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Today's Features

  • Ever watch a YouTube that makes you laugh out loud? Then after you laugh you think, “Wow, that was really stupid. And really dangerous.” The more you think about the footage, the guiltier you feel for watching the stupid thing in the first place and the more lethal outcomes you dream up. I just had that reaction after watching the latest video from Polish prankster S.A. Wardega called “Mutant Giant Spider Dog.” Funny, stupid and more than a little risky.

  • By John Nelson

    Plant Columnist

    One nice thing about being a botanist is that there is always something to talk about at the dinner table, even if you are a total carnivore ... after all, where does meat come from? This week’s edible mystery plant fits the bill quite nicely, and offers another slant on the wonderful sunflower family.

  • Bid on a bargain for as little as 25 cents to help raise money for scholarships.

    The General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) South Brunswick Islands Woman’s Club is having its fifth annual quarter auction at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, to do just that.

    The event at West Brunswick High School will consist of more than 200 up-for-grab items donated by local businesses and artisans, with prices starting for as little as 25 cents.

  • Animals and animal groups will highlight an adopt-a-thon at a local pet store this Saturday and Sunday in Shallotte.

    The Petsense “Forever Home” National Pet Adopt-a-thon is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, both in and outside the local Petsense store in Shallotte Crossing Shopping Center.

    The event will take place rain or shine, store manager Gail Monat said.

  • Elephants have long been known for their prehensile proboscis. Researchers recently discovered that tucked in that trunk is perhaps the planet’s most sensitive sniffer. Newly published genomic data concludes that elephants possess five times more smelling genes than humans and more than twice as many as dogs. This leads to the logical conclusion that you may spot an elephant snorting through your luggage the next time you check in at the airport.

  • By John Nelson

    Plant Columnist

     

    It’s a long time until Halloween, but here’s a spooky little plant.

    This is actually one of the most common wildflowers in eastern North America. It grows in all the eastern states, including Florida (maybe not the Keys), all the way out to the upper part of California and the Pacific Norwest, mostly skipping the southwestern states. (You could also find it in parts of South America and Asia.) It is fond of very shady forests.

  • CALABASH — Festive fall festival season launches next weekend with the Calabash Lions Club’s first Oktoberfest.

    Slated from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, on a vacant lot at Thomasboro Road and Carter Drive, the community event will include authentic Bavarian as well as American food, beer, Oktoberfest music by the Harbour Towne Fest Band of Wilmington, a dance floor, contests for best bierstein and best Bavarian costume, arm wrestling, children’s entertainment and a horse-drawn carriage.

  • Brunswick Little Theatre will hold auditions for “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” on Sept. 20 at its new facility at 8068 River Road in Southport.

    The play, written by Barbara Knowles, tells the story of the challenges faced by a couple when they are forced to cast the Herdmans, the most awful kids in the community, in the annual church Christmas play. Hilarity and mayhem rule as the Herdmans and the Christmas story collide. This play has been described as an American classic and is a holiday staple in theaters across the country.

  • OCEAN ISLE BEACH — Creativity abounds at the annual North Carolina Oyster Festival.

    This year’s festival, scheduled for Oct. 18 and 19 in Ocean Isle Beach, will be no different.

    On Aug. 26, local artist Keith White and jewelry artisan Michael Abushakra once again unveiled their latest creations officially commemorating the 34th annual oyster festival.

  • I almost missed the Beacon announcement, “Church sponsors ‘A Day of Hope’ benefit,” in the Aug. 21 Religion Briefs section. Hubby Dear noticed it, called it to my attention, and sharply announced: “Put this on our calendar. We’re going ... and bring the checkbook!” Then, it caught my eye and my heart.