Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Crazy as a bedbug.


I've been stymied for days for an acceptable non-review topic here- most of the world is simply too utterly derailed to bear closer scrutiny.  I doubt any of us need more depressing information.

So I was delighted today when the NYT published a bedbug story- complete with deranged scientists.

Some of it is actually good news you can use.  Turns out, an ancient "folk" remedy for bedbugs (which have been exploding in US cities- and motels-) not only works; it works extremely well.  The leaves of some bean plants (list not included) have microscopic hooks on the underside that happen to be just the right size, shape, and strength - to capture and immobilize bed bugs.


   "Generations of Eastern European housewives doing battle against bedbugs spread bean leaves around the floor of an infested room at night. In the morning, the leaves would be covered with bedbugs that had somehow been trapped there. The leaves, and the pests, were collected and burned — by the pound, in extreme infestations."

Sounds good to me!  

The "deranged" scientists crack is from me- because the piece reports their "surprise" that a piece of traditional wisdom - works : pah; only a "folk remedy!" - you know; like aspirin, digitalis, quinine...

Scoffing at ancient wisdom is in fact a proven piece of idiocy.  Isn't it time we stop being surprised that our ancestors were smarter than mud?

Then; their first thought is "cool, we'll make an improved version of these micro hooks!" - only to discover that- (after ONE iteration) their hooks don't work as well as the bean leaf hooks; which, duh; are the result of probably 20,000,000 iterations via annual evolutionary processes.

Good polka dot gallows stuff.  If you're in the mood.

Though I have to admit- I find this a little depressing...   : -)

4 comments:

Aimee said...

My most recent example of the "scientists baffled by accuracy of folk wisdom" phenomenon comes from an article in a medical journal about the long-lasting effects of stress hormones on babies in utero. It seems science is now discovering that even isolated incidents of trauma and fear in the pregnant mother can produce impacts on their babies immune systems that potentially last a lifetime. In other words, pregnant women should avoid things that produce extreme fear and stress. It might affect the baby. Just like Great-Grandma always said.

Eric the Red said...

Looks like it is a kidney bean leaf...
http://z6mag.com/featured/bed-bugs-be-gone-with-bean-leaf-microscopic-plant-hair-replica-1620455.html

pendantry said...

I laughed out loud at the 'duh' moment. Thank you!

Rhiannon said...

I love your humorous musings. You made me snicker more than once. I will be back to read more soon! Oh and watch out for cats.

Rhiannon
http://doomsdayprepperssource.blogspot.com/