Saturday, August 24, 2013

Summer Tips. Justin Bieber’s Mally. Coal Tar-sealed Asphalt. Forget What You Think You Know About Curb Appeal. Vesuvius. Huguenot’s Massacre. Mexican Independence.


For “Summary Saturday”:  News, Some New, Some Old, some that you may not have seen:-

10 Life Hacks You Need To Know For Summer!


Justin Bieber’s Mally, Monkeys Are Not Pets!

Monkey as Pet“Recently pop star Justin Bieber was in the news because one of his friends gifted him with a baby Capuchin monkey. Sadly, German authorities confiscated the monkey because Bieber didn’t have the proper paperwork to import “Mally” into the country while he was performing there.

Since Bieber didn’t produce the required documents by the deadline, little Mally became the property of the German government, despite efforts by a primate sanctuary in Florida to bring him back to the states to live with other captive Capuchins.

After several weeks of quarantine, Mally has been transferred to a zoo in northern Germany where she will live out her life on “Mally-bu” island. This unfortunate outcome is all too common for primates kept as pets.”  More at:

Now:  Germany tells Justin Bieber to pay up for his former pet monkey, Mally

“The authorities have posted a public notice urging Justin Bieber to contact them about an unpaid bill for his former pet monkey, Mally.

images[5] The Canadian pop singer failed to produce the necessary vaccination and import papers for the capuchin monkey when he arrived for a European tour in March. Mally became the property of the government in May when Bieber failed to claim his pet. It has been rehomed in a zoo in Lower Saxony.

Franz Boehmer of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation says Bieber has a week to pay €1,130 (£980) for Mally's care – or customs officials "have ways of making him pay" next time he enters Germany.”  From:


Coal-Tar Sealants In Asphalt Driveways Could Raise Cancer Risk

“Could your driveway be dangerous to your health?

Mounting evidence shows that coal tar sealant -- used to maintain pavement on asphalt, including the asphalt in some driveways -- contains human carcinogens.

One recent study, published earlier this year in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, suggested that people who live near coal tar-sealed asphalt may have a higher risk of cancer, due to exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

images[7] NBC News explained that people can be exposed to the PAHs when the coal tar sealant breaks down over time, becoming a dust that is either inhaled or enters waterways.

Now, two states and multiple communities in other states have banned this particular kind of sealant, and major home improvement stores -- including Home Depot and Lowe's -- don't sell the product.”  More and video at:


USGS - science for a changing world

You’re Standing on It! Health Risks of Coal-Tar Pavement Sealcoat

“The pavement of many parking lots is coated with coal-tar-based sealcoat, which is marketed to increase the longevity of the underlying asphalt and improve appearance. Car tires grind the dried sealcoat to a fine powder that is a potent source of polycyclic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The sealcoat particles wash down storm drains, are blown onto adjacent soil and pavement, and are tracked into homes on the soles of shoes.

For someone who spends their entire lifetime living adjacent to coal-tar-seal-coated pavement, the average excess lifetime cancer risk is estimated to be 38 times higher than the urban background exposure.  More than one-half of the risk occurs during the first 18 years of life, and most of it (84 percent) is from ingestion of soil.  The estimated lifetime cancer risk also is elevated for someone who spends just the first 6 years of their life living adjacent to coal-tar-sealed pavement—about 25 times higher than urban background exposure."  More at:


Forget what you think you know about curb appeal

“Native plant expert knocks down 8 urban myths about what your front yard should look like.

native plant landscaping

This is how a yard would look with native plants and reduced lawn. (Photo: Doug Tallamy)

Doug Tallamy, the passionate voice and inspirational conscience of the native plant movement, is on a mission. He’s asking America’s homeowners to buy into a new definition of curb appeal.

When Tallamy, a professor of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware, thinks about curb appeal, he envisions residential yards in which lawns are reduced by 50 percent, groups of diverse native trees, shrubs and flowers line each side of the lawn, and the small grassy areas guide the eyes of passersby through the landscape to a focal point on the house, such as a door.

He knows this definition won’t be an easy sell.

“Curb appeal is a concept introduced by real estate agents,” Tallamy told the 30th annual Cullowhee Native Plant Conference in Cullowhee, N.C., in July. “In the real estate view, curb appeal seems to be a full view of the front of the house, which by default is an open lawn.

chickadee, native plant landscaping

Chickadees will keep caterpillar populations in check among plants that are native species. (Photo: Gerald A. DeBoer/Shutterstock)

The problem with yards that are mostly grass is that they are “dead landscapes” that lack plants, specifically plants native to a homeowner’s region of the country, that support the web of plant, insect and animal life, Tallamy contends.

Urban legend No. 1: Native plants are messy

This, perhaps, is the misconception that has gained the greatest traction.

“Some people think that to share our landscapes with other species we have to stop mowing our lawns, or give up landscaping altogether,” Tallamy said. “But native landscaping is not the absence of landscaping. Barren lawn is the absence of landscaping.”

Myth 8: Native plants are too expensive

It is actually great expanses of lawns that are expensive to maintain and start. They require large amounts of fertilizer; they must be mowed regularly in warm months; and some grasses such as fescue, a pasture grass with a normal height of 2 feet that is mowed to a height of 2 to 4 inches, require annual reseeding in the fall. Lawns are also susceptible to fungal diseases and damage from insects that don’t attract predators. Because trees have been removed and replaced with grass, lawns also act as heat sumps, absorbing large amounts of heat in the summer and increasing air conditioning costs.”

WAIT! THERE'S MORE: We've got more myths to dispel  

at:  By Tom Oder


On This Day:

Vesuvius erupts, Aug 24, 79:

“After centuries of dormancy, Mount Vesuvius erupts in southern Italy, devastating the prosperous Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and killing thousands.

Within the next 25 hours, it wipes out entire towns. Hundreds of years later, archaeologists excavated Pompeii and found everything and everyone that had been there that day perfectly preserved by the volcano's ash.

When rain mixed with the ash, it formed a sort of concrete, preserving the city. The town of Herculaneum was also buried on August 25, but by a mudslide set off by the eruption and accompanying tremors. It is estimated that 13,000 people in total died from the eruption.

It was not until 1595, during the construction of an aqueduct, that Pompeii was rediscovered. Unfortunately, what can be viewed today is only a small fraction of what was found then, as looting and pillaging over the years has greatly reduced the archaeological value of the site. Some scientists believe that there may still be other villages buried by Vesuvius that have yet to be discovered.

Today, Mount Vesuvius is the only active volcano on the European mainland. Its last eruption was in 1944 and its last major eruption was in 1631. Another eruption is expected in the near future, would could be devastating for the 700,000 people who live in the "death zones" around Vesuvius.”


Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre, Aug 24, 1572:

“King Charles IX of France, under the sway of his mother, Catherine de Medici, orders the assassination of Huguenot Protestant leaders in Paris, setting off an orgy of killing that results in the massacre of tens of thousands of Huguenots all across France.

Two days earlier, Catherine had ordered the murder of Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, a Huguenot leader whom she felt was leading her son into war with Spain. However, Coligny was only wounded, and Charles promised to investigate the assassination in order to placate the angry Huguenots. Catherine then convinced the young king that the Huguenots were on the brink of rebellion, and he authorized the murder of their leaders by the Catholic authorities. Most of these Huguenots were in Paris at the time, celebrating the marriage of their leader, Henry of Navarre, to the king's sister, Margaret.

A list of those to be killed was drawn up, headed by Coligny, who was brutally beaten and thrown out of his bedroom window just before dawn on August 24. Once the killing started, mobs of Catholic Parisians, apparently overcome with bloodlust, began a general massacre of Huguenots. Charles issued a royal order on August 25 to halt the killing, but his pleas went unheeded as the massacres spread. Mass slaughters continued into October, reaching the provinces of Rouen, Lyon, Bourges, Bordeaux, and Orleans. An estimated 3,000 French Protestants were killed in Paris, and as many as 70,000 in all of France. The massacre of Saint Bartholomew's Day marked the resumption of religious civil war in France.”


Spain accepts Mexican independence, Aug 24, 1821:

“Eleven years after the outbreak of the Mexican War of Independence, Spanish Viceroy Juan de O'Donojú signs the Treaty of Córdoba, which approves a plan to make Mexico an independent constitutional monarchy.

In early 1821, Agustín de Iturbide, the leader of the Royalist forces, negotiated the Plan of Iguala with Vicente Guerrero. Under the plan, Mexico would be established as an independent constitutional monarchy, the privileged position of the Catholic Church would be maintained, and Mexicans of Spanish descent would be regarded as equals to pure Spaniards. Mexicans of mixed or pure Indian blood would have lesser rights.

Iturbide defeated the Royalist forces still opposed to independence, and the new Spanish viceroy, lacking money, provisions, and troops, was forced to accept Mexican independence. On August 24, 1821, O'Donojú signed the Treaty of Córdoba, thus ending New Spain's dependence on Old Spain.

In 1822, as no Bourbon monarch to rule Mexico had been found, Iturbide was proclaimed the emperor of Mexico. However, his empire was short-lived, and in 1823 republican leaders Santa Anna and Guadalupe Victoria deposed Iturbide and set up a republic with Guadalupe Victoria as its first president.”



Misty and I went to get Jay in the van, as the Puddle Jumper was just on the high side of “Walk”.  After we picked up Jay, we went to the store around the corner and filled up the gas cans and put the gas in the Puddle Jumper when we got back here. 

Misty liked going somewhere new for a change.  She is very alert and interested in everything that goes on.  My SPCA boss and the vet are very surprised that she is in such good condition with her inoperable cancer.  Her largest breast tumor has got bigger, but not as big as they thought it would be after 3-1/2 years.  When I got her they didn’t think she would live a year!

Screen-porch-roof Jay and I installed some of the metal r-panel roofing on the screen porch.   I cancelled the fiberglass r-panel from Muellers, as I don’t want anything yellowy on my white house. 

Over the patio door, we used the clear and opaque polycarbonate roofing that I already had, for now.  It’s not the r-panel configuration, but it let’s a lot of light into my living room, and that is what it needs.  

I don’t know why Muellers stopped selling the opaque polycarbonate roofing, I have had some on the guest house for about three years, and it doesn’t leak.  I am still hoping that I can get some opaque r-panel from the other dealer, and then we will replace the section that we put up there yesterday.

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