Sunday, March 6, 2011

Elsewhere on the Web, Inaugural Edition

I'm hoping that this winds up saving me some time: as I wind up with more plants to take care of, I'm spending more and more time on watering (and propagating, grooming, etc.), which leaves me less time to work on the blog. I've still been managing to come up with posts every day, but the reduced amount of time to work on the blog is making it harder and harder to write the plant profiles, and the plant profiles were the whole point of the blog in the first place. I've considered posting less often, but occasionally people have commented about having PATSP worked into their daily routine, so if I went to only posting, say, four days a week, then I'd feel guilty. So, I'm trying this on Sundays for a few weeks. It may or may not last longer than that, depending on how people feel about it and whether or not it actually saves me any time.

New York Times: In a Brooklyn Backyard, Local, Tax-Free Tobacco (Via Comsumerist)
Summary: Brooklyn resident Audrey Silk has taken to growing, curing, shredding, and rolling her own tobacco rather than pay New York's high (and increasing) cigarette taxes.

Far Out Flora: Huntington's Iconic Cacti.
Summary: Pictures of cacti and spiky-pointy cactus allies like whoa.

Minneapolis City Paper: Inside the Multi-Million Dollar Essay-Scoring Business.
Summary: The essay portions of standardized tests are being scored according to how well the essays fit a rigid formula, are subject to pressure to fit certain pre-determined score distributions, and therefore have no reliability as an indicator of a child's ability to communicate through writing, with the most creative thinkers being penalized most severely.
(Not related to plants, but a topic I find interesting. Essay-scoring is a big employer in the Iowa City / Cedar Rapids area, because we have a lot of people with college degrees in non-practical fields who have to pay their bills somehow. As I kind of suspected, essay-scoring sounds like a terrible way to make ends meet, even if you do get to sit indoors in relative comfort while you do it. One also feels bad for the students whose futures depend, however slightly, on a system this arbitrary.)

Flickr: Nature's Assets' Photostream.
Summary: eleven pages of plant pictures, most of them aroids and most of them fairly unusual varieties of familiar plants. (S/He seems to have a special fondness for Philodendrons and Monsteras, though Syngonium, Aglaonema, Scindapsus, Anthurium, and Raphidophora all also make appearances. Several of the IDs strike me as questionable, but it's still a varied and interesting collection, and I'm seriously jealous about a lot of them.)

Bug Girl's Blog: No, Bounce Fabric Softener will NOT protect you from bugs.
Summary: There is some scientific evidence that Bounce brand fabric-softener sheets repel fungus gnats, though they have not, as reported elsewhere, been shown to deter mosquitoes.

All Andrew's Plants: I'm back, a small update.
Summary: Pictures from the Toronto Zoo; do not miss the triggerfish.


Greensparrow said...

I like the links. I have to say, I would also happily trade daily posts for more frequent in-depth posts.

Bom said...

Thanks for the links. I will check on them this week, definitely.

In-depth posts are preferred to daily posts. Real life can get in the way of blogging life. Quite understandable when one misses a day or two. I don't see why you should feel guilty.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

Great links! My thought is, just don't burn yourself out so that it's a chore rather than a delight. Whatever you want to share, your loyal readers will eagerly enjoy.

Jenn said...

Oh, man. Do NOT apologize for any actions you need to take to make your life sane and steady.

If you end up posting once a week, I'll be here, and likely will most of the folks who read daily.

You need to do what's good for YOU, so that we can continue to enjoy your unique voice and viewpoint.

/steps down off soapbox/

Jenn said...

I admire Ms. Silk's thriftiness. That's a LOT of work she's taking on.

I think her cause is doomed, though. As long as tobacco is not illegal, she's set, but with such a damaging drug, I don't see that it will remain legal forever.

I may be wrong. Time will tell.

Megan said...

Thanks for the shout out! We gave up on blogging every single day back in October, and there are two of us. It was starting make us crazy. Sometimes you have to take a break.

elizabethneubauer said...

You are doing a fabulous job! I will read your blog if you post everyday or every month.

Pat said...

Why would we want you to be quotidian?

grumblebunny said...

Gah! Stop burning yourself out. Post only as often as you feel like it and no more.

allandrewsplants said...

Thanks for the link. Personally I think that shot of the Triggerfish is possibly the best picture I've ever taken (especially considering the moving subject and low light).

I personally wouldn't mind if you posted less often. I do my blog reading with Google Reader and realistically might not even notice. I liked this post though so if it's easier for you would love to see more of them in the future.

Ivynettle said...

I agree with the others - wouldn't mind you posting less often at all if it means less stress for you. :)

(I don't know why houseplants are so time-consuming to write about... I find it much quicker to write about other subjects - and I don't even do anywhere near the kind of research you do for the plant profiles!)

Paul said...

MAJOR props to the tobacco baroness. I've grown my own before, and it's certainly economical. Garden grown tobacco packs a helluva punch. Two puffs on one = a full cigarette of just about any brand name. Maybe more.

hydrophyte said...

Thanks for those links! Those are some plants to drool over in that Nature's Assets' photostream, although he/she seems to have no understanding at all of plant species or variety nomenclature.

Mae said...

I'm with everyone else: I'm good with fewer, but awesome posts. A writer has to stay fresh and if they feel like it's a chore, then it will show in their writing. (Not that I've ever noticed that with your blog.)

Quality (and sanity!) is always preferable over quantity.

Nancy in Sun Lakes AZ said...

I agree with everyone who says I'll read your posts no matter how often you post them. Do what works best for you. I like shorter posts and longer posts mixed like you do it now but they don't have to be every day!