Saturday, May 4, 2013

Killer Bees, Poetry, Etc.

The bees are active in Arizona these days. Both Tucson and Phoenix have suffered attacks from huge swarms of killer bees (africanized honey bees) during the last few days. Some victims have reportedly been taken to area hospitals with hundreds of stings over their bodies.

Killer bees are really Africanized Honey Bees. They have come by their "killer" moniker because they will viciously attack people or animals that unintentionally stray into their territory. The Africanized Honey Bee colony does not have to be disturbed to provoke the bees; even simple noises or vibrations have been known to cause an attack.

The sting of the Africanized Honey Bee is no more potent than your garden variety honey bee and they look pretty much the same. What makes AHBs more dangerous is that they are more easily provoked, quick to swarm, attack in greater numbers, and pursue their victims for greater distances. The AHB colony can remain agitated longer and may attack up to a quarter of a mile away from the hive. AHB colonies can be very large, and they are not particularly selective about the location of their hives. The Queen Africanized bee can lay up to 1,500 eggs a day.


The Writer's Almanac recently featured a poem that stirred forgotten ashes of dampened, long cooled and buried recollections from my discarded memory pit and brought then swirling into my here-and-now realm of consciousness. It is titled 'Smoke,' written by Faith Shear and it invokes in me the sad but true atmosphere of a particular era, the middle of the twentieth century.

Even though I don't expect anyone to click the poem's link, I simply can't stop myself from providing it.




On this day, May 4, in 1990, Jesse Tafero was executed in Florida after his electric chair malfunctioned three times, causing flames to leap from his head. Tafero's death sparked a new debate on humane methods of execution. Several states ceased use of the electric chair and adopted lethal injection as their means of capital punishment.


-  a colorless, poisonous alkaloid, C10H14N2, derived from the tobacco plant and used as an insecticide. It is the substance in tobacco to which smokers can become addicted.
-  a harmful substance contained in tobacco.

Nicotine is a potent parasympathomimetic alkaloid found in the nightshade family of plants (Solanaceae). It acts as a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist. It is made in the roots and accumulates in the leaves of the plants. It constitutes approximately 0.6–3.0% of the dry weight of tobacco and is present in the range of 2–7 µg/kg of various edible plants. It functions as an antiherbivore chemical; therefore, nicotine was widely used as an insecticide in the past and nicotine analogs such as imidacloprid are currently widely used.



George Frederick Will
(born May 4, 1941)
George Will is an American newspaper columnist, journalist, and author. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winner best known for his conservative commentary on politics. In 1986, the Wall Street Journal called him "perhaps the most powerful journalist in America."

Will has also written two best-selling books on the game of baseball, three books on political philosophy, and has published eleven compilations of his columns for the Washington Post and Newsweek and of various book reviews and lectures.

His column is syndicated to 450 newspapers.

Will is also a news analyst for ABC since the early 1980s and was a founding member on the panel of ABC's This Week with David Brinkley in 1981, now titled This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Will was also a regular panelist on television's Agronsky & Company from 1977 through 1984 and on NBC's Meet the Press in the middle and late 1970s.

Audrey Hepburn
(May 4, 1929 – January 20, 1993
Audrey Hepburn (born Audrey Kathleen Ruston) was a British actress and humanitarian.
Recognised as both a film and fashion icon, Hepburn was active during Hollywood's Golden Age. She has since been ranked as the third greatest female screen legend in the history of American cinema and been placed in the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame.

After appearing in several British films and starring in the 1951 Broadway play Gigi, Hepburn played the Academy Award-winning lead role in Roman Holiday (1953), later performing in successful films like Sabrina (1954), The Nun's Story (1959), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), Charade (1963), My Fair Lady (1964) and Wait Until Dark (1967).

Hepburn died of appendiceal cancer at her home in Switzerland in early 1993 at the age of 63.

Randy Travis
(born May 4, 1959)
Randy Travis is an American country music singer and actor. Since 1985, he has recorded 20 studio albums and charted more than 50 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, and 16 of these were number one hits. Considered a pivotal figure in the history of country music, Travis broke through in the mid-1980s with the release of his album Storms of Life, which sold more than three million copies. The album established him as a major force in the Neotraditional country movement.

Paul Xavier Gleason
(May 4, 1939 – May 27, 2006)
Paul Gleason was an American film and television actor, known for his roles on television series such as All My Children and films such as The Breakfast Club, Trading Places and Die Hard.


It is more profitable for your congressman to support the tobacco industry than your life.
--Jackie Mason


Cinematic trailer for 'Injustice: Gods Among Us'

I don't get it.

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