Who knew?

April 15, 2008
By: Dan Davis

Chicago police shot a cougar on the North Side on Monday afternoon. I guess the cougar didn"t feel like running anymore and stood its ground, leaving the policemen no other choice than to kill the 150-pound cat.

That"s not the story you expect to wake up and read in the morning paper. I have to admit it"s made me thankful that I only have to deal with raccoons and the occasional rabbits. Of course, with the appearance of cougars in northern Illinois, maybe I won"t have to worry about the small critters any more.

The story has reminded me to reach out and grab some of the other interesting news items I"ve collected over the past couple of weeks. Here"s a sampling:

  • We"ve all encountered smelly feet, whether ours or someone else"s. Ever wonder what works for a welder who has to wear steel-toed boots every shift over several days? Well, someone did because he asked for some advice from Joe and Teresa Graedon, who write the nationally syndicated column People"s Pharmacy. They suggest urinating on your feet in the shower; soaking your feet in water combined with baking soda, vinegar, or Listerine; or using a product such as Campho-Phenique. Someone here at the office suggested putting drier sheets into a pair of stinky shoes. I think I like that better than the urinating suggestion. (By the way, who knew coconut macaroons could remedy chronic diarrhea?)

  • I"ve been to several larger fabricating shops and noticed birds swooping around from one end of the building to another. It"s sort of comical until you notice the bird droppings in the shop. A company called Bird-X Inc. is marketing an indoor-use bird deterrent laser to keep pigeons, sparrows, and other birds from entering buildings. The BLaser shoots a fat laser beam over an area as large as 10,000 square feet. The beam is delivered in constantly changing motions to disrupt the birds and keep them from getting acclimated to one static pattern. For $995, you get a power cord, remote control, mounting hardware, instructions on battling the birds and their droppings, and additional tips on bird management. Who knew lasers were such a versatile tool?

  • A report from Equilar Inc., an executive compensation research firm, indicates that executive pay at the largest U.S. manufacturing companies rose in 2007, but bonuses were down. Top packages for these top executives were worth a median $7.7 million, up 1.6 percent from the year before, according to the company"s survey of 37 companies. Simultaneously, however, executive bonuses tied to stock or company performance declined 5.5 percent. Who knew there was so much money to be made in manufacturing?

Excuse me while I start looking for a cougar-protection kit that I can set up for my house. Maybe lasers—or even smelly feet—might keep them away?

Dan Davis

Dan Davis

FMA Communications Inc.
2135 Point Blvd
Elgin, IL 60123
Phone: 815-227-8281