Tuesday, 6 October 2015

By on October 6th, 2015 in science kits

08:19 – We got a couple dozen biology kits and science kits built yesterday, so our inventory status is back up to a reasonable level for this time of year other than for forensic science kits, which we’ll work on today and tomorrow. I also issued two orders yesterday for more open-pollinated seeds, which is the last of what we need for the first batch of two dozen heirloom seed kits. Dehydration and testing of those begins tomorrow.

I’ve been reading a scholarly tome on seed saving, and the numbers are pretty interesting. The viable shelf-life of seeds varies significantly by species, but even more important than species are the moisture level and storage temperature. Once you get the moisture level below about 15%, each additional 1% reduction in moisture typically extends shelf life by a year or two, down to the optimum at about 7% or 8% moisture. Below that, seeds tend to “harden” and have reduced germination rates because water is unable to penetrate the seed to allow germination if the seed is planted normally. But such hardened seeds can be revivified if you allow them to rehydrate over the course of several days to a couple of weeks in a high humidity atmosphere.

But storage temperature is even more important to shelf life. Taking 70 degrees Fahrenheit as a baseline, each 10F reduction in storage temperature on average doubles the viable shelf life. That means that keeping seeds in the refrigerator at 40F extends their shelf life on average by a factor of eight. Freezing them extends it even more. On the seven different species the author of the book tested, the least stable seed type retained 95% of its initial germination rate after 11 years frozen and the most stable was calculated mathematically to retain 95% of its initial germination rate for more than 300 years. That’s very good news indeed.

While we were watching TV last night, Barbara asked me if I’d thought about long-term storage of dog food. She said she understood that Colin could eat what we eat, but wanted to know if there was any way to repackage his dry food for long term storage. Unfortunately (or fortunately from Colin’s point of view), there isn’t. Dry dog food is in fact rather moist, and it contains a lot of oils and fats. We could stick it in the dehydrator to get it down to a moisture level suitable for long-term storage and then pack it in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, but Colin wouldn’t want to eat it after that treatment. Actually, the best way to store dry dog food is in its original bag, where it has a shelf life of at least a year and probably two. So, as Barbara said, if things get really bad Colin is going to end up eating what we eat. Colin isn’t even slightly unhappy about that prospect.

28 Comments and discussion on "Tuesday, 6 October 2015"

  1. nick says:

    There is some first responder training going on not too far away from my house. Got email from the school district that there would be a lot of official vehicles, etc at one of the district stadiums. Checked the TX DPS daily brief for training, and I see Sports/ Special Events Incident Management, and ICS-300 Intermediate Incident Command System for Expanding Incidents on the calendar for Houston.

    Quick scan around the Interop freqs with my SDR, and I don’t see much activity, so I’m gonna go with “classroom” part of the day.

    Lots of errands today, so I don’t know if I’ll get any chance to try monitoring.

    There are a lot of ways to stay informed out there, look at your local school district to see if they have a notification app. Look at your city for the same. FEMA has an app too. Google to see if your state has an office of Emergency Management and if they post any kind of briefing or breaking news.


    Also interesting to note, there are two tabletop exercises scheduled today, Airshow Major Accident Response (at an airbase), and Ebola-Emerging Threats (at a county health district).

    This is the list of regional training going on this week, interesting.

    Community Emergency Response Team
    (CERT) Course
    Technical Emergency Response Training for
    CBRNE Incidents (TERT) (Program B)
    ICS-300: Intermediate Incident Command
    System for Expanding Incidents
    Enhanced Incident Management/Unified
    Command (EIMUC)
    WMD Radiological/Nuclear Course for HazMat
    Personal Protective Measures for Biological
    Crisis Management for School-Based Incidents
    – Partnering Rural Law Enforcement, First
    Responders, and Local School Systems
    Disaster Recovery Workshop
    Sports / Special Events Incident Management
    ICS-300: Intermediate Incident Command
    System for Expanding Incidents

  2. Alan says:

    I buy two different brands of “dry” dog food and each is packaged differently – the Hill’s Prescription Diet comes in a plastic-lined coated paper bag that seems (mostly) air-tight while the Costco Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain comes in a heavy plastic bag that has a number of micro-perforations in it.

  3. Chad says:

    Canned food would keep as long as any canned item, but a lot of the volume of food in the can is wasted on pretty high moisture content and then there’s the health concerns some people have with feeding their dogs soft canned food for extended periods.

    It’s probably easiest to just feed them what the humans are eating. Now, if you’re one of those families with 3 dogs of the large or giant size then that’s going to add up to a lot of food.

    Ideally, in an EOTWAWKI, you would just let your dogs dispose of the bodies of the people who tried to come take what’s yours. 🙂

  4. ech says:

    The airshow disaster training is probably due to the upcoming airshow at Ellington Airport.

  5. Rick H says:

    Where is everybody? Do I need to use the FLASHLIGHT word?

  6. Miles_Teg says:

    They’re all having a pajama party at Hillary’s… 🙂

  7. SteveF says:

    Not quite, Miles_Teg. Everyone is busy with their new Hillary Fleshlights.

    (You know that vomit in the back of your throats that you had to swallow? That’s my gift to you all! Enjoy!)

  8. Ray Thompson says:

    Do I need to use the FLASHLIGHT word?

    I am thinking of getting another flashlight. I am considering this light.


    Yeh, I collect flashlights like some of you collect guns. But none of my lights are in the bottom of the Brazos River.

  9. nick says:

    Ohh, shiny.

    Not tactical black!


    (it has been very quiet around here…)

  10. dkreck says:

    $99 for a flashlight! That’s like overpriced sunglasses. Loss or breakage are directly proportional to the cost.

  11. OFD says:

    OFD is in Waltham, MA for two days, bright and sunny down here today (Wednesday) and Mrs. OFD is gonna be doing her “Jeopardy” audition in downtown Boston at 15:00. I may do some recon of the Greater Boston Metro Statistical Area for a couple of hours while she’s at that, and probably have the only VT plates to be seen during our whole time down here, which is standard. Although we see plenty of MA plates up there every day (plus Quebec, NY, and some CT, NH, Maine and NJ).

    Just had a nice big breakfast feed at this Embassy Suites hotel at the south end of the Cambridge Reservoir, the whole stay and the feed gratis, courtesy of Mrs. OFD’s zillion frequent flier miles.

    PTSD simmering away underneath it all as I once again have to negotiate ten times the number of Murkan derps (and shit-tons of furriners down here!) and ten times the number of vehicles and traffic and noise. But I shall endeavor to persevere.

  12. nick says:

    Deep breaths, and the knowledge that it is EXTREMELY unlikely that today is the day….


  13. Ray Thompson says:

    $99 for a flashlight!

    Plus tax. It is not the usability of the light that is the issue, it is the pleasure of holding and using such a light.

    I think it is insane to spend $500 on a rifle or $300 on a bow. But people do it because they like what they own. To each their own. I have spent as much as $300 on a flashlight. I spent $200 on a Lego set that now sits on the shelf.

    As a side note I got knocked down hard at the football game on Friday. A play went off the field, I moved, a defender came in and smacked the ball carrier slamming them both into me. I went down hard. Several hundred dollars damage to the camera equipment. The field was muddy so I have been busy cleaning mud out of crevices. Replacement parts are on order. The monopod made a loud snapping sound when it broke in two and my first thought was bone. After carefully examining of my extremities it was determined that no bones were broken. A cheerleader was not close that I could hide behind as a sacrifice.

  14. OFD says:

    I hear that loud and clear, Mr. nick; thanks! I sorta mumble ancient Buddhist sorcerer incantations to myself and sing Old Norse skalds at the top of my lungs. Soon they’ll be coming for me…those nice young men in their clean white coats, etc.

    Actually I just take deep breaths and think nice thoughts while still maintaining Condition Yellow-Orange.

  15. Ray Thompson says:

    Mrs. OFD is gonna be doing her “Jeopardy” audition in downtown Boston at 15:00

    Hope it goes well and I am jealous. If she does get on TV let me know the date so that I can watch.

    PTSD simmering away underneath it all as I once again have to negotiate ten times the number of Murkan derps

    I am getting so I dislike crowds. I really despise traffic. When walking around the UT campus I get annoyed at the idiots that walk with their head in the phone not looking where they are going. More than once I have stopped when I see them coming and they have run into me. They look surprised like I should have moved. I instead inform them they are jerks who are unable to walk and text at the same time and should be more attentive. I get a blank stare. They are, after all, college students, clueless as to how the world operates.

  16. OFD says:

    “…it is the pleasure of holding and using such a light.”

    An unusual fetish, if I may be so bold…

    “A cheerleader was not close that I could hide behind as a sacrifice.”

    Well then, that’s on you, cupcake! You didn’t watch your six!

    Just kidding; glad you’re OK and sorry your gear got mangled. And this was high skool football, amirite? Now picture guys twice that size going twice as fast in the NFL. Saw one game over the weekend where a guy simply slid/rolled off the field and skidded into a bunch of peeps with cameras and mikes and suchlike and it was like unto Candlepin Bowling.

  17. OFD says:

    “If she does get on TV let me know the date so that I can watch.”

    Roger that. We shall see. She’s a bit nervous so I have to jolly her along today.

    “I am getting so I dislike crowds. I really despise traffic.”

    Exactly what I am dealing with today. It’s freakish coming down here from Retroville, and I haven’t been to Boston in ages. The area around the hotel here is built up on every square yard and new construction going up now, too; none of this was here when I was a kid.

    Reminded wife that the USA is the third-largest country in the world for population; peeps don’t know this. Just behind Chiner and India. Yikes.

  18. pcb_duffer says:

    One of the times I’ve had my knees rebuilt, the guy in the next therapy bed was an NBC cameraman who was having one of his knees rebuilt, following an injury at a football game. The play came right at him, and he couldn’t get to the controls for the chair fast enough. The team doctors sent him to the place they sent their players with badly damaged knees. He also mentioned that the player apologized and sent him a signed football.

  19. dkreck says:

    Good luck to Mrs OFD. Like lots of other people I can play along while watching Jeoprody and I not bragging, I’m pretty good. I usually win at trivia games but it’s because my memory is like glue. (sports being my worst subject. I’m fair but not a sports fan). My daughter says, “You should try out for Jeoprody” but I figure I’d just choke up and embarass myself. Besides some of those on the show are really, really good. Actually one of my friends who is probably better than me has gone to their online tests and tells that they are very hard. You have to be quick.

  20. Ray Thompson says:

    Now picture guys twice that size going twice as fast in the NFL.

    The NFL has more room at the sides of the field and a wider “no media” zone. I was within about 4 feet from the sideline and could get no further away. NFL players are also more aware of their surroundings and can make adjustments quickly minimize their impact. Not so with HS players.

    Well then, that’s on you, cupcake!

    Cheerleaders are only in one location. I roam the entire sideline. It was muddy and I could not move quick enough.

    One of the times I’ve had my knees rebuilt, the guy in the next therapy bed was an NBC cameraman

    I have been lucky. I have been slammed a few times, never with this much force. Took me to the ground as my legs were slammed out from under me. Broke the flash mount, snapped my monopod, bent my flash bracket, busted my tripod support for the lens, mud in many locations. I was sore but not damaged.

    Other times I have just been hit and remained on my feet or it was a glancing blow. One time I got slammed against a fence that did no damage but was painful.

    I am aware of where the play is going and try to adjust. Sometimes something unexpected happens. In this case the play was going out of bounds in front of me as I was facing up the sidelines. A defensive player came in and slammed the ball carrier sending them down the sidelines towards me.

    “…it is the pleasure of holding and using such a light.”

    An unusual fetish, if I may be so bold…

    Depends on where you are holding it and why you are holding it. I never said it was an orgasmic experience like the smell of new leather.

  21. OFD says:

    Mrs. OFD is pretty good at it and has been called for auditions several times before after taking those online tests but couldn’t do one until today, thanks to the work schedule.

    I’m only halfway decent at the obvious categories for me, like history and literature.

  22. DadCooks says:

    @OFD, I must jump in and add my best wishes for @Mrs. OFD’s audition, lucky rabbit’s foot at the ready.

    BTW, be like a bear prepping for Winter and load up on the goodies at the hotel (did you bring some Zip-Lock Bags?).

  23. OFD says:

    Yup, we got that covered with the bags, etc. Slicker ‘n goose snot on a doorknob, we are.

  24. Ray Thompson says:

    Slicker ‘n goose snot on a doorknob, we are.

    Makes one wonder how you know how slick goose snot is on a doorknob.

  25. MrAtoz says:

    Hang in there, Mr. OFD. I’m about to drive to Kalifornia for the second weekend in a row with MrsAtoz on a gig. Lordy, the traffice around San Diego is stifling. This time we are landing just short of LA, so the traffic should be better. I have to wear a suit and chiny choos and everything. Yuck!

  26. OFD says:

    “Makes one wonder how you know how slick goose snot is on a doorknob.”

    Just like it’s curious how a flashlight fetish excites some peeps…

    “I have to wear a suit and chiny choos and everything. Yuck!”

    I wore my usual Vermont getup and the “gray man” persona that I have up there ain’t even close to working in downtown Boston, lol. I can’t imagine what those derps must have thought of a very tall guy with a red ponytail down his back and mostly gray beard and a Pacific Air Forces ball cap humping around there. Another planet to them.

    Wife did A-OK on the Jeopardy thang and she thinks she has a good shot at being called for the show. Thanks for the good wishes and lit joss sticks, all!

  27. SteveF says:

    OFD, I hear ya. When I lived in northern Minnesota, it was in a city with a census population of 710. I took my son down to Minneapolis because he wanted to see the friggin big mall, and the hamburger joint we ate lunch in had more people in it than I normally saw in a day. Yah, I was pretty twitchy the whole time we were there.

    I also had side entertainment because I was wearing a tshirt that said in simplified Chinese characters “White people don’t understand” (bai ren kan bu dong). Minneapolis has a large Oriental population, and I got a lot of startled, puzzled, or hostile glances as I walked through the mall. Win!

  28. OFD says:

    Win! for me, too, in downtown Boston yesterday; all colors, creeds, religions, atheists, agnostics, cops, etc. gave me a good berth and avoided eye contact. “Bigfoot mutha from up north; might squash me (or park one in my brisket); keep walking; don’t look.” Same respect I’d give an actual Bigfoot, which, some are saying, has the ability to switch in and out of our dimension.

    Also CC’d the whole time w/o incident and we only saw two other vehicles with VT plates outside of Vermont, and both of those were in NH alongside the CT river that divides the states.

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