Julia Roberts & More Go Behind-the-Scenes of The Normal Heart

first_img Star Files Mark Ruffalo View Commentscenter_img The much anticipated screen adaptation of The Normal Heart airs on HBO later this month and if trailers one, two and three don’t have you excited, take a look at this behind-the-scenes video. Playwright and screenwriter Larry Kramer and leading players Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons and Taylor Kitsch discuss the historical importance of this award-winning piece, as well as the camaraderie of the ensemble cast. The film may deal with some heavy subject material, but Kramer still gleams when noting, “Mark Ruffalo playing me is embarrassing. This hunk is playing me; I just can’t believe it!” You can catch these stars, as well as stage favorites Jonathan Groff, Denis O’Hare and Joe Mantello in the Ryan Murphy-helmed flick on May 25, so now might be the time to run out for a few extra boxes of tissues.last_img read more

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London Datebook: Beautiful, The Book of Mormon & More

first_img ALSO: First performances February 10 of Michael Xavier and Anna Francolini, who are joining the Menier Chocolate Factory company of director Jamie Lloyd’s superlative revival of Assassins, replacing Aaron Tveit and Catherine Tate, respectively. (Tate then returns to the show after two weeks.) The same night sees the first preview at Wyndham’s Theatre of another of the best productions of 2014: director Ivo van Hove’s searing take on A View from the Bridge, now on the West End after deserved praise at the Young Vic. Mark Strong and Nicola Walker once again head the cast. ALSO: Greg Wise—also known as Emma Thompson’s husband—returns to the London stage for the first time in 17 years to lead the Park Theatre cast of Brad Fraser’s play Kill Me Now: first preview is February 19. February 22 marks the final performance of writer-performer Daniel Kitson’s delightful two-hander Tree at the Old Vic, with the popular comedian playing the inhabitant of a tree who gets a chance visit from a lovelorn Tim Key. ALSO: Broadway’s favorite Frenchwoman Liliane Montevecchi (Nine, Grand Hotel), comes to the Crazy Coqs cabaret near Piccadilly Circus for five evenings beginning February 24. Last chance February 28 to see Jenna Augen’s star-making turn in the London premiere at the St. James Theatre of the off-Broadway hit Bad Jews; her excellent co-star is Ilan Goodman, son of the Olivier Award-winning actor Henry Goodman. FEBRUARY 16-22 Coming Home: Mark Rylance has three Tony Awards to his name, not to mention the starring role in the acclaimed new TV adaptation of Wolf Hall. Not one to forget his roots, Rylance stars in the new play with music, Farinelli and the King, opening February 20 at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at his onetime home, Shakespeare’s Globe. The author is Rylance’s wife, Claire van Kampen. Three-time Tony winner Mark Rylance returns to the playhouse he once ran, and the Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical The Book of Mormon gets two new leads—these are just two of the highlights of a richly varied month in London. Plus, Patrick Marber’s era-defining play Closer is back on the London stage and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical premieres in the UK, with Katie Brayben stepping into Jessie Mueller’s Tony-winning shoes. For more on these shows and many others, read on. FEBRUARY 2-8 More Mormons: As proof that you can’t get too much of a good thing, along comes the third set of American leading men to head the West End cast of The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre. Nic Rouleau and Brian Sears will play Elder Price and Elder Cunningham beginning February 2; the invaluable Olivier Award-winning Stephen Ashfield continues as Elder McKinley. ALSO: Russell Labey’s adaptation of Gods and Monsters, the story of Frankenstein film director James Whale, begins February 5 at the Southwark Playhouse. Last chance February 7 to see the gifted Tobias Menzies steer his masterful way through Wallace Shawn’s solo play The Fever, which has been performed to audiences of 25 people a night in a suite at the five-star May Fair Hotel. FEBRUARY 9-15 Closer than Ever: Patrick Marber’s career-making play Closer was an instant London sensation in 1997 and crossed the Atlantic to Broadway acclaim in 1999, with the late Natasha Richardson heading the New York cast. The on-a-roll Donmar now hosts its first London revival, beginning previews February 12 and with an eye-poppingly good cast that includes Rufus Sewell, Nancy Carroll, Oliver Chris, and newcomer Rachel Redford; David Leveaux directs. FEBRUARY 23-MARCH 1 Crossing the Pond: The Carole King musical Beautiful has arrived in the land of the Queen. British performer Katie Brayben, most recently seen playing Princess Diana in the Mike Bartlett play King Charles III, will play the Grammy-winning singer songwriter, a role originated by Tony winner Jessie Mueller on Broadway. Alan Morrissey plays Gerry Goffin in director Marc Bruni’s production, opening February 24 at the Aldwych Theatre. View Commentslast_img read more

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All the Ways to Say I Love You Scribe Neil LaBute on the Secret to Being Prolific & How His Characters Are Alike

first_img Neil LaBute, known for his daring, often controversial plays, is getting ready to premiere his 10th full-length work at MCC Theater, where he is the playwright-in-residence. The new piece, titled All the Ways to Say I Love You, is a monologue starring two-time Tony winner and Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner Judith Light. LaBute’s plays include bash: latter-day plays, The Shape of Things, The Mercy Seat, The Distance From Here, Autobahn, Fat Pig, Some Girl(s), This Is How It Goes, Wrecks, Filthy Talk for Troubled Times, In a Dark Dark House, Reasons to Be Pretty and The Break of Noon. His films include In the Company of Men, Your Friends & Neighbors, Possession, The Shape of Things (adapted from his play) and more. LaBute is affable and thoughtful. He met Broadway.com at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, where All the Ways to Say I Love You opens on September 28 to chat about his process, his inspiration and the greatest misconceptions about him.What inspired All the Ways to Say I Love You?I like the monologue form and breaking the fourth wall—talking directly or indirectly to the audience. I think that’s a great and unique technique to the theater. About 10 years ago, I’d written a solo piece [Wrecks] for a male of a certain age. Ed Harris did it, and I directed it a few times. It was about a marriage, and at the time, I thought I would do [a monologue] from the wife’s point of view. I never did, but I thought it would be interesting to do one for a woman. One of my earlier plays, bash, had been based on Greek plays and Wrecks was as well, so I wanted to do something in that vein and Phedre came to mind. What also specifically spun me toward this was I was asked a few years ago to do a modern fairy tale for a collection [My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales]. I did Rumplestiltskin, and I wrote it from the point of view of a different character. When it came to the idea of doing this Phedre thing, I thought the story would be interesting if I told it from another person’s point of view. So that was the other thing that led me toward creating this.How do you collect ideas? Do you keep notebooks? Articles? Images? A bit of all those things. I’m somewhere between someone who is fastidious like Proust and Francis Bacon. If you’ve ever seen his studio, it’s a touch messier. Somewhere in there lies my process. I don’t take a lot from other people’s lives or my life. I’ll get an idea and just hold on to it and roll it around in my head for a long time. I do scratch things down in the corners of books and notebooks. There isn’t that Moleskine in my pocket all the time, which is probably dumb for someone who does this for a living. For me, if the idea is good enough then it stays with me. If I can’t shake it, then I know it’s a good one. If you forget it the next morning, it couldn’t have been that great.Where do you generally write?I’ve written everywhere. I can write in public, and I can write in private. I’m pretty good at concentrating on what I am doing. I don’t want to be seen writing; I don’t go to Starbucks. It’s more that I like the work, and it’s a pleasure to get lost in it. That can happen anywhere.What writers inspire you?Describe your process.Now living more here in New York than anywhere else, the process has been a great one. I’ll break a day down into sections; I’m essentially like an untrained puppy. If you write in the morning and get those five pages done, then you can have breakfast. Then you can write some more, and you get a walk in the park. Come back write another five pages. Hey, what about a matinee today? Let’s go down to Film Forum and see what’s playing. Come back write some more. In that way, I’ve ended up writing up to 25 pages a day. You can get into a place where two pages can be labor because they’re just not coming. Not every day is as whimsical as that one I described. But that’s a good day with many treats and lots of writing.So you’re treat-driven? I think you should reward yourself. I think it is work. I came from a very blue collar family and though no one disdained what I wanted to do, there was a general sense of “That’s not really work. Let’s not kid ourselves—Dad’s a truck driver, we work on a farm here, that’s actual work.” I’ve always approached it with the same ethic that I had to clean a barn or whatever it was: You pitch in and roll up your sleeves and get the work done. People will say, “You’re very prolific—how do you write so much?” I’m like, by writing it. It’s weird how things stack up.Do you think there is such a thing as a LaButian character? If so, how would you describe it?I think they’re flawed, obviously. I’ve made a career writing about flawed people. They are people who are sometimes well-meaning, and sometimes not. Mistakenly people sometimes think they are sociopathic, psychotic, misogynistic, misanthropic and outside the parameters of the continuum, but rarely have the characters been that to me. They’re just people who make terrible mistakes, or they’re cowards or braggarts. They are often men characterized by a desire to do better and be better than they are. Sometimes they stumble and sometimes they get to their feet. Sometimes they don’t, and they drag people down with them. I think they are people who are essentially very human—but that means to me flawed, troubled, funny and having the best intentions even if they’re casually brutal to each other. What play changed your life?What are the biggest misconceptions that people have about your work? Well, that the work speaks for me certainly. That’s an easy mistake to make with any author. You assign—always the worst qualities, no one ever picks the greatest character you’ve written—and think, “That must be you.” You were capable of thinking that awful thought, so that must be you. You must be riddled with bad shit inside. No, you just have to be able to think on both sides of the wall. I think that’s a big misconception of me. Also, I’m not writing fantastical people in the science fiction world—a lot of it are very human relationships. So a lot of people think that these are thinly veiled stories of my fears or desires. I’m really just trying to tell a story and trying to find another group of people to write about. I think there’s also the whole misogynist thing—that I’m really hard on female characters. I think I actually write pretty good female characters and am harder on men than on women. But that gets turned around often. It got labeled early, so it’s hard to shake sometimes. It’s not that I’ve embraced it, but I’ve just continued on in spite of it. Sometimes the work reinforces that; sometimes it’s contrary to that.What would you say you’re most obsessed with as a writer?I don’t really write thematically, but I certainly think that for as much as people will deny it, I’ve written again and again about love: About relationships, about people who are in love and relationships that defy the usual, the norms and it’s the parameter. How far can that word stretch? One of the central conceits in both of [Wrecks and All the Ways to Say I Love You] is can a person really love another person if they’ve lied to that person for almost the entire course of their relationship? It’s not quite the same in both pieces, but there is an element of that question about truth and lies. Some people would say no flat out—if you’re lying to a person, do you then love them? I’m not so sure. I don’t think it’s my duty to know. I think I’m supposed to raise the question.What is the hard part of being a playwright that no one ever told you? I think it’s the kind of self-starting where you never give up. When you really get down to it, it’s as simple as putting pen to paper; you sit down and write. When I was teaching, I stumbled on a great quote. Maxim Gorky wrote a letter to Chekhov to ask sort of the same thing that students ask all the time: What’s the secret? The answer is there’s no secret. He sent back to him three words. “Write, write, write.” It’s as simple as that. He didn’t write tons of plays either, but he wrote hundreds of short stories for a man who only lived until his early forties. He wrote a lot, and I don’t think he discovered a genie. That’s the only thing I’ve discovered—and also the isolation of it. It really can be an isolating career. You will spend a lot of time on your own. I do think that because of that, you should then embrace the idea of collaboration and rewriting. So many people seem to dislike the idea of rewriting. I’ve never understood what that was. I’m happy to tinker after the thing is done. It is part of the process to me. What is something that aspiring writers should do or see? They should read. That’s where I started. Just read everybody else. See what everybody else is doing. Don’t be jealous, though, of course, you will be. When you find one that make you say, “God, I wish I would have written that.” That’s what you should read over and over. If they’re around theater, they should go all the time. They should do their own stuff—stage their own work. That was the thing for me. The first movie I did myself. It’s always back to that roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-it-done mentality. There are so many places that you can get material out to people who are willing to watch, and there are so many different kinds of mediums now. If you narrow your audience and say, “I’m not really a writer until I’m on Broadway”—well, you’ve narrowed your possibilities of what will make you satisfied down to about 15 theaters. Multi-million dollar productions are great, but I’m not going to let that be the guide for me. I couldn’t be happier being in this theater [the Lucille Lortel]. People have to get out there and make things happen for themselves. I think it’s important.   What’s your favorite line in All the Ways to Say I Love You? Related Shows All the Ways To Say I Love You Show Closed This production ended its run on Oct. 23, 2016center_img View Comments Neil LaBute (Photo: Caitlin McNaney)last_img read more

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Botrytis Blight in Landscape

first_imgThe late-spring sun is cranking up the heat. It’s hard to believe the long, cold winteris still causing problems in Georgia landscapes.”We’ve had a lot of Botrytis blight in landscape plants this spring,” saidJean Williams-Woodward, a plant pathologist with the University of Georgia ExtensionService.Botrytis blight is caused by a fungus, Botrytis cinerea, she said. Commonlyknown as “gray mold,” it’s the most common pathogen in any greenhouse, nurseryor landscape. It attacks any aboveground part of many vegetable and landscape plants.”Botrytis is always a problem for any flowering plant,” Williams-Woodwardsaid. “The problem this spring has been mostly in bedding plants. It hasn’t been toobad in woody ornamentals.”The problem started, she said, in the state’s greenhouses, mostly because of the winterthat didn’t want to end.”Greenhouse growers had all these bedding plants ready to go, but it was still toocold,” Williams-Woodward said. “They couldn’t sell them.”Waiting for spring sales to rev up, growers wound up having to hold the plants a monthlonger than they normally would have. And the plants suffered from having to be held solong. Some flowers dropped off, and leaves yellowed.Now the plants are in the landscape, where Botrytis is easier to control because theplants are more spread out. But it’s still something to contend with.Because the injured and yellowing tissues are more vulnerable, Williams-Woodward saidBotrytis blight could be more of a problem in landscapes this year.Botrytis attacks these old flowers and leaves and other weak tissues first, she said.Then it spreads into healthy tissue. On bedding plants, Botrytis often causes leaf spotswhen infected flowers drop onto leaves. It’s most active under wet conditions and when thehumidity is high and the air is stagnant.Williams-Woodward said the fungus is easy to identify. With a magnifying glass, andoften without it, she said, you can see a gray-brown web and grape-like clusters of sporeson infected tissues.”The spores are dry and are easily dispersed by air movement,” she said.”Overhead watering and rain disperse the spores, too. The force of the water dropletlanding on a leaf creates a shock wave that dislodges the spores into the air.”Splashing water droplets can carry the spores to nearby plants, too.”Pick up a plant with Botrytis sometime and gently flick the infected plantpart,” she said. “A cloud of spores can usually be seen floating in the airabove the plant.”Controlling Botrytis in the landscape takes a little cleaning up, using a fungicide andmaybe changing a few things around your plants.”Prune dead and injured stems from cold-damaged plants,” Williams-Woodwardsaid. “Clean the ground (and the inside of pots) of dead, fallen leaf litter. Andremove yellowing leaves from the base of plants.”People who pay regular attention to their plants can prevent the spread of the fungus.Picking off and discarding spent flowers and yellowing leaves as they show up will oftenkeep plants healthy.You may need to space your plants farther apart, too, to allow for better aircirculation. If Botrytis is a problem, don’t use overhead irrigation, she said.Because the fungal spores spread around so easily, fungicides can be important incontrolling Botrytis.”Spray a protective fungicide after the plants are free of blighted tissue,”Williams-Woodward said. “Consult your county agent to find out which fungicide to usefor a particular plant.”last_img read more

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Global influence

first_imgBy Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaThey’ve changed how and where people live. They influence law and how people are governed. And as freer global trade forces the world into closer contact, plant diseases will continue to play a major role, says a University of Georgia expert.By knowing a little history and how these diseases shape society now, we can prevent them from misshaping our future, says Ron Walcott, a plant pathologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.”Plant diseases in some way have affected virtually everyone in the world,” said Walcott, who teaches a UGA course in Athens, Ga., on the relationship between plant diseases and society.Sparks lawFor example, he said, a nasty, unnoticed Asian pathogen caused a disease that virtually wiped out the American chestnut tree around the turn of the 20th century. The pathogen found its way into the country through normal trade.Until then, American chestnut trees were common nut-bearing trees all over the United States. They haven’t recovered. “Chestnut blight is still here,” Walcott said.As a result of the disease, though, the Plant Protection and Quarantine Act of 1912 was enacted.Sparks migrationsPlant diseases have contributed to massive human migrations. And some say they’ve played a major role in regulating human populations, Walcott said.The most classic case of these mass migrations, he said, can be attributed to a potato disease that ravaged Ireland in 1845. At that time, the potato was the dominant food source for an Irish population that was growing out of control.Because so much could be grown on few acres, the average Irish man ate about 12 pounds of potatoes each day. “They also produced corn, pigs and other agriculture products,” he said. “But these products were used to pay the rent on the land and exported. Potato was by far the major food source.”A growing population that depends on one type of food spells trouble. Ideal weather conditions allowed a fungus to wipe out the Irish potato crop, causing an immediate famine and exodus. (Many of those Irish immigrants landed in Georgia.)But it wasn’t just the famine that caused the great Irish exodus. Due to superstition and an ignorance of plant diseases at the time, Walcott said, many thought they could do nothing else but leave.A plant disease caused a less known, but some say much worse, famine and exodus in India during World War II, he said.India wanted independence from Britain at the time. Tensions were high. Then Japan, Britain’s war enemy, began to advance on the region.The main food source for the Bengal region of India was rice. But a rice disease wiped out the crop. Coupled with war tensions, the disease contributed to the death or exodus of 2 million to 4 million Indians, he said.Sparks debate over rightsPlant diseases still affect us. One disease has sparked a debate over basic citizens’ rights in Florida.Citrus canker has badgered the Florida citrus industry since 1910. There is no cure. It was thought to be eradicated several times, only to come back stronger, most recently in 1995.To combat the spread, the state government, by law, can remove and destroy suspect trees from private property. This has upset many, particularly around the Miami citrus-growing area.”This disease has really brought to the fore, constitutionally, what right the government has to take over personal property for the greater good of the society,” he said.Walcott’s research focuses mainly on the understanding, causes and prevention of seed-borne diseases. He centers on a watermelon disease that has upset relations and caused lawsuits between seed companies and growers in South Carolina, Florida and Georgia.The most efficient way diseases can travel is through seed. Georgia farmers get much of their seed for crops from out-of-state.last_img read more

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Winter veggies

first_imgBy George E. BoyhanUniversity of GeorgiaIt doesn’t feel like it now, but the growing season is quicklycoming to an end. If you want to keep growing vegetables throughthe winter, you may want to look into a greenhouse.A greenhouse may sound expensive, but the principles behind itcan be anything from a sunny window to a cold frame to afull-fledged, heated greenhouse. All can be used to extend yourgrowing season for vegetables.Of course, if you live in south Georgia, you can still grow manyvegetables through the winter in your garden. This would includecrops like onions, collards, cabbage, broccoli, carrots and peas.All of these can stand very cold weather, including some frost.A sunny, south-facing window can be an ideal place to grow a fewherbs or leafy greens. For an even better environment, you maywant to install a greenhouse window that extends from the side ofthe house. This maximizes the amount of sun the plants get whileremaining warm at night and allowing for convenient access.Tasty treatsFresh leafy greens or herbs can be tasty treats during thewinter. Herbs in which the leaves are harvested are best. Thosein which you harvest the roots or flowers are harder to growunder these conditions.A cold frame is another low-cost greenhouse environment you maywant to consider. This is an enclosed, unheated space, usually nolarger than 1 to 2 feet high. It’s usually covered with plasticor glass and relies on the sun to warm it during the day.At night, it may drop back to ambient nighttime temperatures.Large stones or a container of water can help keep nighttemperatures up by releasing heat accumulated during the day.During sunny days, these enclosures can get quite hot even inwinter, so you may have to vent them during the sunniestparts of the day.VentingVenting can be done manually or with a passive, solar-poweredventing device. These devices will open a vent when heated andare adjustable to your temperature requirements.For even greater temperature control, these cold frames can beheated. Electric heating mats will add bottom heat to your plantsand seedlings and help prevent cold injury on the coldest nights.Finally, for the Cadillac approach, get a greenhouse. These canbe inexpensive wood or PVC structures covered with plastic. Orthey can be glass-enclosed, sophisticated environments that caneven be an extension of your home.Many companies manufacture home greenhouses of various designsthat can be free-standing or attached. Sunrooms that extend yourliving space are really nothing more than greenhouses. Theserooms not only give you space for growing plants but can extendthe heated square feet of your home, adding considerable value toyour investment.Unheated or heatedGreenhouses can be unheated or heated, but all should have somemethod of venting during warm, sunny days. Many vegetables can begrown in such a structure.If it’s unheated, cool-season vegetables such as lettuce,spinach, cabbage and broccoli will do well, and the enclosurewill protect them on the coldest nights while accelerating growthwith the heat from the sun on warm, sunny days.With a fully heated and vented greenhouse, the sky’s the limit.Do you want fresh tomatoes or cucumbers in the winter? You cangrow them in such a structure.Space is usually limited, so you may want to look for smallerplant types, like short-vine cantaloupes or patio tomatoes.Trellising is a good way to maximize the space, too. In fact,commercial greenhouse vegetable production relies heavily ontrellising to produce quality tomatoes, pepper, cucumbers, etc.Nothing beats walking into a warm, moist greenhouse in thewinter. This can be a wonderful hobby with endless hours ofenjoyment, and vegetable production can be just a small part ofthe possibilities.(George Boyhan is an Extension Service horticulturist with theUniversity of Georgia College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences.)last_img read more

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Garden veggies safe?

first_imgThese are the most important safeguards you can use in thegarden. Keep in mind, though, that food safety begins in thegarden but doesn’t end there.In the kitchenWhen you prepare fruits and veggies to eat, don’t forget to usethe kitchen faucet. Hand-scrub firm produce such as apples,pears, tomatoes and bell peppers under running water.Spray root vegetables and tubers with water, scrub them with avegetable brush and then rinse them.Wash vegetables with rinds, such as watermelons and cantaloupes,too. If the surface isn’t clean, you can transfer bacteria to theflesh when you cut them.No one should get sick from eating produce from your garden. Youcan make sure they won’t by using good sanitation and followingsound gardening practices.Enjoy your garden produce. But remember, the best food safety inthe world can’t protect you from the ills of overindulgence.(Darbie Granberry is an Extension Service horticulturist withthe University of Georgia College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences.) Use good personal hygiene.Don’t apply manure to your garden.Keep animals out of your garden.Use only drinking-quality water for irrigation.Use clean containers when you harvest. By Darbie GranberryUniversity of GeorgiaAlmost anything can make us sick, including pure water, if weconsume too much at one time. But what about the seriousillnesses we normally call “food poisoning”?The biggest fear has always been getting food poisoning frommeats. In the past few years, though, we’ve found that improperlygrown, packed or shipped fresh fruits and vegetables can lead toserious illness, too.Can vegetables from our own gardens make us sick? Possibly, ifthey’re contaminated with human pathogens such as hepatitis A,Salmonella and E. coli 0157:H7.The good news is that the chance of anyone in the United Statesgetting sick from garden vegetables is remote. Human pathogensdon’t occur naturally on vegetables.Safety keySo how do people sometimes get sick from eating produce?Contamination, contamination, contamination.Whenever produce is grown, packed or shipped under poor sanitaryconditions, there’s always the chance it will be contaminated andbecome a health hazard.The November 2003 outbreak of hepatitis A is a prime example.Green onions harboring the hepatitis virus caused more than 600illnesses and three deaths in Pennsylvania.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates thereare 76 million foodborne illnesses a year in the United States.Every year more than 325,000 people are hospitalized and 5,000people die from eating contaminated food.As you might guess, the greatest concern is for the fruits andvegetables you eat raw as snacks and in salads. Some scientistslink nearly as many foodborne illness cases to produce as topoultry, beef and fish combined.Simple stepsTo make sure no one gets sick from eating fruits and vegetablesfrom your garden:last_img read more

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Killing the pathogen

first_imgBy Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaUniversity of Georgia scientists have developed a method foreliminating the harmful E. coli O157:H7 pathogen in cattlewatering troughs.An estimated 73,000 cases of E. coli O157:H7 in humans arereported each year in the United States. Studies have shown thatthe pathogen can be transferred from one cow to another throughthe animals’ drinking water. Safer, but not as tastyHe found that the cows drank 19 liters per day of the lactic acidwater, compared to 30 liters per day of nontreated water.”They’ll drink the treated water, but obviously, they’rereluctant to drink it,” he said. “So it’s not suited forcontinuous feeding.”West said cows could survive on the reduced water intake. Butwhen a cow’s water or feed intake is reduced, her growth and milkproduction also decline.To keep from reducing cows’ water intake, the scientistsrecommend farmers periodically treat their water tanks with thechemical treatment.”A farmer could treat his tanks for 20 minutes and basicallysanitize his watering system,” Doyle said. “He could treat theholding tanks and the troughs, then flush and refill them withclean water. This would kill the organism and then provide freshwater for the animals.”Adding the chemical to his cattle’s water supply would be anadded task and, for now, a voluntary action for the farmer, Doylesaid. Searching for the best controlThe best treatments were a combination of lactic acid, acidiccalcium sulfate and caprylic acid and another combination oflactic acid, acidic calcium sulfate and butyric acid.”Both treatments include a base chemical, acidified calciumsulfate, or Safe2O,” Doyle said. “This chemical has avery lowpH, less than 2, which makes it very acidic.”Doyle’s laboratory studies found that the two chemicalformulations not only eliminated E. coli O157:H7, but also killedother enterohemorrhagic E. coli which are related to E. coliO157:H7.But what do the cows think of this new power-drink? UGA animalscientist Joe West fed the treated water to a group of test cows.”We use Calan doors, which are electronically controlled doors,”he said. “Each cow has a transponder that works as the door’skey.”In this way, West can monitor how much water a cow trulyconsumes. For the study, he measured how much water the cowsdrank over seven days and compared that to what theynormally drink. Ready when needed”Until someone down the line gets serious about controlling E.coli at the source, this is just a control method available tofarmers,” he said. “If on-farm controls should be mandated, wehave a treatment available that will work.”Adding the chemicals to cattle drinking water shouldn’t becost-prohibitive for farmers.”The material is fairly dilute, and we’ve determined that a verydilute combination can still be effective” Doyle said. Contaminating drinking water”Cattle drinking water is often contaminated with cud (rumencontent),” said Michael Doyle, a UGA microbiologist and directorof the Center for Food Safety in Griffin, Ga. “Cattle water canalso have manure in it, and together, this leads to E. colicontamination.”In the past, disinfectants like chlorine have been ineffective atremoving E. coli O157:H7 from cattle drinking water. With fundingfrom the American Meat Institute Foundation, Doyle led a projectthat focused on identifying practical treatments for eliminatingE. coli O157:H7 in cattle drinking water.The UGA scientists first screened various chemicals in searchof an effective control.”We knew right away that chlorine and ozone treatments had littleto no effect,” Doyle said. “But we were able to ultimatelyidentify two chemical combinations that are highly effective.”last_img read more

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17 Hardy geranium

first_imgVolume XXXIIINumber 1Page 17 By Bodie PennisiUniversity of Georgia For most people, the word cranesbill triggers thoughts of a long-legged bird with a long beak wading in a swamp. But for gardeners, cranesbill also refers to a type of perennial geranium prized for its toughness and long bloom period. The plant gets it name from the long, slender beak-like fruit produced after flowering.Today, cranesbill geraniums are among the hottest plants in the landscape industry, following the introduction of one called Rozanne in 2001. Rozanne cranesbill hardy geranium is so hot, in fact, that it was chosen the 2008 Georgia Gold Medal winner for herbaceous perennials.Gardeners and landscapers throughout the Southeast are singing the praises of this exciting new plant, calling it a floral blockbuster and an exceptional performer, even in the unrelenting summer heat and humidity of the Southeast. Rozanne grows in a well-rounded mound to a height of 18 to 20 inches. From late May until frost, the plant produces an abundance of blue-violet flowers with pale centers. Its attractive, deeply lobed foliage turns brownish red in the fall. Plant cranesbill in well-drained, amended soil and keep in full sun to lightly shaded sites. Fertilize at planting time with a complete granular fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, 16-4-8 or 12-4-8, and repeat one to two additional times during the growing season. The plant is a vigorous grower and is likely to decline in bloom during midsummer when the sprawling foliage competes for the plant’s energy. At that time, pruning will encourage new growth and create more flowers to brighten the fall landscape. After the first frost, cut back the plant and mulch it with leaves to provide a warm winter rest. Use Rozanne cranesbill hardy geranium in perennial borders, rock gardens or decorative containers. The plant grows best in zones 5 to 8.last_img read more

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May heats Georgia

first_imgThe highest monthly total from National Weather Service reporting stations was 6.87 inches in Atlanta (2.92 inches above normal). The lowest was in Augusta at 1.36 inches (1.71 inches below normal). Valdosta received 4.54 inches (1.30 inches above normal), Macon 4.31 inches (1.33 inches above normal), Athens 5.89 inches (2.03 inches above normal), Brunswick 1.41 inches (1.28 inches below normal), Columbus 5.83 inches (2.21 inches above normal), Savannah 3.88 inches (.27 inch above normal) and Alma 3.81 inches (.71 inch above normal). Georgia was a hot and wet place to live in May.In Atlanta, the monthly average temperature was 73.4 degrees F (3.6 degrees above normal), in Athens 72.5 degrees (3.4 degrees above normal), Columbus 75.2 degrees (2.9 degrees above normal), Macon 74.4 degrees (3.4 above normal), Savannah 75.9 degrees (3.1 degrees above normal), Brunswick 76.7 degrees (3 degrees above normal), Alma 75.9 degrees (2.1 degrees above normal), Valdosta 77.7 degrees (5 degrees above normal) and Augusta 74.2 degrees (3.7 degrees above normal). 1906 record broken in AugustaRecord high minimum temperatures were set in Savannah and Augusta May 2. The 72 degrees in Savannah beat the old record of 71 degrees set in 2002, and the 70 degree measurement in Augusta surpassed the old record of 69 degrees set in 1906. Augusta also tied its daily high temperature May 2 with 94 degrees.Most of the state received above-normal rainfall, too. However, a few areas along the coast and near Augusta were below normal. Atlanta gets most May rainfall Record daily rainfalls were set in Atlanta, Athens and Columbus May 3. Atlanta received 2.81 inches, surpassing its old record of 2.07 inches set in 1922. Athens received 3.07 inches, exceeding its old record of 1.63 inches set in 1905. Columbus received 4.75 inches, surpassing its old record of 4.29 inches set in 1957.The highest single-day rainfall from the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network stations was 5.24 inches in Bibb County May 4. An observer in Cobb County received 5.03 inches May 3. The highest monthly rainfall total was 11.23 inches from an observer northwest of Ellijay. Several other observers at scattered locations in northern Georgia reported over 9 inches for the month.There were no tornadoes reported. However, severe weather hit somewhere in the state on 15 separate days. Numerous reports of hail and high winds were received May 21, with heavy roof damage to a nursing home observed in Houston County. A 5-minute storm of golf ball-sized hail covered the ground in Charlton County at Stephen Foster State Park. May 28, strong storms delayed flights at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and caused numerous power outages.Storms stop trains and planesLightning caused damage to the MARTA east-west tracks in Atlanta May 3 during the heavy rain, leading to delays of several hours as trains were rerouted to alternate tracks.The first confirmed 2010 case of West Nile Virus in Georgia led public health officials to worry that favorable conditions for development of the carrier mosquito could lead to more cases in the peak summer season July through September.The wet conditions improved soil moisture levels. Crop planting in most areas proceeded rapidly. Peach farmers reported that the cold winter, coupled with the mild spring, has led to a bumper crop. The last time this happened was six years ago.last_img read more

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