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The Life Slant

COVID-19: The Clear and Present Threat to Military Families During This Crisis is Not the Virus

*Too many veterans and their families aren’t mentally, emotionally and spiritually prepared for the difficult days ahead. Since the spread of COVID-19, we’ve heard from hundreds of military families who are afraid – not of catching a virus – but of the long term damage this crisis will have on their lives.

They’re afraid they’ll turn to older ways of coping with their challenges as the stress of this crisis looms over them. Many nationwide closures have affected support groups such as alcoholics anonymous (AA), and other key outpatient services due to government action to limit large gatherings. People are overwhelmed with financial buckling, uncertainty, school cancellations affecting their children, and being closed off from normal routines. Keep Reading

A Sweet Story

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*Science is exhilarating, challenging and rich with rewards. As a scientist, the bees have shown me many things.

Last week, the bees revealed a lesson on speed and stamina. At 230 wingbeats per second, on my bicycle, I clocked one gal soaring down the street at 27 miles per hour (mph)!

honeybees
An indefatigable worker on a nectar run. Image credit: Reese Halter

She had an empty load. When topped-up with nectar, pollen, water or tree resin (used to make propolis, or bee glue), a honeybee can reach an impressive 20mph. She can maintain that stamina for possibly a couple miles or more.

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When Ghosts Come a-Haunting – DNA Tests and You

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*The following recounts true and recent events.  The names have been changed.

•••

Sally had spent scores and scores of hours researching her family’s lineage, an interest she had begun to cultivate after her youngest headed off to college.  By the time she finally got around to send a little spit off to a popular genealogy website she was certain about what the outcome would be – after all, she had memorized the family tree from her dad back to her great-great-Grandfather!

When the report arrived in the mail she opened it with pronounced anticipation and began to scan for Johansons. There were none.  More slowly this time, she again perused the list of relatives and still no Johansons.  She checked to make sure it was her report and not a case of mistaken identity.  Hers.  Wow!

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Androgyny’s Abrogation

*Here’s the call:

Dispatcher: 911 what is your emergency?

Caller: I think we have a heart attack victim.

Dispatcher: OK please tell me the age and sex of the victim.

Caller: I can’t.

Dispatcher: You can’t tell me the age and sex of the victim?

Caller: About 40 years old, I guess, but I don’t know the sex.

Dispatcher: You don’t know the sex?

Caller: They’re androgynous. Keep Reading

Do You Love America’s Youth?

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*More dead kids.  Another devastated town.  We mourn, we complain and we do nothing.  NOTHING!

As tiresome as it is to listen to NRA Nutz misquote, misinterpret and misuse the Second Amendment, and as badly as we need gun ownership regulation of some sort – as the Second Amendment dictates – gun control legislation is not going to stop these monstrous school killings; at least not any time soon.  Even if gun control legislation passed this afternoon it would take decades before guns weren’t readily available – if then. Keep Reading

Bogus Blaming of Baby Boomers

*One Lyman Stone, in The Atlantic of June 24, 2019, blames the Baby Boomers for many of the problems in America, in an article titled “The Boomers Ruined Everything.” According to Stone, the younger Americans (Gen X, Millennials) are having a hard time, economically and otherwise, because of the acts and behavior of the Baby Boomers. The Baby Boomers ruined everything about America? Hardly. Stone’s universal generalization is the first key flaw in his argument. But let’s take a look.

To start off with, Stone begins with this gem: “The average U.S. state constitution is more than 100 years old. We are in the third-longest period without a constitutional amendment in American history: The longest such period ended in the Civil War.” What about our treasured Constitution needs to be changed? He offers no suggestions, so allow me to suggest one. Keep Reading

America’s Bees – 55 Billion Dead, Feds Drop Bee Survey

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*America’s bees are in big trouble. Instead of protecting our important buzzing brethren and those who  faithfully tend to them, the Trump administration is overtly pandering to Big Chem, the makers of more deadly nerve poisons.

Normally, a beekeeper can expect to lose about 12 percent of a colony to overwintering deaths. Since 2006, U.S. beekeepers have lost around 30 percent of their hives each winter. The winter of 2007-08 recorded a death spike of 36 percent. Some beekeepers were forced into bankruptcy.

America's Bees
Image credit: Reese Halter

Since then, my colleagues have conducted hundreds of scientific studies on the deadly effects of a wide array of nerve poisons used in commercial insecticides e.g. neonicotinoidssulfoxaflorflupyradifurone, chlorpyrifos. When honeybees encounter less than a dozen parts per billion of these nerve poisons, they instantaneously exhibit the full strength symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The Einsteins of the insect world lose their minds and shake to death.  Horrible. Keep Reading

Baking, Starving, Flooding, Goodnight Fossil Fuels

*June was the hottest month ever recorded. At the G20 meeting in Osaka, Japan, U.S. President Donald Trump refused to sign a joint statement by the other 19 members on combating Man-made global heating. In the meantime, baking, starving and flooding are accelerating globally with vengeance.

Last week, France recorded its all-time hottest temperature, 114.6F (45.9C). Scientists reported that the recent European heatwave was at least five times more likely and 7.2F (4C) hotter due to global heating from burning planet-destroying fossil fuels. Keep Reading

Eavesdropping on Nature

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*Go outside. Close your eyes. Listen. What do you hear? There’s a whole world around us that’s rich with Nature’s symphony, or, soundscape, that we are all inexorably linked to.

Do you suffer from anxiety, stress, depression, burnout or low energy? If so, spend 17 minutes each day quietly breathing in Nature, preferably next to big trees. It will miraculously recalibrate your brain and boost your autoimmune system.
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Australia, Canada Commit to Unlivable Planet

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*The Great Barrier Reef and the Salish Sea have been thrown under the bus by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Justin Trudeau, Australia and Canada respectively, for more global heating subsidized fossil fuels.

What can be done to protect our only home from roasting to death?

Earth Roasting
A despondent malnourished polar bear scavenging the streets of the nickel-copper-palladium mining city of Norilsk, Russia. Image credit: Irina Yarinskaya/Zapolyarnaya Pravda/Reuters

It’s so hot that more starving Russian polar bears are entering into towns hundreds of miles away from the sea. On Monday, another heartbreaking report of a climate refugee with its paws caked in mud, emaciated, exhausted and frantically searching the streets of Norilsk, Russia, for food.

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