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Notes, comments and observations from the Lifestyle and Entertainment desk by Lifestyle Editor Aixa Torregrosa-Vazquez.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Hanging out

Sometimes you just want to hangout with someone you love.
This photo provided by the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago shows a one-week-old Hoffman’s two-toed sloth clinging to its mother, The youngster was born on Feb. 15 to the 20-year-old, first-time mom. As of Feb. 24 the baby’s sex was unknown and had not been named.

(AP Photo/Lincoln Park Zoo, John Kortas)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Traveling to outer space, sort of

I am not a scientist but I am fascinated with what scientists can do. I will never travel to outer space, but wouldn't that be cool if one could, like in the movies. It will be quite the trip for sure.
While we get there (meaning future generations) we shall be content with what science makes possible right now. This week I have enjoyed the "virtual" exploration of outer space through NASA's Stardust-NeXt Exploring Comet Tempel 1 project. Check out the images at the link below.

PHOTO: The photo above, released by NASA/JPL on Feb. 15, 2011, shows an image from NASA's Stardust mission of comet Tempel 1 taken on Feb. 14, 2011. The Stardust craft zipped past a comet half the size of Manhattan during a Valentine's Day rendezvous that scientists hoped would shed light on these icy solar system bodies. At nearest approach, the craft passed within 112 miles of the potato-shaped comet, closer than the original prediction. (AP Photo/ NASA/JPL/ Caltech/Cornell)

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Monday, February 14, 2011

The toads need your help

Here's your chance to give nature a hand. Just got this PR for the annual Toad Detour.

Toad Detour Volunteer Orientation
For Annual Spring Migration

PHILADELPHIA - It's hard to believe that the toads will start their spring migration soon with all this snow on the ground! We are preparing in advance with a Volunteer Orientation to go over volunteer protocol and ensure that the migration goes smoothly. Anyone interested in volunteering to help Roxborough toads cross the road during their annual migration is invited to attend the Volunteer Orientation. If you are interested, but can't attend the meeting, please contact Toad Detour Coordinator, Lisa Levinson, at
Date: Sunday, February 27
Time: 4-5 p.m.
Location: Dick James Room at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy's Mill Road, Philadelphia.

RSVP:, 215-620-2130


Anyone interested in volunteering to help Philly toads can sign up for a volunteer shift online and join our email list to be alerted during nights of heavy migration. Volunteers are needed to place barricades and signs, distribute Toad Migration leaflets to commuters, count migrating toads, and help toads safely cross the road. You will automatically be added to the “on call” email/phone list to be contacted during the nights of heavy migration. If you have questions, please contact DETOUR Coordinator, Lisa Levinson: 215-620-2130,

Toad Detour Background
Each spring, between mid-March and late-April, hundreds of toads migrate from the forest at the Schuylkill Center For Environmental Education (SCEE) across Hagy’s Mill and Port Royal roads. They also migrate from the surrounding woods across Eva Street. These toads are headed towards the Roxborough Reservoir to mate. Their journey is a dangerous one, since they cross at night and must evade oncoming traffic. Hundreds of commuters who seek to avoid lights on Ridge Avenue travel these roads daily. Before the Toad Detour, the toad population was steadily decreasing due to traffic fatalities. With community help, toads can safely cross the road again. Toads are very important members of the food chain in our area. The entire ecosystem depends on their survival. The DETOUR Project (Detour for Emerging Toads Of Upper Roxborough) is an effort to protect toads as they migrate to and from their breeding ground each year and to raise public awareness about the migration. The DETOUR Committee is composed of local citizens and officials from various agencies (Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Mobilization For Animals Pennsylvania, Fairmount Park, Applied Ecological Services, Residents of Shawmont Valley Association, Philadelphia Police Department 5th District, Philadelphia Streets Department, Roxborough/Manayunk/Miquon Historical Association). The Committee initiates new policies improving migration safety for local toads, such as road detours and public education programs. During the migration, community volunteers man the barricades and erect signs to detour oncoming traffic towards alternate routes. Students from local schools learn about the toad life cycle and participate in activities to help educate the public about the migration.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The color of shock waves

Check this image from NASA ....

The final frontier is quite colorful

Martha Washington Garden Club Scholarship

Attention local students, here's a scholarship opportunity.

The Martha Washington Garden Club of Yardley, Pa is offering scholarships to qualified high school or college students who plan to pursue a career in any of the following fields: Horticulture or related fields, such as Landscape Architecture, Forestry, Conservation, or Floriculture. The scholarship money in a minimum amount of $2,000 will be awarded to students who are enrolled in or plan to attend an accredited college to further their education in any of the above fields. The deadline for the application is April 30, 2011. The recipients will be notified by May 25, 2011, and will be presented with the award at the Garden Club luncheon June 2011.
Applicants must provide a college acceptance letter (if still in High School), a copy of their current transcript, a list of high school or college activities, community service, work experience and reference letters as requested on the application form. Applicants should also write an essay on why they are interested in their field.
These should be attached to the application form and sent to:
Mrs. Kathleen Kuffel
22 Jericho Run,
Washington Crossing, Pa 18977
215 321 4193

Friday, February 4, 2011

Babies on board!

Who wouldn't want to be a baby. Mom takes you around. Sounds good.

At top, a baby golden lion tamarin rests on an adult tamarin at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, in Cleveland. The large amount of hair around the face resembles a lion's mane and accounts for this subspecies' name. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

An infant giant anteater, born on Dec. 22, 2010, rides on its mother Evita's back at the San Francisco Zoo in San Francisco, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce to honor students

The Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce is now accepting nominations for its Student Community Service Award.
And e-mail from the organization offers the details, see below:

Since 2005 the Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce has recognized students, in the Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce coverage area, for outstanding contributions to society through significant community service.
The Student Community Service award serves the dual purpose of recognizing such contributions and providing role models for other students and our community at large. The recipients will be honored at a Chamber Membership Luncheon in December 2011.
To qualify for recognition, nominees must meet the following criteria:
Currently enrolled in grades 9 through 11.
Nominee must demonstrate leadership by having established a new project or enhanced an existing project which benefits the community.
Nominee must demonstrate the six pillars of character: Trustworthiness, Responsibility, Respect, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship.
Nominee must submit a written statement that describes the service project. *(See instructions below)
Student must reside in the Souderton Area School District.
Deadline for submitting nominations October 31, 2011.
Nominee Instructions:
Nominee composes a complete written statement that describes the project. This statement should include resources, time spent, goals, others involved, and benefits to the greater community. Nominee's narrative may be emailed to the Chamber office at

The nomiation form and statement need to be sent to: Sharon L. Minninger, Executive Director
Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 64077
Souderton, PA 18964

Here's a link to the nomination form:

For more information:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

You can visit a museum now, like now

Forget about the ice and snow for a while, visit a museum now.
You can go check out the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and jump over check out the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain ....
Pretty cool indeed.
I have not explore the site completely, but what I've seen I've enjoyed. It may not be all encompassing and not all museums are represented but there is a good list of heavy weights participating.

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