A born entertainer, Taylor Swift knows nothing if not how to play to a crowd. In Toronto over the weekend, Taylor took pause to pay tribute to some of the local greats with a live medley of classic songs by Canadian artists that have given her inspiration over the years, before launching into her own future-standard "You Belong With Me." So quick, before you read any further, jot down the three Canadian artists you think Taylor might have covered. We'll give you a hint—one makes sense as one of Taylor's singer/songwriter spiritual predecessors, one is a contemporary favorite, and the last was introduced by Taylor as her "favorite '90s song ever."

Take a moment. Got your three guesses? All right.

Taylor's first cover was of the woman who arguably held the title of most famous active Canadian singer/songwriter for the decade or so before Swift's graduation to the Top 40, Miss Alanis Morissette. Though she was only five when Jagged Little Pill came out, it appears Taylor was not too young to be affected by the Morissette Mania that the entire country endured in the middle half of the '90s. Taylor began her medley by strumming through the chorus of the underrated "You Learn," as the Toronto crowd—among whom Alanis may be as popular as ever, for all we know—sang along rapturously.

Not nearly as rapturously as with the second song, however, which Taylor prefaced by shouting out "my boy who's from here." The "boy" was not a figure of speech, as her second song was from Canadian minor Justin Bieber, his signature hit, "Baby." Needless to say, the crowd knew every word to the song, and on the chorus (which Taylor for some reason felt the need to introduce as "Chorus"—like they don't know), you can barely even hear her sing at all. (Gossip rags and teen message boards will no doubt feel the need to start wondering if Taylor's "boy" comment meant anything, but....no.)

The last cover, of course, was by far the biggest wild-card selection. If you came up with the Barenaked Ladies, Crash Test Dummies or LEN for this one, all good guesses, but in fact, Taylor's "favorite '90s song ever" (redundant?) is none other than one-hit wonder Tal Bachman's "She's So High." It's not our favorite '90s song here at Popdust by any stretch, and we're a little bemused by the fact that young Taylor's favorite '90s song barely came in under the wire for the last millennium, but it's still a perfectly nice song, and we're glad to see it getting its first real love since it was included in the awful romantic comedy Loser a decade ago. And the Toronto crowd still knows the words! They sure know how to take care of their own, those Canadians.

So give yourself a pat on the back if you got all three—cheater—and check out the video of Taylor's delightful Canuck medley below.

For lots more pics, videos and up-to-the-second dish on Taylor, be sure to check out her Popdust Artist Page.

THE CASE OF THE DYING ASPENS. go to site public domain images

States News Service December 12, 2011 STANFORD, Calif. -- The following information was released by the Carnegie Institution for Science:

Over the past 10 years, the death of forest trees due to drought and increased temperatures has been documented on all continents except Antarctica. This can in turn drive global warming by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere by trees and by releasing carbon locked up in their wood. New research led by Carnegie researcher and Stanford University PhD student William Anderegg offers evidence for the physiological mechanism governing tree death in a drought. The work is published the week of December 12 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Forests store about 45 percent of the carbon found on land. Their mortality can radically transform ecosystems, affect biodiversity, harm local economies, and pose fire risks, as well as increase to global warming.

Scientists had two competing theories for how forest trees die during a drought. One hypothesis proposed that the trees starved due to decreased photosynthetic activity. The other proposed that the system for transporting water within a tree was damaged beyond repair due to the stresses of the drought.

Without knowing which theory was correct, it was difficult for researchers to build models and make projections about the larger impact of drought-induced forest mortality.

The team focused their efforts on climate-induced die offs of trembling aspen trees in North America. They looked directly at both carbon starvation and water-transportation stress on ongoing forest deaths.

Aside from Anderegg, the author team includes Carnegie's Chris Field and Joe Berry, along with William's brother Leander, and Duncan Smith and John Sperry of the University of Utah. Leander Anderegg was a Stanford undergraduate at the time the fieldwork was completed.

The aspen die-off, called Sudden Aspen Decline or SAD, began after severe droughts between 2000 and 2004 and affects about 17 percent of aspen forests in Colorado, as well as parts of the western United States and Canada. SAD continued through 2010, when the research was conducted.

"Large scale mortality events, such as we see with aspens, are the dynamite in ecosystem responses to climate change. We know that when they occur, they make a huge difference. But we are at the early stages of being able to predict occurrence," said Field, director of Carnegie's Department of Global Ecology and professor of biology and of environmental Earth systems science at Stanford.

The team found no evidence of significantly decreased carbon reserves in SAD-affected aspens. This undercuts the starvation theory, although it is possible that carbon starvation had occurred and already been rectified.

By contrast they did find notable losses of function in the tree's water-transportation systems, especially in the roots. SAD-affected trees showed about a 70 percent loss of water conductivity. Potted trees exposed to a summer's-worth of drought exhibited significant root mortality. publicdomainimagesnow.net public domain images

"Our study provides a snapshot of what future droughts could hold for the emblematic tree of the American West. Our results indicate an impaired ability to transport water due to drought damage plays an important role in the recent die-off of aspens," William Anderegg said.

The team's work will provide guidance for scientists seeking to build models and projections of forest mortality as a result of climate change.

Caption: Aspen woods photo courtesy of Public Domain Images __________________ Funding and equipment for this research was provided by the Stanford Bill Lane Center for the American West, the Morrison Institute, Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association, the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, Stanford Biology, and the Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Fellowship Program, which was made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and is administered by the Oak Ridge Institution for Science and Education, managed by the Oak Ridge Associated Universities under DOE.