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Cockroaches.

Filthy.
Yucky.
Apart from acting as an indicator of hygiene, the presence of this six-legged creature often prompt nerve-breaking shrieks and wails from ladies and men alike.

Image: superstock.co.uk
Cockroaches, however, are no less fascinating. They’re nocturnal, have two brains (one inside their skulls, and a second, more primitive brain that is back near their abdomen), they have cream-colored blood, they can tolerate a higher dose of radiation (cockroaches survived the atomic bombs test blast at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands), and female stores sperms which may last her a lifetime.

Cockroaches will eat almost anything including glue, feces, hair, decayed leaves, paper, leather, banana skins, other cockroaches, and dead or alive humans. They will not, however, eat cucumbers. They are particulary fond of dried milk around a baby’s mouth. German cockroaches Blattella germanica, the most common domestic roach in the United States, have been observed to live 45 days without food, and more than two weeks with neither food nor water.
Image: stockphotos.it
The roaches are not confined to any particular environment and live in a tremendous variety of places, from underneath woodpiles in Alaska to high in the jungle canopy in the tropics of Costa Rica. They are even found in the caves of Borneo and under the thorn bushes in arid stretches of Kenya. Wherever they live, they are masters at surviving.
Image: collegesuccess33.blogspot.com
The insect is also notoriously hard to kill.

Richard Schweid, the author of The Cockroach Papers observes that

“when a cockroach feels a breeze stirring the hairs on its cerci, it does not wait around to see what is going to happen next, but leaves off whatever it is doing and goes immediately into escape mode in something remarkably close to instantaneous fashion.”
Image: vishaaa.hubpages.com
Studies show that a cockroaches can respond in about 1/20th of a second, so

“by the time a light comes on and human sight can register it, much less react by reaching for and hoisting something with which to squash it, a roach is already locomoting towards safety.”
Image: buzzle.com
Since it’s almost impossible to kill a cockroach physically, we must resort to chemicals.

I had the opportunity to test the resolve of the German roach firsthand.  In one of my past employment adventures I cared for roaches.  Yes, a long story for another blog entry.  Suffice to say, captive roaches do not fear Raid or HotShot nearly as much as I felt they should.  So what can one do if these visitors have infested their home?


Make them come to us and fight back dirty!

Get some moist stale while bread with warm, slightly soured beer, and then place it in a jar. Apply petroleum jelly, for example Vaseline to the interior rim of the jar to prevent the trapped insect from climbing out.
Image: k12.hi.us
Next, dispose the intruder accordingly. I suggest fire grinding or draino.  Raid will work, but close the container and let it steep. 

You may not want it to return so make sure it is killed and not released. It’s not an endangered species anyway.




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How organizational structure and conflict relate to each other.
Teamwork requires cooperation and communication.  When you have diverse teams with different job tasks and goals, then conflict will arise.  In some cases this conflict will benefit the organization by motivating each team to work harder in competition with one another (Ivancevich et al, 2008).  However this can also backfire and cause anti productive behaviors between the teams.  If key factors are missing, then the conflict will often consume both teams and lead to failure (Sheard & Kakabadse, 2001).  
Key factors like clear goals for each time, clear leadership, good communication, appropriate resources and infrastructure are needed for success.  Without these factors conflict among teams can become disruptive (Sheard & Kakabadse, 2001).
If the organization has the foresight to design the teams and interaction with intelligence, then conflict can be reduced (van der Helm, 2007).  I have teams that are organized by floor in a large facility.  Each team is responsible for their own area, yet they have a reciprocal independence amongst each other.  The success of each team and the completion of their work relies upon the output of the other floors.  This can cause conflict if one floor perceives another as slacking or giving them inferior materials.  One of the techniques used to alleviate conflicts is common goals and objectives for all teams and variable rewards for achieving those goals. We have also provided better communication tools and training in conflict resolution so they can manage relatively minor issues independently without management involvement.  This has dramatically reduced the number of disciplines and productivity problems.
References:
Chong, P., & Benli, O. (2005). Consensus in team decision making involving resource allocation. Management Decision, 43(9), 1147-1160.
Drea, C., & Carter, A.P. (2009). Cooperative problem solving in a social carnovore. Animal Behavior, 78, 967-977.
Ivancevich, J.M., Konopaske, R., & Matteson, M.T. (2008). Organizational Behavior Management. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin
Sheard, A.G., & Kakabadse, A.P. (2001). From loose groups to effective teams. The Journal of Management and Development, 21(2), 133-155
van der Helm, R. (2007). Ten insolvable dilemmas of participation and why foresight has to deal with them. Foresight, 9(3), 1-17.

The population of rhino is in peril. 
The last one-horned Javan rhino in Vietnam was killed by poachers in 2010, effectively marking the end of a unique subspecies of Javan rhino. 

That leaves us with the last subspecies of Javan rhino Rhinoceros sondaicus sondaicus in Indonesia. But the last census (2008) noted that fewer than 50 of the Indonesian subspecies exist in the wild.

Image: phys.org

Elsewhere, rhinos don’t fare so well neither. There are less than 250 adult Sumatran rhinos left in the world. In 2012, over 455 African rhinos were killed by poachers.

Image: treesouls.com

The primary cause that compels the continual poaching of rhinos is the demand for rhino horns in the black market. Rhino horns, despite its similarity to human nails, are still highly valued in traditional Chinese medicine. According to the National Geographic Magazine, an eight-pound rhino horn can reap up to $360,000 in the black market, a price deemed irresistible to many poor African poachers.

Image: buffalo-surf.com

So something must be done before poachers wipe out the 45 million-year-old species entirely. But how? The rise of China now brings more wealthy Chinese who see rhino horns as a symbol of status. When you have 1.3-billion rhino horn fanatics with ever increasing purchasing power, the rhinos don’t stand a chance.

Image: ngm.nationalgeographic.com

Fortunately, conservationists in South Africa have come up with a new way to save rhinos: poison the horns.

Conservationists working for the Rescue Rhino Project plans to inject rhino horns with

“a dye which turns the horn brightly and irrevocably pink, kind of like the dye used in ink packs to secure money at a bank. That makes it useless as a prize or ornament, and even if the horn is ground to a fine powder, it’ll still show up in an airport security scanner. Three separate GPS chips are implanted into the horn, kind of like this older project–it’s worth mentioning here that a rhino’s horn is made of keratin, just like your fingernails, and the animal feels no pain during any of this. And the dye has no adverse health effects on the rhino.” 

Image: bagheera.com

The conservationists will seek to improve their implementation by adding in poison in the future. The best thing is that the poison is safe for the rhino as well as any animals in the rhino’s ecosystem, but very toxic for humans, effectively making it unusable as both medicine (toxic) and as decorative element (pink).

Horseshoe crabs- Miracle Blood

The classification of the Horseshoe crab is as follows: Phylum Arthropoda, Class Merostomata,  Family Limulidae, Genus Limulus, Species polyphemus . An adult female Limulus will attain lengths of 24 inches.  Most first time encounters can be rather scary, because they also have a very long spiked tail. Contrary to public opinion, the tail is quite harmless and the horseshoe crab should never be picked up this way. This unique creature lives on sandy or muddy bottoms.  Because of its propensity to burrow, it prefers a softer sediment.  It frequents intertidal and sub-tidal regions, rarely going deeper than 75 feet.  The Atlantic Horseshoe crab may be found from the Gulf of Maine all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. They start of life very light in color.  When small, they are a sand color and, as they molt and grow older, they darken.  After the terminal molt, they are a deep brown color.

Image: cccmkc.edu.hk

Most animals have red blood. Our blood is red thanks to the presence of iron (Fe) in our hemoglobin. Hemoglobin transports oxygen, and since oxygen has poor solubility in water, iron is needed to bind those oxygen molecules onto the hemoglobin.

Some animals are different and have blue-colored blood. Some examples of the blue bloods are the octopus and squid, along with the humble Horseshoe Crab.  They all have blue blood, thanks to the presence of copper as oxygen-transporting agent in their blood, and the blue-colored copper-based molecules are called hemocyanin. 
Image: oar.noaa.gov

Limulus has an interesting history as well.  It was once used en masse as a fertilizer.  Tens of thousands were harvested and spread on fields to fertilize for the summer harvests.  It was a cheap source of fertilizer, since the flesh of the Limulus is inedible to humans and they are considered a nuisance species.  Most clam and oyster farmers dislike the presence of Limulus because they can disrupt their beds and, in the summertime, the beaches are clogged with thousands of crabs.  Trawlers also dislike the tons of crabs that take up valuable net space each year.  So, these animals were collected with little regard.  It was not until the 1970’s that scientists found a special use for Limulus.
Scientists have found out that the blue blood of Horseshoe Crabs does miraculous thing: when a crab gets injured and its insides are exposed to invading bacteria, a particular blood cell explodes, sending a mass of blood-clotting granules that instantly block out the invaders. Thi is invaluable for testing the sterility of pharmaceuticals, more about this later. Our blood clots too, thanks to the platelets in our blood. 

Frederick Bang first discovered the awesome quality of the Horseshoe Crab’s blood in the 1950s. He realized that the blood could serve as an alarm system to protect products (human cells, DNA) from contamination, as the blood clot as soon as there is any sign of negative bacteria.It was later recognized that the animal’s blood cells, mobile cells called amoebocytes, contain granules with a clotting factor known as coagulogen; this is released outside the cell when bacterial endotoxin is encountered. The resulting coagulation is thought to contain bacterial infections in the animal’s semi-closed circulatory system. He isolated the clotting agent and called it Limilus amoebocyte lystate (LAL), and a quart of this LAL could cost up to $15,000. A high-profit investment indeed. 
Fishermen would harvest crabs, extract their blood, sell the serum to pharmaceutical companies, and return the crabs to the wild. But not all crabs survive the ordeal–3~15% of the crabs die after being bled. As a result, the population of Horseshoe Crab in some states in the U.S has dropped significantly.It is now illegal to purposely kill Limulus in most coastal states.

Image: pbs.org

The Horseshoe Crab is one of the oldest creatures to ever walked the Earth. It has outlived the dinosaurs, and has had millions of years to perfect its defense system against invincible enemies. We seek to “borrow” their blood for our own interest, so it would be a shame if we fail keep the species alive in the end.It is always fascinating to observe a true living fossil, but these creatures are best left in nature.  If one is fortunate enough to see one at the beach, please keep a few things in mind.  They are 100% harmless.  Never pick them up by the tail, but grasp firmly onto the carapace and hold them.  They will thrash about , ‘close up,” and try for form a ball, but eventually they will relax,  and one can then observe the book gills, chelicerae – and even tell if it’s a boy or girl.  In males, the first pair of appendages, the chelicarae, have a thickened claw, much like boxing gloves.  The females do not have this.  And if, by chance, on a spring time full moon night at an East coast beach, you happen to be walking along the sand, keep your eyes open for one of the most spectacular events you will ever see.




Life in 2012 is a challenge for us all. Between work, family, and other activities we are all heavily scheduled and busy at all times. This of course can be good and productive for society and is as individuals. But being scheduled for the sake of appearances does some harm as well.

I have noticed a shortage of commitment in America lately. Lets look at the word. Commitment is defined as:
– noun
1.
the act of committing.
2.
the state of being committed.
3.
the act of committing, pledging, or engaging oneself.
4.
a pledge or promise; obligation: We have made a commitment to pay our bills on time.
5.
engagement; involvement: They have a sincere commitment to religion.

I especially want to pay close attention to definition number 3.

It seems to me that too many people don’t understand what commitment really means. It’s been my experience that people give their commitment to any number of activities without full appreciating what that commitment will entail.

An example: My children play soccer.  They are each on a team – boys and girls. We have a weekly practice for each team and a 90 minute game (30 minute warmup & 6- minute game time).  To date we have failed to have a full commitment of all players at both practice and game for either team. Of course we are all busy and between work commutes, other kid activities, dinner, etc. these scheduled events are tough to make, but as parents you commit to your child to have them play soccer.

What are we subconsciously teaching our kids if we as adults so easily blow off a commitment?  How do you explain to a second grader that they loose games each week because they never show up to practice?  Commitment is not easy and should not be undertaken lightly.  This is a solid value that as adults we need to follow through on to impart this character building knowledge to our kids.

Commitment is not just for sports and children’s activities.  It is also your word, your character and ability to be counted upon.  If a person commits to meeting a goal, then others should believe they will work diligently to achieve their stated goal.  Far too often adults commit to doing something and do not have the ability to follow through.

I am guilty of this as well. I often comment that I am a fringe folk.  By that I mean that I participate at the fringes of the group.  I am interested to a point, but not fully engaged enough to consider it a commitment.  One hope I have is that I convey to the people impacted that I intend to be a fringe participant and I do not overtly commit.

Sitting down writing this post, I have realized I have made a commitment to this blog.  To post regularly and write about topics I feel are worthwhile diversions of your time, and most especially, my time.

Welcome • Willkommen • Benvingut • 迎 • vítejte • Welkom • Maligayang pagdating • में आपका स्वागत है • fáilte a chur roimh • Benvenuto • 歓迎 • Velkommen • 환영 • Bienvenido • Välkommen

OK, I have covered my bases here in welcoming you to my blog.  I have decided to name the blog Irrelevant Musings. Not specifically because they are irrelevant (many probably are to most of you) but more because I have no agenda (yet) to convey. Why MadJellyfish? Why not? Plus, what is worse than a MadJellyfish – I can say not much.

Today is Friday 12 October 2012.  The day after the Steelers lost to Tennessee, the Orioles beat the Yankees in OT and the Vice Presidential debates. And I plan on discussing none of those topics. More to the point, I plan on discussion what you may expect to find in subsequent posts here.  “They” say to write what you know.  I’ve never been one to follow anything “they” have to say, but in this case its a good staring point.

I debated about researching a topic and writing some well crafted, witty essay and felt not only was that far too much work but would not fir the title of the blog very well. So I am sticking with what I know.  What do I know you ask? Well, I know a lot.  Actually, I must be honest.  I know some about many different things. I probably know more than most about many of them. Then again, maybe not. It will be your job, as the reader, to decide if I count as an “authority” on my topic or not.  After all, isn’t everything you read online true?

Which brings me to the word expert.

According to Google the word expert means:

A person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area.

I of course feel I have comprehensive and authoritative knowledge or or skill in a few particular areas.  The real question is if you agree, or care.  For the sake of simplicity, we will agree that you do care and that I presume to be an authority on a few areas.  That said, I will claim but fail to live up to any grandiose claims at brilliance or expertness.  For example – I could claim to be a reptile expert.  I mean I have kept reptiles as pets and in collections before.  I’ve got a degree in the biological sciences and studied reptiles. But fortunately for us all, I am aware I am NOT a reptile expert.  I am in fact just rather knowledgeable about the subject but by no means a herpetologist or expert on an entire phylum of animals.

Now that that ugly bit of housekeeping is out of the way we must broach the sensitive subject of why you even care what I have to say.  I mean there are millions of blogs in cyber space and of all those millions why bother to read mine? That is a damn good question, and other than some Google search spiders, perhaps some master intelligence NSA spy bot and some random folks who get trapped here to misadventures in html links or poor typing, I don’t expect many will be joining me.  What I can offer is the following:

• Irregular updates
• Random posts varying in prosaic quality
• Rants ranging from sane to lunatic
• An occasional tid bit of quality – emphasize occasional!
• A great diversion from any task you would really rather not be doing.

Lets be honest I can almost guarantee reading my blog will be superior to doing your taxes, cleaning a public rest room at a truck stop, having a root canal and maybe even a boring meeting at work. In the rare chance you enjoy any of the aforementioned tasks then I can guarantee this blog is not for you.

Are you still with me here?  Good.  We can continue.  I will now take the time to introduce the stalwart few of you left with a disclaimer of sorts. While this blog is based on the living (or seemingly living) and real life people, I will anonymize people, places and embarrassing bits. In part so I don’t get sued, and mainly because I always wanted a disclaimer and this may be my big shot to have one.

So here it goes:

PrivacyThe author of this blog does not share personal information with third-parties nor does the author store information is collected about your visit for use other than to analyze content performance through the use of cookies, which you can turn off at anytime by modifying your Internet browser’s settings. The author is not responsible for the republishing of the content found on this blog on other Web sites or media without permission. That said, this site is hosted by Blogger, and by definition Google and we know they mine data, make money off us and use our data in weird and perhaps perverse ways.  You have been warned.
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In general I don’t care.  But From time to time I will want to abuse the awesome power of being a blog author and randomly delete posts or criticisms.  Hey – life ain’t fair, so get used to it.


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OK. That is all out of the way.  Back to the good stuff. If you are still with me at this point then you really have a problem with procrastination.  Not that procrastination is bad per se, but you may wish to seek professional help just in case.