Saturday, August 3, 2013

Pet Food Recall. Super-toxic Poisons. Non-Toxic Pest Control. Escape a Car Underwater. Bug Bites. Acid Reflux Caused by too Little Acid. Pesticides Toll on Farmworkers. Columbus. NBA. Nautilus Under North Pole.


For “Summary Saturday”, News, some new, some old:

There’s not much in the news that you haven’t already seen, but maybe not these articles?

Massive nationwide cat and dog food recall after tests find salmonella

“Many pet owners are just learning about a large pet food recall first issued by the government in June.

Natura pet foodsNatura Pet Products issued the recall after the FDA found salmonella in one of their products.  They are recalling pet food from all of their product lines, including food for dogs, cats and ferrets.

If you have any Natura Pet Food products, throw them out immediately.

To get a full refund, you need to cut the UPC label, expiration date, and product code from the pet food bag and mail it to the company. 

The specific brand names affected by the recall include Innova, California Natural, EVO, Healthwise, Mother Nature, and Karma branded dry pet food and biscuit/bar/treat products. All have expiration dates prior to June 10, 2014.

A complete list of recalled items, including lot numbers and UPCs may be found at this page on the FDA website.”


Cities, Conservationists, and Health Organizations Come Together to Curtail Use of Rodent-Killing Poisons That Threaten Children, Pets, and Wildlife

Groups Offer Safer Alternatives to Super-toxic Poisons Allowed by State

Great-horned Owl by Greg Homel

Great Horned Owl by Greg Homel

“From 1993 until 2008, the American Association of Poison Control Centers received between 12,000 and 15,000 reports of children under six years old being exposed to rat and mouse poison each year. The EPA notes that children in low-income families are disproportionately exposed to rat poisons and has highlighted thousands of recorded incidents of pets being poisoned by rodenticides, many resulting in serious injury or death.

These dangerous poisons are continuing to poison children and kill pets, as well as endangered animals like San Joaquin kit foxes and Northern Spotted Owls,” said Jonathan Evans, Toxics and Endangered Species Campaign Director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It’s time to rely on safe alternatives that are already on the shelf today.””  More at:


8 Non-Toxic Ways to Deal With Pests

“Household pests are necessary to ecosystems and an essential part of food chain, but they eventually get inside and, well, pester us. Nobody wants to kill them, but they can cause damage to homes, foundations, food and clothing.

xspray-bottle.jpg.pagespeed.ic.sXErSc_u0O[1] There are plenty of store-bought solutions you can explore, some of which work, but many rely on harsh chemicals that will harm the pests, but also likely harm your family and pets, as well. So, instead of resorting to chemical sprays and aerosols, give some of these DIY non-toxic pest deterrents a try.”

For Fruit Flies, Cockroaches, Mosquitoes, Earwigs, Mice, Flies, Ants, and General Purpose Pest Deterrent.   More at:


Escape a Car Underwater

“Ever seen a story where a reporter locks themselves a car then drives that car into a lake to show you how to get out alive? I am now one of those reporters.

Jessi and Patrick brave frigid waters to learn how to escape a car when it takes the plunge!”


Natural Ways to Prevent and Treat Bug Bites

Girl“Rather than reaching for manufactured insect repellents that use powerful chemicals to keep bugs at bay, try these tips to naturally prevent bug bites.

Rosemary, basil, catnip, lemon balm and rose geraniums are a few of the plants you can grow that have insect-repelling qualities. Lemon balm and catnip are especially good for warding off mosquitoes: Researchers at Iowa State University found the essential oil in catnip to be about 10 times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET, the widely used synthetic repellent. Simply crush the leaves of any of these plants to release their scents and rub them on your exposed skin.

Make your own catch-all insect repellent from a concoction of essential oils:

2 ? teaspoons total of any of the following essential oils: basil, cedarwood, citronella, juniper, lemon, myrrh, pine, rose geranium or rosemary (available at health food stores)

1 cup 190-proof grain alcohol (available at liquor stores)

Place ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously. Transfer to a small bottle for storage. To use, rub a small amount on exposed skin, though test first to make sure skin doesn't react negatively.

Don't like measuring and mixing? Buy an herbal insect repellent here.”  More at:


How to Prevent and Treat Insect Bites Without Harsh Chemicals

Insect Bites“Summertime calls most of us to spend time outdoors. Alas, bugs can be a real buzz-kill at best, and carriers of disease at worst. Additionally, most commercial insect repellants contain a chemical known as DEET, which should be used with caution, if at all. Many studies have found DEET to have harmful effects.

Fortunately, there are plenty of tricks to keeping biting bugs at bay, and they don't involve applying toxic chemicals to your skin. There are also many natural remedies that can help take the sting out of your bites, should preventive methods fail.

Preventive measures to avoid getting bit by insects such as mosquitoes include: avoiding the outdoors at dawn and dusk—especially when sweaty—draining stagnant water sources, planting marigolds around your yard, installing bat boxes.

The following can be used to repel bugs: Vick's Vaporub®; cinnamon leaf oil; clear liquid vanilla extract mixed with olive oil; citronella soap and 100% pure citronella essential oil; catnip oil.

Herbs and other natural agents can help soothe itchy bites, such as: aloe vera, calendula, cinnamon, chamomile, lavender, Neem oil, tea tree oil, basil, peppermint, lemon and lime, and baking soda mixed with witch hazel.

Using either ice or heat are other options that can help ease the discomfort associated with bug bites. Research has shown that locally administrated heat leads to fast amelioration of symptoms such as swelling, pruritus, and pain.”  Complete article at:


From me:  Whew!  By the time you have bought and mixed up all the oils and potions mentioned in these two articles, you wouldn’t have time to go outside and get bitten!


Is Heartburn Really Due to Too Much Acid?

“One of the most common complaints people tell me about in the office is heartburn or GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease). It is so common that heartburn drugs are always at the top of the list of prescribed drugs, and tops on the list of over the counter medication.

But, is it really due to a lack of hydrochloric acid (HCl) in the stomach?

I have explained this situation so many times in the office I have lost count. And every time I get done, the patient looks at me in disgust. NOT at me, but at the pharmaceutical companies and medical profession (Note: I am not against medical doctors, but in many cases what they are promoting just doesn’t make an ounce of sense).

You see, the VAST MAJORITY of heartburn is NOT caused by too much acid production by the stomach, and I am about to explain why…..”  More at:


Acid Reflux Caused by too Little Acid

“Pharmaceutical drugs prescribed to reduce the amount of stomach acid have been found to cause a heavy decrease in magnesium levels. These drugs, known as proton pump inhibitors, are supposed to reduce the amount of stomach acid in your body in order to treat conditions like acid reflux or ulcers. Unfortunately, along with reducing stomach acid they also reduce magnesium levels to a dangerous low, causing big pharma to actually recommend going off of the drug if magnesium supplementation does not solve the problem.

The most common drugs prescribed for gastroesophageal reflux disease are Nexium, Protonix, and Prevacid, to name a few. The majority of the cases of low magnesium caused by these drugs and other similar drugs occurred after 1 year of use. For some cases, however, magnesium levels plummeted only after 3 months. If someone has low magnesium levels, that person is likely to experience muscle spasms, seizures, and irregular heartbeat. Is it worth taking the drug? Probably not, but that isn’t the only reason why…….”  More at:


Farmworkers Plea for Help 

“More than a dozen farmworkers and their supporters left the fields this week to plant a vital message in the halls of Congress—they and a million-plus men, women and children like them need stronger protections against hazardous pesticides.  “I don't care if I lose my job; I'm not going to die here like a roach. I am a human being, not an insect.””

Pesticides Taking Toll on Farmworkers

“If the apples in your local store are bug-free because of pesticides, then you might ask who the pesticides hurt before the apples left the farm. That’s because many pesticides are toxic enough to seriously harm the humans who work in the orchards.

A growing number of Americans recognize the hazards of toxic chemicals and as a result have reduced their consumption of produce grown with pesticides to protect their family’s health. But while U.S. consumers are finding ways to protect themselves, far too little is being done to protect farm workers, who are on the frontlines of exposure to high levels of toxic pesticides.”  More at:  and:



“While on Facebook, look at your URL address; if you see http: instead of https: then you DON'T have a secure session and you can be hacked. Go to Account|Account Settings|Account Security and click Change. Check at least the first setting, FB defaults to the non-secure setting. Re-Post for your Friends!”


On This Day:

Columbus sets sail, Aug 3, 1492:

“From the Spanish port of Palos, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus sets sail in command of three ships—the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Nina—on a journey to find a western sea route to China, India, and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia.

On October 12, the expedition sighted land, probably Watling Island in the Bahamas, and went ashore the same day, claiming it for Spain. Later that month, Columbus sighted Cuba, which he thought was mainland China, and in December the expedition landed on Hispaniola, which Columbus thought might be Japan. He established a small colony there with 39 of his men. The explorer returned to Spain with gold, spices, and "Indian" captives in March 1493 and was received with the highest honors by the Spanish court. He was the first European to explore the Americas since the Vikings set up colonies in Greenland and Newfoundland in the 10th century.

During his lifetime, Columbus led a total of four expeditions to the New World, discovering various Caribbean islands, the Gulf of Mexico, and the South and Central American mainland, but never accomplished his original goal—a western ocean route to the great cities of Asia. Columbus died in Spain in 1506 without realizing the great scope of what he did achieve: He had discovered for Europe the New World, whose riches over the next century would help make Spain the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth.”


NBA is born, Aug 3, 1949:

“On this day in 1949, after a damaging three-year battle to win both players and fans, the rival Basketball Association of America (BAA) and National Basketball League (NBL) merge to form the National Basketball Association (NBA).

The new NBA was made up of 17 teams that represented both small towns and large cities across the country. Through the 1950s, though, the number of teams dwindled, along with fan support, and by the 1954-55 season, only eight teams remained. That year, the league transformed the game with the creation of the 24-second clock, making play faster-paced and more fun to watch. Fans returned, and the league, now financially solvent, expanded throughout the 1960s and 70s. Today, the NBA has 30 franchises and attracts players—and millions of fans—from countries around the world.”


Nautilus travels under North Pole, Aug 3, 1958:

“On August 3, 1958, the U.S. nuclear submarine Nautilus accomplishes the first undersea voyage to the geographic North Pole. The world's first nuclear submarine, the Nautilus dived at Point Barrow, Alaska, and traveled nearly 1,000 miles under the Arctic ice cap to reach the top of the world. It then steamed on to Iceland, pioneering a new and shorter route from the Pacific to the Atlantic and Europe.

The submarine traveled at a depth of about 500 feet, and the ice cap above varied in thickness from 10 to 50 feet, with the midnight sun of the Arctic shining in varying degrees through the blue ice.

After a career spanning 25 years and almost 500,000 miles steamed, the Nautilus was decommissioned on March 3, 1980. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1982, the world's first nuclear submarine went on exhibit in 1986 as the Historic Ship Nautilus at the Submarine Force Museum in Groton, Connecticut.”



Ray and I removed the bakers racks that the potted aloe plants had been on, off the screen porch, too.  Just putting them to one side hadn’t left enough space to get the 8’ step ladder in there.  We took down my pretty flower lights that were strung around the porch, then removed the vinyl and screen from the long air vent that was under the house eaves. That let a load of dirt and pine needles down on the porch, so I was sweeping that up.

There was enough space that Ray could remove the polycarbonate roofing that Jay had screwed up there, in both meanings of the word, from the ladder inside the porch.  Safer than getting up on the roof.  I was handing him tools, taking the screws from him, and sorting them out. Bare-screen-porch

Now the porch has no roof at all until the contractors come back next week. As everything has been taken off the porch, it doesn't matter if it rains in there now.

While Jay is working that other job and making more money, his mother says that he is just getting drunker than ever.  It doesn’t matter how much he earns, it all just goes down the toilet! 

Added-lumber-to-be-removed.1We still have to remove the boards that Jay had screwed onto the shingle roof and on top of the original porch roof framework.  We’ll have to patch any screw holes in the shingles, too.  Now it will be tied in under the eaves, like it used to be, to plane with the new front porch extension.

Ray and Shay were going shopping, so we had to quit for the day.

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