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Do you really know what is a Cicada

Posted by Rodolphe Cote on March 19, 2011 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (7)

The Cicada, having sang all summer was greatly running out of food, when the north wind arrived. Not one little piece of fly or worm. She went begging at the ant her neighbour, asking to borrow from her some extra food to survive at least until the new season. "I will pay you," she said, before the winter, animal faith, interest and principal. Ants are not lenders, this is one of their bad sides, this is not my concerns or my problems said the ant. "What did you do during the hot weather? She said to this borrower. - Night and day I was singing, if you please. - You sang? I'm glad. Well! Now dance said the ant.Who of us does not remember by heart this famous fable by Jean de la LAFONTAINE.

Me inside my little head I thought that a cicada was some kind of grasshopper or cricket. I have learned by heart that famous fable by Jean de LAFONTAINE at the tender age of six and I saw a cicada with my own eyes for the first time in my life at the not so tender age of sixty four, crawling over the coat sleeve of a co worker after he came back to the office after his lunch break. I panicked! What is this giant bug crawling on your coat sleeve? Oh! He told me, it's just a cicada! I'm going to carry her back outside. He just caught her with his fingers and carried her outside. He had a total respect for this wonderful harmless insect. With good reason! This strange insect with red eyes, blue eyes, or other colour variations lives only six weeks of its long life out into the open. Six weeks only above the earth under our sky for love and songs. Then after their mating or after laying their eggs they die. Why kill them! There have only six weeks of life under the light, then disappear for another 17 years under the ground. Here are some interesting and strange information's that I have discovered about cicadas.

First interesting features I just recently discovered about them.

We humans have been on this planet for about 3 millions years, cicadas have been on this planet for over 365 million years. They live only by drinking sap from trees. Usually insects who lives off a host do some damage to their hosts, like the moskitoes as a good example. Not so with the Cicadas. They actually improve the health of the trees they use as hosts. Only the males sing, to attract the females. The back part of the body of the male is hollow and act like a drum to produce the noise or songs of the cicadas. In the strong sunlight you can see that the light is passing through and that the inside is hollow. When it rain the cicadas are silent! Why? Because the skin of the drum becomes wet and it becomes impossible for the male cicadas to produce any sound at all. Isn't that weird or what!

How many kinds of cicadas are there.

There are seven species of cicadas. The 17 years Varieties: Septendecim, Cassini Septendecula, and the 13 years varieties: Neotredecim, Tredecim, and Tredecassini Ttredecula. Each species has slightly different colours, songs or other physical attributes. You will not find them in everyone backyards. If you do not have many delicious trees in your neighbourhood, they do love maple trees. I wonder why! You will probably not find any at all. Pesticides, construction, extreme weather and tree removal are also factors. There is no guarantee that you will see them at all! Remember, they do not harm the trees, no more than when we collect maple syrup, they drink just a little sap from their favourite trees. The cicadas are actually an advantage for trees, because they destroy the lower weakest branches. Please do not use pesticides, you will destroy the good bugs with the bad bugs, and ultimately damage your garden and the environment. Cicadas do not kill flowers and do not damage the shrubs, but they can do damage on young trees usually used as ornamental. If you have ornamental trees, you can protect them with a net to keep cicadas away.

What are the life stages of a cicada?

(1) eggs. They look like rice. (2) larvae. Once they hatch they look like a cross between a termite and corrugated rice. They suck sap from tree branches after they hatch for a while, then they fall to the ground and begin digging in search of a roots. (3) Once they have been left on the roots for a while they become pupae. When the good weather arrives, after her 17 year cycle, the nymph crawls to the surface, and crawls up the nearest tree. (4) As adults, they often crawl on the ground and anchor themselves to what they think is a tree (They have been seen on barbecues, on stone walls and on water hoses) they molt, leaving behind their nymph skin, dry their wings and begin to search for a (mating companion). Then after mating or laying their eggs they die.

There are cicadas still alive without abdomen. Why are they still alive?

Most cicadas with a missing abdomen is caused by fungal infections or attacks by predators. They continue to crawl because of their natural desire to cling to their short existence and survive at all costs to mate before they die. Off course they will not be able to mate, since their sexual organs are gone and they will eventually die.

Why do they remain underground for 17 years?

There are a number of theories. Most likely they've developed this rhythm to avoid predators. Weather events -- maybe even the ice age - may also be one of the factors.

Are there such thing as an albino cicada?

No, when most of the cicadas appear first they are white. Gradually, their bodies become a darker colour. Some take longer than others to change colours, some die before a change of colour can occur.

Why do cicadas "sing"


The experts of the nature and scientists are still puzzled over exactly how and why there is emergence of cicadas. It's really a fascinating cycle of death and rebirth - a perfectly timed show of song and dance that occurs only every 17 years.

A popular theory is that the noise in your garden is the result of romantic overtures of male cicadas to attract females. However, another theory points to a strong survival skills of cicadas.

Their songs are not only irritating to humans, but also for birds seeking insects as food, and are often put off by the irritating noises of a cicada emergence. So is this a "love call" - or an irritating noise to avoid being eaten by birds? But note well: Many consider the song of cicadas as romantic and likes to listen to them. But if their songs disturb you, do not worry you'll hear them again only after another 17 years. So why not enjoy their romantic choral while it last. Every moment of their short life is so precious. As well as ours. Always try to live in the present moment. The past no longer exists and the future is not here yet. The only real life we have is always in the eternal now!

The last major emergence of cicadas in the United States have begun in 2004 when the cicadas have invaded the South and North. More recently, an emergence occured in 2007 has they resurfaced in parts of Indiana, Illinois, Idaho, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Listen to the songs of the cicadas

Intrigue! Cicadas have been on this earth for over 365 million years, they survived the dinosaurs and the ice age. Will the cicadas survive the emergence of the human race? They are getting more and more rare! Wouldn't it be a sad day when the cicadas are no longer with us and no one can hear their love songs anymore? They are another marvel of nature. I sincerely Hope that they do survive the human race.


What is manic depression?

Posted by Rodolphe Cote on March 19, 2011 at 8:04 PM Comments comments (0)

Manic depression or Bipolar depression is actually considered as one of the worst type of depression that people usually suffer from. Characterized by sudden and extreme changes in their mood, Manic depression is said to be called as such because manic = mania refers to the 'ups' while depression refers to the 'downs'. A lot of people actually experience erratic changes in their moods, sometimes, these so-called mood swings may not just be caused by PMS (pres-menstrual syndrome) or stress. Doctors actually have diagnosed mood swings as a common symptom of depression.

But when these so-called mood swings have gone to utmost absurdity.

From getting irked even by the littlest or simplest of thing like not getting your favorite ice cream flavor, this may not be just a sign of brattiness, but when getting irked means you'll cuss and swear on the ice cream vendor and throw absurd tantrums, this may already be the start of Manic depression. The so-called 'manic' or 'ups' in Manic depression is described as to be the times when a person suffering from Manic depression may experience overly high periods, consisting of heightened energy, a sudden outburst of euphoric mood, extreme irritability, thoughts racing as well as aggressive behavior.

According to therapists.

Someone suffering from Manic depression may have these so-called manic 'periods' wherein sudden outbursts of euphoric and elevated mood swings may actually go through this for as long as not just a day, it can actually go on for as long as one week, even longer than that.

When it comes to the so-called 'low' or 'down' periods, as its name suggests it can actually bring someone who is suffering from Manic depression to experience very similar symptoms as those who are suffering from actual depression.

People who are suffering from Manic depression may actually experience episodes showing a depressed state of mind - a feeling of worthlessness and being unloved may start to corrupt the individual's mind. Various symptoms, showing guilt, extreme sadness, anxiety attacks, feeling of not belonging, extreme pessimism and obvious loss of pleasure. According to therapists, an individual who is depressed. consistently for more than a week can officially be diagnosed as someone who is suffering from Manic depression.

In spite of being one of the most common.

Its a severe type of depressive disorder, Manic depression, according to doctors can actually be treated. There's no reason to worry too much about it, just follow the proper procedures that the therapist will instruct you to do, take the proper prescribed medications as well as the proper dosage in order to help you (or your friend or love one) overcome Manic depression before it becomes too late. Also, individuals who are suffering from Manic depression should always be able to see their therapists on a regular basis so as to be able to release their pent up emotions to some one who can interpret and understand what they're going through a lot better than "normal ordinary" people.

Although positive results for a Manic depressive patient can still be achieved from natural alternatives.

A proper and a more lasting relief from Manic depressive symptoms can still be best acquired through seeing a cognitive behavior therapists. Contrary to some beliefs, when it comes to psychiatric treatments, psychiatrists, preferably cognitive behavior therapists are still the best ones to consult for Manic depression, as well as the ones who'll most probably be able to cure Manic depression


Strong bounds between cats and humans

Posted by Rodolphe Cote on March 17, 2011 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (0)

There are a lot of experts out there who say that cats are strictly independent animals. These very same experts state that cats have chosen to associate with humans due to their strategy of survival. Although many argue with this statement, there are many who agree as well -- although those that agree are normally those in the percentile who don't agree with cats. Anyone who has owned a cat will tell you that cats are great at bonding with people, although they are very particular. Normally, a cat will choose someone in the home that he bonds with. You'll know when a cat wants to bond with you, as he will hop on your lap seeking attention or snuggle up to you at night when you are sleeping. Purring is a strong sign of affections, especially with cats that are looking to bond.Although many experts have tried to figure it out, no one really knows why cats choose a particular person whom they will bond with. It could be the individual's manners, voice, or simply how that person treats the cat. Perhaps it may be the individual is really gentle, or maybe a little more forceful -- bringing the best out in the cat.

My mother's cat Ti Gris

My mother had a cat that really bounded strongly to her. He was a big gray male cat, she called him Ti Gris (Little Gray) She was a chef cook at a restaurant, and when she arrived home sometime very tired Ti Gris was always waiting for her. He would roll on his back, and let her tickle his tummy. He always succeeded in putting a smile on her face. You could see that those two really cared for each other. He would follow her around purring. My mother died suddenly one good morning my father found her dead in her sleep, after her burial Ti Gris just disappeared and was never seen again. He didn't want to stay home without my mother. Nobody knows what happened to Ti Gris.

Another interesting story about a certain cat.

After we moved from the farm we bought a new house in a small town. The heating system was from ducts under the floor coming from a central oil furnace. Somehow our female cat found her way into one of those duct, if you put her outside she would always crawl into that duct and meowed very loud to get in. We had to remove the floor grill to let her in every time. My father got impatient with that cat. So he decided to drop her in the wood fifty miles from our home. He never told us that, so we thought that she just had died. But after two years a particular morning we heard a loud meow coming from the heat ventilation floor grill. Well, is this weird or what! The cat was back. Explain to me how on earth after two years and two harsh winters she found her way back! My mother was crying, she looked in good shape also. She amazed us so much that she made her way into our heart. We kept her and nobody ever complained about her bad habit again.

About the courage and love of life of cats

Again this story is very unusual but true. A big yellow cat we had on the farm to keep our farm free from rodent, was doing her usual mouse hunting in the hay field. My father was cutting the hay with the tractor and the hay reaper which has a long arm on the side with moving blades. This arm drag under the hay about one inch above the ground. The poor cat just happened to be in the hay field that day, and the grass cutter cut off the tips of her 4 legs. She ran away leaving a tract of blood and hid under the grain storage building, which was about six inches above the ground. She stayed there for at least a month.

Everyone thought that she was dead. But after a couple of months she was hopping around on the tips of her cut off paws. My father tried to shoot her, because he didn't want her to suffer. He never succeeded. She became a wild cat and hated humans with passion. No one could approach her ever again, she would hiss and snarl and would surely bite your hand off if you would insist on approaching her. We called her La Chatte Maline. (The Upset Cat) Could you blame her! If somebody I trust cut my legs off and tried to shoot me, I sure wouldn't like him or them either. We just left her alone, she lived another six years. I guess there must have been some rodents living under the grain building. She had plenty of food. But how she survived our harsh winters is something to be admired. Alone, hurt, and proud. She still loved life and proved the real courage of a regular house cat. They are more admirable that we think they are. I sure have a lot of admiration for them. They are by far my favorite animals.

What some researchers believes about cats

There are a lot of ways that researchers have tried to take this subject, one of which being psychic. Some say that cats bond with someone due to a "psychic aura" that is compatible with both the person and the cat. If a cat feels that someone is giving them a bad vibe, they will simply ignore that person. Although this can be true to a sense for some, a majority of those who own cats will tell you that this couldn't be any further from the truth. Even though there are a lot of theories and speculation out there, no one really knows why cats bond with humans. There's little to no proof available as well, other than cats and their natural instinct for physical survival. Those who own cats know that cats crave attention, simply to make them feel needed. They love to be pampered by their owners, and will shower you with attention and affection if you just give them the chance. Those who are new to owning cats may find bonding to be very different. Cats are different from other animals, including dogs, in the sense that they bond different. Different breeds of cats will bond different with their owners, although most prefer affection and attention. The more time you spend around your cat, the more he will bond with you. Over the years, you'll find that the bond you create with your pet has grown very strong -- and simply cannot be broken.


Older cats articular problems

Posted by Rodolphe Cote on July 4, 2010 at 11:40 PM Comments comments (0)


As we get older most of us are already starting to feel chronicle pains associate with articular degenerative sickness of some kind. We wake up in the morning with all kinds of stiffness and movement rigidity in some part or the other of our body.


We all know that dogs often suffer from articular pains. We often hear the word dysplasia which is the typical term used for describing degenerative sickness on dogs. Sometime its on a hip or at other times on a leg joint. But what about cats? Those small animals full of flexibility and agility. Could it be that their articulations be less affected by old age than ours. Well its a resounding no! When studied under radiography it shows that on the majority cats older than ten years have arthritis lesions and visible signs of degenerative articulatory damages even though most of them don't seems to show any symptoms of suffering pain. A cat is a very proud and secretive animal who does not like us to know that it has pains.

Results of study.

Researchers who studied articular degenerative diseases on cats. When studied under radiography taken ed on many cats brought to the veterinary for various medical reasons (but in most case because the cats were limping or because of articular pains) Here is what they discovered:


  • In one study alone , 80 percent of cats have shown some kind of lesions due to articular degenerative sickness.

  • During another study, 92 percent of the cats of over 12 years of age and older under radio graphic studies had articular degeneration symptoms. But only 4 percent of them would show evident limping signs.


  • 100 percent of cats over 15 years of age had articular degenerative lesions.

  • Another further study was made on cats sent to a veterinarian university school, it was discovered that 34 percent of all cats older than 10 years old are showing signs of articular degeneration when studied under radiography, while only 16.5 percent of them was showing any signs of having slight problems.
  • This is to say that the majority of cats over 10 years old have a very good chance of suffering from articular pains even if they don't show an y outward signs of suffering, for the simple reason that cats do not like us to know that they are suffering.

    Big cats are more at risk and sometime they do show some small signs of having articular pains.

    During another study prospects, a total number of 1460 cats have been medically followed during a five year period. The study demonstrate that slightly overweight cats tend to be 3 time more at risk of developing articular degenerative lesions and sadly that real overweight cats are 5 time more at risk of developing those articular degeneration diseases. Your cat is very secretive about his pains. It may be already suffering from articular pains if:


  • It is 10 years old or older.

  • It is less active than before and tend to sleep more than usual.

  • If its fur is less glossy and looks less maintained than before.

  • If its movements seems altered and with less suppleness.

  • It seems to have occasional stiffness.

  • It seems to hesitate before taking a jump.

  • It tend to not jump very high anymore, and sometime miss its target.

  • It occasionally defalcate or urinate outside of its litter box.

  • It is less playful and interact less with you.

  • It hides.

  • It has mood changes, seems more grouchy and less sociable, etc...

  • It has certain periods of meowing without apparent reasons.
  • What to do?

    Just like us cats who present certain symptoms of articular degenerative pains don't have to suffer unnecessarily.

    Today's veterinary medicines offers a panoply of alternatives which can be combined to diminish chronicle pains an ameliorate the quality of life of cats suffering from arthritis. So take good care of your cats. They are wonderful friends, and do not deserve to suffer for nothing.

    The controversy over energy drinks

    Posted by Rodolphe Cote on June 28, 2010 at 8:12 PM Comments comments (0)" width="296" height="222" />

    Increasingly popular among younger people

    Energy Drinks are popular in schools, training centers and in bars around town. Easily accessible to all, they arouse controversy. Their increasing consumption has raised many questions.

    A symbol of vitality and strength, these drinks contain mostly Guarani, a plant whose seed is concentrated in spring caffeine, taurine, an amino acid believed to induced a stimulating effect and also extracts of Ginseng and Ginkgo Biloba. Two plants which have an effect of creating high energy. Except for the caffeine, those plants are an important source of sugar. A can of 250 ml (1 cup) of Guru, Monster, Red Bull and others contain around 10 tea spoons of sugar and its also surpassing the maximum recommended limit of caffeine intake for young people under the age of 13 and less. (the recommended limit is 45 to 85 mg per days). For young people of 13 years of age or less, drinking 5 cans of 250 ml will have consume at least 400 mg of caffeine during that day. In comparison drinking 2 cans of pop is equivalent to 80 mg of caffeine, the same quantity of caffeine contained while drinking one single can of Energy Drink. Other food source containing caffeine are chocolate, coffee, tea and certain medications.


    As they are a source of empty calories, their increasing popularity is a growing source of concern. Most young people do not seem to be conscious about the potentially dangerous effects of over consumption of those drinks. Side effects such as nervousness, headaches, tremors and insomnia may be incurred. Combined with alcohol, which is strongly popular among young people and also encouraged by most bars around town can have deadly effects. It accelerate the heart rate, raised the arterial blood level and tend to mask the effect of alcohol which may lead the individual to take risks (like driving with a high blood level of alcohol, believing that he or she is completely in good shape for driving).


    Contrary to other drinks Energy Drinks are considered healthy on the same level as natural health products. This is not letting people know about the secondary bad effects that those drinks may have on their health. The main issues associated with Energy Drinks is the fact that their sales are not fully legislated. Mostly all those drinks are available to the population, without having been evaluated and tested by Health Associations. Drinks that have been tested have a visible displayed number and a high consumption warning tag. Only about 9 type of those drinks have been tested and have an assigned number added on the container. All the others are not tested, and their is numerous brands of Energy Drinks going around. In most countries it is forbidden to add caffeine to any other drinks than pops. But by adding Guarana, a high natural source of caffeine most fabric ants have found a way to bypass those laws.

    Energizing drink and physical activity

    The marketing strategies deployed by these industries are trying to reach youth through extreme sports events. Sponsorship for such a drinks are depicting high level athletes and suggests to the consumers that those Energy Drinks are a sufficient source of hydration. Sports drinks like Gatrorade, unlike Energy Drinks does not contain caffeine, but sugars and minerals necessary for the re hydration and replenishment of energy reserves.


    Energy Drinks are not recommended for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and children.Health Associations have suggested a maximum consummation of 500 ml per day, or the equivalent of two drinks.