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  • RuralRebel 9:09 pm on November 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: blue jays, Jay   

    The jay, midwife of the forest 

     Every autumn the average jay plants 5,000 acorns to retrieve as food in the winter

     The Guardian, Sunday 11 November 2012 16.00 EST

    Country Diary : European jay (Garrulus glandarius)

    The European jay, Garrulus glandarius. Photograph: Andrew Darrington/Alamy

    Just after I planted the onions in our allotment I started to find new excavations all along my neat rows. Sifting through the soil, I came across a secondary sowing – of acorns. Almost daily for the past month I’ve seen the culprits, passing repeatedly across the skies with that strangely faltering flight pattern. They belong to the species WH Hudson called the “British bird of paradise”, the European jay.

    It is strange that western society has such a downer on corvids, to which family jays belong, because they are truly the birds with the deepest work ethic. Every autumn the average jay plants 5,000 acorns to retrieve as food in the winter. I’m a direct beneficiary of this avian providence because I have a single magnificent oak on my marsh. About a century ago an acorn somehow made its way from the nearest parent tree, hundreds of metres across the intervening ground, and came to rest in the dark peat of Blackwater Carr. I can easily imagine who was the delivering “midwife”.

    The European jays are impressive for their labours, but what about their nutcracking cousins spread across Eurasia? Each is thought to cache 100,000 seeds, but retrieves only about a quarter of these in the subsequent months. In North America the scrub, pinyon and Steller’s jays are all avid tree-farmers and often specialise in favoured species. Even the blue jay, whose slaughter Atticus Finch approved in To Kill a Mockingbird, would be approved in most US pulpits, if only the minsters knew what an honest, industrious bird it really is. One blue jay was recorded to plant 100,000 beech nuts in one month. Perhaps the best way to rehabilitate the crow family is to promote a vision of these wonderful birds at a hemispheric level. They are the great keepers of the northern forests and are busy now husbanding that vast carbon-rich landscape in its millennial journey north as climate change begins to bite

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  • RuralRebel 4:31 pm on November 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Elmo, Sesame Street, TMZ.com   

    Sesame Street… ‘places a greater value on a puppet than the well being of a young man.’ 

    Voice of Elmo on leave from Sesame Street after he was accused of having ‘sexual relationship with underage boy’

    • Kevin Clash, 52, is on leave after the programme’s lawyers were contacted by a 23-year-old man
    • Accuser claims he had a sexual relationship with the puppeteer seven years ago, when he was aged 16

    By JILL REILLY

    PUBLISHED: 06:51 EST, 12 November 2012 | UPDATED: 08:14 EST, 12 November 2012

    The man who voices the puppet of Elmo on Sesame Street has taken leave amid allegations he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy.

    Kevin Clash, 52, has taken a leave of absence from the popular children’s show after the programme’s lawyers were contacted by a 23-year-old man who claims he had a sexual relationship with the puppeteer seven years ago, when he was aged 16.

    TMZ, who reported the allegations, said that Mr Clash had admitted he had a relationship with the man, but only after the accuser was an adult and said the accusations were both false and defamatory.

    Allegations: Kevin Clash, the voice and movements behind Sesame Street's Elmo has taken leave amid allegations he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boyAllegations: Kevin Clash, the voice and movements behind Sesame Street’s Elmo has taken leave amid allegations he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy

    ‘I had a relationship with [the accuser].  It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to make it into something it was not,’ said Mr Clash who joined Sesame Street in the mid-80s,

    The website reported that after the accuser’s initial meeting with Sesame Street lawyers, he felt that that he was being silenced so he hired a lawyer.

    He is now being represented by Andreozzi and Associates – the firm that worked with one of the victims in the Jerry Sandusky child rape case.

    Iconic: Kevin Clash, who has voiced Elmo for two decades, arrives at the 35th International Emmy Awards in 2007
    Elmo of Sesame Street

    Iconic: Kevin Clash, left, who has voiced Elmo for two decades, arrives at the 35th International Emmy Awards in 2007.  He admitted he had a relationship with the man, but only after the accuser was an adult

    In August, the accuser’s lawyers wrote a letter to Sesame Street accusing the programme of trying to ‘discredit the victim in order to protect its employee and the image of one of its most valuable characters,’

    The letter also claimed the show’s attitude ‘places a greater value on a puppet than the well being of a young man.’

    But Sesame Workshop officials told TMZ  they found the the allegation of underage sex was unsubstantiated after a thorough investigation.

    Legacy: Clash joined Sesame Street in the mid-80s. Earlier this year he was the feature a documentary detailing Clash's childhood obsession with puppets to assuming his role on the iconic show
    Legacy: Mr Clash joined Sesame Street in the mid-80s. Earlier this year he was the feature a documentary detailing Clash’s childhood obsession with puppets to assuming his role on the iconic show

    They claim rather than trying to hush up the accuser, they asked for evidence of his allegations, which was not received.

    The website reported they had seen an email supposedly sent to the accuser by Mr Clash, acknowledging they had the affair when he was 16, but officials believe it is fake as they say the accuser never mentioned such an email existed.

    Sesame Street disciplined Mr Clash for inappropriate use of company email after they found emails between him and the accuser, but they did not indicate an illegal sexual relationship, according to TMZ.

    It is unclear why Mr Clash wanted a leave of absence, since he denies the allegations of underage sex, but the programme told TMZ it was to allow him to defend his reputation in the wake of the damaging allegations.

    Mr Clash has been the Elmo puppeteer for two decades, performing on the show as well as for PBS specials, DVD releases and TV movies while earning nine Daytime Emmy Awards.

    He eventually assumed the title of Sesame Street’s Senior Puppet Coordinator and Muppet Captain, while also directing and producing show segments and TV specials.

    Earlier this year he was the feature of ‘Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey’  a documentary detailing Mr Clash’s childhood obsession with puppets to assuming his role on the iconic show.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2231695/Kevin-Clash-Voice-Sesame-Streets-Elmo-accused-having-sexual-relationship-underage-boy.html#ixzz2C1Y4g3yQ
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

     
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