Mike the Knight, the star of the popular children’s TV series, is coming to Harrisburg on Saturday, May 18. To celebrate Mike’s visit to our area, Junior Dispatch is giving away some great “Mike the Knight” merchandise.
To enter the giveaway, kids must write a knight-themed poem, and we will publish all the entries here. Your poem can be any style the young author desires — such as a haiku, a riddle, a limerick, an acrostic or a rhyme. Once the little bards have their prose perfected, email it to email@example.com by 8 p.m. Sunday, May 20. Junior Dispatch will then select first- and second-place winners out of all the qualifying entries. Teachers are encouraged to get their students to enter. Please see the official rules below for the details.
First place is the “Mike the Knight” DVD and a “Mike the Knight” book. Second place is the DVD only.
We will publish entries as they arrive.
HARRISBURG EVENT: Mike the Knight and his friends are charging into the Harrisburg Mall for two free performances of “Mike the Knight and the Mission for Hidden Treasure.” The 20-minute performance will also feature Squirt the dragon. The event also includes photo opportunities, giveaways, and a glimpse of the “Mike the Knight” toys that are coming soon to stores. Performances are set for Saturday, May 18 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
ABOUT “MIKE THE KNIGHT”: “Mike the Knight” is a CG-animated series that transports kids to a realm of castles, dragons, and trolls. With his rallying cry “Be a Knight, Do it Right!”, Mike brings the excitement and enchantment of medieval times to his young viewers. Currently the broadcast series airs on Nick Jr. For more information about Mike the Knight and his missions, visit www.miketheknight.com and follow on Facebook (www.facebook.com/miketheknightofficial) and Twitter @MiketheKnight_US.
OFFICIAL RULES: To enter this giveaway, contestants must write a poem of 10 or more words about subject of “knights.” Entrants who are just learning to write can compose their poem verbally, and then have the caregiver write it down. Decisions by Junior Dispatch are final. One entry per person. Entries must include a name, age, address and telephone number. All entries will be posted on JuniorDispatch.com. Entries must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 8 p.m. Monday, May 20.
ANOTHER CREATIVE WRITING CONTEST: Junior Dispatch is also hosting another writing contest for kids ages 0 to 18. The top prize in three age categories is $100 in gift certificates. Get all the details here: http://ydtalk.com/jdispatch/2013/04/22/tell-us-a-story-and-win-big/Read More
Billions of winged teenagers will crawl out of the ground, sing their hearts out and fall in love this summer.
As crazy as that sounds, it’s reality for the Brood II cicadas that only come around once every 17 years. The insects are found only in eastern North America, and nowhere else in the world.
Known as magicicada, they have been maturing underground for 17 years, slurping on fluid from the roots of trees. The magic number seems to be 64 degrees: They won’t come out until the soil is that temperature, according to two local experts.
The phenomenon: Soil in Cumberland County was 48 degrees over the weekend, said Ed Dix, a forester with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry. So the area still has till about late May or early June before the swarm, he said.
Adult cicadas are 1 to 1-1/2 inches long and have red eyes. Not to be confused with the more common annual cicadas, which look like huge, green flies, magicicadas are both smaller and much rarer.
“They’re definitely going to be noticeable,” said Timothy Abbey, of Penn State Cooperative Extension.
As daunting as billions of huge flies might seem, the bugs are mostly harmless.
Abbey said the insects are plant feeders and not much of a bother to crops. They don’t bite or damage property, but since females lay their eggs in the delicate twigs of deciduous trees, branches can break off and leaves might turn brown.
“But they’re not really a pest: They’re actually a beneficial thing when they come out,” Abbey said, as birds and small mammals like to snack on them.
The cicada way: These periodical cicadas have garnered the nickname “17-year locusts,” even though they’re not locusts, which are a type of grasshopper. When colonists settled in America, they hadn’t seen cicadas before and saw them as the locusts from the biblical plague, Dix said.
After the males emerge, they’ll begin to “sing” constantly. After about 10 days, mating will begin and females will deposit about 600 eggs. It’s a short party, and in just a few weeks, the adults will die and the hatchlings will return to the ground and restart the cycle.
But it is a big production, and the males’ song is loud and unmistakable. Dix said not to pay them too much mind.
“It’s just a bunch of 17-year-old males singing in a tree trying to find a mate,” he said matter-of-factly.
In York: The region the cicadas choose depends largely on how dense its woods are: The more trees, the more cicadas. Dix said areas east of the Susquehanna River have the most chance of a large influx.
“York County actually might have very little impact,” he said.
Their next return to York will be in 2021 in the form of Brood X, the largest of eight broods in the state.
Visit www.magicicada.org for maps and more information about the incoming cicadas.
Reported by MOLLIE DURKIN of The York Dispatch from YORK, PA. Reach her at email@example.com.Read More
Kenya’s Ocean Sole, a sandal recycling company, is cleaning the East African country’s beaches of used, washed-up flip-flops and other sandals.
About 45 workers in Nairobi make 100 different products from the discarded flip-flops. In 2008, the company shipped an 18-foot giraffe to Rome for display during a fashion week.
Company founder Julie Church says the goal of her company is to create products that people want to buy, then make them interested in the back-story.
Workers wash the flip-flops, many of which show signs of multiple repairs. Artisans then glue together the various colors, carve the products, sand and rewash them.
Church said she first noticed Kenyan children turning flip-flops into toy boats around 1999, when she worked as a marine scientist for WWF and the Kenya Wildlife Service on Kenya’s coast near the border with Somalia.
Turtles hatching on the beach had to fight their way through the debris on beaches to get to the ocean, Church said, and a plan to clean up the debris and create artistic and useful items gained momentum. WWF ordered 15,000 key rings, and her eco-friendly project took off.
The company aims to sell 70 percent of its products outside Kenya. It has distributors in the United States, Europe and new inquiries from Japan. Its biggest purchasers are zoos and aquariums.
One of Church’s employees is Dan Wambui, who said he enjoys interacting with visitors who come to the Nairobi workshop.
“They come from far … when they see what we are doing we see them really happy and they are appreciating. We feel internationally recognized and we feel happy about it,” Wambui said.
On the Internet:
Ocean Sole: http://www.ocean-sole.com
Reported by JOE MWIHIA of the Associated Press from NAIROBI, Kenya.Read More
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has captured stunning views of a monster hurricane at Saturn’s North Pole.
The eye of the cyclone is an enormous 1,250 miles across. That’s 20 times larger than the typical eye of a hurricane here on Earth. And it’s spinning super-fast. Clouds at the outer edge of the storm are whipping around at 330 mph.
The hurricane is parked at Saturn’s North Pole and relies on water vapor to keep it churning. It’s believed to have been there for years. Cassini only recently had a chance to observe the vortex in visible light.
Scientists hope to learn more about Earth’s hurricanes by studying this whopper at Saturn.
Cassini was launched from Cape Canaveral in 1997 and arrived at Saturn in 2004.
Reported by MARCIA DUNN of the Associated Press from CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.Read More