The Frizzing Humidity

Here’s a problem I do not lose any sleep over, Frizzy Hair! So why am I talking about it? Humidity of course. Somebody tweeted something like “Is this the most amazing product for frizzy hair in high humidity……”  I actually thought it was a joke! Some sort of pretend science marketing ploy. Curiosity got to me and I looked up the “product”, which was not an actual product, but an ingredient with a name abbreviated to OFPMA.…….. Continue reading

Powdery Mildew – An Experiment in its Control

I am getting a bit worried about the current weather. Staying with a gardening theme and fungi, we are having the type of weather that these microbes love. Days of showers and not enough sunshine to dry the ground. On top of that, the night time temperatures are sitting around about 11 to 13 centigrade. Very mild, damp and favourable for certain types of fungi. In my last post on this blog I talked about the fungi responsible for “damping off” by attacking young plants. This time my focus is on another troublesome fungi that attacks both mature and young plants, the dreaded “Mildew”.……..

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Basil Rescued from a Nasty Fungal Death

I got an email from Susannah who had picked up on my garden theme in my last post on this blog. Susannah’s got a problem with damping off in seedlings. She has just lost three young cucumbers and asked if I had any advice. Damping off is a fungal infection of plants, usually seedlings but can affect more mature plants also. I too had recently had a problem after repotting a supermarket bought basil plant. Within a couple of days in its new pot, almost the entire surface of the compost around the base of the basil was white with fungal mycelium. After a few more days most of the stems of the basil were covered in fungus and turning black… Continue reading

Mulching in Moisture

Pile of fresh wood chippings

Pile of fresh wood chippings

Just had a delivery of a load of chippings.

When driving home last week I passed a neighbour’s garden and saw Fergal’s van “Tree Care” outside. Somewhere above me I could hear the sound of a chain saw. Knowing that Fergal would not hear his mobile, or really want to be talking on his phone when hanging off a tree, I sent him a text.  He texted back about half an hour later to say that he’d be around all week and would drop off a load of chippings.  On Saturday I saw a van pulling out of our driveway and thought it was just turning, or had come into the wrong driveway. It wasn’t until the van straightened along the road that I saw it was Fergal and give him a thumbs up. But his delivery of chippings was over two weeks after his text back…… Continue reading

Flying around humidity

Drosophila_melanogaster_-(aka) - Wikimedia

Drosophila_melanogaster_-(aka) – Wikimedia

I’m always on the lookout for moisture related stories. Part of this is about testing my own knowledge and asking myself if I can make sense of the story. Last week I was following stuff on Twitter seeing if anything caught my eye. Suddenly out jumps what I would call a little gem of a story.  Actually it was not a story as such but a research paper that had just been published. However, the content was very much part of my story in My World of Moisture …. Continue reading

Relaxing with a Gin in Edinburgh

Differnt Edinburgh Gin Bottles

Edinburgh Distillery Gin

Just had another trip to Edinburgh. This was a pre-booked visit to see my mum, but if you have been reading my blog, you will know she died in early March. So we had two full days in the beautiful city of Edinburgh to relax and enjoy what Edinburgh has to offer. Two things-to-do were planned in the days before setting off to Dublin for our flight to Edinburgh. A favourite attraction for me is the National Museum of Scotland in Chamber’s Street and that was put on the agenda. Picking inside locations fitted with the weather forecast, which was possibly snow! Another event chosen was more of a touristy venue, the Edinburgh Gin Distillery that is amazingly slap bang in the city centre. We booked this online for the day after our arrival. You may be thinking at this point that I’ve run out of things to say on moisture and turned my blog into a travelogue. Not so, it was at the Edinburgh Gin Distillery that the subject of moisture jumped out at me, but not directly…. Continue reading

My Damp Sheet of Paper Mystery

I was feeding sheets of paper into a paper shredder and stopped suddenly when I felt a piece that seemed to be damp. The other sheets of paper in the same pile were dry, so how is it that this one sheet appeared to have picked up moisture? As far as I could see, this “damp” sheet came from the same place as the others, which was a stack of various documents, flyers from the post and envelopes with their plastic windows torn out. Curious is it not, to have just the one damp sheet in a pile, how can this be? Continue reading

Not always good to be cool, if you’re an egg!

Egg container

Hen container for eggs

I’m back to blogging after a short time away in Edinburgh. It was a few days of mixed emotions. I gave the eulogy at my mother’s funeral on Friday the 11th of March then two days later watched Scotland beat France in a great victory at Murrayfield. Returning to Ireland and checking my rainfall meter, showed that there was no rain whilst I was away. We’ve not had any rain since, which makes it 14 days rain free and a welcome break from all the wet weather of the past 3 months. Easter is arriving this weekend and thinking of eggs, I thought a few ‘foustie’ ones would be of interest. A dilemma I had was on which article to post first. This one about eggs, or, my previous one on chickens. Continue reading

Alzheimer’s claims my mother

I’m not posting an article this week. My mother, 82, died this week. She had become physically weaker and weaker over the past 6 months. After a fall that broke her hip, she became immobile and I think the shock to her already quite frail body was just too much for her. All her life my mum was physically quite strong but she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about 3 years ago. Her memory had been getting noticeably worse for about a couple of years before the diagnosis. Steadily my mum ate less and less, often describing any food put in front of her as “disgusting”. By the time we found a place for her in a care home last year, she was surviving mainly on chocolate.

I have great faith in the progress of molecular and medical science and we will beat this awful disease. Until that day please support in whatever way you can the organisations that give dementia sufferers and their families vital help. I’ve added some links here: Continue reading

Running Fowl of Moisture

chickens feeding backyard house

Chickens feeding

Sorry about the pun in the title. Actually this is a serious matter. Demands from a rapidly increasing human population means that food production techniques have to be maximised for efficiency. Moisture has a proven effect on the size of poultry grown in large numbers. Research on broilers (chickens for eating) and turkeys shows that their living conditions impact directly on their growth and health. Studies in the United States have estimated the cost of lack of moisture control to run into several hundred million dollars each year. But how can something that sounds so simple be such a big problem?

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