John Wolfram

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since Sep 05, 2014
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Porter, Indiana
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Recent posts by John Wolfram

Much like there are a lot of vegan animals on earth, I would expect many aliens to be vegan as well. Now, if you want to limit "aliens" to just intelligent aliens then the question become a bit more complex. Looking at the most intelligent animals on earth, a good proportion of them eat other animals which is not surprising since being able to catch and kill another animal takes more intelligence than just hiding and reacting to something trying to eat you. On this list,
(, it looks like the only animal that doesn't purposefully eat other animals would be the elephants.

Assuming that the same holds true on other worlds, there's a good chance the most intelligent species on those planets at least started out as carnivores or omnivores. Even though they started out as carnivores or omnivores, it would seem reasonable that there could have been pressures that would eventually cause the intelligent aliens to become vegan. For example, if food supplies are limited, more aliens eating a plant based diet could be fed if than if they were eating meat. However, once resources become plentiful again, I would expect the aliens would revert back to eating more meat (kind of like how when humans become wealthier they tend to eat more meat[1]).
3 days ago

Dc Stewart wrote:At the risk of diverting the topic from dating to marriage, recall that in past generations "till death do us part" usually meant a few decades at best. At current life expectancy, even a delayed marriage can mean a 50-70 year commitment.

In 1850, a person who made it to the marriageable age of 20 could expect to live about another 40 years. These days, if you make it to the marriageable age of 30 you can expect to live about another 45-50 years. That's a bit longer than in 1850, but not a huge amount.
I'm in zone 5 near Chicago. My American persimmons had no problems with the -20F polar vortex from a few years back, so at least in milder years zone 4 should be fine in terms of deep winter kill.
1 month ago
I make my own seed starter soil by using soil from my own yard. Around February, I gather up all the dirt I want, water it, and stick it in my warm and dark furnace room. After about three weeks, all the weeds have been tricked into germinating and the end result in weed free soil that works great for seed starting.
1 month ago
Those are right in my backyard. The area really is interesting in that in the course of a few miles you can transition from heavy industrial, to pristine nature, and back to heavy industrial. Every year the park service does some sort of burning, so I'm guessing that means they do 1/6th of the property each year.
1 month ago

Anne Miller wrote:What harm can come of writing a nice letter?

I think the ideal situation would be living on the property, getting to know the neighbor, and then casually mentioning you would be interesting in buying part of their land if they're ever interested in selling. The letter might get faster results, but some people will see dollar signs when they receive a letter and expect multiples of fair market value for the land.
2 months ago

Jerry McIntire wrote:Trees are generally available during a short window when shipping and planting will most likely be successful. The farther north, the more true this is. Getting on the email list of a couple good suppliers is a way to learn their availability dates and when you can place orders early to get limited stock. I would also check your local county extension service because they often sell native trees at good prices, in quantity.

My experience getting trees is that if you want a decent selection you need to order way before shipping dates. For March/April pickup of trees from my state nursery I usually need to order in October of the previous year. For some commercial nurseries, I've gone as early as September for spring delivery the following year.
2 months ago

Caitlin Robbins wrote:

Ben Zumeta wrote:America does not have a deer problem, we have a wolf and grizzly deficiency.

You said it, Ben! And a mountain lion deficiency.

Indeed, and to modify one of Sepp Holzer's quotes, if we don't have those animals then "you must do the pig's wolf's work!"
2 months ago
Lawn care companies are in the business of making money, and if they had a one time treatment that was effective for years and years they would go out of business. In this case, corporate greed is your friend as it means the crap sprayed on your lawn will stop working and decompose fairly quickly.
2 months ago
I believe Adam Smith described specialization and the division of labor as a "motor for generating prosperity." Unfortunately, permaculture farming tends to be a practice of generalization which tends to not be nearly as profitable. A true polyculture farm has numerous different plants and animals so it unlikely that a single practitioner could ever gain mastery of growing and selling each of the various components. Perhaps  a community of various specialists could run a tremendously successful permaculture farm, but that introduces a whole new set of challenges.
2 months ago