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The story of one frog's epic journey to the frog hospital.

It's not easy being green, but sometimes you have help.

The story of one frog's epic journey to the frog hospital.

In a small town in Queensland, Australia, a woman was mowing her lawn when something went horribly wrong: She ran over a frog.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images.


Apparently, the frog had been sitting in her yard in the bright sun, which isn't a normal behavior for a healthy frog.

The woman was worried about the little guy, so she immediately sprang into action, calling her niece to ask what to do. And that's when she got transferred to a frog rescue organization called Frog Safe Inc.

Enter Deborah Pergolotti, the president of the Cairns Frog Hospital, who makes it her priority to rescue frogs near and far.

Unfortunately, this particular little guy was found very far from their facility. He was in Mount Isa, which is 776 miles from Cairns, the city where the frog hospital is located. But if anyone could find a way around the distance, it was Deborah.

"We have run a frog rescue and rehab facility for the past 17 years, and we are pretty much all there is in the northern half of Queensland who specializes in this type of wildlife rescue," Deborah told Upworthy.

That means that Deborah and her team ended up doing the majority of the frog rescue work for the northern half of Australia. And if you've been there, you know that area has a ton of frogs!

Lots of swamp land equals tons of frogs. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images.

But how would they get the frog to Cairns? Deborah put on her thinking cap and came up with a plan: They would airlift the injured frog to the frog hospital.

Rex Airways immediately volunteered their services free of charge, but since transporting wildlife of any size in Australia is complicated, two other businesses needed to step in to help get the little frog on his way.

After a great deal of back and forth (literally), the frog found himself at the Cairns Frog Hospital and in Deborah's skillful hands soon after his accident. It turns out that he was suffering from not one but two parasitic infections, along with the external injury from the lawn mower. And that's why he was baking out in the sun in the first place.

And after about five weeks, the frog is recovering nicely. His wound is healing, and the infections have cleared up completely.


Healing frog. Photo Courtesy of Deborah Pergolotti.

At this point, you might be wondering: Why all this fuss over one small creature?

The best way to answer that might be with a famous parable about a starfish.

There are many iterations of it, but the basic message is this:

A man goes to a beach and sees that it's covered in dying starfish. Then he notices another man throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one at a time. When the first man asks the second man why he's doing this, the second explains that if he doesn't, the starfish will die.

The first man responds: "But there are miles of beach and thousands of starfish. You can't possibly make a difference."

And the second man picks up another starfish, throws it back into the ocean and replies, "It made a difference to that one."

Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images.

Saving small creatures like this two-inch green frog could also, in turn, save us.

According to Deborah, Australia already has seven frog species on the brink of extinction, which no doubt will leave a sizable hole in the Australian ecosystem.

"Certainly frogs, as a 'lower' animal are depended upon as food by other species so their absence creates a demand for something else to feed on which could start a chain reaction of ecological malfunctions," Deborah told Upworthy.

The green frog is not yet considered endangered in Australia, but when hurt or sick frogs are left to die, the more likely that becomes.

Deborah has committed 17 years to rescuing and rehabilitating frogs for this reason.

Despite being a fraction of their size, frogs are just as important to save as tigers, polar bears, and wales. Each species serves a purpose, no matter how small.

Deborah put it succinctly using a metaphor from Paul Ehrlich's book "Extinction" about losing species, where he compared it to rivets holding a plane together:

A few rivets might be missing and the plane still flies, but once a certain number has fallen out, the plane crashes.

Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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