Sarasota News Leader

04/26/2013

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ASK OTUS Otus Rufous, an Eastern Screech-Owl, was born on Siesta Key and is a full-time resident there. An avid hunter, accomplished vocalist and genuine night owl, Otus is a keen observer of our local wildlife and knows many of nature's secrets. Otus will answer your questions about our amazing wildlife, but only if you Ask Otus. So please send your questions and photos to askotus@sarasotanewsleader.com. Thank you. A READER SUBMITS A HEARTWARMING STORY ABOUT THE RESCUE OF A GREAT BLUE HERON ON SIESTA KEY Dear Readers, a particular way, is an effective, albeit somewhat drastic, means of ridding oneself of noiIn 1736, Benjamin Franklin, writing his Al- some four-day-old houseguests and fish. manack under the pseudonym Poor Richard, declared that "Fish & Visitors stink in three Poor Richard, indeed! If only he could be here days." Franklin's problem with stinky house now to see the splendid improvements in cold guests and fish was due to the unavailability storage made possible by harnessed electriin 18th century Philadelphia of electric power. cal power. Today's state-of-the-art refrigerator That lack led to improperly controlled cold keeps houseguests fresh as daisies, although storage and to quick decomposition of per- you might need to change the fish every few days. If your houseguests have eaten the fish, ishable items. you will need to buy another fish. Aware of this, Franklin would devote the next And writing this reminds me that it is now 16 years to working feverishly on problems of time to check on the fish! electrical conductivity. In 1752, he invented the lightning rod, which, when grounded in Otus Otus' house guest in the 'fridge.' File photo

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