Thursday, March 27, 2014

Planting Time at Mac Dee Dee's Organic Farm

During this time of year, the cows at Mac Dee Dee's Organic Farm are calving, but that's not the only thing they do during springtime. Keep reading to find out what planting time is like!
Last fall, my trusty, junior photographer and I, Daniel P. Smithwater and I went to Mac Dee Dee's Farm during the harvest time to see what kind of operation Mac Dee Dee goes through when it's time to bring in the fruits of his and his helper's labors. But guess what: in order to harvest, you have to make something to harvest! During springtime, Mac Dee Dee's farm is already busy preparing for fall's harvest. So Daniel and I went back to Mac Dee Dee's farm to learn all about what Mac Dee Dee does to prepare for fall.

“We like to start our sowing nice and early,” says Mac Dee Dee. “Starting early has its advantages . . . I [always] know when it's time to start planting and other spring activities when the cold weather finally looses its winter grip, the snow melts and the length of the day increases. That's when I know it's time to begin.” This year, they started harvesting on March 4th. When we arrived at the farm, Mac Dee Dee was all too happy to show us his spring operations. First, he showed us the pastures where the cows are kept. As you might recall from our previous articles, the cows and other animals are kept in wide open areas on the 50,000 acre farm, unlike many farms where the animals are kept in cramped, dark and hideously smelly conditions where they never see the light of day or get the chance to feel grass beneath their feet.

The farm also has a lot of cows and other animals giving birth this time of year. Mac Dee Dee's wife, Jules Dee Dee explains, “During the springtime, we reg have our cows tested to see if their pregnant and normally we'll allow them to just give birth naturally in the field, just like their ancestors would have done in nature.” One of the cows, she went on to explain, would have had some birthing problems if she'd been allowed to give birth naturally and without a farmer's assistance, so the farmers brought her into one of the birthing barns and we got to watch the cow give birth to her newborn!

Then Mac Dee Dee led us to the fields used for planting corn and other crops. Man are they expansive! Mac Dee Dee is reported for saying, “When it's time to plant corn and the other 'field crops' as we call them (including soybeans, wheat and rice), we fly our planter-planes out low over the fields and they spray the seeds out over the field.” Now, what most farmers will do after seeds are sprinkled over the field is use planes to spray pesticides and other chemicals (actual chemicals) over the seeds! Pesticides are used to keep pests away from the crops and other chemicals farmers often spray is used to make the crops grow bigger and faster than they would naturally. Not only are these pesticides bad for the soil (as it seeps into the soil, eventually reaches water sources like rivers and lakes and flows into the ocean), but it's also bad for our bodies when we consume the chemicals with the food we eat. Mac Dee Dee's Farm doesn't use pesticides and other chemicals because they're a 100% organic farm, thank goodness! This made me curious as to how they keep pests away. When we asked Mac Dee Dee, his response was, “Well, there are numerous other ways to keep pests at bay than using nasty pesticides. God already has plenty of pest-eating creatures in nature that help us farmers that we encourage to come around. Ladybugs are a perfect example . . . aphids are tiny insects [that] like to like to suck the fluids out of plants, causing them to sicken. Ladybugs eat aphids! And that's just one example of a pest-eating creature. There are plenty more.”

Mac Dee Dee's crops will continue to grow taller as spring turns into summer until it's time for harvest once again. Before leaving the farm, Mac Dee Dee showed us the part of the chicken coop where the hens lay their eggs. Of course, Mac Dee Dee's chicken coop isn't the size of your average chicken coop – it's way larger to accommodate the hundreds of meat, breeding and laying birds. “They lay their eggs all year-round,” says one of Mac Dee Dee's sons named James. “Like the other animals, we like to let the chickens and turkeys roam around the whole farm except during the really cold parts of winter. We don't have to come out everyday into the coop to check whether or not the hens have laid eggs because we built special sensors into each of the custom-made nesting boxes and they let us know when the chickens have laid.” The chickens seem pretty happy sitting on their nests in the chicken coop. If they knew Easter was around the corner, they might not be so happy!

Mac Dee Dee's Farm is one of the largest 100% organic farms in the entire United States and it takes a lot of work to run it, especially when it's planting time. “Tiring as it is at the end of the day,” Mac Dee Dee says, “the thought that people are happier and healthier because of the way we raise our crops and animals makes me feel great inside, and I thank God for that.”

Written by: Mr. Smiley
Photographer: Daniel P. Smithwater
Edited by: Christian Ryan, Joy Hammond

We here at Smiley’s News, I have been working night and day to get articles ready. I could really use some help! So we are looking for people interested in writing (especially kids and teens). If you are interested, PLEASE(!) send an email to and save me from working night and day! I’m exhausted!

Weekly Cartoons

Next Issue:AAI.'s Hodge Podge Garage Sale

Thursday, March 20, 2014

What a Big Crest You Have, Mr. Hadrosaur!

It is now known that at least one species of Edmontosaurus had a fleshy crest on its head.
Edmontosaurus has long been described as a large, crestless duck-billed dinosaur, or hadrosaur. This family of dinosaurs is known for the beautiful and probably vibrantly colored variates of crest shapes they have; each species has its own its own crest. Some hadrosaurs such as Parasaurolophus has a long tube-shaped crest extending out of the back of its head and Lambeosaurus has a fan-shaped crest. But hadrosaurs like Edmontosaurus were crestless . . . or so paleontologists thought! This was until one well-preserved specimen was discovered in December of last year by paleontologist Dr. Samuel Adamson.

As many of you know, paleontologist Dr. Samuel Adamson and his team dig dinosaur fossils out of the ground each year and they are shipped back to Animal Adventures Institute (AAI) where they are cleaned so that they can either be thoroughly studied, or to be used in the miracle of cloning these extinct creatures back from extinction. The geneticist Dr. Steve Stevenson is in charge of the lab operations. For many years, Dr. Samuel and the rest of his team have been finding fossil bones of the extinct hadrosaur dinosaur Edmontosaurus in the hopes of bringing clones back to life, but so far, every single one of these specimens have been not yielded even a fraction of DNA. But what Dr. Samuel did find would totally rock the world of paleontology! “It was really quite depressing,” Dr. Samuel says, “most of the dinosaurs we've ever uncovered are Edmontosaurus and yet not one of them has DNA useful for cloning them! I had no idea why on earth this could be . . . I mean, we haven't found all that many T. rex specimens and yet we've found a large bit of DNA in them! Go figure! But that's when I made a remarkable discovery.” Dr. Samuel and his team uncovered the almost complete and fully articulated skeleton remains of an Edmontosaurus at their dig site in Alberta, Canada. Though they were excited about evidence suggesting that skin impressions of the dinosaur had also been preserved with the skeleton, they weren't prepared for what they'd discover next. I thought this would be the perfect story for this week, so my trusty, junior photographer, Daniel P. Smithwater and I, went to the lab for an exclusive interview.

When dinosaur bones are brought out of the field, they are sometimes left encased in the rock they were found in to avoid damaging them and are covered in plaster. This plaster is removed bit by bit once the specimen reaches the laboratory. When one of Dr. Steve's lab assistants was cleaning off the skull of Dr. Samuel's Edmontosaurus specimen, he noticed that dinosaur skin and flesh had been preserved and fossilized on top of the dinosaur's head. “I wasn't quite sure why this fleshy stuff was on top of the dinosaur's head,” says the lab assistant. “At first, I thought that maybe it only looked like it was attached to the dinosaur's head, but no, this flesh was actually there when the dinosaur was alive!” He called to Dr. Samuel to come take a look and sure enough, the dinosaur had fleshy growths on its head.

The fleshy growth was a crest, sort of like the ones Edmontosaurus' relatives had, but instead of being made of bone, it was made of flesh! “This was remarkable!” Dr. Samuel exclaimed with glee. “I mean, this is the kind of thing you expect in paleontology! Normally we only find the mere fossil bones of these creatures, but sometimes we also find fossilized skin. However, I never expected to find anything quite like this. Edmontosaurus has been known to scientists since 1917, and we've only just start scratching the surface at what these animals looked like in life.” Another scientist said that the discovery was like the “equivalent to discovering for the first time that elephants had trunks”; elephants have no bones in their trunks, just over 100,000 muscles (no wonder they're so strong!). So naturally, if only elephant skeletons had been discovered and we had no living ones to go by, we'd probably think elephants lacked trunks. It's almost the same thing with Edmontosaurus!

Another thing Dr. Samuel's team knows is that the dinosaur must have been covered very quickly in order for its crest to fossilize. Many secular paleontologists believe that after most dinosaurs that we find as fossils today died, they were slowly covered with sediment and after millions of years of being underground, they were fossilized. But this (and countless other) specimens don't fit this idea. Why? Dr. Samuel explains, “Animals can't just lie around in order to be fossilized! They'll decay, get picked over by scavengers or bacteria will ruin them. No, in order for something to fossilize, it has to be buried very quickly. I believe that most – if not all – dinosaur fossils were actually catastrophically buried by the rough turbulence during the Genesis Flood, which happened about 4,350 years ago.”

Now that we know at least one of the two known species of Edmontosaurus had a crest, what was it used for? Dr. Samuel is quoted for saying, “Other hadrosaurs had bony crests that were filled with channels which were connected to the animal's nasal passages. Now, until recently, dozens of theories had been presented over the years about the use of their crests. Some examples include: helping to improve its sense of smell, combat, or perhaps that they used their crests as snorkels. We know believe that their crests were used to make tuba or horn-like sounds to communicate.” Edmontosaurus' crest, however, is fleshy and not filled with hollow channels, so it couldn't have used it to make sounds. “Perhaps,” Dr. Samuel suggests, “Edmontosaurus was using its crest for display purposes; a modern lizard known as the Basilisk, has a very similar shaped crest (just look at the crest of our Smiley's News reporter Lizzy the Lizard in our “About our Writers” section for comparison!) and they use their crests to attract a mate. Maybe Edmontosaurus did the same thing.” This hadrosaur probably lived in herds and the crest would have also been useful in signally other herd-mates.

True, the awesome Edmontosaurus specimen Dr. Samuel's team discovered didn't bear DNA for cloning, but it did give them some insight into what this dinosaur looked like and how it might have behaved. Dr. Samuel also begins to wonder if other dinosaur species also had similar fleshy crests or growths on their heads and/or bodies. “After all,” he concludes, “most of the remains of dinosaurs we find are fossil bones, so we have no way of knowing whether other dinosaurs also had similar features to the Edmontosaurus. We we still have a lot to learn about these incredible creatures that went extinct so many years ago.”

Written by: Mr. Smiley
Photographer: Daniel P. Smithwater
Edited by: Christian Ryan, Joy Hammond

We here at Smiley’s News, I have been working night and day to get articles ready. I could really use some help! So we are looking for people interested in writing (especially kids and teens). If you are interested, PLEASE(!) send an email to and save me from working night and day! I’m exhausted!

Weekly Cartoons

Next Issue: Planting Time At Mac Dee Dee's Organic Farm

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lizzy and the Riddler pt. 3

Jack (background, left) and Lizzy (foreground left) meet Jack's uncle at the Mississippi River to solve the riddles Lizzy keeps receiving.
Well it just so happened that Jack the jackrabbit had an Uncle in Mississippi so both he and I hopped onto a plane and headed over there.
“He lives a few miles from the Mississippi river” he added, as our plane took off.
“Wow what a coincidence” I said, sarcastically.
Since Mr. Smiley wasn't in his office, I left a note on his door saying that Jack and I were going on a hopefully quick journey in order to retrieve something. I knew as soon as we arrived in Mississippi that this was not going to be a good day.
“Hello Jackie!” greeted an elderly rabbit wearing a straw hat and a Hawaiian shirt.
“Hey Tyrone” Jack said, grabbing his luggage.
I stare at him in awe.
“Tyrone?” I asked, “that's not very...rabbitish.”
“Rabbitish?” Jack laughed, “that's not a word.”
“Well it is now” I mutter, “So can we just go to the river now?”
Jack took the front seat so I had to sit in the back with a bunch of...was these teeth bones?
“What time is it?” I asked, hoping to get to the lake and be done with this little quest.
“It's five” Mr. Tyrone informed me, jerk the wheel to the right on his jeep.
“Good that means that we can go visit the” I stressed.
Jack just laughed, “It's 5p.m. Almost supper time.”
My cheeks turned red, I knew that. I just needed to get the lake. How come Jack was being so annoying? I guess the world will never know. We arrived at his Uncle's house and I got settled into the guest room. Jack had to sleep out on the couch in the living room, HA serves him right. That's when I feel guilty because he is just trying to help me after all. Then again I did tell him I didn't need his help. For dinner we had um...I think it was carrot soup...I hope.
The next day, Jack and I went to the river.
“Well um where exactly do you think we would find the clue?” Jack asked, looking around on the bank.
“I don't know..It will just pop out...” I answer and suddenly a piece of paper flies into my face.
Jack starts to laugh as I grab the paper.
“Okay that was no cool” I said, looking at the paper “This cool!”
Jack looks at me really confused. I quickly show him the paper.
“It's another riddle” he exclaims out loud, “That guy is genius!”
I look at him real suspicious.
“How do you know it's a guy?” I asked.
“Um I don't know...I just assumed...” he quickly gets distracted, “okay the riddle says, 'Weight in my stomach, trees on my back, nails in my ribs, it's feet I lack. What am I?”
“Oh nails in my ribs...that sounds horrible” I commented, looking out into the river “Oh wait I get it...I think.”
“What do you think?” Jack asked, “I know the answer.”
“It's a ship...or a boat either weight in my stomach is the cargo. The trees on my back is the boards on the deck. Nails in my ribs the nails to hold the boards together and the it floats or sails so it doesn't have feet.” I respond, quickly.
Jack leads me to a nearby harbor and finished talking to some man.
“We need to rent a boat” Jack nodded, “Do you have any money?”
My eyes widen and then my checks start to feel warm again.
“You didn't bring any money?” He asked, shocked “what kind of animal are you?”
“A lizard” I smile in response, “uh I brought my credit card cash.”
Jack fished out his wallet and handed the man thirty-five dollars.
“Doesn't your uncle own a boat?” I asked.
“Yes and no” Jack admitted, “It's getting some repairs.”
“I'll pay you back when we get New York” I add, meekly.
Jack unties the boat from the harbor and then we take off. It was only a few minutes when we started to repeat our conversation from before.
“Well um where exactly do you think we would find the clue?” Jack asked, paws on the steering wheel.”
“I don't know” Lizzy exclaimed, “It will show up.”
“Buoy ahoy!” Jack yelled suddenly.
“What?” I asked, confused.
Jack points to something in the river. I lean over but as I do the boat hits a wave and I nearly take a dip in the water but luckily my foot got caught in a net.
“Um...I think the riddle may be over there” I confirm as Jack sails the boat over.
I lean over and grab the buoy and untie a piece of lamented index card off it.
“It says, getting closer. One more riddle then your gift is yours” I read as Jack came over, “What's always coming, but never arrives? And Sometimes I'm high and sometimes low, and I creep between your toes. My orders come from the sky, I make men fall and rise.”
Lizzy sat on the deck and started to think. These riddles were getting a little annoying, She just wanted to go home and give Mr. Smiley his present.
“Well I've heard the first one” she stated “It's tomorrow. So that must mean we have to look for the next riddle tomorrow. But when?”
Jack kept the boat steady as they headed back to the dock. The man who let them borrow the boat came running to them.
“It's a good thing you returned when you did,” he said gasping for breath.
“Why?” Jack asked.
“Because the tide is coming in and I'm afraid this dock is just a little to low” he responded, “you would've gotten lost!”
“Ah ha!” Jack exclaimed, snapping his finger, “It's the tide.:
Both the man and Lizzy looked at him confused,
“The answer to the second riddle is tide” Jack said, confidently “I assume that we need to come back here tomorrow when the tide is low.”
Jack and I headed back to his Uncle's house.
“Aw rats” I announced, upset.
“What?” he asked, caught off guard.
“Low tide...” Lizzy answered, “either the next riddle is under water or...Mr. Smiley's present is.”
“And?” Jack asked, as he opened the door to the house.
“Mr. Smiley's present isn't waterproof....and I didn't bring my bathing suit.” Lizzy added.
Jack just smiled and they hurried inside.
“What? What's so funny?” Lizzy asked, “why are you grinning.”
Jack struggled to keep a straight face as he looked back at Lizzy.
“Oh nothing,” he replied casually. 

Written by: Lizzy the Lizard
Photographer: Daniel P. Smithwater
Edited by: Christian Ryan, Joy Hammond & Mr. Smiley


We here at Smiley’s News, I have been working night and day to get articles ready. I could really use some help! So we are looking for people interested in writing (especially kids and teens). If you are interested, PLEASE(!) send an email to and save me from working night and day! I’m exhausted!

Weekly Cartoons

Next Issue: What a Big Crest You Have, Mr. Hadrosaur!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Cretaceous Dinosaur Runway

Dr. Samuel Adamson and team recently discovered a "Cretaceous Dinosaur Runway" where dinosaurs ran to escape the waters of the Genesis Flood.
An amazing paleontological discovery has recently taken place on the outskirts of Moshcops, Utah, not too far from Animal Adventures Inc. (AAI.) The discovery? How about a full-scale dinosaur trackway over what is now desert? When I heard about the discovery, my trusty, junior photographer, Daniel P. Smithwater and I, went to the site to get an exclusive interview with the head of the team responsible for “digging up” the discovery: Dr. Samuel Adamson, the head paleontologist at Animal Adventures Institute at AAI. Dr. Adamson is quoted for saying, “There are a number of ways we can know about those extinct creatures otherwise known as dinosaurs. The most famous way is through fossils – stone copies of long dead bones. It's . . . [quite] easy to forget that these were once living animals.” He went on to explain that fossils are helpful in determining the size, age, weight and etc. of the creature in question, but most times, they don't tell you anything about their behavior. That's why trace fossils are so important. Trace fossils are fossils that aren't actual dinosaur bones, such as fossilized skin and skin imprints, eggs and nests, and of course, dinosaur footprints. The recent footprint discovery represents nearly 100 feet of dinosaur action – a snapshot of what was happening during the time when they were alive. “The fossil trackway was recently uncovered thanks to the unseasonal rain we've been having,” says Dr. Adamson. “It was discovered just last Friday by an 18-year old named Timothy Simmons, who was taking his dog, Sparky, on a walk at the time. So he gave us a call and we came over to investigate. At the moment, the rest of the dig team and I are just uncovering the dirt, rock and sand that wasn't uncovered by rain from around the footprints.” When asked what exactly was happening with the trackways, Dr. Adamson replied, “Well, as you all know, dinosaur footprints were formed during the Genesis Flood (described in Genesis chapter 5-8) around 4,350 years ago by dinosaurs that were trying to escape the horrific and catastrophic floodwaters.” Then, we asked the paleontologist how on earth the Flood could have preserved fossil footprints. “I actually get asked that question a lot,” he says. “What a lot of people don't know about the Flood is that the water didn't rise simultaneously all over the planet. No way! The water – most of which coming from the 'fountains of the great deep' as the Bible explains, but also from the torrential downpour – rose higher in certain places thanks to factors such as the tide. Sometimes, the water would temporarily fall and leave behind sandbars. Dinosaurs and other animals, trying to escape the running water, would have fled to higher ground within their environments and would end up being left on the sandbars as the water continued to rise, leaving their footprints in the soft sediment.” Dr. Adamson continued to explain that, “The type of sediment on the sandbars would have been different than the sediment in the muddy floodwater, so when the sandbars were covered with water again, they'd preserve the footprints perfectly.” Wow! Why don't they normally portray Noah's Flood like that in many Sunday Schools? Anyway, back on topic! After telling Daniel and I about how fossil dinosaur footprints were formed during the Flood, Dr. Samuel and his wife, Indiana Adamson, took us on a little tour of the trackway site. The sight was amazing! Dinosaur tracks – probably from many tens of individuals, if not many more – quite literally littered the ground. There were many different types of dinosaurs that made these tracks, but they appeared to all be heading in the same direction – they were trying to escape the Flood. “We have quite a few different species of dinosaurs here,” says Indiana. She told me that a nearby geological rock formation bearing dinosaur fossils was nearby and knowing the dinosaurs that lived there would help the paleontologists guess what species of dinosaurs the footprints belonged to. “Let's see,” says Indiana, “. . . if you look at this large footprint here . . . I think this is from a member of the ceratopsid, or horned dinosaur, family. Now there were quite a few different species of ceratopsians in this part of Utah. Some prime examples would be Diabloceratops, Torosaurus and a newly discovered species, Nasutoceratops. Nasutoceratops was a weird dude! Instead of your typical Triceratops-like horns, this dinosaur had no nose horn and the two horns above its eyes looked a bit like the ones you'd find on a bull!” Then Indiana showed us some more footprints – these footprints were almost bird-like in appearance, but they were quite blunt. Indiana said, “These prints are probably from a hadrosaur, or duck-billed dinosaur. In the Kaiparowits formation nearby, we can find the remains of hadrosaurs such as Gryposaurus. This was a herd of hadrosaurs running with the herd of ceratopsians in the same direction. Though they were trying to escape the waters of the Genesis Flood, they might have been running from something else as well.” This was when the married scientists showed us the trackways of what appeared to be four theropods – predatory dinosaurs. It appeared as if the predators were pursuing the herd – based on the distance between the tracks, the dinosaurs were mostly likely running. “This is probably a member of the tyrannosaur family,” Dr. Adamson explained. “A large tyrannosaur such as Teratophoneus would fit the bill nicely. Teratophoneus is actually a recently discovered tyrannosaur and since there's more than one set of tyrannosaur footprints here, they were probably working as a pack to single out a member of the herd of hadrosaurs and ceratopsians.” As if this weren't enough predators, the two scientists also pointed out the tracks of a bunch of smaller theropods. Based on the fact that they were two-toed footprints, they were not tyrannosaur tracks, but the tracks of a smaller dinosaur such as Troodon. This was a busy scene! “It's still a bit early to tell if there's more fossil footprints or even fossil bones nearby,” says Dr. Adamson, “but what we can be sure of, is that the more we uncover, the greater our understanding of dinosaurs will be. I can't wait to find more!”

Written by: Mr. Smiley
Photographer: Daniel P. Smithwater
Edited by: Christian Ryan, Joy Hammond

Weekly Cartoons

Next Issue:Unknown at this time

Monday, March 3, 2014

Lizzy and the Riddler pt. 2

Lizzy the Lizard and Jack the Jackrabbit are still solving mysterious riddles.
Previously on Lizzy and the Riddler:
Lizzy opens the box with the thing she ordered when she discovered a piece of paper inside.
“To save your package, Lizard, You must solve my riddles.”
With some help from Jack the jackrabbit . . .
“That was a pretty good riddle, Lizzy but not good enough!” He smiles, “A rubber band! HAHA!”
. . . Lizzy ended up with a two riddle mystery.
“Hey getting help from others is cheating! Never mind, here's the next riddle: What has four eyes but cannot see? And what can run but never walk, has a mouth but never talks. Has a head but never weeps. Has a bed but does never sleep?”

And now Part two of our show.
I sit at my desk thinking about what kind of answer would this be. I think what really scared me was when the note mentioned that I got help from someone. This must mean the Riddler is in the building! I to decided to cheat and check out the answers to the riddles on my laptop but I found another note.
“So you're deciding cheat? That's pretty low. I know that you're a smart Lizard.”
I scream a little startled. I shake my head and close my laptop.
“What has four eyes but cannot see,” I said to myself.
“Oh that one is easy,” said a voice behind me, “It's Mississippi because it has four 'I's and cannot see.”
I turn around to see Jack standing behind me.
“My brother told me that one,” he added.
“Jack!” I hissed. “I'm supposed to do these riddles alone.”
Jack peered over my shoulder and spotted the other riddle.
“Oh really?” he smiled. “It's a river. The second answer is a riddle.”
“Jack!” I say in dismay. “Why don't you go bug someone else?”
“Nah, I'll stay here” he said, “looks like you need help.
I stood up from my seat.
“I. DO. NOT. NEED. YOUR. HELP!” I said slowly.
Jack blinked and then smiled again.
“Too late,” he added, “I already know where you have to go next.”
I look at him a little annoyed. Jack started to hop away.
“Wait!” I call out, “ . . . where?”
Jack turned with a smile, “The Mississippi river.”

Written by: Lizzy the Lizard
Photographer: Daniel P. Smithwater
Edited by: Christian Ryan, Joy Hammond, Mr. Smiley

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Next Issue: The Cretaceous Dinosaur Runway