Free range dogs

Dog parks and open land areas where dogs can run off-leash have similar overflowing energy.

I get so much joy watching dogs running at full speed, playing and romping around.

The dog owners are throwing balls, chatting to each other, and socializing. 

Fresh air, exercise, and loving owners are good for the soul. 

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Moons and flames

“Moths and other nocturnal insects navigate by the moon and stars. Those heavenly bodies are useful for them to find their way, even though they never get far from the surface of the earth. But lightbulbs and candles send them astray; they fly into the heat or the flame and die. For these creatures, to arrive is a calamity. When activists mistake heaven for some goal at which they must arrive, rather than an idea to navigate Earth by, they burn themselves out, or they set up a totalitarian utopia in which others are burned in the flames. Don’t mistake a lightbulb for the moon, and don’t believe that the moon is useless unless we land on it.”


Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities

Don’t mistake goals as a destination, rather than an idea to navigate.

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Fake news anti-bodies

If this how the anti-vaxxers maskers respond to a global pandemic, then it’s pretty clear how they will react to the consequences of climate change.

When the internet first came along, people were scared to buy anything online because nobody trusted the world wide web. Now people will amplify and endorse fake news and views like gospel. Just because you say it, doesn’t make it true, should be changed to just because you saw it on Facebook doesn’t make it accurate.

Sadly, it took a deadly pandemic to remind people that fake news is fake.

Fake news farms have met their match, especially with the older generation who are scared shitless by the US government’s handling of the pandemic. By letting the virus get out of control, it’s put their lives at risk. In the past, they had the privilege to share fake news because they weren’t personally affected by the consequences. Covid-19 is a reality check. It’s not just about the health of their 401k anymore.

Data-driven evidence, expert guidance, science and leadership matters. The virus doesn’t go away because of conspiracy theories from charismatic politicians or cable news clowns and entertainers. Hope and lies are not treatment regimes. The antidote for Covid-19 is cold hard facts and self-sacrifice. Unfortunately that’s in short supply right now.

Maybe COVID-19 is like a vaccine that helps us develop anti-bodies against fake news and charlatan politicians and presidents. Maybe when this happens again, our anti-bodies will kick in, and we will be more resistant to junk news and false prophets.

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Baby bear rescue

We need a good news story for today.

Here’s a video of Brian, Tricia and Brady Hurt helping out a baby bear that has a plastic container stuck on its head.

Don’t litter!

Starry starry night

When you look up at night sky with your naked eyes, you can see the Moon, several planets, and many stars.

If you are in a dark location away from city light pollution and it the moonlight is not too bright, you may also see the Milky Way which is a large barred spiral galaxy

In pristine conditions, you can see about ten thousand stars, nine galaxies, and thirteen nebulae.

It’s humbling to think that over the centuries, people like you and me have looked up at the night sky and seen the same constellations and galaxies.

Enjoy

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The inevitability of the death

A merchant in Baghdad sends his servant to the marketplace for provisions. Soon afterwards, the servant comes home white and trembling and tells him that in the marketplace, he was jostled by a woman, whom he recognized as Death, who made a threatening gesture. Borrowing the merchant’s horse, he flees at great speed to Samarra, where he believes Death will not find him.

The merchant then goes to the marketplace and finds Death, and asks why she made the threatening gesture to his servant. She replies, “That was not a threatening gesture, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I have an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.”

W. Somerset Maugham‘s retelling of an ancient Mesopotamian tale, which appears as an epigraph for the novel

There’s nowhere to hide from our own mortality, even though we try to avoid it. It’s scary to imagine dying, so we joke about it or ignore it.

The sooner we face up to the inevitability of the death the sooner we start to appreciate waking up every day and starting fresh.

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Meandering paths

“In a beautiful short story, the Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore describes the meandering paths between villages in India. Skipping along, guided by their imaginations or a winding stream, a detour to a beautiful outlook, or stepping around a sharp rock, barefoot children wove zigzag trails through the countryside. When they grew older, got sandals, and began carrying heavy loads, the routes became narrow, straight, and purposeful.”

Frank Ostaseski, The Five Invitations

When last did you take your shoes off and walk barefoot?

Attributes of a healthy communities, towns and cities

Schools are well funded, and all the neighborhood kids attend the same school. Teachers and parents are accountable to each other outside of school hours. It takes a village to raise a child. 

Schools and daycare are affordable.

Community members are in service to each other. Policeman, baristas, doctors, teachers accountants, small business owners, civil servants all know each other. Their kids attend the same schools, they collaborate, and interactions are in person. 

Everything is walkable, which means there’s more face to face interaction. Cars are containers that limit serendipitous discovery. Stay away from places without sidewalks. Places that don’t promote walkability are broadcasting that visitors and interactions aren’t welcome.

The community supports the elderly through multi-generational homes, well-maintained sidewalks, and subsidized bus services.

Public libraries are central to the community, authors are invited to speak, and different points of view are aired and discussed. 

There are public parks and sports centers for tennis, swimming, golf, bowling, basketball, baseball. Central gathering points encourage people to break bread together and exchange ideas. 

Winter Solstice

This weekend marks the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere – the longest night of the year.  This means late dawns and early sunsets.

Summer begins in the north and winter begins on the southern side of the globe.

Now we wait as the days lengthen again, as we move around the sun towards another summer.

And so the cycle continues.

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Happy sauce

Content and happy people:

Have close family and constant and regular contact with immediate family.

Keep in touch with old friends.

Take care of their bodies

Are positive and see the opportunity in a problem.

Are generous and celebrate other people’s success.

Are self-aware enough and humble enough to laugh at themselves.

Know that less is more

Listen more than they talk.

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