Pat Shingleton: "Mosquitoes and a Drunk Elephant"
Officials from the Mosquito Abatement Department are increasing spraying operations and making random home inspections. With daily showers, removing water containing debris from our property can assist their efforts. A supercold winter can whack the mosquito larvae. At the University of Florida, 16 nationally sold repellants were put to the test. Using the hungriest mosquitoes available, the researchers gathered volunteers with exposed arms. The results showed that on average, the skin softeners provided protection for 10 minutes. Citronella products were good for 20 minutes, but repellents containing the chemical N-N diethyl-m-toluamide or DEET, were the longest lasting. The 24 percent DEET solution lasted more than five hours - a product that has been around for 45 years. Also, realizing that we are 18 days into the season of summer, I found a cooool archived story. Moscow experienced its coldest winter in 26 years in 2006 with temperatures approaching all-time record lows of -42 degrees Celsius. Traditionally, the Moscow circus would give their famous elephants small amounts of vodka to deal with the harsh Russian winters. Humans have survived when their body temperatures were lowered to 75 degrees F for a few minutes. One of the traveling circus’s more famous elephant’s, Indira, went from consuming a wee nip to combat the nippy weather, to overindulging and falling into the drink. One of the trainers’s provided Indira with a bucketful of a vodka-based drink during the January icy blast. Indira responded as any animal would when drunk and went ballistic. The Pachyderm tore a radiator from the wall and smashed it before being further sedated.
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