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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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National Building Code could see paranormal provisions for 2025 update

By Peter Kenter
Daily Commercial News
October 31, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada

A rash of paranormal outbreaks in Canada and around the world could see some revisions to the National Building Code as early as 2025. The Standing Committee on Paranormal Phenomena, which reports to the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes is preparing a policy position paper, Long-Term Paranormal Codes Development. Among the recommendations being considered: While it’s well-known that supernatural entities can pass through solid matter, the committee is looking at the use of specially coloured lights and pentagrams (five-pointed stars) as part of ceramic, concrete, wood or engineered wood flooring. Such patterns could also be incorporated into low-emission carpeting design at low cost. …Wooden stakes provide excellent protection against vampire assaults. The use of these hardwood stakes dovetails with “Wood First” construction policies adopted across Canada. Exposed wood beams could feature “breakaway” stakes to be used by building occupants to defend themselves. 

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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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Starbucks adds new ‘woodsy’ tree-inspired drink to holiday lineup

By Lindsay William-Ross
The Richmond News
November 1, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, Canada West

Pumpkin Spice Lattes are so over. That’s because Starbucks is getting into full festive mode with the return of their holiday drink lineup, along with new cups, and a brand new Northwest-y latte, and it all starts November 2. …For something completely new for 2018, Starbucks is debuting the Juniper Latte, a “woodsy” drink inspired by their Seattle Roastery (which explains the PacNW vibes) that goes along with “the smell of freshly cut trees, a cold breath of winter air, the sound of footsteps crunching on snow” you know from the holiday season, in their words. It’s got an “evergreen aroma” with “hints of sage.”

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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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Montreal’s ‘Ugly Christmas Tree Village’ returns on November 30

By Tyler Jadah
The Daily Hive
November 19, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada East, Canada

It’s important to laugh at yourself. And, that’s exactly what this year’s ‘Ugly Christmas Tree Village’ in Whoville Montreal will be doing this holiday season, literally. The 2nd edition of Le Village du Vilain Sapin will feature more than just an ugly, Charlie Brown-esque tree as this year’s evergreen will be ticklish. Yes. A ticklish Christmas tree. Motion detectors and built-in loudspeakers will be incorporated into this year’s Frankentree that will bellow out laughter when guests shake the bottom branches to tickle it. When guests stop tickling the tree, it will let out a great sigh of relief.

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Intense winds cause Quebec forest to ‘breathe’

By Cheryl Maria
The Weather Network
October 17, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada East, Canada

A video taken in Sacre-Coeur, Quebec Tuesday, has captured Weather Network viewer’s attention. In it, strong winds push and pull at the forest floor, making it look like it’s ‘breathing’. 

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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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Scared by Spiders? Get Over It!

By Catherine Bartlett
Scientific American Blog
October 30, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

Halloween is for celebrating the scary: imaginary monsters—ghouls, goblins and ghosts—along with real but scary-seeming creatures such as bats, black cats and spiders. …Although spiders are common houseguests year-round, during October they finally get their due, although it’s not necessarily favorable. With over 47,000 described species, around 3,400 of which live in North America, most Americans have spiders as roommates whether they like it or not. …These arachnids (part of phylum Arthropoda) eat billions of insects yearly—mosquitoes, for example. …Fortunately, spiders want nothing to do with humans. Over the last hundreds of millions of years of their evolution they’ve never once shown a propensity to take a blood meal from us, unlike ticks.

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The witch-hazel tree may be a fitting Halloween symbol

By Charles Seabrook
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
October 25, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

Move over, pumpkin. There’s also another plant that some folks say belongs to Halloween — the witch hazel. …It starts blooming around Halloween and continues to do so through December. At the time when most autumn leaves have fallen and the forest is going into winter dormancy, the witch hazel puts forth its fragrant, scraggly, ribbon-like yellow blossoms — the last wild blooms of the year. Some people — the so-called “dowsers” — say witch-hazel is the best wood for their “magic wands,” or divining rods, which supposedly can detect underground water sources. …Old-timers also believed that the witch hazel contained magical potions, in part because of its astringency properties.

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Call it an acornucopia: Oak trees in our area are producing tons of seeds this year

By John Kelly
The Washington Post
October 10, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

I like a conversation that begins with, “You’re witnessing one of nature’s weirdest phenomena that we still don’t fully understand.” And that’s exactly what Scott Aker said the other day when I rang him up at the National Arboretum, where he is the head of horticulture and education. …“We’re seeing a lot of white oaks now producing a bumper crop of seeds,” he said. It’s called a mast year. …“It’s called the predator satiation hypothesis,” said Michael Steele, a biology professor at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania. …Every few years, trees such as oaks produce an overabundance of acorns, so many that the predators can’t possibly eat them all.

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Win Free Beer For A Year By Finding These Medallions Hidden In National Forests

By Augusta Statz
Simplemost
September 29, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

Busch Beer is giving beer lovers and nature lovers the chance of a lifetime. The brand is offering you the opportunity to go on a scavenger hunt in the woods — and the ultimate prize? Free beer for an entire year. Busch teamed up with the National Forest Foundation and, as part of the partnership, planted six medallions in different National Forest locations. One of those six medallions offers the winning prize of free beer for a year or the cash equivalent in some states. It’s similar to finding the “golden ticket” to visit Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, but it’s the 21-and-older version. The scavenger hunt officially began on Sept. 25 when Busch started tweeting clues on its Twitter account. The beer maker released coordinates of where the medallions could be found — but of course, didn’t give away which set of coordinates held the winning medallion.

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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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Weyerhaeuser Mansion – The Haunted House on the Hill

By Ellen Tsagaris
The Dispatch-Argus
October 31, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States, US West

The Quad-Cities has been home to many violent crimes and macabre deaths. …One of our most famous ghosts is the ghost from Augustana’s House on the Hill, once the mansion of the Frederick Weyerhaeuser lumber family and home to beloved Dean Betsey Brodahl. The protective spirit is allegedly Apollonia Weyerhaeuser Davis, a daughter of the Weyerhaeuser family. Apollonia was the last family member to reside there until she died in 1953. Some of the ghostly happenings associated with the House on the Hill spirits include locked doors suddenly hanging ajar, antiques moved and rearranged, and water running from faucets that weren’t turned on before. …In fact, paranormal investigators who visited the Weyerhaeuser Mansion claim to have found evidence of supernatural visitors.

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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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Why you shouldn’t buy your Christmas tree this weekend

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
November 21, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us and this long weekend is one that millions of Americans use to select and purchase their Christmas trees. But… according to the National Christmas Tree Association, 27.4 million real Christmas trees were purchased in 2017 at an average cost of $75, along with 21.1 million new fake trees at an average cost of $107. According to a recent survey… the period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is actually one of the most expensive times of the season to purchase a tree, with Black Friday itself being the most expensive day, an average, to bring one home.

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Seeking Bigfoot: Investigator believes Sasquatch lurks in North Carolina national forest

By WFMY
CBS News NC
November 2, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

TROY, N.C. – Follow the footsteps of a North Carolina legend. They’ll lead to dead ends, revealing more questions than answers in a mystery that has stumped even naysayers for centuries — the search for Sasquatch. That quest for clues often takes Bigfoot enthusiasts to Montgomery County. Nestled in the wilderness is an outlier on the outskirts of civilization — the Eldorado Outpost. …Cagle’s referring to the now-viral Squeaky Thermal footage, appearing to show a big creature peering into a campsite near the outpost. The man who captured it is a self-described avid camper-turned Bigfoot investigator.”It was the best night of my life, I guess!” recalled Michael Green. …I know what I saw. I don’t care if anyone thinks I’m crazy. 

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Climate change is coming for your beer

By Fiza Pirani
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
October 15, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

Last week, the United Nations warned that if governments don’t act on climate change within 12 years, there will be additional threats to the global environment. …Now,  a new study from climate researchers in the United States, China and Britain suggests a beer shortage is brewing. …Using a process-based crop model and an economic model, the researchers examined the effects of heat waves and drought… that will also affect where barley is grown. That means beer prices on average would double, even adjusting for inflation. …“Although not the most concerning impact of future climate change, climate-related weather extremes may threaten the availability and economic accessibility of beer,” researchers wrote. “Our aim is not to encourage people to drink more beer now,” says study author Dabo Guan.

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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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Appetite for the bizarre: more trees ‘swallowing’ strange objects

By Tim the Yowie Man
The Sydney Mornng Herald
November 6, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

This column’s recent feature on the poplar tree in Commonwealth Park that over a period of 35 years ‘ate’ a garden rake has prompted readers to submit similar accounts of trees partially devouring objects. “Your article reminded me of a friend’s house in Petersham in Sydney, where, out the back, embedded into a massive camphor laurel tree was a concrete clay tennis court roller,” writes Brenda Croft. According to Croft, “whoever had last used the roller had left it leaning against the tree, and decades later much of it had disappeared inside the body of the trunk.” Other readers have uncovered photographic evidence of trees in various states of devouring objects. Here are my top 5.

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Can you match the autumn leaf to the tree?

BBC News
October 22, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

As the leaves fall, who doesn’t enjoy stepping on a satisfyingly crunchy leaf? But can you spot which type of tree an autumn leaf on the ground comes from? Take our quiz and see. How many trees can you identify from their autumn leaves?

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Fir real: how to eat your Christmas tree

By Felicity Cloake
The Guardian
September 17, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

You may be desperately clinging on to the last rays of summer but, with fewer than 100 days to go until Christmas, the food world is in full festive fig. Indeed, thoughts have already turned to the aftermath, with chef John Williams encouraging readers of the newly released Ritz London: The Cookbook to butcher the ceremonial tree for its “fragrant and spicy” needles. He says they lend a zesty kick to dishes such as his douglas fir and lemon verbena cream, and salt-baked celeriac with douglas fir sprigs. “Wouldn’t it be beautiful,” he said in 2010, “if families gathered after Christmas, festively removed the decorations and then cut off the tasty needles of the tree to flavour their food?”

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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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