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285662.  Wed Feb 27, 2008 6:57 am Reply with quote

Yes, thanks WB, that rings a bell.

286234.  Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:47 am Reply with quote

In the 16th and 17th centuries it was generally thought in Lapland that lemmings rained down from the skies, they were supposed to have a poisonous bite and were sent down as a plague to punish people for their sinful ways.

s: The Cat Orchestra - Jan Bondeson

286583.  Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:16 am Reply with quote

You can get International Year of the Frog masks here

They look absolutely made for panel games!

291971.  Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:18 am Reply with quote

2008 is also International Year of the Potato. Must be a recipe in that, somewhere.

Molly Cule
301188.  Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:38 am Reply with quote

There is an article here useful for notes on the frog pregnancy test. It seems that the export of the African frogs around the world for pregnancy tests may be responsible for trouble in the amphibian world. According to this article almost of third of ambhibians are at risk of extinction. This might be due to the spread of a fungus called 'chytridiomycosis', which was carried around the world by the African fertility frogs.

308878.  Wed Apr 02, 2008 6:31 am Reply with quote

The rare Northern Pool Frog “hs been found to have its own unique Norfolk accented croak. This frog - a native of the fens - became extinct in England in the 1990s, but was reintroduced into Norfolk from Sweden in 2005.”

S: “Springwatch poster,” a supplement to the Radio Times, 2007.

Radio piece which demonstrates the croak

Perhaps Norfolk's leading panel game chairman could give us an impression?

312317.  Tue Apr 08, 2008 3:20 am Reply with quote

The first lung-less frog has been found in Borneo; Barbourula kalimantanensis breathes through its skin.

"At first I did not believe that the frogs had no lungs, but then, we just kept on seeing the evidence pile up. I was flabbergasted," [researcher David] Bickford said.

"The thing that struck me most then and now is that there are still major firsts — for example, first lungless frog! — to be found out in the field," Bickford added. "All you have to do is go a little ways beyond what people have done before, and — voila!"

That last line is quite a nice quote about discovery.

312322.  Tue Apr 08, 2008 3:26 am Reply with quote

You'd think that the archetype of what constitutes a frog might well include lungs - which would mean that this wasn't one.

312506.  Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:42 am Reply with quote

Have we done this before? If not, it needs noting here, just because it would seem wilful to leave it out:

by Mat Coward

THE MYTH: If you place a frog in a pot of boiling water it will, unsurprisingly, attempt to escape. However, if you put the frog in tepid water, and steadily increase the temperature, it will allow itself to be boiled. This is because frogs have evolved to react to sudden changes in their environment, not to incremental ones.

THE "TRUTH": This story has been popular since at least the mid-1990s, especially in the USA. It’s employed as a parable by people as diverse as environmentalists and pro-gun campaigners, often to warn that “They” plan to take our rights away from us through a cunning programme of stealthy gradualism. By the time we realise we’ve been unmanned by Them, it’ll be too late. Wake up and smell the amphibians! It’s also extremely popular amongst “management consultants,” whatever they are. Biologists and other scientists, on the other hand, dismiss it as nonsense.

SOURCES: There’s a mess of boiling frog stuff on the net; the most thorough debunking I’ve found was in _Fast Company_ magazine November 1995 ( The myth still crops up often, though: see, for instance, a book review in _The Independent_ (4 April 2001) of _Tunnel Visions_ by Christopher Ross.

DISCLAIMER: I’d love to know exactly where and when this story first arose - and, indeed, why. I’m assuming it’s untrue, though if you wish to leap to its defence, please do so ... but I’d prefer not to hear from weirdoes who’ve actually conducted frog-boiling experiments, ta very much.


313876.  Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:41 am Reply with quote

Hooray - the frog book I sent off for has just arrived! Stand by, stand by ...

Most frogs are far-sighted. They can see objects well at 40-50 feet - but they can’t see things directly beneath their noses.

“Frogs” by David Badger (Voyageur Press, 1995).

314355.  Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:56 am Reply with quote

Jerry Waldie (Jerome R. Waldie) was a liberal politician in California from the 1950s onwards. He had a successful and influential career - not least as the man who brought down Richard Nixon - but he is chiefly remembered for just one thing: being the sponsor of “the frog murder Bill.”

In 1961, a newly elected member of the California State Assembly, Jerome R. Waldie, introduced a bill that read in full, “frogs may be taken using slingshot.” Little did he know that this bill would plague him through out his political career in the California Legislature, in the United States Congress, and as a candidate for governor of California. Our guest is Nestle J. Frobish, the Chair-Creature of the World Wide Fair Play for Frogs Committee, an organization founded in Berkeley, California soon after what became to be known as the “frog murder bill.” “Fair Play for Frogs, The Waldie – Frobish Papers,” the collected correspondence between Nestle J. Frobish and former Congressman Jerome R. Waldie was published as political spoof in 1977

The 1975 book, which can still be found on E-Bay and in Waldie’s Pleasant Valley garage (for a price), was spawned by legislation introduced by Waldie on March 21, 1961 allowing frogs to be killed by slingshots.
Waldie put the bill in on behalf of a sports writer at a newspaper in his district. The sports writer and his son were hunting frogs — with slingshots.
They got popped by a Parks & Recreation ranger because the law didn’t allow frogs to be killed by slingshots. Frogs could only be killed with fork-like poles called gigs.
Waldie tried to cure this injustice by allowing the taking of frogs with slingshots.
But what Waldie thought was humane was anathema to frog lovers like Frobish who dubbed Waldie both a “flagitious wretch” and the “Mad Butcher of the Swamps,” among other sobriquets.
“Soon the sportsmen will demand the legalization of flamethrowers, napalm and poison gas. Spare the humble frog the anguish of further aggression,” Frobish wrote in one missive.
Although Waldie’s slingshot legislation swiftly sailed to interim study and never became law, the running joke ultimately became a page-turning book.

Incidentally - nothing to with frogs, but - when out canvassing once, Waldie encountered a 100-year-old man on a beach in Santa Barbara. He stuck out his hand to shake hands with the centenarian, who refused, explaining that he had never, in his 100 years, touched a politician or allowed one to touch him, and that “He attributed his longevity to that.”


314357.  Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:06 am Reply with quote

Mat, on the frog-boiling myth, the Fast Company article isn't there any more. What are we saying actually happens - that the frog sits in the water until it starts to feel uncomfortable, then jumps out (the same way a human would)?

314362.  Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:16 am Reply with quote

Just for the sake of the name, really - this fellow

is called a Barking Tree Frog.
Whether he’s from Essex, mad, does dog impressions - or all the above - is not specified.

314363.  Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:17 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
Mat, on the frog-boiling myth, the Fast Company article isn't there any more. What are we saying actually happens - that the frog sits in the water until it starts to feel uncomfortable, then jumps out (the same way a human would)?

Yes, frogs react as anyone else would - when it gets too hot, they bugger off.

I’ll look up some live links later.

314405.  Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:57 am Reply with quote

Boiling frogs:

But it’s a myth. There have been studies of amphibians and their responses to thermal conditions. Victor Hutchison at the University of Oklahoma says:
The legend is entirely incorrect! The “critical thermal maxima” of many species of frogs have been determined by several investigators. In this procedure, the water in which a frog is submerged is heated gradually at about 2 degrees Fahrenheit per minute. As the temperature of the water is gradually increased, the frog will eventually become more and more active in attempts to escape the heated water. If the container size and opening allow the frog to jump out, it will do so.



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