The Dry Garden: Boxy

Natalie Saavedra (3rd grader) at San Jose-Edison Academy School Garden in Covina, CA. Photo: Emily Green

Most people, save Atlantic magazine’s resident contrarian Caitlin Flanagan, agree that school gardens are a good thing. They encourage experimentation, critical thinking and healthful eating. Done right, they raise parental participation in schools. At their best, they’re as cute as a third-grader grubbing for worms.

Too often, however, teachers are defeated from the outset by the burden of installing and then maintaining a garden in addition to a classroom.

Click here to keep reading about a workable new model for schools in “The Dry Garden” in the Los Angeles Times.

Japan quake, fifth strongest in world since 1900, leads to a Pacific-wide tsunami

Click here for estimated arrival times on the North American coast of a Pacific-wide tsunami generated by an 8.9* magnitude earthquake near the east coast of Honshu, Japan. Click here for warnings and advisories for the US Pacific Coast. The highest surges are predicted for north of Point Concepcion. However, in Southern California, stay away from the ocean. Most importantly, click here for the Red Cross as it readies to send aid to Japan, and here, if you can bear it, to be taken to a photo essay in the Los Angeles Times revealing the scale of the Japanese catastrophe the morning after what now ranks as the fifth strongest* quake recorded since 1900.

*Updated post. 3/14/2011: The US Geological Survey joined its Japanese opposite number in recalibrating the quake as having been magnitude 9.0. Click here for the announcement. The recalibration makes it a tie for the fourth