Critters

Animal Foley

Animal Foley Many of our favorite movies are filled with highly unrealistic aspects. For example, nearly every explosion or medical scene is exaggerated or flat-out impossible.  Confoundingly, one aspect of filmmaking that is inherently artificial goes a long way toward the brain’s ability to suspend disbelief. One element has kept our eyes and ears in …

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They Can Talk

They Can Talk When we think of animals and speech, the paragon is the bird. Our avian friends are the only other creature on the planet that can produce human speech. Though they cannot currently ape human vocalizations, gorillas and chimpanzees can employ sign language. Despite the fact that we can intuit how many species feel …

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The Great Migration

The Great Migration Elton John famously sings about the “Circle of Life” in The Lion King. The piece speaks generally about the cycle of life and death. The animated feature takes part on the continent of Africa. While John’s melodies emerge from an animated feature, the song is more apropos to its setting than most …

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Chipmunks

Chipmunks For the last several years, we’ve been blessed with the company of adorable creatures on our back porch. In addition to the usual sparrows, cardinals, and hummingbirds, a wonderful slew of chipmunks visits to munch on birdseed. My childhood in Ohio did not feature many chipmunks, but the summers my family spent in the …

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Worms in the Rain

Worms in the Rain As temperatures rise, leaves start to peek out of buds, and the critters begin to reclaim the land. April brings precipitation to many spots in North America and warmer, rainy days solicit one creature, in particular: the earthworm. Amble outside during a shower in the spring and you will likely encounter …

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Bluebirds of Happiness

Bluebirds of Happiness Sawiskera, the Spirit of Winter and Darkness, plagued the Iroquois people, daily banishing the sun and conjuring yearly icy eras of tribulation. One magical melody, however, could ward off the forces of Sawiskera. This musical potion emerged from the syrinx of the Eastern bluebird.  Bluebirds are passerines, the order of perching birds …

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Hank the Tank

Hank the Tank Many people who live near Lake Tahoe currently fear an active burglar. This hooligan does not target money, vehicles, jewelry, artwork, or any other valuables one might associate with the Lake Tahoe clientele. The locals have imparted an apt nickname for the thief. But, despite eluding the big net of authorities many …

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Levitate a Frog

Levitate a Frog Go to your refrigerator and grab a magnet. Now try to stick it to your body. Of course, the magnet falls to the ground because our bodies are not magnetic. Right? Colloquially, yes. Technically, the answer is more complex (though you obviously still won’t find magnetism in your vaccines; I can’t believe …

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