Blog Posts by Claudine Zap

  • Bumblebees–not pesticides–save berries from mold

    Bumblebee on flower (ThinkStock)

    The United Kingdom has a solution to its moldy strawberry problem: bzzzzzzzzzzz.

    Bumblebees have been deployed in strawberry fields to stop the gray gunk from growing.

    The trick: According to the Guardian, the bees pass through trays in their hive, which is filled with harmless fungus spores.

    The bees then visit the flowers and deliver the fungus spores that will stop the mold from taking hold.

    The fungus spores on the backs and legs of bees are harmless to plants and people but are strong enough to kill the mold.

    Bees seem to be more effective than the chemical alternative. Pesticides protect only at the moment the plants are sprayed. But bees know better, visiting the flower at the “perfect moment,” Harriet Roberts of Adas, an agricultural consultant running the test, told the Guardian.

    This is no small problem. The Guardian reports that of 50,000 tons of strawberries sold in the U.K., half are ruined by mold.

    If bees can solve the problem of moldy strawberries, it would make way for other

    Read More »from Bumblebees–not pesticides–save berries from mold
  • Woman finally goes to prom after being held captive for a decade

    Tanya Kach is owed some good times—including her missed prom.

    According to local station WTAE, the 31-year-old Pittsburgh woman, kidnapped in 1996 at the age of 14 and found in 2006, finally got that chance, attending the local Second Chance Prom thrown by radio station Star 100.7 for people 21 and over on Saturday night.

    When Kach’s fiancé, Karl McCrum, heard about the dance, he called the station and won tickets for the two of them to attend.

    Kach sounded as excited as a high-school senior when describing her preparations for the party. “I got the shoes, jewelry with it, and then I just got the last finishing touches for the hair stuff," Kach told WTAE. "And then," she said with a big grin, gesturing off-camera toward her fiancé, "he brought me my corsage today."

    "I would like her to experience everything that she missed. Just because it's a little later in life doesn't mean that you can't still enjoy it," said McCrum.

    Kach told WTAE that she was "excited to do something I never got

    Read More »from Woman finally goes to prom after being held captive for a decade
  • DNA tests reveal man wrongly ID’d as kidnapped baby from 1964

    Paul Fronczak is having an identity crisis.

    The Nevada man, who back in 1964 was determined to be the kidnapped baby of Chester and Dora Fronczak, has learned he’s not, in fact, their biological son, according to a CBS2 New York report.

    The story is this: In 1964, at the now-demolished Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, the Fronczaks welcomed their newborn, Paul Joseph Fronczak. Hours after the birth, a woman dressed as a nurse said the doctor needed to see the baby—and walked out with him.

    A manhunt ensued. After two-and-a-half years, a baby who had been abandoned on a New Jersey street corner and was in an orphanage was determined to have baby Paul’s ears. That baby, named Scott McKinley, was given to the Fronczak family, who, due to a lack of positive identity, had to adopt him.

    “The FBI decided that because my ears matched the Fronczak baby, that I was probably the Fronczak baby,” Paul said.

    Fronczak, who is now married and lives in Henderson, Nev., began to wonder why he didn’t

    Read More »from DNA tests reveal man wrongly ID’d as kidnapped baby from 1964
  • See 1939 New York City in vibrant color

    A newly released, captivating film clip brings to colorful life the streets of New York City—in the summer of 1939. You read that right: The color footage, which comes from Romano-Archives and was recently released on the Web, is 74 years old.

    The description on YouTube states: “New York City, summer 1939. Rarely seen recently surfaced amateur movie, filmed by a French tourist, Jean Vivier, in 16mm Kodachrome. Great conservation state and incredible quality!”

    That's for sure. The tourist video shows the hubbub of city life from downtown Chinatown to midtown to uptown in Harlem, and points in between. The men wear straw hats. Women wear full-skirted dresses. Pina coladas, advertised for 5 cents a drink, are being quaffed.

    The elevated subway train, which no longer exists in Manhattan—part of the line on the city's west side has become the High Line park—lumbers overhead. Children splash about in the Washington Square fountain in the East Village. Double-decker buses pass by. The 30

    Read More »from See 1939 New York City in vibrant color
  • Video shows Boston bombing suspects at the gym three days before attacks

    Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (ABC News video via AP)

    A video shows the Boston Marathon bombing suspects working out at a gym only days before the attacks.

    According to CNN, the video captures Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at Wai Kru, a mixed martial arts center, with a friend on Friday, April 12, at 2:45 p.m. The bombing took place the following Monday.

    The video shows the manager asking the two when they arrive to remove their shoes as gym rules dictate. Dzhokhar, 19, takes off his shoes. Tamerlan, 26, refuses to do so and gets in an argument.

    Later, the manager told CNN, the argument prompted him to email the owner of the gym asking to ban Tamerlan and saying, "He's arrogant, selfish and never helps anyone else."

    The two proceed to work out, jumping rope. Tamerlan worked out at the gym a couple of times per month for free as a professional courtesy due to his being a nationally ranked Golden Gloves boxer, according to the gym manager. His skills with the rope are evident.

    Dzhokhar, who rarely used the gym, appears to pause often as he

    Read More »from Video shows Boston bombing suspects at the gym three days before attacks
  • Cleveland hero Charles Ramsey to become a paid speaker

    Charles Ramsey (The Plain Dealer, Scott Shaw, File/AP)

    The Cleveland man who become an overnight celebrity after he freed three young women believed to have been held captive for a decade will now get a chance to cash in on his fame.

    Ramsey has signed with Bruce Merrin's Celebrity Speakers and Entertainment Bureau, it was announced on Thursday. According to NBC News, Ramsey will be available for "speeches, question-and-answers and personal appearances."

    Ramsey, whose quick action on May 6 rescued Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight, became a Web hit.

    His news interviews resulted in a Web meme, and the neighborhood McDonald's, where Ramsey happened to be eating at the time he sprang into action, has offered him free food for a year.

    “Charles' story touched my heart. When he heard Amanda Berry screaming and crying out for help, he immediately jumped into action. He forcibly kicked the front door open and assisted Amanda and her baby to freedom. They both called 911. Charles Ramsey is a true hero to me. I admire and respect him,”

    Read More »from Cleveland hero Charles Ramsey to become a paid speaker
  • This week in history

    This week in history: Joan of Arc was martyred, a ballet causes a riot, and two people made it to the top of Everest for the first time. Plus, London's Big Ben clock goes into operation. Read all about it.

    Joan of Arc (AP)

    Joan of Arc martyred
    Considered a heroine of France, the 18-year-old claimed to hear the voice of God that told her to lead the French army to several victories in the 100 Years War. She was eventually captured by the British who burned her at the stake as a heretic on May 30, 1431. Five hundred years later the pious war hero was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.

    Edmund Hillary, Col. John Hunt and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953 (AP)

    First people to summit Mount Everest
    Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first people to summit Mount Everest, the world's highest peak, 60 years ago. The amazing feat has been followed by about 3,500 other climbers. The legacy seems to be a dirty one—the mountain is littered with garbage.

    Big Ben clock in London (Getty Images)
    Big Ben goes into operation
    On May 31, 1859, the clock tower at the Palace of Westminster, commonly known as Big

    Read More »from This week in history
  • Sonar image may show Amelia Earhart’s plane

    Sonar image (Photo courtesy of International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery)

    A sonar image may point to the wreckage site of Amelia Earhart's plane, the Electra, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery announced. The nonprofit organization has been on the hunt for the Earhart plane for the last 25 years.

    "What we have is something that looks like what we think the expected wreckage should look like right in the place where we expect it to be," Ric Gillespie, TIGHAR's executive director told Yahoo News. "That’s what's so enticing about this, it looks different from anything else out there."

    The image was taken from a remotely operated vehicle 600 feet below the water off an uninhabited island in the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati. It shows, says the TIGHAR website, an "anomaly."

    "The most prominent part of the anomaly appears to be less than 32 feet long," states TIGHAR, which also notes the plane was 38 feet and 7 inches long.

    Earhart, the first female pilot to fly across the Atlantic solo, disappeared while attempting a circumnavigational

    Read More »from Sonar image may show Amelia Earhart’s plane
  • Woman raises funds to visit Alaska ghost town with family ties

    The ghost village in Alaska. (NOAA Corps, Capt. Budd Christman, File/AP)

    Forty miles off the coast of Alaska lies an uninhabited island, abandoned for the past 50 years.

    For Joan Naviyuk Kane, who launched a crowdsourced Web-funding campaign to visit the island, it's rich with family history and ancestral roots.

    Joan Naviyuk Kane looks at photos of Alaska's King Island. (Rachel D'Oro/AP)

    Now, an anonymous donation has assured the 35-year-old’s travel to King Island this summer, which is a rough ride over the Bering Sea, about six hours by boat or two hours by helicopter.

    Kane wants to visit the place she has only heard about from her mother and grandparents: An isolated spot where the King Island tribe subsisted for thousands of years, until being relocated a half-century ago.

    Her fundraising success “is very surreal but in a very positive way,” Kane told Yahoo News by phone from Anchorage. “All my knowledge of King Island are stories that are told to me, my relatives talking to me about it."

    The island, which once had a population of about 200, was depleted when men were shipped off to fight in World War II, and then further diminished

    Read More »from Woman raises funds to visit Alaska ghost town with family ties
  • Good Samaritan rescues 3 after car crashes into swimming pool

    A grandmother and her two granddaughters have a good Samaritan to thank for their safe rescue after they drove into a swimming pool.

    The scary incident happened on Tuesday afternoon in Yorba Linda, Calif. Neighbor Anita Campbell heard what sounded like an explosion and children crying, and she took action.

    She found a car with the 66-year-old grandmother and her two grandchildren, ages 6 and 9, submerged in her neighbor’s pool. The driver had apparently lost control while driving down a hill, crashed through a brick wall and landed in the water.

    “I couldn’t get the doors open in the car. Luckily, the two windows on the passenger side were open. I had the girls unbuckle and come out to me,” Campbell told local station KCAL9. Then she got the grandmother to also get out through a window.

    “It was just timing. I just felt I needed to get them out of the car as fast as I could,” Campbell added.

    The three victims were taken to the hospital and reported to be in stable condition.

    Read More »from Good Samaritan rescues 3 after car crashes into swimming pool


(338 Stories)