Wednesday, Aug.16

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Wildlife World Zoo: Lesser Madagascar Tenrec 

They're hedgehog look-a-likes, but make no mistakes, this lesser Madagascar Tenrec is different in many ways. 

Tenrec Facts:

  • Tenrecs are found in the arid regions of southern Madagascar, where they live in dry forests, coastal regions, scrub and semi-desert areas. 
  • To seek shelter, tenrecs make dens in tree cavities.
  • Lesser Madagascar tenrecs grow to between 5.5 and 7 inches in length.
  • depends on its good sense of smell and hearing because of poor eyesight.
  • When threatened, they roll into balls to protect their soft underbellies. They will also lunge backward to drive their spines into their enemies.
  • In the wild, lesser Madagascar tenrecs are opportunistic feeders; they will forage on the ground and in trees for invertebrates. They will also eat some other small animals, such as baby mice.
  • Lesser Madagascar tenrecs go through torpor for three to five months during the cold season and begin mating when they emerge, usually in October. Torpor is a state of hibernation-like inactivity in the body, in which the animal's temperature, respiration, and heartbeat decrease to conserve energy.
  • Gestation lasts 61 to 68 days. Babies are usually born in the wet season, which is when the maximum amount of prey is available. Litters consist of one to ten young, though five to seven young are most common. The babies are relatively undeveloped when they are born, but become independent after only one month.
  • They are nocturnal 
  • They can live for up to 8 to 10 years in the wild, and about 13 years in human care.
  • Semi arboreal, using sharp claws to climb.
  • Although tenrecs have lived on Madagascar for some 60 million years, it is possible that some will not survive more than a few decades more.  Habitat loss is the greatest threat to this and other tenrec species.
  • Although they are similar in appearance to hedgehogs, they have adapted spines separately and are not closely related.
  • The closest relatives to the tenrec family are otter shrews and golden moles.
  • Are more distantly related to elephant shrews, aardvarks, elephants, hyraxes, dugongs, and manatees.
  • One difference between tenrecs and hedgehogs is that hedgehogs hiss at potential predators when rolled into a ball, while tenrecs will come out of the ball to bite and attack persistent threats.
  • Predators Include birds of prey, viverrid carnivores (such as genets and civets), and snakes.
  • Mostly solitary, but sometimes adults have been found together during torpor.
  • They are considered widespread and somewhat adaptable, they are threatened by deforestation (deforestation has affected about 80% of Madagascar's forests).
  • Madagascar is home to a wide diversity of plants and animals about 95% of Madagascar's reptiles, 89% of its plants, and 92% of its mammals are endemic to the island of Madagascar (are found nowhere else in the world but Madagascar).

The Wildlife World Zoo is located at 16501 W. Northern Ave. in Litchfield Park.
For more information on all the zoo's exciting attractions and events, call 623-935-WILD or check out their website:  

Do-it-Herself: Decorative Wooden Ladder

Learn to build a decorative wood ladder. Join a Home Depot expert who will demonstrate and show you how to use carpenter's tools to measure and cut the wood to create a lovely leaning ladder to liven up any decor. You'll also learn the safe use of common project tools like saws, drills and nailers. This Do-It-Herself Workshop happens every 3rd Thursday of the month at every Home Depot location. Register to save a spot by going online or contacting your local Home Depot. 

Debbie Hernandez with Home Depot

Sassy Salads: Spruce up your standard salad 

So, you're trying to eat healthy, and you're getting sick of your standard salad; This morning, we're sprucing up boring 'ole salads and making them sassy with Market Street Kitchen, located at DC Ranch, as they unveil a brand-new menu. 

The Dungeness Crab salad ($19), as well as the Flat Iron Steak salad ($19) are available on the lunch menu. In addition, the Prosciutto & Melon salad ($14) is offered for both lunch and dinner.

The Grilled Cheese & Ham sandwich ($13) includes cheddar and pepper jack cheese, caramelized onions and tomato soup. The Tempura Shrimp Po-Boy sandwich ($14) is served for lunch as well, along with the Dagwood Club ($15), piled high with all the fixings.

The restaurant has also added assorted items to its dinner menu, including several "shareables." The Steak Tartar ($16) and Steamed Littleneck Clams ($17) are among these items, as well as the Popcorn Shrimp ($13), which is tossed in Sweet Heat Aioli.
A number of seafood dishes are also available, including the Summer Seafood Boil ($28), the Scottish Salmon ($28) and the Hokkaido Diver Scallops ($33). At 16 ounces, the Rotisserie Prime Rib ($34) is sure to please. 

For more information: and Facebook:

Market Street Kitchen
Market St. at DC Ranch
20825 N. Pima Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85255

Solar Eclipse provides perfect excuse to party

The solar eclipse is the celestial event of the century, making it a perfect reason to party. There are lots of fun ideas on-line at sites like Pinterest, from galaxy popcorn to out-of-this world treats. The folks at Sassy's say it is easy to build up a solar theme with decor and goodies featuring the sun, moon, and stars, that'll capture the imagination of your youngest to oldest sky gazer. Tune into 3TV's special eclipse coverage Monday, Aug 21st from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. to keep guests up-to-date as the eclipse moves across the country. 

Host Eclipse Party
Solar eclipses are exciting events that capture the imagination of us all. We invite you to join NASA in experiencing this wondrous, unique event in our solar system by holding your own eclipse party! These parties are a fun way to share the excitement with schools, community groups and the general public. Since this eclipse will happen in August, you have the opportunity to involve community groups and/or after school astronomy clubs!

If you are not in the path of totality, you can still have a great time!
Your eclipse party can be centered around actual visual observations on the day of the eclipse (if any part of the umbral or penumbral shadow passes over your area), or it can rely on remote transmission of an eclipse image to your site from someone along the path of totality.  Keep checking this site for information related to live events, including telescopic observations and talks from NASA scientists and engineers.

Not sure how to hold an Eclipse Party?
In this kit, you will find suggested guidelines, activities and decorations to make your event fun for all ages. Remember to be creative with your party and invite your friends or people from your community. Everything you need to host a great party and join in the fun is right here at your fingertips. Visit:

For more information, visit:

Sassy's Cafe & Bakery
4210 E Main Street Mesa, AZ 85205
(480) 649-3067

Local Love: The Listening Room Phoenix

After years of touring, performing at a wide variety of venue types across the U.S., Jim and Adam dreamed of finding a pure listening room venue where performers and musicians could be respected and provided an appropriate performance environment. After taking a look at the performance opportunities in their own back yard, Jim and Adam decided to create The Listening Room Phoenix.

Jim and Adam truly believe that if the performer has everything needed to present their best possible performance, the audience will surely have the best possible experience.

Musicians and singers face a number of challenges pursuing their art. They must often perform under conditions that are less than ideal, including noisy bars and restaurants, awkward coffee shops or wide-open public spaces where they are easily ignored.

As an alternative, The Listening Room Phoenix offers the perfect space for acoustic performance artists, and the people who appreciate them. Acoustically balanced and technically sound, it provides a pure experience for both the player and spectator, free of distraction or discomfort of any kind. And, each performance is recorded before a live studio audience, which guarantees a rapt and receptive crowd and a satisfying performance.

Centrally located in midtown Phoenix AZ, The Listening Room Phoenix is open to audiences who appreciate great acoustic music. Although the performances are free, participating audiences are encouraged to make at least a $20 donation to the artist. This will go a very long way in keeping each artist on their path to success and keeping The Listening Room a healthy destination for great music in Phoenix.
After years of local performing in the Nashville and Phoenix markets and more years of touring performances across the US, marketing professional and music manager Jim Colletti and singer-songwriter Adam Smith set out to create the ideal performance experience for the performer.
For more information, visit: and Facebook:

The Listening Room Phoenix
4614 N 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014