Saturday, January 31, 2009

This one is for Jim!


I can't believe we haven't bumped into each other at that same Krispy Kreme! I typically go through the drive thru! did you try one of those heart shaped donughts they are pushing! Did you get the two dollar off coupon and the Krispy Kreme Valentine Cards? LOL Yep, I love me some Krispy Kreme's! VN8
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Birds?

(OK, I understand that farmers have to contend with pests and I support the eradication of the pests, but I'm thinking this might have been handled a little differently. This is bizarre! VN8)

FRANKLIN (AP) -- The black carcasses of dead starlings still pepper the snowy roads and lawns of central New Jersey's rural Griggstown community three days after federal officials used a pesticide to kill as many as 5,000 starlings.

Many residents were still getting over their shock Monday from the sudden spate of deaths. Some were unaware that the deaths resulted from an intentional culling and that the pesticide used was harmless to people and pets.

"It was raining birds," Franklin Township Mayor Brian Levine said.

"It got people a little anxious."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture called local police last week and the Somerset County Health Department to warn them that a culling program was under way, but there was no notice that dead birds could fall from the sky, Levine said.

"A lot of us are concerned because it's so odd," said Chris Jiamboi, 49, as his vehicle idled along a stretch of road in Griggstown marked with the flattened remains of dead starlings. "There were a lot of them dead in the roads and no one drives fast enough around here to kill a bird. Then they started showing up dead in people's backyards."

Griggstown is a community of small farms, narrow blacktop roads and rural homes about nine miles northeast of Princeton. It's common for residents here to pass deer and pheasants. Until this weekend, it was also common to pass flocks of starlings that numbered in the hundreds.

Carol Bannerman, a USDA spokeswoman, said a bird-specific pesticide called DRC-1339 was used to kill the starlings. It is harmless to people and other animals, she said.

Bannerman said the starlings had to be killed because they were plaguing an area farm, where they were eating feed meant for cattle and chickens and defecating in feeding bowls.

Federal employees dispensed the pesticide on Friday. Birds that ingest it usually die within three days, Bannerman said, so the die-off should have run its course by Monday.

The DRC-1339 pesticide is commonly used to protect farms and feedlot operations from European starlings, which are considered an invasive species by the USDA. One hundred starlings brought to the U.S. in 1890 have grown into the nation's most numerous bird species, Bannerman said.

In large numbers, starlings can pose a disease threat to livestock.

The poison used is not specific to starlings, Bannerman said, but USDA workers closely monitor its application to make sure it targets only the intended bird population. Workers first lure the birds to a designated area with bait food in wooden trays. Once they are certain the bait has attracted the birds they want to cull, they mix poison with the bait pellets.

However, 75-year-old George Gibson of Griggstown said that to him and many of neighbors they were just beautiful birds.

"People around here are really worried," said Gibson. "They should have told us what they were going to do because we have pets. One guy's dog was chewing on the dead birds and we didn't know what kind of diseases they had died from."

A garbage bag filled with more than 100 dead starlings sat next to the curb of a neighboring home. Gibson said another neighbor gathered up more than 150 carcasses in her yard.

The DRC-1339 pesticide is not harmful to pets, according to the USDA, which notified state and local agencies before dispensing the poison. A dog would have to eat nothing but poisoned starlings for three months to suffer any ill effects from it, according to Bannerman.

She said birds typically roost near the farms where they feed. In this case, the farm had become a feeding station for starlings throughout the surrounding area. That's why the die-off was so public.

"We've very sorry that it played out the way that it did," Bannerman said. She said the USDA will try to do a better job of notifying the public in the future.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

This one is for Lee!

I put this Corona in the freezer for about three hours, took it out, and then tapped it on the counter top. It's probably the coolest at home experiment to show off at party. Everyone that sees this thinks there's some sort of gel inside, but there isn't, just the process of "super cooling". Leaving the bottled beverage in an environment that is as cold or colder than zero degrees centigrade causes the liquid molecules to achieve a state of temperature less than zero degrees centigrade. When the bottle is tapped against the counter top it disturbs the molecules and causes an ice crystal to form. This causes a chain reaction to occur hence the freezing of the whole beer.

Try It Yourself:
1. Get a bottled beverage, glass or plastic, preferably glass. (non-diet/diet soda, Martinelli's, Beer, etc.)
2. Put it vertical standing inside a freezer for three hours. (Making sure that the freezer does not shake because this could disturb the process!)
3. Take the beverage out and tap it against a hard surface.
4. Watch the magic happen before your eyes and don't worry about wasting your precious liquid, it's still good to drink, frozen or not.

Heating up the fairness doctrine!

January 23, 2009

WASHINGTON -- President Obama warned Republicans on Capitol Hill today that they need to quit listening to radio king Rush Limbaugh if they want to get along with Democrats and the new administration.

"You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," he told top GOP leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package.

One White House official confirmed the comment but said he was simply trying to make a larger point about bipartisan efforts.

(Brace yourself boys and girls, the boxing gloves are on! VN8)

Here you go Country!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Squirrel Catapult!

There's been quite a lot of discussion on a friend's blog regarding the pesky squirrels invading his recently placed bird feeder and I just had to post this video from LiveLeak! If you are a friend of squirrels or don't appreciate the humor associated with the persecution of these rodents, this video may not be for you. I personally found it hysterical!

So Jim, what do you say, want to set up your own Squirrel Catapult? VN8