2013! Once in a Lifetime Theme Show

Woman naturalist holds up a small flower petal dripping with nectar; plants in the background.

Jade Dodd of Edmonton’s Muttart Conservatory beholds a chip off the mighty agave bloom. Photo by Chris Chang-Yen Phillips.

It’s Terra Informa, Greatest Hits Edition! For the month of December, we’re going through oldies but goodies from 2011-2014. This week on Terra Informa, we’ll explore a “once in a lifetime events,” including a personal account of Mumbai’s worst flood on record. We’ll discuss extreme weather more generally, diving into the science and mining stories out of our own experiences. And we’ll start with a story that tries to tease out the pros and cons of once in a lifetime events, by examining the remarkable life cycle of the agave plant. It’s all right here on Terra Informa’s Once In A Lifetime! Theme Show.

Once In A Lifetime Blooms

For the past couple months, visitors have been flocking to the arid corridor of Edmonton’s Muttart Conservatory. Chris Chang-Yen Phillips was one of them. The Muttart houses exotic plants under its pyramids all year long, but he was there to see a plant with a once-in-a-lifetime story: an agave. It only blooms once before it dies. To find out more, he spoke to the Muttart’s Jade Dodd, and Brandi Eide, who manages the succulent collection at Arizona’s Desert Botanical Garden.

Download this episode.

Further Reading: Muttart Conservatory: Agave AmericanaDesert Botanical GardenHope fades for giant agave bloom at Baltimore Conservatory

Once In A Lifetime Weather

It used to be that we could talk about the Storm of the Century. But these days, it seems more like “Storm of the Half-Decade.” Our increasingly extreme climate is breaking weather records left and right. Terra Informer Jessica Kozlowski breaks down the science of extreme weather in this Science Babble segment.

Once In A Lifetime Floods

Speaking of extreme weather, at least one Terra Informer has indeed experience a Flood of the Century and lived to tell the tale. In 2005, almost 1 meter of rain fell on the Indian state of Maharashtra on a single summer day. The city shut down completely, and the deluge caused at least 5,000 deaths, and cost 100 million USD. In her own words, and interviewed by Ali Sultani, here is our own Natalee Rawat recalling the events of July 26, 2005.

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