June 29, 2011
And, why do people so very, very much, want that story to be true and not fictional?
Here’s the list of stories from this blog that were most popular over the past seven days; the top two stories hold about those ranks week in and week out:
June 29, 2011
Here’s a cool breeze: Pest Away Exterminators in New York explains, patiently, that DDT no longer works against bedbugs, and is otherwise ill-advised in most applications.
Try to find an error in this short post:
The truth about DDT…
- It was highly effective when it was first introduced.
- It nearly wiped out bed bugs in America.
- It is NO LONGER effective in treating bed bugs.
- It is more dangerous than people realized.
In 1939, DDT (Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane) was introduced as the “miracle pesticide.” It was effectively used in military and civilian arenas to control lice, malaria, mosquitoes and bed bugs. It nearly wiped out all bed bugs in an allegedly “safe” method, but by the 1960’s, bed bugs had built up a resistance and potential immunity to DDT.
In 1962, Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring, which essentially demonized DDT and helped launch the environmental movement. By 1972, DDT was banned in the USA, but DDT is still used very effectively in other countries to control Malaria. Although there is a public outcry to bring DDT back, it’s very unlikely that it would have any meaningful effect on controlling bed bugs.
Jeff Eisenberg founded the company in 1991, after a career with a large accounting firm. It appears his training on the importance of accuracy in numbers, and honesty in facing tough situations, carried over to his new business. Good on him.
June 29, 2011
Other fronts in the War on Education may have earned more attention here in the Bathtub, lately — and in state legislatures. Threats from the dilution and elimination of good, hard science courses continue to pose problems, especially from creationists and their shyer, camouflage troops from the Chapel of Intelligent Design.
We need to stay aware of the creationist/creationism threat. At its heart, creationism requires adherents to reject the facts of science, to reject the workings of science, and to reject the functions of debate about what is real, and what is not. It is to me a rather simple discussion of the quality of evidence.
Eugenie Scott and her colleagues from the National Center for Science Education provide a great update in what is going on, with a great video, and an informative and troubling explanation of the links between creationism and the “unbelievers” in climate change.
Be sure to watch the first ten minutes, to see the video update on the fight to keep good science education in schools, especially the teaching of evolution.