A growing collection of facts, thoughts and events from a 78-year-old man and his family, friends, and the characters that he has met along the way . . .

These “Happy Gators” were filmed by me on The Anhinga Trail in The Everglades National Park



I have just finished posting the below article on Facebook, and believe it to be significantly important enough to re-post it here, in my blog, so that I can share it with more readers:

It is almost impossible to ignore the efforts people are taking in this country (U.S.) to legalize Marijuana so I have been giving that subject a lot of thought. While I am 100% in favor of legalizing anything – any medicine,any drug, any food – that will ease a persons pain and help them to live a more comfortable life, as an ex-smoker of tobacco I began to wonder if smoking marijuana might have similar effects on ones lungs – and it does:
“Smoking marijuana clearly damages the human lung. Research shows that smoking marijuana causes chronic bronchitis and marijuana smoke has been shown to injure the cell linings of the large airways, which could explain why smoking marijuana leads to symptoms such as chronic cough, phlegm production, wheeze and acute bronchitis.4,9

Smoking marijuana has also been linked to cases of air pockets in between both lungs and between the lungs and the chest wall, as well as large air bubbles in the lungs among young to middle-aged adults, mostly heavy smokers of marijuana. However, it’s not possible to establish whether these occur more frequently among marijuana smokers than the general population.4

Smoking marijuana can harm more than just the lungs and respiratory system – it can also affect the immune system and the body’s ability to fight disease, especially for those whose immune systems are already weakened from immunosuppressive drugs or diseases, such as HIV infection.4,9

Smoking marijuana hurts the lungs’ first line of defense against infection by killing cells that help remove dust and germs as well as causing more mucus to be formed. In addition, it also suppresses the immune system. These effects could lead to an increased risk of lower respiratory tract infections among marijuana smokers, although there is no clear evidence of such actual infections being more common among marijuana smokers.4,9 However, frequent marijuana-only smokers have more healthcare visits for respiratory conditions compared to nonsmokers.” Consequently, I sincerely believe that the smoking of Marijuana should be restricted just for the relief of real, true, honest-to-goodness, medical issues! If you smoke – or plan to start smoking – Marijuana, please read this entire article:http://www.lung.org/…/smoki…/marijuana-and-lung-health.html…

2015 in review

While I do not intend to spend a lot of time looking backward, I am pleased to be able to post the WordPress 2015 Annual Report for my blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 18 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.



These Thirteen Postcards Survived World War 1

(and so did the two brothers that mailed them home)!

On May 18, 1917, the Selective Service Act was passed. . .and on June 5, 1917, the first WW1 draft registration was enacted.  Three brothers from Atlantic City, New Jersey. reported to the draft board on that same day:


Archie Summervill Scull, Age 29


Horace Scull, Age 26


Oscar Charles Scull, Age 24

Oscar Charles Scull was sent to Camp Dix in Wrightsville, NJ., and assigned to the 112th Headquarters Company, Field Artillery.  He mailed his 1st postcard from there – home to his mother, Mrs. George T. Scull:

Horace Scull was transferred to Camp McClellan in Anniston, Alabama, where he became a soldier with the 117th Engineers Regiment, and he mailed his 1st post card to home to his sister, Reba, from there: (Reba Scull became Mrs. John Fennell (called “Jack” by her brothers.  She eventually became my maternal grandmother):

Before being shipped overseas, Oscar was also transferred to Camp McClellan, and he mailed his 2nd postcard home.  This one was sent to his sister, Reba (then Mrs. John “Jack” Fennell):

After arriving in Europe in November, 1917, Uncle Horace manage to mail  more postcards home; 8 to his sister, Reba (my grandmother), and one to his mother, Eva.

I believe that my Great Uncle Horace Scull’s 117th Engineers Regiment became a part of what was then called the “Rainbow Division,” (and eventually, a part of the American Expeditionary Force) and that his path through WW1 first led him to France where he fought  in the Baccarat Sector, Lorraine, and in the Esperance-Souain Sector, in Champagne.  If this is correct, Company D then fought in the Champagne Marne Sector on July 18, 1918 where 14% of his company’s soldiers were killed or wounded.   He survived that battle,  moving through France, Belgium and Luxembourg with his company which was eventually demobilized in the United States on May 14,1919 (http://militarymuseum.org/Rainbow.html).

On January 7, 1918, My Great Uncle, Horace, mailed a postcard from Neumahr, Germany,  to his mother, Mrs. George T. Scull, stating that he “hoped to be home soon. . .

. . .  but no one had heard from his brother, Oscar, for over 11 months for reasons that later became very obvious.  The 29th Division was first constituted on paper 18 July 1917 in the Army National Guard.[2]:319 The division’s infantry units were the 57th Infantry Brigade, made up of the 113th Infantry Regiment and 114th Infantry Regiment from New Jersey, and the 58th Infantry Brigade, made up of the115th Infantry Regiment from Maryland and 116th Infantry Regiment from Virginia. Its artillery units were Maryland’s 110th Artillery Regiment; Virginia’s 111th Artillery Regiment; and New Jersey’s 112th Artillery Regiment. As the division was composed of men from states that had units that fought for both the North and South during the Civil War, it was nicknamed the “Blue and Gray” division, after the blue uniforms of the Union and the gray uniforms of the Confederate armies during the American Civil War.[3]  The division was actually organized on 25 August 1917 at Camp McClellan, Alabama.[2]:319 

The division departed for France in June 1918 to join the American Expeditionary Force fighting in World War I[4] The division’s advance detachment reached Brest, France on 8 June. In late September, the 29th received orders to join the First United States Army‘s Meuse-Argonne offensive as part of the French XVII Corps. During its 21 days in combat, the 29th Division advanced seven kilometers, captured 2,148 prisoners, and knocked out over 250 machine guns or artillery pieces. Thirty percent of the division became casualties—170 officers and 5,691 enlisted men were killed or wounded.[5] Shortly thereafter the Armistice with Germany was signed, ending hostilities between the Central Powers and the Allied Powers.  (http://www.pbs.org/now/society/vetbenefits.html).

On Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1919, My Great Uncle, Pvt. Oscar Charles Scull, mailed his final postcard home to his sister, Reba:

He mailed this card from Vals-Les-Bains (Ardeche) in Southern France, and it read in part, “hope to be home by Easter…”

He arrived a bit late since his unit did not arrive back into the United States until May, 1919 – but he made it!


Mrs. George (Eva) T. Scull

>The Fennells of English Creek, (La mia Famiglia Italiana, il familiare Fanelli di English Creek)

Reba Scull (Mrs. John Fennell)


Elmer E. Scull

Horace and Oscar Scull were born two years apart.  Each of them lived for 84 years and, ironically, they died two years apart.

Uncle Oscar married a lady by the name of Mae, and they moved into a big house on the SE corner of the Mays Landing-Somers Point Road & English Creek Avenue; the first house on your right after you crossed the English Creek bridge when heading for Ocean City.   Although they lived just a few miles away from the home that I lived in for the 1st 9-1/2 years of my life,  I barely new them.   Uncle Oscar and I shared the same birth date; June 21st.  He died in 1976 at the age of 84.

I know even less about my great Uncle Horace.  In fact, I only remember seeing him one time, and that was at my great aunt Mildred’s funeral on January 1, 1963.  He arrived in the passenger’s seat of a brand new, bright red, Corvette convertible that was driven by a young blonde woman wearing an extremely short mini-skirt (also bright red – and much too short; especially for a funeral), and they were both “drunk as a skunk!”  Uncle Horace passed away in 1974, also at the age of 84.

In case you might be wondering about what happened to the 3rd brother who registered for the draft in Atlantic City on June 5, 1917, Archie Summervill Scull:  My great uncle, Uncle Archie, was already married (his wife was the former *Marion English) and he and his wife had an 11 month old son, Elmer.  Archie, who was a postman in Atlantic City, was deferred from the service because of his age and marital status.  However, he eventually moved to English Creek and became the lay minister of the Asbury United Methodist Church in English Creek, New Jersey (now named Egg Harbor Township, NJ).  During the early years of my life I often road to and from the church on Sundays sitting in the back seat of Uncle Archie’s car since he was also the church chauffer!  My grandmother and grandfather, **John (“Jack” to the Scull brothers) & Reba Scull, lived in English Creek (mailing address then:  RFD#1, Mays Landing, NJ),   Although I do not remember ever meeting Archie’s son, Elmer and my mother were friends and he even assisted her (mom) in the sale of our family home in the late 1970’s.

*Marion English was a descendant of Wolphert Gerretse Van Kouwenhoven and her family history can be traced back to 1702.

**More can be learned about the Fennell Family by watching “The Fennells of English Creek (La Mia Famiglia Italiana;” a video posted on my blog (thesumofme2.wordpress.com).

Although I have searched far and wide, so far I have not been able to located photographs of my Great Uncles, Archie, Horace, & Oscar Scull; nor have I been able to establish contact with descendants of the Scull family now living in the Binghamton – West Springfield, NY area.  If anyone can help complete this task,  please contact me.

NOTE:  While performing research for this document I discovered Elmer Scull’s obituary on line.  He was born in English Creek, NJ., on June 25, 1926 and died in Agawam, NY., 96 years later on December 29, 2012.  He worked at one time as a technician on the Space Program, and he held a distinguished military career as a Naval Commander during WWII and the Korean War.


I see people that I know, like, and respect, posting comments on Facebook that strongly recommend that the United States accept President Obama’s suggestion that we import 10,000 Syrian Refugees, although these people now live in Mexico; a country that has done little more than import a few Syrian students, and whose residents flee across the border 24/7 to the United States.  I have tried, and fail to understand their reasoning.   When “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” was inscribed on the Statue of Liberty in 1888, the United States consisted of 38 states and 9 territories, with a total population (according to the 1888 American Almanac) of 50,155,393 people (86.7% native born; 13.3% foreign born – with slightly more men than women).   Our last U.S. Census took place in 2010, 122 years later.  Although our total population had dramatically increased (in 2010) to an estimated 308,700,000 at first glance it would appear that although increased, the breakdown of our population was about the same.  Then (in 2010) 49.2% of our population was listed as male, and 50.8% as female; a few more women than men were living in the U.S. in 2010 – and surprisingly, 87.1% were listed as Native Born (VS. 86.7% in 1888) and 12.9% were listed as Foreign Born (VS.13.3% in 1888).  The Foreign Born total does include 22,480 people listed as “Noncitizens” (legal aliens living in the United States).   HOWEVER (and this is what has changed) . . .We now have an estimated 12,000,000 illegal immigrants that are not counted in the Census.    While I have not been able to discover an Federal Program that specifically provides any form of assistance to illegal aliens, they (the illegal aliens) sap billions of dollars annually out of the U.S. economy, often by stealing American identities, obtaining and using fraudulent Social Security Cards, claiming false Tax Refunds, taking jobs away from legal, qualified, American citizens and sending millions of dollars annually to their home countries.  The list goes on and on (http://cis.org/IdentityTheft).

While no one should believe that any Syrian Refugees allowed to immigrate into the United States would take advantage of their acceptance and treat us as the illegal and undocumented aliens already living in this country do, I sincerely believe that we need to resolve our problems with the accommodations of 12,000,000 illegal immigrants before we accept more immigrants into our country.  President Obama’s plan to import 10,000 Syrian refugees would cost U.S. tax payers $130 million per year, according to projections from Heritage Foundation scholar Robert Rector (http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/11/report-obamas-plan-to-import-10000-refugees-would-cost-taxpayers-6-5-billion/).

Finally, I strongly believe that we need to know how and where we are going to feed and house and care for 10,000 refugees before we import them into our midst (and, how we can be certain that we are not inviting terrorists – possibly terrorists that are not even Syrians – to move in with them)!



Before YOU agree that we should accept more immigrants into the United States – from Syria, or from any other country – there are facts that you MUST take into consideration.

FACT ONE:  • In 2014, the official poverty rate (in the U.S.)  was 14.8 percent. There were 46.7 million people in poverty. Neither the poverty rate nor the number of people in poverty were statistically different from the 2013 estimates (Figure 4 and Table 3). • For the fourth consecutive year, the number of people in poverty at the national level was not statistically different from the previous year’s estimates.   The poverty rate in 2014 for children under age 18 was 21.1 percent.  (http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/data/incpovhlth/2014/highlights.html)



Destitute Sisters begging for food



FACT TWO:  • In January 2014, 578,424 people were homeless on a given night. Most (69 percent) were staying in residential programs for homeless people, and the rest (31 percent) were found in unsheltered locations. • Nearly one-quarter of all homeless people were children under the age of 18 (23 percent or 135,701). Ten percent (or 58,601) were between the ages of 18 and 24, and 66 percent (or 384,122) were 25 years or older. • Homelessness declined by 2 percent (or 13,344 people) between 2013 and 2014 and by 11 percent (or 72,718) since 2007.  (https://www.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/2014-AHAR-Part1.pdf)


Before we attempt to house 10,000 refugees from Syria, or more refugees from any other country, I sincerely believe that we should take care of our own homeless people first.


More than 4.4 million people are on the legal immigrant visa waiting list according to the State Department’s annual tally. That is 100,085 more people waiting for legal immigrant visas than at the same time last year. Ninety-eight percent of those waiting have been sponsored by a family member in the United States.

The people on this waiting list have shown that they have a qualifying family relationship or that they have been sponsored by a qualifying employer. The list does not include those who are already in the United States waiting to adjust from a legal temporary status to a green card. The waiting lists are needed because of annual limits on the number of immigrants that can be admitted in certain family and employment categories, and because of caps on the number who can come from each country. Table 1 shows the number of applicants waiting by country, as of November 2014  (http://cis.org/vaughan/waiting-list-legal-immigrant-visas-keeps-growing)


FACT FOUR:  (According to President François Hollande of France, and Governor Abbott of Texas, “A Syrian ‘refugee’ appears to have been part of the Paris terror attack,” likely referring to the Syrian passport that was found near the body of one of the suicide bombers near the Stade de France, the national sports stadium.)”  (http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/paris-terror-attacks/texas-gov-greg-abbott-we-wont-accept-syrian-refugees-after-n464221)

IS IT SAFE to haphazardly accept more immigrants – from any nation – without first performing thorough background checks on each and everyone, and without first knowing where and how we are going to house them, and how we are we going to feed them and care for their medical problems WHEN WE CANNOT EVEN DO THIS WITH THE IMMIGRANTS THAT WE NOW HAVE ON OUR HANDS???

Don’t misunderstand me here.  I am not a bigot,and I am damned proud of my Italian-Jewish heritage.  I just do not believe in creating bigger problems than the ones we already face in this great country of ours on a day-to-day basis!!!



A little over 10 years ago I was diagnosed as having Diabetes Type 2, and I have been taking 500 MG of Metformin HCL twice daily ever since then.  In 2007 I began experiencing Peripheral Neuropathy, or what appears to be popularly referred to today as Diabetic Nerve Pain.  Sharp, almost excruciating, pain –  a feeling like someone was sticking hot needles into my feet or toes – would frequently wake me up in the middle of the night.  At other times I would feel a tingling sensation in my fingers; almost as if they had gone to sleep.

Being a proficient and knowledgeable computer user, I decided to research these problems on the Internet to see if I could determine a cause and find a solution for them before running off to my PCP.  It only took a little while for me to discover an article posted by the Mayo Clinic that indicated the cause of my discomfort might be the result of long-term usage of the drug Metformin.  While I am no longer able find that specific article, there is still enough information online to verify those findings.  For example:   ” Metformin, a common diabetes drug that helps control blood sugar levels, also may cause vitamin B-12 deficiency. But the relationship between diabetic neuropathy and metformin-induced vitamin B-12 deficiency isn’t well-understood.”  (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetic-neuropathy/in-depth/diabetic-neuropathy-and-dietary-supplements/art-20095406).

and this:

“Metformin has been associated with vitamin B12 deficiency, and this is more likely to occur after more than 3 years of use. It is a dose-related phenomenon and more prevalent at dosages of more than 1.5 g/d.9 In a recent randomized trial using 2.5 g/d of metformin for 4 years, the treatment group had a 7.2% greater absolute risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency (<200 pg/mL; to convert to pmol/L, multiply by 0.7378) vs the group receiving placebo.10 Homocysteine is often modestly elevated as well; however, in this case, checking for elevated homocysteine levels would not be indicated. The clinical severity is mild to moderate in most cases, with mild peripheral neuropathy and anemia (hemoglobin values in the 11 g/dL range) being the most common findings in symptomatic patients.

The mechanism is thought to be malabsorption of food cobalamin in the distal ileum. The ileal cell surface receptor depends on intraluminal calcium to function effectively, and metformin interferes with this interaction. In fact, one report of patients taking metformin indicated significant improvement in vitamin B12absorption with increased intake of calcium.”  (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3012636/).

and this:

“One potential health problem from vitamin B12 deficiency is neuropathy, and almost 30% of diabetic patients older than 40 have impaired sensation in the feet.13 Unfortunately, the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy overlap with the paresthesias, impaired vibration sense, and impaired proprioception associated with B12 deficiency.14 As a result, B12 deficiency–induced nerve damage may be confused with or contribute to diabetic peripheral neuropathy.15 Identifying the correct etiology of neuropathy is crucial because simple vitamin B12 replacement may reverse neurologic symptoms inappropriately attributed to hyperglycemia”  (http://www.jabfm.org/content/22/5/528.full).

Although the information quoted above has been taken from recent publications, similar information was noted in that Mayo posting that I originally discovered in 2007.  Since my PCP had already scheduled me to have some lab work performed as a regular follow-up on my health in the near future, I called him and asked if he would consider adding a test to determine if I might have a Vitamin B-12 deficiency (specifically, a Methylcobalamin deficiency;  There are other forms of B-12, but a “cobalamin” deficienty is apparently the one that causes the peripheral nueropathy), and he agreed.  A visit to the lab a week later confirmed that I was indeed suffering from a Vitamin B-12 Methylcobalamin  deficiency, and I started taking his recommended dosage of 1000 mcg’s daily.  The stinging sensations that occurred in my feet and toes, and the numbing sensations in my fingers, soon began to lessen, and after a few weeks they rarely occurred.  I have been taking 1000 mcg’s of Methylcobalamin for about 8 years now, and I rarely ever experience signs of Diabetic Nerve Pain or Peripheral Neuropathy these days (usually only if I forget to take my B-12).  It is a pleasant tasting, quick dissolving, little pink pill that you place under your tongue.  I started taking it at night, but I concluded that it might be contributing to my difficulty in falling asleep, so I began taking it after lunch and I still do so today).



PLEASE UNDERSTAND that I am NOT a doctor and I have absolutely no medical training; nor am I benefiting in any way from publishing this information.  I am publishing this article because I believe too many people are being misinformed by the pill-pushing drug companies that advertise their high-priced Diabetic Nerve Pain medications on TV, when a very inexpensive vitamin might be the solution to eliminating your discomfort.

DO NOT CHANGE ANY OF YOUR MEDICATIONS BECAUSE OF WHAT YOU READ HERE, and, if you think the Methylcobalamin might reduce or eliminate any nerve pain that you do experience, PLEASE DISCUSS YOUR FEELINGS WITH YOUR DOCTOR AND/or arrange for a Vitamin B-12 deficiency test first!

(One might think that the best solution for eliminating diabetic nerve pain would be to stop taking Metformin.  Unfortunately, there is no cure for Diabetes, and until one is found I will have to continue taking this drug.  On the upside, I have been able to reduce my weight by 30 lbs this year, and consequently able to cut my dosage of Metformin by 25%).

I spent the first 9 -1/2 years of my life, and many summers after that, growing up on a small vegetable farm in “South Jersey;” the southern part of the state of New Jersey.  We grew sweet corn; lots of it – and after my family opened two farmers markets we leased our 16 acres to a farmer who continued to grow sweet corn; lots more of it!  This is what an ear of sweet corn looked like in the ’40’s and 50’s and ’60’s:

It may not be pretty, but it sure as hell was sweet!  I cannot begin to image how one of today’s shoppers would react if he or she started to strip an ear of corn in the supermarket and discovered WORMS.  OMG!.  But that is the way almost every ear of corn that was pulled from a cornfield (anybodies cornfield) way back then looked like.  We pulled the corn, husked it, took out a sharp knife and cut out “the bad parts,” and delivered it to Aunt Mary!  She boiled it in a big pot of water for about 8 minutes, then put it on a big plate in the middle of the table (quite often, in the middle of the kitchen table).  We gathered around the table; grabbed ears of hot sweet corn (sometimes Golden Bantam; sometimes Silver Queen), slathered them with lots of butter and covered them with salt and pepper.  Sometimes that’s all we had, or wanted, for dinner.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THOSE WORMS?  They were almost completely destroyed by PYRETHROIDS AND Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis – a GMO laden with protein. 

WHY?  Because Corn Earworms are ugly. scary, creepy little wiggly things that NOBODY, I mean absolutely NOBODY wants to find in the food they are about to buy and take home.  SO . . . here is what mankind did to the tastiest sweet corn that ever grew:

HE INVENTED PYRETHROIDS and sprayed the corn.  What are pyrethroids, you ask?  Well, read what is printed here and tell me what you think about them:

Pyrethroids and Health Effects

Pyrethroids have irritant and/or sensitizing properties. They are not easily absorbed through the skin, but are absorbed through the gut and pulmonary membrane. Tests of some pyrethroids on laboratory animals reveal striking neurotoxicity when administered by injection or orally. Systemic toxicity by inhalation and dermal absorption is low. The acute toxicity, calculated by LD50’s, ranges from low to high, depending on the specific formulation. Low toxicity is attributed to two factors: limited absorption of some pyrethroids, and rapid biodegradation by mammalian liver enzymes (ester hydrolysis and oxidation). Insects, without this liver function, exhibit greater susceptibility to the chemicals (Reigart et al., 1999).

Pyrethroids interfere with the ionic conductance of nerve membranes by prolonging the sodium current. This stimulates nerves to discharge repeatedly causing hyper-excitability in poisoned animals. The World Health Organization explains that synthetic pyrethroids are neuropoisons acting on the axons in the peripheral and central nervous systems by interacting with sodium channels in mammals and/or insects. The main systems for metabolism include breakage of the ester bond by esterase action and oxidation at various parts of the molecule. Induction of liver microsomal enzymes has also been observed (WHO, 1999).

Signs and symptoms of poisoning by pyrethroids may take several forms. Because of the similarities to crude pyrethrum, pyrethroids may act as dermal and respiratory allergens. Exposure to pyrethroids has resulted in contact dermatitis and asthma-like reactions. Persons, especially children, with a history of allergies or asthma are particularly sensitive, and a strong cross-reactivity with ragweed pollen has been recognized. Severe anaphylactic (allergic) reactions with peripheral vascular collapse and respiratory difficulty are rare. Other symptoms of acute toxicity due to inhalation include sneezing, nasal stuffiness, headache, nausea, incoordination, tremors, convulsions, facial flushing and swelling, and burning and itching sensations. The most severe poisonings have been reported in infants, who are not able to efficiently break down pyrethroids (ETN, Pyrethroids, 1994). With orally ingested doses, nervous symptoms may occur, which include excitation and convulsions leading to paralysis, accompanied by muscular fibrillation and diarrhea (ETN, Pyrethroids, 1994). Death in these cases is due to respiratory failure. Symptoms of acute exposure last about 2 days.

Endocrine Disruption and Breast Cancer

Many pyrethroids have also been linked to disruption of the endocrine system, which can adversely affect reproduction and sexual development, interfere with the immune system and increase chances of breast cancer. Pyrethroids contain human-made, or xenoestrogens, which can increase the amount of estrogen in the body (Garey et al., 1998). When tested, certain pyrethroids demonstrate significant estrogenicity and increase the levels of estrogen in breast cancer cells (Go et al., 1999). Because increased cell division enhances the chances for the formation of a malignant tumor in the breast, artificial hormones, like those found in pyrethroids, may increase breast cancer risk (PCBR, 1996). Some pyrethroids are classified by EPA as class C (possible human) carcinogens.

Pyrethroids and the Environment

While the development of the synthetic pyrethroids was heralded with claims of selective toxicity to insects, both pyrethroids and pyrethrins are extremely toxic to aquatic organisms, including fish such as the bluegill and lake trout, with LC50 values less than 1.0 parts per billion. These levels are similar to those for mosquito, blackfly and tsetse fly larvae, often the actual target of the pyrethroid application. Lobster, shrimp, mayfly nymphs and zooplankton are the most susceptible non-target aquatic organisms (Mueller-Beilschmidt, 1990). The nonlethal effects of pyrethroids on fish include damage to the gills and behavioral changes.

Pyrethroids are moderately toxic to birds, with most LD50 values greater than 1000 mg/kg. Birds can also be indirectly affected by pyrethroids, because of the threat to their food supply. Waterfowl and small insectivorous birds are the most susceptible (Mueller-Beilschmidt, 1990). Because pyrethroids are toxic to all insects, both beneficial insects and pests are affected by pyrethroid applications. In some cases, predator insects may be susceptible to a lower dose than the pest, disrupting the predator-prey relationship. 


 And, since the Pyrethroids did not completely eliminate those yukky little worms that were shaking up the supermarket shoppers, man then created “Bt” or Bacillus thuringiensis.”  Sound better?  Then read all about Bt here:

Bt Crops Could be Monsanto’s Greatest Failure

This failure of Bt corn could be the most serious threat ever to a genetically modified crop in the US, with billions of dollars at stake, because not only is Bt corn producing resistant “super-pests,” researchers have also found that the Bt toxin can indeed wreak havoc on human health.

Monsanto and the EPA swore that the GM corn would only harm insects. The Bt toxin produced inside the plant would be completely destroyed in the human digestive system and would not have any impact at all on consumers, they claimed. But, once again, Monsanto’s claims turned out to be false. In 2011, doctors at Sherbrooke University Hospital in Quebec found Bt-toxin in the blood of:8

  • 93 percent of pregnant women tested
  • 80 percent of umbilical blood in their babies
  • 67 percent of non-pregnant women

The study authors speculated that the Bt toxin was likely consumed in the normal diet of the Canadian middle class—which makes sense when you consider that GM corn is present in the vast majority of all processed foods and drinks in the form of high fructose corn syrup, corn oil and other corn products. They also suggested that the toxin may have come from eating meat from animals fed Bt corn, which most livestock raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are.

These shocking results also raise the frightening possibility that eating Bt corn might actually turn your intestinal flora into a sort of “living pesticide factory”… essentially manufacturing Bt toxin from within your digestive system on a continuing basis through the transference of the Bt-producing gene to your gut bacteria.

Is GM Bt Toxin in Your Body Right Now?

If you eat processed foods with any regularity, it’s highly likely that, you do have Bt toxin in your body. Farmers have used Bt-toxin from soil bacteria as a natural pesticide for many years, and biotech companies have therefore claimed that Bt-toxin has a “history of safe use in agriculture.” But there’s a major difference between spraying it on plants, where it biodegrades in sunlight and can be carefully washed off, and genetically altering the plant to produce it internally.

Remember this: the GMO Bt toxin is not sprayed on the plant, the plant is genetically altered to produce it in EVERY cell in the plant. It is simply impossible to wash off. And if you eat any GMO Bt crops, such as corn or cottonseed oil, you will most definitely have this toxin enter your body. Remember, it was never designed to be in your body and there have been no studies performed that confirm its safety in this setting.

Bt crops have the Bt-toxin gene built-in, so the toxin cannot be washed off. You simply cannot avoid consuming it. Furthermore, the plant-produced version of the poison is thousands of times more concentrated than the spray. If Bt genes are indeed capable of transferring horizontally to the bacteria colonizing the human digestive tract, scientists believe it could reasonably result in:

  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Food allergies
  • Childhood learning disorders

Already, there’s plenty of other evidence showing that the Bt toxin produced in GM corn (and cotton plants) is toxic to humans and mammals and triggers immune system responses. For example, in government-sponsored research in Italy, mice fed Monsanto’s Bt corn showed a wide range of immune responses, such as:9

  • Elevated IgE and IgG antibodies, which are typically associated with allergies and infections
  • An increase in cytokines, which are associated with allergic and inflammatory responses. The specific cytokines (interleukins) that were found to be elevated are also higher in humans who suffer from a wide range of disorders, from arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease to MS and cancer
  • Elevated T cells (gamma delta), which are increased in people with asthma, and in children with food allergies, juvenile arthritis and connective tissue diseases

Rats fed another of Monsanto’s Bt corn varieties called MON 863, also experienced an activation of their immune systems, showing higher numbers of basophils, lymphocytes and white blood cells.10 These can indicate possible allergies, infections, toxins, and various disease states including cancer. There were also signs of liver and kidney toxicity.http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/09/10/monsanto-bt-corn.aspx


Photo taken from www.pioneer.com

Photo taken from http://www.pioneer.com

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Instructables: exploring - featured

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