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July 18, 2002

Sitting back and watching the corn grow
Posted by Teresa at 07:11 AM *

The Iowa CornCam is a webcam in a cornfield in Monticello, Iowa. It updates every fifteen minutes, which is the right pace at this time of year. You can see a picture here of the corn on June 02, when it was just a few inches tall. A month ago on June 18 it was 30 inches tall, and this week it topped out at nine feet, as related in the most recent report:

Monday, July 15: I believe the corn has probably reached its full height at a full 9 feet tall. The tassels are pretty much fully extended. The silks on the ears have emerged and the pollen is shedding. Everything looks pretty good.
The CornCam definitely has its fans. One of them was moved to write the Ode to an Internet Cornfield, which I am not going to quote. You can delight yourself with it on your own time, if you feel so moved.

The site is partly sponsored by Iowa Farmer Today, which has also added a SoybeanCam and DairyCam to this array of agricultural amusements.

Comments on Sitting back and watching the corn grow:
#1 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2002, 10:57 AM:

How high do elephants' eyes get?

#2 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2002, 01:01 PM:

Some mother&#$^(&@ing fine links there, Teresa.

The Philadelphia experiment is a fine yarn indeed - not a terrible movie either. And a fine short story, too, "Green Fire."

A rousing tale of sci-fi action-adventure set during World War II and starring "Isaac," "Robert" and "Sprague," along with then-Lieutenant Grace Hopper.

#3 ::: Alan Hamilton ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2002, 05:02 AM:

I keep getting it mixed up with "The Philadelpia Story", and start wondering how they turned Cary Grant invisible.

#4 ::: Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2002, 09:09 AM:

James Stewart was pretty corny in _The Philadelphia Story_. Say, do you suppose that Cary Grant played the title role in _Harvey_?

Some years ago I was at the Minnesota State Fair with Terry Garey & Denny Lien. Both the horticultural and animal exhibits quickly overwhelmed me with allergic reactions, and Denny was kind enough to wander off to the secondary exhibits. The extremely secondary exhibits.

In particular, Denny and I paid to get in to Malfunction Junction, a dusty, dirty, and fundamentally cheesy model railroad layout scattered with derailed trains, overturned trucks, and heavily damaged automobiles. None of which was powered up, glowing, running, clanging, or zinging. There was just this old guy keeping an eye on it to make sure nobody found a way to wreck the place any more than it was already.

As we left I remarked to Denny, "I hear Sherwin-Williams has a booth where you can pay to come in and watch paint dry. Wanna try that next?"

#5 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2002, 08:42 PM:

Thanks, Mitch.

The best explanation I've heard for the Philadelphia Experiment legend is Jim MacDonald's. Short version: Someone heard about the de-gaussing operations going on there during wartime, and confused "invisible to magnetic mines and torpedoes" with "invisible".

Bob, you should go to the Arizona State Fair -- they've got (or anyway used to have) a Rocks & Minerals display that's as inert as you could wish. One of the high points is the small enclosed display of fluorescent rocks, which are undistinguished-looking under natural light and not a whole lot better when they're glowing in the dark under UV.

After that: The 4-H displays of jars of preserves!

#6 ::: Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2002, 03:00 PM:

I might happily go pay to look at the rocks, so long as nobody told me there'd be dancing. I'm not much of a lapidarian, but I'd give the exhibit a tumble.

#7 ::: Kip T. Williams ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2002, 10:30 AM:

For a while, we had glowing rocks. They belonged to our friend Gecko, but they were in our garage.

One weekend morning, Geck called to drag me out to a yard sale in a quiet neighborhood not far from where I work. Some rock hound had passed on, and his family was looking to get rid of his life's work. When we asked, they let us into the garage, and there Geck found the box of glow rocks; a lovely homemade cabinet with a slot to peep in and two light switches, one for the visible and one for black light. Took me back to the Denver Museum of Natural History and their room of similarly spectacular minerals.

For about a year, the cabinet lived in our garage, entertaining adults and kids alike, and then Gecko bought a house and eventually decided he could fit the box in somewhere. I miss being able to go see them any time I want.

I wonder if any of these stones are suitable for carving. They'd make some neat artifacts.


#8 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2002, 12:35 PM:

"A rock hound's family getting rid of his life's work at a yard sale" makes me squeak: a little bit out of pity, but mostly out of wishing that I'd been there with the contents of my piggy bank.

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