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SUNBEAM ULTRA PEST REPELL
SUNBEAM ULTRA PEST REPELL

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mice....., July 30, 2012
This past weekend, I stayed at a 'camp' in the Adirondacks. I was there last year and made the mistake of keeping some sunflower seeds in my cabin, which had both power and a bathroom, so it wasn't exactly primitive. Last year, in the middle of the night, I awoke to rummaging sounds in the seed bag, switched on the light and watched a mouse going to town in the bag. I secured the bag and eventually, the mouse went away.

This year, I was smarter. I took no food to the room. However, the second night I was there, a mouse started in about 2:00 AM, waking both me and my wife. I fired up my iPad and read, while the mouse ran his version of the Olympics back and forth over the rafters, dresser, and walls above the bed. Maddening, but nothing to do. I considered shooting it with pepper spray and beating it to death with a broom, but reconsidered when I remembered that my wife would witness this and return the favor by beating me to death with a broom. We exchanged a few comments to that effect, since the mouse was keeping her completely awake, too.

After about an hour and a half, I recalled there was a Sunbeam pest chaser on a table in the room, unplugged. I have low confidence in these things, since I was hired a long time ago to design one for Radio Systems Corp. (Radio Fence) and did a lot of research into the technology. I knew that most pests acclimate to them, so I never considered it to be an option for dealing with this particular problem. However, I was needing sleep by 4:00 AM and thought, "What the hell? I'll give it a try." Within seconds of plugging it in, the mouse abandoned ship and no more was heard. We overslept until 8:30.

These things may work to some degree and in some circumstances. Animals DO get acclimated to them, but they have a limited range of utility. Don't expect them to rid your abode of all things forever. Won't happen. But it might do some good if you cycle it from time to time with certain pests. Certainly seemed to rid my room of a mouse in short order, but technically, that could be coincidence. In this case, I suspect not. It was certainly contemporaneous, if not causal.

Verdict: Worth having one, just in case. Cheap and chemical free, at least.


The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception
The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception
by H. Keith Melton
Edition: Hardcover
32 used & new from $11.69

21 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The trickery is getting your money...., December 29, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This book did a few things for me. It relieved me of minor wallet congestion by installing a leak where $20 used to be. It also gave me pause to think that if any of this crap was used in the era when we risked obliteration by the Soviets, it damn well might have come from their intense boredom of what we classified.

This book wraps a piece of accidentally un-destroyed info in hard cover, adds a few chapters of what-we-once-did crap from the files of Wikipedia, and masterfully uses internet buzz to get the attention of those who had hoped for more and were silly enough to enter a credit card number. Poof! $20 gone! (Color me impressed.)

The 'discovered' part of the book reads like a cheap Boy Scout merit badge book on espionage, complete with signaling information, a modest amount of 'top secret' stage magician stuff, and abundant instruction of how to drop Roofies in your date's gin and tonic. If you need to do that, this is your book.

I'd throw it away, but I am afraid some poor sod would find it and blame me.

Save your money. Read 'The Puzzle Palace', read about E-Systems or Blackwater. Read the phonebook. Ick.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 23, 2011 5:53 AM PST


Social Software in Libraries: Building Collaboration, Communication, and Community Online
Social Software in Libraries: Building Collaboration, Communication, and Community Online
by Meredith G. Farkas
Edition: Paperback
38 used & new from $0.01

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great survey of current internet technologies and applications, December 28, 2007
I am not a librarian, but I found this book to be an excellent survey of tecnologies with relevance to anyone with a need to more effectively utilize the internet.

I have spent the last year fairly bewildered by Web 2.0; what it means and how it's used. This tiny book cleared the fog considerably, and the examples of how the various technologies and web features are exploited in the library world are probably more informative and stimulating than if they'd been directed at my specific problems.

If I had a criticism, it would only be "book versus web", as the web is a river and a book is an island. Printing it 'fixes' it in time, and the highly dynamic web will outrun the content of this book in a few years, maybe sooner. Meantime, its succint, direct and practical nature recommend it as a map out of the bewildering tangle of what's out there. Now is the time to buy it.


The MIDI Manual
The MIDI Manual
by David Miles Huber
Edition: Paperback
53 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent intro to midi, July 21, 2002
This review is from: The MIDI Manual (Paperback)
I found this book to be useful, but then i am an electronics designer and can recognize and work around the occassional error. The inclusion of the midi spec is good, but much of the hardware examples are dated, a problem common to anything solidified in print in a constantly evolving universe of products. I will use it as a reference for a good while. There are not many titles to choose from in this category, and this is a useful tool.


Every Contact Leaves a Trace : Scientific Detection in the Twentieth Century
Every Contact Leaves a Trace : Scientific Detection in the Twentieth Century
by Zakaria ErzinÁlioğlu
Edition: Hardcover
52 used & new from $0.01

5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Missing some contacts!, January 7, 2002
I read this book over two brief sittings, having bought it because I was curious about what forensic scientists do. I was disappointed with the book; quite a lot, actually. After finishing it, I returned it to the bookstore from whence I purchased it and GAVE it back, not asking for a refund. After all, my favorite bookstore is not a library, and the quality of the book was not their fault.
Why the negative reaction? Two main reasons: lack of sufficient technical detail (often prefaced with the qualifier 'xxx is too technical for the present discussion, but suffice it to say....')
and a striking example of scientific hypocrisy that the book spends much of its time cautioning against.
First of all, I would appreciate being the judge of what is 'too technical. I am an engineer and I am not afraid of big words or complex subjects. Include it, if YOU understand it, and leave the migraines to me, please.
The other example of which I speak is Dr Erzinclioglu's rant denigrating the entire issue of sociobiology. After holding forth his considered 'scientific' opinions on faith healing and use of psychics in a previous chapter, notably thin for any references to double blind experiments, specific researchers, institutions or organizations involved in hard research in this area), he then neatly dispatches a considerable amount of research in the area of sociobiology by equating it with pure behavioral determinism. This is a gross oversimplification of sociobiology; reductio ad absurdum in its finest form.
Sociobiologists, contrary to what Dr. E says, do not postulate that humans are behavioral automatons. They postulate behavioral propensities, based on sound anthropological and other-species research, coupled with logic which strives to uncover potential survival value associated with group tendencies toward a certain behaviors. Such behavior does not preclude the exercise of free will, it seeks to uncover collective tendencies (i.e., probabilities, Dr, E.; another word frequently mentioned as applicable to 'evidence', not apparently considered applicable to sociology?) It is admittedly a soft science, but all of the tomes I have read on this subject are quite encumbered with such items as footnotes detailing who did the research, the locations of peer reviewed publications of same, and the specific research cited. Even in the lay literature.
His approach to explaining sociobiology is publishing an either uninformed or intentionally simple minded opinion, rather than presenting EVIDENCE refuting its tenets. Even his arguments against it are demonstrably thin, based as they are on a misstatement of its basic tenets. If this is an example of his work, I recommend that some of the folks he help put away get a better lawyer and challenge the forensic evidence! They might be free in no time!
Any points he earned in his earlier chapters were pretty much forfeited by this intellectual faux pas. I appluad his recommendations regarding being open minded in the pursuit of truth, and I fully recommend that Dr. E read his own words and revisit sociobiology, perhaps this time aided by actually reading some of the considerable literature, both popular and professional, available on the subject.
Save your money on this book. I recommend an hour watching the Discovery Channel on cable, instead. It's cheaper, more entertaining, and more informative.


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