• Finished reading: The City We Became: A Novel (The Great Cities Trilogy Book 1) by N. K. Jemisin 📚

    I cringed a couple of times, but loved the ending.

  • Most interesting thing I’ve read in a while:

    None of the above mentioned cultivation methods were sufficient to grow citrus fruits in regions where the ground froze and where winter temperatures dropped below -15 degrees. Here, citrus plants were cultivated in trenches. Obviously, growing citrus fruits in trenches was only practical with dwarf and – most often – creeping plants. In this method, soil heat protects citrus fruits from frost.

    via Fruit Trenches: Cultivating Subtropical Plants in Freezing Temperatures

  • Finished reading: A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson 📚

    Way different than the first one but still fascinating and wonderful. I did keep thinking it was a sequel to Whalebone Theatre. Too many WWII books! I can’t help it that they’re all so interesting!

  • RPS piloting a longer school year at Fairfield Elementary has had some bonkers results:

    Preliminary data shows that the extra time in school has paid dividends.

    The percentage of children at Fairfield Court from kindergarten to second grade who passed the state’s literacy assessment grew 21 percentage points — from 61% to 82% — from last school year, with 180 days, to this school year, with 200.

    The 82% pass rate puts Fairfield at seventh-highest in the school district out of 26 elementary schools. Fairfield has the highest poverty rate for elementary schools in the district.

    via RPS 200-day school year ends with reading gains

  • Big hydration-related news this week: Bathrooms at Four Mile Creek on the Virginia Capital Trail!

  • This story on VPM about the invasive Tree of Heaven species reminded me that I just learned the biggest Tree of Heaven in Virginia lives downtown randomly growing next to some building on Monroe Street.

  • “I am the luckiest guy in the world because I am alive and I can ride my bike,” he said.

    via Bill Walton - NBA Hall of Famer Loves to Ride His Bike

  • Good stuff from the Huguenot High School Class of 2024:

    Our seniors have shown not only their community but also the world around them that they are powerful young leaders poised to make their indelible mark on the world…We request that our local media outlets shift their paradigm from directing the public’s attention to our low points to highlighting and relishing our successes. We invite you to visit us and capture the essence of who we really are…

    via Tragedy doesn’t define us. Meet Huguenot High’s Class of 2024

  • Finished reading: Open Throat by Henry Hoke 📚

    Great and interesting and short enough that I finished it all on one Saturday morning.

  • Finished reading: The Vaster Wilds by Lauren Groff 📚

    Like Hatchet but sad and beautiful.

  • I loved this charming piece in the Wirecutter about Ralph Nader looking for a better felt tip pen. An important question remains unanswered, though: In what cases does he use purple??

    Nader told us that his longtime favorite pens, Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens Medium Point (0.7 mm), had started drying out too quickly… “For years I’ve been using felt pens, mostly red and black but sometimes purple, to mark up The New York Times,” Nader told me in a phone interview last year. “I go through every page of the Times, and I mark up different articles and send them to different people. And I do that with The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.”

    via Ralph Nader Tested and Dismissed Our Favorite Pens | Reviews by Wirecutter

  • I have finished my job!

    Just me riding a bike in a pink shirt doing a like “freeeedom!” sort of gesture. Or maybe like a “everything the light touches” situation?
  • A letter to my Richmond and Henrico Health Districts friends on my last day

    This is a bittersweet moment, for sure, but today is my very last task as Director of Communications at RHHD! I’ve taken a position at the City of Richmond working in their Office of Strategic Communications and Civic Engagement. While I’m sad to leave y’all, my public health family, I hope to bring the many, many experiences and lessons I’ve learned here at RHHD with me to my new work at the city.

    I joined the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts way back in July of 2021—early on in the pandemic and before the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines. I’d never worked in public health before and quickly found myself in the deep end of strategic, risk communications as, together, we all learned about this new coronavirus. What and how we communicated about COVID-19 changed over time, but, across almost four years, it remained difficult, long, scary, strange, and sometimes even fun work. I am incredibly proud of what we all—across all of our teams—accomplished.

    And that’s what I’ll miss most about my time at RHHD—all of you! I’m so lucky and honored and humbled to have worked with some of the best, kindest, smartest, and most curious people during one of the darkest, scariest, and most uncertain times in my life. I’ll forever remember the late nights, long meetings, and thoughtful words of encouragement that kept me going.

    Just as I’m incredibly proud of what we have already accomplished, I’m incredibly excited for what y’all will tackle next. COVID-19 is (mostly) in our rearview mirror, and we’ve still got important work to do, communities to serve, and stories to tell. Ever onward!

    Thanks for the last four years, y’all, and I will definitely see you around!

    Stay well and do good, Ross

  • Debugging from 15 billion miles away. Incredible!

    The team discovered that a single chip responsible for storing a portion of the FDS memory — including some of the FDS computer’s software code — isn’t working. The loss of that code rendered the science and engineering data unusable. Unable to repair the chip, the team decided to place the affected code elsewhere in the FDS memory. But no single location is large enough to hold the section of code in its entirety. So they devised a plan to divide the affected code into sections and store those sections in different places in the FDS.

    via NASA’s Voyager 1 Resumes Sending Engineering Updates to Earth

  • Drinking scotch, listening to Petey, responding to these GMRVA wellwishes, and feeling emotions.

  • Finished reading: Vladimir by Julia May Jonas 📚

    Oh manm what a ride! Put it in your queue ASAP!

  • Finished reading: The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism by Jemar Tisby 📚

    White churchfolk! If you’re looking for a place to start, this is the book for you.

  • Watching X-Men ‘97 on Saturday mornings is the best thing.

  • Finished reading: Interior Chinatown: A Novel by Charles Yu 📚

    Ahhhh so weird and creative! Loved it.

  • Finished reading: The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson 📚

    I wasn’t convinced I needed a retelling of Carrie, but now maybe I need more retellings of Carrie?

  • Some really beautiful, muted colors in the trees along Chamberlayne Avenue this week.

  • On most Saturdays I read a few posts from a blog about this one guy who grows avocados in California.

  • Finished reading: This Is How You Lose the Time War by Max Gladstone, Amal El-Mohtar 📚

    I mean, my emotional capacity is maxed out lately and I’m crying at everything, but unghhhhhh this is so incredibly romantic.

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