Does Viagra Keep Flowers From Wilting?

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Viagra (sildenafil citrate) has a firmly established ability to keep the male organ erect. But you might be surprised to learn that it has also been used in the laboratory to keep cut flowers from going limp. With Mother’s Day coming up, we decided to test this out for ourselves and find out if the same pill that keeps Dad’s woody from wilting can keep Mom’s mums looking perky. We also compared two other chemical additives recommended by household hints sites for keeping flowers fresh – vodka and Sprite.

How To Make a Yellow Jacket Trap

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My grandpa turned me onto this sure-fire yellow jacket eliminator about 50 years ago when I was just a youngster. I’ve observed its efficiency in removing all the yellow jackets from our campsite in a matter of a single day and before the week was over the entire campground was free of these hostile pests that make camping and other outdoor activities miserable. This method is NON-TOXIC and for the most part pet and wildlife friendly due to the harmless components that are used to build the “system.”

(via Make:Blog)

Bruce Schneier on Privacy

From Wired:

The most common retort against privacy advocates — by those in favor of ID checks, cameras, databases, data mining and other wholesale surveillance measures — is this line: “If you aren’t doing anything wrong, what do you have to hide?”

Some clever answers: “If I’m not doing anything wrong, then you have no cause to watch me.” “Because the government gets to define what’s wrong, and they keep changing the definition.” “Because you might do something wrong with my information.” My problem with quips like these — as right as they are — is that they accept the premise that privacy is about hiding a wrong. It’s not. Privacy is an inherent human right, and a requirement for maintaining the human condition with dignity and respect.

Two proverbs say it best: Quis custodiet custodes ipsos? (“Who watches the watchers?”) and “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Does Wal-Mart Increase Poverty Rates?

A new study claims that Wal-Mart raises poverty rates in the counties where its stores are located.

A study published in the latest issue of Social Science Quarterly is the first to examine the effect of Wal-Mart stores on poverty rates. The study found that nationwide an estimated 20,000 families have fallen below the official poverty line as a result of the chain’s expansion. During the last decade, dependence on the food stamp program nationwide increased by 8 percent, while in counties with Wal-Mart stores the increase was almost twice as large at 15.3 percent. “After controlling for other factors determining changes in the poverty rate over time, we find that both counties with more initial Wal-Mart stores and with more additions of stores between 1987 and 1998 experienced greater increases (or smaller decreases) in family poverty rates during the 1990’s economic boom period,” Stephan Goetz a Professor of Agricultural and Regional Economics at The Pennsylvania State University states. Although Wal-Mart employs many people living in its communities, for most, the hours worked and the wages paid do not help these families transition out of poverty.

(Thanks PVC)