Plants Update===The FIFA Scandal and Tobacco Control

This year has been a real struggle, and I don’t know why. But all is not lost. Here are a few pics:

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I have a few more like that in a different tray. They seem to have benefited a lot from the growlight that I bought. After only some seven days, they seem to have gained quite substantial growth in the leaves. They are ready to be planted out, but I’ll let them harden off by putting them outside during the day for a few days.

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Those are my next best. At least they are surviving (so far). They are under the growlight now and will be there for the rest of the night.



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I just had to try my best with some seedlings which had germinated but were tightly congregated in a small plastic box (the sort that you get Chinese take-aways in). I only kept them as a reserve. I hope that nursing them will keep them alive. At least they are sporting green leaves!

I have no idea what went wrong this year. The seeds and compost are obviously OK as the first pic shows. It isn’t as though some seeds germinated but most didn’t – they either germinated or did not. The same applies to the compost – they either (almost) ALL survived or they did not. That suggests that there was an external factor.

Some of the factors are:

1. My old propagator, with 40 individual cells, fell apart. The beauty of the 40 individual cells was that when I transplanted the seedling into pots, I was able to dig out (using a teaspoon) almost all the contents of each cell. Thus, the roots were hardly disturbed at all. Thinning out was also much simpler.

2. When I germinated in January/February, the propagator sat on a shelf in the kitchen which was over a radiator. Being winter, the central heating was on almost all the time, so the shelf, and thus the propagator and its contents were kept warm consistently. But I think that there is another factor in that situation. The cells of that propagator were only about an inch and a quarter deep. Thus, the compost would have been universally warmish, rather than the bottom being warm and the top being cool.

3. Once I potted the seedlings, I placed them on the window ledge in the South facing bedroom. That ledge was over a radiator, so there was a reasonably constant flow of warm air, plus the best sunlight that this house can provide. Again, being winter, the CH was on all the time, more or less. This year, because daughter 2 has decided to make use of that bedroom, I did not use that window ledge.

So….. We live and learn. The odd thing is that the heated propagator does not seem to have been helpful, but I suspect that I have not been using it in the best way for these particular seeds and seedlings. Germination occurs best when the compost is at a temperature between about 25C and 29C. My digital thermometer was telling me that the compost temp was around 19C.

OK. Putting 2 and 2 together, and getting probably 5, I guess that, this year, I have made lots of mistakes, the principle one being ‘transplant shock’ in the sense that I moved the germinated seedlings into compost which was too cold and without much compost adhering to the roots.


But we never give up, do we? I am now conducting experiments which I hope will help next year. I filled a dozen 2″ pots with seeding compost (not general purpose compost). It has been in the garage and so is cold. I warmed it with hot water and then let it cool down. Then I sprinkled a few seeds into each pot. Finally, I misted the surface with slightly warm water to wet the seeds themselves. I put the pots into plastic boxes and sealed them with cling film, and then put them into the heated propagator. Here is a pic:

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The pic shows the containers covered with clingfilm. Of course, the cover of the propagator has been taken off for the pic, but is now back in place. I shall not touch them for at least five days (but I can always take a peek!).


The reason for all this buggering about is that it is highly unsatisfactory to be limited to tiny windows of opportunity. It is no good to have to keep waiting for hit and miss results, and relying upon the central heating. I need to find a consistent method, so I shall continue to experiment. I have plenty of seeds.


I have been amused by the FIFA scandal.

I think that everyone with any sense (except politicians) has known for years that FIFA has been suffering from graft and corruption. It seems to have taken a long time for action to be taken. The same applies to the Olympic Games. Is it not true that both of those organisations are in the nature of ‘fake’ charities? The only difference between them and ASH is that they are international ‘fake’ charities. But it is obvious from the way in which these organisations ‘fix’ the financial arrangements of so-called ‘sponsors’ (coca-cola type advertising, and the protection and monopolization thereof) that what they are actually operating is a business.

But who are the ‘shareholders’? Perhaps it might be better to describe them as ‘stakeholders’ in the sense that they have commercial ‘stakes’ in the processes. I suppose that the problem of ‘fake’ charities lies in the definition of ‘not for profit’. That idea relies upon the fact that, officially, such organisations have no capital investment, and therefore no shareholders and no dividends. But that also means that there is no ‘owner oversight’. The law expects ‘Boards of Trustees’ to act as though they were owners, but they certainly do not have the commercial imperative of needing to be profitable. Thus, they can easily be manipulated by board members who have an agenda. Is there any better scenario for graft and corruption to become endemic?

CRUK is a perfect example. I am not saying that CRUK (Cancer Research UK) is corrupt, but it seems not to be doing much ‘research’, or, if it is, it is not being very successful. Perhaps it should not be involved in research since the proper place for such research is in the Universities. Perhaps it should concentrate on palliative care. That is what McMillan does.

But it is difficult. One must admit that there are loads of organisations which are not businesses. They get contributions, whatever the source, and they distribute those contributions to help those in need. But suppose that certain members of the board are distributing contributions to businesses which they own?

But there is another way to handle the problem. That is that ‘charities’ must obey certain rules. For example, when they advertise for funds, they must be entirely factual with no sobby music. They must state with reasonable precision what they want the funds for and what they intend to do with them. Further, no charity will receive taxpayer funds other than for actual  ‘good works’. For example, providing shelter for homeless people is a ‘good work’. How on Earth the board of the National Lottery was allowed to get away with awarding half a million pounds to ASH, a propaganda lobbying ‘fake charity’, I do not know. That is graft and corruption in high places.

It is a pity that Eric Pickles is now not a Minister. I suppose that his attitude was too clear and specific for Cameron et al. His views and instructions to local authorities probably conflicted with Common Purpose ideals. Common Purpose flourishes in sloppy, not well defined, emotional circumstances.

The FIFA scandal (and the coming Olympics scandal) highlights how sloppy oversight of such worldwide organisations is. But that also applies to organisations such as the UN, WHO, FCTC, IPCC, EU. “Who oversees the overseers”? It is in that context that we must seriously think about the competence of our politicians. When Milton MP, Health Minister, said “We must introduce PP (or whatever it was) because the FCTC says so”, she became a Quisling. She betrayed ignorance, unworthy of a Minister. The same happened with Soubry MP. She had little idea of what the EU Tobacco Directive actually said.

God Almighty! Suppose that you needed legal advice and you approached a solicitor to get it. Suppose that your solicitor could only get advice from your legal opponents? For is that not tobacco control relies upon? The only advisers permitted for politicians, as regards smoking tobacco, are ANTI-SMOKING ZEALOTS. Who decides who the advisers are? It is The Health Dept, which is not dissimilar to a ‘fake charity’ board. And of what does the Health Dept consist? It is Common Purpose graduates and similar fakes.


I see no end to the corruption. But it does not matter as much as one might think. It is a terrible error to allow trivia to govern the way in which you decide to live your life. Government, for most of us, is trivial. Sure, government decisions are important, but their impact upon most of us are trivial. However, there is a section of society where those decisions are far from trivial. I speak of those people who are the poorest. It is those people especially who are being targeted for punishment and persecution by the Zealots.

They have said that that is their intention.


5 Responses to “Plants Update===The FIFA Scandal and Tobacco Control”

  1. smokingscot Says:


    Just to say thank you for the heads-up on toasting tobacco. Did a little batch this afternoon and by jingo it doth work… astonishing well.

    • junican Says:

      That’s what I thought – it works somehow to get rid of some of the harsher tastes.
      I started using my own stuff a couple of months ago. I have noticed that, as time passes, even without toasting, my own stuff seems to be getting ‘milder’ and ‘pleasanter’, as though it is naturally losing various volatile chemical compounds. I am using the stuff from the curing box first. The wadded stuff can wait.
      This is a rather interesting since, in theory, ‘ageing’ should be done with some humidity in the leaves at around 35C (?) for a longish period of time (a month?). Well, I was concerned about that in view of the potential for mould. so I did not even think of trying it. I’m quite happy to let the stuff age naturally. In fact, I find it difficult to believe that tobacco companies fiddled about when ageing the stuff. I read somewhere that they simply bundled the leaves up, wrapped them in sacking, or something, and stored them in a dry place.
      You could think that, when leaves have been cured, the process is not even throughout the batch of leaves. Some are more ‘cured’ than others. You could think that bundling the leaves and storing them permits the ‘curing’ process to even out throughout the bundle. That makes a lot of sense to me. I suppose that toasting is a shortened version of long-term storage.
      It is all very intriguing.

  2. Sike Says:

    I have been germinating tobacco in a poly-tunnel and have better success when i shade the pots with white paper until after the tiny plants have appeared. I seem to recall the instructions from mentioned this.

    • junican Says:

      Hello Sike!
      You don’t say where you are from, so I don’t quite understand how you use the poly-tunnel. Is it outdoors or indoors?
      I remember reading in coffinails that seeds need light to germinate, so I can understand the use of white paper to reflect light. The weird thing is that I have, in the past, germinated seeds in the hot water cylinder cupboard in the dark!
      Please do not misunderstand. What we are looking for are ways to cope with different weather, light and warmth conditions.
      Indoors, those matters ought to be irrelevant, especially if you are using a heated propagator. My heated propagator is fine – it warms up to about 25C and maintains that temp more or less. My thinking is that the heating element in the propagator will automatically switch off when it gets ‘feedback’ from the lowest level of compost that the required temp has been reached. If the seeds are sown on the top of compost, they will still be in cold conditions. That is the point that I was making about the shallowness of my old propagator – the compost was evenly warm.
      I have a new idea which might work really, really, well. I might use ice-cube-trays for the initial germination in the heated propagator.
      That is my point. Now is the time to experiment. Experience teaches that there is a need to widen ‘the window of opportunity’.

  3. richard john Says:

    once again you hit the nail on the head the sooner we find a way to stop maniacs from breeching their authority and our trust to perpetrate their own agenda the sooner we will all save mankind Richard keep up the good work richard

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