Saturday, May 01, 2021

Why garden? – Attitudes and the perceived health benefits of home gardening

low-hanging fruit from the tree of knowledge jokes

In his 1993 collection Sweetapple Earth(Carcanet), John Heath-Stubbs includes a sequence of eleven poems titled “Botanical Happy Families.” Among them is “Solanaceae.” Like the human family, it contains members who sustain us and others less wholesome:


“Falstaff thought potatoes aphrodisiac;

Tomatoes were called love-apples once.

Familiar and chaste enough,

They’re now in every sandwich, every salad.

We also welcome to our tables—

Although a bit exotic still—the aubergine,

The pimento, the chili pepper (Becky Sharp

Found its name misleading, you’ll recall).


“But in the shadows stand

Sinister enchantresses, as belladonna,

Dulcimara, with the screaming mandrake,

Datura, bringing death or visions.


"And there’s a false friend too,

And that’s tobacco.”


Reassuring to know Heath-Stubbs (1918-2006) judged aubergine “a bit exotic still.”

Why garden? – Attitudes and the perceived health benefits of home gardening

Cities. Volume 112, May 2021, 103118. “Domestic (home) gardens provide opportunities for psychological and physical health benefits, yet these environments have received less attention in terms of their therapeutic value compared to other urban green spaces. This is despite their ubiquity and the popularity of gardening as a pastime. This research explored why residents engaged with gardening and the extent to which they recognised any health benefits from the activity. A questionnaire was distributed electronically within the UK, with 5766 gardeners and 249 non-gardeners responding. Data were collated on factors including garden typology, frequency of gardening and individual perceptions of health and well-being. Significant associations were found between improvements in well-being, perceived stress and physical activity and more frequent gardening. Gardening on a frequent basis i.e. at least 2–3 times a week, corresponded with greatest perceived health benefits. Improving health, however, was not the prime motivator to garden, but rather the direct pleasure gardening brought to the participants. There was evidence that satisfaction with one’s front garden and the time spent in it increased as the proportion of vegetation was enhanced. The data supports the notion that domestic gardens should be given greater prominence in urban planning debates, due to the role they play in providing health benefits.”We 

 Jordan Rothman (The Rothman Law Firm, New York & New Jersey), I Wish I Partied More In Law School:

Law school often gets portrayed as a time when people need to be focused on their studies and cannot have fun with their classmates. This perception is reinforced by movies like The Paper Chase, which depict law students buried in their studies with little chance to cut loose and have fun. However, law school can be an amazing time to have fun and socialize (when law students are not dealing with a pandemic, of course). Such social connections can be extremely helpful to law students in their future careers, in some cases, more helpful than some of the information they learn in law school classes. ...

IN OTHER WORDS, FORCING US TO STAY INDOORS MADE EVERYTHING WORSE:  MIT researchers say you’re no safer from Covid indoors at 6 feet or 60 feet in new study challenging social distancing policies.

 The Lessons Some Could Learn From One Young Woman.

The Walrus – Why fact-checking alone won’t save us from fake news: “…False content online has only multiplied over the years. But the fake news designation has also been used to serve all kinds of purposes—including, increasingly, to disparage real news reporters—so most experts now avoid the term. Instead, researchers usually talk about disinformation, which is purposefully false, and misinformation, which is unwittingly false (either because the publisher made a mistake or because the person sharing the content did). As false content spreads through social media networks, it can oscillate between the two, and it can manifest in various forms, including memes, tweets, or “imposter” content made to imitate real news stories….In 2014, there were fewer than sixty initiatives around the world focused exclusively on checking others’ claims, according to the Duke Reporters’ Lab; today, there are more than 300. The growing instinct to fact-check isn’t particular to journalists either: it’s part of a growing cultural movement emphasizing revision and debunking. Popular podcasts such as Revisionist History and You’re Wrong Aboutask us to change our understanding of well-known stories, while tell-all memoirs promise to give us the “real story” about crime, government misconduct, and our favourite celebrities…”

A collection of things from here and there / a collection of the best fashion podcasts / best humour podcasts / buy Cave Things (via Vogue) / Aphantasia: The People Without a Mind’s Eye, a film by Wired UK / the Grand Hotel, Dubrovnik / Estate agent’s hi-tech house tour exposes personal data / “When will we see good design as a NFT?”. Isn’t ‘bad design’ inherent to an NFT? What would ‘good design’ even look like? Sort of related, Genius Loci, ‘a grand tour of video game landscapes and gardens’. An intriguing-looking monograph to support / the Nicholas Hawksmoor map of London / Ghostly Noises, a tumblr / a new album by New Dark Age / a post in praise of TE’s OP-1, now ten years old. 

This and that. Issue 02 of The Modern House Magazine is available / drawings and paintings by Jake Grewal / taxidermy-inspired art by Polly Morgan / prints by Cicely EnglefieldSee also / the Wood Society of the Arts / art by Sophie Smallhorn / decaying car vignettes by Joe Kanno / pixel art by Gutty Kreum / Big Muff, a throwback fanzine from the early 90s placed online in its entirety, including the free flexis and tapes / abandon hope all ye who enter: the map of Reddit / The Vault of the Atomic Age, a tumblr / illustration by Peter Greenwood / epic post rock by Oreana / there’s a lot to unpack here: the CIA report on Astral Projection. Related, The Twilight Zone / Brian Sewell soundboard / Short Trip, a game by Alexander Perrin from a while back / Lego Las Vegas, a cancelled set following a mass shooting / The rise and fall of Canary Wharf / a short history of the Travelers Cheque / Cycling is ten times more important than electric cars for reaching net-zero cities.