EACH WEEKA\J staffers share our favourite facts & findings from whatever books, articles, documentaries, podcasts and other media we've been consuming. Here’s what we’ve learned this week.

Things from the Internet!

Researchers in Costa Rica discover a new species of amphibian that looks just like Kermit the frog.
Source: CBC.ca \ Found by nik

In Iceland, elves and dragons protect the environment. For real.
Source: AlterNet \ Found by nik

REPORT: Organic product identified as a nuclear hazard. Major spill of nuclear waste at US Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico has been tracked to the use of earth-friendly, organic cat litter.
Source: npr.org \ Found by nik

The Secret Life of the Aluminum Can: Considered by some to be one of the world’s most highly-engineered products, the precisely-tailored epoxy coating on the inside, laced with BPA, is the heart of the story.
Source: Wired.com \ Found by nik

A recent study found that rigorously trained dogs can recognize, by smell, specific organic compounds of prostate and thyroid cancer.
Source: Journal of Urology \ Found by Samantha

Things About Trees

Several species of trees, like willows, poplars and sugar maples, have been shown to warn each other about insect attacks.
Source: Wired.com \ Found by Jordan

Levels of cancer-fighting white blood cells increase by 50% after spending two or more consecutive days in nature – just one of many reasons to go camping in Canada's forests this spring and summer!
Souce: David Suzuki Foundation \ Found by Laura

Each tree in Toronto alone is worth $700, providing a $3.20 return for every dollar spent on planting and maintaining the city's 70 million trees.
Source: TD Bank chief economist Craig Alexander, in a story by Andrew Reeves

Trees are one way of employing passive solar heating. Deciduous trees near a house will block sunlight during the summer, providing assistance to your air conditioning unit. During the winter, they helpfully drop their leaves, allowing the sun in through the window to heat your home.
Source: Stu Campana's Renewable Energy blog

There are more than 300 species of oak trees, and just one mature oak tree can provide food and shelter to 300 other species of organisms, including jays, acorn weevils and gall wasps. Oaks can grow up to 20 metres tall and 3 metres in circumference.
Source: Trees that Shape the World

Like cork, fibres from the inner bark of the baobab tree can be harvested while the tree is still living. The fibres are used to make rope, netting and mats.
Source: Trees that Shape the World

BONUS: Things you can do and organizations you can support to conserve Canada's forests.

Shameless Plug

A growing body of evidence points to the importance of green space for mitigating the health hazards associated with urbanization, such as heart disease, respiratory illness, low birth weight, poor immune functioning and higher mortality.
Source: Prescribing a Dose of Nature in A\J's The Ultimate Health Issue

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