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Would You Climb to the Top of the World to Send a Letter to a Loved One?

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When was the last time you saw human handwriting on a piece of snail mail? Handwritten letters can be the absolute best, and these people are doing some remarkable things with this lost way of connection! Finding a letter and saving a birthday card from your grandmother: both point to something we all have in common. Throughout history, handwritten notes have always kept us near when we’re apart, connecting us physically through our pen strokes, but some people have taken this simple act to fascinating places! By Boris Riabov Read Article

Prince Ea: Three Seconds

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A presentation, in the inimitable style of spoken word artist Prince Ea, of where humanity stands today and how we must all work together to make it to the fourth second. This film won first prize in the short film category of the Film4Climate initiative in 2016. Can we come together to create a tidal wave of change? Watch Video

What We Get Wrong About Time

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"Most of us tend to think of time as linear, absolute and constantly "running out" -- but is that really true? However much time feels like something that flows in one direction, some scientists beg to differ." Read on to learn more about what we know and don't know about the nature of time, and how our perception of it influences our lives. Read Article

Deciphering Words in the Woods

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"Ogham is Ireland's earliest form of writing. Dating from the fourth century, it is often affectionately called a tree alphabet. It is an archaic script using trees for letters. In Ogham, the characters were called feda trees or nin forking branches due to their shape. Astonishingly, this ancient alphabet was written from the roots up -- each character sprouting from a central line, like leaves on a stem or branches on a tree."  Artist Katie Holten seeks to decolonize language and rewild the imagination by transforming letters into trees. Combining the ancient script Ogham with Irish and English, her Irish Tree Alphabet transforms words into an arboreal language of place and belonging. Read Article

For Hard Conversations, Families Fall Into Four Categories

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Holidays can involve family conflict, especially after a divisive election. The solution is empathy, for yourself and others. “My brother voted for Trump,” said one patient of ours. “I dread hearing him tell me why he thinks the election was rigged. He always takes over the conversation, which makes it hard for me to share my views.” By Kelsey Crowe , Juli Fraga Many families will gather over Zoom for the holidays—but even if you don’t see loved ones in person, talking about political differences may still create rifts with the people you love. As two helping professionals—a psychologist who counsels patients on how to work through family strife, and a social worker who teaches empathy—we know that hot-button issues like politics can trigger conflict with family members. Empathy can help in these tough conversations. When you try to understand someone else’s views, even when they differ from your own, you’re doing what psycho

How Do We Celebrate Thanksgiving in a Pandemic?

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We might not be able to gather for Thanksgiving this year—but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the holiday count. This year’s Thanksgiving dinner is going to look a bit different for me and my family. In the past, we’d travel to the East Coast to feast on turkey with my husband’s brothers and extended family. If we couldn’t do that, we’d gather with local friends and family. By Jill Suttie But, with COVID-19 cases on the rise, none of that will happen this year. Like most people, we’ve had to revise our holiday plans to keep all the important people in our life safe. It’s a disappointment, for sure. But what can we do about it? Is there any way to make this Thanksgiving something more than a mere shadow of itself? I believe there is—if we look to the science of meaning and connection. Finding ways to enhance our mood, foster closeness, remember what we’re thankful for, and savor the positive can all help preserve the wonder of the holiday (albeit in

Ever Wondered Why You Always Have Room for Dessert?

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Why is it that after even the biggest meal you still have room for dessert? You may not have two stomachs, but you do have an evolutionary trick that has helped to keep us alive for thousands of years! Want to learn something awesome about yourself? If you’ve ever miraculously been able to eat an entire piece of cake or gobble down a slice of pie after a giant dinner, you are actually drawing on one of our ancient human superpowers! Turns out, our sweet tooth is actually our body’s way of trying to protect us—imagine that? Here’s what’s going on. By Sam Burns Read Article

To Be a Loved Horse: Dufresne's Story

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"A friend of mine was looking to buy a horse that could be a backyard buddy. She didn't want to spend a lot of money, so I suggested we go to the local monthly horse auction to see if we might rescue one of the horses from a potential death sentence.For those of you who are unfamiliar with horse auctions, many times the meat buyers end up taking the unwanted animals at low prices. There are always horses there who have plenty of life left and just need someone to show up and recognize their value, see their heart, and offer them a space where they can just be a loved horse."  What happened next is an unexpected and electrifying story of hope and healing. Read Article

Let's Be Well: A Video Game Born From a Child's Grief

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Paula Toledo was the mother of a two-year old, and a two-week-old baby when she lost her husband to mental illness and suicide. In the wake of that devastating loss, "I felt the most important thing I could do was to care for myself and my children. And so I did -- albeit, while I laid in the dirt. Instead of clawing my way out, I decided to surrender and play there with my young children. Insulated by the love of my sons, we all found wonder in our creations. Instead of sand castles, we built hospitals and ambulances.It became obvious to me that my children were expressing their grief." Less than a decade later, Toledo's son Luke created "Let's Be Well," an innovative video game that demystifies mental illness and nurtures well-being. Read Article

These Rescued Horses Could Save Your Life One Day!

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This organization is helping rehabilitate abandoned, abused, and neglected horses into some of the most highly valued animals on the frontlines of search and rescue and firefighting! And their recipe for success could be a beacon for progress far beyond the world of animal rescue. How do we help the world see the value in animals that have been abandoned, abused, or left behind? Could some of these rescued animals one day come to our rescue? These animals with so much still left to give are easily overlooked by society, but this incredible organization has found a solution to this problem: giving horses who have been left behind a new lease on life! By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber Read Article

How to Love a Country

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The Cuban American civil engineer turned writer, Richard Blanco, straddles the many ways a sense of place merges with human emotion to make home and belonging -- personal and communal. The most recent -- and very resonant -- question he's asked by way of poetry is: how to love a country? At Chautauqua, Krista Tippett invited him to speak and read from his books. Blanco's wit, thoughtfulness, and elegance captivated the crowd." Read Article

A War Orphan Who Became a Ballerina

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Michaela DePrince is "the ballerina who flies." Orphaned at age three in war-torn Sierra Leone, DePrince was malnourished and sick when she and her "mat-mate" at the orphanage were adopted by Elaine and Charles DePrince of New Jersey. Inspired by a photograph of a ballerina in a magazine, DePrince trained as a ballet dancer and is now with the Dance Theater of Harlem. "I think no matter where you come from and what you've been through, having a loving family and support is all you need to achieve your goals." Watch Video

What Happens When Grandparents Help Raise Children

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New research reveals how grandparents play a key role as co-caregivers of their grandchildren across the globe. About 1 billion people in the world today are grandparents. Because humans are living longer, we are spending more time in the grandparenting role compared to past generations. What’s more, people are having fewer children overall, which means that grandparents can dedicate more distinct time to each grandchild. By Maryam Abdullah Grandparents have been universally important in families across time and their role continues to evolve, but their involvement in their grandchildren’s lives is different around the world. In the United States, roughly 10% of grandparents lived with a grandchild in 2012. In Africa and Asia, living in a multi-generational household is a common practice. A number of recent studies of families in several Asian countries help to shed light on how grandparents are involved in coparenting, which researchers define as the

Goodbye Green Screen — Here’s the Tech That’s Changing Film Forever!

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Movies have a way of taking us on journeys we could not have gone on without them. Now, those journeys just got a whole lot more real! We’re traveling to a galaxy far far away and discovering an other-worldly way of storytelling for at-home audiences everywhere! What if you could walk through 10 different worlds in a single day? Well, not long ago—and in a galaxy pretty close by —a new filmmaking technology started making this all possible. One minute you can march through desert sands, then moments later, race a speeder bike through ruby-hued salt flats! Step aside, green screens: we’re jumping into hyperdrive and welcoming The Volume to the stage! By Renee Laroche-Rheaume Read Article

Praying for the Earth

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The earth needs our prayers more that we know. It needs us to acknowledge its sacred nature, that it is not just something to use and dispose. Many of us know the effectiveness of prayers for others, how healing and help is given, even in the most unexpected ways. There are many ways to pray for the earth. It can be helpful first to acknowledge that it is not unfeeling matter but a living being that has given us life. And then we can sense its suffering: the physical suffering we see in the dying species and polluted waters, the deeper suffering of our collective disregard for its sacred nature. Would we like to be treated just as a physical object to be used and abused? Would we like our sacred nature, our soul, to be denied? Read Article