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Unidentified moth named after Tucson woman

Tucsonan Lee Walsh is a lucky woman.

Being married to a University of Arizona biologist must be exciting enough, especially if he keeps jars of fossilized specimens all over the house.

But she got extra excitement when her biologist husband Bruce Walsh, who doubles as a UA professor, discovered an unidentified moth while he was hanging out in the Chiracahua Mountains. The moth is pink, which is Lee’s favorite color.

Thus he named the moth after his beloved wife. Now officially known as “Lithophane leeae,” the moth can stop flitting around aimlessly confused while lacking an identity.

Unidentified Moth Named by UA Biologist, UAnews.org
While he only found a single Lee moth so far …Walsh said he is confident there are bound to be more. “If this thing is flying at the top of the Chiracahuas, it’s probably pretty common,” he said.
Finding it is another matter because moths like Lithophane tend to over-winter at higher elevations, hibernating when there is snow on the ground and flying off at the first signs of spring. Walsh said bats are the primary predators of moths, and so if the insects can make it through the winter, when bats hibernate, they will likely do well as the weather gets warmer.
As to why L. leeae hasn’t been found before, Walsh theorized that his specimen simply emerged late from hibernation when it was caught. Another theory is that it could be a stray from another mountain range in the region. He said there are a number of species that fly early in the summer and are rare in collections and not often seen in most years.

Having a moth named after you is certainly a thrill, much nicer than sharing your moniker with an infectious bacteria or disease. Poor Lou Gehrig.

Others are honored by sharing their names with roadways, parks and special sandwiches at the local deli.

My biggest claim to name fame is having a goat named after me, which is none too shabby if I say so myself.

A goat named Ryn/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
A goat named Ryn/Photo Ryn Gargulinski

What would you name a moth if you discovered one?

Have you ever had anything named after you?

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Wait! Don’t throw out your old TV

Here in Tucson we care about the environment, which is why we pick up our dog’s poo and refrain from leaving old couches on the side of the road.

As the digital TV switch kicks in June 12, the same respect should be given to your old and now-useless analog TV.

You can recycle the thing from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 27 at Reid Park, 22nd Street on Randolph Way, thanks to Tucson Clean and Beautiful. The agency asks you bring a $10 check or cash for each TV.

Illustration Ryn Gargulinski
Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

The June 27 collection will also include other electronic stuff, like cell phones, useless computers and crummy iPods, without the fees.

Before you rush to the recycling event, consider options for disposing of your useless television set:

• Turn it into art. Gut the insides of the TV and set up a little diorama with a dinky Bert and Ernie or an entire scene with miniature plastic dinosaurs and soldiers. You can also paint, mosaic or collage all over the old TV and place it in the corner as a living room show piece.

• Turn it into furniture. Old, bulky TVs are just the right height for a bedside lamp, an end table or an entranceway piece. Throw an old blanket and some pillows on top and you’ve got yourself a foot rest.

• Make a stage for a puppet show. Gut the insides and carefully remove the front glass. Voila! You’ve got yourself a mini stage.

• Use it for anger management. Place the TV outside and far from kids, pets and loved ones and smash the glass with a sledgehammer the next time you’re upset. Make sure to clean up the debris afterwards and then head to the recycling plant or people will think you don’t care about the environment.

• Start a business. Collect the old television sets from your neighbors, coworkers and friends, charging them $20 a shot to take it off their hands. Haul all the TVs down to the recycling event, paying the $10 fee for each, and you just made a $10 per set profit.

Read past post on the digital TV switch, complete with reversed photo of the Honeymooners: Digital TV could be pain in the antenna

What are you going to do with your old TV?
Please note: Ryn is taking collections of them for a fee of $50 per set.

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Salad bar man Norman Brinker dead at 78

Salad bar inventor Norman Brinker died Tuesday morning (June 9) in an ironic twist.

He had inhaled food while out with his wife celebrating his birthday last week in Colorado Springs and succumbed to aspirated pneumonia six days later.

He was 78.

Dallas restaurateur Norman Brinker dies, Dallas Morning News

If this guy had not come along, I would never have nabbed my first job. I don’t know if I should thank him or curse him.

I entered the working world as a salad bar girl at the Bonanza restaurant chain, which has since gone out of business and people would always confuse with the Ponderosa restaurant chain, anyway.

Salad bars were also a lunch staple when I lived in New York City – except they went far beyond the salad with a sushi, fresh ginger slices and marinated garbanzo beans.

While Brinker was also known as a master chef and founder of the chain of Chili’s Grill & Bar, salad bars were the invention that changed the way America dines.

They also gave way to a host of other innovations, such as finding a practical use for kale and the invention of the sneeze guard.

We’ll miss you, Norman, lettuce wish you the best in eternal rest.

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Guy gets 100th pair of new lungs at UMC

Well, it was not this particular man’s 100th pair of lungs, but the 100th double lung transplant performed at University Medical Center.

On the waiting list since January, 64-year-old William M. Moncrieff, of Surprise, is recovering well after his May 28, six-hour operation, according to a UMC news release:

Moncrieff/UMC photo
Photo courtesy UMC

Moncrieff suffered years of asthma, emphysema and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). He had been hospitalized twice in Phoenix in the past several years after minor respiratory problems turned serious.

“I knew I needed a transplant when my doctors told me I was one cold away from death,” he said. “I was living on borrowed time.”

The release also states the lungs were received “from a deceased organ donor.” We sure hope. After all, if the donor were not deceased prior to having his or her lungs removed, the person surely would be afterwards.

Anyway, kudos to UMC and the docs who perform such miraculous, life-saving surgeries. In addition to the double lung transplants, the hospital has performed 55 heart-lung transplants and 51 single-lung transplants. The first double lung transplant was done in 1993 and lasted 10 years.

Organ transplants are a great thing, giving the dead the opportunity to help the living.

We should expand it, however, to include other organs and body parts that may not yet be on the list, such as a set of killer biceps, six-pack abs and awesome calf muscles.

Some folks could also use a transplant of the brain.

Is your organ donor box checked on your driver’s license?
Do you think if you received an eye transplant you would see ghostly visions of murder like in that horror movie?

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Electric shocks knocks man off feet in Tucson park

Tucson parks are sizzling – and not in a good way.

A man was blasted by an electric jolt Saturday at Golf Links Sports Complex, according to a report in the Arizona Daily Star. John Cole Jr., a 30-something guy who was fetching a softball, was knocked down and hospitalized, but he survived.

Eight-year-old Deshun Chance Glover, who was also jolted at a city park last summer, did not.

Electric shock hits man in Midtown park, Arizona Daily Star

Saturday’s incident follows the death last July 25 of 8-year-old Deshun Chance Glover, who was killed when a puddle he was standing in near Hi Corbett Field became electrified during a sudden thunderstorm. An investigation by the city of Tucson blamed the death on an improperly insulated splice in a cable and a faulty circuit breaker.

Last month, the City Council agreed to pay the family $1.75 million — the largest city settlement in recent history.

Saturday’s incident occurred in dry June weather after Cole went to fetch softballs hit during a soft-toss practice session for the Desert Shootout girls fast-pitch tournament, his father said. The younger Cole could not be reached for comment Monday.

The city shut down the park’s fields temporarily but reopened them without electricity while it investigates the cause. Night games at the 54-acre complex at 2400 S. Craycroft Road have been re-located.

After he retrieved the balls, Cole was thrown to the ground by the electric shock as he passed between a chain-link fence and a light pole near the field, his father said. The shock also knocked the wind out of him.

That’s pretty scary. Also reminds me of problems other cities had with corner lampposts shocking dogs. New York City dogs were repeatedly shocked while they stood waiting on the corner to cross the street. A dog in Scotland was killed when he peed on a faulty lamppost. Still others are reported on the site StreetZaps.com.

Ouch.

What may be scarier about the two Tucson park situations is they are not thought to have the same cause. That means no fell swoop of a solution will correct it.

Does this make you want to avoid city parks altogether?

Will you make any changes to protect your family, pooch and yourself at a city park?

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