It's the 2nd week of February. It's winter. Yet the ground is bare and the high temperatures for the next week will all be above freezing. This really sucks. You'd think you should be able to do something garden-wise, but other than pick up the limbs that dropped on the last windy day (a never ending activity on our estate), you're left thumbing through catalogs. How can it be winter when you've only had to use the shovel once to move about an inch of light fluffy snow just to keep the driveway and sidewalks from getting icy? Getting out the Nordic skis is just wishful thinking because here we are in February and winter seems to be waning. February is acting like late March. And a thoughful neighbor asks what do botanists think about global warming? Duh. Still you feel antsy, anxious, eager, the typical gardener reaction to spring, but like the ground hog, we should have seen our shadow and hunkered down for another 6 weeks. Only one thing to do. Pass the catalogs; let's order some plants. High on the list are a few Korean azaleas (R. mucronulatum) for mid-border areas. If you don't have one of these tough, not too fussy, attractive shrubs, you should seriously consider it, even you zone 4 readers. See, now you've got something to look up, something to covet, and something to plan for. No, no, please don't thank me. It was done for my own mental health.
Neuroscience and other theory-poor fields: Tools first, simulation later
16 hours ago in The Curious Wavefunction