Here are a few of the things I have been watching , while living a somewhat less active life due to current conditions.

In the south of England, this summer has been quite hot, and fig trees (mostly of the Brown Turkey variety) have been giving large crop. In our area there is a large fig tree hanging over the garden wall, and passers-by have been helping themselves to the fruit. I also try to grow figs, but without getting many. I looked at several videos from the USA, but none of them seemed to correspond to the way figs behave in the British Isles.

Then I discovered a video from Victoria, Vancouver Island. Victoria has a Mediterranean climate (Csb according to the Köppen classification), which might sound rather hot by British standards. However, the maximum average summer temperature is 20°C, compare Marseille or Milan 30°C, and more like Swindon, 35 miles west of where I am writing in Reading, average maximum 21°C.

The West Coast of North America, from British Columbia to California, has much cooler summers than places further east. In most of the USA and the south of Canada figs are capable of giving two or even three crops a year, although in many areas even the Chicago Hardy variety will need to be taken under cover for winter protection. The first crop grows from tiny buds which are formed on the previous year’s growth. These are known as the breba crop, and they are generally not as good as the main crop. However, in Mediterranean Europe and in most of the USA, figs develop in the new growth in late spring, and these form the more prolific main crop with larger fruits. In some locations one can even get a third late crop. In Britain we only get the breba crop: lots of figs start to form on the current year’s growth, but they only reach about half size before the weather gets cool, and they come to nothing.

But this video has gone a long way to sorting out my confusion: How to prune figs in a cool climate for first (breba) crop fig production.

Now for a change from Covid and Climate Change, how about this?

I recently watched a video from Anton Petrov entitled How World Almost Ended in 2012 And Still Might Later!. However, although this article from has somewhat less alarming title:

A Warning from History: The Carrington Event Was Not Unique

it does give some food for thought. The Carrington event, the September 1859 geomagnetic storm, is widely understood to have been the largest such event known from recorded history. However, the article summarizes This recent study of the Carrington and similar events led by Hisashi Hayakawa of Nagoya University, Japan, refers to other storms, particularly the one of September 1770, with auroras observed in East Asia and by Captain Cook as near the equator as Timor. And for the video first watched:

All too frequently, one finds celebrities coming out with stuff that, from a science point of view, is complete nonsense. However, it is not only a matter of scientific ignorance, but also an attitude problem. Here is a video from a prolific Nigerian blogger who goes by the name of Virtue Grace. I find her argument quite logical, and a valid comment on the world of celebrity endorsement. But let the lady speak for herself:


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