Could this sticker defeat mosquitoes?

Kite Patch from SPARKHOUSE on Vimeo.

The Kite Patch is designed to emit a mix of chemicals that makes us (humans) invisible to them (mosquitoes). Designed as an alternative to the sprays and lotions containing DEET and other compounds, the Kite Patch is meant to be worn on a piece of clothing and to provide 48 hours of protection.


Olfactor’s non-toxic compounds work against mosquitoes’ long-range abilities to detect humans through CO2, as well as dampening the insect’s short-range ability to sense us from our basic human odors. These chemicals, which give off a “faint pleasant smell,” will be applied to a small sticker, which [Grey] Frandsen [vice president at ieCrowd] notes is the cheapest, easiest, and most adaptable way to design a spatial insect repellant. The patches will then be shipped off to Uganda for field testing, which should begin before the end of the year. “Really, what we’re doing is creating a rapid scientific development process, a rapid prototyping process and then a very aggressive go to market strategy,” Frandsen says of ieCrowd’s method.

If this patch is successful in the real world, it will have a tremendous effect on the continuing fight against malaria. According to the World Health Organization, in 2010 there were approximately 660,000 malaria deaths worldwide and about half of the world’s population is at risk from the disease.

The patch sounds like it could become a great option for those of us who love the outdoors, too.

You can donate to the Kite Patch campaign on Indiegogo for a few more days.


Can you actually outrun a mosquito? Outside Magazine has the answer.

Have you ever wondered what it looked like on the inside when a mosquito gets you? A French study used a microscope to see how mosquitos feeds on blood. Let’s just say they have a very long and very determined snout.

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Sell it all; hit the road

A nice video from Dark Rye, an online magazine from Whole Foods.

Joss and Jessa Works, and their son Jack, decided to sell everything and hit the open road in an Airstream trailer, “launching into an exploration and rediscovery of America, not in search of a place to settle, but rather creating a new kind of home out of wandering.” Working and staying connected with friends and family remotely, the Works talk about the decision to upend their lives and one of their most important early lessons — slow down.

Tomorrow Somewhere New from Dark Rye on Vimeo.

Ever consider this?

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A bear hug from Smokey

If you see a bear in the woods, do you expect a hug?

A new ad campaign features Smokey Bear offering positive reinforcement rather than stern warnings to the humans he encounters in the woods. Since most wildfires are caused by humans, the big guy still has a  lot of work to do.

Smokey Bear


The ads are a product of the Ad Council, in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.

“As he approaches his seventieth birthday, Smokey remains the country’s renowned and beloved ‘spokesbear’ for fire prevention,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “We are confident that these new PSAs will use ‘bear hugs’ to enlighten a whole new generation of Americans on the critical importance of preventing wildfires.”

You can also follow Smokey Bear on Twitter.

Flooding forces thousands to evacuate in Canada

Massive flooding in western Canada is forcing thousands to evacuate their homes.

According to CBC News:

Residents in several low-lying communities in Calgary have been ordered to leave their homes due to heavy rains, floods and the potential of high river flows.

Evacuations from areas along the Elbow River were ordered for six communities: Mission, Elbow Park, Stanley Park, Roxboro, Rideau and Discovery Ridge. Those areas are being evacuated immediately, with Calgary police going door to door telling people to leave.

Residents are being encouraged to find shelter with family or friends for the next 72 hours minimum. Reception centres have been set up for those who cannot find places to go.

City officials have warned that the magnitude of the flood could be worse than that of 2005.

A state of emergency has been declared in Calgary and several other communities in Alberta .

The missing cicadas…

So we were supposed to be inundated by cicadas this year. Known as Brood II, they were going to emerge after a 17-year nap and take over the place. I remember a massive cicada “outbreak” when I was in high school — maybe 1987 or 1988. There were everywhere. So, I was sort of looking forward to them again this year.

But it has been a non-event for us. Wife of Mine and I live in Northern Virginia and the cicadas have been a bust. Not a peep from them around us. According to the Capital Weather Gang, they are appearing to the south.

This map shows cicada reports in the Washington, D.C. area as of May 19, 2013. (Kevin Ambrose/Kathryn Prociv)

A couple of weekends ago, though, I got a taste of them during an overnight camping trip to Shenandoah River State Park. They were out and about and — except for when it was raining — the cacophony was amazing.

Give it a listen: