Feature Articles & Profiles

Corvallis’ Own Snake Scientist Talks Snake Sex, and More

Integrative Biology Professor Bob Mason might just know everything about the intimate life of the garter snake. For over three decades, Mason led the way in unraveling some of the mysteries on snakes, pheromones, and what makes a snake sexy. The Mason Lab at Oregon State University is primarily focused on reproductive biology and a subspecialty of chemical ecology. Much of his research focuses on the red-sided garter snake, who he sees as a model species paving the way to research...

Lil’ King of the Corvallis Knights

Each summer, baseball fans gather at Goss Stadium to root for the Corvallis Knights. Besides the Knights themselves, fans have mascots Mack the Knight and Lil’ King to thank for the cheers that sweep the stadium. Bringing his 4 foot 2 inches costume to life at every home game, Justin, known as Lil’ King, takes great pride in entertaining fans. “It’s pretty much my dream job,” he said. We agreed to refer to Justin by his first name to protect his privacy and to “preserve the mystery for the kid

Sky Rights: Union Leader Sara Nelson

Corvallis native Sara Nelson is a force to be reckoned with. A rising star of the U.S. labor movement, she garnered national attention after using her AFL-CIO award acceptance speech as a call to action, urging all union members to unite to fight the previous federal government shutdown. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders even publicly thanked Nelson and her union, for motivating congress to end the 35-day shutdown. As International President of the Association of Flight Attendants, Nelson s

The Science of Taste and Smell & the Covid-19 Connection

What can your sense of taste and smell tell you about your health? The answers may surprise you. OSU Food Science Professor Juyun Lim studies how people experience taste, smell, and other related chemosensory stimuli. Her research focuses “primarily on understanding how human taste and smell work and the role of underlying human taste and smell perception and the role of human sensory perception in food preference,” she said.

Consumer Tech News, Features, & Tutorials

What Is Hoopla and How Does It Work?

If you want to save money on entertainment, your public library may be the answer. If your library subscribes to Hoopla, you have free and legal access to books, comic books, music, magazines, films, and television shows. Hoopla is a cloud-based media lending and streaming platform for public libraries. As we mentioned before, Hoopla offers many different types of content, including books, magazines, music, and even movies and TV shows. All of this content is free of advertising. Participating

How to Buy Audiobooks on Spotify

Spotify wants to be your one-stop platform for listening to music, podcasts, and audiobooks. On September 20, 2022, the service rolled out a new audiobook feature for users in the US, with plans to expand to listeners worldwide. Audiobooks are a departure from your usual Spotify experience. Instead of ad-supported or subscription-based streaming, you purchase individual audiobooks to stream through the app. Over 300,000 titles are available, including best sellers across genres. Spotify curate

5 Ways to Get Free Movies and Music From Your Local Library

Today’s public library gives you access to much more than just books and magazines. Your library card may grant you free and legal access to streaming movies, television shows, and music. While there are plenty of websites and apps streaming free movies and music, most platforms make money through advertising. The services featured in this article, however, are available through public libraries for free and (crucially) are free of advertising.

Feel Good News, Profiles, & Features

Caesar the Legendary Llama: Fame, Therapy, Education, and Activism

Caesar the No Drama Llama is many things to many people. He is a therapy llama, a llamactivist, a school educator, and an internet celebrity. Juggling all these roles keeps Caesar and his human team busy. Caesar’s human counterpart, farmer and activist Larry McCool owns the Mystic Llama Farm in Jefferson, Oregon. McCool is a Hewlett-Packard retiree with an impressive resume including previous work with GreenPeace in Salem and as a founding member of the Llama Fiber Cooperative of North America.

Masks, Gowns, and Shields: Heroes of Corvallis Sewing Brigade

American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Ever since there was an anticipated shortage of Personal Protective Equipment or PPE for healthcare professionals, over 1300 Corvallis residents have teamed up to make high quality, home-crafted items.

Food & Beverage Features

Wild Roots Spirits Begins New Era With Canned Cocktails

Wild Roots Spirits crafts their infused line of fruited spirits in ways that make them fit in as well at the farmer’s market as in a cocktail bar. Although classic vodka and gin are among their offerings, the Northwest craft distillery is well known for fruit infused alcohol. Co-owner of Wild Roots Spirits, Ali Joseph, took a moment to share insights into what makes Wild Roots stand out in the crowded craft spirits market.

Seasonal Oregon Seafood Guide & Recipe

Usually when people think of eating seasonally, fresh produce comes to mind. Oregon-caught seafood also varies with the seasons, and local experts from Oregon State Sea Grant and Pacifica Seafood Market offer these tips on how to include seasonal seafood into your diet. Oregon Sea Grant and the state of Oregon launched their “Eat Oregon Seafood” campaign to give local fishers a boost during the current pandemic. Although food processing facilities like Pacific Seafood in Newport have had emplo

Health & Economy: The Eat Oregon Seafood Initiative

The #EatOregonSeafood initiative is intended to give the coastal seafood economies a boost as they recover from restaurant closures and other issues related to COVID-19. A rich source of lean protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B-12 and D, iron, and minerals like zinc and iodine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that non-vegetarian adults consume two, four-ounce servings of seafood per week.

Science Coverage

Birth Announcement: New Baby Orca off Coast

This weekend, the orca known as “Tahlequah” J35 gave birth to an apparently healthy calf. The mother and calf were seen free swimming together off the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Some may recall that in 2018 “Tahlequah” captured worldwide attention as she dragged her deceased calf for 17 days and 1000 miles. Her “Tour of Grief” made international news and sparked conversations on the mortality of orcas.

The Science of Taste and Smell & the Covid-19 Connection

What can your sense of taste and smell tell you about your health? The answers may surprise you. OSU Food Science Professor Juyun Lim studies how people experience taste, smell, and other related chemosensory stimuli. Her research focuses “primarily on understanding how human taste and smell work and the role of underlying human taste and smell perception and the role of human sensory perception in food preference,” she said.

Gadusol: Safer Sunscreen for Fish & Humans

Every summer, ocean lovers face the sunscreen dilemma. Fully protective sunscreen helps prevent sunburn and skin cancer, yet some popular sunscreen ingredients may harm marine life and the environment. Gadusol Laboratories is a Corvallis-based startup that hopes to offer a nature-inspired solution to the sunscreen dilemma by developing new sun protection alternatives based on a naturally occurring compound, called gadusol, found in marine organisms which provides UVB protection to the organisms.

Corvallis’ Own Snake Scientist Talks Snake Sex, and More

Integrative Biology Professor Bob Mason might just know everything about the intimate life of the garter snake. For over three decades, Mason led the way in unraveling some of the mysteries on snakes, pheromones, and what makes a snake sexy. The Mason Lab at Oregon State University is primarily focused on reproductive biology and a subspecialty of chemical ecology. Much of his research focuses on the red-sided garter snake, who he sees as a model species paving the way to research...

Oregon Researchers Discover New Ways to Date Historic Earthquakes

Researchers at Portland State University and the University of Oregon developed a technique that may result in more accurate dating of historic earthquakes. The work was published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, and offers a possible solution to a frequent problem that happens when using radiocarbon dating to determine the past fault activity. The research abstract states, “Age constraints developed from detrital charcoal are compared with absolute dates from dendrochr

Intense Wildfires Likely Result of Climate Change

The conditions leading to intense smoke and wildfire may be a harbinger of things to come, according to researchers with the National Weather Service, Oregon State University, and the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute. There is a weather pattern known as the “the Chetco Effect” or “the Brooking Effect” in which cool air drops into and passes through Chetco Canyon and then warms up. This causes the hot winds to speed up as they move towards the coast....

City Structure and Flu Epidemics

Your city structure may determine the length and intensity of your local flu season, according research published in October’s Science Magazine by OSU Population Biologist Ben Dalziel, assistant professor of Integrative Biology and Mathematics. This research explores the connection between city structure, climate, and flu epidemics. As a population biologist, Dalziel’s research often explores topics that are “too big for the lab,” so he analyzes pre-existing data sets. He and his collaborators

Travel & Hospitality

Visitors Guide to Corvallis Craft Breweries

If you are a craft beer lover, you should feel at home in Corvallis! Thanks to Corvallis craft breweries, wineries, cideries, and local kombucha brewers a craft beverage enthusiast is spoiled for choice. Guests often ask, “What is there to do in Corvallis Oregon?” There’s plenty to do whether visiting Oregon State University, working on a temporary basis for Samaritan Health Services, or following the Mid-Willamette Valley Food Trail.

Guide to Corvallis to Sea Trail for Day Hikes & Thru-Hikers

Corvallis offers ample opportunities to enjoy hiking, biking, paddling, golfing, boating, and other recreational activities. There are plenty of things to do near Corvallis, Oregon including hiking or biking the new Corvallis to Sea Trail linking the Willamette Valley to the Oregon Coast. Even if you are not interested in committing to the whole journey, many portions of the Corvallis to Sea Trail are also suitable for a casual day hike, bike ride, or other outdoor activities. We spoke with a

A Guide to Corvallis Museums and Other Indoor Things to Do

Guests sometimes ask us about things to do in Corvallis. Whether you are visiting for business, to see family, or are touring Oregon State University you want to make the most of your time. Benton County and the Willamette Valley are both a haven for indoor and outdoor activities. People who love outdoor recreation such as hiking, floating the river, and cycling enjoy the Willamette Valley’s mild climate and scenic views. Corvallis p

Hiking in Corvallis, Oregon

Guests sometimes ask, “where can I hike in Corvallis?” Locals and visitors love the great outdoor recreation opportunities near Corvallis, like hiking. Corvallis and the Willamette Valley offer trails for anyone from the casual walker to a more serious hiker. Enjoying the local parks, trails, and open spaces is one of the best and least expensive ways to explore the area. Whether you want a quick walk along a forested trail or a more intense hike in the mountains, there are options in the Corv

Wine Tasting Near Corvallis

For wine lovers, no trip to Corvallis or the Willamette Valley would be complete without visiting a few of the area vineyards or wineries. This is especially true for anyone who enjoys Pinot Noir! Guests who book one of Fernwood Circle Guest Houses vacation rentals often ask which Willamette Valley wine tasting rooms we recommend. We compiled this guide because it is hard to choose just one in an area with such a rich craft beverage and wine culture.

The World's Last Blockbuster Offers Retro Movie Sleepover

For three nights this September, the world’s last Blockbuster video is renting their store through Airbnb. The store is located in Bend, Oregon and the sleepover is limited to local households. “Although Bend is best known for its pristine forests and majestic mountain views, the Blockbuster store is another source of pride in town. The crisp (and yes, rainy) Pacific Northwest weather is the perfect setting to curl up with a classic movie and relive ‘90s memories,” according to the Airbnb listi