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The many ways indoor and outdoor plants enhance our mental and emotional wellbeing

The review data, collected and analyzed by researchers Charles Hall and Melinda Knuth at Texas A&M University and published in the Journal of Environmental Horticulture, supports the notion that living in or near green spaces, and spending as much time as possible in both natural settings and cultivated gardens, can improve mood, reduce the negative effects of stress, encourage physical activity and other positive behaviors, improve cognition, reduce aggression, and enhance overall well-being in people of all ages under many different circumstances.

Specifically, the researchers found that people who surround themselves with plant life and other forms of natural beauty, indoors and out, experience emotional and mental health benefits that have a positive impact on their social, psychological, physical, cognitive, environmental, and spiritual well-being,

» Read more at Psychology Today…

 

Lonely? Short of friends? Try looking at it differently

Assuming you don’t spy on your friends via telescope from treetops, you never see them at home alone in their pyjamas, eating pickled onion Monster Munch while watching The X Factor and feeling sorry for themselves. You’re never there when they wake in the dark at 3am, wondering where their lives are headed. Or, likewise, consider those happy throngs you glimpse through the windows of the bar you pass each day on your way home from work: doesn’t it seem like they’re always meeting friends at the bar?

In fact, it’s a mathematical oddity that your friends do have slightly more friends than you do, on average. (Essentially, this is because people with large circles of friends are more likely to have you as a member of theirs.) But the main culprit, this new study confirms, is an observability bias. The more instances of something we encounter, the more significant we naturally assume it to be – and though we encounter our own solitude frequently, we never encounter other people’s. The distorted judgments we reach as a consequence have real emotional effects, the researchers found, leaving people with lower wellbeing and less of a sense of belonging. So, yes, the fact that we only ever experience loneliness when it’s happening to us is blindingly obvious, I suppose. But blindingly obvious in an almost literal sense: it’s so self-evident, we barely ever see it.

» Read more of this article by Oliver Burkeman at The Guardian…

Tammy Roberts has fostered more than 250 children over nearly three decades

The foster mother to more than 250 children in the Northwest Territories is a finalist for the Children’s Aid Foundation’s Lynn Factor Stand Up for Kids national award.

For nearly three decades, Tammy Roberts has provided emergency and long-term care to vulnerable children.

In her words, she is “just trying to make a difference.”

Read More about this amazing woman, Tammy Roberts, in an article by Kate Kyle at the CBC…

 

Luna Lee covers Jimi Hendrix’s Classic ‘Voodoo Child’ on a traditional Korean Gayageum

Low-income seniors live a better, healthier life if they live in affluent rural areas

A new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that where low-income people live plays a key role in their health. Stanford Health Policy’s Maria Polyakova, PhD, and Lynn Hua, a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, found that older, low-income Americans tend to be healthier if they live in more affluent areas of the country.

Not only are they healthier, but their physical well-being is better across the board with a lower prevalence of dozens of chronic conditions, particularly if they live in rural communities. This, despite their income having less purchasing power in those better-resourced neighborhoods.

» Read more from Beth Duff-Brown at Stanford Medicine…

A majority of Canadian voters in almost every riding are worried about climate change

Using more than 9,000 survey responses and validated statistical models, they estimate 83 per cent of Canadians believe the earth is warming — compared to 70 per cent of Americans, as found in a similar project out of Yale University last year.

Fifty-four per cent of Canadians support increased taxes on carbon-based fuels, and 58 per cent support a cap-and-trade system, according to the study.

» Read more by Samantha Beattie at The Huffington Post

Remember, you can’t be stuck in traffic; you are the traffic.

— Kevin Slavin

‘She Said’ recounts how two NY Times reporters broke the Harvey Weinstein story

» “She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement,”
by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey

“She Said” isn’t retailing extra helpings of warmed-over salacity. The authors’ new information is less about the man and more about his surround-sound “complicity machine” of board members and lawyers, human resource officers and P.R. flaks, tabloid publishers and entertainment reporters who kept him rampaging with impunity years after his behavior had become an open secret. Kantor and Twohey instinctively understand the dangers of the Harvey-as-Monster story line — and the importance of refocusing our attention on structures of power. When they at last confront Weinstein, in a Times conference room and later on speakerphone, he’s the mouse that roared, the Great and Powerful Oz turned puny humbug, swerving from incoherent rants to self-pitying whimpers (“I’m already dead”) to sycophantic claims of just being one of them. (“If I wasn’t making movies, I would’ve been a journalist.”) He’s loathsome and self-serving, but his psychology is not the story they want to tell. The drama they chronicle instead is more complex and subtle, a narrative in which they are ultimately not mere observers but, essential to its moral message, protagonists themselves.

» Read more about this new book at the NY Times

CDC advise pet owners to avoid all pig ear dog treats due to salmonella positive tests

As of September 5, the CDC said that public health officials at the state level, as well as ones working with the FDA, have tested pig ear dog treats sourced from a variety of suppliers and have found them to be contaminated with ‘many different’ Salmonella strains. The agency hasn’t named any particular stores or brands implicated by the tests, however.

Officials are warning that due to the high number of positive tests, the public should avoid all pig ear dog treats — that includes ones that have already been purchased. These treats shouldn’t be handled by young kids or anyone with compromised immune systems; as well, anyone who touches one of these treats should avoid touching their face and any surfaces.

» Read more by Brittany A. Roston at SlashGear…

Norwegians are EV obsessed and the Tesla Model 3 accounted for 12.4% of all vehicle sales in Norway from January–July 2019

California’s a huge market for Tesla, the Netherlands loves Tesla, Switzerland loves Tesla, but no state or country is as Tesla obsessed as Norway.

Whereas electric vehicles are still at 1–2% market share in many auto markets, or 6–10% in good markets, fully electric vehicles accounted for 38% of new passenger vehicle sales in Norway last month.

If you’re like me, you’d like to check your senses now and confirm the 38% related to fully electric vehicles, not also plug-in hybrids. Indeed, that’s only for the purest of the pure, while another 25% were hybrids, 41% of which were plug-in hybrids. That means nearly 50% of new vehicle sales were plug-in vehicles sales.

King of the hill among all of these electric and electrified vehicles, as usual, was the Tesla Model 3. The Model 3 is so popular there that it accounted for 12.4% of the Norwegian auto market in January–July of this year. Good luck finding a country with a 12.4% EV market share, let alone a 12.4% Tesla Model 3 market share. That percentage means that one out of every eight vehicles sold in the country was a Model 3 — not for one month, not for two months, but for a 7 month timespan.

» Read more about electric vehicle sales in Norway by Zachary Shahan in Clean Technica

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