Daily Archives: April 26, 2012

DC Freethought Community Asks For Your Help

On behalf of Yamileth Coreas-Leiva. Melody Hensley has organized a request for donations to help Yamileth out:

On Tuesday, April 24, 2012, a dear member of the freethought community and the Center for Inquiry-DC, Yamileth Coreas-Leiva, lost three family members in a carbon monoxide poisoning. Please consider donating what you can to help Yamileth with the cost of her family’s funerals and other expenses she may incur. Yamileth is the single mother of one and the financial cost will be great.

Click here to pitch in.

The local news report:

A supermarket bakery employee, her husband and three others were found dead inside a suburban Washington home Tuesday of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, rattling a close-knit community of immigrant churchgoers who wept, hugged and comforted each other outside.
Fire officials blamed the deaths on a broken exhaust pipe that pumped carbon monoxide back into the home.
Two of the dead were discovered by a relative who went to the home Tuesday morning, concerned for his family’s welfare. The other three were found soon after by firefighters who measured levels of carbon monoxide so high as to lead to death within mere hours, said Mark Brady, a spokesman for the Prince George’s County fire department. A dog also was removed from the home on oxygen support.

How to live trap mice and squirrels

Before reading any further, you need to know that the transport and release of trapped animals, such as mice or squirrels, is regulated and may be illegal in your community.

Having said that, there are times when people want to live trap a mouse or squirrel, and this is one of the two times of year when people’s interest in doing so seems to increase, based on google search terms that bring people to my site.

The short version for mice: Mice are granivores, so a wheat germ is to a mouse what bacon is to a human. Yumm. People often think peanut butter is great mouse bait, and it can be, but really, they are going for the grains. So, get some wheat germ and mush it up with some peanut butter for bait.

Then click here to get recommendations as to which traps will work. Also, I’ve heard good things about this “repeater” mouse trap.

For squirrels, go here and heed that advice.

No matter what you do, there are people who will get mad at you so I would keep this to yourself.

I have only one more piece of advice to add to what is in the above noted links. It is worth knowing what species of “mouse” you are having a problem with. House mice are a commensal species in North America that pretty much only lives with humans. If you have a serious infestation of these, you may need a cat or something. Voles are very common “field mice” and are native to many parts of North America (sometimes they are called lemmings … the names are not scientific terms so there is little sense in arguing over them), and would probably not mean a long term infestation but only the occasional invasion. Deer mice are wild field mice that are larger than voles, usually browner, and more differentiated in color from top to bottom often with a stripe along the side and a lighter belly. Depending on your house and where you live you may see very few of these most years, then the occasional boom cycle with a zillion of them everywhere. The best way to deal with the boom cycle is to wait a year!

You may have your own local folklore about these different species, and that folkore may be more or less useful. My point here, really, is just that it is not true that “mice are mice.” There are multiple different kinds and they are biologically different.

Happy trapping!

Aha! And you thought I was JOKING! (Gop-Spin)

I asked you to parody the GOP response to President Obama’s “Slow Jam” of the news, as part of the GOP-Spin game here on The X Blog. And you laughed! I know, I didn’t see or year you laugh, but I know you were laughing!

Well, it turns out that the GOP was rather put off by the thing, according to Media Matters, and brought to my attention by Steve Benen at the Maddowblog.

Fox News has responded to President Obama’s appearance on NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon by suggesting that Obama is somehow denigrating the office of the presidency. For instance, today on Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson said that it’s “nutso” for Obama to go on “these comedy shows” because it “lowers the status of the office.”

So, George Bush on Deal or No Deal and Richard Nixon on Laugh-In were OK, but Obama on Jimmy Fallon was wrong.

Can someone please ‘splain this to me????