Saturday Linkages: Rocket Stoves, Big Cargo Bikes and Shopping for the Apocalypse

Image: BoingBoing.

Image: BoingBoing.

The Flying Tortoise: A Very Gorgeous Little Rocket Mass Type Terracotta… http://theflyingtortoise.blogspot.com/2014/05/a-very-gorgeous-little-rocket-mass-type.html?spref=tw …

How to mount staghorn ferns in your garden http://bit.ly/1nosn5W  #diy

Getting to the root of gardening’s role in mental wellness | Victory Gardens Blog | http://buff.ly/1o3lIkd 

Darrel Morrison’s Addition to the Brooklyn Botanic… http://landscapeofmeaning.blogspot.com/2014/04/darrel-morrisons-addition-to-brooklyn.html?spref=tw …

Giethoorn: This small town in the Netherlands has no roads but instead, miles of canals and over 100 bridges http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/giethoorn …

BBC News – The slow death of purposeless walking http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27186709 …

World’s largest cargo bike: http://www.nicojungel.net/space.html 

What is a Broody Coop? http://hencam.com/thevintagehen/2014/05/broody-coop-2/ …

The revenge of the lawn http://boingboing.net/2014/05/07/the-revenge-of-the-lawn.html …

How to shop for the apocalypse » The Spectator http://specc.ie/1o6VDhe 

Can I master fencing, the sport for vicious brainiacs? http://www.slate.com/articles/life/human_guinea_pig/2009/06/chess_with_knives.html …

Space-age refrigeration, 1968 via @BoingBoing http://boingboing.net/2014/05/08/space-age-refrigeration-

Climate: Rising C02 levels to hit grain nutrition http://www.seeddaily.com/reports/Climate_Rising_C02_levels_to_hit_grain_nutrition_999.html …

It came from the faucet http://boingboing.net/2014/05/07/brain-eating-amoebas-in-my-wa.html …

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How to Lock a Bike

The interwebs have produced an unlikely phenomenon, a bike locking celebrity. Meet Hal Ruzal of Bicycle Habitat in Manhattan. Hal, as usual, has some great bike locking advice, meets up with international fans and critiques the bike locking style of fashion blogger George Hahn, the most dapper man on a bike I’ve ever seen.

Keep those bikes well locked!

Biochar Results: Mixed

Biochar

Image: Wikipedia.

Results from the first ever scientific study of biochar by researchers at the University of Southampton have been released. Plant growth was stimulated (up to 100%!) but,

the positive impacts of biochar were coupled with negative findings for a suite of genes that are known to determine the ability of a plant to withstand attack from pests and pathogens. These defence genes were consistently reduced following biochar application to the soil, for example jasmonic and salcyclic acid and ethylene, suggesting that crops grown on biochar may be more susceptible to attack by pests and pathogens. This was a surprising finding and suggests that if reproduced in the field at larger scales, could have wide implications for the use of biochar on commercial crops.

The researchers concluded:

Our findings provide the very first insight into how biochar stimulates plant growth — we now know that cell expansion is stimulated in roots and leaves alike and this appears to be the consequence of a complex signalling network that is focused around two plant growth hormones. However, the finding for plant defense genes was entirely unpredicted and could have serious consequences for the commercial development and deployment of biochar in future. Any risk to agriculture is likely to prevent wide scale use of biochar and we now need to see which pest and pathogens are sensitive to the gene expression changes.

Thanks to Michael Tortorello for the tip.