3 Great Insects You Want In Your Garden

The mere mention of bugs in your vegetable garden causes most gardeners to quiver in a combined state of fear, anger and anxiety. But is the local infestation of insects a cause to throw in the towel and just buy your vegetables from the local grocer, instead of trying to grow. If insects had a PR representative then he is doing a very poor job, as the public perception of insects in the garden is one of woe and despair, but there are many more good insects that frequent your garden, than there would be criminal ones. First lets look at some of the rarely glorified heroes of the garden.

Praying Mantis

The praying mantis has a pretty heavy rep in the garden. As one of the largest insects found in your garden, they are right at the top of the macro food chain. These well camouflaged insects are generalist predators which mean they are more interested in the bugs attacking your vegetables, then they are in the vegetables. These are a good ally in your garden.


These little critters are generally about 2-3mm in length and are normally unseen, unless you rustle up some leaves or ground cover. These insects get their name from the springing motion in their tail. Often mistaken for fleas, springtails are normally a shade of white or grey. They are normally found under mulch or under pots in your garden. Springtails are a powerful composer as they feed on the leaf matter, and speed up the degradation of organic matter. Because they feed on decaying matter, springtails can be a useful friend in your garden. If large numbers of springtails start taking over your vegetable patch then they can start attacking small seedlings, and plants might start to be weakened, but generally they are a welcome addition to any garden.

Lady Beetles/ Ladybugs

Not only are these one of the most dynamic looking insects that you will find in your garden, but they also are one of the most productive. Lady Beetles are like security guards for your garden, they get rid of a lot of unwelcome creatures. One of the most devastating insects for your garden is aphids, and they are one of the Lady Beetles favourite meals. The odd Lady Beetle in your garden should help you sleep better at night.

How to encourage good bugs to your garden?

In order to encourage the “bug eat bug” ecosystem, and therefore setup a valuable vegetable growing garden, it is important that you make your garden a welcoming environment for the good insects. Most of the insect predators use pollen and flowers for food, so it is important to sustain the predators year round by keeping different flowers at bloom throughout the year. One of the best plants to add to your garden to introduce beneficial bugs is dill. When dill is left to flower it is particularly appetising to beneficial insects, and can therefore entice the insects into your garden.

Avoid using insecticides, as not only will this kill all the insects in the garden, but it will prevent the beneficial insects from returning, therefore allowing the garden to be a free land for the bad insects to take over when the potency of the insecticides wears off. The non-discriminatory effect of insecticides will do more harm than good to your garden in the long run.

Insects can be a useful part of your gardens ecosystem if they are controlled in the right manner. By using sustainable methods to encourage beneficial insects to your garden, your garden will provide you with more produce and be more self-sustaining.

Copyright Law and Society

With this message I have created a copyright. Should this post become as popular as say a Beatle’s song I could sue for royalties from everyone who forwards it. The copyright on the post lasts 75 years and if I register the copyright it will last as long as 100 years. Even what is in the copyright and what is not is questionable as I can later derive work from this post and extend the copyright.

While Congress is spending millions studying the Drug War, Health Care, the Deficit and a myriad of other issues, the impact of an obsolete copyright law is far greater on society. On the corporate level there is a push to extend copyright, neglecting that most of what we see today on TV or the movies is derived work from historical authors like Shakespeare who then derived much of his work from Greek plays. On the left there are people like Thom Hartman who want to see copyright laws repealed guaranteeing Disney and other movie produces will never make another movie.

Currently, Google is under a legal injunction preventing them from just scanning books that may still be in copyright. There is a better way to sort the current mess. Public domain works have become like the Guttenberg Project and with open source software a valuable resource. With the internet available to the world public domain works spread communication and education. There are many ideas and valuable history wrapped up in out of print works. The Internet exploits these works adding value to society

How much other obscure information becomes valuable when exposed on-line? Like Google the Guttenberg Project cannot put on line thousands of obscure and out of print books because of out of touch copyright laws. In the past a publisher – say of Schumpeter’s Business Cycles — had a motivation not to reprint an out of print book. They had to cover the cost of a minimum printing and this meant warehousing, distribution and promotion costs. Thus many, many books lie fallow, keeping library shelves full and supporting out of print book dealers.

With every change in technology there are winners and losers. Economics generally sorts things out, however government and laws play an important part in making economic value. Without copyright laws the publishing industry would come to a screeching halt. Already the music industry is caught in a bind over internet distribution. Yet there are some simple solutions to this problem.

1. Lower the length of copyright on non-registered works to three to five years. A short time frame would further expand the value of the Internet as a resource.
2. Make registered works re-register every five to seven years.
3. Raise the registration fee to a level that would support an enforcement fund.
4. Define clear penalties for infringement that are high enough to be enforceable but not draconian.
5. Automatically flow the funds from enforced royalties to the registered copyright holder.
6. Allow re-registration of copyrights to enter open bidding with the funds from a high bidder going to the previous copyright holder.
7. Failure to re-register a copyright pushes the work into the public domain.

In effect the holders of registered copyrights would be paying a tax for enforcement just as banks pay FDIC insurance on deposits. As with domain names, all registered copyrights can now be on line. A cottage industry would spring up around bidding for expiring copyrights giving the owner extra bidding power. Fees collected as well as fines support rational enforcement. Fines could be split between copyright holder and the enforcement agency. In bidding for expired copyrights the enforcement agency would get a portion of the bid allowing for legitimate bidding and higher fees on properties with greater potential enforcement costs.

The same could be done with software where in-registration a copy of the code is archived with the licensing agency. On expiration the code would be released on-line allowing users access for bug fixes and modifications again making possible derived works and increasing the economy. When a product is no longer available for sale or supported and has embedded software that software becomes publicly available.

On both sides the consumer and creator are protected. Unregistered works become publicly available much sooner and valuable works of creation take on greater and greater value as they become part of the culture. As things expire each has a chance at increased exposure. Out of print works become easily and readily available adding to the wealth and knowledge of society.

Considering A Job In Search Engine Marketing?

Although the title of this article is ‘Considering A Career In Search Engine Marketing’ it is important to stress that there are in fact two different areas within ‘search’, namely: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Advertising.Industry experts have mixed views as to how ‘search’ should be defined but for the purposes of this article Search Engine Marketing covers both Search Engine Optimization (also known as natural search) and Search Engine Advertising (also known as pay per click, sponsored or paid search).Background To Search Engine Growth It seems that the Internet has been around forever and that using a search engine to look for information is now a normal day to day activity. However, it is easy to forget that Yahoo! only celebrated its 12th birthday in March 2007 and that Google celebrated its 10th birthday in September 2007. You only need to look at the number of additional products and services that they both offer today to see how fast the industry has grown!When the search engines first launched, their results pages were based on their own proprietary algorithms. As the importance of the search engines to web site owners increased so did the desire to be highly ranked in the search engine results. This lead to the growth of SEO companies who would offer a service to optimize a web site to maximise its rankings in the search engine results.As a result of the launch of the first Pay Per Click Search Engine by Goto.com in 1998 (renamed Overture and now owned by Yahoo Search Marketing) this lead to an opportunity for SEO companies to add another service by managing the Pay Per Click campaigns for their clients. In addition, it also led to new Search Engine Marketing (SEM) companies starting up who only specialised in managing Pay Per Click campaigns.Of course, wherever there is growth in an industry there is also opportunity and none more so than the job opportunities that are now being created as a result of the phenomenal growth of the Internet and search engines.Where Are The Job Opportunities? As well as job opportunities within the Search Engine Marketing companies it is becoming more common to see some traditional marketing and advertising agencies offer search engine related jobs. In addition, there are now specialist digital media companies providing search engine marketing services. Corporate employers are also beginning to recruit their own Search Engine Marketing specialists to work in-house and this trend is expected to keep on growing.What Type Of Skills And Attributes Will You Need? The type of skills and attributes required will very much depend on how specialist the job role is and also the level of the job. Although many companies will want experience in the job discipline, others will be looking for well-motivated, flexible individuals with both the ability and desire to learn fast.For the more technical roles (for example a Search Engine Optimisation Specialist) a technical background in HTML, programming or IT maybe required although the level of background required will vary from company to companyFor the more marketing related roles (for example managing a large Pay Per Click campaign for a client) good business skills, an analytical and enquiring mind, creativity, lateral thinking and solid product and project management skills are always good attributes to have. These transferable skills may have been gained from a wide range of experiences across different industries.However, one overriding attribute to have is the ability to deal with change. Things change so quickly within the search engine industry, with new products and services launched on a regular basis as well as updates to the search engines algorithms, that you have to be able to respond quickly and analyse what the various changes will mean to your clients.Do I Have Enough Experience? Bear in mind that there are not many people within the industry with more than five years experience of paid search or ten years experience of search engine optimisation because the industry is very much still in its infancy! Therefore, if you have limited search engine industry experience many companies (big and small) may be willing to provide their own training programmes for you if you show the desired aptitudes and attitudes.In addition, companies may also look favourably at applicants with experience of working in a specific business sector or client group as they already have an appreciation, knowledge and understanding of their market sector.In Summary – If you are looking for a change of industry in your existing role within Sales, Project Planning, Account Management, Business Development etc., or you are looking to learn some new skills in a fast moving industry, there are some exciting career opportunities available within Search Engine Marketing.Mike has hands on experience of both Online Recruitment and Search Engine Marketing which lead to him launching the niche job site: www.JobsInSearch.com