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Seedles

Educators: Win Free Wildflower Seed Bombs for Your Class

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Seedles

There’s nothing better than a hands-on nature lesson to get students engaged. For Earth Day, wildflower seed bomb company Seedles is giving away “Classroom Superhero” kits to help spread the word about the plight of bees.

As you probably already know, earth’s bees are in danger. Pesticides, mites, and great reductions in the numbers of their favorite wildflowers have killed off millions of bees in the last few years. This is a loss not just for those of us who like honey, but for all of the crops those bees pollinate, as well as biodiversity in general.

Seedles co-founders Chris Burley and Ei Ei Khin want to help bring back flowers for the bees. They began making and selling seed bombs—self-contained balls of wildflower seeds, fertilizer, and brightly colored clay—out of their home in the Bay Area. Their bright colors, nontoxic ingredients, and fun planting technique (just throw them on the ground!) make them a huge hit with kids.

In time, the company blossomed, and today Seedles' seed bombs have helped plant more than a million wildflowers.

The company website offers a wealth of curriculum ideas for teachers who want to teach their students about the bees. “At Seedles,” Burley writes, “one of our goals is to sprout a future generation of curious and creative kiddos.”

This week, in celebration of Earth Day, the company is giving away 100 seed bomb kits to teachers across the U.S. Each kit comes with “everything a class of giggling and adorable kids would need to grow wildflowers while learning about biology and bees.” The kits include 33 seed bombs, 30 pots, and compost, as well as instructions and fun activity ideas.

You can enter to win a kit and become a Classroom Superhero by clicking here. Good luck!

Images courtesy of Seedles

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Big Questions
Why Do Cats Freak Out After Pooping?
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Cats often exhibit some very peculiar behavior, from getting into deadly combat situations with their own tail to pouncing on unsuspecting humans. Among their most curious habits: running from their litter box like a greyhound after moving their bowels. Are they running from their own fecal matter? Has waste elimination prompted a sense of euphoria?

Experts—if anyone is said to qualify as an expert in post-poop moods—aren’t exactly sure, but they’ve presented a number of entertaining theories. From a biological standpoint, some animal behaviorists suspect that a cat bolting after a deposit might stem from fears that a predator could track them based on the smell of their waste. But researchers are quick to note that they haven’t observed cats run from their BMs in the wild.

Biology also has a little bit to do with another theory, which postulates that cats used to getting their rear ends licked by their mother after defecating as kittens are showing off their independence by sprinting away, their butts having taken on self-cleaning properties in adulthood.

Not convinced? You might find another idea more plausible: Both humans and cats have a vagus nerve running from their brain stem. In both species, the nerve can be stimulated by defecation, leading to a pleasurable sensation and what some have labeled “poo-phoria,” or post-poop elation. In running, the cat may simply be working off excess energy brought on by stimulation of the nerve.

Less interesting is the notion that notoriously hygienic cats may simply want to shake off excess litter or fecal matter by running a 100-meter dash, or that a digestive problem has led to some discomfort they’re attempting to flee from. The fact is, so little research has been done in the field of pooping cat mania that there’s no universally accepted answer. Like so much of what makes cats tick, a definitive motivation will have to remain a mystery.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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Animals
Listen to the Impossibly Adorable Sounds of a Baby Sloth
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RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/GettyImages

Sometimes baby sloths seem almost too adorable to be real. But the little muppet-faced treasures don't just look cute—turns out they sound cute, too. We know what you're thinking: How could you have gone your whole life without knowing what these precious creatures sound like? Well, fear not: Just in time for International Sloth Day (today), we have some footage of how the tiny mammals express themselves—and it's a lot of squeaking. (Or maybe that's you squealing?)

The sloths featured in the heart-obliterating video below come from the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica. The institution rescues orphaned sloths, rehabilitates them, and gets them ready to be released back into the wild.

[h/t The Kid Should See This]

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