Smart People, Starring Joshua Jackson, Delays First Preview

first_img View Comments Smart People Show Closed This production ended its run on March 6, 2016 Due to the blizzard over the weekend, Smart People was forced to halt rehearsals and the first preview of Lydia R. Diamond’s play will be delayed by a day. Directed by Tony winner Kenny Leon, the show is now scheduled to officially kick off on January 27 at Second Stage Theatre’s Tony Kiser Theatre and officially open on February 11.The quest for love, achievement and identity is universal, but what role does race play in the story of our lives? On the eve of Obama’s first election, four Harvard intellectuals find themselves entangled in a complex web of social and sexual politics.The cast will include Joshua Jackson, Mahershala Ali, Anne Son and Tessa Thompson.Broadway.com customers with tickets to canceled performances will be contacted with information on exchanges. Related Showslast_img read more

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Lessons of the Week! Hamilton, Andrew Rannells & More

first_imgRannells Wants a Borle ShowmanceChristian Borle, Andrew Rannells and Stephanie J. Block will lead the revival of Falsettos, and they can’t wait to bitch in a room and break down together. Rannells is particularly eager to play Borle’s romantic partner—and perhaps more. Eight shows a week is more than enough time to fall in love and get married. Will there be a step and repeat? Will Santino be invited? Can Sydney Lucas be the flower girl? Alex Brightman Needs a Pineapple PrimerThis week, we got a look at the glamorous life of School of Rock’s Sierra Boggess. When she needs some nourishment before a show, she and Alex Brightman chow down on some pineapple. However, no one seems to have taught him how to eat one. Or maybe that’s just how rockers do it: skin and all. Remember: You’re not hardcore unless you eat your five servings of fruit hardcore. Jennifer Damiano Knows What We WantWe’ve given Jennifer Damiano a hard time for teasing us about things she wasn’t allowed to film on her American Psycho vlog and showing off a wig that didn’t veer far from her actual ‘do. But this week, she gave us exactly what we craved: a kooky interview with Alice Ripley and a parade of shirtless gentlemen. Keep up the good work, Jenn. You’re a real American Psycho Hero. Santino Fontana, Laura Benanti, James Monroe Iglehart, Sierra Boggess, Andrew Rannells & Kerry Butler(Photos: Bruce Glikas, Joan Marcus & Matthew Murphy) Roger Bart Was Born to Be BadRoger Bart plays a baddie in Disaster!, but if you want to see his good side, turn to…well, you’re out of luck. On Show People, the Tony winner lamented that his screen work has him getting heckled at airports and people wondering if he’s slipped something in their drinks. Surely there are some nice guy roles out there for Bart. Like…a wise-cracking genie who’s sometimes a wax figure. Kerry Butler Sets a Course for AdventureCome aboard; Kerry Butler’s expecting you! In the penultimate episode of Help!, Jennifer Simard took us behind the scenes of Disaster!’s Easter egg hunt, spearheaded by co-star Butler. She was so organized and energetic that she earned the title the Julie McCoy of Disaster! For our younger readers, that’s a reference to the 1977 series The Love Boat, which is weird, because Simard is only 19. J. Lo’s Birthday Party Lasted ForeverHaving a high-profile TV gig comes with plenty of perks, like going to Shades of Blue co-star Jennifer Lopez’s multi-part birthday celebration. The Tony nominee spilled the deets between 1776 rehearsals, telling us the Grammy winner/butt-touch encourager even had a step-and-repeat. We hope you didn’t get J. Lo a first edition copy of The Iliad, Santino, because we’re pretty sure she already has one of those. Happy Friday, and happy April Fools’ Day! We hope you’ve celebrated accordingly by falling for fake news stories and singing “Defying Gravity” in head voice instead of a belt. While that’s all fun and games, we have some series business to attend to: the Lessons of the Week! From Laura Benanti’s politically charged alternate career to a cavalcade of half-naked men, it’s been a wild seven days, so let’s dive in. Iglehart Is the Loudest Wax StatueFrom the literal fireworks James Monroe Iglehart prompts on stage in Aladdin, you’d never expect him to be so clandestine. The Tony-winning genie celebrated April Fools’ Day not by writing fake stories about our favorite would-be astronaut, but by taking on his quietest role yet: a Madame Tussauds wax figure that comes to life. That’s awesome; now can we get this one to come to life? It’s for a friend. Laura Benanti’s New Dream Role Is…YugeIf Laura Benanti ever grows tired of high notes and ice cream (is that even possible?), take solace in knowing she already has a new gig lined up. The She Loves Me star unleashed her Melania Trump impersonation for Stephen Colbert, and it’s uncanny. Just look at that smolder! We have no doubt Benanti can Make Broadway Great Again (with side-eye and tweets). The New King Is a Total NerdRory O’Malley was all set to star as Bill Gates in Nerds. Unfortunately, that fell through, but it all worked out for the Tony nominee, who’s about to step into the biggest hit of whatever hyperbolic time frame you choose. He’ll join the cast of Hamilton as King George, the singing monarch we love to hate. Because when God closes a Gates, he opens a window. Not a Windows, though. (Too soon?) Christopher Fitzgerald Is Super HandsyChristopher Fitzgerald and Susan Blackwell fulfilled the fantasy we never knew we had as they jumped into a cuddle puddle with Bongo the bunny. The day turned from adorable to creepy, however, when the Waitress star described Blackwell’s hands in extreme detail. It’s spot on…and slightly terrifying. Be sure to catch him at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre and, uh, give him a hand. He’d really really like that. View Commentslast_img read more

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Shuffle Along’s George C. Wolfe & Savion Glover on Collaborating Again, Capturing the Spirit of the ‘20s & More

first_img View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on July 24, 2016 Related Shows Shuffle Alongcenter_img With a trio of Tony winners and a pair of Tony nominees above the title, Shuffle Along boasts the Broadway season’s starriest lineup. But two of the show’s most celebrated names never appear on stage. The director and book writer of this jazzy “musical sensation” is George C. Wolfe, whose productions of Jelly’s Last Jam, Angels in America, Caroline, or Change and The Normal Heart, among many others, secured his spot as one of the theater’s all-time greats. Adding to the excitement is the Broadway return of the brilliant choreographer Savion Glover, whose partnership with Wolfe on Bring in ’Da Noise, Bring in ’Da Funk earned Tonys for both men. That was 20 years ago, but Wolfe and Glover remain a dream team, and just before opening night, they shared a teasing banter as they discussed their past, present and future collaborations—including why Savion is not in the cast of Shuffle Along.Q: Seeing the two of you sitting here feels like Broadway history coming to life. What do you love about working together?SAVION: For me, it’s just being around George. Although I am choreographing, every opportunity to be in his presence is a learning opportunity. I like learning, and who better to learn from than someone as handsome as this man!GEORGE: The main thing I love about Savion is that he is not “precious” about the work. The worst thing when you’re working is to say, “I have a question,” and the other person goes, “No! This is what it is.” That kind of rigidity is very challenging because musicals are constantly mutating. I can throw something at him, and he’ll say, “OK, what about this?” That level of generosity ends up living in the material, and the audience picks up on the spirit in which the show was created. It takes an incredibly evolved skill set to be as flexible as Savion.Q: You’ve known each other for almost 25 years—since Savion played the younger version of Jelly Roll Morton in Jelly’s Last Jam. GEORGE: He wasn’t that young! He just ages well. He’s really 79. He’s older than me.SAVION: I think our relationship has matured over the years. I can relate to him now as a grown man, versus a youngster.GEORGE: How old were you in Jelly?​SAVION: I was finishing high school. I remember turning 21 on the tour. That was a great birthday.Q: Savion is known for his dynamic, athletic style of tapping. What was it like creating dances set to 1920s jazz?SAVION: Well, I love period music. We aren’t creating anything new here; it’s some of the same moves we’ve seen in the past, but with my energy—it’s a ‘20s feel with a twist of today’s energy.GEORGE: That’s 100 percent wrong. What he’s doing is new. It’s completely and totally new, in the same way that Shuffle Along was new and startling in 1921. White downtown Broadway had never seen a show like this. They’d never seen dancing or heard music like this, not just jazz but syncopation. His choreography has the spirit of the ‘20s and also the spirit of something raw and contemporary because the rhythm is continuous.Q: What’s it like to choreograph for stars who haven’t been known for their dancing, like Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell?SAVION: Very satisfying. I remember going into the room and saying, “OK, we’re going to do this, and I can give you the simplified version.” They always said, “No, give us the hard version. Give us the real deal.” They all stepped up.GEORGE: They would say [in the beginning], “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing now, but come March, I will.”SAVION: And they did. They would try certain things one week, and two or three weeks later, the choreography would be embodied through the acting and everything else. It was a lot of fun for me.Q: Let’s address an obvious question: Savion, did you ever consider appearing in Shuffle Along?SAVION: Yes, I did.Q: Why did you decide not to?GEORGE: Because someone said, “You’re not going to be in the show.” And that was me.SAVION: In the beginning, I thought I was going to be in the show. After maybe our third meeting, I realized…GEORGE: …I said it in the first meeting because I know you.SAVION: He may have said it, but I didn’t hear it.GEORGE: It’s a monster, monster show! Let me ask you a question. Could you have been in it? In previews?SAVION: Choreographed it and been in it? Probably not.GEORGE: Thank you!SAVION: I know two spots. I could do the William Still role, and I could do the Baby C role [musical numbers featuring ensemble dancers Phillip Attmore and Curtis Holland].GEORGE: At some point, one of those dancers is going to be tied up in the closet and Savion is going to walk onstage and do the number. That will happen.SAVION: We just don’t know when.Q: How about a revival of Jelly’s Last Jam, starring Savion in the role created by Gregory Hines?SAVION: Yes, that’s on my palette.GEORGE: He’s working on that, too, and I have to direct it. He should do Jelly. Definitely, without question. That one, you could choreograph and be in it.SAVION: Yeah, because I can do improvisation with the solo stuff.Q: Savion, you haven’t worked on Broadway in 20 years. Did you consciously step away?SAVION: I’ve had requests to do things over the years, but I don’t want to be the Cat in the Hat in Seussical. I create dance projects and continue to bring awareness to the dance until something worth my integrity comes about.Q: You must have had other opportunities to choreograph on Broadway. SAVION: No, I didn’t, actually. I just was developing my own productions and tours.Q: You also run a dance school in Newark. Why is teaching important to you? SAVION: That’s who I am. My mother always taught us that the more you know, the more you should share. It’s in the building where I first studied—when it was Newark Community School of the Arts. One day a friend said, “This building is for sale,” and we bought it. when it was Newark Community School of the Arts. One day a friend said, “This building is for sale,” and we bought it.GEORGE: I didn’t know you had gone there as a kid. Wow, that’s wonderful.Q: George, it’s been 12 years since you directed Caroline, or Change on Broadway. Have you missed musicals?​GEORGE: What’s that Larry Gelbart line? “Wherever Hitler is, I hope he’s out of town with a musical.” I absolutely love working on musicals, but anytime I finish a project I want to move on to something completely different. When I did Lucky Guy, Nora Ephron’s play, I thought, “I miss that seedy, dangerous world of New York in the ‘80s. Let me go live there.” What is the exact opposite of that? A 1921 New York musical. I’ve been thinking about Shuffle Along off and on for a period of time, and then some part of me said, “The time for this is now.”Q: This has been a busy season for musicals. Has either of you seen Hamilton? SAVION: I have not.GEORGE: No.Q: Are you interested in seeing it?GEORGE: Yeah! But we’ve been in an intense cave [of preparation] since last summer, and once I start to immerse yourself in this world, I can’t watch any bad TV, I can’t read books, I can’t see anything that’s going to take me out of it. I adjust my rhythms and don’t let anything contaminate it. Now that we’re opening, I will be able to see musicals.Q: What do you hope audiences will take away from Shuffle Along? And now that it’s done, what do you love most about it?GEORGE: At the end of the day, Shuffle Along is about people coming together and making something extraordinary—and history not necessarily being kind to them. It’s about the love of necessarily being kind to them. It’s about the love of doing, regardless of the consequences. And ultimately, it’s about something we all care about, which is, “Will I be remembered for what I did?” Everybody wants to be remembered for the best of who they are.SAVION: I love everything about this show. My favorite piece is “Struttin’,” which was my first opportunity to choreograph something that has nothing to do with tap dancing. George pushed me, and I accepted the challenge. I’m just overwhelmingly happy and proud to be part of this project. George C. Wolfe & Savion Glover photographed in the PHD Terrace at Dream Midtown(Photo: Caitlin McNaney)last_img read more

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Lessons of the Week! Patti LuPone, Jennifer Lopez & More

first_imgPatti LuPone, Jennifer Lopez, Robert De Niro, Lesli Margherita, Megan Sikora & Mark Ballas(Photos: Axel Dupeux, Bruce Glikas, Brad Barket/Getty Images, Joan Marcus & Emilio Madrid-Kuser) View Comments It’s almost the weekend, and you know what that means: Time to put on your Wicked leggings, crawl into bed and watch figure-skating routines set to “Defying Gravity.” Oh, and Lessons of the Week. We’ve learned a lot from our Broadway faves over the past seven days, including what the hottest set piece is on Broadway this year to who’s dropping hints that she wants to visit the Heaviside Layer. Take a look below and study up! The Jersey Boys Give Saturdays the BootOn Saturday nights at Jersey Boys, the party doesn’t end with yelling at a bunch of cats and/or Maggie Gyllenhaal. Thanks to the cast’s Das Boot night, we now know nine to nine and a half cans of Rolling Rock will fit in a glass boot. That sounds…like the perfect way to watch Jersey Boys. Is there a sippy cup top to the boot so we can bring it into the theater? The Matilda Cast Has a Trashy SecretEven when Matilda closes, we won’t forget the gifts Looks Not Books has given us: The Q and A theme song. Cut-out Robert Pattinson. Perhaps most importantly, the sexy garbage man. Lesli Margherita and co. recently spotted him, and their reaction was a little bit naughty. Suddenly, we have the urge to take out our trash: some Schmackary’s bags, old Role Call cards, nine to 10 Rolling Rock cans… Robert De Niro Is a Broadway BarberIt’s important for the guys of A Bronx Tale to have an authentic Italian vibe. Fortunately for them, their director Robert De Niro is very hands on—particularly when it comes to their hair. Newcomer Bobby Conte Thornton revealed that the other Bobby (the Oscar winner) gave him his ‘do for the show. Do you have a barber’s license, De Niro? Are you in IATSE? We have a few follow-up questions. There Are Jellicle Songs for Jellicle CoatsBroadway is infested with Jellicles, from Grizabella to Rum Tum Tugger to…Maggie Gyllenhaal. The Oscar nominee and Broadway alum showed up to her brother Jake’s star turn in Sunday in the Park with George sporting a feline-friendly blazer. She rocked it, but we have a few ideas for accessories: leather thigh-highs, white leg-warmers, a light-up bow tie, a spiked collar… Megan Sikora Has a Reminder for Her ButtA vocal warmup is a must for nearly every actor in a musical on Broadway, and for some butt exercises are equally important. Such is the case for Megan Sikora, who left a lipstick reminder on the mirror in her Holiday Inn dressing room to warm up those glutes. You know there’s a Reminders app on the iPhone, right, Megan? It’s pretty good, and doesn’t require Windex. Grand Staircases Are In This SeasonBette Midler will descend down a famous staircase in Hello, Dolly! next year. But before that, Glenn Close will likewise take a trip down the stairs in the return of Sunset Boulevard. What other staircases can we get on the Great White Way? We happen to think this is a perfect time to bring Tom Levitt and Julia Houston’s Heaven on Earth to Broadway. Hey, if we can’t get Bombshell… Lornzo Lamas’ Pick-Ups Involve CitrusWhat’s the secret to Lorenzo Lamas’ pick-up technique? Vitamin C. The ’80s heartthrob and new The Fantasticks star shared that when he was on the Grease set, he tried flirting with Olivia Newton-John, choked, and ended up just offering her orange juice by proxy of her sister. That may not get you a girlfriend, Lorenzo, but it is a great way to prevent scurvy. King Kong Needs to Learn to SingKing Kong has had a rough time getting to Broadway. As it turns out, it’s extremely challenging to have the star of your musical not be able to speak or sing—save for a few loud, guttural battle cries. This has led to book writer Marsha Norman to depart the project, but we know there must be a way around this. Can Bill Berloni and Liz Caplan team up to train an oversized gorilla to sing? Can you just hire this guy? J. Lo’s Feeling Extra RosieAfter pushing Lin-Manuel Miranda to write a show for her, Jennifer Lopez is ready to polish her musical theater chops. J. Lo will star in and executive produce Bye Bye Birdie Live! on NBC. She’ll play Rosie, who sings “An English Teacher.” We’re sure she’ll bring some depth to it, considering she knows the profession well after starring in The Boy Next Door opposite Kristin Chenoweth and a first edition Iliad. Patti LuPone’s Gonna Make Us CrazyWest Covina has everything we could ever want: Giant pretzels, a moody Santino Fontana, Rachel Bloom as Harold Hill—and soon, Patti LuPone. The Tony-winning and Broadway-bound legend will guest star on an upcoming episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. We don’t know who she’s playing yet, but we sincerely hope it involves an angry Gypsy-esque number about cell phones.last_img read more

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Hairspray Live!’s Creative Team on Making NBC’s Musicals Bigger

first_imgTop: ‘Hairspray Live!’ Bottom (L to R): Kenny Leon, Jerry Mitchell & Harvey Fierstein(Photos: Trae Patton/NBC, Bruce Glikas & Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images) View Comments When Tony-winning director Kenny Leon staged The Wiz Live! for NBC last year, audiences tuned in to catch a talented cast in a multi-set proscenium space. When the cameras roll on Hairspray Live! on December 7, however, there won’t be a fourth wall. At times, there won’t even be the other three walls.Following The Sound of Music, Peter Pan and The Wiz!, Hairspray Live! marks the first of the Peacock network’s era of live musicals to shoot in Los Angeles on the Universal Studios back lot. When the cast of characters takes to the streets of Baltimore to sing, dance or march, they’ll do so without the confines of a proscenium—or a roof.“I equate it to the Super Bowl,” Leon said in a recent conference call with press. “We’re preparing for the Super Bowl of theater.”With the new approach comes a new co-director: Alex Rudzinski, who won an Emmy for his technical work on Fox’s Grease: Live earlier this year. “It’s about trying to put the viewer in the heat of the action and trying to make them feel that it’s less of a proscenium production and more about placing the viewer right in the heart of that action,” Rudzinski said. “It’s a little bit like doing theater in the round,” added choreographer Jerry Mitchell.Part of creating that cinematic universe involves shooting outside, which will comprise about 40% of Hairspray: Live! (compared to Grease: Live’s 15%, by Rudzinski’s estimate).Like Grease: Live, Hairspray Live! will incorporate a studio audience—another first for NBC. But don’t expect to see audiences looking on in Tracy’s bedroom or in Motormouth Maybelle’s record shop. “I never wanted us to shoot the audience looking at the art,” said Leon. Rudzinski elaborated, “We’re being very cautious about making sure that when the audience is shown, it’s very much a part of the production.” Instead, look out for audience shots during The Corny Collins Show, the fictional ‘60s teen dance show.For its use of space and the added element of an audience, Hairspray Live! is executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron’s most ambitious musical telecast. “The other shows were more contained in their conception,” explained Zadan. “This show is not contained.” Meron added, “ The footprint of this production is probably the biggest of any of the live musical setups done on television, Grease: Live included.”Tasked with adapting the musical for the small screen is Harvey Fierstein, who considers himself an uncredited writer of the original production, and is reprising his Tony-winning performance as Edna in the telecast. (Fierstein also contributed to the screenplay for last year’s The Wiz Live!)For Fierstein, the challenge is making sure the show’s high-energy attitude crosses through the screen. “If you’re watching at home, you could be in your underwear,” he said. “How do we reach you and tell that story, but still get you excited about life?”While Hairspray aims to energize viewers, Fierstein, Leon and the entire team are aware of the urgency a story like Hairspray’s takes on in the current political climate. “Hairspray is a reminder that just a few years ago in our history, we couldn’t even dance together,” says Fierstein. “I think we need to remember that and say, ‘Is that really what we want to go back to?’”Leon will emphasize the show’s sense of history with “subtle visual suggestions that remind us that this may also sync up to us in 2016.” And though its themes of integration and acceptance are increasingly necessary, so is its upbeat sense of resilience: “This is an important opportunity for us to use theater and music in a way that can bring joy into the lives of Americans when they most need it.” That beat can’t be stopped.Catch Hairspray Live!, starring Maddie Baillio, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Kristin Chenoweth and more, on December 7 on NBC.last_img read more

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Flower power

first_imgBy Cat HolmesUniversity of GeorgiaScientists are researching bloodroot, a native Eastern wildflower with antimicrobial properties, to find out the best way to propagate it as a commercial crop.”Bloodroot is rich in alkaloids which have antibiotic properties,” said Jim Affolter, a horticulturist who is leading the studies in the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.”Companies in Europe are starting to use it in animal feed to improve appetite and digestion. It’s a potentially enormous market,” Affolter said.”Bloodroot isn’t terribly hard to grow, but it hasn’t been produced on a commercial scale. It’s not rare, but it’s not common, either,” he said. “Natural populations could easily be decimated if industry production sent people out to scour the forests the way the ginseng market has done.”Bloodroot’s most-studied alkaloid is called sanguinarine (sang-GWEN-uh-reen), which has proven antimicrobial properties, said UGA horticulture researcher Selima Campbell.Sanguinarine is used as a feed additive for livestock in Europe, in the same way antibiotics have been used as growth promoters for U.S. livestock. In 1998, the European Union banned the use of all antibiotics used in human medicine for livestock production.A representative of German-based Phytobiotics, an animal feedstock additive company, visited the UGA Athens campus recently to meet with scientists on bloodroot’s potential as a commercial crop. One of their products, Sangrovit, contains sanguinarine.The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization say banning human-use antibiotics from livestock feed will help protect people from new, drug-resistant bacteria, which the CDC calls one of the world’s most pressing public health problems.To grow bloodroot for its sanguinarine, UGA researchers are focusing on three unknowns, Campbell said.The first is to find where exactly in the plant and when during its growth cycle sanguinarine concentrations are highest. This will determine what part of the plant is harvested and when.”Preliminary results show that the sanguinarine is allocated to the rhizome,” Campbell said. “(That) is the source of bloodroot’s name. When the ‘root’ (rhizome) of bloodroot is cut, it ‘bleeds’ a bright red substance containing a number of different, potent alkaloids.”A second unknown is how bloodroot responds to differing sunlight levels. Bloodroot flowers in woodland areas in early spring, before the trees have leafed out. It then lives out the rest of it’s cycle in the shade.Researchers want to know if seasonal changes in photosynthesis and light levels affect the sanguinarine concentrations. This could tell them the best ways to grow it to get the most sanguinarine.The final area of study is its propagation.”Right now, bloodroot is wild-gathered,” Campbell said. “It’s a slow-growing plant, so gathering it by the ton would definitely stress natural populations. It’s crucial to develop a way to propagate the plants.”By the time they’re through, the UGA scientists hope to know the best growing conditions for bloodroot. “This would allow growers to exert quality control over the product, conserve wild plants and be a new source of economic development,” Campbell said.While bloodroot’s use in oral hygiene products and animal feedstock is recent, its medicinal history is centuries old, Affolter said. “Bloodroot was used for centuries by native Americans to dye their clothing and paint their faces,” he said. “They also used it to treat skin cancers and fungal growths.”Southerners have harvested bloodroot from the wild since post-Colonial times. “They used it as an emetic, an expectorant for bronchitis and a gargle for sore throats,” Affolter said.(Cat Holmes is a science writer with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

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Deadly ‘turnover’

first_imgBy Mike IsbellUniversity of GeorgiaThere were dead catfish out there all right. A big one floatednear the overflow pipe at the dam. Jack, who had called meearlier that morning, had already removed several others he’dfound floating in the water and tossed them out on the grass.”What do you think is killing the fish?” Jack asked as we stoodnear the edge of the pond.But before I told him what I suspected, I asked him a fewquestions. His answers gave me clues to what might have happenedin the pond.The first clue was that the dead fish were all large fish — nosmall ones were dying. They had all died within the past twodays. The sky had been overcast for several days. And it hadrained a really cold, hard rain for a long time right before theybegan to die.Forces at workJust looking at that pond from the surface, it’s hard to imaginethe dynamic world below. But in this mysterious, watery world,biological, chemical and physical forces are at work.We all know that fish require oxygen. Oxygen dissolves in wateras it mixes at the surface, and it’s produced in the water byphotosynthesis of aquatic plants.In almost every pond, oxygen levels will change daily. Thehighest level occurs in the mid to late afternoon and the lowestin the hours just before sunrise.A healthy algae bloom and aquatic plant populations will produceenough dissolved oxygen to support life in a pond throughout a24-hour period.Layers of waterThe coolest water in the pond, having the greatest density,remains in a layer near the bottom. The warmer water, being lessdense, moves to the surface. Swim to the bottom and you’ll feelthe temperature difference.Actually, there are three layers of water. Almost no oxygen isproduced in the cold-water layers near the bottom, becausethere’s no light for the aquatic plants.If you’ve stayed with me so far, I’ll tell you what I thinkhappened in Jack’s pond.The overcast days, without the bright sunlight, resulted in lessoxygen produced in the water. But fish don’t die just becauseit’s cloudy. We have cloudy days all the time. Something elsehappened.The culpritRemember, Jack said it rained really hard about two days earlier.And rain water is cold. The surface water, now suddenly cold anddense, begins to sink, which forces the warmer, bottom water tothe surface. And the bottom water is low in oxygen.Ponds can “turn over” during the summer following heavy rains.This “turnover” mixes the water and can cause the entire pond tobecome oxygen-starved. When that happens, fish will sometimesbegin to die, and usually the largest ones die first.This is what I suspect happened.Luckily, Jack has a mechanical aerator in the pond to agitate thewater and mix oxygen back in the water. Running it at night untilthe pond stabilizes will help reduce the severity of the “waterturnover.”(Mike Isbell is the Heard County Extension Coordinator withthe University of Georgia College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences.)last_img read more

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Diabetes prevention

first_imgBy Connie CrawleyUniversity of GeorgiaIf you had gestational diabetes during pregnancy, you and your child have a greater risk for developing Type 2 diabetes later in life. Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy. It’s a sign that you might not use insulin as well as other women. Insulin helps your cells get energy from the blood sugar made when you digest food. If your insulin does not work well or you don’t have enough of it, your blood sugar will increase and you might get Type 2 diabetes. Children of women with gestational diabetes are more likely to have a problem with insulin, too. However, lifestyle changes can reduce the risk to you and your child. Research has shown that if a person can control his or her weight and be active, the chance of getting Type 2 diabetes is reduced by 60 percent. So what can you do?First, get checked for diabetes after your baby is born and again every one to two years. Finding Type 2 diabetes early and controlling it will help prevent or delay diabetic complications like vaginal or urinary tract infections, loss of sight, foot or leg infections that can lead to amputation, heart disease or kidney failure. Be sure to tell all your healthcare providers that you had gestational diabetes. They will keep an eye on your blood glucose values. Tell your child’s doctor, too, that you had gestational diabetes. Also, tell your child about his or her risk for diabetes. Type 2 diabetes affects almost 30 million Americans. It is a major problem in Georgia. To reduce risks for you and your child, do the following: •Breastfeed your baby. •Return to your pre-pregnancy weight. If you still weigh too much, work to lose 5 percent to 7 percent more. It’s best to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. You are more likely to gain weight back if you lose it too quickly.•Make healthy food choices. Eat at least two vegetables at lunch and supper. Have fruit for desserts and snacks. Eat smaller amounts of lean meat, poultry and fish. Eat whole wheat breads. Avoid white bread and refined grains. Eat low-fat or non-fat dairy foods. Use only one to two teaspoons of oil or soft margarine at each meal instead of butter, salad dressings, mayonnaise or stick margarines.•Eat smaller portions. A portion as wide and as thick as your palm is about a half of a cup or four ounces of vegetables, starches or protein foods. A tight fist is the right size for pieces of fruit and baked potatoes. •Drink water instead of sweetened drinks. •Be active for at least 30 minutes five or more days a week. •Ask your doctor or a dietitian for a proper eating plan for your child. Help your whole family make healthy choices. Advocate for healthy foods to be served at your child’s school. •Limit TV, video and computer game time to an hour or two a day.•Encourage your child to be active every day for at least an hour.(Connie Crawley is a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension nutritionist with the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.)last_img read more

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Renovator Certification

first_imgPainters, carpenters or anyone who renovates homes should attend a training June 29 in Oconee County that will explain new Environmental Protection Agency regulations for lead-based paints.Located at the Oconee County Civic Center, the training will be 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and offered by University of Georgia Cooperative Extension through a partnership with Greenville Tech.The EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule took effect April 22 and affects contractors, property managers and others who work in housing or childcare centers built before 1978.Participants will learn how to minimize lead dust generation and soil contamination during maintenance, renovation and remodeling activities. Following these procedures will reduce the risk of lead exposure to employees, children and residents.Participants in the class will perform hands-on activities and will be tested at the end of class.Those who earn a passing score will be certified as renovators, a certification that is valid for five years. The class, which costs $260, is limited to the first 20 registrants. For more information, or to register, go to the website www.fcs.uga.edu/ext/housing.last_img read more

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Clean Hands

first_imgIt is the time of year for visiting pumpkin patches, fall festivals and Christmas tree farms. Many of these venues have petting zoos and sell food products – a combination that is a potential health risk if proper hand washing isn’t included.Visiting a petting zoo can be a memorable family outing, but the facts are that petting zoos and farms can be a source of E. coli transmission. The CDC warns that “when people forget to wash their hands after petting an animal, or bring food or drinks into an area where animals are exhibited, they are at risk for becoming ill.”University of Georgia Cooperative Extension advises parents and teachers to help keep children safe by following these recommendations from the CDC:Visit hand washing stations at petting zoos, festival locations and farms.Always make sure that children wash their hands right after petting animals or touching pens, cages, etc., where animals are housed.Even if children do not touch the animals, they should wash their hands after exiting the animal holding areas.Always wash hands before touching food or drinking, before preparing food or drinks, and after removing soiled clothing or shoes after visiting farms or petting zoos.Keep food and drinks out of areas where animals are held.Prepare, serve and eat food only in areas where animals are not permitted.Do not eat or drink raw, unpasteurized juices, cider, milk or cheeses.Constantly supervise children less than 5 years of age while in animal holding areas.Do not allow children to put thumbs, fingers, pacifiers or other objects in their mouths while in the animal areas.Do not take strollers, bottles, pacifiers, cups or toys into animal areas.Supervise children’s hand washing.According to the CDC, hand washing with soap and running water is best. Hands should be washed with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds. Pay special attention to the area between fingers and around fingernails.If these are unavailable, use hand sanitizers, but wash hands well as soon as a sink and soap are available.For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/features/animalexhibits/.last_img read more

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