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August 2, 2003 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Froghoppers, tiny insects found in gardens and grasslands around the world, have been found to outperform fleas as nature's high-jump champions. The quarter-inch insects can soar to nearly 28 inches, exerting a force 400 times their body weight. "This little guy really can jump," said professor Malcolm Burrows of the University of Cambridge in England, who reported his findings in the journal Nature. Fleas only exert a jumping force of 135 times their weight.
September 11, 2006
I woke up this morning to the horrific report about viruses being sprayed on my food ["Latest Food Additive: Viruses," Aug. 28]. I lost my appetite. Sure, food industry scientists are thrilled with the prospect of their foul foods lasting longer on the shelf. But I don't want weird organisms deliberately introduced into my food. Today they say it's safe; tomorrow they'll discover side effects, allergic reactions or worse -- and who knows what long-term effects may be. STEPHANY YABLOWNorth Hollywood The addition of bacteria-killing viruses to meat is a stopgap measure typical of the meat industry.
April 23, 2009 | Tony Perry
Plague has been found in the squirrel population at a popular camping site on Palomar Mountain in northern San Diego County, health officials said Wednesday. Though plague is not uncommon among the squirrels there, this year's discovery is earlier than most years. Vector control officials take yearly blood samples from squirrels at the Doane Valley Campground and other spots on the mountain. Plague is a bacterial disease in wild rodents that can be transmitted to humans through the bite of infected fleas.
September 24, 1997
Insects make up almost 90% of animal life on Earth. Without them, many plants could not survive. And though small insects such as flies, fleas and ants are the most familiar to us, much larger ones are common. The stick insect of the tropics can grow to a length of 14 inches. To learn more about insects, go to
June 15, 1987 | TRACEY KAPLAN, Times Staff Writer
First, 10 pounds of dog food disappeared from the Shulers' garage while they were on vacation. Shortly afterward, Liz Sierra's summer garden was destroyed overnight. Then a group of Simi Valley homeowners whose properties back onto a 219-acre vacant parcel owned by comedian Bob Hope and known informally as "Hopetown" began the regular practice of running in and out of their houses, clapping and shouting. "Back and forth, back and forth.
January 30, 2005
In Craig Nakano's "Travels With Bailey Sniff Out Hospitality That's Pet-Friendly" [Jan. 23] he overlooks children and adults who suffer from allergies to pets or travelers who are not dog worshipers. Dogs, except for those that help disabled travelers, do not belong in hotels. Dogs can carry fleas, which can burrow into the fibers of soft items in hotel rooms such as mattresses, pillows, bedding and easy chairs. Dogs are dogs, not people. Carole Wade Los Angeles
August 9, 1986 | Associated Press
Bubonic plague has killed 27 people in northern Uganda's west Nile region since April, the government said Friday. Another 250 people have become ill with the disease. State-run Radio Uganda quoted the health minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, as saying a three-member medical team has been dispatched to the area. Bubonic plague, known as the "Black Death" in 14th-Century Europe when it killed hundreds of thousands of people, is a contagious disease carried by fleas from infected rats.
May 17, 1994 | C.A. Wedlan from wire service reports
Out of 1,000 adults surveyed for the Better Sleep Council: * A third reported that sleeplessness affects their job performance. (The tab for workplace weariness is at least $15.8 billion in direct costs, according to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research.) * 20% admit dozing at work, with men twice as likely. * 30% do not feel rested when they wake up for work. * 20% have called in sick or been late due to lack of sleep.
October 28, 2012
Re "Venice cats receive a reprieve," Oct. 26 I don't understand why cat lovers think their pets have special rules. Do dog or hamster owners allow their animals to roam the neighborhood unleashed and unsupervised? Cats are an invasive species that kill birds (and don't even eat them) and other native animals. They defecate in vegetable gardens and carry fleas and other diseases. Cats should be kept indoors, as the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends.
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