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The Full Moon Effect

 

“It’s a full moon” is said to be muttered monthly by police officers, emergency room doctors, and teachers.  The full moon has been linked to murder; suicide, accidents, birthrates, fertility, and some even buy or sell stocks according to the moon’s phases. However, science has pooh-poohed the anecdotal evidence and concluded that the moon’s phases have no effect on the human physic.

In 1986, researchers from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada combined the results of about 100 studies and found “no causal relationship between lunar phenomena and human behavior.”  (Grant, 2008)  There are no changes to the murder rate, suicides do not increase, and craziness in general does not rise. This research shatters the myths that humankind has believed since the cave dweller.

There is a faction of the scientific community who believe that earthquakes and volcanoes increase before and after the full moon.  In an article in Discovery News, Geologist Bill Burton with the US Geological Survey says that this is unlikely that earthquakes are connected to the full moon.

“There are just too many factors that go into seismic activity to make that statement. I think you’d be hard pressed to see a difference in tectonic activity during different lunar phases.” (Rice, 2012)

 So why do these myths of the full moon still prevail?  Well, ingrained beliefs and superstitions are difficult to change.  When elders, the news media, and Hollywood continue to connect strange happenings to the full moon, the population tends to take on those beliefs.

It could be that because of the entire hubbub that surrounds full moon events, people are more observant. Consequently, if an unusual event occurs such as an accident, a person looking into the night sky may associate the unusual event as causal effect of the full moon. If the same event happened at another time in the moon’s phase the correlation or connection would be absent.

The next full moon will be on Saturday, May 5, 2012 and it is called a “super” moon due to its close distance to the earth. What “extreme” craziness will occur from this full moon? The fact remains, that as long as people believe that the full moon affects humans in a negative way, superstitions and myths will surround this monthly phenomenon. So the next time you hear, “It must be the moon.” Remember that it is only an idiom used since humans came out of their caves and looked up at the sky.

Works Cited

Arkowitz, S. O. (2009, Feb). Lunacy and the Full Moon: Scientific America. Retrieved from Scientific America.com: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=lunacy-and-the-full-moon

Grant, A. (2008, March 31). Does a full moon actually affect people’s behavior? Retrieved from Scienceline: http://scienceline.org/2008/03/ask-grant-fullmoon/

Rice, R. (2012, 3 18). No Link Between ‘Super Moon’ and Earthquakes. Retrieved from http://news.discovery.com/earth/super-moon-earthquake-no-link-110318.ht

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

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The Ideal Homemade Weed Killer

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Using store bought weed killer is not only bad for you and the environment, but it is expensive.  I have tried many homemade versions of weed killer; however, this one works the best.

Ingredients:

Vinegar

½ cup Kosher Salt

1 teaspoon Dawn Dish Detergent

Directions:

Dedicate a spray bottle just for the Weed Killer. You can find pint spray bottles at the Dollar Store.  Be sure to label the bottle!  

1.   Pour vinegar into bottle leave about 2 inches at the top. 

2.  Add the ½ cup of Kosher Salt. 

3.  Squirt 1 teaspoon of Dawn Dish Detergent into the bottle. 

4.  Screw sprayer on to bottle tightly.

5.  Shake to mix.

6.  Spray those weeds!

Hint: If the sprayer on your bottle has a stream adjustment, use it to keep the Weed Killer just where you want it to go.

WARNING:  This is strong stuff! Do not spray on vegetation you want to keep. Do not spray on a windy day. Keep out of reach from children and pets.

 

After using Homemade Weed Killer

I would love to know how it works for you.  Let me know your results.

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

Litter Bugs are in Season

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Litter Bugs are those annoying people who carelessly drop small refuse or waste materials in the public way. Their litter makes parks, beaches, roadways, and sidewalks dirty and expensive to clean up.  . Litter Bugs can create dangerous situations for animals and people, too.

According to Keep America Beautiful, litter clean-up costs Americans almost 11.5 billion a year.  Municipalities, businesses, schools, and the taxpayers foot the bills for littering. In addition, it is not just garbage on the street that causes clean up to be so expensive. It is the effects of the litter on storm drains that become clogged and cause flooding, the toxic contamination in the water supply, and dangerous materials on roadways.

Animals are at risk from human littering as well.  Plastic bags that come from the grocery store have found their way into some very unusual places.  As quoted from The Greenhouse Neutral FoundationThere is an estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic in each square mile of ocean. Plastic bags cause over 100,000 sea turtle and other marine animal deaths every year when animals mistake them for food.”  “Animals can swallow or get entangled in many of the litter items people leave in the environment.” Says Melissa Kilgore at the Chintimini Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. They can also ingest toxic substances like motor oil and pesticides, which are often dumped into storm drains and end up in our waterways.”

So what do we do to rid ourselves of Litter Bugs?

  • Do not become one yourself! Throw your trash in a garbage can.

  • Keep a trash bag in your car to hold all those McDonald’s wrappers and cups. You can always empty the bag at a gas station.

  • Limit your use of plastic bags from the grocery store, department stores, and home improvement stores.  Invest in reusable bags.

  • Dispose of chemicals, paint, and motor oil safely. Call your local refuse company or town hall and find out where to dispose of these products.

  • Be a good model! Show others how to dispose of their trash. Teach young people to keep their environment clean.

  • Volunteer to pick up litter in your neighborhood. Every little bit helps to keep our neighborhoods safe and neat.

 

Works Cited

Grist, A. s. (Director). (2007). The Crying Indian Commercial [Motion Picture].

Keep America Beautiful, Inc. . (2006). Retrieved from Keep America Beautiful, Inc. : http://www.kab.org/site/PageServer?pagename=focus_litter_prevention

Kilgore, M. (1999). Chintimini Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Retrieved from Chintimini Wildlife Rehabilitation Center: http://www.chintiminiwildlife.org/Education/LivingWithWild/Litter.htm

Stop Plastic Bags. (2012). Retrieved from The Greenhouse Neutral Foundation: http://greenhouseneutralfoundation.org/articles/2009/12/15/stoplasticbags-a-global-petition-to-ban-the-bag-3/

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

House Plants = Healthy Indoor Air

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Keeping our air clean and free from chemicals is a concern for us all, especially the air we breathe indoors. 

Today, buildings are better insulated and hold more toxic chemicals than at any time in history.  Toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia, and petroleum-based materials reside in our homes creating a potentially harmful environment. Plants can help to eliminate some of these toxins and add ambiance to our residence.

According to research done by NASA, living green and flowering plants, clean pollutants in the air. We close up our houses in the winter due to the cold weather and breathe reconstituted air-filled with contaminants. These contaminants come from the furniture we sit on, the cabinets we open, and the carpeting we walk on. “Harmful indoor pollutants represent a serious health problem that is responsible for more than 1.6 million deaths each year”, according to a 2002 World Health Organization report. These impurities in our air has attributed to a rise in chronic and reoccurring sinus infections, chronic post-nasal drainage, asthma, bronchial infections, ear infections, and other illness cause by synthetic contaminants. Unfortunately, summertime does not alleviate the problem, due to climate controlled homes and office buildings where air conditioning is taking the place of heating systems when the weather turns hot.

The good news is that we can reduce the effects of the most common toxins by adding houseplants to our homes.  Plants produce oxygen, add moisture, and filter out toxins in the air neutralizing indoor pollution. By placing, a few houseplants around our homes and using specific types of houseplants our environment can be beautiful and healthy.

Below is a list of beneficial houseplants and the toxins they are best at filtering.

Plant Names

Toxin it Removes

Asparagus fern Benzene, xylene, hexane, heptane, octane, decane, trichloroethylene (TCE), and methylene chloride 
Aloe Vera: Eliminates emissions from most toxins 
Chrysanthemum: Reduces toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene and ammonia 
Dieffenbachia: Formaldehyde, Toluene, Xylene
English Ivy: Eliminates petroleum-based products 
Gerber Daisy Adds oxygen to the air 
Peace Lily Removes chemicals from smoking 
Purple Waffle Plant Benzene, xylene, hexane, heptane, octane, decane, trichloroethylene (TCE), and methylene chloride 
Schefflera Benzene, Formaldehyde, Toluene 
Spider Plants:                                Exceptional for reducing formaldehyde 
Variegated Wax Plant Benzene, xylene, hexane, heptane, octane, decane, trichloroethylene (TCE), and methylene chloride
   

 

©Jamie Nowinski 5/10/2012

Garden Gate Nursery. (2011). Retrieved from The Garden Gate Nursery and Floral: http://www.gardengatenursery.com/gardentips/gardendesign/58-healthbenefitsofhouseplants.html

Science, A. S. (2009, November 4). Common Plants Can Eliminate Indoor Air Pollutants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 10, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/11/091104140816.htm

Wolverton, B. C. (1997.). How To Grow Fresh Air. New York: Penguin Books.

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Help! What do I do with these old paint cans?

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I came to this dilemma after cleaning out the garage this weekend.  I had 15 gallons of old paint sitting on the patio, and I had no idea how I should dispose of them.  I went to the website of my hometown and found a list of recyclables, times and pick-up dates; however, there were no instructions on ridding me of old paint. 

I then did a search on the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency website.  These are the suggestions they offered:

************************************************************************************************************

Disposal Alternatives

After your painting job is done, you may have some leftover paint. The question now is: “What should you do with it?” Here are some alternatives:

Keep Painting!

This may sound simple, and it is. What better place to put that last pint or so of paint but right up there on the wall where it blends in perfectly with all the other paint you just put up there. Sure, it’s a little extra work – and right when you thought you’re done for the day – but you’ll be rid of that extra paint for good. Simply let the can dry and then recycle or dispose of it.

Paint Something Else!

It doesn’t even have to need the paint. Use an old piece of cardboard, some scrap lumber, or the inside of your garage. Just about anywhere would probably work to use up that last bit of paint. Again, let the can dry and recycle or dispose of it.

Use an Absorbent like Kitty Litter!

Kitty litter, sawdust, shredded paper or just about anything else that will absorb moisture and let the paint dry out should work here. Depending on how full the can is, you can just add the absorbent to the can and mix it up. When the liquids are absorbed, dry the mixture out or dispose of it directly. You may be able to empty the can, dry it out, and recycle it.

Give it to Someone!

Look around and you may find somebody who needs to paint a small area. Some schools or local theatres will take some small amounts of paint for scenery.

Store it for Later!

Everyone has good intentions to use half-filled paint cans for “touch-ups” that never come. Also, many people have saved paint that becomes unusable over time before it’s called into action. If you do save your paint for later, follow some easy tips to make the paint last longer. Just cover the opening with plastic wrap, and make sure the lid fits securely so the paint doesn’t leak. Then turn the paint can upside down! This creates a tight seal, and keeps the paint fresh to use again.

***********************************************************************************************************

This is an interesting list of things to do with my old paint.  I already had a few cans that were dried up so those could go in the garbage.  The paint that was still wet, could be taken to an Ace Hardware a few miles away and they would dispose of it for $5.00 a can. What a racket!  Nevertheless, this was a list for latex paint that is water-soluble.  What about the oil based paint and stain?

I learned on the same Illinois Environmental Protection Agency website that oil based paint and stain had to be taken to a Household Hazardous Waste Collection event.  After a little more research, I found out that my town was not scheduled to have one of these little events until June.  The only “event” I could find was in a town 50 miles west of me.  Hmmm…So, I set out to rid myself of this hazardous waste.  Luckily, gas was cheaper in this town’s county, so I guess it was a good thing I went 100 miles round trip to get rid of three cans of old paint.

All this work seems a bit excessive to me.  If paint is going to be sold, and disposal is an issue that must be dealt with, then why don’t the stores I purchase the paint from have a disposal service? Just asking.

The research I did was for waste disposal in Illinois.  Your state may have different rules for disposal.  I suggest you visit the Environmental Protection Agency from your individual state if you have any questions about paint disposal or any other hazardous material disposal.  By the way, do not even ask how to get rid of old tires, fluorescent bulbs, or electronic equipment.  We will leave that mess to another day.

Household Waste Disposal Solutions. (2012, May 07). Retrieved from Illinois Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.state.il.us/land/hazardous-waste/household-haz-waste/hhw-disposal.html

Used Paint Disposal Alternatives. (2012, May 7). Retrieved from Illinois Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.state.il.us/land/hazardous-waste/household-haz-waste/used-paint-disposal-alternatives.html

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Full Moon Effect

Posted on

“It’s a full moon” is said to be muttered monthly by police officers, emergency room doctors, and teachers.  The full moon has been linked to murder; suicide, accidents, birthrates, fertility, and some even buy or sell stocks according to the moon’s phases. However, science has pooh-poohed the anecdotal evidence and concluded that the moon’s phases have no effect on the human physic.

In 1986, researchers from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada combined the results of about 100 studies and found “no causal relationship between lunar phenomena and human behavior.”  (Grant, 2008)  There are no changes to the murder rate, suicides do not increase, and craziness in general does not rise. This research shatters the myths that humankind has believed since the cave dweller.

There is a faction of the scientific community who believe that earthquakes and volcanoes increase before and after the full moon.  In an article in Discovery News, Geologist Bill Burton with the US Geological Survey says that this is unlikely that earthquakes are connected to the full moon.

“There are just too many factors that go into seismic activity to make that statement. I think you’d be hard pressed to see a difference in tectonic activity during different lunar phases.” (Rice, 2012)

 So why do these myths of the full moon still prevail?  Well, ingrained beliefs and superstitions are difficult to change.  When elders, the news media, and Hollywood continue to connect strange happenings to the full moon, the population tends to take on those beliefs.

It could be that because of the entire hubbub that surrounds full moon events, people are more observant. Consequently, if an unusual event occurs such as an accident, a person looking into the night sky may associate the unusual event as causal effect of the full moon. If the same event happened at another time in the moon’s phase the correlation or connection would be absent.

The next full moon will be on Saturday, May 5, 2012 and it is called a “super” moon due to its close distance to the earth. What “extreme” craziness will occur from this full moon? The fact remains, that as long as people believe that the full moon affects humans in a negative way, superstitions and myths will surround this monthly phenomenon. So the next time you hear, “It must be the moon.” Remember that it is only an idiom used since humans came out of their caves and looked up at the sky.

Works Cited

Arkowitz, S. O. (2009, Feb). Lunacy and the Full Moon: Scientific America. Retrieved from Scientific America.com: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=lunacy-and-the-full-moon

Grant, A. (2008, March 31). Does a full moon actually affect people’s behavior? Retrieved from Scienceline: http://scienceline.org/2008/03/ask-grant-fullmoon/

Rice, R. (2012, 3 18). No Link Between ‘Super Moon’ and Earthquakes. Retrieved from http://news.discovery.com/earth/super-moon-earthquake-no-link-110318.ht

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

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