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ERG helped Spokane’s Sterling International develop next ‘bug’ thing

Today's Business section story about the new traps being produced in Spokane by the Rescue company explained how the R&D team used technology to measure bugs' retinal response to different colors. The photo here, by the SR's Dan Pelle, shows Sterling's entomologists Qing-He Zhang and Paul Bryant.

That process is called ERG, electroretinography. It's very cool, and in the Rescue lab, it's done by connecting electric wires to the tiny retinal surfaces of certain insects. By sending different wavelengths of energy to the retina, the tool measures the response.

The full spectrum of visible colors, from red to ultraviolet, is tested and the resulting responses — measured by computers — are used to plot a color pattern that that insect should be responsive to.

Here's the best overall primer on ERG, on Wikipedia.

Spokane Marcom announces this year’s best of show for marketing, advertising

Eastern Washington University’s “Admissions Brochure,” Shriners Hospitals for Children’s “Face Off Advertising Campaign,” and RESCUE! Pest Control Products’ “StinkBugSmackdown.com” were the big winners at the 18th Annual Spark Awards, presented last week at the Lincoln Center.

The awards are presented to area agencies and organizations by the Spokane Regional Marketing and Communications Association (Spokane MarCom).

More than 70 entries covering publications, feature stories, web design and media relations campaigns were submitted.

Top entries that received the Brightest Spark awards were:

  •  “EWU Admissions Brochure” – EWU Marketing & Communications
  •  “Face Off Advertising Campaign” – Shriners Hospitals for Children
  •  “StinkBugSmackdown.com” – RESCUE! Pest Control Products

A full list of all winners presented by Spokane Marcom is at this link.

Skipper Tells Of Pend Oreille Rescue

Skipper Lawrence Killingsworth of the sailboard Ta' Ata Ori, which is moored at Bayview, tells of a dramatic rescue of two other sailboaters on Lake Pend Oreille near Bayview Saturday. The information is posted on Herb Huseland's Bayviews:

As we headed back toward Bayview around noon, the wind picked up and slowly built to around 20 knots, from the south. I was at the helm, the rest of the crew tidying up the boat, making preparations to take the sails off and get TAO ready for the coming winter. I noticed a small sailboat, about 1/2 mile off our port beam that seemed to be in a bit of trouble. As I watched, the boat capsized and then “turtled.” (Turned completely upside down, with the mast pointed toward China.) The crew of two was in the water. (Water temp about 60 degrees.) I immediately changed course and the TAO crew went into full “rescue mode.” By the time we reached the turtled boat, we had the boarding ladder down, the dinghy ready, boat hooks, life jackets and horseshoe buoys in hand and towels and warm blankets waiting. More here.

Question: Have you ever been in need of rescue?

Woman Offers $100 For Cat Rescue

Everyone knows that when a cat gets stuck in a tree, firefighters rescue it. At least that’s what happens in the movies. But when Karen Fishburn and her neighbors heard a cat in a tree Saturday, then finally spotted the animal in the top of an 80-foot pine near Ray Street and East 17th Avenue Sunday evening, things didn’t go quite so smoothly. “I got the binoculars out and I could see him,” said Fishburn, who lives on 17th Avenue near the tree. “He was just a little black dot.” She walked to nearby Fire Station 14, hoping that firefighters would rush over and rescue the cat, but was turned away. Monday morning, the cat was still in the tree and it was still meowing. “That’s when I emailed the Mayor’s office,” said Fishburn. “I just really wanted someone to help get the cat out of that tree”/Pia Hallenberg, SR. More here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Question: Would you pay someone $100 to rescue your cat from a tree? (Yeah, I know that Karen Fishburn paid that much to rescue a stray.)

8 Rescued On Lake Pend Oreille

Timberlake Fire posted the following on Herb Huseland's Bay Views blog this weekend, after the department and the U.S. Navy took part in the rescue of 8 individuals, including 3 elderly people, and three dogs who had ignored storm warnings on Lake Pend Oreille and nearly sank:

“Apparently of the eight passengers aboard three were elderly and had trouble climbing out of the sinking craft. Paying absolutely no attention to the widely circulated Thunderstorm warnings which went out over all weather channels including marine channel 16.   When the storm hit high waves estimated at 6 to 8 feet were pounding against the heavily loaded craft. This caused water to enter the front vents. When the fire district boat arrived the sinking craft was kind of beached near the Cement Plant on the south shore of Lake Pend Oreille, Why they didn't even look up at the sky as the storm neared is a mystery. Apparently many adults do not have the basic survival training needed to safely cruise the unpredictable waters of the lake.” Entire post here.

Question: Why do people regularly ignore Nature's danger signs & get themselves in trouble?

Twelve win Idaho Medal of Honor, 10 peace officers and two firefighters

Two firefighters and a state trooper rescued two children trapped in an overturned car in Fernan Lake. A Jerome police officer risked his life to apprehend a suspect during a high-speed pursuit in Jerome, even after being shot in the eye. Two Lewiston police officers rescued a victim who was trapped in a burning apartment. All are among the 10 peace officers and two firefighters who are being awarded the Idaho Medal of Honor this year, which will be bestowed in a ceremony next Friday at the Idaho Peace Officers Memorial in Meridian. “These twelve professionals have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their commitment to the service of others,” said Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, chairman of the Idaho Medal of Honor Commission.

The medal was created in 2004 and the first honoree was slain Idaho State Trooper Linda Huff; click below for the full announcement, including the list of this year's 12 honorees and what they did.

Stink bugs alert: How and why did this little pest get to be such a pain?

Spokane Valley manufacturer Sterling International, maker of bug traps and the Rescue line of anti-bug systems, got some ink in the Wall Street Journal.

You could easily devour an hour here, reading the article on the onslaught of the nefarious stink bug. Sterling's new stink bug trap is the reason for its inclusion in the story, written by WSJ staffer Heather Haddon. 

Do not neglect the comments here, which highlight the vast range of feelings people have on the business of bug eradication.

Personally, we have nothing against stink bugs. Live and let live…

Photo Credit:  WSJ.com

Cyan does bugs as heroes; Rescue adds a trap for indoor stink bugs

This may be a coincidence of harmonic proportions. On more or less the same day, both Spokane's Cyan Worlds and Spokane Valley-based Rescue (also known as Sterling International) have debuted major new “bug” products.

Cyan has released a new game app for the Apple platform, called “Bug Chucker.”  And to quote Miley Cyrus, that's pretty cool. It costs 99 cents at the iTunes store. It's a space-battle game involving a spaceship inhabited by bugs who are under attack by the evil Sawz, the robotic minions of Lord Lahguh.

Cyan is the company that innovated videogames by developing the breakthrough titles “Myst,” “Riven” and “Manhole.” More information: here.

Meanwhile, bug-trap maker Rescue just released its new stink bug traps. But wait, there's more.

The new traps come in two varieties, indoor and outdoor. For more than a year Sterling (Rescue) focused on developing an outdoor trap that attracted the pesky stink bugs and left them unable to crawl away.

But over time the company also decided to develop an indoor version (pictured here). As you can see, it's an illuminated model that uses LED lights to attract stink bugs. It will be available in July and cost around $17.99. For information: Recue's stink bug blog.

Company spokeswoman Stephanie Cates said the company realized, while learning more about stink bugs, that they're attracted to some lights. So that led to this indoor baby.

In an email, Cates said: “The indoor stink bug problem is significant. Many people in the mid-Atlantic states report finding stink bugs in their homes — sometimes as many as 30 to 40 per day.”