19 Dec

Why Are We Here? Because We’’re Not All There

first_imgThe anthropic principle survived another criticism.  Charles Q. Choi on Space.com reported on a critique by two physicists who think the cosmological constant is not so finely tuned.  In the end, the argument was shot down.  The story, asking “Why Are We Here?” was picked up by Fox News.Watch the new film The Case for a Creator.  It will tell you what you need to know about the fine-tuning problem.  If the cosmological constant were the only cosmic conundrum, it would be bad enough to explain away.  Try twenty other parameters that are also fine-tuned for our existence.     “Anthropic” is a pretty self-centered term for evidence that points to God.  Trying to explain away the obvious (intelligent design) by endless appeals to naturalistic improbabilities demonstrates being out of touch with reality.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

17 Dec

Tips for conserving the soil while boosting profits at CTC

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The currently grim corn and soybean economic situation, paired with increasing environmental scrutiny of farms, is putting many farms in a tight spot for maintaining profitability. The popular Conservation Tillage Conference in Ada kicked off today with the goal of providing tips for farms to bolster profitability while improving the land and water for the future.“There’s a preponderance of evidence that shows we’re in a time of extreme weather and every scientist that looks at this says we’re going to be here awhile,” said Barry Fisher, USDA-NRCS soil scientist, keynote speaker at Wednesday morning’s general session.Barry Fisher, soil scientist for USDA-NRCS, was the keynote speaker at the CTC opening session on Wednesday.Fisher defined soil health as the capacity of a soil to function as a vital, living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans, and noted it as a way to challenge the change in weather situations down the road. Fisher focused on the importance of thinking of soil as a living thing outlining four major principles for soil health:Minimize disturbanceMaximize soil coverMaximize biodiversityProvide continuous living roots“You put all these things together and that’s how you’re going to begin maximizing soil health,” Fisher said. “Soil health is not a thing you order on amazon.com.“It’s a journey and a state of mind where you’re continually adapting your management.”Fisher continued to stress the importance of improving aggregate stability. A major point that affects many other areas, he said. He highlighted several steps in the downward spiral of soil degradation:Intensive tillage, insufficient added residues, low diversity, no surface cover results in soil organic matter decreases, erosion, and compacted subsoilAggregates break downSurface becomes compacted, crust formsInfiltration decreases, erosion increases, yield consistency declinesMore ponding and persistent wetness, but less water storageThe 2016 CTC hosted an impressive crowd.With regard to the eventual downward results, “If we take it far enough, hunger and starving sets in,” Fisher said.“We led farmers to believe that farmers with flat soil didn’t have erosion loss,” he said. “What is your tolerable soil loss? It better be zero.“When in doubt, we tend to plow. I would like to suggest that at some point we change our mindset and change to mimicking what Mother Nature would do. When in doubt, plant. You’re going to fix more of these situations with biological systems than anything you can do management wise.”Fisher identified the key aspects of putting a conservation management package together incorporating multiple areas of soil improvement. They include quality no-till, adapted nutrient management, prescribed cover crops (to best compliment the previous two points), diverse crop rotation, new technology and integrated weed and pest management.“This is not your father’s no-till system that we’re talking about,” he said. “When we put this sort of a system together, the value of the whole should far exceed the sum of its parts.Fisher also said farmers need to think of soil health as economic development. He highlighted the amount of nutrients just 1% of organic matter contains. Each 1% contains 10,000 pounds of C, 1,000 pounds of N, 100 pounds of P, and 100 pounds of S. He noted that as soil health regenerates, farmers will see increases in crop yield and a decrease in risk along the way.Matt VanTillburg of Mercer County was named the Ohio CCA of the Year. Ohio CCA Chair Cecilia Lokai-Minnich presented the award.Also at the opening session, Matt VanTillburg of Mercer County was recognized as the Ohio Certified Crop Advisor of the Year. VanTillburg is heavily involved in community organizations, multiple boards, and continued investment in the industry.As farmers prepare for spring planting, much of their planning will focus on where and how to cut costs for 2016 without cutting net income, said Randall Reeder, a retired Ohio State University Extension agricultural engineer and an organizer of the annual Conservation Tillage Conference offered today and tomorrow by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.“Many growers are tightening their belts because of tight budgets, low prices and not much money in the bank,” he said. “For a few years grain farmers were making good money. But in 2015 grain prices fell sharply, with 2016 prices looking to stay low.”CTC offers numerous presentations designed to help growers learn where to tighten and where to cut back while ensuring they have healthy soils, healthy water, and, hopefully, a healthy bank account, Reeder said.The program includes a “Corn University” and “Soybean School” that will be offered during the annual conference, he said.Topics to be discussed during the Corn University today include:Corn Yield Forecasting.New Molecular Methods For Insect Control.Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium Management Highlights for Corn.Taking A Second Look At Hybrid Performance and Technology.Crop-Effective and Environment-Responsible Nutrient Placement in Strip-Till and No-Till Corn.Topics to be discussed during the Soybean School tomorrow include:Ohio Soybean Limitation Survey ResultsManaging Weeds in SoybeansFertility ManagementManaging Soybean InsectsThe Future of Soybean BreedingTop 10 ways to improve yield, without breaking the bank.The Corn University and Soybean School are just two of a total of eight concurrent sessions during the conference. More than 900 participants are expected to attend the event, organized by OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, with assistance from USDA and SWCDs.The conference offers the latest research, insight, tips and techniques on precision fertility, cover crops and manure, water management, technology and equipment, nutrient management, and advanced cover crops. It features some 60 presenters, including 25 CFAES researchers and Extension educators, as well as farmers and industry representatives.Certified Crop Adviser continuing education credits are available, with an emphasis on soil and water and nutrient management hours.Topics presented during the two cover crop sessions include:Understanding the Legal Aspects of Manure Application.On-farm Experiences with Cover Crops and Manure.Enhancing Soil Mycorrhizal Fungus to retain nutrients.Improving Soil Carbon for Healthier Soils.Sustainable Agriculture programs (from Campbell’s Soup Co.).The CTC conference is at the McIntosh Center of Ohio Northern University in Ada. The full schedule and registration information can be found at ctc.osu.edu. Walk-in registration is $80 for one day. Other conference sponsors include: Ohio Corn Marketing Program, Ohio Soybean Council, Farm Science Review, John Deere, Ag Credit, Seed Consultants, and the Ohio No-Till Council.last_img read more

17 Dec

Line of Sight — In the Distance (GC4JZTK) — Geocache of the Week

first_imgThe line of sight tube attached to the already deceased tree. (Don’t worry, we checked.)Geocache Name:In the Distance (GC4JZTK)Difficulty/Terrain Rating:1/1.5Why this is the Geocache of the Week:Multi-Caches are a great challenge for any geocacher looking for a little something more than a traditional. Some multis require you to gather information at the coordinates and plug it into a formula to get the coordinates for the next stage. This multi does away with secondary coordinates altogether. Once you arrive at the first stage, you’ll have to use your keen eyesight to see where the final container lies.What geocachers are saying:“What a great idea for a cache. Well worth another favorite point.” – Be-con“Awesome cache. Visiting Red Deer for centerfest and saw all the fav points. Kids are really glad we found this one. Thanks very much.” – calgaryeggheads“I’m giving this one a favourite simply because of the novelty of it. Bravo! And a hearty well done to the cachers who’ve already been here and who haven’t been heavy handed on the first stage! Thanks for the cache.” – van der DeckenWhat the geocache owner, TazFour, has to say:“The TazFour family were brainstorming about placing a new cache after a fun day of geocaching.  We wanted to place a unique cache and unlike any other we had found before.  The TazFour boys love Nerf guns and they just happened to be playing with them that evening.  They were lining up the sights on their Nerf guns on different targets and the idea popped into mind.  How about a geocache where you must spot the location of the cache container through a line of sight.  And that’s how it started.Construction of the cache was very simple.  All we did was construct a “sight tube” using  a camo painted PVC tube  and added two crosshairs on either end of the tube by threading 2 pieces of wire through holes drilled in the tube.  The cache container is just a small, water tight cylindrical container wrapped in camo tape.  Finding a location was slightly more difficult as we needed 2 locations in close proximity.  The location of the “sight tube” needed to have a clear unobstructed view to the cache container location; as well some type of cover in the trees.  We also wanted the container to be some distance from the “sight tube”.  We knew of a nice quiet location with a nice green space and fortunately found a perfect spot.  It didn’t take long to set the sight tube and cache container.What has been your reaction to all of the positive logs & favorite points?  –  We were really surprized by all the positive logs and favorite points!  All the great feedback has been fabulous and inspiring!  It’s really a simple cache, but it’s something different and fun.  I guess geocacher’s responded so positively because the cache is a bit unexpected for a multicache and a new adventure.   Now we need to come up with a new unique idea.Is there anything you’d like to say to the geocaching community? – Thank you to all fellow geocach creators for all the great adventure’s your cache’s have taken us on.  There are many places we would have never discovered without your time and commitment to placing and caring for your cache’s.  The world looks a little bit different when you are a geocacher and it’s a whole lot more fun to go outside!  TFTF”Photos:Line it up! (No living trees were harmed during the placement of this geocache.)Your geo-scope. (No living trees were harmed during the placement of this geocache.)You can see the final from here. (No living trees were harmed during the placement of this geocache.) What’s the coolest Multi-Cache you’ve ever found? Tell us in the comments.Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, just fill out this form. Thanks!Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedConnecting the World With Geocaching — Köln-Seattle Exchange Multicaches (GC1GWEV and GC1H38J) — Geocache of the WeekDecember 25, 2013In “Community”Geocache of the Week Video Edition — De drie hoofddeugden (GC3G6DH)June 11, 2014In “Community”Who’s Watching You!!! GC15KNG GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – January 30, 2012January 30, 2012In “Community”last_img read more

9 Dec

What I Learned Writing 2,000 Blog Posts

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now The blog metrics plugin in my WordPress install reports that this is my 2,000th blog post. It tells me that the words that I have written total 1,472,090 (but that plugin doesn’t count the 100 or so newsletters that I have written over the last 2 years). Here is what I’ve learned.I have been learning. There is no better way to discover what you know and what you believe that tops writing. The act of writing forces you to think things through. It forces you to make decisions. You are what you write, and you become what you write at the same time. I am still learning.I have been practicing. I am still not a great writer. But I am better than I was when I started writing daily, five years ago. It is nearly impossible not to gain some greater competency when you do something deliberately every day for years. I have been practicing writing, and I have been practicing what I write. All the great masters were practicing. You can practice too.I have been growing. I am a different person than I was five years ago. I have grown both personally and professionally, and a good part of that growth has come through writing and posting here, as well as the work that has come to me through this vehicle. Growing is something you do forever.I have been serving. I still hear from some people who reject the idea that you should share your ideas freely. They believe everything is a secret unless and until someone pays you. I disagree. Every week I receive emails from people who have been helped by something that I have shared here. Sharing is one way you make a contribution.I have been practicing awareness. You don’t know how many great ideas pass through you until you start writing every day. Once you start to need ideas, you start to become aware of just how many good (and bad, and fair, and exceptional) ideas pass through you. The demand for ideas creates a vigilance, and constant awareness (and a notebook). There is power in noticing what has your attention.I have been improvising. I am still improvising. My plan was to write every day, and other than a list of big ideas, I’ve had nothing else to guide me, except for a few role models. You don’t have to wait until you have the perfect plan to start. You just have to start.I have been making a ruckus. With a hat tip to Seth Godin. I have shared my ideas and my art. I have created work and put it out into the world. Seth always talks about the fear of being judged, and you will be criticized. But the people you want to reach will find you, and you them.I have created a body of work. What I have written is my work. The first book to come from the ideas here will be printed in 2015. But there are a half a dozen more books that will follow, all of which have come from work that started here. There are also the roots of some of the frameworks and methodologies I have created here. Your work is trapped inside you until you free it.I have been building relationships. I have made new friends. I have reconnected with old friends. I have developed new business relationships, many that have helped me create new relationships with people from around the world. There is nothing more important than relationships, and the people who you need to know and who need to know you can be anywhere on Earth.last_img read more