XKCD’s excellent presentation on historical global temperature and anthropogenic global warming. 

[After setting your car on fire] “Listen, your car’s temperature has changed before.”

For the “Earth’s climate has changed before” crowd.

The Superman Crossover That Perfectly Explained White Privilege Decades Ago


Co-created and written by McDuffie with art by M.D. “Doc” Bright, Icon represented an intentional shift from how the black heroes of previous decades were presented. Augustus Freeman wasn’t “street” and didn’t traffic in the jivey slang that characterized Luke Cage and other inner-city crimefighters. Icon #1 established one of the ongoing themes that series would touch, an exploration of what individuals and society owe each other. Raquel’s low-income realities don’t afford her the resources to make her dreams of becoming a writer come true while Augustus realizes that his upper-class elitism has cut him off from the world around him. He’s so out of touch that he thinks he can just fly down and offer his help to the cops dealing with a hostage situation.

He is, of course, very wrong

I was in college when the Milestone line debuted, gobsmacked by the idea that there was going to be a whole universe of non-white superheroes. My excitement led me to do a project on the imprint for a cultural journalism class taught by the late, trailblazing pop music critic Ellen Willis. I remember a dismissive classmate sniffing at Icon, saying “So, he’s basically like a black Superman, then?” I didn’t always speak up a lot in college, the confidence that I have now in my faculties was still a long time coming. (I’m forever haunted by an asshole TA in a PoliSci class who ranted that “crack was a black drug” because it was years before I realized I could’ve retorted by asking him how crack got to the inner cities.) But when that classmate made his shallow remark about Icon, I said “No, he’s not a black Superman. And the book is about exactly why he can’t be.” I didn’t know I could say something like that until I actually said it. Something was waking up in me.

The late, legendary Dwayne McDuffie knew the possibilities of superhero comics. At their best, they can portray humanity in all its messy fullness, so that when our loftiest ideals win out over our worst aspects we’d feel that much closer to the heroes we read about. Augustus is uptight and judgmental, sheltered by his success. His turn towards understanding the generations that came after him is a journey back to empathy and community. He’s a Superman analog who isn’t already perfect; he’s perfecting himself.

Always good to see more praises for Icon, such a great series. Evan Narcisse who wrote this has also wrote about Xombi, so I hope this isn’t last of his articles about under-appreciated Milestone books.

– Admin 

The Superman Crossover That Perfectly Explained White Privilege Decades Ago








black and asian vikings 100% definitely existed (also, saami vikings)

you know how far you can get into eurasia and africa by sailing up rivers from the baltic and mediterranean seas? pretty fucking far, and that’s what vikings liked to do to trade

then, you know, people are people, so love happens, business happens, and so ppl get married and take spouses back home to the frozen hellscape that is scandinavia (upon which i’m guessing the horrorstruck new spouses went “WHAT THE FUCK??? FUCKING GIVE ME YOUR JACKET???????”)

and sometimes vikings bought thralls and brought them home as well, and i mean, when your indentured service is up after however many years and you’re a free person again, maaaaaaaaaaaaybe it’s a bit hard to get all the way home across the continent, so you make the best out of the situation and you probably get married and raise a gaggle kids

so yeah

viking kingdoms/communities were not uniformly pure white aryan fantasy paradises, so pls stop using my cultural history and ethnic background to excuse your racist discomfort with black ppl playing heimdall and valkyrie

Also we KNOW they got to Asia and Africa. 


Because Asians, Africans, and Vikings TOLD US SO. 

Also, we know there was significant mercantile trade between Scandinavia and parts of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Northern India, Kashmir, North and Eastern Africa because there is evidence in burial sites.

Check that out: the goods Vikings and Scandinavians were getting from their trade with the rest of the world was so important they buried themselves with it, as part of their treasure hordes.

We KNOW this.

There’s a reason you can still see many of the trade routes from the ancient world etched into the very earth.

Plus, we know that some Scandinavian cultures that participated in Viking raids had established minority communities of ethnically Mongolian folks living among them during the periods when such raids were common, and it’s difficult to credit that none of them would have signed on.

Islamic Ring in Viking Grave

Vikings in Persia

Black Vikings

Vikings in North Africa

Buddha statue in Viking hoard

Vikings brought Native American woman to Europe

Unflattering texts in Arabic about Vikings

Original text by Ahmad ibn-Fadlan

More about the Islamic World and Vikings (some Vikings converted to Islam! sort of sketchy site tho)

Viking technology came from Afghanistan

More on trade route determination via metallurgy

… is that enough? 🙂

Yet another on the pile of reasons why it monumentally honks me off when pusillanimous, pseudointellectual white supremacist scum try to use Scandinavian culture as a crutch for their arguments and act like Norse mythology agrees with their biases. No it fucking doesn’t, bitch. Odin would personally kick you in the dick for being a witless coward and then send your ass to the Realm of the Dishonored Dead.

I don’t usually reblog stuff, but this thread makes me so happy.
See, I love the Viking aesthetic – I love the fusion of organic and
geometric in its designs, I love the natural colors, the complexity of
textures you get from juxtaposing metal/leather/cloth/fur–

–and I hate how
the entire subculture has been so thoroughly co-opted by white
supremacists. To the point where I, a person who likes viking stuff, am
deeply and immediately suspect of anyone else who likes viking stuff, guilty until proven innocent, cuz that’s what the odds are these days.


As far as I’m concerned, anyone can be a viking, and thus I am so, so pleased to find that the historical record backs me up.

(And amused that Arab intellectual Ahmad ibn Fadlan was so thirsty for vikings.)

Ten Tips For Raised Garden Beds


Try these organic tips and tricks to get the most out of your planting space

Raised beds are great: the soil in them warms and dries out earlier in the spring than regular garden beds, so you can get planting sooner. They allow us to garden without fighting stones and roots, and the soil in them stays perfectly fluffy since it doesn’t get walked on.

Of course, there are a few drawbacks: in hot dry weather, raised beds tend to dry out quickly. Roots from nearby trees will eventually find their way into your nice, nutrient-dense soil.

Here are ten even high-yield strategies that will make the most of a raised garden bed space.

Ten Tips for Raised Garden Beds

# 1: Never Walk On The Soil

The biggest advantage of raised bed gardening is the light, fluffy, absolutely perfect soil you’re able to work with as a result. When you build your raised beds, build them so that you’re able to reach every part of the bed without having to stand in it. Raised garden bed soil doesn’t need to be tilled as it is not compacted, but this can happen if you walk on the soil in the bed 

# 2: Mulch after planting.

Mulch with newspaper, straw, grass clippings, leaves, or wood chips after planting your garden. This will reduce the amount of weeding you’ll have to do and keep the soil moist.

# 3: Plan your irrigation system.

Two of the best ways to irrigate a raised bed are by soaker hose and drip irrigation. If you plan it ahead of time and install your irrigation system before planting, you can save yourself a lot of work and time spent standing around with a hose later on.

# 4: Install a barrier to roots and weeds.

If you have large trees in the area, or just want to ensure that you won’t have to deal with weeds growing up through your perfect soil, consider installing a barrier at the bottom of the bed. This could be a commercial weed barrier, a piece of old carpet, or a thick piece of corrugated cardboard. If you have an existing raised bed and find that you’re battling tree roots every year, you may have to excavate the soil, install the barrier, and refill with the soil. It’s a bit of work, but it will save you tons of work later on.

# 5: Add nutrient enhanced compost annually.

Gardening in a raised bed is, essentially, like gardening in a really, really large container. As with any container garden, the soil will settle and get depleted as time goes on. You can mitigate this by adding a one to two-inch layer of compost or composted manure each spring before you start planting.

# 6: Fluff the soil with a garden fork as needed.

To lighten compacted soil in your raised bed, simply stick a garden fork as deeply into the soil as possible, and wiggle it back and forth. Do that at eight to twelve-inch intervals all over the bed, and your soil will be nicely loosened without a lot of backbreaking work.

# 7: Cover up your soil at the end of the gardening season

Add a layer of organic mulch or plant a cover crop at the end of your growing season. Soil that is exposed to harsh winter weather breaks down and compacts much faster than protected soil. This technique also keeps the soil nutrient enhanced 

# 8: 

Space Smartly

To get the maximum yields from each bed, pay attention to how you arrange your plants. Avoid planting in square patterns or rows. Instead, stagger the plants by planting in triangles. By doing so, you can fit 10 to 14 percent more plants in each bed.

Just be careful not to space your plants too tightly. Some plants won’t reach their full size—or yield—when crowded. For instance, when one researcher increased the spacing between romaine lettuces from 8 to 10 inches, the harvest weight per plant doubled. (Remember that weight yield per square foot is more important than the number of plants per square foot.)

Overly tight spacing can also stress plants, making them more susceptible to diseases and insect attack.

# 9: 

Grow Up

No matter how small your garden, you can grow more by going vertical. Grow space-hungry vining crops—such as tomatoes, pole beans, peas, squash, melons, cukes, and so on—straight up, supported by trellises, fences, cages, or stakes.

Growing vegetables vertically also saves time. Harvest and maintenance go faster because you can see exactly where the fruits are. And upward-bound plants are less likely to be hit by fungal diseases thanks to the improved air circulation around the foliage.

Try growing vining crops on trellises along one side of raised beds, using sturdy end posts with nylon mesh netting or string in between to provide a climbing surface. Tie the growing vines to the trellis. But don’t worry about securing heavy fruits—even squash and melons will develop thicker stems for support.

# 10: 

Mix It Up

Companion planting saves space, too. Consider the classic Native American combination, the “three sisters”—corn, beans, and squash. Sturdy cornstalks support the pole beans, while squash grows freely on the ground below, shading out competing weeds. This combination works because the crops are compatible. Other compatible combinations include tomatoes, basil, and onions; leaf lettuce and peas or brassicas; carrots, onions, and radishes; and beets and celery. 

There are many basics to having a successful garden in a raised bed, Remember to be flexible and open to new ideas that can help your garden


How to grow radishes

Alys Fowler


The first pulling of crisp, spicy, sweet roots, slathered in cold unsalted butter, then dipped in flaky sea salt and accompanied by a glass of something white and very dry: I feel I have been dreaming about my first spring crop all winter.

Radishes are keen on life, which is why they get to go first. They take roughly 30 to 40 days to mature outside (fewer in a polytunnel with plenty of watering). Perhaps more importantly, they favour cool, moist conditions. The seeds germinate at between 14C and 30C and are quick about it, so they are one of the best indicators of whether your soil is warming up. Another way of knowing if your soil is nearing 14C is to wiggle your fingers in it. If you can linger there, your soil is warm; if after a minute you wish to hug a cup of tea, it is not.

The trick to a good radish – one that is crisp, not bitter and definitely not woody or hollow – is quick growth. For this, you need fertility and moisture. Competition from other radish seedlings will rob the soil of both. Therefore, don’t oversow – seeds should be 3-5cm (a couple of inches) apart in rows 10-15cm apart, or broadcast thinly over a patch. Not too deep, either – they need only a centimetre of soil above them and do best sown into a fine tilth. Sow a pinch at a time, in succession – ie, as one lot emerges, sow the next batch. No one can eat 30 radishes ripening all at once, which is what they are wont to do.

If your soil is not yet fertile enough for the nutrients to be readily available, you could spread leaf mould mixed with well-sieved garden compost over the surface and sow into that. Alternatively, take organic manure, dried farmyard manure or chicken pellets with added seaweed and gently tickle this into the soil before sowing. Alternatively, sow after a leguminous green manure, such as clover or alfalfa.

Italian and French breakfast radishes) are among my favourites – cylindrical with red tops and white tips. For round shapes, ‘Cherry Belle’ is a brilliant red and ‘Pink Beauty’ is as the name suggests. ‘Rudi’ has a fine flavour and is slow to turn pithy. Finally, if you find yourself with odds and sods of leftover packages, mix them together for a colour harvest.

In spring, radishes need full sun, but by summer they will grow well in semi-shade, where the soil will remain cool. In hot soils, they will bolt, becoming tough and so spicy as to be unpleasant. When the first and second sprinklings of radish seedlings are up and doing well, you can start to think about sowing beetroot, spring onions, broad beans, cabbages, cauliflowers, parsley, peas, spinach, lettuces and rocket.


Did You Know Tomatoes Hate Cucumbers? Secrets of Companion Planting


While they might taste great together in a salad, tomato plants actually dislike growing in close proximity to any member of the cucurbit family, which includes cucumbers.

Companion plants assist in the growth of others by attracting beneficial insects, repelling pests, or providing nutrients, shade, or support. They can be part of a biological pest control program.

Keep reading