Archive for May 31, 2016

Gone: 1,000,000,000 Birds

That’s a whole lot of birds–just gone forever. Even if you aren’t a bird-lover, you should be concerned.  Birds aren’t just pretty–or messy pests–depending on your point of view.  They’re an important part of the human food chain, performing such functions as carrying seeds that grow into plants that nourish the animals we eat.

Read details about this disaster at the CBS News Technology and science article, A third of birds in North America threatened with extinction.

Meanwhile, here’s a chart that summarizes the situation:




In Their Honor: Pause at 3 P.M.

Today, at 3:00 P.M., people will be pausing for a silent moment to honor those who have lost their lives in military service.  Amtrack trains will blow their whistles in tribute.  And others will find a way to honor our lost military men and women who died in service to our country and to us.

3:00 P.M.  Join in.  It’s the least we can do.

How Green is Your Seafood?

For today’s Sensible Saturday, I invite you to take a little quiz.  It’s only 10 questions, and the answers are at the bottom.  It’s on a webpage that I maintain, so, as with everything I do over cyber-space, you don’t need to sign up for anything and your mail address won’t be tracked.

Take the short quiz, How Green is My Seafood?, at


Friday Fun: What Does YOUR State Want to Know?

When I heard that Google had compiled a list of most-Googled questions for each state, I had to check it out.  My state (California) was beaten-out by Texas on the largest variety of questions–28 to 33.  And they include some pretty strange queries.  Alaska, Kansas, Minnesota, and Wyoming seem to have the least curious people, with only one question per state.

Overall, people searched Google for a whole bunch of stuff I’d never think to ask about.

Just for fun, find out what inquiring minds want to know in your state by going to

Vegan or Not–A Great New Drink

TO MY VEGAN FRIENDS (and other lovers of Bailey’s Irish Cream): Bailey’s has decided to, as they say, “get with the times” and offer a vegan liqueur.  Their dairy-free drink is made with the essence of crushed almonds and almond oil. They want to appeal to consumers by offering a healthier option that is also eco-friendly.

Why is it eco-friendly?  Consider this–it takes 220 liters of milk to make Bailey’s each year, and 38,000 cows to produce that milk.  Those cows have to keep having calves–imagine being pregnant most of your life!  Those calves are taken from their moms right after birth so the milk can go to cream for Bailey’s rather than to the new-borns.  It’s a cruel process.  In addition, cows are harmful to the environment (e.g., emitting methane gas and odors and causing water pollution).

So, vegan Bailey’s?  I’ll drink to that!

What to Do When this Happens to Your Pet

As an animal-lover and care-taker of a Border Collie and African Grey parrot, I was drawn to an article titled “What to Do in These 5 Common Emergency Pet Scenarios.”  After all, I took on the responsibility of these animals’ lives and well being, and I do have three grand-dogs and a grand-cat; so I should be prepared for emergencies that may occur.

The article gives important information on what to do in situations when a pet is 1) poisoned, 2) choking, 3) stung by a bee, 4) suffering a heat stroke, or 5) having a seizure.  It also gives some prevention tips.

If you have a dog or cat, take a few minutes to read through this article.  Then give your furry friend a little extra attention, just because they deserve it.



Healthy Seniors

Two days from now (May 25) is National Senior Health and Fitness Day.  It’s a day when we older people think seriously about how we’re treating our bodies. The theme for this 23rd annual event is “Improve Yourself for a Better Self.”  All sorts of organizations are planning events we can participate in, including free health screenings and workouts :

  • Area Agencies on Aging
  • Banks
  • Health Clubs
  • Houses of Worship
  • Hospitals
  • Malls/Shopping Centers
  • Park & Recreation Departments
  • Retirement Communities
  • Senior Centers
  • State/Local/Aging Departments
  • And Many More!

You have a couple of days to call one of these or look in your local newspaper to find an event near you.  Be healthy!



20,000 of Our Military Sexually Attacked? Who Cares?

“There were more than 20,000 cases of sexual assault, rape, and unwanted sexual contact in the military in 2015.1 It’s an epidemic of sexual assault that is made even worse because the assaults are under-reported and under-prosecuted, with victims often facing devastating retaliation.

“The Pentagon has repeatedly claimed that it can handle this problem – and repeatedly tried to thwart or water-down Congress’ efforts to intervene. It’s clear that the military is failing to protect victims of sexual assault and punish perpetrators. Of the incidents in 2015, around 6,000 were reported and 543 proceeded to trial.2 And according to the Pentagon, somewhere between 40 and 60 percent of women who report being sexually assaulted experience retaliation.3″

Read the read the rest of this report (including documentation for the footnotes) at Credo’s The Military Assault Epidemic.  While you’re there, consider signing their petition to the Senate seeking justice for these victims.  The situation should not be tolerated!  We must care!



Speak English, Darn It!

[The other day I was waiting for a table at my local cafe when I overheard two things: a couple speaking in a foreign language, and a trio of angry people, complaining about the couple’s audacity at not speaking English.  That led me to write the following thoughts.]

*     *      *      *      *

My blood boils as I wait to be seated at a restaurant, two people near me talking in another language.  They’re in America, so they should speak English!

But why?  Do I think they’re talking about me?  Or planning to rob the place?  Do I really want (or need) to know what they’re saying?  If they were speaking English, it would be rude of me to eavesdrop.  I’m not bothered by people speaking in sign language or teens speaking their brand of “English” (although I could do without some of those words).  I, like most people, pepper my everyday language with borrowings from Spanish, German, Yiddish, Italian.  And I know that if I go to England, people there will complain that I don’t really speak English at all!

Next time, then, I resolve to turn boiling blood into thankfulness for living in a country made up of a rich tapestry of cultures, all of which add words to that ever-evolving banquet of language we call “English.”



Trump Has a Sense of Humor

Donald Trump went on Jimmy Kimmel’s show and demonstrated what a good sport he can be, joining in on a laugh at himself. Kimmel presented a children’s book that he “ghost-wrote” for Trump and read it aloud to him.

Whether you like Trump or not, this is cute and shows a sporting side of Donald Trump that we seldom see.

He even read it to his own granddaughter.



Here’s the video: