Vote for my powers!

In each of my posts you can vote for which super powers you think I used best. Learn more about these powers and my missions at //Building Imagination — the ARG

Powers are:

Teamwork--Creativity--Home Field Advantage--Knowledge Sharing--Resourcefulness--Spark--Environmentalism--Vision

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mission 9: Full circle, let's talk about mold?

So, taking from my most recent unpleasantness, I've decide to write some information here about molds.. Why? Because most apartment complexes made in the seventies have this issue, and a lot of them seem intent on doing nothing about it. My own complex is no exception, so here goes:

Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. It is impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment. However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling moisture indoors.

Mold is a fuzzy growth on moist organic matter by several types of fungi. Mildew is mold growing on fabric.
The quantity of mold fragments and spores needed to cause health problems varies from person to person.  Besides inhalation, people can become exposed to mold through skin contact and eating moldy food.
Toxic molds can produce several toxic chemicals called mycotoxins that can damage your health. These chemicals are present on the spores and small mold fragments that are released into the air.
In high concentrations, mold fragments, spores, and mycotoxins can trigger symptoms even in individuals who have no allergies.
Molds reproduce by spreading microscopic spores. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on damp organic material, such as wood, paper, feathers, hair, cellulose, petroleum products, rubber, carpet, etc., they may begin growing and digesting the material.
Some molds live in temperatures below freezing, and some like it as warm as 122° F.  Molds primarily thrive and become a problem when the relative humidity level is above 60%, with temperatures between 50 and 90 degrees  F. (10 to 32 degrees C.)  and a pH from 3 to 8. Molds also tend to be more robust in poorly ventilated areas with little air movement to disrupt their growth.
There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to limit moisture. During humid weather, avoid excessive ventilation and use an air conditioners and/or dehumidifier to keep relative humidity below 60%. Sealing air leaks in the building's exterior and using a mechanical ventilation system to provide fresh filtered air can help to reduce entry of mold spores and make it easier to keep indoor relative humidity below 60%.
Indoor mold growth usually can be seen or smelled. In most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is not needed. There are no health or exposure-based standards that individuals can use to evaluate a mold sample. The amount of mold it takes to cause illness varies from person to person.

Now the important one:

"Black Mold" is a term commonly used to describe a slimy, greenish-black substance which can result in serious health risk. This infamous mold is also known as Strachybotrys chartarum and more often as Strachybotrys atra. It has been closely linked to the death of babies from respiratory bleeding, and as a contributing factor to illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis. According to the CDC(Center of Disease Control), this mold is responsible for over "100 cases of lung disorders".

Virtually everyone has one type or another of mold somewhere in their home. Although not all types are toxic, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish types without lab testing. Thus it is imperative to treat and remove all molds as if they're potentially harmful. Regardless of the type of mold found, a home containing mold is not essentially a healthy home.

Mold spores are very easily transported to different areas by attaching themselves to various hosts. These hosts would include people, animals, shoes and they even enter through open windows and doors. The spores then thrive and grow where it is damp and moist. Very toxic molds can develop from water seepage, and while black mold is "less common than other mold species it is not rare".
Areas and substances where black mold can be found include water soaked wood, ceiling tiles, wall paneling, cardboard, even items made of cotton. Black mold can grow on drywall and insulation and can infest areas in the floors, walls and ceilings.

Moisture is essential to the growth of black mold, and when it is wet it is shiny in appearance. If you were to physically touch a spot of black mold, it would feel slimy and would smear on the area.

When you are contemplating clean up of black mold, you need to verify the extent of the problem. Many of the infested areas will be relatively small and be a result of small leaks or plumbing problems. After discovering the root of the problem and rectifying it, you can disinfect the area with bleach. A mixture of one cup bleach to a gallon of water is sufficient to disinfect the area. Apparently adding a touch of dish soap to the mixture will also aid in dissolving accumulated grease and dirt in the area.

You are to apply the bleach mixture to the moldy area and leave it to saturate the area for approximately fifteen minutes. After this you must take care to thoroughly dry the cleaned area.

Spores from dried mold are very dangerous and should be cleaned with caution. You should never scrape or scratch at dried mold as the spores would then be released into the air and pose an inhalation risk. A respiratory mask and eye protection are necessary and adequate clothing to prevent skin contact is recommended.

If the problem is more internal such as on insulation or throughout a carpet, the only solution is to remove and replace the items. As well an infested area of over 2ft is considered a "heavily infested" area and professional help should be consulted. Mold problems resulting from flooding should also be managed professionally to avoid possible health risk.

According to the CDC, there are some preventative measures you can personally take to battle black mold. The following are some of their suggestions; keep the humidity of the house down, make sure there is adequate ventilation inside the home(especially in the kitchen and bathroom), add mold inhibitors to new paint before painting, use mold killing products to clean and do not use carpet in the bathroom.

Black mold issues are something everyone should be aware of and know how to combat. Search through any news source and you will see that toxic mold is a common cause for school closings. If the school board will go through such measures to eradicate the problem then we should be just as cautious. It is also important to remember that like all other types of fungus, there are some people who may be more sensitive to the effects of black mold. People who have allergies, respiratory disease or any type of immune suppressing disease should be especially wary of this toxic mold.
Symptoms of black mold poisoning:
Common symptoms of black mold poisoning are:
  • Uneasiness in respiration
  • Headaches
  • Cough
  • Red eyes
  • Development of rashes and hives on skin
  • Nausea
  • Memory loss
  • In some cases, people experience bleeding in lungs
  • Lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Lack in concentration
  • Problem caused due to irritation in mucous membranes
  • Asthma
  • Allergic reactions (such as itching of nose, runny nose etc.) of respiratory and/or nervous system etc
  • Irregularity in blood pressure
  • Damaged digestion and respiratory system
  • Infections of urinary track, problems in urination etc.
  • Pain in liver and other internal organs
  • High level or prolonged exposure to mold can lead to infertility in the patient

.If you like black widows.. mold.. and having car broken into..

From: -Anonymous-
Date posted: 5/5/2009
Years at this apartment: 2007 - 2008

My car was broken into multiple times.
I saw bums around a lot.
I see neighbors smoking weed and drinking alcohol in parking lot.
Im able to hear neighbors a lot. Its noisy.
There is this weird one that is always staring at me and sometimes mumbles stuff under his breath.. prejudice racial comments.. Its like hes timed my work schedule and comes out whenever i do, just to stare and acts like hes talking to someone on phone when hes not.. not great neighborhood. i pass by this street 1 street over.. whats with the evil name on street sign.. Hell Court ..
I noticed mold in air conditioner vents right after i moved in.. Under the shower door there was mold already with hair and other gunk stuck inside. After few months, the shower drain started smelling funky.. then started molding around windows, had to leave them open a lot and clean with bleach often. Really paranoid though when they are open because there are a lot of bugs outside and a lot of black widows right outside my windows/sliding door.. Ive seen them running around my apartment often enough =/ .. they told me they regularly do pest control on bugs but havent through whole year there.
My washer smelled like vomit throughout the whole year and they did not do anything about it..
I wouldnt recommend this place unless you could tolerate all of this.

Read more:

Learn all you can about black mold, and mold in general. How is it removed? What is the steps in true removal of molds?

Using your chosen super hero powers, how would you hero/heroine stop the black mold and issues with apartments not cleaning it?

With all the mold properly removed and apartments safer, how would the people react? Let us know!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mission 8: Let's get Art back to Modesto!


I went to the website that was posted and saw a great deal of good things to watch or do! However being a poor college student such as myself I thought it would be better to go to an event that didn't cost much -peers another direction- So... I went to MJC and found out that they were having a musical event coming soon and since I know people there I thought it the best thing to do!

Since the music event isn't until later in the month I will have not gone to one by the time you read this dear readers! I have however gone to several musical events there in the past and I even went to a really awesome production entirely done by the students.. You heard me, ENTIRELY by the students. Costumes, makeup, everything was done by the students, even the backgrounds, and stage work all done by the students. They started with the small production called 'Trial by Jury' it was then followed by several shorts of various things including, Wicked, The sound of Music, and various other small numbers. The acting was great and with the low budget and work they did remarkably well and received standing ovations every night to a full house! That is what art is all about!

If I had my way, I would use my resources to help take down the cost of the art productions and help to get more people of all walks of artistic life to come here to Modesto and get involved. With all the other improvements that we've done so far I think that in this new Modesto the super heroes and I have made are more than perfect for getting the big names here and getting people to go see them!

The ARG may soon be coming to a close, but the curtain won't close on art in Modesto!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mission 7: A liesurely day going away? I don't think so!


What kind of things are there to do in Modesto? Plenty! You could go to one of two movie theaters. Or you could go to one of two bowling alleys. How about going to the Gallow Center? There is usually something there to do. If you don't want to pay for something you could go to one of the parks. The problem is due to lack of funding a lot of this stuff is being neglected. The parks aren't being as maintained as they could be. The prices of movies and bowling are high and going to catch something at the Gallow Center can be just as expensive if not more so! This simply can not do. There is only one way it can be fixed.


When I was a kid it was all about playing outside. Kick ball, baseball, or just plain playing in the dirt. I didn't really know much about movies and things of that nature. The best time I ever had was going to the pool or zoo. Now a days everything costs money and lots of it. We need to find a way to make it more affordable if people are going to come. We've already helped so many people including business a little more for entertainment can't hurt. Giving money to help make the parks a better, safer place would be a start. Since we've already worked on safety as a whole the neighborhoods being safer goes along way to making the parks safe. Giving some money to the business of entertainment so that they can lower their prices or even give a discounted rate night would also go along way to getting some entertainment into Modesto.


With better safer parks kids will want to get out and play more. Less time spent in front of the t.v. and more time out and interacting with other kids and having fun means a broader range of social skills that are crucial to gets as the grow up. They do better in school and even in society. Being able to communicate with your peers is learned by first playing with them when your a child. When people grow up knowing each other or being better able to socialize in general they are less likely to commit other crimes. With more money given to the movie theaters and to various other entertainment places through out Modesto they are more able to lower their prices making it more affordable for people to go. When a family can go together to see a play at the Gallow Center, or bowling with family then the family as a whole is better. The leisure day is saved! For now...