Michigan Is Taking a Cue From Bob Ross and Planting Thousands of Happy Little Trees

Bob Ross/YouTube
Bob Ross/YouTube

Bob Ross made a living painting “happy little trees,” but in Michigan his legacy has been transferred from the canvas to real-life happy trees in nature.

Bob Ross Inc. and Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have teamed up with inmates in three of the state’s correctional institutions to plant trees. Roadtrippers reports that to celebrate the 100th year of Michigan’s state park systems—and to honor Ross—the DNR renamed their “prison grow” program Happy Little Trees. The program teaches prisoners horticulture skills by growing trees from native seeds collected by volunteers. Each year, the inmates help grow around 1000 trees. The state uses those young (and happy) trees to replace damaged or diseased trees that reside in parks, campgrounds, and trails all over Michigan. In 2019, 22 out of 103 parks—about 20 percent—will be the recipient of healthy and happy trees grown by the inmates and a staff of volunteers.

To commemorate Ross’s involvement, several parks are scheduled to have commemorative signs. Orchard Beach, Port Crescent, and Yankee Springs parks will have green signs with Bob Ross’s face (afro and all) happily painting outlines of trees; the words “Happy Little Trees Ahead” appear below the outlines. DNR is always looking for more volunteers to plant trees, and those who sign up receive a special groovy T-shirt featuring Ross’s likeness.

Next year marks the 25th anniversary of Ross’s death, so the tree-planting program is particularly appropriate. As Ross once said: “I got a letter from somebody here a while back, and they said, ‘Bob, everything in your world seems to be happy.’ That’s for sure. That’s why I paint. It’s because I can create the kind of world that I want, and I can make this world as happy as I want it. Shoot, if you want bad stuff, watch the news.” Ross probably would have been thrilled to have his name attached to a program that grows thousands of happy little trees in the wild.

Tom Hanks Wears Some of Fred Rogers’s Own Clothes in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Lacey Terrell, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Lacey Terrell, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Many fans associate Mister Rogers with the trademark ties, sweaters, and sneakers he wore on each episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. So to recreate the iconic look for Tom Hanks's starring role as Rogers in the movie A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, the production's costume designer, Arjun Bhasin, turned to Rogers's real-life wardrobe for inspiration. And some of Rogers's original pieces even made it into the film, Yahoo! reports.

Bhasin worked with Joanne, Fred Rogers's wife of 50 years, to choose the clothing items that would bring the children's entertainment icon to life. As Bhasin tells Yahoo!, Joanne opened her home to the filmmakers and invited him to look at family photos and items from Fred's closets. He also reviewed old episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and museum exhibits dedicated to the show for his research.

To make Rogers's cardigans—arguably the most famous items in his wardrobe—Bhasin collaborated with a knitter in New York. Fred Rogers's original sweaters were knit by his mom, Nancy, so Bhasin made sure that the new pieces had that same homespun look. For other elements, the costume designer didn't have to try very hard to make them look authentic. The neckties in the film were taken from a box of Rogers's old ties that his wife had planned to donate to a thrift store, and the original varsity jacket Rogers wore on the Arsenio Hall Show in 1993 also makes an appearance.

According to Joanne, her husband had been a big fan of Tom Hanks and would have been thrilled to lend him his clothes for the role. You can see A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and spot Mister Rogers's real clothing items when it hits theaters today, November 22.

[h/t Yahoo!]

Prepared Salads Sold at Target, Walmart, and Aldi Have Been Recalled Over E. Coli Concerns

samael334/iStock via Getty Images
samael334/iStock via Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Thursday that Missa Bay, LLC is recalling more than 75,000 pounds of pre-packaged salads after one tested positive for E. coli. News Channel 9 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, reports that the products were made between October 14 and October 16, and were sold at Target, Aldi, Walmart, and other stores.

According to the USDA’s statement, the Maryland Department of Health found traces of E. coli O157:H7 on the lettuce in a Ready Pac Bistro Chicken Raised Without Antibiotics Caesar Salad, and all products with lettuce from the same lot are included in the recall. You can see the full list of salads here.

Missa Bay, LLC is based in Swedesboro, New Jersey, and they ship to these states: Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

If you have any salad bowls in your refrigerator at the moment, toss any with the establishment number “EST. 18502B” and “Use by” dates from October 29 through November 1. It’s a good opportunity to sweep the corners of your fridge for any other expired products, so you can make room for next week’s Thanksgiving leftovers.

Wondering how exactly how food contamination is discovered, tested, and dealt with? Find out the anatomy of a food recall here.

[h/t News Channel 9]

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