CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 17, 2011 |
The removal of 25,000 cubic yards of sediment from the basin behind Devil's Gate Dam in Pasadena has been put on hold until August in order to prevent the destruction of a habitat for toads. Work was set to begin last week, but Pasadena officials decided to postpone the job pending further environmental review after Hahamongna Watershed Park users complained that Johnson Field, where the dirt was to be temporarily stored, was home to a large number of toads that would be smothered underneath the piles of dirt.
May 7, 2011 |
Around the world, frogs, salamanders and other amphibians are disappearing — and much about their demise has been a mystery. Now, in an episode of amphibian CSI, biologists have used decades-old museum samples of frogs, toads and salamanders to track the relentless path of a killer fungus across Mexico and Central America over the last 40 years. The findings, published online Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, strongly link the amphibians' disappearance to the fungus and suggest that the disease was an alien invader rather than a native disease let loose by climate change.
April 17, 2010 |
Ever since its arrival in Australia, the poisonous cane toad has been killing native predators such as the northern quoll, a cat-sized marsupial. Now scientists have found a clever way to save the endangered quoll: training it to detest the taste of toad so it won't get poisoned. Brought to Queensland state in 1935 to control beetles in sugar cane fields, the cane toad is one of many Old World animals to wreak havoc on Australia's native ecosystem. Unlike most invasive species, however, the cane toad doesn't prey on native life, or compete with it for food.
January 28, 2010 |
Unless you're Australian, or have a long memory for short films, you've likely never heard of cane toads. But be prepared, they're coming at you. And in 3-D no less. "Cane Toads: The Conquest" had its world premiere at Sundance on Tuesday night before an audience that roared with delight at the amphibians' antics. The reception fulfilled the expectations of filmmaker Mark Lewis, who called it "just like 'Avatar,' except with toads." An Australian with a lively and playful sense of humor, Lewis has been to Sundance before, with the irreverent "The Natural History of the Chicken."
HOME & GARDEN
January 23, 2010
If soggy flower beds and slippery slopes are keeping you out of the garden, two new books can replace the urge to plant with the inspiration to plan. Garden photographer and Home section contributor Debra Lee Baldwin takes on common design questions in her new book, "Succulent Container Gardens." Which plants? With which pots? For which spots on the patio, balcony or deck? Baldwin's book ($29.95 from Timber Press) delivers ideas, including a chapter on unusual succulent arrangements in unconventional containers.
November 22, 2009 |
Even before it opens later this week, Disney's new animated feature, "The Princess and the Frog," is already considered something of a cultural and animation landmark. After centering cartoons on a Middle Easterner ("Aladdin"), a Native American (" Pocahontas"), an Asian ("Mulan"), and a Hawaiian ("Lilo & Stitch"), Disney animation has entered the post-racial era. The new film features a black protagonist alongside the green one. It has been a long time coming, but it is an event that, if you believe Disney detractors, would have old Walt spinning in his grave (or his cryogenic chamber)