Shared posts

23 Apr 17:56

i-come-by-it-honestly: John Scalzi gets it.

saucie

via rosalind

22 Apr 17:24

Beautiful Bryophytes: A Q&A with Moss Queen Annie Martin

by Christopher Surprenant

Modern Farmer: What motivated you to start Mountain Moss?

‘Every time I see the bulldozers, my heart aches for all of the plants that got destroyed.’

Annie Martin: I had a two-pronged stimulus. Number one, I wanted to create moss gardens for other people so that they could enjoy the aesthetic aspect, as well as some of the environmental advantages of using mosses in landscapes. My second motivation was that, having lived in western North Carolina, going back generations, these mountains are my home. I’ve watched development occur my entire life. Every time I see the bulldozers, my heart aches for all of the plants that got destroyed. My particular plant of concern is all the varieties of mosses. We have 450 species of bryophytes in western North Carolina. That’s what prompted me to start Mountain Moss as a business.

MF: You describe moss as a viable horticultural choice. If someone has a garden or farm, what are the benefits of introducing moss?

‘There’s no groundwater contamination from any aspect of landscaping with mosses.’

AM: The overall environmental benefit, if you want to generalize about all species, would be that they require no fertilizer, no pesticides and no herbicides, therefore, there’s no groundwater contamination from any aspect of landscaping with mosses.  They’re really off in a category by themselves. With that said, some grow sideways, and some grow upright. Both ways, there are species that are valuable in erosion control. For instance, Polytrichum is an upright species and it goes straight down into most nutrient-poor, atrocious soil you can imagine: red clay and gravel. It can end up holding the soil so that on very steep hillsides, you can address erosion issues without plants that require you to get up there with a weed-eater and maintain them. The other [benefit] is water filtration. We can utilize mosses, for instance, for storm water control, even in urban locations, or in settings where river rock continues to try to help mediate the flow of water. That’s kind of ugly, in my opinion. You can soften it by utilizing mosses that will grow on the rocks themselves.

MF: Can moss only complement what someone is already doing for erosion control and water filtration?

AM: In can actually be the total alternative, in my opinion. In my most recent installation in Georgia, they had a problem with mud and sediment coming from an upper terrace of what was an original cotton plantation, and then it terraced down to a new pond like three or four levels. They were having a big runoff issue at one spot, and, of course, they didn’t want mud in their newly-created trout pond. They were using hay bales and river rock to mediate the situation and get it under control. But, that’s pretty ugly. So, we changed it out with these huge mature colonies of Polytrichum that I’m confident will solve the problem.

MF: Do you have a favorite moss that you like to incorporate into your displays?

‘I will admit that sometimes my favorites change from day to day. I believe that most of the time, Climacium is my favorite.’

AM: I have to smile when you ask that question, because I will admit that sometimes my favorites change from day to day. I believe that most of the time, Climacium is my favorite. It just has this growth pattern. When it starts out, it looks like a little conifer tree with this intense, brilliant green. As it starts to grow up, it can reach heights of maybe an inch and a half, two inches. At its maturity, the top part of the “tree” is maybe as large as a silver dollar. Its color ranges from that initial bright, intense green to some medium green, to some olive green, then into kind of a pretty ugly brown. But, if it’s in the sun, it can be an intense yellow. I mean just a gorgeous yellow.

MountainMoss-ModernFarm-BCProj-MossRainbow

MF: What’s one of the most important things you want people to know about moss?

AM: Mosses require moisture or humidity to thrive. There are many moss myths. Mosses do grow in the shade, but there are certain species that can tolerate sun — it can be more of a challenge to grow them. My moss mantra is “water and walk on your mosses.” If I gave any guideline at all, to me, that is the key.

All photos are courtesy of Annie Martin. More information on moss and it’s many uses can be found at here at Mountain Moss Enterprises.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

The post Beautiful Bryophytes: A Q&A with Moss Queen Annie Martin appeared first on Modern Farmer.

23 Apr 03:01

Josh Lueke Is A Rapist

saucie

Via firehose

It occurred to me in that moment that maybe the MLB doesn't know how to deal with a man who raped a woman because it is a bunch of men trying to deal with a man who raped a woman. The end result is so many people, including those in that discussion, entirely missing the point.
22 Apr 15:42

virused: list of people i like: dogs

saucie

via firehose, cosigned

virused:

list of people i like:

  1. dogs
20 Apr 01:53

artfromthefuture: Okra dokie by Captain Tenneal on Flickr.

18 Apr 15:07

happy friday

saucie

this week



happy friday

21 Apr 13:53

How Police Spied on a Whole City

by Conor Friedersdorf

This is the future if nothing is done to stop it.

In a secret test of mass surveillance technology, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department sent a civilian aircraft over Compton, California, capturing high-resolution video of everything that happened inside that 10-square-mile municipality.

Compton residents weren't told about the spying, which happened in 2012. "We literally watched all of Compton during the times that we were flying, so we could zoom in anywhere within the city of Compton and follow cars and see people," Ross McNutt of Persistence Surveillance Systems told the Center for Investigative Reporting. The technology he's trying to sell to police departments all over America can stay aloft for up to six hours. Like Google Earth, it enables police to zoom in on certain areas. And like TiVo, it permits them to rewind, so that they can look back and see what happened anywhere they weren't watching in real time. 

If it's adopted, Americans can be policed like Iraqis and Afghanis under occupation–and at bargain prices:

McNutt, who holds a doctorate in rapid product development, helped build wide-area surveillance to hunt down bombing suspects in Iraq and Afghanistan. He decided that clusters of high-powered surveillance cameras attached to the belly of small civilian aircraft could be a game-changer in U.S. law enforcement.

“Our whole system costs less than the price of a single police helicopter and costs less for an hour to operate than a police helicopter,” McNutt said. “But at the same time, it watches 10,000 times the area that a police helicopter could watch.”

A sargeant in the L.A. County Sheriff's office compared the technology to Big Brother, which didn't stop him from deploying it over a string of necklace snatchings.

Sgt. Douglas Iketani acknowledges that his agency hid the experiment to avoid public opposition. "This system was kind of kept confidential from everybody in the public,"he said. "A lot of people do have a problem with the eye in the sky, the Big Brother, so to mitigate those kinds of complaints we basically kept it pretty hush hush." That attitude ought to get a public employee summarily terminated. 

He also gave this incredible quote:

"Our first initial thought was, oh, Big Brother, we're going to have a camera flying over us. But with the wide area surveillance you would have the ability to solve a lot of the unsolvable crimes with no witnesses, no videotape surveillance, no fingerprints."

Notice that he didn't conclude that the "wide area surveillance" wouldn't be like Big Brother after all, just that Big Brother capabilities would help to solve more crimes. 

So why not try them out?

He later explains that while the public may think its against this, we'll get used to it:

I'm sure that once people find out this experiment went on they might be a little upset. But knowing that we can't see into their bedroom windows, we can't see into their pools, we can't see into their showers. You know, I'm sure they'll be okay with it. With the amount of technology out in today's age, with cameras in ATMs, at every 7/11, at every supermarket, pretty much every light poll, all the license plate cameras, the red light cameras, people have just gotten used to being watched. 

The CIR story reports that no police department has yet purchased this technology, not because the law enforcement community is unwilling to conduct mass surveillance of their fellow citizens without first gaining the public's consent, but because the cameras aren't yet good enough to identify the faces of individuals. It's hard to imagine that next technological barrier won't be broken soon.

I'd be against mass surveillance of innocents in any case. 

But it's especially galling to see law enforcement professionals betray the spirit of democracy by foisting these tools on what they know to be a reluctant public because they deem it to be prudent based on a perspective that is obviously biased.

Many Americans elect their own sheriffs. This is the future if nothing is done to stop them.

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic.








17 Apr 17:20

Viking Soul Food cart closing for good in May

by Michael Russell | mrussell@oregonian.com
saucie

:(

The cart, which specialized in lefse, the traditional Norwegian potato flatbread, will stay open through May 17.
20 Apr 21:27

portlandbridges: St. John’s Bridge, Portland, OR by...



portlandbridges:

St. John’s Bridge, Portland, OR by hollytphotography http://ift.tt/1qWYN9ihttp://ift.tt/1aEo04g

19 Apr 15:55

Epilogue (from The Boy)

by noreply@blogger.com (LimeyG)
saucie

crying



As many of you have learned, LimeyG passed away peacefully last April 8. I consider myself lucky to have shared eighteen wonderful years with her. She was simply amazing.

The following Sunday, April 13, we held a memorial ceremony to celebrate her life. Her friends and family told many poignant yet funny stories, we listened to music she loved (including the Pixies, Adam Ant and Celia Cruz) and finished by toasting her with champagne. It was as fitting a celebration of her life-affirming spirit as we could hope to produce.

I have found comfort in reading some of the earlier posts on this blog. I would encourage you to do the same. Carolyn spent a lot of time getting the writing and photos to her liking. We are lucky she devoted such care to this blog, for it perfectly captures her essence. To get you started, here are some suggestions:
Finally, I would like to give LimeyG the final word, by sharing her final request:
In lieu of flowers, Carolyn has asked that you go have an excellent glass of champagne; tell your family how much you love them; buy yourself a book you've been meaning to read; do one nice, small thing for a stranger.
[From the official site of this particular Carolyn Grantham]
20 Apr 15:13

Google Frecking: The Week In Pandas

Based on Google Alerts, a snapshot of pandas in black-and-white. In the here-and-now.

» E-Mail This

19 Apr 17:22

Extra Vaccination Push Underway In Ohio As Mumps Outbreak Spreads

Officials in Columbus, Ohio, are scrambling to contain a burst of mumps cases. There's a new clinic open for vaccinations, and Ohio State University is teaching students how to protect themselves.

» E-Mail This

20 Apr 02:28

The trees do bud in spring

by Adam
Before there are apples, there are buds.
Third in a series of studies of one apple-tree branch tip (1) (2), as seen earlier today.
20 Apr 00:35

Oh panda-kun…



Oh panda-kun…

20 Apr 00:36

portlandbridges: #100HappyDays #Day24 #HawthorneBridge...



portlandbridges:

#100HappyDays #Day24 #HawthorneBridge #BridgeTown #NorthBreakWaterDock #PortlandParks by vsh5 http://ift.tt/PfVsUThttp://ift.tt/1aEo04g

11 Apr 17:53

"Some med students get nervous during our encounters. It’s like an awkward date, except half of them..."

“Some med students get nervous during our encounters. It’s like an awkward date, except half of them are wearing platinum wedding bands. I want to tell them I’m more than just an unmarried woman faking seizures for pocket money. I do things! I want to tell them. I’m probably going to write about this in a book someday! We make small talk about the rural Iowa farm town I’m supposed to be from. We each understand the other is inventing this small talk and we agree to respond to each other’s inventions as genuine exposures of personality. We’re holding the fiction between us like a jump rope.

One time a student forgets we are pretending and starts asking detailed questions about my fake hometown—which, as it happens, if he’s being honest, is his real hometown—and his questions lie beyond the purview of my script, beyond what I can answer, because in truth I don’t know much about the person I’m supposed to be or the place I’m supposed to be from. He’s forgotten our contract. I bullshit harder, more heartily. “That park in Muscatine!” I say, slapping my knee like a grandpa. “I used to sled there as a kid.”

Other students are all business. They rattle through the clinical checklist for depression like a list of things they need to get at the grocery store: “sleep disturbances, changes in appetite, decreased concentration.” Some of them get irritated when I obey my script and refuse to make eye contact. I’m supposed to stay swaddled and numb. These irritated students take my averted eyes as a challenge. They never stop seeking my gaze. Wrestling me into eye contact is the way they maintain power, forcing me to acknowledge their requisite display of care.

I grow accustomed to comments that feel aggressive in their formulaic insistence: That must really be hard [to have a dying baby], That must really be hard [to be afraid you’ll have another seizure in the middle of the grocery store], That must really be hard [to carry in your uterus the bacterial evidence of cheating on your husband]. Why not say, I couldn’t even imagine?

Other students seem to understand that empathy is always perched precariously between gift and invasion. They won’t even press the stethoscope to my skin without asking if it’s OK. They need permission. They don’t want to presume. Their stuttering unwittingly honors my privacy: “Can I… could I… would you mind if I—listened to your heart?” “No,” I tell them. “I don’t mind.” Not minding is my job. Their humility is a kind of compassion in its own right. Humility means they ask questions, and questions mean they get answers, and answers mean they get points on the checklist: a point for finding out my mother takes Wellbutrin, a point for getting me to admit I’ve spent the last two years cutting myself, a point for finding out my father died in a grain elevator when I was two—for realizing that a root system of loss stretches radial and rhizomatic under the entire territory of my life.

In this sense, empathy isn’t measured just by checklist item 31—“Voiced empathy for my situation/problem”—but by every item that gauges how thoroughly my experience has been imagined. Empathy isn’t just remembering to say That must really be hard, it’s figuring out how to bring difficulty into the light so it can be seen at all. Empathy isn’t just listening, it’s asking the questions whose answers need to be listened to. Empathy requires inquiry as much as imagination. Empathy requires knowing you know nothing. Empathy means acknowledging a horizon of context that extends perpetually beyond what you can see: an old woman’s gonorrhea is connected to her guilt is connected to her marriage is connected to her children is connected to the days when she was a child. All this is connected to her domestically stifled mother, in turn, and to her parents’ unbroken marriage; maybe everything traces its roots to her very first period, how it shamed and thrilled her.

Empathy means realizing no trauma has discrete edges. Trauma bleeds. Out of wounds and across boundaries. Sadness becomes a seizure. Empathy demands another kind of porousness in response. My Stephanie script is twelve pages long. I think mainly about what it doesn’t say.”

- Leslie Jamison, “The Empathy Exams”

I’d excerpt this whole essay if I could. It’s that good. You can read the whole thing here.

17 Apr 16:30

GETTING COMFREY WITH GROWING MY OWN FERTILIZER

by Erin @ The Impatient Gardener
saucie

finally found a few comfreys at the local nursery, looking forward to getting these in the new garden

Since I wrote this post, I estimate that I’ve watched more than 50 hours of British gardening shows. And I think I’ve learned more from them than I ever learned over all the years of watching American gardening shows. Some of that information—how to take cuttings, for instance—may not be completely practical as I have nowhere to overwinter delicate new plants, but it is fascinating information to know.

But until I watched a 2011 episode of "Gardener’s World" (one Youtube poster lists it as the “Best show in the world” and I wouldn't argue with him), I had no idea that I’ve been missing out on growing my own fertilizer all this time. 

Apparently a small patch of comfrey will nourish your plants and kick your compost pile into high gear.

Until recently, my knowledge of comfrey was limited. I knew it was part of the borage family. I know that borage is a beautiful plant in an old-fashioned kind of way but also one that you never get rid of once you have it. I’ll be honest, plants like that scare me. I’ve had too many plants try to stage a bloodless coup in my garden (like these) and eradicating them is a chore that has taken years (and continues annually, in some cases). 

I also knew that I liked the name of the plant: comfrey. It sounds … well … comfy. It does have fuzzy leaves, so maybe it is sort of comfy (although it can be irritating to some people’s skin so maybe don’t curl up in a patch of it). 


But it turns out that comfrey is a little powerhouse of a plant. It can be used for medicinal purposes because it contains allantoin, which stimulates cell growth and repair, and as a high-protein animal feed, but that's not why I've got my eye on it.

Nope, I’m interested in it because it’s a great fertilizer. Comfrey is high in potash, aka potassium (the "K" in NPK fertilizer ratios), which means it’s an excellent feed for overall plant health and particularly good for tomatoes and flowers later in the season. One source says that comfrey has more than twice as much potassium as farm manure and 30% more than compost. The NPK (nitrogen-phosporous-potassium) breakdown of comfrey leaves is 1.80-0.50-5.30 for true comfrey and that last number bumps up to 7.09 for Russian comfrey. 

On "Gardener’s World," good ol’ Monty Don made comfrey tea and then watered his plants with it. He also used it as a foliar feed. And he used a big bunch of leaves as mulch for his tomatoes. Just slapped them right on there. They will feed the soil as they decompose. And anything that was left, including the stems, was thrown in the compost pile where it kick starts a pile that’s a little heavy on browns (i.e. carbon-based material). And another source claims that earthworm farms have found that adding comfrey to their worm beds increases worm numbers by 400%. Even if that's an exaggeration, imagine what it could do for the worms in my compost bin.


You can also put a few leaves near plants prone to slug damage. Apparently it is so tasty to slugs that they will forego eating anything else in favor of attacking the comfrey. I'm not sure howI feel about that logic as it's a little bit like feeding the deer in your yard and expecting them not to eat your garden, but it might be interesting to try.

How have I been missing out on all this goodness? It all sounds too good to be true.

Making comfrey tea is no more complicated that putting a lot of comfrey leaves in a bucket and covering them with water (some recipes say not to add water and just let them turn into sludge on their own). And then covering the whole thing with a lid or a board and stashing it away from human interaction for several weeks while it creates a black, disgusting stew that apparently is extremely foul-smelling (hence why you don’t want to store it on your patio while it’s brewing). 

When it’s finished you strain it, dilute it with water and pass the goodness onto your plants. 

It seems to be difficult to find plants, other than from other gardeners. I was surprised that our master gardener group doesn't sell it at our annual heirloom plant and herb sale given that it's such a useful plant. And all the gardeners I asked don't grow it. So I ordered a few root cuttings, which it is said to grow from easily. That alone is a little scary. Any plant that grows well from root cuttings means that you better put it in a place that you like from the beginning because digging it out will be difficult. Unless you dig up all the roots, you'll have more plants in that spot.



I ordered Russian comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum), a variety called Bocking 14, which is said to be sterile, so at least I don't have to worry about it reseeding all over the place,  although cutting off the flowers before they set seed would also work (this is so much easier said than done). Apparently it is best to use it before it flowers, or right as it starts flowering. This strain is not great for animal feed—apparently it is more bitter than other strains—so I'm hoping that it won't be tasty to deer.

I’m going to find a little patch that’s out of the way. I’m still worried about it getting aggressive, but I think if I can provide it a nice little spot away from the main garden areas, I can let it be true to its nature. There is a variety that is supposed to be sterile and I may seek that one out to help keep it in check,

Growing my own fertilizer: what could be better? I’m becoming a more self-reliant gardener, recycling in my own yard and saving money in the process.

Comfrey, here I come.

Have you grown comfrey? I’ll take any tips you have and I’d love to hear how you use it.



17 Apr 15:29

Landscape Letters by Charles Joseph Hullmandel

by Rochelle Greayer

landscape alphabet at the British museum by Charles Joeseph HullmandelYes! – I’d frame that.  I find the ‘G’ particularly nice and it reminds me of Colorado history and some of my favorite Laura Ingalls Wilder stories.  I’m also partial to the H – (I love a good bridge) and the W (maybe my parents would like that — it is the first letter of my maiden name) seems so pleasingly garden-y.

landscape alphabet at the British museum by Charles Joeseph Hullmandel

The full set can be seen at the British Museums website.  This illustrated alphabet was create between 1818 and 1860 by Charles Joseph Hullmandel  and includes a full set of 26 contoured landscapes.

landscape alphabet at the British museum by Charles Joeseph Hullmandel

These are my favorites — which do you love?

landscape alphabet at the British museum by Charles Joeseph Hullmandel landscape alphabet at the British museum by Charles Joeseph Hullmandel landscape alphabet at the British museum by Charles Joeseph Hullmandel landscape alphabet at the British museum by Charles Joeseph Hullmandel landscape alphabet at the British museum by Charles Joeseph Hullmandel landscape alphabet at the British museum by Charles Joeseph Hullmandel

-Rochelle

17 Apr 03:20

Fun Facts About Tilikum, the Serial Killer Whale TriMet Named its New Bridge After

Wednesday's announcement that TriMet has named the new Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge after the murderous orca Tilikum has led to renewed interest in the life and homicides of this beloved killer whale. 

The transit agency had considered other names for the bridge, but ruled out the most-suggested name, that of popular street musician "Working" Kirk Reeves, after determining that he lacked "historical and lasting significance." The naming committee also spurned pioneering feminist publisher Abigail Scott Duniway.

That's understandable—because whatever their accomplishments, neither Reeves nor Duniway murdered three people.

Trimet's bridge namers considered a number of criteria before choosing the name of a homicidal fish that has delighted millions of small children with skillful acrobatics and natural majesty. The questions considered by the naming committee included "Is it inspirational? If so, why?" and "Does it reflect how a bridge connects people? If so, how?"

At least three of the people Tilikum met are connected by being dead.

But while the legend of Tilikum is well known, spread through sources such as Youtube videos of tragic and protracted assaults in which dedicated SeaWorld trainers are repeatedly dragged to the bottom of clear blue pools and gnawed on like chew toys in front of thousands of people, the real Tilikum remains elusive to most.

Here are some fun facts about the recently honored Tilikum you might not have known—until now.

  • In all official comments on the matter, TriMet officials have cleverly disguised their tribute to this murderous fish by stressing that the name Tilikum "symbolizes coming together."
  • More precisely, Tilikum means "people" in the Chinook Wawa language. People are what Tilikum ate. 
  • Tilikum was captured off the coast of Iceland. In an ironic twist, the Icelandic people are historically known to kill and eat orcas and other fish.
  • Tilikum is a film star. Thanks to the film Blackfish, he has been seen brutally and remorselessly killing people in a documentary translated into three different languages... one for each murder!
  • Tilikum weighs 12,000 pounds.
  • In many ways, Tilikum is a real-life counterpart to Free Willy, except that (1) nobody freed him, and (2) instead of befriending people, he killed them.
  • Tilikum is the most famous sufferer of dorsal fin erectile dysfunction in America. As a tribute, TriMet made sure that the banner announcing the name had a little bit of trouble unfurling. "You can't blame the banner for having a little stage fright," officials said, and everyone probably laughed.
  • No one is allowed to touch Tilikum, and he is thought to have been abused as a pup.
  • The subtitle of the bridge is "Bridge of the People." The subtext of the bridge is that it is safer for people when they are not in the water.
  • Even after three murders, Tilikum still performs today in the SeaWorld tanks. The real question in the minds of fans is, what will he do next?

No TriMet officials were harmed during the writing of this listicle.

17 Apr 07:30

Plant Breeders Release First 'Open Source Seeds'

Scientists and food activists are launching a campaign to promote seeds that can be freely shared, rather than protected through patents and licenses. They call it the Open Source Seed Initiative.

» E-Mail This

17 Apr 13:45

Fate Of Girls Abducted In Nigeria Now Uncertain

About 100 girls were grabbed Monday. Officials have blamed a radical Islamist group. Late Wednesday, Nigeria's military said almost all the girls had been accounted for. That claim is in dispute.

» E-Mail This

15 Apr 17:51

Photo

saucie

via Tadeu
now ever dog is going to want a pair of horns



16 Apr 15:33

Why Your Neighbors Will Finance Solar Panels for Your Roof

by Todd Woody

Here's another reason to be nice to the neighbors: They might just give you a no-money-down, low-cost loan to put solar panels on your roof, and once you pay off that debt you’ll get essentially free electricity as long as you own your home.

Welcome to the latest innovation in renewable energy: The crowdsourced solar loan.

The loans are administered by Mosaic, an Oakland, California, start-up that made its name by letting ordinary investors – that’s you and me – put money into commercial and non-profit solar projects that were once the exclusive domain of big banks and corporations like Google. 

In the coming months, the environmentally minded can go to Mosaic's site and invest in portfolio of 20-year loans made to homeowners. (Each individual loan will be scrubbed of identifying information.) Mosaic is offering the loans through a partnership with solar installer RGS Energy.

The interest rate is 4.99 percent as long as homeowners pay down the loan with a 30 percent federal tax credit they’ll receive for installing a solar system. If they keep the tax credit, the rate jumps to 10 percent after 18 months. 

"We think a solar loan if structured right can open up the market and make solar more affordable and accessible for more homeowners," Mosaic co-founder Billy Parish says.

That goes against the grain of solar financing. In recent years, leases have driven the  explosion in residential solar installations as they let homeowners avoid the typical five-figure cost of buying a solar array. Instead, homeowners would pay a monthly fee to a solar installer like SolarCity or Sungevity that in most cases is less than what they’d fork over to their local utility for electricity. In California, for instance, leases account for two-thirds of residential solar installations.

But leases also are a product of the peculiar way the federal government subsidizes solar energy in the United States.

Individuals and businesses that install solar panels qualify for a 30 percent tax credit – known as the investment tax credit, or ITC. Since young solar companies like SolarCity have few taxes to offset, they instead transfer the credits to banks and corporations that put up funds to finance the installation of solar systems for homeowners. These so-called tax equity funds have financed billions of dollars in residential leases in recent years.

But with the ITC set to decline to 10 percent at the end of 2016, tax equity investors are expected to look for other places to put their money. In the meantime, rooftop solar has gone from being one of those nutty-crunchy California affectations to a mainstream phenomenon and a hedge against rising electricity prices.

That means homeowners are more comfortable taking out loans to pay for a solar system.

"Solar is no longer an emerging technology," says Jon Doochin, chief executive of Soligent, a California solar distributor  that provides financing and other services to independent solar installers. "People say, ‘Solar I get it.'"

More important, banks get it. So these days companies like Soligent can offer loan financing at competitive rates – around 6 percent to 14 percent – to homeowners who previously would have had to tap their home equity lines or credit cards to pay for a solar system.

"The rates are dropping significantly because people have more confidence in the technology," says Doochin.

And there’s another reason homeowners may increasingly opt to own rather than rent: A study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that a solar system boosted a home’s resale price by $17,000.

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic. Disclosure: Mosaic co-founder Dan Rosen is The Atlantic's Rebecca J. Rosen's brother. She was not involved in the conception or execution of this story.








17 Apr 06:24

Photo



17 Apr 06:18

Photo

saucie

Poor pengi-san









17 Apr 06:13

Photo

saucie

Firehose at work beat



17 Apr 06:08

Photo







17 Apr 06:06

Photo



15 Apr 20:03

"Convenience store chain Plaid Pantry has announced their latest effort to become more appealing to..."

“Convenience store chain Plaid Pantry has announced their latest effort to become more appealing to customers who arrive by bike: Bicycle aid stations. According to Administrative Manager Laura Sadowski, the new aid stations will be available at all 104 Oregon stores and will consist of a flat repair kit, basic bike tools, and a floor pump.”

- Bicycle ‘Aid Stations’ coming to Plaid Pantry stores | BikePortland.org
15 Apr 18:02

It was 1912. The Pendleton Round-Up was 2 years old. And Tillie...



It was 1912. The Pendleton Round-Up was 2 years old. And Tillie Baldwin, a 26-year-old cowgirl, had been honing her craft for 12 years.

Moving from Norway to her aunt’s farm on Staten Island, she saw American icon Will Rogers perform in her new hometown. It was the moment that would change her life.

(via Oregon Historical Photo: Oregon Historical Photo: Champion Lady Buckaroo » Arts & Life » OPB)