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  • It's my understanding that bedbugs are the problem that they are because the most effective pesticides to kill them have been outlawed.

    So bedbugs that were pretty much under control ten or fifteen years ago are now getting back to being a mainstream problem.


    • Pyrethrin kills bedbugs.

      The place where I work has the locker area sprayed for bugs two or three times per year because somebody found a bedbug. The exterminator uses a pyrethrin-based insecticide.

      If you're interested to know what the stuff is, I can look it up the next time I go to work. They have to post notices and make the MSDS available. I'm sure I could get you the exact name and EPA registration number of the substance they use.

      I know it's pyrethrin because I read it from the MSDS. I only read down as far as the ingredients because, once I read that it was pyrethrin, I felt like I understood what I needed to know.


      • According to this, it's a significantly less toxic (to humans) and environmentally problematic pesticide than widely used predecessors.


        • One caveat: Pyrethrins are extremely toxic to cats.

          Their livers don’t produce the enzymes to break it down and their kidneys can’t excrete it.

          If you use pyrethrin-based insecticides to kill bugs around your house, keep your cats away until the stuff has dried and the smell is completely gone.

          My landlord has our common yard sprayed every spring and I have to keep all windows closed for 24 hours, afterward.

          Since cats are allowed, here, the landlord is always good enough to warn us in advance.


          • Many thanks - will file info carefully in case there is any question of us ever using the stuff. Although, as with pretty much all households in SoCal, keeping ants and cockroaches out during the summer is a constant battle (the kitties help with the latter - free treats!), so far and knock on wood, we have not yet been hit by bedbugs.


            • So much for pulling permits...

              Vandals busted open Great Wall to make 'shortcut,' creating 'irreversible damage'
              The suspects wanted to shorten travel time to their construction project

              By Peter Aitken, Fox News
              Published September 6, 2023 7:10am EDT

              Engineers in China "irreparably" damaged the Great Wall of China while trying to find a "shortcut" for their business, according to local reports.

              "Excavators were used to excavate the original gap of the ancient Great Wall into a large gap, so that the excavator could pass through the gap, which caused irreversible damage to the integrity of the Ming Great Wall and the safety of cultural relics," police said in a statement.

              Police in Shanzi province in China arrested a 38-year-old man and a 55-year-old woman for allegedly digging through the 32nd section of the Great Wall to speed along their construction work. Officers responded to reports on Aug. 24 that a huge gap had appeared in the wall and quickly located the pair.

              The police stressed that while they have detained the suspects, the investigation continues, The Independent reported. The suspects remain in custody pending the completion of the investigation.

              Pictures show that the portion of the wall – one of the sections that have a lower height and do not share the same grand towers and wide walkways as more famous parts of the structure – is completely eradicated, and a dirt road now runs through the opening.

              The Great Wall is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site and receives historical and cultural protection at the provincial level, according to the BBC. The rest of the 32nd section has suffered significant natural wear and tear and a lack of proper upkeep over time.

              A report from Chinese outlet CGTN claimed that only about 8% of the wall constructed during the Ming Dynasty (the last dynasty to contribute to the Great Wall) remains in good condition while the rest has fallen into disrepair, with a third of the structure having completely fallen apart.

              The Ming sections, built between the 14th and 17th centuries, are the most famous and generally best-preserved sections of the wall.

              However, the earliest parts of the wall, built in the second century B.C., amount to little more than rammed earth walls that have eroded into vague mounds that most would not recognize as part of the Great Wall.

              Local farmers and builders have even taken bricks and stones to use in their projects. Chinese authorities have made a greater show of trying to preserve culturally important sites, which has led many to believe the culprits responsible for the damage to the Great Wall may suffer severe consequences if found guilty.​

              Reminds me of when I lived in York, UK, and a co-worker pointed at York Minster (a c11 cathedral, and arguably one of the most historically important buildings in the country), and commented that "...that place would make a great IMAX 4-plex You'd have to clear all that religious crap out of it and cover up those stained glass windows, though!"


              • This is why we can't have nice things....


                • From the New York Post:

                  Man in ‘rocking’ car was ‘having sex with a stuffed animal’: cops

                  By Yaron Steinbuch
                  Published Oct. 18, 2023, 8:37 a.m. ET

                  A 55-year-old Arkansas man was discovered in a compromising position in a “rocking” car – allegedly “having sex with a stuffed animal.”

                  A deputy with the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office arrived at Midway Store and Lock, a commercial storage facility, at about 12:45 a.m. Oct. 8 to investigate the swaying vehicle, KAIT 8 reported.

                  “He stated that he observed that the vehicle was ‘rocking,’” an arrest affidavit stated.

                  When the deputy peered inside, he observed Theodore T. Morgavan III “having sex with a stuffed animal,” according to the document.

                  The sheriff’s office did not give any detail about what kind of animal it was.

                  The deputy then found a purse containing “two marijuana pipes and one syringe” during a search of the car, while another deputy later found about 3 grams of methamphetamine in the purse, the news outlet reported.

                  Morgavan III was hit with numerous charges, including possession of a controlled substance — and public sexual indecency.

                  He pleaded not guilty at his court appearance on Monday.

                  The judge set Morgavan’s bond at $5,000 and he is due back in court on Oct. 30.​
                  A man in the Deep South got puffy
                  attempting to bugger a stuffy.
                  He did the vile deed
                  after smoking some weed,
                  and his private parts got rather fluffy.


                  • Well, this certainly livened things up at an old folks' home:

                    Naked opera singer armed with bow and arrow went on rampage at care home

                    Police had to taser Mark Holland three times during a stand-off at Belmar Nursing Home in Lancashire

                    By Telegraph Reporters 30 October 2023 • 8:40pm

                    A naked opera singer armed with a bow and arrow was tasered by police after causing £3,000 of damage to a care home, a court heard.

                    Staff called 999 when Mark Holland went on a “rampage” after being told that he would not be allowed to leave the care home to go shopping, Blackpool Magistrates’ Court heard.

                    Belmar Nursing Home in in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, went into lockdown on Oct 2 during the stand-off. Other residents were evacuated from common rooms and taken to the cellar as Holland went on a wrecking spree.

                    The court heard that Holland, 63, was only stopped after he was struck three times with a Taser fired by police.

                    The retired opera singer, was a voluntary resident at the home after suffering health problems and was normally allowed his freedom, the court heard. However, he “flipped” after home bosses feared he had been drinking too much and told him he must remain indoors.

                    Pam Smith, prosecuting, said Holland suddenly broke out into song and appeared from his room naked. He threatened staff, who rang police and evacuated residents to safe areas when he re-appeared from his room wielding a bow and metal-tipped arrows.

                    The court heard he caused £2,800 of damage when he broke doors, set off fire extinguishers and threw concrete blocks at a visitor’s car.

                    In a statement read to the court, Pc Nicole Bennett said the incident “escalated quickly” and police brought in a trained negotiator because they feared Holland would take a hostage.

                    “He then confronted myself and three other officers with a large bow and arrow. I had never faced this level of threat before. He was preparing to shoot an arrow and had taken direct aim at us,” she said.

                    It was at this point that she and her colleagues retaliated with Tasers. Holland was tasered three times before retreating back to his room. Police then broke into the room and handcuffed him.

                    Katie Bent, a member of staff, said in a statement: “He was on the rampage and we had to move all the residents apart from the end-of-life patient who could not be moved.”

                    Trevor Colebourne, defending, said his client had been at the Belmar for some time and staff were aware he had the bow and arrow in his possession. He said they had even played with the bow and arrow when cleaning his room.

                    He added that Holland’s mother had died a short time before the incident and he had been depressed, saying: “He has had a fine career as a renowned baritone and has appeared worldwide, as well as starring in the West End. He comes from a good background with family in Hertfordshire.

                    “Since his arrest, he has been in prison custody. Both he and his family feel he is getting help there.”

                    District Judge Richard Thompson heard that the arrow Holland had shot towards police only went a few feet because the bow’s string broke.

                    Sentencing Holland to six months in prison, he told him: “This a sad situation. As an educated man, you lost control and caused fear with that weapon.”

                    Holland, who had just received a £110,000 inheritance, was ordered to pay £2,800 to the home, £250 compensation to the car owner and £250 each in compensation to staff involved in the evacuation of residents.​
                    Given the bow and arrow, I wonder if he was performing a scene from Rossini's William Tell?

                    More seriously, 63 seems pretty young to be in a care home. If the cops had to taze him three times, there can't have been much wrong with his physical health.


                    • Tesla Briefly Serves as Plane Before Crashing Into California House

                      You don’t usually expect much to happen at 7:00 a.m. in a quiet suburb in California, but last Friday, the driver of a Tesla Model X surprised everyone when she lost control of her car and drove it into a house.

                      After losing control, the driver hit a curb, drove through a yard, hit two parked cars, smashed through a fence and sailed over a swimming pool before crashing into the kitchen, SFGATE reports.

                      Thankfully, no one was in the kitchen at the time of the crash, and neither the driver nor her daughter who was in the passenger seat, were seriously injured. Exactly what caused the 70-year-old driver to lose control has yet to be determined, but it sounds like they were traveling extremely fast, with Jerami Surratt, a public information officer for the San Mateo Police Department, telling reporters the car “probably flew 40 to 50 feet through the air, allowing it to clear the swimming pool.”

                      Surratt also said the car was moving downhill, and the driver was not using Tesla’s so-called Full Self-Driving mode, which is not actually fully autonomous despite the name suggesting that it is. “There were witnesses in the neighborhood that saw the Tesla slow down to a stop and accelerate very quickly, but exactly what happened is still under investigation,” he said.

                      “Honestly just amazed that no one was hurt… if my mother was in the house, she would absolutely have been drinking her tea at 7 a.m. in the kitchen,” the homeowner’s daughter Meredith Donato told KTVU. “There’s obviously property damage, but at the end of the day it’s just stuff.”

                      Resident Sean Carmichael also told KTVU that a similar crash happened about 25 years ago on that exact street, adding “Maybe it’s time to put some speed bumps down this road now.”

                      Photo: San Mateo Police Department​

                      Whoever wrote the "briefly serves as plane" headline clearly wasn't around in the 1980s, when either Knight Rider or The Dukes of Hazzard would have provided ample inspiration for a flying car headline! That having been said, naming a Tesla after General Lee wouldn't exactly fit with its eco-friendly, PC credentials. I can think of some alternatives, but would likely violate the no politics rule if I went too far down that road. Bo and Luke climbing through the windows into the Greta Thunberg doesn't really work, somehow...


                      • Go get 'im Flash! Heh heh heh....



                        • Sticking with the theme of electric vehicles, I think I may have found the first documented case of somebody using one in an attempt to secure a Darwin Award nomination.

                          Man Burns His EV To The Ground Trying To Warm The Battery With A Toaster
                          Danish Police say they "strongly discourage" this practice.

                          By Bradley Brownell ; Published 12 hours ago

                          A Danish EV driver faces a hefty fine for negligent actions that led to the destruction of their own car and damage to their own home. On Saturday, in order to combat the below-freezing overnight lows in Stenlille, Denmark—about 40 miles from Copenhagen—and keep their electric car’s battery warm, the homeowner placed a toaster underneath the car and cranked the knob to eleven. Sometimes you have to think through your ideas once or twice before acting on them.

                          Danish police confirm nobody was injured in the resulting fire, though the EV was fully consumed by the blaze. The car was parked in a carport attached to the home at the time, and both structures were damaged. Some reports of the incident indicate a neighbor’s home was also damaged.

                          “The cause of the fire is most likely to be found in the toaster that the owner of the car had placed under the front of his car to keep the battery warm,” police said on Monday.

                          While many of the detractors of electric vehicles like to point and laugh at every EV that burns down, it’s important to note that car fires are far more prevalent than you think. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, some 117,000 passenger vehicles catch fire every year, almost one every five minutes, and that’s just in the U.S. The data out of Sweden, where EVs are extremely prevalent, seems to indicate that electric cars are actually much less likely to catch on fire than gasoline cars. Of the country’s 3,400 vehicle fires, just 0.4 percent were electric vehicles.

                          There’s no indication of the make or model of the Danish EV that died by toaster, but statistically speaking it probably wouldn’t have burned down had it not been for the incorrectly used small appliances. While EVs do work better with warm batteries, it just isn’t worth the risk to try warming them with anything other than parking them in a garage. The battery will still function cold, albeit with reduced range.

                          Most modern EVs have a battery pre-warming function, which will help with range in the cold. The best practice is just to keep the car plugged in on the coldest nights. If your EV has phone app, you can just crank up the heat 30 minutes before you need to leave, and it’ll not only warm itself, but give you a nice cozy interior to walk out to in the morning. That’s a win-win.​


                          • That must have been one hell of a toaster...


                            • Especially if you crank it up to11...

                              Being moderately serious for a moment, it would likely deliver intense, localized heat to one spot on the battery casing, which I'm guessing is what set it off. I haven't used a European-style popup toaster since moving to the US (my wife prefers toaster ovens), but my vague memory of them is that they pull hundreds of watts at least, and possibly heading into kilowatts. If all that heat is being applied to one 5" square spot under the car, a tiny part of the battery pack is going to cook, while the rest of it remains below freezing (until it ignites!). If he'd put, say, an electric blanket under there, he'd likely have gotten away with it - other than that the power that would have cost him would likely be an order of magnitude more than that needed to drive the EV with a cold battery.


                              • Tesla's and I imagine other well designed (notice I didn't say well built) electric vehicles have heaters in the battery cases. They are mainly to extend the range of the vehicle on cold days and nothing more...