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Today is June 22

Mosquito Control Awareness Week

Standing water is a common sight at many homes during summer. Rainstorms may not last as long in summer as they do during other times of year, but the water they leave behind can still be harmful. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, standing water is a breeding ground for various microorganisms. When those microorganisms become airborne, they can be inhaled by men, women and children, potentially triggering allergic reactions. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that studies have indicated that female mosquitoes like to lay their eggs in water that collects or is stored in manmade containers. If it rains and water covers mosquito eggs, the eggs can hatch and become adults in roughly one week. The CDC advises men and women to protect themselves from mosquitoes by walking their properties once per week, turning over, scrubbing and covering any containers that hold or may hold water. Vases, pet water bowls, flowerpot saucers, buckets, and pool covers are just a handful of the items that can make attractive places for mosquitoes to lay their eggs.

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Dispelling popular myths about lightning

Powerful thunderstorms full of lightning can occur at any time of the year, but they are most prevalent when the weather is warm. Moisture and warmth are crucial to thunderstorms, and they form when the air is unstable.

According to The Weather Channel, as the sun heats up the air near the Earth’s surface, air rises and cools. At this point, it condenses to create moisture and forms a cloud. If conditions are right, the cloud will continue to build. Moisture is carried up high and forms ice crystals or hail. These ice particles bump into one another and give off electrical charges. Negative charges are attracted to positive charges around them, including on the ground. If the attraction is great enough, negative and positive charges will join together and discharge. It is this discharge that produces lightning and thunder.

Though magnificent to watch and experience, lightning can be very dangerous. That is why it is essential people move indoors when storms are approaching. In addition, it’s important to separate fact from fiction regarding lightning. The following are some common myths about lightning, and what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Insurance Information Institute have to say about them.

1. Myth: Lightning never strikes the same place twice.

Fact: Lightning can strike the same place twice, especially if it is a tall, pointy, isolated object. The Empire State Building has been hit up to a dozen times during a single storm.

2. Myth: Crouching down outside during a thunderstorm is a safe option.

Fact: You are not safe anywhere outdoors. Try to get to a substantial building or hard-topped vehicle.

3. Myth: If the sky is clear you are safe from lightning.

Fact: Lightning can strike more than three miles from the center of the thunderstorm, far outside the rain or thunderstorm cloud.

4. Myth: Lightning victims carry an electrical charge and another person can be electrocuted if he or she touches them.

Fact: The human body does not store electricity. Provide first aid immediately if you are able and call 9-1-1.

5. Myth: You are completely safe in your home.

Fact: While you are much more safe in a sturdy home, lightning will travel toward the ground via the fastest route possible. That can mean along pipes, cables, gutters, water, wires, and metal windows. Using a corded electronic device or even washing the dishes while a storm is overhead can put you at risk.

6. Myth: Rubber tires insulate people from lightning while driving.

Fact: It’s actually the metal car that protects occupants. The lightning travels through the car frame to the ground. Don’t lean on doors during a thunderstorm.

Lightning is a considerable hazard and should be treated as such. There is no completely safe place to be during a lightning event. However, there are ways to reduce risk of injury.

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June is Dairy Month

If the 1927 song “I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream” by Howard Johnson, Billy Moll and Robert A. King is correct, then the world has been a noisy place for quite some time. Though the exact origins of ice cream are unknown, historians agree this popular treat has been around for a very, very long time. The International Dairy Foods Association says the origins of ice cream may reach as far back as the second century B.C. Though he wasn’t around back then, the fifth Roman Emperor Nero, who ruled from 54 to 68 A.D., might have been so fond of iced treats that he routinely sent runners into the Apennine Mountains to retrieve snow that he would then flavor with fruits and juices. That tale might be apocryphal, but there’s no denying ice treats have been enjoyed for a long time. And based on a 2018 report from Grand View Research, Inc. that projected the global ice cream market would reach roughly $79 billion by 2025, it’s fair to say ice cream will remain popular for a long time to come as well