Off-beat perceptions and life tips of the world and all its players.
Keep it clean, keep it honest and as a great friend told me, keep swimming!
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Over the past century, nearly all of Ethiopia's native forests have been
cleared for farming and grazing. Now it is up to the Orthodox
Churches--who for centuries have safeguarded pockets of primary forest
that grow around them--to preserve Ethiopias quickly shrinking
biodiversity and teach people how to live with forests.
Can you imagine remodeling your entire home in a single day, using only a pair of tweezers to do the heavy lifting? Shrink small but think BIG as we explore the fascinating world of miniatures! These tiny houses are more helpful to people than you may know!
You’ll often find them on the floor of children’s bedrooms but in addition to being a vessel for endless joy, did you know that dollhouses can also be used to solve crimes and even heal trauma? Well, take a seat on that thimble over there and make yourself at home—the miniature villas we are about to explore hold the tiny key to unlocking a BIG world of possibility!
"This Brilliant Darkness is a book born of insomnia. It's a collection
of snapshots and written profiles by author Jeff Sharlet that take us
deep into other people's lives. And by doing that, Sharlet says, he's
really trying to tell us his own story. "I originally sort of thought of
it as a memoir through other people's lives. It's bookended by two
heart attacks, my father's, and then two years later, my own," he says.
"I'm a journalist, and my life was sort of falling apart and the only
way I knew how to put it together was through stories. So it's a
collection of the strangers whose stories I shared, they shared with me
in those years between those heart attacks, and attempting to find a
narrative together."" NPR shares more.
"Thousands of years of taking have caught up with us--and our soil.
Approximately 40 percent of agricultural soils worldwide are degraded or
seriously degraded; we lose an estimated 36 billion tons of topsoil
every year. Scientists warn us that we only have about 60 years of
productive soil left. What will happen when the Earth has lost all of
its soil and can no longer produce food? While this is a dire future, it
doesn't have to be our destiny. It's time to act. And the solution is
under our feet. This is the story of how each of us came to see soil as a
solution to one of our biggest environmental problems--and as a tool to
build more resilient communities." "The Story of Stuff" creator Annie
Leonard shares more.
But when the birthday of my husband, Don, rolled around this year, we were in lockdown like everyone else—and creativity was needed. So, I posted love poems around the house the night before, baked his mother’s famous chocolate cake, and organized a surprise Zoom birthday ritual with a few close friends holding candles and sending heartfelt wishes to him.
Why go to all the trouble? As with weddings and other rituals, birthday parties are bigger than one person. They bring friends and family together, strengthening the ties that make up our society. They remind us that we are not alone in the face of our own mortality. They’re a great excuse to eat cake.
Where do you go where you’re welcomed like a true friend? COVID-19 has made these places really stand out, like our salons, for instance. But even with closed doors, some of these barbers and hairdressers are finding ways to keep that connection going. Here’s a fun look at why!
If there’s one thing that distancing during COVID-19 taught us, it’s the power of a good haircut. This was most apparent for those who wear their hair in short styles, who started February with close-cropped cuts and perfect fades, and by the end of March were resigned to baseball caps covering an untamed mess, or succumbing to the disaster of a DIY home haircut. In missing our appointments, though, we’ve been missing out on something else; a less appreciated, more important aspect of our lives!
You’re not alone—people around the world are depressed, anxious, and stressed, some more than others.
As we speak, epidemiologists and virologists around the world are scrambling to understand and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. There is another group of researchers who are concerned about a slightly different foe: the mental health pandemic.
"Social distancing recommendations will remain in place for months to
come, and until there's a vaccine, limits on big gatherings will likely
continue. For the elderly or those who live alone, the isolation can be
particularly grueling. But, people are finding new ways to interact with
each other, even under extraordinary circumstances." NPR offers some
strategies to connect with others.
Even a short meditation practice can make you more resilient.
We are living through a time of uncertainty, a sky-high pile of question marks. It has become increasingly difficult to make plans because the state of our world today is so volatile due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some people are adapting to their homes becoming their offices indefinitely, or in danger of losing their jobs, while others long to embrace loved ones they are stuck six feet away from.
In a time when emotions like stress, anxiety, boredom, and anger are hard to avoid, a new study suggests that a particular meditation practice can help us face them.
Catherine Juneau, of Clermont Auvergne University in France, and her colleagues examined how mindfulness meditation practice affects equanimity, the ability to maintain a calm and balanced state of mind even in the face of difficult situations.
Eighty-nine college students with minimal meditation experience were split into groups who either did a bod…
From the beauty of the dawn chorus to the strange wonder of hearing a parrot talk like one of us, birds never cease to amaze us. But how do they make such an astonishing array of sounds? You will never walk through a park or your yard the same after this!
Have you ever wondered how birds sing their elaborate songs without lips? Or how parrots can seem to speak our language? Thanks to a very special feat of evolution, they have a unique ability (yeah, even more so than flying!) all thanks to something known as the syrinx! Because of this extraordinary voice box, they’re able to hit some serious notes that any opera singer would be jealous of, all with a little neck dance.
"Wendell Berry has been an Orion contributor and advisor since the
magazine's beginnings in 1982. Berry is the author of over forty books
of poetry, fiction, and essays, and has farmed in Port Royal, Kentucky,
for over forty years." Orion celebrated Wendell Berry's eighty-sixth
birthday by compiling their all-time favorite writings from Berry,
published in Orion over the past four decades. Check it out here.
Here’s a story that shows what’s possible when we use our strengths to solve big problems. When a Texas lake and way of life were threatened by an invasive species, scientists, community members, and weevils teamed up to save their beloved waters!
What do you do when 6,000 acres of your favorite place disappear?! When the lake you love becomes an endless expanse of floating green ferns? Fear not: with the power of community and a few underappreciated insect superheroes, not all hope is lost!
"The present pandemic, which in a few short months has wreaked havoc
across our world, is most likely caused by an imbalance in the natural
world, as loss of habitat and biodiversity is not only driving animals
to extinction but directly causing animal viruses to spread to humans.
In response our leaders are using the images of conflict: We are at war
with Covid 19, we keep hearing; it is an invisible enemy we need to
vanquish. But although this virus is disrupting our lives, causing
sickness, death, and economic breakdown, it is itself a completely
natural phenomenon, a living thing reproducing itself in the way nature
intended. Are these images of conflict and conquest appropriate or even
helpful? Do they help us to understand and to respond, to bring our
world back into balance?" Sufi master Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee shares more
on finding balance in an unstable world.
When I met Milford, he was 97 and blind. I met him on Friday and on
Saturday he was going to give a watercolor workshop. Earlier that
Friday, I'd asked his art dealer, "How does a painter give a workshop if
he's blind?" "I don't know," the dealer said, "But he does!" I liked
Zornes's paintings and asked, "Does he live around here?" Cutting to the
chase, three hours later I was at Milford's door. As we shook hands, I
handed him a copy of works & conversations thinking, too late, as
the magazine left my hand, "How's he going to see it?"