Thursday, April 30, 2009

H1N1 Influenza A

That is its real name, The current flu and like all flues it is a killer and in this case because there is so much hype and so much misunderstanding, the name is killing pigs needlessly. You can hear it on the news, in the malls, in the coffee shops, on the internet.
Pigs do NOT transmit this disease, HUMANS DO. So what are we going to kill all humans also? Dumb, dumb people.
This is like all flues, it is a combination of human and animal and is a respiratory virus.
All flues are dangerous, some are more dangerous than others. Let us keep our heads, be sensible and deal. Okay?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

looks like I am in

A strange title for a stranger post, but it looks like I will be hooking up with Art Glowka (Patron Saint of Long Island Sound), Gary Wikfors (National Marine Fisheries) and some others in doing some studies on various parts and inputs into Long Island Sound.
I have been told by people better than me, that the nitrogen levels are very unchanging, but ammonia levels are interesting. I only know of Ammonia as a bacterially induced nitrogen reduction product.
I will handle chemical analysis and probably do some bacteria studies.
There will also be plankton sizing and species.
This will be done at various depths.
It has not been done or there is precious little data on it.
It will be interesting.

Monday, April 27, 2009


You knew this was coming, the post I mean.
The news is full of it, everyone is panicking, at least in Mexico City.
We have been watching this for a number of weeks and knew it was in the USA early last week,
It is the same strain as is in Mexico City and it is spreading very rapidly, but in the US, all the cases have been relatively mild with NO deaths.
So what is the buzz?
Every serious Health Official knows about the Spanish Influenza that killed 10's of millions and basically stopped WWI.
We all expect it again and look very hard to find any evidence of it.
We have a very good network of communication and investigation.
The news media is looking for anything sensational.
We are not crying wolf when we see a new flu that kills, we are being very, very cautious because when the time comes we will be prepared...and so will you.
Every one of us is less afraid of a terrorist than that little virus.
So you wonder? We are always looking!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A leason

I have done a number of posts on the quality of Long Island Sound and some of the things i have found in my testing.
Others who did much more in depth research have found that the size of the plankton determines which species are favored (Capriulo, G.M. (December 1996), Connecticut DEP Long Island Sound Research Fund-Alteration of the Planktonic Food Web of Long Island Sound Due to Eutrophication.).
The research showed that the normal flora of the Sound was being replaced with nano and pico sized flora.
Now back to my Statements, first let us consider made made fertilizers, which use the salts of Ammonium, Nitrate and Phosphate. When they are washed out, they wash out as salts, ionic molecules which are small and that would produce the nano and pico sized plankton.
Decomposing leaves, manure, sewage and composting organic materials are going to be found in larger clumps and will produce larger size plankton.
This is why I do not use man made fertilizer, but do use a compost of leaves and other organic items myself.
I have great vegetables - you can ask my neighbors.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rain one more time

Well finally!
After getting a number of nice showers that soaked the ground, last night we got the one that washed all the garbage out! It also washed out a boat load of nutrients but there is always a problem. I am sure that the people who put the artificial, man made fertilizers on the lawn lost half of it, at least.
You hear me talking about nutrients and how good they are, but there is a real difference between cow manure and decomposing leaves and such similar things and the bag of 14-7-20 that you buy at home depot.
The big difference? Carbon. The first are a good rich mixture of all nutrients with great carbon. They slowly go into the ground providing everything for real growth. They have actual size and texture. they do not wash off that easily and when they do, they promote a good size level of creatures that the normal flora that used to inhabit Long Island Sound could eat.
The other stuff, will break down into molecules promoting smaller food particles, no carbon source and are good for things like jelly fish and skates (the fish that seem to predominate the Sound now).
We take away the leaves and provide artificial growth. Leave the leaves!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Okay, I do not know is it was the strange winter we had (early, snow, the dry and cold, the warmish) or what, but the tick infection rate has changed. The first 6 ticks we had results for were all UNINFECTED!
This is a change because the first ticks we get results for are usually 59% infected then they taper down to about 35%.
I talk a lot about Lyme disease in Ticks because there is so much misinformation out there. there is hysteria and there is a passive "what about it response".
I do take the middle road. There is a lot that can be done effectively now that we know about it.
Then there are the other diseases and it caused me to think, why the focus on Lyme?
There is a simplistic reason.
Lyme is the test that for us humans is still not greatly understood and either is focus on by doctors too much 9ignoring symptoms) or not tested at all. There is a window where the test is best, so it makes sense to test a tick for Lyme.
All of the other diseases including Bartonella there are very good tests for humans and so testing a tick for all of them is not useful.
I say this because we really emphasis symptoms!
Once I was helping a friend capture some chickens he was raising that had gotten out of his coop (in North Stamford). I had to go through a field and found myself covered with ticks when I got out. It is not the tick that you find that you worry about, IT IS THE TICKS YOU DO NOT FIND that you worry about. They are just too darn small and hide in very difficult areas. Testing the tick you find is good. Checking for ticks is good. Being aware of symptoms after being in an area that ticks probably are, is what it is all about.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bed bugs

Time to gross you all out.
I get back and get a large batch of live ones. I add 1 drop of ethyl alcohol and the result is this.

I have done this before and it appears that the VAPOR alone is sufficient to kill them!
I will be testing isopropyl alcohol next.
I had a friend with a problem form visiting someone. He used pesticides and it did not get rid of them.
I told him to use vodka, no more problem!
He sprayed the edges of the room and the matress with it and let it air out after an hour.
That was impressive!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Rain ... again

The amount of rain we had normally does something that did not happen this year. Actually a lot of somethings. First it really soaked into the ground, There was no frozen soil 2 feet down to create that layer of muck that talks so much of spring. This has been a good spate of slow (except for the occasional down pour), steady rain and has not pushed a major "cleaning" of the pipes so to speak. The proof was in the results of shellfish water tests taken Wednesday and they were all clean. We waited until this spate of rain finished to make sure no major events occurred and Sunday the Shellfish beds will be opened.
All this simply says the stuff on land is NOT being pushed out to the Sound. This will stop an algae bloom for the spring which will not be good for young fish. Since hypoxia was so high last year Without a major algae problem, I think the people who wish to blame nitrogen for all the ills will need to look at things again.
I suggest looking at my Eureka Moment.