Rains In Denver Lead To Mushrooms in Backyard

There is an official USGS rain gauge right across the street, so my numbers are accurate.

In April, we had over 2.5 inches of rain; the average is about an inch. In the first week of May over 2.5 inches of rain plus 5 inches of very heavy spring snow.

Jana found a very handsome cluster of mushrooms behind the ash tree in the backyard. I didn’t know what they were so I poked around the web and sent emails to some mushroom guys

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It turns out this is a very common mushroom known as Polyporus squamosus. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyporus_squamosus. In response to an email I received the following:

Hi Jack,

It’s dryad’s saddle, which I cover in the Polypores section of my site. It might be too old and tough to eat, but it will come up again in the same place in the fall, and at the same time next spring, after some heavy rain. It’s great marinated and baked, mediocre sautéed or in soups. If it’s still fresh, the pores should smell like watermelon rind.

It was from Steve Brill and his Polypores reference is here: http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Mushrooms.Folder/Dryad’s%20Saddle.html

Bing Desktop Review

Always open to new things, I thought I would try out the Bing Desktop.

What a mistake.

It really clogged up my system. On par with Google Updater as a cycle hog. My poor hard drive emitted sounds reminding me of Google Updater.

Had it on my system for less than an hour.

I would like to put in a plug for CCleaner. The download can be obtained here: http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner.

Two of the features I really like are:

Uninstall

CCleaner Uninstall Screen

The above screen shot really illustrates how simple this tool is to use. While you can uninstall using the control panel, this is a much easier way to go about your work.

Startup Editor

CCleaner Startup Screen

Many programs are somewhat narcissistic and believe they are so important they must always be running on your system. The worst offenders are Google Updater and Bing Updater.

Whenever I notice my system slowing down, I always check to see if something I don’t care for is installed behind my back. As others use my computer, these other people may inadvertently install bloat on my system.

CCleaner makes the task very simple.

Someday I may talk about browser hijackers, but no time today.

Largest Star Known To Man

Recently, scientists announced the discovery of the largest star known to mankind.

It was rather embarrassing because it was larger than the upper limit set by scientists in 2003. See http://mnras.oxfordjournals.org/content/348/1/187.short

In the article referenced above, from the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, it was stated:

The observed masses of the most massive stars do not surpass about 150 M.

So this new star should not be any larger than 150 masses of the sun.

The name of the new star is R136a1 and has a mass of 265 suns.

Its too bad R136a1 was not a subscriber to the Monthly Notices because it would have known it wasn’t supposed to be that big.