The Other TickTalk

Got ticks? Like scientists who pun? The University of Massachusetts Amherst has a free series of webinars on the biology of ticks. You can watch live or look at the archived videos.

Each month we will hear from Dr. Stephen Rich and the Laboratory of Medical Zoology (LMZ)! TickTalk in 2020 will also feature exciting guest speakers on tick topics that you told us were important to YOU. The series will include seasonality and life stages of ticks (key to planning intervention and prevention), emerging or invasive tick species, how ticks use vegetation and leaf litter throughout their life cycle, increasing fears of Alpha-gal allergies (allergies to certain meat and animal-related products), dispelling myths of tick control, and many more. Mosquito concerns, including life cycle, behavior, and EEE infection, will also be addressed and Dr. Rich will discuss the tens of thousands of mosquitoes the LMZ tests each year for a range of viruses. Tune in the 2nd Wednesday of the month!

Come for the ticks stay for the mosquitoes!

Free Qigong via Zoom

Sorry for the last second post, but friend of the blog Lee Conger is offering free Qigong instruction via Zoom. All are welcome. Here’s the 411:

BOOST YOUR IMMUNE FUNCTIONING WITH QI AND ME! I’ve managed to create
the Zoom meetings for the sessions: daily at different times, through
Wed., April 1. Links are below. Next up: Separate Facebook events for
each at Lee Conger, Integral Qigong and Tai Chi and Mind-Body Los
Angeles. But right now, I have to get ready for the 10:30AM
orientation and session. See you there?!

FREE! Qigong! Ancient Chinese energy practice, involving gentle,
meditative movement and breathwork. Daily, online sessions through
Wednesday, April 1, but at different times. An optional, half-hour
orientation for newcomers to Qigong will precede each session.
Schedule appears below (subject to change).

* Thursday, 3/26, 10:30AM orientation / 11AM Qigong. https://zoom.us/j/832068559

* Friday, 3/27, 10:30AM orientation / 11AM Qigong. https://zoom.us/j/387723400

* Sat., 3/28, 1PM orientation / 1:30PM Qigong. https://zoom.us/j/712246953

* Sunday, 3/29, 3PM orientation / 3:30PM Qigong. https://zoom.us/j/472877790

* Monday, 3/30, 12PM orientation / 12:30PM Qigong. https://zoom.us/j/560949674

* Tuesday, 3/31, 6:30PM orientation / 7PM Qigong. https://zoom.us/j/531695195

* Wed., 4/1, 1PM orientation / 1:30PM Qigong. https://zoom.us/j/399133124

See also Mind-Body Los Angeles​ and mindbodylosangeles.com.

Talk and Vermicomposting Workshop With Nance Klehm Sunday March 8th!

Heal the soil. Heal our communities. Heal the world.

What: A talk by ecological wizard Nance Klehm PLUS an optional vermicomposting workshop
Where: St. John’s Cathedral,  Los Angeles –514 W. Adams Blvd
When: Sunday March 8, 2020 12:30 PM

Nance Klehm (socialecologies.net, spontaneousvegetation.net) is a an ecological systems designer who has worked to heal degraded soil around the world, from her home neighborhood of Little Village, Chicago to the rain forests of Ecuador. Join her at St. John’s Cathedral, where she will talk about the deep connection between soil health and social justice, and the importance of healthy soil in troubled times.

“Soil is both decomposition engine and support network for all living things. It is the living sponge that filters our water and air, thereby cleaning them both. It stabilizes our constructions, prevents flooding, protects our landscapes against drought, and ensures the health of our food, water and air. Soil is not a thing. It is a web of relationships that stands in a certain state of a certain time.”   — Nance Klehm

Bonus option! Stay after the talk for a short workshop taught by Nance on vermicomposting, that is, home composting using a worm bin. This is a fun and easy way to transform your kitchen scraps and waste paper into gold, even if you live in an apartment. Worm castings are a fantastic food for house plants as well as garden plants.You don’t need a strong back or much space to compost with a worm bin. Worm-shop participants will go home with a functioning bin complete with worms!

The general lecture is free and open to all, and no reservations are required for the talk alone, but the worm-shop materials fee: $30 (Financial aid is available) and you must reserve your space by emailing [email protected].  Registration is mandatory so that we can supply your bin and worms.

Natural Beekeeping Conference this Saturday and Sunday


This weekend, January 18th and 19th I’ll be a part of Honey Love’s Natural Beekeeping Conference at USC. In honor of the memory of Susan Rudnicki, I’m going to discuss bee removal scams, corruption in bee academia and pesticide astroturfing campaigns among other incendiary topics that Susan tirelessly pursued for the sake of the bees she loved so much. I’m humbled to be a part of a roster that includes all of the knowledgeable voices in the natural beekeeping world:

• Michael Bush • Les Crowder • Dr. May Berenbaum • Sam Comfort • Michael Thiele • Laura Bee Ferguson • Rob Keller • Sarah Red-Laird •  Solomon Parker • Jacqueline Freeman • Noah Wilson Rich • Matt Reed • Amanda Shaw • Paul Cronshaw  • Ariella Daly • Anna Marie Despiris • Fonta Molyneaux • Erik Knutzen • Max Wong • Rob and Chelsea McFarland

If you’re interested in bees this conference is not to be missed. For more information head over to Honey Love.

Learn to Embroider at Trade School Los Angeles

Due to my ostentatious Facebook embargo, now in year two, I rely on comrade Lee of nearby Mixville Heights to pass along important notices via an awkward but mostly reliable chain of semaphore stations and carrier pigeon relay. Brother Lee spotted my post on embroidery and informed me that the barter-based Trade School Los Angeles is offering a free embroidery class on November 17th. In addition to embroidery, they have a zero waste sewing and mending class on the 16th and a class on fermentation on the 23rd. For more information on these classes head to their Eventbrite listing.

Here’s how it works according to their website:

Step 1) Classes at Trade School LA are taught in exchange for barter items provided by students. For example, if you teach a class about building a website, you might ask students to bring 1 of the following barter items: a pack guitar strings; a paperback novel; a bag of local fruit; help with finding an apartment. Every class’s barter will be different, as each instructor sets their own class’s exchange.

Step 2) Students sign up for classes on our website, and, by signing up, they agree to bring 1 of the barter items requested by the instructor.

Step 3)  On the day of class, the teachers & students meet in a space that is made available by Trade School LA. Students give their barter item to the teacher, and the class begins!

Perhaps brother/comrade Lee and I will offer a semaphore class on the hilltop above the Red Lion in the near future in case any of you would like to explore Facebook alternatives.