In Case You Missed It – Chris Noon on WSJ Live Chat

 

In case you missed the live chat yesterday, you can watch a replay of the discussion between Sarah E. Needleman, Wall Street Journal reporter; Orly Lobel, Professor of Law at University of San Diego; Carey Smith, CEO of Big Ass Fans; and our own Chris Noon, on whether or not the skills is gap real or if business owners are simply too picky—or even just too cheap—to train possible candidates.

 

 

 

TODAY – Our Own Chris Noon Debuts on WSJ Live Chat

 

At 2:30pm EST today, July 10, Chris Noon will be chatting with the editor of the Wall Street Journal about small businesses. The segment is titled, “Is the Skills Gap Real?” and discusses why many small-business owners say they’re struggling to find job candidate.

 

Read the article on the skills shortage on the WSJ, then join us at 2:30 to listen to or join the chat. Hope to see you there!

 

The Obsession over Perfect Lawns

 

Peter Keough of the Boston Globe asks in his editorial piece, “Why are we obsessed with having a pretty lawn?”

 

Historically, it could have been seen as a sign of spiritual purity. These days, “lawns offer an escape from daily drudgery, freedom from iPhones, and reconnection with the grit and smell and ephemera of nature.”

 

Read the article here, then tell us below why you love your lawn.

 

5 Safest Cities in Massachusetts

 

What do Sudbury, Wayland, Weston, Franklin, and Norfolk all have in common? In addition to being a part of the old Bay State, these communities have been named the top 5 safest cities in Massachusetts.

 

Safewise, a home security comparison tool, has compiled a list based on independent research as well as the most recent FBI Crime Report.  In order to be considered for a spot on this elite list, a city must have been home to over 10,000 people as of 2012.  The number of violent and property crimes were identified, and the chance of these crimes occurring out of 1,000 was then calculated. With such safe neighborhoods to boast for, it is no surprise that Massachusetts is the third most populated state in the country!

 

Myths About Mosquitoes

 

Many common beliefs about mosquitoes are nothing more than myths. For instance, not all mosquitoes bite humans. Entomologist Joseph M. Conlon explains that not all of the 3500 mosquito species feed on human blood and only the female mosquitoes go after blood, to aid in their egg production. Mosquitoes are also not attracted to specific colors, blood types, or foods. However, they are attracted to heat, carbon dioxide and larger masses which means that men, pregnant women, and people that are sweaty are more prone to bites. Mosquito-born diseases are becoming a larger threat in the U.S. due to increased travel and tourism. Conlon explains, “The world’s becoming a smaller place, and some of (the) nastiest diseases on Earth are only a six-hour plane flight away.” To protect yourself, use repellents on the body which are much more effective than citronella plants and candles.

 

To learn more visit: http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/04/health/mosquito-bites-myths/index.html

 

 

The Dangerous Pest You’ve Never Heard Of

 

“Right now, the emerald ash borer is the most destructive insect we have in North America,” says Nathan Siegert, United States Forest Service entomologist. The beetle is thought to have traveled from China in wooden pallets, infesting ash trees from Minnesota to New York, and even Ontario. Implications of this situation are far greater than what meets the eye. In addition to the loss of a favorite backyard tree, emerald ash borers will be to blame for an entirely different ecosystem. During the winter, larvae burrow deep into the ash tree’s trunk by eating through the bark as they seek shelter from the cold. In the process, the tree is cut off from access to nutrients and water necessary for its survival. Vast amounts of native insects depend on ash trees for food or breeding, and a number of birds feed on these insects. Entomologists see no clear solution to the problem, but with the development of new insecticides, we hope ash trees can win the battle.

 

Find out more here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/01/science/earth/ash-forests-after-emerald-ash-borers-destroy-them.html

 

 

WBUR: Interview with Expert Who First Spotted Lyme in Ticks

Allen Steere, MD, first discovered ticks as carriers of Lyme disease back in 1975. Here, he’s interviewed on ‘Here & Now’ with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson about the disease, and why he believes that ‘chronic’ Lyme is overdiagnosed.

 

Mosquito Season 2014

Long yet mild, winter 2014 sparked what experts predict to be a brutal mosquito season due to the lack of repeated freezes necessary to kill off the insects. Their stark abundance is showing up nationwide earlier than expected, causing citizens to grow apprehensive of potential diseases being carried by the mosquitos. It is important to know that standing water is the ideal breeding ground for mosquitos.  With the wet season upon us, we must proceed with caution.  One simple tip for homeowners is to take your potted plants outside and tip them over to rid of any excess water.  If you develop symptoms like a fever, a severe headache, or swollen glands, visit your health care provider immediately, as these could be signs of more serious infections.

 

Follow the link below to watch a Today Show special on this subject:

http://www.today.com/video/today/47532495#47532495

 

 

How to Identify Red Thread

Although red thread disease is most severe in the spring and fall, the pathogen can develop during any time of the year when the weather is cool and wet.  The disease leaves irregular patches of tan/yellowing grass. From afar, however, affected areas tend to appear reddish in color due to the growth of stromata, thick red fibers of fungus stemming from infected leaves.  After infecting the grass, the stromata can sustain in soil for two years. Once they are fully germinated, the stromata spreads by infecting neighboring grass leaf blades through their stomata, tiny openings typically located on the outer layer of the leaf’s skin.  When humidity is high and leaves are wet, Mycelium, the vegetative part of a fungus, begins to grow as small, fuzzy pink clusters where the grass blades meet.  After extended periods of time, red thread may develop further, and patches may merge to form large areas of diseased grass.  If you think your grass may be victim to red thread, contact Noon Turf Care to have a specialist provide you with a personalized action plan. For more information on red thread, check out http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/diseases/Red_Thread.aspx.

 

 

Save the Bees

Einstein once said, “If bees ever die out, mankind will die out four years later.” Over millions of years, plants and insects have developed a system of mutual cooperation where bees play an essential role in the reproduction of all plants by facilitating the pollination process. Consequently, as much as one third of what we eat would not exist without bees, whether directly or indirectly pollinated. Imagine the human labor necessary to pollinate 800,000 acres of almond trees. Luckily, we humans can avoid what would be a huge time- and money-expenditure, and we have the bees to thank.

 

More and more, we are finding abandoned bee nests. During the winter of 2013, one third of the U.S. honey bee colonies died. Anything that ends in “–cide” means it is meant to kill. Unfortunately, that happens to be exactly what we are putting into the food of our bees. Bees are pollinating genetically altered crops like corn, ingesting chemical pesticides, miticides, medication, etc., making it difficult for them to metabolize. In response, beekeepers are proposing the making of an area that would be pesticide free, in order to see if bees will bounce back. Another process thought to be harming bees occurs when beekeepers breed gentler bees. Although it would put some bee-fearing minds at ease, being gentle does not help the bees, as they cannot defend against diseases as well. When 1.5 million bee colonies meet on a plantation, they infect each other with diseases and parasites. If precautions are not taken, the devastating effects of continuous bee die-off will be expedited and guaranteed.

 

What can we do to help?

  • Plant flowers that are known to be bee-attractors so that they can get some food in the months of August and September, a low spot for bees
  • Be cautious of which pesticides you use and when you use them
  • Respect bees. If they’re aggressive, this is normal

 

Bees can survive on very scarce resources, so they are expected to bounce back. What is in question is whether or not we will still be able to use them as we use them today. If action is not taken, the amount of food production will dramatically decrease, prices will increase, and we will have to import more from other areas of the world.

 

To learn more about the world’s impact on bee die-off, please visit http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/06/05/bee-die-off for an informative NPR podcast.

 

 

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