Composting: It’s a microbial thing

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We cannot see them, but they are everywhere and that is good. Microbes, not worms, are critical to the composting process. Although microscopic, they are responsible for decomposing vast quantities of organic materials. Without them, our world would be buried in leaves, food waste, manure, and more.While microbial degradation is a natural process, composting involves the mixing of materials and management of the process in such a way that decomposition is accelerated, the waste is treated, and a product is created that can be used to enhance soil health. On farms, composting of manure can reduce pathogens, odors, and the mass of the material by more than 75%, allowing manure nutrients to be cost effectively transported further off the farm.Composting basicsComposting is a relatively simple process but it requires nutrients and moisture to be balanced and the creation of a porous pile structure that can maintain aerobic conditions. The primary nutrients required by compost microbes are carbon (C) for energy and nitrogen (N) for cell function and growth. Ideally, the ratio of C:N should be from 30 to 40. Like all living organisms, microbes also require water. At the beginning of the process, composts should have a moisture content of 65%, which feels like a damp sponge. Moisture will vary between feedstocks and weather conditions, and water or drier materials can be added as necessary. Finished compost should be 35 to 45% water. For homeowners adding one or two handfuls of dry “browns” (leaves or sawdust) for every handful of “greens” (fruit or vegetable wastes) results in a moisture content and C:N ratio that are close to these values, while large scale facilities usually test their materials to calculate optimal mixing ratios.Maintaining aerobic conditions requires creating porosity that allows air to flow through the pile or windrow. If the feedstock particles are small, compacted or wet, this air flow is inhibited and oxygen levels may fall below zero in much of the pile. Anaerobic microbes will take over, slowing the process and generating foul odors. Anaerobic conditions can be easily remedied by assuring that the pile is properly constructed to allow air movement and aerobic conditions. Adding wood chips, or other “bulking agents” can be used to improve porosity and air flow. A persistent myth about composting is that turning is the primary mechanism of supplying air. In fact a typical compost windrow would require nearly 1,000 turns to provide all of the air needed by the microorganisms. Since most windrows are turned less than 10 times, natural passive convection must be relied upon for aeration. Turning is only a means of mixing.Composting starts naturally when a pile of organic materials with the right C:N ratio, moisture content, and porosity is created. Microbes are everywhere and do not need to be added, although some composters jumpstart the process by adding a small amount of finished compost to the recipe. As with most things, learning more about the composting process and experimenting are the keys to success.To learn moreFor home composters, there is plenty of information available online from building a compost bin to what should or should not be composted. A quick Internet search provides most everything one needs to know.For those interested in operating a composting facility at a commercial scale, there’s more to learn. Understanding site design, feedstock mixing, odor management, regulations, marketing, and other aspects of running a large facility are critical. It is extensive information that can be hard to find. A two-day course offered by OSU Extension called the Ohio Compost Operator Training Course is designed to meet the needs of these large-scale composters. This year the course will be offered March 8 and 9 in Wooster. Participants will be taught the fundamentals of composting, including the biology, types of systems, and methods, as well as how to manage the operation, trouble shoot problems, meet regulatory requirements, and ensure a quality product. Instructors include both academics and industry professionals with extensive research and practical experience in composting.For program and registration details, visit our website: read more

SocialCalc Comes Out of Beta, Marking 30th Anniversary of VisiCalc, the first Spreadsheet Technology

first_imgMassive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… SocialCalc provides the ability for users to collaborate across a number of spreadsheets. Users may do this in conjunction with the wiki-based Socialtext Workspace, and Socialtext Signals, their microblogging platform. IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Related Posts Sharepoint will offer a co-editing feature through its integration with Office 2010. In a demo from the Sharepoint conference in Las Vegas, the Microsoft team showed how multiple people can edit an Excel document simultaneously. It is still not entirely clear how rich this feature set is in comparison to products from Google, eXpresso and EditGrid. Both eXpresso and EditGrid are stand alone applications.In comparison, Google’s spreadsheet product is as close as it gets to the Socialtext offering but lacks SocialCalc’s ability to keep track of revision histories.Bernard Lunn wrote last week that Google is missing the boat by not focusing on the spreadsheet market. Microsoft has not put tremendous energies into making its Excel spreadsheets more collaborative but it appears it is also a notch behind what Socialtext offers.According to Socialtext, SocialCalc is immediately available for trial and for current customers in the October Appliance release. It costs $3 per user per month. New customers who purchase the full Socialtext platform in 2009 get SocialCalc without charge for 2010. Current customers that participated in the beta program get SocialCalc without charge for 2009.center_img Tags:#enterprise#Products#saas On this day 30 years ago, Dan Bricklin’s VisiCalc spreadsheet program changed the way people thought about computers and how they applied to business.Bricklin remains a leader in the field and on this anniversary date is seeing his SocialCalc technology come out of beta and become a fully developed product from Socialtext, the company he has collaborated with since 2006.The news coincides with the Microsoft announcement that Sharepoint 2010 provides the the capability to co-edit Excel documents.SocialCalc is a social spreadsheet designed for distributed teams. Typically, companies using Excel have had to save their versions and email the document to other members of the team. Each time an update is made, a new version of the document is created. alex williams 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowlast_img read more

Putin to athletes: Ignore doping scandals at Olympics

first_imgKammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Read Next Garcia makes up for poor start, takes over for Castro in TNT win 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting “I wish you not to think about anything which has recently accompanied your preparation for these Olympics,” Putin told a gathering of athletes at his presidential residence outside Moscow on Wednesday.He added that he hopes they “focus on sporting competition, and that you know that following you, as usual, are hundreds of thousands, millions, of fans who love you and hope you win.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutWhile the athletes wore their IOC-approved “neutral” uniforms without the Russian flag — gray for men, red for women — the event was full of patriotic gestures.Hockey players Pavel Datsyuk and Ilya Kovalchuk stepped up to present Putin with a Russian jersey bearing his name and players’ signatures along with the slogan “Russia in my heart.” View comments Russian President Vladimir Putin, receives a jersey from ice hockey player Ilya Kovalchuk, left, during a meeting with the Russian athletes who will take part in the upcoming 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games in South Korea, at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. (Grigory Dukor/Pool Photo via AP)MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin has told the country’s athletes to forget about doping scandals when they compete at the Pyeongchang Olympics.As punishment for what it deemed a doping scheme during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the International Olympic Committee has invited 169 Russians to compete under a neutral flag using the name “Olympic Athletes from Russia.”ADVERTISEMENT Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PHcenter_img Russian envoy: Putin accepts Duterte’s invitation to visit PH PLAY LIST 01:37Russian envoy: Putin accepts Duterte’s invitation to visit PH02:38Duterte to speak at Valdai forum during visit to Russia01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City LATEST STORIES Several athletes wore their “neutral” jackets open to show a Russian-flag shirt underneath.Russian athletes won’t be allowed to display the flag in Pyeongchang, or to celebrate with Russian flags given by fans. If they win, the Olympic anthem will be played. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READlast_img read more

19 UK Based Reggae Ambassadors Honoured

first_imgSilver Musgrave Medallist, Emmanuel ‘Rico’ Rodriquez’ was among 19 United Kingdom based ‘Reggae Ambassadors’ honoured by the Jamaican High Commission in London, at a special ceremony to mark the end of Reggae Month on Thursday, February 28.Mr. Rodriquez was officially presented with the Silver Musgrave Medal awarded to him last October by the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ). The medalsare awarded to select persons for achievements in the fields of literature, the arts and science and they date back to 1897.“We were asked by the Jamaican government to make a presentation of the Silver Musgrave medal to Rico Rodriquez, and we thought that it would be fitting for us to wrap that presentation around a significant event. We thought that in this February 2013, which is celebrated as Reggae Month, it would be good for us to recognise the stalwarts of the Jamaican music industry here in the United Kingdom,” High Commissioner, Her Excellency Aloun N’dombet Assamba said.She told the honourees that they had helped to bring Jamaica and Jamaican music to the world.“We are honouring you because of your contributions to what has now become known as brand Jamaica. The music that you created, the music that you helped to bring to the world, you were taking Jamaica to the world… We want to say to you as a community, we recognise what you have done to put Jamaica on the map,” the High Commissioner said.The IOJ citation to Mr. Rodriquez noted that his contribution to developing Jamaican music warranted the gratitude of the nation.“Along with a select few of his contemporaries, Rico Rodriquez’s inventive fusion of jazz techniques, pop accessibility and his Rastafarian affinity with the African soul, imagined a popular music form that Jamaicans could claim as their own. Both his solo efforts and his extensive contribution to many of Jamaica’s formative music groups, warranted the gratitude and recognition of his homeland,” the citation read in part.Mr. Rodriquez expressed his gratitude for the award and thanked the High Commission for organising the special presentation, as he was unable to travel to Jamaica for the ceremony last year. He was also the recipient of an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in 2007, for services to music.Singer, Count Prince Miller who spoke on behalf of the honourees, acknowledged the High Commissioner for paying special tribute to the music pioneers.He noted that the recognition was significant, coming so soon after the celebration of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of Independence. He said that many of the musicians, singers, promoters and sound system operators, have been based in the UK prior to Independence and are happy to be recognised.There was also special praise for the Alpha Boy’s School in Kingston and its former head, Sister Ignatius. The school was the early training ground for many of the honourees.Also honoured on Thursday evening were Owen Grey, Little Roy, King Sounds, Winston Francis, BB Seaton, AJ Franklyn, Mandingo, Edward ‘Tan Tan’ Thornton, Lloyd Coxson , Dennis Alcapone ,Tony Washington, JC Lodge, Dimples, Daddy Ernie, Phillip Chen, Jimmy James and David Rodigan.last_img read more