (‘Amish Pie’) and we’ll get the fencing up to keep the chickens out then we’ll pretty much be done planting the vegetable garden until the garlic (‘Music’) comes out. I’ll have to tuck my herbs in here and there though.

The Associated Press: California, Illinois AGs step up mortgage probe

by Scott Smith

Prosecutors in California and Illinois are investigating allegations that Lender Processing Services Inc., one of the nation’s largest mortgage processing companies, engaged in the illegal practice of “robosigning” — signing thousands of foreclosure documents without checking their accuracy.

Adverse Possession

by Robinson

Michigan’s Adverse Possession law explained.

Rain Garden Tool

by Robinson

Useful tool for planning  a rain garden.


by Robinson

I have heard lots about eating ramps ever since I started paying attention to some food blogs this spring (I love Food in Jars and envy the genius of the blog title). I found G-N Ramp Farm, the world’s only ramp farm, online and might just order a pound for planting next spring to go with my planned stand of ferns for foraging fiddleheads. I have to wonder though, how do ramps fare around black walnuts?

Mystery Solved

by Robinson

Almost three years ago I was trying to identify a shrub that grows along our driveway. I had narrowed it down to the Red Osier Dogwood and haven’t given it a lot of thought since. Today I’ve been perusing the Arbor Day Foundation’s website (is there a more economical way to add trees to the landscape?) because I want to add to the windbreaks on our property lines to reduce the impact of our neighbors. I stumbled across the Arrowwood Viburnum and this time everything does fit.

Plant Guilds

by Robinson

black walnuts

by Robinson

Another step in what may become a lifelong effort to garden around and become friends with the black walnuts in my life. I bought one woodland poppy plant (Stylophorum diphyllum) while browsing the garden center yesterday. Mostly I bought it because I love the way it looks. I saw it last year but when I went back for it they were sold out, so, I grabbed it up as soon as I saw them this year. I suspected that it might be possible that a native, deep shade perennial might tolerate a little juglone in its life. I planted it today and will watch it closely for signs of toxicity. I also found another black walnut list that offers a little hope here and here. I also planted an oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) which I’m also hopeful about except that the ground has been pretty wet.

Science of Cooking: Food Science, Recipes & Projects | Exploratorium

by Robinson

See what’s hot in the Forum:

Do you follow religious dietary laws? Share your knowledge of halal, kosher, or any other laws you follow.

soup panMaking a winter soup? Find out how to make a healthier creamy soup without the cream.

For chefs, the chicken comes before the egg. Visit an organic egg farm and see the how the eggs go from the hen to you.


If I happened to be a science teacher in a collaborative school environment, I would so collaborate with the life skills teacher.