Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014
A 9-year-old Michigan boy exploring a creek near his house made an astounding find–a 10,000-year-old mastodon tooth. A mastodon is an extinct, giant relative of the modern-day elephant. More from CNN:
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“I was walking down at the creek last summer. I felt something that I stepped on so I picked it up and everybody in the neighborhood thought it was pretty cool,” Philip Stoll told CNN on Friday.
Affectionately called “Huckleberry Phil” in his neighborhood near Lansing because of his penchant for exploring outside, Philip took the lump home and washed it off in the kitchen sink, and checked to see if it was magnetic, his mother, Heidi Stoll said. It wasn’t.
The peculiar object was about 8 inches in length, brown, and had six peaks.
“I was holding it in my hands for a few minutes and then it gave me the creeps so I put it down on the desk,” Heidi Stoll told CNN. “It looked like a tooth. It looked like there was something like gum tissue, a little bulgy thing around the top.”
After researching “large tooth object” on the Internet, mother and son reached out to James Harding, a herpetologist — an expert on reptiles and amphibians — at nearby Michigan State, who told them it was the tooth of one of the long-gone beasts that roamed the area millennia ago.
“This is indeed a mastodon tooth,” Professor Harding confirmed in an e-mail. “Apparently (it is) the upper surface, broken off at the roots.”
Philip told CNN that he always thought he might want to be a paleontologist — a scientist who studies prehistoric life — but now feels that more than ever. And with summer approaching, there’s more exploring to be done.
Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
After more than 40,000 people signed a 13-year-old’s petition urging the toy company Hasbro to make a gender-neutral version of its iconic “Easy Bake Oven,” the company has agreed to give the product a makeover next year. As the Associated Press reports:
McKenna Pope was prompted to start the petition after shopping for an Easy-Bake as a Christmas present for her 4-year-old brother, Gavyn Boscio, and finding them only in purple and pink.
Hasbro invited McKenna and her family to its Pawtucket, R.I., headquarters to meet with its Easy-Bake team, and on Monday, they drove to Rhode Island from New Jersey. During the meeting, Hasbro executives showed off a prototype of their newest Easy-Bake: one that’s black, silver and blue.
Hasbro has been working on the new color scheme and design for about 18 months, and decided to invite McKenna to see it and offer her thoughts, said John Frascotti, Hasbro’s chief marketing officer.
McKenna said the company is doing everything she asked, including putting boys in the ads.
‘‘I think that they really met most or even all of what I wanted them to do, and they really amazed me,’’ she said, adding that Gavyn thought the new design was ‘‘awesome.’’
Frascotti pointed out that the classic toy has had about a dozen different color schemes, from yellow to green to teal to silver, since first being introduced in 1963. The most recent iteration, introduced in 2011, is mostly purple with pink accents.
He said it’s sold well since then, and that prompted the company to look for a way to update it and to broaden the consumer base by doing it in different colors.
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‘‘It’s actually a product that’s played with by both boys and girls,’’ he said. ‘‘We will continue to offer the existing product too because it’s so popular.’’