Surferbird News-Links, 38th Edition

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Greetings! Today's Surferbird News-Links, along with other posts this week, will be shorter than usual. Who wants to read about climate change and the other serious matters, which the owl seems to obsess over, during the holidays? Highlights from today's edition include: an apology from the owl, good news to share, Hanukkah music, holiday crafts, Obama's views on racism, reversing ageing, and just a wee bit more.

Good news!

Before we get started, though, I have some exciting news to share. I just landed my first writing gig as a freelancer! Now, just to be clear, I'm being mentored for the project, which makes me the mentee. And there's no guarantee my piece will be published, but still, I'm beyond thrilled. I hope this is just the beginning.

An apology

Following on the heels of Obama and his views on racism, below, I owe many of you an apology. Did you happen to read my safety pin movement post? In my moment of passion, when describing my views on our president-elect's advisers and potential cabinet choices, I hit the publish button without giving enough consideration.

First of all, in the original version, I omitted the word advisers. It sounded like I was calling all of those who voted for our president-elect - racists and xenophobes. I wasn't. That little word advisers is very important.

Secondly, I have since added a footnote to explain my intent and removed the words racists and xenophobes. However, I still hold little regard for our president-elect's chief strategist. In fact, I believe I've gone way too easy on him by removing the original words. But I understand the complexities of this election and never intended to participate in voter name calling.

I do remain firm, however, in supporting the constitutional rights of all Americans, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, and I think that just about says it all. Now, let's move on to surfing some news-links!

Warm up

How Obama deals with racism (vox.com)

We could learn a lot from Obama. I found this article both inspiring and instructive in dealing with racism - not to mention, humbling.

News-Links

Environment

Faith based solar panels (cleantechnica.com)

I can't think of a better way to express faith than installing solar panels. The motto for the Solarize with Faith program is, "Stewardship in our hearts. Solar on our roofs."

Swedish banks and the Dakota Pipeline (ecowatch.com)

As more banks withdraw from the Dakota Access Pipeline project, we can add, yet again, another one to the list - the Swedish bank, Nordea. If the companies building the pipeline proceed to go through Standing Rock, Nordea will begin selling its holdings in these companies.

Home and living

Donating to thrift stores (vox.com)

Do you donate regularly to thrift stores? If so, you might find this article helpful. Unlike so many articles on donating, a mother of seven children, who regularly shops thrift stores, wrote this insightful piece from the perspective of the shopper. I appreciated her regard for the complexities of managing thrift stores, also.

Holiday crafts for the whole family (food52.com)

Some of these holiday crafts will look familiar, while others are embellishments of these. But the article also has links to decorative holiday crafts I had never heard of. However, I do need to let you know that some of these projects use supplies that might not be all that environmentally friendly. So, if that's important to you, choose carefully. Perhaps some of the supplies could be traded out for less toxic ones (inhabitat.com). I also found a recipe for natural glue, here. Happy crafting!

Science and technology

Reversing aging in mice (qz.com)

Even though scientists don't consider the age reversal that occurred in this study to be permanent, this "cellular reprogramming" technology, potentially, has far reaching benefits in restoring health to damaged tissues and organs. However, scientists noted that when they administered the treatment too often, the mice developed tumors. In this case, the frequency of treatments is everything. Scientists expect to begin human trials within ten years.

Closing thoughts

Maybe this political/climate change cartoon (theatlantic.com) will make you chuckle - or at least smile. It took me a moment, longer than I'd like to admit, but I did, indeed, smile.