A plant pundit comments on plants, gardening, academic life, and life in general.
The Phytophactor's Latest Posts
That's just swell! The universe could end any time, although the odds are rather low really, but still what a thing to stay awake at night worrying about. After figuring out that the universe was expanding, cosmologists wondered if the universe would end in a Big Crunch, sort of a reverse of the Big Bang, or in a Big Chill, expanding outward forever. Then the discovery, sort of, of Dark Energy suggested that the universe would end in some sort of particle decay, a Big Rip, something that […]
Fall color this year is varied and very good this year, but as always fleeting. The area immediately behind our house is under the canopy of two sugar maple trees, one large and one huge, and the light especially in the late afternoon is just perfused with a completely lovely golden glow. And as a bonus, the weather was warm enough to sit on the patio and enjoy the light with a glass of wine. But then it started to rain, not water, not cats and dogs, not frogs, but leaves, and […]
The decline in collections-based research at universities has been in decline for some time as hiring decisions attempted to track newer, shinier, more fundable areas of biology. We used to say that collections-based research would only persist in museums and botanical gardens, but obviously that isn't so any longer. This is of course very short sighted, but that is actually the nature of science these days. Legislators no longer understand the need or value of basic research, […]
An epic battle of wills is shaping up here in the Phactor household. Mrs. Phactor purchased a small throw rug to place at the bottom of the stairs leading to our basement. Every time she goes by she says, "Who crumpled up this rug?" And she straightens it. Every time a certain cat goes by, she says, "Who straightened out my play rug?" And she crumples it up to her liking. Some things are just more interesting in 3D than 2D. Note the milk bottle ring, always a favorite cat toy. Thousands […]
This is one of those mostly stupid www click bait lists, but inquiring minds just had to know. Here they are in no particular order. 1. Grits – TPP finds them to be tasteless fodder. To be fair, other cultures have their versions of tasteless fodder too. So don’t be too quick to point your spatzle/dumpling/yuca stained fingers at grits. Actually TPP likes yucca better than grits. 2-3. Velveeta cheese/Cheese Whiz – Both of these were counted […]
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