Daily Archives: September 14, 2011

How to live trap a mouse

Over the next few weeks, in the Northern Hemisphere, the mice will start moving in to your house.

There are many strategies to manage this, and there are many factors in play (including exactly what sort of “mouse” is moving into your house). But many individuals will want to live trap the critters. If you do, please don’t move them to a distant location. It is a bad idea to do that with any animals.

Regardless of what you plan to do with the little furries once you’ve got them alive, you need to capture them first. Thus, the following timely repost:

Continue reading How to live trap a mouse

Hudson River Fish Evolve To Handle PCBs

There is now a fish that has evolved immunity to PCB’s. PCB is a substance designed to use as an insulator in high-heat electrical equipment (like the transformers used in the electrical grid, or household radios and such). It is very bad for the environment, was taken out of use years ago, but the thing is, because it was designed to stand up to very tough conditions, it does not break down naturally. I grew up not far from where most of them seem to have been made, and was actually involved in some of the cleanup.

So, today, it is interesting to read about this fish:

Bottom-feeding fish in the Hudson River have developed a gene that renders them immune to the toxic effects of PCBs, researchers say.

A genetic variant allows the fish to live in waters notoriously polluted by the now-banned industrial chemicals, and distinguishes the fish–Atlantic tomcod (Microgadus tomcod)–as one of the world’s fastest evolving populations.

“This is very, very ra­­­­­­­­­­­­pid evolutionary change,” said Isaac Wirgin, an environmental toxicologist at New York University’s School of Medicine, and the study’s lead investigator. “Normally you think of evolution occurring in thousands to millions of years. You’re talking about all this occurring in 20 to 50 generations maybe.”

Read the rest HERE.

… and compare it to this, which did not end well.

Misha Glenny: Hire the hackers!

Despite multibillion-dollar investments in cybersecurity, one of its root problems has been largely ignored: who are the people who write malicious code? Underworld investigator Misha Glenny profiles several convicted coders from around the world and reaches a startling conclusion.

Is he using the word “hackers” correctly? And, for those who do write malicious code like that stuff that ruins your computer, isn’t firm punishment or waterboarding or something more appropriate than giving them a reward?
Continue reading Misha Glenny: Hire the hackers!

Bipartisan Group of Senators to Form Oceans Caucus

With our oceans and coastal ecosystems, and the economies and jobs they support, facing constant and increasingly grave threats from a variety of sources, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators will meet next week to form a new Senate Oceans Caucus. The Caucus will work to increase awareness and find common ground in responding to issues facing the oceans, which support millions of jobs in America and contribute more to the country’s GDP than the entire farm sector, grossing more than $230 billion in 2004.

Founding members will meet next Tuesday for the caucus’s first meeting, during which chairmen will be selected and a founding charter will be approved. Following the meeting, the Senators will hold a press conference to announce the formation of the caucus and discuss their vision and priorities. They’ll be joined at the press conference by representatives from ocean and coastal organizations supporting their efforts, including the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the Ocean Conservancy, the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA), the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), and Ocean Champions.

Details here.

Things that amuse me and annoy me this morning

It turns out that Astrology is not for real. Who would have thought? There is discussion going on here.

Rachel Maddow points out that John Boehner tweeting a survey complaining about how most Americans are unhappy with the economy and think the country is on the wrong track, but did not tweet anything about te survey that says that “Americans prefer President Obama’s approach to the economy over Republicans. They like the American Jobs Act by 43-35, and when you break it down into parts … they like it even more…” Very interesting. More here.

Here’s Ed Brayton trying to cover up a conspiracy to hide nothing: Republicans Freak Out Over Non-Existent Gaffe

And then there’s this:

When a chaplain runs a Christian concert as a chapel event, that’s free exercise of religion. But, when a commanding general runs a Christian concert called the “Commanding General’s Spiritual Fitness Concert,” and soldiers are punished for not attending this religious event, that’s a violation of the Establishment Clause.

But they fixed it.