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The Garden Mix




Nationally renowned garden expert Melinda Myers helps everyday gardeners find success and ease in the garden through her Melinda’s Garden Moments radio segments. Melinda shares “must have” tips that hold the key to gardening success, learned through her more than 30 years of horticulture experience. Listeners from across the country find her gardener friendly, practical approach to gardening both refreshing and informative! On this page, Melinda shares some more extensive garden tips, which expand on the information provided in her one-minute radio segments.

New tips are added throughout each month, providing timely step-by-step tips on what you need to do next in your garden! Visit Melinda’s website www.melindamyers.com for more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and answers to your questions.
Posts from July 2014


Wine Bottles – Out of the Recycling Bin and Into the Garden
Stop! Don’t recycle those wine bottles, instead give them a second life in your garden.

Use wine bottles to create a colorful edge along a path or around a planting bed. Set the bottle, top-side down in the ground.  Individual bottles make great hose guides.
 
Or create colorful outdoor lighting. Remove the bottom of the bottle with a glasscutter. Place over LED bulbs. Strategically place individual wine bottle lights throughout the garden or use multiple bottles over a string of lights.
 
Put your glasscutter to work creating a planter. Remove a section from one side of the bottle. Lay the bottle on its side, secure in place, fill with soil and plant.
 
Or remove the top of the bottle. Invert and place in the bottom of the bottle. The original opening is now your drain hole and the bottom of the bottle is your saucer.
 
And of course you can always place them on a bottle tree.
 
A bit more information: Convert wine bottles into watering devices. Punch a small hole into the soil of your container garden. Fill the bottle with water, invert and place into the soil. Plant Nannies are hollow terra cotta spikes that can be set into the soil to hold the wine bottle in place.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Leaf Spot on Rudbeckia
Once thought to be the answer to low maintenance perennial gardens, Goldstrum Rudbeckia’s reputation has been tarnished by several leaf spot diseases.
 
A bacterial and several fungal leaf spot diseases cause purplish-black spots on the leaves of rudbeckia. Severe infestation can totally blacken the leaves and cause the plants to dieback a bit earlier in fall.  Fortunately most of the diseases are cosmetic and the plants will continue to flower and return each year.
 
Reduce the risk of this disease by providing adequate light and air circulation around the plants.  Use a soaker hose or watering wand to apply water directly to the soil when needed. 
 
In fall, remove and destroy all diseased plant parts.
 
If disease is a yearly problem, plant more resistant cultivars like Becky, Cherokee Sunset, Irish eyes, or Prairie Sun.
 
A bit more information:  Or keep the plants and hide the diseased leaves. Plant something slightly shorter in front of the Goldstrum Rudbeckia plants to mask the discolored leaves, but allow the flowers to show through.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Crown Rot Causing Sudden Wilting and Death on Ajuga (Bugleweed)
Sudden wilting, yellowing and death of ajuga, also known as bugleweed, means crown rot may have invaded the planting.

This fungal disease is most common in warm wet or humid weather. It first appears as sudden wilting and dieback in colder climates and yellowing and death of plants in warmer areas. The stems of infected plants turn brown or black and rot. 
 
This disease can be introduced into the garden on infected plants or soil or spread by tools and water. Since the disease is in the soil it is difficult to eradicate.
 
Remove and destroy infected plants and the surrounding soil immediately. Be sure to disinfect your tools with a one-part bleach and nine-part water solution during and after the process.
 
If the disease continues to spread or has destroyed much of the planting, it is time to start over in a new location with disease-free plants.
 
A bit more information:  Reduce the risk of crown rot to healthy plantings by thinning groundcover plantings every few years or before they become overcrowded. And avoid planting crown rot susceptible plants in the bed where the Ajuga died.  Consider amending the soil with compost, peatmoss or coir to improve drainage before planting.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Cool Splash Diervilla Shrub for Shady Gardens
Brighten up the shade with a Cool Splash Diervilla.
 
This cultivar of the southern bush honeysuckle was selected for its creamy to yellow leaf margins. The variegated leaves are topped by fragrant yellow flowers in midsummer. They help attract hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden.
 
Cool Splash is hardy in zones 4 to 8 and grows equally well in full sun or partial shade with moist well-drained soil. Once established, it is heat and drought tolerant.
 
This small-scale shrub suckers, forming a dense mass of cascading branches. It eventually reaches 2 to 3 feet tall and wide, making it suitable for small space gardens as well as mixed borders and shrub beds.  Use it to mask leggy stems or visually anchor taller trees and shrubs to the ground.
 
And don’t let the common name honeysuckle fool you. Though a member of the same family, this is not the invasive honeysuckle taking over our woodlands.
 
A bit more information: Combine Cool Splash with shade tolerant perennials. Hosta, astilbe, Brunnera, coral bells and ginger are just a few. For more shade tolerant shrubs watch my Shrubs Made for the Shade video.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Smart Irrigation Month – Planning a Watersense Irrigation System

Watering our landscapes properly can save water and improve our plants’ health. And if you decide to invest in an irrigation system make sure to get the best value and water savings by doing your homework first.
 
Look for systems that include EPA approved WaterSense irrigation controllers. These are like thermostats only they’re for your irrigation system, adjusting watering schedules based on weather and soil moisture instead of the calendar.
 
Select a system zoned to water plants at different rates. Established trees require less frequent watering than annuals. Use drip irrigation or low volume sprinklers in gardens to apply water slowly and right where it is needed.
 
And consult a certified Irrigation specialist that understands how irrigation works, the local environment and will help you comply with any building codes.
 
A bit more information: Your time invested in research before investing in an irrigation system can reduce water use, repair costs and plant replacement. Experts estimate we could reduce water use by 50% just by eliminating improper watering. If you already have a system, inspect it regularly. Check for and repair any leaks, clear clogs, adjust direction and repair damaged sprinkler heads. For more information visit these web sites:
http://www.irrigation.org/Certification/Certification_Splash.aspx   http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/products/controltech.html
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Grow Star and Heart Shaped Veggies
Add a little star power to your meals with the help of cookie cutters and veggie molds.
 
Cut cucumbers into ¼ inch thick round slices. Use a small heart shaped cookie cutter to remove the center of the rounds. Use these in salads, on sandwiches or relish plates. Save the outer ring. Slide two grape or cherry tomatoes onto a toothpick so they resemble a heart. Place them in the center of the outer ring of the cucumber and secure in place.
 
Or grow heart and star shaped fruit. Cover immature fruit with vegetable molds. Use twisty ties to hold the fruit filled mold onto the vine or support. Check the fruit regularly as some may be ready to harvest in as few as 5 to 7 days. Once the fruit has filled the mold and is fully colored, it is ready to harvest.
 
Creating heart and star shaped vegetables will dress up your meals and may encourage everyone to eat more veggies.
 
A bit more information: For more information on vegetable molds visit http://www.veggiemold.com.  And watch for postings on my Facebook page as I grow a few star powered vegetables of my own.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Less Mowing and Hand Trimming, Better for You and Your Landscape
Eliminate hand trimming around garden statues, playsets, narrow spaces and individual trees and shrubs. Invest a bit of time now to eliminate time spent on these tasks in the future.

Create mowing strips around raised beds and stonewalls to eliminate hand trimming. You can purchase and lay pavers and other edging materials or just remove a narrow strip of grass and cover with mulch. Run one set of your mower wheels on the mowing strip and cut the grass right up to the structure.
 
Connect individual trees and shrubs with mulch beds. The trees will benefit from the mulch and you will spend less time trimming around each plant. Plus the mulch bed protects the plants from weed whips and mowers that injure the plants as we try to cut the grass as close as possible.
 
And if this is too much mulch, try filling the area with perennials and groundcovers for added beauty and seasonal interest.
 
A bit more information: Mulching around trees also eliminates the frustration of surface roots. For more ideas watch Melinda’s Garden Moment video Dealing with Surface Roots http://www.melindamyers.com/Pasquesi-Landscape-Care/landscape-care/dealing-with-surface-roots.html
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Taming Floppy, Leggy and Less-Than-Attractive Annuals
Break out the pruners and groom your unsightly annuals back to their original beauty.
 
Some annuals tend to develop long leggy stems with few flowers. Regular deadheading and removing the top few inches of the stem encourages more compact growth and continual flowering.  Don’t worry if your busy schedule allowed your plants to get out of hand. Just cut back the stems halfway.
 
Try staggering severe pruning to keep your garden looking good throughout the renewal process. Do this by pruning back only one third of the plants in a flowerbed or one third of the stems on individual plants at one time. Repeat each week. By the time you prune the last few stems the first group will be producing new flowers on more compact stems.
 
Reduce your workload next season by selecting annuals bred for long bloom and compact growth. You’ll have better-looking plants all season long with less work.
 
A bit more information: Regular grooming can help keep foliage plants like coleus looking their best. Remove the coleus flowers as soon as they form to prevent leggy growth. Prune back leggy plants as described to keep these beauties looking their best.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

 
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Grow a Pickle in a Bottle
Add some mystery and fun to this season’s harvest by growing a pickle in a bottle.
 
Just like the ship in a bottle, finding a large cucumber in a clear bottle with a small opening will keep friends and relatives guessing.
 
Start by selecting a small immature cucumber. Leave it attached to the plant and slide it into a bottle. Leave your bottled cucumber tucked under plant leaves or create a little shade with cloth or newspaper to prevent it from overheating and rotting in the sun.
 
Check your cucumber regularly and watch it grow. Cut it off the vine just before it fills the bottle. Your cucumber in the bottle will only last a few days, but will provide lots of fun. Preserve it to extend the fun.  Boil 2 cups of vinegar mixed with 2 cups of hot water and 3 tablespoons of pickling salt. Cool and pour the mixture over the cucumber and seal the jar shut.
 
A bit more information: Add some more fun to the garden by scratching your name, design or a message into the rind of winter squash. Take a sharp object and lightly scratch your idea into, but not through the rind of an immature winter squash. As it grows, matures and hardens your message will become clearer. 
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Upcycle Pool Noodles into the Garden
Don’t throw away those worn out or forgotten pool noodles. Put them to work in the garden.
 
Make a lengthwise cut halfway into the noodle. Then use it to top a chicken wire or hardware cloth fence or plant cage. It prevents cuts from sharp wires and adds a bit of color and whimsy to the garden.
 
Or bend and insert the noodle into a lawn bag to hold it open. Adding green debris for recycling will be much easier, especially when it’s a one person job.
 
Cover ½ inch PVC to create colorful structures in the garden.  Stand on end and securely anchor in the ground for a trellis. Or create colorful arches for added interest or fun for the smaller gardeners in the family.
 
Or cut the noodle to the desired length and cover with ribbon, flowers, pine cones or other materials to create a wreath for your front door, garden entrance or shed.
 
A bit more information: Create a raised bed with the help of old window well sections and noodles. Bolt two window wells together. Top with a noodle to protect you from the sharp edges. Set in place, fill with soil and plant.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Plan and Plant Now for a Bountiful Fall Harvest
Now is the time to plan and plant vegetables for a bountiful fall harvest.
 
Start by looking for vacant spaces in the vegetable garden that are left after harvesting lettuce, spinach and other early maturing crops. Expand your search to other plantable areas in flowerbeds and mixed borders.
 
Sow seeds of beans, cucumbers, carrots, beets and other short season vegetables. Simply count the number of days from planting to the date of the average first fall frost in your area. Then check the back of the seed packet for the number of days needed from planting until harvest. As long as you have enough time for the seeds to sprout, grow and produce before frost, they can be added to the garden.  Or extend the season with coldframes and floating row covers.
 
Those in frost-free areas can plant longer season crops that benefit from maturing during the cooler months of fall.
 
A bit more information: Wait for the soil to cool before planting lettuce and other vegetable seeds that require cooler temperatures to germinate. Or start the plants indoors and move them into the garden as transplants. Help keep the soil cool by mulching plantings with shredded leaves, evergreen needles or other organic mulch. For more ideas and information on late plantings watch my Melinda’s Garden Moment “Still Time to Plant” video or listen to the audio tip on this topic as well as the Grow a Bountiful Harvest All Season Long audio tip.
 
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Celebration Maple

Add seasonal color and shade to your landscape with Celebration maple. This fast grower provides beauty with less maintenance.
 
Celebration maple is one of the freeman maple varieties. The freeman maple hybrids display the best qualities of each parent while minimizing their less desirable traits.  The red maple provides the better structure and fall color while the silver maple increases vigor and high pH tolerance.
 
Celebration is a more compact cultivar with good structure that is more resistant to wind, ice, snow, and storm damage.  The red flowers add a touch of subtle color to the spring landscape, while the red and yellow fall color end the season with a blaze.
 
This heat, drought and pollution tolerant tree is hardy in zones 4 to 8, and possibly 9, and grows 45 to 50 feet tall and 20 to 25 feet wide.
 
A bit more information: Celebration® Maple (Acer x freemanii ‘Celzam’) is virtually seedless, so you will have minimal seeds (also known as helicopters) to sweep off the sidewalk. And those that are grown on their own roots will not heave walks and drives.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Midseason Fertilization for Vegetable Gardens
Increase this season’s harvest with a midseason fertilization.
 
The amount and type of fertilizer needed is dependent on your soil, past fertilization practices and the type of plants you are growing.

A soil test is the best way to get the information needed to develop a fertilization program for your garden.  But until you have your soil tested, consider following these guidelines.
 
Select a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer like Milorganite to avoid damaging plants during hot dry summer weather.
 
Fertilize leafy vegetables when they are about half size.  Wait until the tomatoes and peppers start producing fruit before fertilizing them. 
 
Apply 1 pound of a low nitrogen fertilizer for every 100 square feet.  Sprinkle granular fertilizer along side or around the plants.  Gently rake it into the soil if needed. Liquid fertilizers are applied by a sprinkling can or garden hose.
 
A bit more information: Always read and follow label directions for the mixing rates and application methods for the fertilizer you select. And with proper care you will have plenty of produce for you, your family, friends and the hungry in your community. Contact Garden Writers Association’s “Plant a Row for the Hungry” program for information on donating extra produce to the hungry in your community. Call toll free 1-877-492-2727 or visit www.gardenwriters.org/.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Keep Your Enemies Close
There's a lot of buzz about Johnny Depp's upcoming film, Black Mass, and there's a new trailer out for it. He's playing Whitey Bulger, one of the most notorious gangsters of our time, a kingpin in the Boston crime scene before becoming a fugitive for years. Johnny's performance looks pretty intense, and he's surrounded by a pretty amazing supporting cast, not the least of whom are Benedict Cumberbatch and Kevin Bacon. Check it out.   (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));  
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How Can There Be a New Dr. Seuss Book?
Dr. Seuss, the man behind "The Cat in the Hat," "Green Eggs & Ham" and so many other childhood classics, passed away almost 25 years ago. So when you hear there's a "new" Dr. Seuss book, you sort of scratch your head, right? Story is, the Doc wrote it in the late 1950s and tossed it into a box. Someone just found the book in the box, and the book in the box is now on the charts... Sorry, sort of got into a rhythm there. It's called "What Pet Should I Get?" The folks at Jimmy Kimmel Live! thought maybe they could present the new old work in a more modern vein, so they invited Tyler the Creator to rap the words - dressed, for some reason, as the Cat in the Hat. Watch it, and see if it pains you as much as it pains me.
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This Time, Kate Winslet's the Queen of the World
Kate Winslet, the actress who rocketed to fame as Rose in Titanic, taped an episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls recently. She did some flying, and some climbing, and at one point, recreated a famous scene from the movie. No, not the charcoal drawing one. The one where she's at the bow of the boat, telling Jack that she's flying. She does the same thing in this clip, only this time, she's leaning over a rope or a cable on the side of a mountain...(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Prepare for an adventure made for the movies. Posted by Running Wild with Bear Grylls on Monday, July 27, 2015
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"Are You Ready for This, Scully?"
Fans of The X-Files have been waiting for the return of The X-Files for years. With the announcement that the show was returning to Fox in 2016, said fans went a little nutty. Nutty that it's happening, and nutty that they have to wait until this coming January. So this week, Fox gave the fans a little tease. A 17-second tease, to be precise, about five of which feature Mulder and Scully. Here you go. And try to contain yourself...  
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All This Over a Stroller
So there's some controversy afoot about an ad for a high-end baby stroller company called Bugaboo. It features a model in a pretty small running outfit - almost a barely-there swimmer's two-piece - pushing a stroller with her own two-year-old in it in front of her as she jogs. Some folks are slamming the ad for promoting an unrealistic body image for moms. Others opine that the model looks anorexic. And not a word about the stroller. I can't imagine that was Bugaboo's intent. Take a look at the picture. What do you think? Does it make sense to you, or not?   Stroller company defends ad featuring bikini-clad model: http://t.co/WagrKCGZ3F pic.twitter.com/89nYK0cr0Z — CBS News (@CBSNews) July 29, 2015
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Most Expensive Selfie Ever?
Okay, these stories keep popping up. There's the woman taking the selfie with the lion that ends badly. Then the woman taking the selfie with the bison that ends badly, but not as badly as the lion selfie. And now this. A guy in San Diego decided he needed a selfie with a rattlesnake. Go back and read that again. Yes he did. And yes, exactly what you thought would happen happened. The rattlesnake bit him. Not for any particular reason except that's what rattlesnakes do when you bother them. So he ended up in the hospital, and reportedly used up two hospitals' supply of antivenom. Which ended up costing him a whopping... well, just look at the bill.   Remember the Rattlesnake bite story I did Monday? Guy just sent me this pic of his bill. Uhhhhhhh..... pic.twitter.com/ahK2W9KxVg — Dan Haggerty (@10NewsHaggerty) July 16, 2015
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Happy Pottermas, Harry!
Today marks Harry Potter's 35th birthday, according to his creator, JK Rowling. And what better way to celebrate the beginning of his 36th trip around the Sun than with a special greeting from his old friend, Ron Weasley. Okay, it's not really Ron. It's Simon Pegg, playing Ron, on The Tonight Show. Actually, playing a drunken Weasley. Enjoy anyway...     (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Drunk Ron Weasley Returns for Harry Potter's Birthday Drunk Ron Weasley (aka Simon Pegg) visits The Tonight Show to wish Harry Potter an early happy birthday. Posted by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday, July 28, 2015
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Mystery Solved?
"A huge break in the biggest aviation mystery in decades," says NBC News reporter Tom Costello. Debris likely from an airplane has surfaced on Reunion Island, about 600 miles away from Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Investigators from Boeing believe it's a fragment from a Boeing 777, and the only Boeing 777 currently missing in the world is Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, which was lost over a year ago, presumably in the Indian Ocean. Mystery solved? Not yet, say the experts, as there's still a lot of work to do. But it's the first solid clue they've had to work with since the plane disappeared with 239 people aboard. Stay tuned...  
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Teaching Center, with Key & Peele
Keegan-Michael Key & Jordan Peele are behind the best sketch-comedy show on TV right now. Their latest sketch applies the metrics and showmanship of ESPN's Sports Center to the world of teaching. What if teachers got as much interest and as much pay as professional athletes. What a world that might be, huh? And thanks to Key & Peele, we know how it would be covered. A+, boys!  
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You WILL Have Fun at the Beach
It's summertime, so that means beach time. For those without kids, no big deal. For those with kids, you need a degree in project management to pull that off, and even that won't help. Freelance writer Robyn Welling, a New York Times bestselling humorist, put together a fun little video that will hit home with any parent who's ever had to pack up the kids for a day at the beach.   Can you relate? Then follow Robyn on Twitter.  
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What Would You Do on a Plane?
Tituss Burgess and Jane Krakowski, stars of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, were sitting on a plane - at least it looks like they're on a plane - with the show's creator, Tina Fey. Beyonce's "Flawless" came up on someone's playlist, so obviously, the three of them had to lip-sync to it. I mean, wouldn't you?     I love @beyonce #nofilter #jetlife #unbreakle #netflix #janegetontwitter #tinaiknowyouwon't #peenonoir A video posted by Tituss Burgess (@titusssawthis) on Jul 28, 2015 at 5:14pm PDT
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Don't Wonder Why, Because Then You'll Need to Know How
Post this one under the WHAT THE FUDGE files. Police in Stratford, Connecticut arrested an 81-year-old man on Monday. According to the Associated Press, he was charged with public indecency, because he was allegedly "performing a sex act with some shrubbery." As the story goes, the man was in his yard with the shrub. A neighbor videotaped the performance, called the man out, the man covered himself up with the top of a barbecue grill and went into his own house. Here's hoping the barbecue grill wasn't in use at the time, otherwise we've got an entirely different weinie roast going on. He was released on a $10,000 bond and has to return to court on August 5. And according to the story, he didn't immediately return a call to the Associated Press. Gee, I wonder why...  
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Duck... No, Really, Duck
One of the coolest things about America's Got Talent is when they stumble upon someone who's got a fresh take on an old talent. For instance, ventriloquism. Guy talks for himself, and his puppet. Great. You don't often get the sense that the puppet's real. But you do with this guy - his name is Paul Zerden, and his puppet is a baby. A cantankerous little fellow who wants a bedtime story, but doesn't like scary things, so Little Red Riding Hood's wolf has to be replaced by a yellow fluffy duck. Very clever routine, and very nicely rewarded at the end too. Check it out.   (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Congratulations Paul Zerdin (and child) on getting Marlon Wayans' #GoldenBuzzer! Posted by America's Got Talent on Tuesday, July 28, 2015
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Dang Me, Dang Me, Oughta Take a Rope & Hang Me...
Talk about dedication. A group of anti-drilling activists are putting themselves on the line - quite literally - to block an ice-breaking ship for Shell Oil from leaving Portland, Oregon. The ice-breaker is needed to help Shell get where it needs to be to drill in the Arctic, but the folks at Greenpeace have different plans. Thirteen of them rappeled off a bridge under which the ice-breaker must pass, and are hanging there, forming a literal human wall. Reportedly, they plan to stay as long as it takes, and they've got what they need to survive for a bit - including adult diapers. This could get very interesting... Shell underestimates passion hanging in balance oil vs life. #embargothefennica @greenpeaceusa @shellno @alaskawild pic.twitter.com/v4WvHJhH6N — Gary Braasch (@garybraasch) July 29, 2015   (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Good Morning Portland with @Greenpeace @RisingTideNA #Fennica icebreaker departure delayed. Can you guess why? Posted by 350 Seattle on Wednesday, July 29, 2015
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Mission: Impossible Lip Sync Battle
Tom Cruise visited The Tonight Show the other night. I guess his purpose was to promote Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, which opens this Friday nationwide But, he got engaged in a little battle with Jimmy Fallon. A lip sync battle, to be precise. And Tom did pretty well. Check it out. It really was a lot of fun.  
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Let Them Drink Hype?
This could well be the strangest thing Kim Kardashian's done. I know, she's already set that bar pretty high, but this thing... Okay, it's a commercial/film for Hype energy drink. It starts with Double-K riding a bike with a basket full of Hype. She's dressed sort of like Audrey Hepburn. The bike crashes, the Hype spills out, and Audrey/Kim is knocked out on the pavement. Then she dreams she's Marie Antoinette. Then there's a bunch of shots of Marie/Kim's chest. Then Audrey/Kim wakes up, and then the commercial sort of goes off the rails. Here's the thing: for most of the 2 minutes and 21 seconds, Kim is standing still. To promote an energy drink. And out of the 2:21, you might see a can of Hype for maybe 15 seconds. Total. Check out the video. See if you agree if it even exceeds Kim's normal WQ - Weirdness Quotient.  
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We're Off to See the Wiz
NBC is continuing along with its live theatrical productions. First, it was The Sound of Music with Carrie Underwood. Then, last year's Peter Pan with Allison Williams and Christopher Walken. This Thanksgiving season, they're offering up The Wiz, which is of course based on The Wizard of Oz. Stephanie Mills has already been cast as Dorothy, reprising the role she played on Broadway. Yesterday, the show's producers announced two more well-known names have been cast in the show: Queen Latifah will be playing The Wiz Mary J. Blige will be playing Evillene, the show's Wicked Witch of the West No part - so far - for Christopher Walken, but we can hope, can't we? Here's a taste of the show's music. Stephanie Mills singing "Home."  
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Helen Mirren Cusses on Live TV
Helen Mirren was a guest on Good Morning, Britain yesterday - a wake-up-and-smile TV talk show. We have a few of them here in The States - perhaps you've heard of them? She's telling a story about going camping with then-boyfriend Liam Neeson - he of the "very particular set of skills" - and mentioned that it "pissed with rain, non-stop." Turns out you can't say that word on TV in England. When Helen asked why she couldn't say that, the show's co-host explained they could debate it, but they'd get fired. "You might be the Queen, but you can't say that." Watch the video. The whole exchange is pretty funny.  
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Lion on the Loose
Folks in Milwaukee report seeing a big cat prowling the neighborhood. One woman managed to get a video of it. They're calling it the Milwaukee Lion - clever, don't you think? There are all sorts of theories on it. The two biggest:   (1) Could be a young African lion purchased as a pet and let loose. (2) Could be a cougar, as cougars are becoming more comfortable in the Midwest. Folks at the Milwaukee County Zoo checked - all their lions are accounted for.   Here's some fun news. The Milwaukee Lion has a Twitter account. And he's having some fun. omg can we leave the #bodyshaming out of this thank you https://t.co/YTFlTmI6JN — Milwaukee Lion (@milwaukee_lion) July 29, 2015
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No Explanation Possible
Lester Holt sums it up perfectly: "There is intense outrage..." around the world, especially on social media. A dentist from Minnesota killed a noble lion in Zimbabwe that had been lured out of a game preserve. The dentist says he paid some local guides, and thought he had all the legal permits he needed to "take" the lion. Now the guides are being charged with poaching. Meanwhile, another big cat is gone, thanks to one guy's willingness to pay $54,000 for a trophy head for his wall...  
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Sleeper of the Summer?
I was just scrolling through some upcoming attraction trailers, and stumbled on this one. I know there's a whole art to putting movie trailers together to get you thinking you want to see a particular movie, and I have to admit, the artiste behind this one did his job. Sleeper CIA agent, working behind the counter at a quickie mart, gets activated and then has to get taken out. Jesse Eisenberg looks perfectly cast in this one, as does Kristen Stewart. How is that I'm just hearing about American Ultra now? This one, I'm tempted to see in the theaters... Mark the calendar: August 21. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); American Ultra – In Theaters August 21! CIA's top sleeper agent has been awoken – but he’s still hazy. Watch American Ultra in theaters August 21! Posted by American Ultra on Tuesday, July 21, 2015
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Goodbye, Dr. Huxtable... Hello, Mr. Hyde
It's one of the saddest falls from grace ever. Bill Cosby, one of the most respected entertainers of the 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond, is now one of the most reviled men on the planet. To date, 46 women have come forward, accusing the comedian of heinous acts. This week, New York magazine pictures 35 of them on the cover - along with an empty chair, for the next victim. A sad story all around.     So far, 46 women have come forward to accuse Bill Cosby of sexual assault, in some cases, according to a recently unsealed deposition, with the aid of quaaludes—a powerful sedative that can render a person functionally immobile. But these allegations are by no means new, with some stretching back decades—to a time when the culture of rape in America left victims little recourse but to suffer silently, and in shame. Today, the way we think and talk about rape has evolved, creating a safer space for survivors to feel empowered by speaking up and reclaiming their victimhood. And that’s led us here. Of the 46 women who have come forward to accuse Cosby, we spoke to 35 of them — “a sorrowful sisterhood” of women united by their dark experiences, steadfast in their resolve to remain silent no more. Read more: nymag.com/cosby-women. 📷: Amanda Demme A photo posted by New York Magazine (@nymag) on Jul 26, 2015 at 6:05pm PDT
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Hut One, Hut Two, Boo Boo BOO!
This is a pretty funny video. One of the coaches of the Ohio State University football team dressed up like one of the mannequins in the hallway at the training facility, and waited for unsuspecting players to pass. Then, he pounced! Most of the players jumped. One guy was pretty nonchalant about it. But the last guy not only jumped, he tumbled over. Very funny prank. Nicely played, Coach!  
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Shoop for Me, Bobbi Kristina
There's a video makiing the rounds in the wake of Bobbi Kristina Brown's passing on Sunday. It shows Bobbi Kristina on stage with her mom, Whitney Houston, when she was perhaps three or four years old. Whitney was in concert in Washington, DC. The year was 1997. The quality of the video's not great, but the video itself is amazing. It's good to see the two of them in much happier times.  
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Lime Juice & Sunshine Do NOT Mix
I've never heard about this medical condition before, but after extensive research - okay, I Googled it - it seems like there might be something to it. It's called phytophotodermatitis. Here's the clinical explanation: Phytophotodermatitis (PPD) is a cutaneous phototoxic inflammatory eruption resulting from contact with light-sensitizing botanical substances and long-wave ultraviolet (UV-A 320-380 nm) radiation. The eruption usually begins approximately 24 hours after exposure and peaks at 48-72 hours. The phototoxic result may be intensified by wet skin, sweating, and heat. Got that? According to other sources, it's caused by lime juice being dripped on your skin followed by your body's later exposure to sunshine. So, if you happen to be drinking a margarita at the beach, and you spill it on yourself, the next day, you could wind up with phytophotodermatitis. From all accounts, it looks and acts nasty - sort of like poison ivy, but caused by the unlikeliest of produce. There's a lesson to be learned here, people. From now on, margaritas in sippy cups!     This morning v. this afternoon. Progress! A photo posted by amarysuelife (@amarysuelife) on May 13, 2015 at 1:34pm PDT
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