• The Scotts Miracle-Gro company has confessed to selling birdseed—contaminated with an insecticide that is harmful to birds! (Way to grow your customer base!)
Scotts pled guilty this Tuesday to charges that the company illegally put insecticides in its “Morning Song” and “Country Pride” brands of bird seed. That’s right: The company knowingly coated products intended for birds to eat with substances toxic to birds and wildlife.Morning Song birdseed mix probably has great shelf life, though.
• A skeptical look at wind power from Europe.
Wind frequently does not blow when we need it. For example, as the BBC reported, the cold weather on Dec. 21, 2010, was typical of a prolonged cold front, with high-pressure areas and little wind. Whereas wind power, on average, supplies 5 percent of the UK’s electricity, its share fell to just 0.04 percent that day. With demand understandably peaking, other sources, such as coal and gas, had to fill the gap.The author argues that published cost-per-kilowatt hour figures for renewable energy sources leave out the cost of conventional power plants that must take up the slack when the wind does not blow or the sun does not shine.
• I did not know this—you can still be a Junior Forest Ranger. There is a website with activity booklets and info for parents, teachers, etc.
• On one newspaper job, I used to take the weekly photo of an animal up for adoption at the local shelter. I learned a few tricks about making them look good in B&W photos, but I could have benefited from this site. It's all about taking good animal photos to help in the adoption process, and you can download a PDF of photography tips.