The polar bear is more than just a beautiful animal. It’s one of the largest carnivores in the world, is at the top of the food chain, and is so crucial to the eco system that scientists are concerned by its dying out because of climate change. Today is International Polar Bear Day, a time to consider their beauty and importance. Below are some fun facts about these animals. For more information, go to https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/the-polar-bear-more-than-a-poster-child/.
- 40kph: The polar bear’s top speed
- 42 razor sharp teeth: With jagged back teeth and canines larger than grizzly teeth, they pack quite the bite
- 30 cm wide paws: The size of a dinner plate! A natural snowshoe that helps the bear trek across treacherous ice and deep snow
- 3 eyelids: The third helps protect the bear’s eyes from the elements
- 4 inches of fat: Under the bear’s skin to keep it warm
- Black skin
- Transparent fur
- Blue tongue
One hundred five — yes, 105 — children are back with their families, some years after being separated at the border. This has happened just within this last month, due to making those kids a priority and refusing to accept the previous belief that the families simply couldn’t be found. A new month is about to start. How many of the other 500+ children can we return to their families this coming month if the effort is sustained?
Whether you like him or not, voted for him or not, Joe Biden’s words in today’s Thursday Thought quote are ones we need to take to heart if our country is to survive and grow.
I plan to drink lots of champagne to improve my health and memory. Scientific studies tell me I should. One indicated that the fizzy stuff is good for my heart. Now studies are showing it can be good for my spatial memory and maybe even keep dementia and Alzheimer’s away. Testing has been done on (happy) rats, whose performance increased with the amount of champagne they were given. Their performance increased even more after being on the bubbly for six weeks.
Yes, the test-subjects were just rats. Researchers are thinking about humans, though. For example, they’ve figured out that a human would have to drink the stuff regularly for three years in order to reap the full benefits. There’s still much to be learned. All I know is that I’m submitting my name to volunteer for the human trials. I figure, if it works on humans I get to celebrate; if it doesn’t work, I’ve already celebrated.
(See details at The Telegraph article entitled “Three glasses of fizz a day could ‘improve your memory.’”
For Christians, this is the season of Lent, when we are called to reflect. But it’s hard, because the pandemic and politics are getting to us. Restrictions, isolation, and worry; fiery rhetoric, violent protests, and shattered hopes. We’re carrying our emotions into our interactions with others. Our patience is thin with our loved ones, and friends are turning against friends. In short, we are not acting as though other members of our human family are worthy of respect, not protecting the lives and well-being of others. Let’s reverse that. Instead of telling our son what he failed to do, thank him for what he did do. Rather than criticizing a friend for her beliefs, find something to agree on. Stop posting name-calling and dehumanizing accusations on social media. If you hear or read a horrible rumor about someone (even a politician or group), don’t pass it on. This Lent (and from now on), fast from tearing down our brothers and sisters and feast on building them up.
Today’s Thursday Thought quote talks about our separate journeys and meeting on the path they cross. Worth considering.
He holds a sign saying “Hungry.” She comes to work with a bruise—again. His limited English hinders his search for work. Her tears won’t stop as she thinks about her husband, dying of cancer. Help is out there, but people need to know how to get to it. You can provide the roadmap. Carry a list of hotline numbers. The list should start with “2-1-1,” offering referrals in various languages for food, shelter, senior services, addictions, counseling, and other needs. It should then list several 800-numbers that offer help for child or elder abuse, addictions, suicide/depression, runaway youth, domestic violence, and families facing grave illness.
Give a list to people in crisis, not pointing to any specific number except 2-1-1, and let them choose either to make the call or to just keep the list to empower them when they’re ready to get help. If the moment is right, offer your cell phone and some privacy for the call. It may take just your simple, unobtrusive act to save a life.
I’ll be happy to send you a Hotline list–contact me at [email protected].
It’s easy (and common) to believe that people are homeless because they want to be or don’t want to work or are irresponsible or want/think they deserve a handout, etc. Here’s the real story:
There’s no such thing as “Presidents’ Day,” at least officially. Yes, in 1971 Congress decided that more long weekends would be good for us and so created the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. What it DID do is combine Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays into a day for all Presidents, a holiday that would always be on a Monday, despite when those two guys were born.
What it did NOT do is officially name the day, which means that “Presidents’ Day” does not, technically, have a real name.
There’s your bit of trivia for the day. Named or not named, enjoy the day!
Be a “Citizen Naturalist.” Help gather data on plants and animals so that researchers can determine how to make a healthier planet. All you do is listen, observe, count, and report. For details, go to https://www.earthshare.org/citizennaturalist/.
[For more easy, money-saving, Earth-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to www.Smashwords.com/books/view/7000 or your favorite e-book seller and download to your computer or e-book device. Totally free, with no strings attached.]