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Zombie Fungus Stalks Bats October 8, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Nature, Sustainable Living.
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Nope.  This isn’t an early Halloween post.  According to Defenders of Wildlife:

It’s a horror story — but it’s all too real. White-nose syndrome has devastated bat populations along the East Coast — and this lethal infection is spreading.

Biologists estimate that more than 1 million bats have fallen victim to this deadly fungal disease.

Wikipedia ~ Indiana Bat (in Public Domain)

In the latest Defenders magazine, journalist Madeline Bodin tags along as scientists race to unravel this terrible illness that’s wiping out bats.

For more information:  Flying in the Dark

Time Travel October 8, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Sustainable Living.
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Each time we visit Manatee Village Historical Park, we step back in time to 1912.

What a difference a century makes.

Yesterday, taking advantage of cooler temps, we escaped the incessant demands of internet, cell phones, computer passwords, and cyber speak.

Instead of text messages, tweets, and cyber misunderstandings, we engaged in real time, face-to-face conversations with several of the village docents.

Leo Stanford, a transplant from New England, delighted us with tales from the early days of Manatee County, and his wife Sandy invited us back to celebrate a Cracker Christmas on December 11th, when the village will be decorated from head to toe with period trees, ornaments and costumes.

As we wandered the grounds, we enjoyed a brief flashback from modern mayhem and complexity to simplicity.


The Settler’s House, a “Cracker” Cottage, built in 1912, delighted us with its three outside porches, a central breezeway to catch the breeze, and gaps in the floorboards to attract cooler air from under the house.

No phone, no pool, no pets ~ just an oasis of calm serenity in the middle of pines and palms.

We toured the Wiggins Store, built in 1903, with shelves lined with every thing the early settlers needed ~ from thread to barbed wire, fabric to dry goods and gadgets.  And not a single iPod or laptop in sight.

We visited the relocated boat works, a time capsule sealed in 1944 (when Captain Bartholomew “Bat” Fogarty died) and reopened and restored in 1993.  We toured the Blacksmith Shop, a Smokehouse, a Turpentine Still, a Potter Barn, the Old Meeting House (circa 1887), and learned some interesting trivia about Outhouses.

Even in the pioneer days of Florida,  justice needed to be dispensed.

And what a gorgeous dispensary!

Cases ran the gamut from cattle rustling to trespass to divorce to disorderly conduct to public intoxication.

The fine for public intoxication?

Ten cents!

BMI Calculator October 8, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness.
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If you’re focused on improving your fitness level, one place to start is by calculating your current BMI (Body Mass Index).

BMI estimates your percentage of body fat using your height and weight (and a complicated formula that I can never remember).  I cheat and use a BMI calculator that remembers the formula for me. 

Here’s a link to a BMI calculator (based on height in feet and inches, and weight in pounds):  AARP BMI Calculator

If your BMI is 25 and below, congratulations!  

* From 18.5 to 24.9 is considered healthy. 
* Above 25 is considered overweight. 
* Above 30 is considered obese.

Caveat:  If you are an athlete with large heavy muscles, your BMI will be higher than for less muscular folks. 

Of course, if you are an athlete, you probably already knew that.