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Category Archives: Froggy Foibles

Froggy Foibles

Does the five second rule count when you drop food?

By Nadine Carroll
Yahoo News Australia
April 30, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, United States

Most of us have dropped a tasty treat on the floor and the inevitable question runs through through your head: “Does the five second rule count?” …Does it matter what type of surface the food landed on?  …The surfaces tested were carpet, wood and laminated tile. …In less than five seconds there was a bacterial transfer significant enough to ‘infect’ someone and that risk increased the longer the food stayed in contact with the contaminated surface. …Carpet was shown to be the most ‘hygienic’… most likely due to the “salmonella mixture” sinking deep into fibres. …And of course, no amount of research will ever be able to answer the rhetorical question: If you eat something that you dropped on the floor and nobody is around to see you drop it – did it really fall on the floor?

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Toilet paper trade war would make it difficult to enjoy the go

By Rick Steelhammer
The Charleston Gazette-Mail
March 24, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, United States

Authors of a report released last month by a pair of environmental groups chafed at our country’s three biggest toilet paper producers for relying on trees from virgin Canadian forests to keep top USA TP brands squeezably soft. The report… created a brief media splash, giving copy editors a chance to compete over how many potty-themed words they could squeeze into their headlines. …Meanwhile, toilet paper is now the 141st-most traded product in the international market, and generates $6 billion in sales annually in the U.S. alone. While I don’t care for the Charmin bears, I like their product. So here’s hoping our often volatile leader doesn’t get into another tariff dispute with the Canadian prime minister. Please, Mr. Trump. Don’t put the squeeze on my Charmin.

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Thousands of dollars for emails ‘from trees’: Vancouver wins government waste award

CTV News
March 13, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada

The City of Vancouver was sarcastically honoured by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation for an initiative that allowed to “email a tree.” Vancouver’s park board won the CTF’s Municipal Teddy Award for the project that the federation says cost about $50,000. …The tree email idea was part of an project meant to highlight local artists. The city posted signs with ID numbers and email addresses on about two dozen trees in the Jericho and Point Grey areas, inviting visitors to get in touch via email. The CTF said five artists were given $10,000 each to respond to those emails “within a week,” acting as the trees. …The CTF also honoured two senior civil servants who made headlines following their suspension from the B.C. Legislature. …Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “won” the federal Teddy for an eight-day trip to India last February.

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Tell us your Christmas TREEditions

Tree Frog Forestry News
December 6, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, United States, International

Tell us your Christmas TREEditions. We want to feature your forest-friendly family traditions in the Tree Frog News. Include a picture and watch for your story in the Frog! Send your story to sandy@treefrogcreative.ca

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Tuques4Trees

Tree Canada
December 5, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada

Did you loose your toque on the train? Are you looking for the perfect Christmas gift for friends and family? We’ve got you covered. Tree Canada’s toques are good for the noggin and good for the environment! Warm, Stylish and Eco-Friendly toques will keep you warm this winter! With your contribution, you will receive an exclusive Tree Canada tuque and a charitable tax receipt in the full amount of your gift. One tree is planted for every tuque ordered. Do you already have one? Share your #Tuques4Trees selfie in support of green giving!

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The true story of the Hope-Princeton Gallows

By Brian Wilson, Okanagan Archive Trust Society
Pentiction Western News
June 13, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, Canada West

There is confusion about the history the big fire and of this sign. Here’s the true story. The “Big Burn” was first reported on August 8th, 1945 by a Canadian Pacific Airline pilot who saw it from his flight path. …The story of the cigarette is not altogether true. Actually, the true cause of the fire was a slash burn that got away from workers building the Hope-Princeton Highway. Because of the rough terrain between the Allison hill and the Skagit Bluffs, it was not until August 11th that 140 men were able to reach the centre of the fire zone. …August 26th during a long rain storm [the fire] was declared “out”. By then the fire had devastated 5,920 acres of prime timber. …The gallows wasn’t erected until well after the Hope-Princeton was officially opened in 1949. …When capital punishment ended in Canada in 1962, the gallows became inappropriate and was taken down.

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This whimsical forest in B.C. was transformed into an enchanted kingdom

By Elana Shepert
Vancouver is Awesome
April 25, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, Canada West

If you go down in the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise… The Enchanted Forest is located in Revelstoke offers over 350 jolly folk art figurines that will transport guests into a magical kingdom. Figures include everything from Goldilocks and the Three Bears to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Three Little Pigs to Winnie-the-Pooh, and many more – even Captain Hook is found among the forest friends. There’s also a giant cedar stump house, castle, dungeons and a fierce dragon. What’s more, the forest is home to the tallest tree house in B.C., soaring 50 feet into the emerald canopy. Opened to the public in 1960’, the whimsical creatures are made by artists Doris Needham, Adel Clark and Charles Henzler.

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Tree frog art installation goes up outside Powell River Public Library

By Paul Galinski
The Powell River Peak
March 14, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, Canada West

Powell River Public Library has taken a leap into a new art installation. A metal sculpture representing a Pacific tree frog was installed on the southeast corner of the library, adjacent to Alberni Street, after having been commissioned by the Rotary Club of Powell River. …Various options were explored, but it boiled down to a leaping Pacific tree frog that is indigenous to the area.

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This ‘hair ice’ phenomena was found on a B.C. tree

By Elana Shepert
The Vancouver Courier
January 30, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, Canada West

While it may look like something out of a fairytale, ‘hair ice’ is a fairly common occurrence across the world. What’s more, the whimsical manifestation happens a great deal in our own backyard. Not only do British Columbian forests reach the cold temperatures necessary for it to form, but they also have a vast number of trees that support its growth. The fine, silky ice only forms on decaying or dead wood, and only on particular broadleaf trees. B.C. forests are home to a great deal of deciduous trees that fall into this category, such as maple, cottonwood, and oak.

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Chainsaw juggler to attempt new world record

By Lynn Curwin
The Chronicle Herald
August 21, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada East, Canada

TRURO, N.S. —  Ian Stewart was practicing axe juggling but he got sidetracked by chainsaws. …“I beat the old record of 88, with 94 catches in 2011,” he said. “Last July a man in Finland (Janne Mustonen) set a record of 98 so now I’m hoping to be the first to crack 100. I only need two extra throws but it’s a challenge.” He’s practicing but being careful not to over practice, as it is hard on the body. “Most injuries are just from the fact that the chainsaws are so heavy,” he said. …Before performing the juggler has to demonstrate they’re sharp by cutting something and has to sign a paper acknowledging that the organizers recommend they not perform the stunt. …He said not many people juggle chainsaws. [They] cost about $700 each so it can be expensive if you have many drops.

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Made in Canada: Meet the Makers Behind Canadian Lumber Rolling Papers

By Deidre Olsen
Leafly
May 21, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada East, Canada

Move over Zig-Zag, there’s a new, all-Canadian brand of rolling papers on the market. You may have seen the packs of buffalo plaid papers at a cannabis retailer or headshop near you. Made by Canadian Lumber, the company hails from Halifax, NS and came about a couple years ago when Beau-Brandon Cleeton realized there was no Canadian company in the rolling paper market. It was a part of the cannabis space he was fascinated with and passionate about. …Within months, he came up with a vision for his company—based on the Canadian lumberjack of old who cut down trees and rolled logs—and thus, Canadian Lumber was born. …In Canada, there are few regulations that companies must follow in order to produce rolling papers. …Canadian Lumber has acquired a TÜV SÜD Product Service Certificate that provides brands with a mark ensuring quality and safety. 

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QEW driver caught on video with car doors open, carting load of wood

By Adam Carter
CBC News
May 7, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada East, Canada

A baffling display of driving was caught on video late last week, with a driver carting a load of wood on the QEW with the rear doors of their car wide open. In a video posted on Facebook by David Fafinski, the driver can be seen on the highway near the Red Hill Valley Parkway, heading toward the Burlington Skyway bridge. In addition to the open back doors poking into adjoining lanes, the car’s trunk is also propped open, with what looks like a piece of furniture sticking out. OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt told CBC News that he saw the video for the first time Tuesday morning.  “That’s an unsafe vehicle there. Doors open — who knows what could come flying out of there,” he said. “That’s not anything you ever expect to see on the highway. “It’s just straight out ridiculous.”

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How do you ship a 300 million-year-old tree stump? Very carefully

By Moira Donovan
CBC News
January 29, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada East, Canada

In the technical shop at the Museum of Natural History in Halifax, a stone column is being prepared for shipping. But this is no ordinary column. It’s a fossilized tree stump. The stump is from a tree from 300 million years ago. It was part of a tropical forest south of the equator at the heart of the supercontinent Pangea. …Over millions of years, the tree moved thousands of kilometres, as Nova Scotia drifted northward. The fossil was discovered in the cliffs at Joggins. Now, it’s about to be moved again, to join other fossils from across Canada in a new “Dawn of Life” gallery at the Royal Ontario Museum. …For more than a hundred years, these Lepidodendron trees have been helping people understand the Carboniferous period. Now, Fedak said this fossil will spread that knowledge to more than a million visitors to the ROM a year.

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A new East Coast tradition: Towering Christmas trees made of lobster traps

By Michael MacDonald
CBC News
December 5, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada East, Canada

They first started appearing along Canada’s East Coast about 10 years ago: towering Christmas trees fashioned out of carefully stacked lobster traps. Adorned with colourful buoys, twinkling lights and evergreen boughs, they are becoming regular fixtures in fishing communities across Atlantic Canada. …Barrington, on Nova Scotia’s southwest coast… Last Sunday, about 150 people gathered for the lighting of the lobster trap tree. …Many of the colourful markers are inscribed with the names of fishermen lost at sea “I’m reminded every year that as each of the buoys is put on the tree, they can bring heartache and sadness to the community,” said Atwood. “But it’s the reality of fishing in Nova Scotia.”

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It’s time to celebrate the elaborate courtship of American woodcock

By John Holyoke
The Bangor Daily News
May 10, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

Whenever I need proof that there is a divine sense of humor in the universe, I consider the American woodcock. From all appearances, it is a bird that has been assembled from the spare parts of other birds. It’s got the body of a pigeon, the legs of a chicken, the bill of a snipe, and the eyes of a … of a … Actually, nothing else has eyes like that. The woodcock is the color of leaf litter. It walks as if it is doing the Hokey Pokey. It’s a shorebird that wouldn’t be caught dead at the shore. It’s nicknamed the timberdoodle. …Sadly, woodcock populations are declining nationwide at about 1 percent per year. Happily, we’re doing something about it. Maine has a healthy population. We have a lot of the forest edge habitat necessary for woodcock.

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The best toilet paper to buy in 2019

By Tracy Saelinger
Today
February 14, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

Toilet paper. Everyone uses it, yet most of us automatically buy the same toilet paper, without giving it much thought. …We turned to germ expert, Kelly Reynolds, Ph.D., a professor and program director at the University of Arizona… and [asked] what you should be thinking about when you buy — and use — toilet paper. …It’s all about the barrier. “Theoretically, the more barrier you have between your hands and the contamination you’re wiping will have an impact on reducing the chance of germs getting on your hands,” Reynolds told TODAY. “So, in that sense, two-ply is better. But, you could also use one-ply — you’d just have to use more.” …Most toilet paper nowadays is designed to biodegrade, Reynolds noted, though some companies may use more sustainable manufacturing processes than others.

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Food and building materials merge with Perdue’s wood composite chicken nuggets

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
January 21, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

We have been saying for years that building materials should be healthy and high fiber like the food we eat, and now Perdue delivers. Perdue became the first national brand of chicken …We were just writing last week that building materials should be almost edible, that they should be natural and high fiber. And now Perdue has introduced an organic, gluten-free chicken nugget with wood as an ingredient. This could be the start of a new trend: truly edible building materials. Alas, Perdue may have jumped the gun on releasing this product, because the USDA has demanded a recall all 68,244 pounds of the nuggets. …The serious thing about this is that we really should think of our building materials the way we do about food. Years ago… I wrote Why Plastic Foam Insulation Is Like a Twinkie: Lessons Green Builders Can Learn From Michael Pollan and I modified the appropriate food rules and applied them to building materials. It is more relevant than ever.

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Tree said to inspire Dr. Seuss’ ‘The Lorax’ dies. Who will speak for the trees?

By Sonja Haller
USA Today
June 17, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States, US West

As he sat in his mountaintop La Jolla, California, home, spinning lyrical children’s tales like “The Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham,” Ted Geisel — who we all know as Dr. Seuss — spied the droopy, yet noble Monterrey Cypress tree.  Now, the tree that locals say inspired “The Lorax” is gone forever, and why it’s gone is a mystery, Tim Graham, a spokesman for the San Diego Parks and Recreation Department.  The lone Cypress in Ellen Browning Scripps Park in La Jolla fell over last week and died. “The city is still trying to determine the cause and the Monterrey Cypress was estimated to be between 80 and 100 years old,” Graham said. …The California coast Monterey Cypress can live up to 2,000 years, and this particular park tree sparked the 1971 story of the Once-ler who mows down all the Truffula trees threatening the creatures who depend on them.

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Bigfoot leads state’s effort to prevent wildfires, asks Oregonians to ‘believe’

By Douglas Perry
Oregon Live
May 29, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States, US West

Everybody knows Smokey Bear and his famous saying, “Only you can prevent forest fires.” The Oregon state fire marshal has decided his office can do even better. …Oregon Fire Marshal Jim Walker has recruited an even bigger celebrity – who happens to be a local resident – for his own fire-safety-awareness campaign: Bigfoot. …“Wildfires can easily be ignited by backyard burning; an unattended campfire; a hot car on tall, dry grass; or from dragging tow chains — and they spread fast,” Walker said in a statement. “We hope our Bigfoot campaign will draw attention and create a bigger ‘footprint’ of wildfire prevention efforts around the state.”Get it? A bigger footprint. 

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Washington first state to allow composting of human bodies

By Gene Johnson
The Associated Press in the Peninsula Daily News
May 23, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States, US West

SEATTLE — Gov. Jay Inslee has signed legislation making Washington the first state to approve composting as an alternative to burying or cremating human remains. The measure signed Tuesday allows licensed facilities to offer “natural organic reduction,” which turns a body, mixed with substances such as wood chips and straw, into about two wheelbarrows’ worth of soil in a span of several weeks. Loved ones are allowed to keep the soil to spread, just as they might spread the ashes of someone who has been cremated — or even use it to plant vegetables or a tree. …Supporters have said the method is an environmentally friendly alternative to cremation… and conventional burial… taking up land.

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‘Voice of the forest’: George the snail, last of his kind, dies at age 14

The Guardian
January 8, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US West

As New Year’s Day broke in the Hawaiian Islands… George, the last snail of his kind and a local celebrity, was dead at age 14. The passing of George, a tree snail… epitomizes the decline of biodiversity on the Hawaiian islands, where climate change and invasive predators have taken a heavy toll on native animals and insects. …George, who never lived in an actual forest, was still a mascot for endangered Hawaiian snails. …Despite his celebrity status, George wasn’t the prettiest snail to look at. …Although scientists had hoped that George, a hermaphrodite, would have offspring, his solitary life ruled out that possibility. Despite the sad fate of the Achatinella apexfulva, the Oahu lab has thousands of native snails in residence, and scientists have begun re-introducing some of the adults into remote forests where they hope they will thrive.

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Smokey Bear sketches find a home in the Falls

By Hannah Olson
The International Falls Journal
August 29, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

On Oct. 13, 1954, the day the beloved statue of Smokey Bear was erected in International Falls, Christine Anderson…and her brother sat posed together with their mother, at the concrete base of the newly installed statue, which was designed by their father, Norman Anderson. Nearly 65 years later, the siblings once again sat together at the base of Smokey Bear. The Anderson siblings were back in the Falls this week, after making the trek to Koochiching County Museums to deliver original sketches made by their father for the construction of the Smokey Bear statue. The drawings and photographs were rediscovered after their mother, Ardys Anderson, died last August. …Smokey Bear himself has held up over the years but was victim to fire damage in the 1970s, when local vandals lit his rear-end on fire.

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Movie “The Lumber Baron” to be released Friday in Hollywood

WEAU TV Wisconsin
May 24, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

EAU CLAIRE, Wisconsin. — A new movie hitting the screens in Hollywood was shot in the Chippewa Valley! The Lumber Baron is a story about an heir to a failing lumber business as he tries to recover his fortune and hold his family together. It debuts Friday. Scene & Hurd Productions says they chose to film in the Chippewa Valley area because its one of the richest historical places where lumber barons and lumber jacks used to live. The movie is showing in Los Angeles and Ontario, as well as locally at Micon’s Downtown Cinema in Eau Claire. 

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Forest to Tap: how forest management helps make great beer

Dovetail Partners
April 23, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

Forest to Tap (F2T) is a project to share the knowledge that forests and good forest management contribute greatly to the clean waters of Minnesota, and thus great beer. The Forest Friendly Brewery Project is a non-profit based project, planned and supported by a diverse group of natural resource interests, whose common denominator is the knowledge that good forest management – including planting, harvesting, and stewardship – results in clean and healthy water for wildlife, communities, businesses – and ultimately for beer! …The ‘avenue’ to that education is through partnering with craft breweries, (the end users of water), to spread the message.

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We do know about paper bags

By Annelore Harrell, Bluffton
Bluffton Today
January 30, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

Annelore Harrell

As anyone who has been raised in the Lowcountry will tell you, we do know about paper bags. We make ’em. There’s a reason we grow so many pine trees. If students in Hawaii worked at the Dole Pineapple Factory in the summertime, then Savannah teens headed to the bag plant for jobs as soon as school let out in the spring. The pay was good, but the work hard. …we recognized the bag plant from afar. It stunk. Depending on which way the wind was blowing, you got a snoot full. For years, the chimneys spewed out stinky smoke. The “smell of money,” we said. …On Sunday, Oct. 7, 1945, Union Camp paper bags became part of a murder when Jesse R. McKethan, who worked at the plant, strangled George Luther Aids, chopped up his body and used paper bags he had brought home to carry the pieces, which he proceeded to distribute around his neighborhood in vacant lots…

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Christmas tree allergy is nothing to sneeze at

By Nancy Clanton
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
December 3, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

Does the thought of putting up the Christmas tree fill you with dread instead of excitement? Do you have visions of tissues and antihistamine instead of sugarplums dancing in your head? Christmas trees and other decorations can trigger allergies in many people. Tree sap, pollen and terpenes — compounds that give pine trees their scent — can all make allergy sufferers sneeze. …Live trees can be full of mold. A study last year at SUNY Upstate Medical University found 53 kinds of mold in live Christmas trees. Most of those molds are potential allergens and are known to increase the risk of wheezing, persistent coughing and allergic sensitization in infants. …If pollen is a problem, consider buying a Leland cypress tree. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, this hybrid is the most popular Christmas tree in the Southeast, and does not produce pollen or sap.

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Up to 25000 bugs could be on your Christmas tree. Here’s how to stop a home invasion

By Kaitlyn Alanis
Wichita Eagle
November 26, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

The bugs are creepy, they’re crawly and they could be living on that freshly-cut Christmas tree you plan to bring into your home. Oh, and there could be hundreds or thousands of those bugs on your real tree. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach says “several hundred” baby insects and spiders could be on one tree, and organic gardening manufacturer Safer Brand says up to 25,000 of those “common Christmas tree bugs” could be living on your tree. Whether hundreds or thousands of bugs, you might not realize they are on your tree until after you set up and decorate that perfect holiday piece. By then, you’ll have already welcomed any possible critters into your warm home. …If you want to avoid bringing the bugs into your home, there are a few things you can do that don’t include skipping the real Christmas tree this year.

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A Hymn to Notre-Dame

By Ken Follett, Author
The Smithsonian Magazine
September 18, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

On September 1, 1830, the 28-year-old poet Victor Hugo sat down to write Chapter 1 of a book called Notre-Dame de Paris. …It got poor reviews but the public loved it, and it was quickly translated into other languages. The English edition was called The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. And Hugo became world famous. …Nearly 200 years later, on April 15, 2019… Notre-Dame was on fire. I understood what was burning and how the fire was gathering force. …I had, in doing research for The Pillars of the Earth, my novel about the building of a fictional medieval cathedral. A key scene in Chapter 4 describes the old cathedral of Kingsbridge burning down, and I had asked myself: Exactly how does a great stone church catch fire? …Excerpt from Notre-Dame by Ken Follett, to be published on October 29, 2019.

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Wooden electric motorcycle is a dangerous beauty

By Kate Murphy
UK Motor1
August 22, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

This innovative electric motorcycle from French company Newron is among the first to break the traditional motorcycle design trend. The first thing you’ll notice is that quite a lot of it is made out of wood. That alone is a radical departure from typical motorcycle design, but one that will not catch on where there is any kind of weather. The second thing you’ll notice is that pillar of wood right at the front of the seat. Stop too hard and that thing will be all up in your business, and not in a good way.

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Elephants help forests store more carbon by destroying smaller plants

By Sam Wong
The New Scientist
July 15, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

Elephants do a lot of damage to plants as they stomp around the jungle, but, counterintuitively, this activity increases the biomass of the forest, letting it store more carbon. If elephants were to go extinct, the amount of carbon stored in central African rainforests could ultimately fall by 7 per cent, according to a new analysis. …Fabio Berzaghi at the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Sciences in Gif-sur-Yvette, France… built a model of plant diversity and simulated the impact of elephants by increasing the mortality of smaller plants. …The model showed that elephants reduce the density of stems in the forest, but increase the average tree diameter and the total biomass. …These effects may also account for the differences between African and Amazonian rainforest. 

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People are stapling slices of bread to trees and residents are so confused

By Ewan Somerville
Gloucestershire Live
July 15, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

…Residents in the South Yorkshire city have been left perplexed by slices of white bread popping up on tree trunks left right and centre. Yes, you read that right, people are stapling slices of bread to the bark. … “This week the trees on the north side of the road have been ‘decorated’ by persons unknown with slices of white bread which have been stapled in place. “They are on the north side of the road and on the north east sides of the trees. Is this part of some weird new cult?” …stapling bread to trees is actually a very weird, slightly deranged, mildly hilarious viral online craze. Online geeks from around the world have been showing off their bread-tree fancies on a Reddit thread,with some even branching out from the classic loaf to em-BARK on a slice of bagel stapling.

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Queen insists she is ‘still perfectly capable’ of planting a tree at 93

By Robert Jobson
London Evening Standard
July 9, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

The Queen was not letting the small matter of her advancing age stand in the way of that most quintessential royal job: tree planting. Rejecting an offer of help on Tuesday to plant a hornbeam sapling, the 93-year-old declared: “No, no, I’m still perfectly capable of planting a tree.” With that she seized the spade and started energetically shovelling in the soil to commemorate 100 years of the National Institute of Agricultural Botany just outside Cambridge. The NIAB chairman Jim Godfrey had been primed to plant the tree for her, and for Her Majesty to “supervise”. …Tina Barsby, chief executive of NIAB said: “It was very impressive to see her planting the tree. She wasn’t scheduled to plant the tree, it was just to supervise the planting. But she handed her handbag to her someone and seized the spade. She obviously wanted to do it!”

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Unfroggetable: endangered Bolivian amphibians get long-awaited first date

Associated Free Press in Egypt Independent
April 2, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

Happily, the first date between Romeo, once the last-known Sehuencas water frog, and Juliet, who was discovered deep inside a Bolivian cloud forest in January, went so well the two have been living together in the male’s aquarium since. …“Romeo has been really sweet to Juliet, following her around the aquarium and sacrificing his worm meals for her,” said Teresa Camacho Badani, chief of herpetology at the Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d’Orbigny in Bolivia… “After he’s been alone for so long, it’s wonderful to see him with a mate finally.” …Romeo hasn’t fully figured out amplexus — the mating position for frogs… Since meeting Juliet, Romeo has also exhibited a behavior water frog experts had not encountered for this species: a performance in which he rapidly twinkles the toes of his back feet, likely intended to impress the female.

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10 Best-Worst Wooden Car Mods

By Benjamin Hunting
Driving
February 20, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

Genius or madness? Sometimes there’s a fine line between the two, and clearly these modifiers think they are on it. They’re not. They’re just crazy.  Sometimes, steel is just too expensive. Sometimes, plastic makes too much sense. Fortunately, the forests of the world are vast, power saws are cheap, and besides, didn’t you quit community college halfway through your first semester because you were tired of people judging you? Behold: the weird and wonderful world of wood car modifications. Here are 10 of the most egregious examples you’ll ever see dodging termites down the turnpike.

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People from all over the world are sending emails to Melbourne’s trees

By Margaret Burin
ABC News, Australia
January 16, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

The City of Melbourne gave 70,000 trees email addresses so people could report on their condition. But instead people are writing love letters, existential queries and sometimes just bad puns. …These emails were sent as part of Melbourne City Council’s Urban Forest Visual, an interactive map that allows the public to find out more about any tree in the council area. …But the response was completely unexpected. Since the project started it’s received more than 4,000 emails from around the world… people often think technology removes us from nature but actually the opposite can be true.

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World’s ‘loneliest’ frog gets a date

By Helen Briggs
BBC News
January 15, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

A frog believed to be the last of his kind in the world has been granted a reprieve from solitude. Romeo, known as the world’s loneliest frog, has spent 10 years in isolation at an aquarium in Bolivia. Scientists say they have found him a Juliet after an expedition to a remote Bolivian cloud forest. Five Sehuencas water frogs found in a stream were captured, with the goal of breeding and re-introducing the amphibians back into the wild. The five frogs – three males and two females – are the first Seheuncas water frogs to be seen in the wild for a decade, despite previous searches in the Bolivian wilderness. Romeo was collected 10 years ago when biologists knew the species was in trouble, but was not expected to remain alone for so long. He attracted international attention a year ago over his search for a mate, and was even given a dating profile.

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Frog sex in the city: Urban tungara frogs are sexier than forest frogs

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Phys.org
December 10, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

In Nature Ecology and Evolution, researchers working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute report that male tungara frogs in Panama City put on sexier mating displays than frogs living in nearby tropical forests. “Tungara frogs sound a bit like pinball machines,” said Wouter Halfwerk, assistant professor at Vrije University in Amsterdam, and visiting scientist at STRI. “To their simple tun sound, they can add extra elements like the sound, gara, to make complex calls: tun gara gara—hence their name. Some people call tiny tungara frogs the acoustic equivalents of peacocks. They are nothing to look at, but just like male peacocks have fancy tails to attract females, tungara frogs add extra sounds to their calls to lure females in.”

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Everything You Need to Know About the Summer Solstice

The Farmer’s Almanac
June 21, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles

First day of summer solstice, an event when the sun is at its highest point in the sky. In 2019, it arrives today, Friday June 21, at 8:54 Pacific Standard Time. The word “solstice” comes from Latin solstitium—from sol (Sun) and stitium (still or stopped), reflecting the fact that on the solstice, the Sun appears to stop “moving” in the sky as it reaches its northern- or southernmost point (declination) for the year, as seen from Earth. So why the lag between the longest day of the year and the highest average daily temperature of the year? According to the Farmer’s Almanac, it’s because the Earth’s thermal mass is still gathering heat from the longer days and warming gradually. The warmest day of winter doesn’t occur for another month and a half. 

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French president to send new tree to Trump after oak gift died

Reuters in the Montreal Gazette
June 11, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron downplayed the death of an oak tree he had offered U.S. President Donald Trump last year on Tuesday, saying people shouldn’t read symbols into everything and that he would send the American leader a new tree. …It was put in quarantine because of fears parasites on the tree could spread to others on the White House property. U.S. officials this weekend said it had died prompting a flurry of social media posts comparing its death to the difficult relationship the two leaders have had since that visit.

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Why ‘South Park’ doesn’t understand climate change

By Ilana Strauss
Treehugger
November 28, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles

“South Park” just ran a couple episodes about climate change. The show gets a lot right about the history of the problem, but it screws up a key factor of human nature in the process, one that could completely flip the future. …”South Park” sees the world as zero-sum: my win is your loss. In a zero-sum world, no one would ever sacrifice soy sauce to save the planet, or money to build roads. But climate change isn’t a zero-sum problem. Instead, it might be what economists call a “collaboration problem.” …This isn’t to say that government, or other groups, actually will take the steps necessary to end climate change. Just that we could.

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