Masterful Mantis 3/31 make-up

When insect pests are truly out of control, and no spraying/treatments are working on your plants, sometimes just by adding in the right bugs, the bad ones are no longer a problem. Praying mantis is a great example of this. They are exclusively carnivorous, meaning they do not eat plant material at all and only survive on the other bugs it can prey on and eat.  This is the ideal pest control.

Mantis eggs are laid in the autumn, and hatch in spring when it warms up. They have a lifespan of about a year (hence how popular of pets they are.) Their eggs are readily available at many nurseries and on countless vendors online. To hatch a brood, all one must do is hang the egg cluster in some foliage, near the environment where the pests are present. But the eggs must only be hung in the spring/summer or else the cold weather will prevent them from hatching, eventually killing the brood. Ideally, to have a consistent population of mantis, one would probably have to purchase or try and raise a new brood every season, this is because they do not tolerate colder seasons and are very slow to reproduce, for their life spans are long and their life styles are rather solitary.

So before your reach for another bottle of plant soap or insecticide, consider using more bugs to fight the pests!

Plant and Prosper!

Savory Saffron! 3/24 make-up

Crocus Sativus or saffron crocus is a flowering plant revered for the spice called saffron which is cultivated from its flowers. This autumn-flowering perennial plant species is unknown in the wild. Human cultivation of saffron crocus and use of saffron have taken place for more than 3,500 years and spans different cultures, continents, and civilizations, and it is being grown and cultivated in the Mediterranean, and East Asia. The fragrance and taste found in saffron is a result of the compounds picrocrocin and safranal. It also contains a cartenoid pigment (found in carrots) called crocin, which gives the spice its red/orange color. Saffron has been traded and sold for four millennia all over the world. About 90% of the worlds saffron has been grown in Iran. Its is believed Crucus Sativus is a mutant species, hence its male sterility, meaning it cannon reproduce naturally, and needs human intervention to propagate the plants.

Crocus sativus thrives in the Mediterranean maquis, an ecotype superficially resembling the North American chaparral, and similar climates where hot and dry summer breezes sweep semi-arid lands. It can nonetheless survive cold winters, tolerating frosts as low as −10 °C and short periods of snow cover.

Saffron’s aroma is often described by connoisseurs as reminiscent of metallic honey with grassy or hay-like notes, while its taste has also been noted as hay-like and sweet. Saffron also contributes a luminous yellow-orange coloring to foods. Saffron is widely used in Persian, Indian, European, and Arab cuisines.

Because of the reproductive failure of this species, and its highly demanded and desired flavor and aroma, saffron is easily the most expensive spice by weight. But honestly, in a small scale cultivation of saffron at home is not difficult (at least here in WA.) I have cared for and grown a couple plants and accumulated several grams of spice over the flower season.

So if you are interested in the cultivation of expensive herb or spice, look no further than saffron for its value and rarity is unmatched.

Plant and Prosper!

Mosquito Repellers 3/17 make-up

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horsemint

As the outdoor season approaches, many homeowners and outdoor enthusiasts look for ways to control mosquitos.

But many commercial insect repellents contain from 5% to 25% DEET. There are concerns about the potential toxic effects of DEET, especially when used by children. Children who absorb high amounts of DEET through insect repellents have developed seizures, slurred speech, hypotension and bradycardia. There are new DEET-free mosquito repellents on the market today which offer some relief to those venturing outdoors in mosquito season. But there are also certain plants which are easy to grow and will have some effect in repelling mosquitoes from areas of your home and garden.

Citronella or also known as lemon grass is one of the most popular botanical ingredients in mosquito repellents. Products like lemon grass candles also work in detering mosquitos, but a living plant is the most effective, for it is so aromatic that it makes it difficult for the mosquitos to smell and notice you. Citronella is a very easy growing grass that do in the ground as well as containers.

Also known as Beebalm, Horsemint is an adaptable perennial plant which repels mosquitoes much the same as citronella. It gives off a strong incense-like odor which confuses mosquitoes by masking the smell of its usual hosts. Horsemint leaves can be dried and used to make herbal tea. Its flowers will also attract bees and butterflies to your garden.

Catnip is a natural mosquito repellent. In August 2010, entomologists at Iowa State University reported to the American Chemical Society that catnip is ten times more effective than DEET, the chemical found in most commercial insect repellents. According to Iowa State researcher Chris Peterson, the reason for its effectiveness is still unknown. “It might simply be acting as an irritant or they don’t like the smell. But nobody really knows why insect repellents work.”

So now that summer is here and the mosquitos will be everywhere, consider using the essential oils from these plants on your skin to deter them, or better yet, plant them in your garden!

Plant and Prosper!

Hello Yarrow!

Yarrow, or Achillea millefolium is an odd little plant found almost everywhere in the world. I recently purchased a decent sized one a few weeks ago at Flower World because of the useful things I have heard it can provide. Yarrow is similar to Angel hair ferns, because of their erect stature, and technically each frond of the plant is a plant on its own with its own roots, meaning propagation really doesn’t get any easier with plants like these. Anyways, yarrow has been cultivated all over the world for a very long time, its usage was recorded by many Native American tribes, and by other civilizations. It is generally only used as a medicinal plant, for it is a powerful diaphoretic, astringent, tonic, and a stimulant, among other things. History mainly describes it as a useful ingredient for treating flesh wounds, for it encourages the body to direct blood flow away from cuts and injuries. But other than being a widely used medicine and food, yarrow also makes a wonderful companion plant for a garden. Like comfrey, yarrow roots very deep, pulling up rich nutrients for its neighboring plants. But also, yarrow deters certain insect pests, while also attracting predatory wasps and other beneficial insects that prey on other pests instead of the plants. They also attract lady bugs and hoverflies, which pollinate plants instead of eating them. This plant is also really good at repairing eroded soils by retaining deep soil water and keeping the damaged medium more moist. 

There is so much more to this plant I can babble on about, but instead, consider picking up a colony of yarrow and see its benefits in your garden for yourself.

Plant and Prosper!

Last Blog of the Year!

Hey Guys,

This is my last blog of the school year! I will be back next year, so don’t get too sad 🙂 Anyways, I thought because we are all going to be on summer break, it would be appropriate to talk about some environmentally friendly vacations!

According to Brian T. Mullis, president of the Sustainable Travel International, Ecotourism, a trend that is now on the rise, “gives travelers the opportunity to directly benefit the people and places they visit by supporting conservation and protecting cultural heritage as well as economic development.” Eco-tourists often look for sustainable hotels, air-fare, and restaurants when traveling. Below, I have listed some of the most eco-friendly resorts to visit.images

Campi ya Kanzi

Kenya

The resort offers walking safaris led by traditional Maasai tour guides in Kenya’s prime game area between Amboseli and Tsavo national parks. Because it is mainly powered by solar energy, Campi ya Kanzi is a smart choice.

Haciendas Del Mundo Maya

Mexico

Haciendas Del Mundo Maya, is a nonprofit organization that works with Mayan communities in the Yucatán Peninsula. They “promote the diffusion and conservation of Mayan natural and cultural heritage by establishing the basis to create micro-regional development poles and promoting strategies to strengthen the skills and capacities of the communities’ residents.” Hacienda has also funded 318 family orchards to struggling farmers in Mexico.

Chaa Creek

Belize

Chaa Creek is one of the first eco-friendly resorts in Belize. Established in 1981, Chaa Creek resides on a 400 acre nature reserve along the banks of the Macal River. The cottage style buildings focus on sustainable energy sources such as solar and wind energy making it a great choice for eco-friendly travel.

Top 5 Deaths Caused by Social Media

Hey Guys,

This is my last blog of the year! That’s so crazy to me. Anyways a more serious matter. top 5 deaths caused by social media.

  1. The Woman Who Crashed her Car 

A woman was updating her Facebook status to a simple smiley face and ended up crashing her car.

2. The Girl On Facebook

A fifteen- year-old female said killing and stabbing were her hobbies on her Facebook profile. The girl actually killed her nine-year-old neighbor and is currently is in a psychiatric hospital.

3. The Young Girl Who Unfortunately Killed Herself

After comments telling her to kill herself, Cessi Porter overdosed on pills. Her dad says the comments were very graphic.

4.) The Married Woman Who Changed Her Facebook Status to Single

A 26-year-old woman named Sarah split with her husband Edward Richardson and she moved into her parent’s house and then Edward sneaked into her room and stabbed her to death.

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5.) Man Who Killed His BFF

Jameg Blake and his best friend Kwame Dancy had been fighting on Twitter over a woman they both liked. Jameg ended up killed Kwame and tweeted right after, “R.I.P. Kwame”.

Bye guys

See ya guys, I’m off to college now. Super excited to move on from high school and do some crazy cool things with my life.

This class was a decent time I had fun doing the blog and talking about Seattle. It was a good year and I wish all non-seniors good luck in high school and all seniors good luck with their futures! Crazy that these four years went by so fast and I gotta say I’m excited to blast off. Catch me at Bellingham studying kinesiology. Peace out.

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How Bill Nye is Saving the World

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Bill Nye (the Science Guy!) is a mechanical engineer and active science communicator on television and in print. He inspired thousands of children with the use of science on his show, Bill Nye the Science Guy back in the 90s. Since then, he has written a couple books and done plenty of talks and interviews advocating science education and its importance. His new Netflix television series, Bill Nye Saves the World has more of a serious undertone, addressing the world’s leading problems such as climate change, vaccines, space exploration, GMO’s, over-population, and more.

Popularizing science and the discussion of these topics done by people such as Bill Nye and others are only contributing a positive impact on the world, one topic at a time. With every eye-opening or controversial-argument-brewing discussion or thought that takes place, we get closer to a better, more educated public. Despite difference in opinion, it’s vitally important to address these topics no matter how hard they are to think about. I 100 percent recommend the tv-show, or ones like it, to get you thinking about how you can save the world too.

billnye

What is Pseudoscience? -blog make up

There are a lot of misconceptions about pseudoscience. What is it, how do you identify it, and why is it important to distinguish from real science?

Quite literally the definition of pseudoscience is any belief or practice that has mistakenly been regarded as being based as factual or scientific, without any actual evidence or study with the use of real scientific method. Pseudosciences include creation science, astrology, the study of chakras, tarot cards, palm readings, and all other practices characterized to claim to do the impossible or unnatural.

The first example I’ll give would be Numerology. Numerology is also called pseudomathematics as well as a pseudoscience because it claims to be studying the numbers that are involved in historic events to come up with its conclusions about the divine and such. Numerologists claim there is a special relationship between numbers and coinciding events. The danger in believing such a pseudoscience is in the conclusions that are drawn, claiming to know when the universe will end or predict when a natural catastrophe will strike could potentially negatively effect a person’s life.

The reason pseudoscience is hard to get a grasp on is because it can appear in many places undetected to a non-scientist. From the more obvisous paranormal “sciences” to even some forms of social science such as some psychology practices, pseudoscientific claims have haunted the science community for centuries.

Even less detected, consumer products such as beauty or food products make claims that aren’t scientifically sound. Practices like this include what’s called “angel dusting” or putting in small amounts of a supplement or ingredient to claim that it is active in the product when there really isn’t enough to make any difference. Being a conscious buyer in a consumer market is vital when hearing these claims being made by a lot of corporate brands as well as the more “natural” companies trying to make a sale.7-ways-to-identify-pseudoscience-infographic

Machines Make Music? – Blog Make up

Machines have been made to create music for years now, but in an international study in Japan has made that music usable with an addition of probably the most important component of music: the response of the listener.

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As the listeners hear music wearing an EEG headset, data of their brainwaves gets fed to the computer, telling them the emotional state of the listener. With this new data, the computers can recreate those emotions in a listener to produce more music for the human listener to enjoy. Realistic uses for this tech would be making music for depressed or anxious patients in need of motivation to keep moving or patients needing to feel motivated to exercise.

Recently, Google has taken up the project of machine-made music also using real human minds to teach robots how to compose music. Google is calling their machine “Al” and I’m sure they have plenty of ideas of how to use it in the future. I suspect this ground-breaking tech will be part of our musical future. Who knows what this will bring to human/machine culture?

Final Post!

Hello for the last time!

Travel can often be bittersweet. Departing on a trip inevitably means leaving comfort, friends, and family behind, whether for two weeks or two years. A sense of loss often accompanies those who are going on a long trip, but it is offset by the excitement of exploring a new place and culture.

Image result for airplane

As the school year comes to an end, all of the seniors have the next big trip on their mind. College is one of the most important experiences in a person’s life, but it also comes with a huge amount of stress. The same bittersweet feeling that comes with a long trip often also happens for high school seniors who are at a distinct end of an era in their lives. I, for one, have been realizing these past few days that this is truly the last time I will walk the halls of my school and the last time that I will see many of my dear classmates. While I am extraordinarily excited for my next adventure, I will definitely miss the people that have made the past fours years of my life so incredible.

There is something to be learned at a crossroad like this one. Enjoying the time that you are in without wishing to be elsewhere is of utmost importance to living a fulfilling life. If I had spent my whole time in high school wishing I were in college, this wonderful and horrible bittersweetness would not be nearly as meaningful as it is now.

Thank you all so much for reading this year, I wish you good travels!

Sincerely,

Marco Polo

That’s a Wrap for Sociogal!

Hello my readers and bloggers! Unfortunately, this is my last blog post for the year.  As a senior graduating very soon, all good things must come to an end. I will miss blogging about sociological topics and organizations that help the population but I’m sure the web can provide more than enough information for you when I leave. Maybe a student in journalism next year will take over this blog and will find sociology just as interesting as I do. I thought I would end this last post with looking into the meaning of goodbyes. I don’t mean to blog on depression and sadness but I think it brings what we have to a close. Goodbyes are certainly experienced and felt in everyone’s lifetime at some point or another. It could be a farewell to leaving high school or some other big milestone. It could be a goodbye to a loved one or a pet. A pondering question some may have is, does every single goodbye have to be labeled as bad and final? Absolutely not is my answer. In my opinion, some goodbyes lead to new beginnings. They lead to what lies soon ahead and next to come. Yes, the future is scary and I can’t explain to you all how much it scares me but what else am I to do? Wait for the world to change in the way that I want it to? No. You live life the way it flows. You accept what is, and learn about yourself in the process. You develop your character more from the scars you take in. I believe deep within me that goodbyes can really either be a lesson or a blessing. Why should we label a goodbye as something of bad nature? The word literally says “good” in it! Isn’t it just the next chapter and the spark of something new? I hope that’s something we can all take away from tonight’s final blog. Thank you all so much for putting up with me this year. It’s been a quick journey through senior year but there’s a paved path up ahead for me at Central Washington University. Maybe I’ll create my own personal blog in college and keep up with everyone. I wish you all the best, Sociogal.

Saying goodbye is one of the hardest things people can do. For many, it’s easier to rush through. For others, they avoid saying goodbye completely. I believe that goodbyes is the essence of what makes us who we are and where we want to be.

Saying goodbye is one of the hardest things people can do. For many, it’s easier to rush through. For others, they avoid saying goodbye completely. I believe that goodbyes is the essence of what makes us who we are.

Graduating with Honors in College

Hey everybody! TheCollegiate here, and I apologize for my lack of posting last week! I know the seniors in our journalism class are writing their final blog post this week- it will be so strange coming to an almost-empty class for the rest of the school year once they all graduate! The topic of senior graduation got me thinking about what I want to write for this week’s post, and so today I will be writing about college graduation- specifically, graduating with honors.

cap-diploma-1315412-1279x837There are a lot of different titles that high schools use during graduation ceremonies, the most common ones being Valedictorian and Salutatorian. Issaquah recently made the switch to honoring students with Latin honor titles, which is what most colleges do as well. The Latin titles are Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Summa Cum Laude.

Cum Laude is Latin for ‘With Honor,’ Magna Cum Laude for ‘With Great Honor,’ and Summa Cum Laude for ‘With Highest Honor.’ To earn any of these titles, you must have a somewhat high GPA. To earn the title of Cum Laude, you need a GPA of at least 3.5. The title of Magna Cum Laude comes with a GPA of 3.8-3.9, while a perfect GPA- something that is very difficult to obtain in college- will reward you with the title of Summa Cum Laude.

These titles, since they are based on GPA brackets, allow for more students to be distinguished for their academic achievements, which is part of the reason why Issaquah has adopted these titles for our senior graduation.

That’s it for this week’s blog post! I thought talking about similarities between Issaquah’s graduation awards and college graduation awards was an interesting topic to write about.

See you next week,

TheCollegiate