Cat Scan

News… and then some.

WCAX Frog Jumping Contest PKG 7/4/12

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By Cat Viglienzoni — June 6, 2012

This may have been one of my favorite pieces to do.

It was a pretty fun story because the content was so visual — a frog jumping contest for kids at a 4th of July town festival in Williston, Vermont. I was watching the contest and I knew exactly how the story needed to play out in the piece. I also knew that the natural sound (nats, for journalist lingo) would make or break this piece, so I made sure to include a lot of it in the script.

It was a different way to cover Independence Day for sure. The piece aired that night on WCAX on the 6 p.m. news.

This piece was the first of mine to be requested by CBS Newspath (which means that other CBS affiliated stations could use it if they wanted, though I doubt any ultimately did). Still, it was a first for me, and it was neat.

Not bad considering when they first told me I was going to a “leapfrog competition” I thought it would be a bunch of kids doing a leapfrog race. Then I got really excited about the story when I found out it was actual frogs doing the leaping.

I’m a science nerd, so I had to call over to ECHO and ask them what makes frogs such good jumpers. It didn’t make it into the report because it would have been too distracting from the natural storyline of the event, but I can share that info here (in a super boiled-down version).

Essentially, frogs are capable of jumping so well because their muscular-skeletal system is built for it. So that means where we would have our radius and ulna (two bones in the arm), they would have one. Likewise in their back legs (which would correspond to our tibia and fibula). What that gives them is the ability to exert more force with those muscles in those limbs and thus propel themselves farther. Also, their longer toes aid in giving them more strength to push off the ground.

You learn something new every day on this job…

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Written by Cat Viglienzoni

July 6, 2012 at 10:37 AM

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