Thursday, April 16, 2009

Coffee and Provocation

Pop Goes the Weasel:
Terrier work is humane, but slow, and will not work when controlling smaller rodents such as ground squirrels, gophers, and prairie dogs. In the past, control of these animals has been achieved with poison, but now there is a new tool for organic farmers and commercial farms to use -- the "Rodenator." See the video -- you will be amazed, and perhaps a little frightened

Family Planning and Economic Recovery:
Elizabeth Warren, the chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel created to oversee the TARP bailout said, back in 2003, that a lot of the economic mess people find themselves in could be traced back to simply having children. As Time magazine summarized her thesis: "To buy into the right locale, couples must take on far more debt than their parents did to provide the same standard of living -- and even more debt to send the kids to college. The only way to cover that debt is for both parents to work, and still they are stretched too thin. It is this phenomenon ... that has made having a child 'the single best predictor' of financial ruin. Married couples with children are more than twice as likely to file for bankruptcy as childless couples; they are 75% more likely to be late paying bills and also more likely to face foreclosure on their homes." Irony alert: the book that this quote comes from was co-written by Warren and her daughter!

AKC Thinking:
Gina Spadafori has a nice piece which describes how it probably really went down over at the AKC when they decided to take mutt money. She even provides dialogue!

Got Chickens?
Do you have chickens, but would still like to sleep in on occasion, or even go out to the movies at night? Here's the solution: a simple Do-It-Yourself Remote-Control Chicken House Door Opener, complete with instructions. And yes, it can be put on a timer. For a video of the thing at work, see here.

Wolves on the Prowl:
Male wolves, coyotes and fox are not allowed to hang out in their natal territories into maturity, but instead are driven out to find a harem of their own -- one way Mother Nature avoids inbreeding depression. Female wolves will also voluntarily strike out on their own in order to end the oppression of forever being a pack Beta or Omega. Yes, that's right -- the "lone wolf" is not a myth! The word out of Colorado is that one of the Yellowstone's wolves traveled over 1,000 miles to get to that state before dying from unrevealed causes. A sad ending, but an epic bit of travel. This is, in fact, the second female Yellowstone wolf that has made a 1,000-mile walk to Colorado. The previous wolf was hit by a car near Idaho Springs in 2004.

How to Make a Smarter Kid:
Want to raise the IQ of your spawn? Professor Richard Nisbett, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, has just put out a new book entitled Intelligence and How to Get It, in which he details the three fundamental to raising above-average children: 1) Praise effort more than achievement, 2) Teach delayed gratification, and; 3) Limit reprimands and use praise to stimulate curiosity.

It's Hard to Talk When You're Teabagging:
If Anderson Cooper says it, I believe it, and that settles it.

Not Just Another Pedophile Priest:
The 57-year old president of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, has admitted to fathering a child while serving as a Roman Catholic bishop. The child is now almost 2. Lugo met and "seduced" the mother when she was just 16 years old and he was 47.

Help a Few Lions In Need:
Drakenstein Lion Park in South Africa is a shelter for lions rescued from canned hunts and other shady operations. They are in need of funds, and your U.S. dollars can go a long way in South Africa as the conversion rate is 9 rand to the U.S. dollar. Click here to save a few lions and click here to find out why rescuing lions in Africa is needed now more than ever.

A Fool's Bet at the Greyhound Track:
Only a fool would bet on an AKC Greyhound to win a race at the track. That's what makes it so amusing to read these old letters to the AKC when lure coursing was added to the list of AKC activities. . What was the AKC afraid of? Hat tip to Retrieverman for bird-dogging this.



c said...

I watched over a minute of that video anticipating more expletives, yet dreading the sight of a cute little chipmunk being blasted into the air by the IED. Rodentator - not recommended for use by Iraqi war vets.

Rocambole said...

Yow! I am not forwarding the Rodentator URL to my sustainble ag collegues -- every guy I know will want one!

I'm sticking with Pepper for varmint control, but if someone comes up with a similar device for squash bugs and harlequin beetles, I will hand over my credit card immediately!


R said...

I predict a Darwin award involving the Rodenator in 3...2...


smartdogs said...

Nisbett's methods sound to me like a fine way to raise smart dogs too!

Cat, Tessie, & Strata said...

That Dilbert comic is absolutely perfect for your "Coffee and Provocation" columns. Good choice! :)

Rocambole said...

Professor Nisbett was on the local NPR station's talk show this morning -- brillant guy, but even at 11 am, he has a voice that could just put me in slumberland immediately. I don't know how any of his students manage to stay awake.

Read the book -- his ideas are great, but gosh, I just can't deal with HIM explaining them! ;-)