Watch Mister Rogers on The Tonight Show and Late Night with David Letterman

PBS Television // Courtesy of Getty Images
PBS Television // Courtesy of Getty Images

Mister Rogers had a special energy that was distinctly different than what we typically see on late night TV. So it's a little surprising that in the early 1980s he appeared on both The Tonight Show (during its Joan Rivers days) and Late Night with David Letterman. Seeing Mister Rogers enter these raucous spaces is delightful, as his serene, thoughtful presence slows things way down.

In Rogers's Tonight Show appearance, the audience is clearly confused. They giggle as Rogers answers Rivers's questions plainly and honestly, devoid of the guile typically on display during these interviews. Rivers seems to sense this disconnect too and comments, "It's so funny, he's talking to me and I feel like I'm 8 years old!"

Eventually Rogers wins over the crowd, asking how many people in the audience "grew up with the Neighborhood." Then we realize that Rivers is wearing one of Rogers's cardigan sweaters. The whole thing becomes wondrous as he gets the audience to sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" with him. Have a look:

Rogers's Letterman appearance is interesting too. It starts with an extended clip of Rogers trying to put up a tent ("Sometimes things don't go right in the Neighborhood"). Rogers gives Letterman a tee-shirt, then offers a sweater and shoes (Dave doesn't take them). They talk about childhood, and Rogers shows a Polaroid of himself with Eddie Murphy who at the time was doing Mister Rogers spoofs on Saturday Night Live. Take a look:

We miss you, Mister Rogers.

The Palos Verdes Blue: The Beautiful Butterfly That Wasn't Extinct After All

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wikimedia // Public Domain
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wikimedia // Public Domain

Terrible extinction news frequently makes the headlines, but sometimes, conservationists declare defeat too early. The Palos Verdes blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus palosverdesensis) is one such example: Presumed extinct in 1983 after it seemed to vanish from its habitat in California's Palos Verdes Peninsula, it was discovered flitting among the grass in San Pedro again 11 years later.

Aside from coming back from the edge, the butterfly is notable for fuzzy wings that look brownish when closed, but a stunning silvery blue once they open up. Today it's still listed as threatened, but there's a captive breeding program to help make sure the beautiful species never goes missing again. Learn more—and see the butterfly up-close—in the video from Great Big Story below.

Why Cutesy Names Are the Most Effective Way of Getting Your Cat's Attention

iStock
iStock

When you were naming your cat, you probably didn’t consider your feline friend’s hearing range. But according to Vancouver, Canada-based veterinarian Uri Burstyn, you probably should have—at least if you want your cat to pay attention when you talk to it.

According to Dr. Uri, the name he goes by in his adorable YouTube videos, Felix isn’t a great cat name. Nor is Garfield. But Fluffy? A great choice.

Cat ears are finely attuned to high-pitched noises. Since most of their prey communicate at high frequencies—think mouse squeaks and bird chirps—cats are not as good at hearing low-frequency sounds. Ideally, you want your cat’s name to end in a high frequency, since that’s the kind of sound cats hear best and naturally pay attention to.

For human speech, that basically means that it should end in an “eeeee” sound rather than a consonant. Grumpy Cat? A bad name. Just “Grumpy?” Perfect. That's why "kitty kitty" works pretty well to get a cat to pay attention or come toward you. It's a squeaky sound.

Luckily, many nicknames in English tend to end in an ie or a y, so you probably already have a cat-friendly name for your pet waiting in the wings. Now you know why your cat is more likely to respond to your high-pitched, baby-voiced nicknames than its full name.

Enjoy Dr. Uri's explanation, and his helpful demonstration with his noble friend Lancelot, in the video below.

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