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SpaceX launched more than two tons of cargo to the International Space Station — and also conducted an experiment in rocket recovery.The company’s Falcon 9 r...
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Something I found myself writing in email today:

Our duty is to care about the truth, not about the feelings or even the prejudices of those who speak it.
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I like that, send me the e-mail.
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no thanks
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It's ag Jim, but not as we know it.
 
Getting high, in more ways than one:
The police have long used thermal imaging cameras to detect marijuana growing operations. Now, thanks to drones, crooks are getting into the weed-finding game too. Except in their case, they're trying to find the weed so they can steal it.
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now they need drones to hunt down drones
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I've always wondered how anyone could entertain the idea that mining the soil for carbon to make fuel made either environmental or climate sense.

"Using corn crop residue to make ethanol and other biofuels reduces soil carbon and can generate more greenhouse gases than gasoline, according to a study published today in the journal Nature Climate Change." ...

"The team found that removing crop residue from cornfields generates an additional 50 to 70 grams of carbon dioxide per megajoule of biofuel energy produced (a joule is a measure of energy and is roughly equivalent to 1 BTU). Total annual production emissions, averaged over five years, would equal about 100 grams of carbon dioxide per megajoule—which is 7 percent greater than gasoline emissions and 62 grams above the 60 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as required by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act."

"Importantly, they found the rate of carbon emissions is constant whether a small amount of stover is removed or nearly all of it is stripped."

""If less residue is removed, there is less decrease in soil carbon, but it results in a smaller biofuel energy yield," Liska said."

"To mitigate increased carbon dioxide emissions and reduced soil carbon, the study suggests planting cover crops to fix more carbon in the soil."

Indeed. The need is to use methods such as cover crops to increase soil carbon, scavenge nutrients that might otherwise erode, leach away or into the ground water, or be emitted as GHGs such as when denitrification produces various oxides of nitrogen.

As usual, one dumb idea deserves another.

"Cellulosic ethanol producers also could turn to alternative feedstocks, such as perennial grasses or wood residue, or export electricity from biofuel production facilities to offset emissions from coal-fueled power plants. Another possible alternative is to develop more fuel-efficient automobiles and significantly reduce the nation's demand for fuel, as required by the 2012 CAFE standards."

There are no cellulosic wastes that can be used in some climate hack. The best that can be said is that there are cases where there are temporary, local surpluses due to poor system design, such as when feed is hauled far from its origin to poultry and hog factories, resulting in an excess of manure above what local fields can apply. But even then if there are to be investments in the system they should be directed to eliminating the local surplus.
Using corn crop residue to make ethanol and other biofuels reduces soil carbon and can generate more greenhouse gases than gasoline, according to a study published today in the journal Nature Climate Change.
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"Native grasses have relatively low fertility requirements. The reason for this nutrient efficiency is not fully understood, but the high volume of underground organic matter produced by the vigorous root systems of these plants may be part of the explanation. There is also some evidence of mycorrhizal relationships that help these grasses fix nitrogen. Regardless of the explanation, recent increases in fertilizer costs have placed a premium on low input production options." ...

"Because warm-season native grasses have a later growth season than cool-season grasses, fertilizer application also must be later. A good rule of thumb is to apply in the spring when stand heights have reached 12 – 16 inches (usually, late April). At this point, the natives will be rapidly growing and can take full advantage of the amendments. Applying fertilizers sooner will result in cool-season weeds receiving the benefit of the fertilizers rather than the native grass."

"This same problem can result from applying more fertilizer than the native grasses are able to use. These excess soil nutrients will be available for weeds and will increase competition. For instance, once warm-season natives go dormant in the fall, cool-season grasses will take advantage of excess nutrients, become well-established competitors, and eventually weaken your stand and reduce yield. During summer, excess nutrients encourage more nutrient-demanding competitors such as common bermudagrass with the same effect – weakened native grass stands."

It isn't about native vs improved grasses, it's about c4 vs c3 grasses. When they say "native grasses" they mean warm season c4 grasses, though there are native c3 grasses.

There's not as much mystery as they seem to think. C4 grasses are known to be more efficient. They photosynthesize more than c3 grasses on any given amount of N and moisture. The c4 photosynthetic pathway is shorter, quicker and so less costly to the plant.

The down side is that it must be warm for c4 plants to grow, and they are dormant when that is not the case, so their total productivity for the year can be less than improved c3 grasses. Also, the digestibility and palatability of c4 grasses is less, so animals don't thrive as well.

You get what you manage for no matter whether you know what you are doing or not. Everything that you do, or don't do, is a management decision. Also, as they correctly note, timing is critical.

If you are trying to grow tall grass prairie grasses then the above advice is sound, and that's not a bad objective for some land since those grasses can persist in hard times and slowly improve farmed out, grazed out, degraded land that has been mismanaged. 
Native grasses have relatively low fertility requirements. The reason for this nutrient efficiency is not fully understood, but the high volume of underground organic matter produced by the vigorous root systems of these plants may be part of the explanation.
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I can see the problem of fertilizing for the c4 grasses, if it doesn't rain enough you could have a worse problem with cheat ( as an example) in the fall because of left over fertilizer.
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Note both the texture and the color.
 
Here is the difference we can make with no-till, diverse covers, and rotational grazing (left) vs. conventional till (right). According to the NRCS SWS this is the same soil type only a fence is between the two samples.
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"The downside to living so long is that it dramatically increases the odds of getting dementia or Alzheimer's. That's why total deaths in the 75+ category has stayed constant despite impressive reductions in the propensity to die of heart disease." ...

"About 40% of the total increase in Medicare spending since 2011 can be attributed to greater spending on Alzheimer's treatment."

There are studies that link the increase in dementia to the medications used to reduce CVD death. Your heart doesn't kill you but your mind dissolves.

Is the cure worse than the disease?
Bloomberg Visual Data reports on the ways people die, and how they have changed over time. The most interesting part of the report is about dementia and Alzheimer's: The downside to living so long is that it dramatically...
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"Connecting the stories of unions and licensing makes sense. Both are institutions workers created to raise wages — and occupational licensing seems about as effective as unions, raising wages by about 15 percent relative to what similarly-skilled workers earn in states where they're not protected by licensing from competition."

"Yet there's something unions did that occupational licensing doesn't, and that's reduce inequality, Kleiner and Krueger find. Whereas unions tend to push up wages at the bottom and restrain them at the top, compressing the wage distribution, there's no such effect for occupational licensing. Wage dispersion within a given trade is not effected by licensing."

To argue that unions reduced inequality by compressing the wage distribution within a given trade is false; it only compressed wages within the union, not within the trade. There were always more tradesmen outside unions than inside. In fact, some unions were closed to new members except for relatives of union members. You had to be born into the union.

A lot of the rosy stories of the past are like that. They depend on ignoring most of what went on to develop a narrative. Said another way, they repeat the propaganda and press releases of activists as if they were historical truths.

It is still so.

http://www.vox.com/2014/4/18/5627630/occupational-licensing-is-replacing-labor-unions-and-exacerbating
As labor unions have declined, a new institution has risen — occupational licensing — that has a similar impact on average wages, but without decreasing economic inequality the way that labor unions traditionally have.
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