Friday, December 20, 2013

Greenberry Jefferson Stokes

Later in life.

Go here for more details.

Whom does he resemble? Put your thumb under his nose and note the upper part of the face:  the large nose, deep set eyes, bushy brows, large head.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bananas under Grave Threat

In Central America:

The government in Costa Rica, one of the biggest suppliers of the fruit, has already declared a “national emergency” over the state of its crop.

The country’s half-a-billion-dollar banana export industry has been hit by two separate plagues of mealybugs and scale insects, with up to 20 per cent of its produce written off.

Magda Gonzalez, the director of the agriculture ministry’s State Phytosanitary Services (SFE), told The Tico Times last week that climate change had boosted insect populations in recent years, making plagues increasingly likely across the world.

In Asia, Africa, Jordan, and Australia:

Meanwhile, a Scientific American report warned of a variant of banana-eating fungus which is currently threatening key plantations around the world.

Scientists believed the disease, caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp.cubense (Foc), was limited to parts of Asia and Australia. Yet it has now been found in Jordan and Mozambique, and in a new strain to which the vast majority of bananas are susceptible.

“It’s a gigantic problem,” said Rony Swennen, a breeder at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

-from Britain's The Independent, noted on the current Drudge Report, and brought to my attention by Carol.

Here's the link to the Scientific American report.

Meanwhile, we have two stalks currently on our trees, but our little grove is in grave need of some TLC.  I'll get on it.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Bitter and the Sweet of Learning

1633 portrait of Johannes Wtenbogaert by Rembrandt.
Arminius as a youth may have attended St. Jerome School [Sint Hieronymusschool] in Utrecht.  Carl Bangs connects him to that school because of his friendship with Johaness Uitenbogaert [Wtenbogaert], “who was to become a lifelong, intimate friend of Arminius.”  Bangs is certain Uitenbogaert attended that school.  Bangs writes:

Of his teacher [Cornelius] Lauerman, Uitenbogaert later said, “I still remember that the teacher often said to me and my fellow students that the root of study is very bitter to bite into but that the fruit is very sweet.”
-from Carl Bangs, Arminius– A Study in the Dutch Reformation, Second Edition (Frances Asbury Press 1985) p. 35