Dr. Seuss gets posthumous front page

I wonder if Gall knows more than the Wikipedia account reveals? This entry mentions Helen as little as possible. Perhaps that's best, perhaps not. Is a cloud of suspicion better than a complete revelation? But I reckon it's nobody's business but theirs, and they're all unable to defend themselves against gossip. Or an adult book--of fiction, of course. Unless there's a dirt-daubing biographer out there . . .
— August 2, 2015 11:16 p.m.

Papa Doug buys Rhode Island estate

continued from previous post: more "drought tolerant." But give them more water and they will come--they will grow bigger and denser depending upon the kind of management they get. They may or may not be well-enough adapted to the conditions that define the Lower Sonoran Desert, but I trust that the experts will have researched this and even tried test plots before deciding to launch a major project in hopes of saving water. Those experts should, however, be able to explain the basis of their recommendations. Plants do have physiological adaptations to persist under less wet conditions than, say, “turfgrass,” such as reducing their rate of growth, having the ability to dry up without dying, and a lot of other technical stuff I won’t bother to go into unless requested to do so, such as stomatal closure, leaf-rolling, and the cubic volume and depth of soil occupied by the root system. Appeal to authority is simply not equivalent to addressing the facts. “Trust but verify,” as President Reagan so wisely put it. Generalizations also need backing up. Without that, I would only have faith in their omnipotence upon which to rely. Doubt is not the same as disbelief, but belief leaves no room for reason. "And in my opinion, making estimates of water usage, with those same calculations, but without know the size of the area being irrigated is pure folly." I agree. No sizes were given, so I estimated the size of the Annenberg Estate from the map at about 120 acres (x 6 acre feet ETo =720 acre feet x 43,560 cubic feet per acre-foot = 31,363,200 cubic feet for 120 acres x 7.48 gallons per cubic foot = 234,596,736 gallons to minimally provide enough water to keep that much grass alive x (the actual amount of excess water applied) = the total number of gallons used by a 120-acre plot of grass. I used an excess irrigation factor of 2.5, or 250 percent of minimum and arrive at 586,491,840 gallons of ESTIMATED ACTUAL WATER CONSUMPTION. The ONLY way to change that is to change the excess irrigation factor, which, for any given case, can only be determined by the actual amount of water consumed, or by applying additional factors such as reduced application to subsets like sand traps, but that can't be hidden from the actual volume of water applied data. I continue to invite corrections, but frankly, I just don't give a damn about anybody's opinion, including mine. I am always skeptical of everything "officials" have to say. "Appeal to Authority" is a widely-recognized fallacy. Only the facts count, and that depends upon the truth of each case. Best, Twister
— August 2, 2015 4:46 p.m.

Papa Doug buys Rhode Island estate

Well, Dan, old man, let us examine this more closely then. "The fact that you have included a waste/over-irrigation factor of 2.5, from studies you read over 40 yrs ago, is, in my opinion, irrelevant." I can understand your point, but as Robert Ruark would say, when you take something away, you must replace it with something else, preferably something superior. If that factor is irrelevant, with what shall replace it? Please remember that I left this door wide open, and it's still open. 2.5 would apply only to those cases in which two and a half as much water is needed was used--or, if it was the average for a population under consideration. I contend that most people with lawns irrigate at far higher rates than the minimum, and that most people have no idea of the principles of optimal irrigation. Gardeners as a class are burdened with a significant sub-population of casual "waterers" that are so extremely stubborn that one might suspect that they might suffer from hydrocephaly. Such folks are not interested in learning the principles of "The Water Relations of Plants and Soils" (by Kramer, ______) which book can be purchased today. My neighbor's "professional" gardener is a member of that sub-population, and the neighbor's property continuously drains, subsurface, onto my property, causing a swamp near the property line. This is unfortunate, because many other gardeners are well-meaning enough to sacrifice their lawns and gardens upon the altar of the spin-meisters who blame the water shortage on the drought rather than the waste fraction. "During that renovation, 60 acres of turf grass were replaced with 28-acres of native meadow grasses and 32-acres of mulch, all to help to reduce water use; I have read that they put in Purple Three Awn, Sideoats Grama and Blue Grama, which alone could reduce water usage in those areas planted by as much as 50 percent." It takes about the same amount of water to produce a unit of biomass (dry weight of production), regardless of the species. If the replacement species produce as much biomass as the "turf" species, their water requirement would be about the same. If they are managed differently, i.e., irrigated less, then the area so managed would use less water, and thus produce less biomass. The western Great Basin grass species you mentioned do grow in areas that receive somewhat lower rainfall than the central and eastern portions in the rain shadow of the Rockies, as evidenced by their lower stature (shortgrass prairie) and lower density, thus their lower biomass. They are, in that sense, continued . . .
— August 2, 2015 4:44 p.m.

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