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Archive for March, 2013

The Great Helium Shortage

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

balloonsThe supply of helium, an inert element with the lowest boiling point of any known substance, has now become so erratic that scientists are calling for a ban on all but the most essential uses – which could mean no more helium-filled party balloons. “The scarcity of helium is a really serious issue. I can imagine that in 50 years’ time our children will be saying ‘I can’t believe they used such a precious material to fill balloons,’” said Peter Wothers of Cambridge University.

“There is a finite supply of this lighter-than-air gas on Earth so if we keep using it for non-essential things like party balloons, where we’re just letting it float off into space, we could be in for some serious problems in around 30 to 50 years’ time,” Dr Wothers said.

The shortage has mainly affected research centres studying the brain using magnetoencephalography (MEG) scanners, which are similar to the MRI machines used in hospitals but need to be topped up regularly with liquid helium (helium super-cooled to minus 269C, just four degrees above the lowest possible temperature, absolute zero).

We at bbrooks take the information found in this January 1013 article from The Independent/UK very seriously.  As of March 2013, we will no longer be fulfilling requests for balloons.

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

cebolla easter nest.2013Long-time bbrooks member Cebolla Fine Flowers in Dallas, TX showcases whimsical, yet tasteful, Easter arrangements for this season.

Shown at left is “Easter Nest“, featuring pale peach roses, yellow ranunculus, white hyacinth, and viburnum in a clear glass vase with twig collar and sweetly adorned with miniature bird’s eggs.

The Splendor of Daffodils

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Eache spring at Moss Mountain Farm in Roland, Arkansas, the stars come out twice – once at night, like everywhere else, and again in the daytime, when innumerable daffodils illuminate hills and meadows from horizon to horizon.daffodils.barn

The plantings are the handiwork of the farm’s owner-author, designer, and TV personality P. Allen Smith-who has loved these flowers since he was a boy. Allen believes how and where you plant bulbs is just as important as how many, no matter whether you have an acre or a 20- by 10-foot border.

Visit Southern Living, Feb 2013 issue to learn more.

Recapturing California’s Wildflower Heritage

Monday, March 11th, 2013

wildflower_poppyPlanning a trip to see wildflowers this spring? Make sure your itinerary includes a stop at The Huntington, where a major new exhibition,“When They Were Wild”,  draws on a rich heritage of wildflower illustration to take a closer look at California’s natural and horticultural history.

The exhibition is a collaborative project of The Huntington, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont, Calif., and the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants in Sun Valley, Calif. Works from all three collections, along with loans from several other public and private collections, will be on view in the Huntington show, with related displays at the two other institutions and at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.

California has one of the most diverse floras in the world, spread across several distinct floristic provinces—regions of plant distribution defined by shared climate, geology, and geography. Three of the state’s primary provinces are the Californian (chaparral, coastal sage scrub, oak woodland, and grassland), Vancouverian (mixed evergreen and coniferous forests), and Desert (cacti and desert scrub).

“When They Were Wild” is arranged thematically into four sections: Heritage explores the conditions that gave rise to the most diverse flora in the United States.

Andre & Sierra Get Married!

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Congratulations to long-time bbrooks member, Karen Dickens of Primavera, in Idaho! Karen’s daughter Sierra and her fiance Andre were the winners of The Knot Dream Wedding!  Very Exciting!!