Posts tagged with "Oklahoma"

Meet Isa, the new Gerber Baby Contest winner

May 9, 2022

It’s official! There’s a new Gerber baby in town. On Wednesday, May4, the baby food brand announced the winner of its 12th annual Gerber Baby Photo Search Contest: 7-month-old Isa Slish from Edmond, Oklahoma, reports HuffPost.

A panel of judges selected Isa from a pool of more than 225,000 entrants to serve as the 2022 Gerber “spokesbaby” and honorary “chief growing officer.” She will hold the title of “chief taste tester” and “review” the brand’s new baby food products, the company says.

Isa also will appear on Gerber’s social media channels and marketing campaigns for the year. Her family will receive a $25,000 cash prize, free Gerber products for up to a year, $1,000 in Gerber baby clothes and a $1,000 gift card from the ezpz brand of developmental feeding tools.

Isa’s win is not just an exciting moment for her family but also marks a victory for disability inclusion. The 7-month-old was born with congenital femoral deficiency and fibular hemimelia, which in her case means she was born without a femur or fibula in her right leg.

“Ever since we knew Isa was going to be born with a limb difference, we’ve wanted to raise awareness and advocate as much as possible,” Isa’s mother Meredith Slish told HuffPost. “After I saw the call for entries, we thought this could be a great opportunity to show off our beautiful baby girl and raise awareness around limb difference.”

Meredith and her husband, John, feel it’s fitting that they were able to enter Isa into the Gerber contest during the month of April, which is Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month. As for her win, they are excited the judges recognized how “amazing” and “special” their joy-filled daughter is.

“We’re incredibly grateful to Gerber for choosing a baby who represents diversity,” Meredith said. “And we hope going forward she will not only be the wonderful, fun-loving, giggly, smiling, beautiful girl she is, but also help us raise awareness—communicating to families that there is hope, and if babies are supported and loved by the family, friends and community around them, that they can really grow and be whatever they want to be.”

Research contact: @HuffPost

Creepy crawlies: If you live here, prepare to see thousands of tarantulas

August 6, 2021

Catching an unexpected glimpse of a daddy longlegs spider in your home can make even folks who’d barely call themselves arachnophobes jump. A wolf spider sighting outdoors can frighten even the most intrepid explorers. And encountering a hairy tarantula can cause virtually anyone to freeze up.

Unfortunately for folks of one particular area of the United States, there’s about to be an influx of not just a few or a few hundred, but thousands of tarantulas in the very near future, Best Life reports.

Starting in August, Colorado—particularly the southeastern part of the state—will see a sudden uptick in its tarantula population.

The sudden influx of thousands of tarantulas, which typically begins between late August and September, according to the Colorado State University College of Agricultural Sciences (via The Gazette), is part of the arachnids’ annual migration.

For the Aphonopelma vogelae tarantula, more frequently found in the southwestern portions of the state, migration peaks in October.

But take heart: While seeing thousands of tarantulas descend on your area may be disconcerting, their presence is typically short-lived.

According to the Colorado State University College of Agricultural Sciences, following their migration, the tarantulas are active for a short period of time, but “all normally perish within a couple of months.”

And you won’t be the only one watching where you walk and sit. The Colorado-based tarantula migration isn’t the only major shift in habitats these furry arachnids may be making this year, however.

According to Christopher Vitek, PhD, an associate professor of biology at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley during their mating season between March and October, tarantulas frequently emerge from their usual habitats in states including Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.

While tarantulas are unlikely to do harm to most humans, it’s wise to give them a wide berth if you encounter one in the wild.

“Their venom is of no medical significance, and contrary to popular belief, nobody has ever died from such a bite; most people compare the bite to that of a bee sting and experience no lasting ill-effects other than mild to moderate pain and slight swelling at the site of the bite,” Brent Hendrixson, PhD, chair of biology at Millsaps College, recently told Best Life.

Hendrixson says that if you do find a tarantula somewhere it shouldn’t be—inside your home, for example—and don’t feel comfortable picking it up, gently coax it into a jar with a soft-ended object like a paintbrush and remove it from the premises.

Research contact: @bestlife