Wake Up, Phil!

Groundhog Day is a popular tradition celebrated in Canada and the United States on February 2nd. It derives from the Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that if a groundhog emerging from its burrow on this day sees its shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat to its den and winter will persist for six more weeks, and if it does not see its shadow because of cloudiness, spring will arrive early.

The groundhog (Marmota monax), also known as a woodchuck is a rodent.

It belongs to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots.

The groundhog is the most widespread North American marmot species.

It is found through much of the eastern United States across Canada and into Alaska.

This species inhabits many different ecosystems. It is typically found in low elevation forests, small woodlots, fields, pastures, and hedgerows.

In the wild, groundhogs can live up to 6 years with 2 or 3 being average. In captivity, groundhogs reportedly live up to 14 years.

Groundhogs are stocky in appearance and often stand up on their hind legs, making them look tall.

Adults measure from 16.5 to 27 inches in total length including a tail of 3.7 to 7.4 inches.

Weights of adult groundhogs, typically at least, fall between 4.4 and 13.9 lbs.

Male groundhogs average slightly larger than females and, like all marmots, they are considerably heavier during autumn than when emerging from hibernation in spring.

Thick fur on the upper parts ranges in color through various shades of brown; the feet are darker, and the underparts are buff. Melanistic (nearly black) and albino individuals sometimes occur in some populations.

Groundhogs are territorial and non-social.

They are mostly diurnal, and are often active early in the morning or late afternoon.

Groundhogs are good swimmers and can climb tall shrubs and sizable trees.

Mostly herbivorous, groundhogs eat primarily wild grasses and other vegetation, including berries and agricultural crops, when available. In early spring, dandelion and coltsfoot are important groundhog food items. Groundhogs also occasionally eat grubs, grasshoppers, insects, snails and other small animals, but are not as omnivorous as many other Sciuridae.

Groundhogs have four incisor teeth which grow 0.06 inch per week. Constant usage wears them down again by about that much each week. Unlike the incisors of many other rodents, the incisors of groundhogs are white to ivory-white.

Groundhogs are excellent burrowers, using burrows for sleeping, rearing young, and hibernating.

They are one of the few species that enter into true hibernation, and often build a separate “winter burrow” for this purpose. This burrow is usually in a wooded or brushy area and is dug below the frost line and remains at a stable temperature well above freezing during the winter months.

The breeding season extends from early March to mid- or late April, after hibernation. A mated pair remains in the same den throughout the 31- to 32-day gestation period. As birth of the young approaches in April or May, the male leaves the den.

One litter is produced annually, usually containing two to six blind, hairless and helpless young. Groundhog mothers introduce their young to the wild once their fur is grown in and they can see. At this time, if at all, the father groundhog comes back to the family. By the end of August, the family breaks up; or at least, the larger number scatter, to burrow on their own.

The groundhog is classified as a species of “least concern” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

The groundhog has many lesser-known names including chuck, wood-shock, groundpig, whistlepig, whistler, thickwood badger, Canada marmot, monax, moonack, weenusk, redmonk and, among French Canadians in eastern Canada, siffleux.


The etymology of the name woodchuck is unrelated to wood or chucking. It stems from an Algonquian (possibly Narragansett) name for the animal, wuchak. The similarity between the words has led to the popular tongue-twister:

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck
if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
A woodchuck would chuck all the wood he could
if a woodchuck could chuck wood!

187 thoughts on “Wake Up, Phil!

  1. wow…just spent the last half hour (or more?) trying to find a florist to deliver sympathy flowers. I tried all the biggies…ftd. 1-800 flowers, teleflora…nope nobody would have flowers till after Valentine’s day! finally I googled their area and found a local florist who will deliver tomorrow. sigh
    (my daughter in law’s grandfather passed.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Lawsuit can proceed against Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse”
    today — AP

    (FILE – Kyle Rittenhouse keeps his composure while starting to cry as he is found not guilty on all counts on Nov. 19, 2021, at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis. A federal judge in Wisconsin on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, ruled that a civil rights wrongful death lawsuit filed by the father of a man shot and killed by Rittenhouse during a protest in 2020 can proceed against city officials, police officers, Rittenhouse and others. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool, File)

    “MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal judge in Wisconsin ruled Wednesday that a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the father of a man shot and killed by Kyle Rittenhouse during a protest in 2020 can proceed against Rittenhouse, police officers and others. The father of Anthony Huber, one of two men shot and killed by Rittenhouse, filed the lawsuit in 2021, accusing officers of allowing for a dangerous situation that violated his son’s constitutional rights and resulted in his death. Anthony Huber’s father, John Huber, also alleged that Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time of the shootings, conspired with law enforcement to cause harm to protestors. John Huber is seeking unspecified damages from city officials, officers and Rittenhouse.

    U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman on Wednesday dismissed motions filed by Rittenhouse and the government defendants seeking to dismiss the civil rights lawsuit. In allowing the case against Rittenhouse and the others to proceed, the judge said that Anthony Huber’s death “could plausibly be regarded as having been proximately caused by the actions of the governmental defendants.”

    Rittenhouse attorney Shane Martin said in a phone interview that it’s important to note the ruling doesn’t address the merits of the case, it only allows it to proceed to the next phase. “While we respect the judge’s decision, we do not believe there is any evidence of a conspiracy and we are confident, just as a Kenosha jury found, Kyle’s actions that evening were not wrongful and were undertaken in self defense,” Martin said.

    Attorneys and private investigators for John Huber spent over 100 hours trying to locate Rittenhouse, tracking down addresses in seven states before they found the home of his mother and sister in Florida. The lawsuit was served on Rittenhouse’s sister, who said that he wasn’t home. Adelman said that was sufficient to qualify as being served. Rittenhouse had argued that the case against him should be dismissed because he wasn’t properly served with the lawsuit. Adelman dismissed that, saying that Rittenhouse “is almost certainly evading service.”

    “Rittenhouse has been deliberately cagey about his whereabouts,” Adelman wrote. “Although he denies living in Florida, he does not identify the place that he deems to be his residence.”

    Attorneys for the law enforcement and government officials being sued did not immediately return emailed messages seeking comment. The ruling puts Anthony Huber’s family “one step closer to justice for their son’s needless death,” said Anand Swaminathan, one of the attorneys for parents John Huber and Karen Bloom. “The Kenosha officials that created a powder keg situation by their actions tried to claim that they cannot be held accountable for their unconstitutional conduct; that argument was soundly rejected today,” Swaminathan said in a statement.

    Rittenhouse was charged with homicide, attempted homicide and reckless endangering for killing Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum and wounding a third person with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle in the summer of 2020 during a tumultuous night of protests over the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a white Kenosha police officer.

    Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges in November 2021 after testifying he acted in self-defense. Rittenhouse’s actions became a flashpoint in the debate over guns, vigilantism and racial injustice in the U.S. Rittenhouse went to Kenosha from his home in nearby Antioch, Illinois, after businesses were ransacked and burned in the nights that followed Blake’s shooting. He joined other armed civilians on the streets, carrying a weapon authorities said was illegally purchased for him because he was underage.

    Rittenhouse first killed Rosenbaum, 36, in the parking lot of an auto dealership and as Rittenhouse ran from the scene he stumbled and fell. Anthony Huber, 26, struck Rittenhouse with his skateboard and tried to disarm him. Rittenhouse fell to the ground and shot Anthony Huber to death and wounded demonstrator Gaige Grosskreutz, 27.

    This case is one of several ongoing civil lawsuits filed in the wake of the shootings. Grosskreutz last year filed a similar lawsuit against Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse has maintained a high public profile, particularly on social media, where he is an outspoken advocate for gun rights. He has nearly 1 million followers on Twitter and has spoken at conservative gatherings.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Dismembered human penis found at Alabama gas station”
    By Lee Brown
    February 1, 2023 8:24am Updated
    ENTIRE ARTICLE: “A shocked customer at an Alabama gas station found a human penis in the parking lot, according to cops. The dismembered member was found shortly after 6 a.m. Monday at a gas station on Interstate 10 in Mobile, according to local newspaper Lagniappe, which cited multiple sources. However, the Mobile Police Department told the outlet that the shocking discovery was not being investigated as an assault or a murder.

    The force separately told the Daily Caller that the working assumption is that the horrid find was likely tied to the deadly crash of a motorcyclist that same morning. Christopher Means, 29, was pronounced dead at the scene after losing control and being “struck by multiple vehicles,” police said, noting how only “one driver remained at the scene.”

    Video: https://nypost.com/2023/02/01/dismembered-human-penis-found-at-alabama-gas-station/

    Liked by 1 person

    @Project_Veritas: What if we told you that we aren’t done, and that we have another @pfizer bombshell dropping tonight…
    2 MIN AGO

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Like

  6. Liked by 1 person

  7. 02/02/23 • COVID

    “California to Ditch Plans to Mandate COVID Vaccines for Schoolchildren — California will end plans to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for schoolchildren when the state ends its COVID-19 state of emergency on Feb. 28, California Department of Public Health officials told EdSource.”

    By Brenda Baletti, Ph.D.

    EXCERPT: “California will end plans to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for schoolchildren when the state ends its COVID-19 state of emergency on Feb. 28, California Department of Public Health officials told EdSource, which reported the news on Wednesday. Commenting on the news, Michael Kane, national grassroots organizer for Children’s Health Defense (CHD) and founder of NY Teachers For Choice, told The Defender:

    “We [in the movement] have some really good momentum right now, and what just happened in California is indicative of that. “People are done with this. They’re done with the most extreme portions of this COVID agenda, the idea of this shot in kids is a no-starter for anybody.”

    Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in October 2021, that California would be the first state to require COVID-19 vaccinations for children to attend school. It was also the first to mandate masking and staff vaccination measures. At the time, state Sen. Richard Pan proposed legislation to strengthen the vaccine requirement even further by eliminating personal and religious exemptions. The legislation didn’t pass.”


    Liked by 1 person

  8. 02/02/23 • BIG FOOD • BIG CHEMICAL

    “EU Revokes Impossible Foods’ Patent, Fake Meat Maker Also Faces Patent Challenges in U.S. — The European Patent Office revoked an EU patent held by Impossible Foods, maker of the Impossible Burger. Impossible Food’s fake meat products are manufactured with GMO yeast-derived from soy leghemoglobin, which may not be safe to eat.”

    EXCERPT: “The European Patent Office (EPO) has revoked a European Union (EU) patent held by Impossible Foods, maker of the Impossible Burger. In the U.S., Impossible’s fake meat products are manufactured with GMO yeast-derived soy leghemoglobin, a controversial ingredient that makes the fake meat look as if it’s bleeding, like undercooked real meat, and that we have argued may not be safe to eat.

    Following the EPO’s decision, another fake meat company, Motif FoodWorks, has filed a suite of new petitions with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office challenging U.S. patents held by Impossible Foods over the use of heme proteins (such as that present in soy leghemoglobin) in meat alternatives, as it defends itself against Impossible’s accusations of patent infringement, according to Food Navigator USA.

    Fake meat industry ‘a flop’ — The news about Impossible’s patent fights comes in the wake of an article by Bloomberg describing the rapid decline in the fake meat industry, which it branded “a flop.” The article is titled, “Fake meat was supposed to save the world. It became just another fad.” Impossible shares, the article said, are currently trading at around $12 — about half the price during its last fundraising round. And more recently Bloomberg has reported that Impossible is preparing to lay off about 20% of its staff, following another round of cuts in October when about 6% of its staff got laid off.

    The latest patent wars will only add to the industry’s woes.

    Impossible patents — Motif FoodWorks said that many of the claimed inventions in Impossible’s patents are obvious and already disclosed in prior art, which means they cannot be patented. Motif added that the EPO’s decision to revoke Impossible’s patent “affirms our belief that Impossible’s patents are invalid and never should have been issued in the first place.”

    Impossible Foods told Food Navigator USA that its plans to launch its full range of products in the EU have not changed. Its soy leghemoglobin “fake blood” product is currently being evaluated for EU use by the European Food Safety Authority. The EPO-revoked patent is not on soy leghemoglobin itself. It is a broad patent on food products containing iron complexes such as heme-containing proteins, combined with flavor precursor molecules.

    Twisted logic — The EPO’s reasoning has not yet been published online, but GMWatch has long argued that GMO developers cannot tell patent offices that their product is novel, non-obvious and has an inventive step — all requirements for a patented invention — yet tell regulators and the public that the same product is natural, nature-mimicking or able to arise in nature or from natural breeding.”


    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am adding a short daily prayer to the board. I would invite each of you, if you wish, to also add one or maybe two of your own liking. I do not want to stifle anyone but please limit yourself to one or two religious postings. here’s one I found that I liked.


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