Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween image by theLibraryLander
A Happy and Safe Halloween to All! 
image by theLibraryLander

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Terrible Beauty

NASA’s Aqua satellite image of Hurricane Sandy
NASA’s Aqua satellite image of Hurricane Sandy
taken at 2:20 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time
(18:20 Universal Time) on October 29, 2012.
Such an innocuous sounding name - Sandy - such devastation for so many. It's almost over in weather terms, but the effects will linger for months. When I first heard the initial forecasts last week, like many others I had a hard time imagining what the scientists could mean when they said this would be unlike any other storm in recent history. Having experienced the full force of Snowmageddon, I wondered just how much worse any storm could be!  A perfect "Perfect Storm" that could only be produced by the confluence of certain conflicting events - a cold, Canadian front from the northwest colliding with a tropical hurricane from the southeast, further egged on by a full moon on October 29th, all of which wreaked havoc across the Mid-Atlantic coast. The news coverage of this storm, though initially sounding greatly hyped and overblown, turned out to be quite accurate and timely. With the help of NOAA scientists who correctly predicted its magnitude, the media encouraged residents to prepare for the storm and most people did that. Below are some interesting newslinks which illustrate the unique and dangerous qualities of Sandy, the largest Atlantic hurricane in diameter on record, whose winds spanned about 1,100 miles from end to end (National Hurricane Center).

1.  NYT interactive graphic of wind speeds along Hurricane Sandy’s path.
2.  NYT graphic of the spread of power failures across the Northeast.
4.  Hurricane Sandy social media rumors and other false rumors.
5.  Archived data on Hurricane Sandy from the National Hurricane Center.
6.  NASA graphic depicting Sandy's immense size.
7.  WP's Joel Achenbach puts the storm in perspective.
8.  Unbelievable before and after photos of Sandy's damage.
9.  Real and Fake photos generated by Sandy.
10. The Waffle House Index, a measure of the severity of disasters.
11. Amazing before and after satellite photos of New Jersey's shoreline.
12. Remarkable time-lapse footage of NYC lashed by Sandy; about half-way through, power goes out to Lower Manhattan.
13. AP's state by state account of the effects of Sandy from NC to VT.
14. And of course, Wikipedia's comprehensive article on Hurricane Sandy.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Amazing Time-Lapse Scan of Hurricane Sandy

This video really gives you a sense of how this powerful and immense storm is moving along the eastern coast of the US.  Additional videos can be viewed on NASA Earth Observatory's Youtube Channel.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

NYT Presidential Endorsements From 1860 to the Present

Abraham Lincoln Republican candidate for the presidency 1860
Abraham Lincoln,
Republican candidate for the presidency, 1860
An interesting and creative interactive graphic that chronicles all the presidential endorsements of the venerable Old Gray Lady since 1860. The striking revelation of this timeline is how the Democratic and Republican parties have categorically reversed their identities over the past century and a half. Each election element of this graphic also includes the text of the New York Times endorsement.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Want Facts? Ask a Librarian.

Librarian doing research
Librarian doing research - author unknown.
In this election season, facts have gone into hiding and librarians would like to help voters find them. A recent post in ReadWrite discusses some websites that involve librarians helping voters make informed decisions. In this area, librarians tend to be fact finders as opposed to fact checkers, since information on issues can be buried in hard to find documents. The value in using librarians in this area is that the research is neutral and non-partisan. It's one of the core principles of good librarianship to stick to facts, without being judgmental. Of course, librarians do have opinions, but when doing research, they must be withheld so as not to compromise their integrity.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hurricane History

Image displays the tracks of all Atlantic hurricanes which formed between 1851 and 2005
The image above displays the tracks of all Atlantic hurricanes which formed between 1851 and 2005. The dots show
the locations of the storms at 6-hour intervals and uses the color scheme from the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale.
 See the Wikimedia Commons image link for more details about the map.

With the East Coast bracing for Hurricane Sandy, or Frankenstorm as it's been dubbed already, I did a little research about the Atlantic hurricane season. I was curious about just how long the season lasts and found that generally it runs from June 1 through November 30, with September being the most active month. NOAA has compiled a list of all Atlantic hurricanes which occurred between 1851 and 2007, which confirms the seasonal nature of these storms. The National Hurricane Center website provides more interesting information and data archives on hurricanes, plus of course, the most up-to-date status of current storms. Well, here's hoping Sandy won't be the worst Halloween trick Mother Nature might play on us!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Young Readers - Not an Oxymoron

Young person demonstrating e-reader
Young person demonstrating e-reader
By Sigismund von Dobschütz (Own work)
via Wikimedia Commons
Very heartening news from a Pew report about the reading habits of young people today - the fact that they do read is one of best news at all! And kids don't eschew print books in favor of e-books, which was a bit surprising, but also welcome news. This report contains a wealth of data on youth reading habits, attitudes toward libraries, and format preferences. And along a similar vein, a writer talks about her preference for print books over digital for olfactory reasons, among others! Apparently, books have a certain fragrance that many people find enticing - eau de musty, maybe?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Billions and Billions...of Stars and Pixels!

VISTA gigapixel mosaic of the central parts of the Milky Way
VISTA gigapixel mosaic of the central parts of the Milky Way 
Credit: ESO/VVV Consortium Acknowledgement: Ignacio Toledo, Martin Kornmesser

The center of our galaxy was photographed in astonishing detail by the ESO VISTA survey telescope in Chile. Never before have our eyes seen so many stars at once - simply astounding! It's a gigantic image composed of nearly 9 billion pixels, created by combining thousands of separate images stitched together. A zoom tool is available at the ESO website which makes it easier to view the wonderful detail of this immense image.  Makes one wonder, how many wishes could come true now when we say,"star light star bright... I wish I may, I wish I might!"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dash It All!

Comparison of hyphens minus sign dashes and underscore
Comparison of hyphens, minus sign, dashes, and underscore.
Here's a nice paean in the NYT by Ben Yagoda to one of my favorite punctuation marks - the dash. I admit to overusing it a bit, but sometimes it's the best way to reconcile disjointed thoughts or to emphasize a point without being exclamatory. Dashes can make the difference between a heartfelt statement versus a bland one. In his essay, Yagoda provides examples of quotes using dashes by famous authors, which could have been written with commas or semi-colons, but would lose a lot of feeling. The dashes elevate thoughts to loftier heights! He asserts that Emily Dickinson was the "Nobel Laureate" of this punctuation, though other writers such as Mark Twain, Henry James, and F. Scott Fitzgerald were also proponents. In reading more about the dash, I've learned that there are different kinds of dashes and these must not be confused with hyphens or the minus sign, which look and function differently. The most commonly used are the en and em dashes. The various dashes and their sizes and uses are described very thoroughly on Wikipedia. The em dash is often used to denote a break in thought - something I'm often known to do. It just feels right to break up sentences in this manner, so as to provide an aside or a bit of drama in exposition. So, try a dash sometimes - it's the right thing to do!

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Dot and the Line

The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics
Another classic 60's short film produced by Chuck Jones based on a book written and illustrated by Norton Juster. The reckless Dot doesn't notice the stodgy Line, but eventually he figures out the way to her heart. It's a classic revenge of the nerds kind of story, by turns touching, enlightening, and rewarding.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Different Kind of School Work

Chewing Gum Stand Wikimedia Commons
Chewing Gum Stand (Wikimedia Commons)
Love articles like this that upend old notions about what kids (or anyone) can and can't do. A well done study in Finland shows that chewing sugarless gum containing xylitol is good for your teeth and that children should be encouraged to do it several times a day! No more scoldings from teachers about chewing gum, and hopefully kids won't be gumming up the underside of their desks anymore when caught :) And now when the teacher asks you whether you'll share your gum with the class, you can proudly produce extra gum for everyone! Gum, like chocolate, coffee, tea, and a wee bit of alcohol can be therapeutic. Of course, there's always a flip side to any story; it's also possible that gum chewing can erode enamel by increasing mouth acidity, according to a British study. I guess it's all about moderation and finding that sweet spot, literally.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Scale of Everything

Powers of Ten: A Film Dealing with the
Relative Size of Things in the Universe
and the Effect of Adding Another Zero

This is a famous film about the scale of the universe, made originally in the 60's and then revised in the 70's. It seems almost quaint now considering how much we've learned about the universe in the past 30+ years. A more current and interactive demo was posted earlier this year on APOD. This demo shows the smallest units (Quantum Foam and Strings) to objects in the farthest reaches of the observable universe. Just pretty amazing!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Rainbow Over the Fire Station

After a sudden squall this afternoon, a beautiful rainbow formed over the local fire station. The lines intersecting the rainbow are unfortunate reflections in the window. Should have gone outside to take the photo, but didn't get a chance. Still very inspirational - you had to be there.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The FTC Robocall Challenge

Telephone Wikimedia Commons
Telephone (Wikimedia Commons)
Just read about an interesting challenge the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is throwing out to the public. Apparently, the problem of controlling robocalls is a real stumper and they want the public's help in devising ways of blocking them.  So, they're holding a contest which will run from October 25, 2012 through
January 17, 2013. And they're offering a reward of 50K for the winning idea. Whoever comes up a workable solution deserves far more than that, of course, but they will also have the public's undying gratitude. There's a whole set of rules that apply to this contest, but I'll bet it will inspire a lot of geeks to don their thinking caps and see if they can thwart robocalls. Good luck to all of them and may we all be free of these pesky calls someday soon!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Calling Alpha Centauri

Artists depiction of planet orbiting the star Alpha Centauri B a member of the triple star system that is the closest to Earth Credit ESO L Calcada N Risinger skysurvey dot org
Artist's depiction of planet orbiting the star Alpha Centauri B, a member of the triple star system that is the closest to Earth. Credit ESO/L. Calçada/N. Risinger (

So, there's really a planet orbiting the star closest to our sun. The European Southern Observatory website states:  "European astronomers have discovered a planet with about the mass of the Earth orbiting a star in the Alpha Centauri system — the nearest to Earth. It is also the lightest exoplanet ever discovered around a star like the Sun. The planet was detected using the HARPS instrument on the 3.6-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile." 
This star system, Alpha Centauri, is one of the most referenced in science fiction literature. The Robinson Family in Lost in Space were sent on a mission to Alpha Centuari. It was the center of the Transformer's universe and was the sun depicted in Avatar. Truly amazing how fiction can often foreshadow the future! Watch the promo (below) of Lost in Space for the mission statement of their journey to Alpha Centauri.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Oscar Wilde's Birth Anniversary

Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde
An incomparable wit, born 158 years ago today. See the comprehensive wikipage on Oscar Wilde's famous quotes, sourced and unsourced - entertaining and enlightening. Some examples follow:

"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all."

"Education is an admirable thing. But it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught."

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."

[What is a cynic?]  "A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing."

"In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it."

"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth."

"There is no sin except stupidity."

"No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist."

"It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious."

And his most famous unsourced quote: "I have nothing to declare except my genius."

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pumpkins - the New Bacon??

Pumpkins - Wikimedia Commons
This time of year, everything's coming up pumpkins, from lattes to Pringles. A number of bloggers are claiming that pumpkin, given its seasonal ubiquity, is the new bacon! They also note that pumpkin in and of itself has no flavor, but the spices and sugar are what contribute to its well-known identity. To me much of it can taste too sickly sweet, whereas traditional pumpkin pie has the right mix of spices and sugar, as well as dairy and eggs. Huffpost has an intriguing slideshow of current food items that are pumpkin-flavored. I've always found it interesting that people either love or hate pumpkin - very little variance in degree of preference!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Again, the Value of Paper

Antique books by Liam Quin Wikimedia Commons
Antique books by Liam Quin, Wikimedia Commons
Justin B. Hollander, who is an assistant professor of urban and environmental policy and planning at Tufts University, has written an op-ed in the NYT decrying recent calls in the education community for the elimination of print textbooks. He argues that while there is a place for newer, digitized formats, there remains value in using print textbooks since they can be less distracting and more conducive to learning. Studies on the effects of using digital formats for learning have been mixed and despite some positive results, longitudinal studies have yet to be conducted since web and e-reading are still so new. Hollander effectively describes the ill-effects of replacing time-tested methods of doing various tasks with new technologies that wreak havoc in other areas of our environment. A good example is the national highway system replacing railways and cable cars, which were less destructive to the environment. Who knows what regrets we may later have if we eliminate print textbooks altogether? Reading from printed matter develops concentration and reinforces learning; it's a longer term process that is less distracting. For myself, I know that I feel different when reading a print book versus a digital book. E-books feel ephemeral and I don't feel I retain what I read, whereas with print books, the words on paper feel permanent and seem to burn themselves in my mind. It feels more like a journey reading a book from end to end; with digital, I find it too easy to switch tasks and look up things on the web or jump around the book with the search feature. Both methods have their place, but I tend to do lesser value reading electronically, with the exception of online newspapers. I rarely read print newspapers anymore, probably because news is so ephemeral, why not just read it electronically since it changes daily? 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Revisiting the Top 100 Songs of the Last Century

The Association performing "Never My Love"
on the Ed Sullivan Show (1967)
Watching a recent re-run of the Ed Sullivan Show on PBS made me think of the top songs of the last several decades. There are, of course, many different kinds of statistics on music, but this one caught my eye when I searched around: the BMI Top 100 Songs of the Century. The interesting thing about this list is that it doesn't have anything to do with sales, but performances. The BMI list contains the most played songs of the last century. Here are the top 10:
1. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin', Barry Mann, Phil Spector, Cynthia Weil
2. Never My Love, Donald & Richard Addrisi
3. Yesterday, John Lennon & Paul McCartney
4. Stand By Me, Ben E. King, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller
5. Can't Take My Eyes Off of You, Bob Crewe & Bob Gaudio
6. Sitting on the Dock of the Bay, Steve Cropper & Otis Redding
7. Mrs. Robinson, Paul Simon
8. Baby, I Need Your Loving, Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland & Eddie Holland
9. Rhythm of the Rain, John Gummoe
10. Georgia on My Mind, Hoagy Carmichael & Stuart Gorrell
I would have thought that Yesterday might have been number 1, but it was beat out by You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' and Never My Love. I'm featuring the video above for Never My Love because that one really surprised me, but after listening to it, I realize how touching the song really is. So, it makes sense that it struck a chord with many listeners - it's a very tender song. Here's the full list of the top 100 most played songs.

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Day at the Museum

The Baltimore Museum of Art photo by theLibraryLander
The Baltimore Museum of Art
photo by theLibraryLander
The Baltimore Museum of Art, that is. Spent the day there with family enjoying the exhibits of 19th century and modern art, as well as a renowned collection of art from around the world. Located in Charles Village next to the Johns Hopkins campus, the BMA has the largest collection of works by Henri Matisse of any museum anywhere. There is also an interesting sculpture garden of modern pieces which is situated near Gertrude's restaurant, a very pleasant dining experience. Currently, the BMA is undergoing an extensive three-year $24 million renovation, but enough exhibits are still open to be worth a visit. For a nice collection of photos of the museum's holdings, see the Flickr pool of photos taken by visitors.

Flowers in the Sculpture Garden photo by theLibraryLander
Flowers in the Sculpture Garden
photo by theLibraryLander
Max Bill Endless Ribbon photo by theLibraryLander
Max Bill, 'Endless Ribbon' (1953, original 1935)
photo by theLibraryLander
Scott Burton Rock Chair 1987 photo by theLibraryLander
Scott Burton 'Rock Chair' 1987
photo by theLibraryLander

Tony Smith Spitball 1961 photo by theLibraryLander
Tony Smith,  'Spitball' 1961
photo by theLibraryLander

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The British are Coming! And It's Simply Bril!

A nice cup of tea Wikimedia Commons
A nice cup of tea.
Photo by Laurel F., Wikimedia Commons
It's hard to know exactly why, but Americans are using more and more Britishisms in their daily vocabulary. My feeling is that in recent years there have been so many books and movies out by British authors, such as J K Rowling with the Harry Potter series, not to mention the Lord of the Rings movies, that young Americans have become quite enamored of all things British. Americans have lways had a streak of Anglophilia in their makeup and popular literature and media have reinforced that. The NYT examines this interesting mini-phenomenon and lists several Britishisms in current vogue, such as  "cheers,"  "brilliant," and "loo." To many ears, it may sound a bit out of place or odd, but really the distance between England and the US gets smaller all the time. Going across the pond today can often be cheap and easy!  Ben Yagoda has done a nice job of compiling some common and fun Britishisms on his blog. Try a few out and see whether it makes you feel super dashing or just supercilious :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Best Educated Big Cities in the US

City Human Capital Index for the 30 largest cities in the US
City Human Capital Index for the 30 largest cities in the US
It's no surprise that greater education correlates positively with greater income, but this has recently been corroborated in a study by UCLA economist William Yu. Yu has created a “city human capital index” or CHCI which measures educational levels of various Census designated geographic areas. Of the 30 major cities in the US, Washington, DC comes out on top as the highest educated city. Boston is second, and surprisingly New York is in the middle of the range. Unfortunately, the study also relates that the South suffers from a dearth of education with very few southern cities making the top 30. The full study will be released in a few days, but the WP and InTheCapital have explored some of the details in advance.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Why Handwriting Matters

The Power of Words by Antonio Litterio Wikimedia Commons
The Power of Words by Antonio Litterio
Wikimedia Commons
The Guardian has published a very interesting extract from Philip Hensher's book The Missing Ink: The Lost Art of Handwriting, and Why it Still Matters, in which he talks about the importance of preserving the art of handwriting. He believes that handwriting is good for us, since it tells the world about us and contains so much of ourselves in it. The very act of handwriting brings out our personality and provides a kind of record that differs from digital writing, especially after one leaves the world. I know I cherish handwritten notes I've received from those I love and I like to believe they cherish mine as well. We are losing this art and skill very rapidly; so many children are not encouraged to learn penmanship anymore and cannot create ideas by putting pen to paper. It's all likely a losing battle since people have no patience for handwriting which requires long consideration, unlike the rapid tapping on smartphones which hardly requires thought at all. Ok, let's get out the pens for a change and write a letter to a friend!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Eat, Read, and Tweet

green peas photo by Dunemaire, Wikimedia Commons
War and Peas?
photo by Dunemaire, Wikimedia Commons
The WP just featured a trending Twitter feed, #literaryrestaurants, where foodies and bookworms can contribute their best puns, er, food/book mashups combining food and book titles. Some of these are very clever and funny, such as "Ketchup in the Rye," "The Crepes of Wrath" among many others. This got me thinking about other interesting Twitter feeds, so rather than featuring individual ones, I discovered that compiles an annual compendium of the 140 best Twitter feeds. (Note their homage to the 140 character limit of Tweets by limiting their list to 140 feeds!)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sound Tracks - Music Without Borders

Sound Tracks - Music Without Borders
from their Facebook page
Caught a great new program last Friday on PBS which explores and showcases world music with in-depth interviews of unfamiliar musical artists. The show actually aired a pilot in 2010, but has just now broadcast a new episode. A full series is currently in development and will be broadcast is 2013. The program has an interesting magazine-type format with interviews and samples of music by the subjects. Friday's program featured artists as diverse as Jazz great Wynton Marsalis, Scottish folk singer Julie Fowlis, Senegal's Youssou N'Dour, and Icelandic indie band Of Monsters and Men. We learn about their backgrounds, influences, and what makes their music compelling and intriguing. The show takes its theme music from Of Monsters and Men's "Little Talks" which can be viewed at Youtube below.
Very catchy tune and inventive video!


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

The Albuquerque, New Mexico International Balloon fiesta. (October 2007)
photo by Danae Hurst from Albuquerque, United States (Wikimedia Commons)
The annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta launched today in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world; it's also claimed to be the most photographed event in the world. Balloon festivals tend to take place during the Autumn months and October in Albuquerque provides the ideal climatic conditions for hot air ballooning. Many other hot air balloon festivals are held world-wide, but Albuquerque's is particularly interesting because of certain traditions that have been maintained since its inaugural launching in 1972, namely the Roadrunner/Coyote race. For other interesting trivia regarding the Albuquerque Intl Balloon Fiesta, try your hand at the It's the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Quiz. Even having grown up in Albuquerque and witnessing the very first balloon fiesta in 1972, I still didn't know many of the answers!
2011 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Friday, October 5, 2012

Stunning Astronomy Picture of the Day

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day Aurora and Fireball Over Norway
NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day - October 5, 2012 Aurora and Fireball Over Norway
Image Credit & Copyright: Ole C. Salomonsen (Arctic Light Photo)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

National Squirrel Awareness Month

Eastern Grey Squirrel melanistic form
Eastern Grey Squirrel, melanistic form
William Sutherland, Wikimedia Commons
It's a little hard not to be aware of these critters this time of year since they're all scurrying around storing food for the winter. They can be pesky at times, but  always full of charm. Sarah Jessica Parker noted,"A squirrel is just a rat with a cuter outfit!" Ralph Waldo Emerson, however, had a more poetic observation,"A squirrel leaping from bough to bough and making the Wood but one wide tree for his pleasure, fills the eye not less than a lion, --is beautiful, self-sufficing, and stands then and there for nature."
Today, October 4, is also the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi; it is fitting that his reflections on nature also included the squirrel: "I once spoke to my friend, an old squirrel, about the sacraments - he got so excited and ran into a hollow in his tree and came back holding some acorns, an owl feather and a ribbon he found. And I just smiled and said, ''Yes, dear, you understand everything imparts His grace.'"

Eastern Grey Squirrel standard form
Eastern Grey Squirrel, standard form
photo by Diliff, Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Something Worth Listening To

Magnificent piece of music by an artist named Armen Hambar; the music, called Victorious, was used to great effect in the Discovery Channel's Sunrise Earth promo below. It was also used in the trailer to the movie The Alamo (2004). Anyone who has never seen Sunrise Earth can watch full episodes on Youtube; very meditative!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A New Kind of Phobia?

dried lotus flower seed pod
dried lotus flower seed pod
by neurovelho (Wikimedia Commons)
Trypophobia - if you look it up, there's not much out there about it, but many people seem to be aware of it, at least those who suffer from it. A fear of holes? The WP explores this topic in depth (wow, everything sounds like a pun when discussing this!) and reveals that modern psychiatry hasn't officially classified it as a disorder. After reading the article, I can actually understand why some people might be so affected by the sight of holes - it can look disturbing when you see a bunch of them arrayed so as to appear disease-ridden. Each of us finds different things disgusting or disturbing based on some past unhappy experience and I suppose holes could remind some people of something not quite right or downright wrong. Researchers are now exploring whether there might be some evolutionary reason for this fear in some people. Hole-like patterns are often found on the skins of poisonous creatures so a fearful reaction to this could be responsible for the phobia. Wikipedia has refused to include Trypophobia in its list of phobias because the editors do not feel there's enough research to support it. They have an entry for Trypanophobia which is a fear of needles, which would appear to be the diametric opposite of Trypophobia, so why not just at least have entry for it in case people wonder about it? Ok, after reading and writing about phobias now, I feel a need for an anxiety-reducing antidote!

Monday, October 1, 2012

October Chill

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Halyomorpha halys
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (Halyomorpha halys)
photo by theLibraryLander
October dawns with the invasion of the Stink Bugs, all crowding around windows, door frames, any structural cracks that emanate warmth. After a few weeks when we have a hard freeze, they'll go dormant but many will set up residence in our homes. Time to get out the caulking guns and wage battle against these malodorous marmorated stinkers! Can't squash 'em or you'll pay. About the only thing to do is seal the house and use the vacuum hose to capture them. Or you can make a stink bug catcher with a plastic soda bottle - here's how to make one. Good riddance!