Frogs don't like heat no matter how it's applied

I almost put an editor's note on Richard Frost's letter to the editor appearing in Wednesday's edition, but space and editorial decorum stayed my hand.

The note wasn't due to his dissection of the average cost to a family posed by the utility tax that increases by 1.75 percent instead of 1.5 percent or the claim the new senior center will be 11 times larger than the old one.

It was his claim that a frog won't jump out of a pot if the heat is turned up slowly.

I've always wondered about this particular bit of lore, which I first encountered in 1994 when the gas tax was shot down. A cartoon drawn for gas station owner Dave Mills had the same theme.

A quick check at revealed the item to be an urban myth.

According to Dr. Victor Hutchison, a research professor emeritus from the University of Oklahoma's Department of Zoology, a frog will try to jump out of a pot whether the temperature is increased gradually or quickly.

Which, by the way, is precisely how Douglas County's more vocal taxpayers react.

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Another urban myth I get forwarded to me about once a week is about Starbucks refusing to send free coffee to soldiers serving in Iraq because it doesn't support the war or anyone in it.

The e-mail, which is number 20 on the Snopes hottest 25 urban myths, was sent out by Marine Sgt. Howard C. Wright, who retracted it.

Starbucks company policy, according to its Web site is to donate to causes in the communities where its stores are located. However, many of their employees show their support by electing to send the pound of free coffee they get each week to members of the military.

While I rely on, there are several other urban myth Web sites that I would recommend to anyone who receives an e-mail containing a story that sounds too cool to be true.

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Stateline resident and daughter of State Treasurer Kate Krolicki was uninjured when she fell off a Pony Express horse during Tuesday's Nevada State Quarter celebration.

There was no word on whether the 7-year-old got back on the horse, but I'm glad to hear she's OK and hope that she won't reconsider her backing of the horse for the state quarter.

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A note from Bently Pressurized Bearing Co. Chief Executive Officer Don Bently wishing everyone a happy new year came across my desk.

In it, Mr. Bently reminds employees against the consumption of all kinds of uncooked eggs in any form, including eggs from ducks, chickens, ostriches and geese.

"This includes uncooked cookie, cake and pie batter sometimes eaten by children and eggs in beer," the note says. "To prevent illness from bacteria and virus: Keep eggs refrigerated, cook eggs until yolks are firm and cool foods containing eggs thoroughly."

n Kurt Hildebrand is editor of The Record-Courier. Reach him at or 782-5121, ext. 215.


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