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enjoy yourself
Thoughts and comments about making life even better
Curated by Kenneth Weene
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Dirt has a microbiome, and it may double as an antidepressant

Dirt has a microbiome, and it may double as an antidepressant | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
No one would blame you for not wanting your body to be infested with creatures from your garden. But maybe you should rethink your position. Your garden has its own microbiome, and research suggests it's good for you. Our health depends on the flourishing microbiome in our guts—and on how much of the natura
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Unlike most kids, I was raised in a very sterile (protective) environment for the first few years. I had little contact with dirt, especially not the dirt in which things grew. While that stopped during my fourth summer, most of which was spent on a farm, I was still kept pretty much out of the world until I was a young teen.The exception being summers after age five, which I spent in Maine at camp; lots of dirt there, but no gardens. 

Based on research that shows kids who are raised around animals and farms, such as the Amish, have fewer allergies, I have never been surprised that I grew up suffering from the pollen of the grass and trees around me. Was that also a contributor to my adult depression? It certainly wouldn't surprise me. 

If I could go back in time and do one thing differently, it would be to sneak out of the house and play in the yard. Our downstairs neighbor was a nice man who loved to garden. Perhaps I could have helped him. 

My father did try to grow a victory garden towards the end of World War II. He was a total failure at it and never appreciated nature. Instead of taking my brother and me into the woods, he would take us to a museum where we could see glass flowers. 

Today, I live in a condo-apartment. We have no room yard for growing things, but recently we planted a Christmas cactus and three fire-sticks on the patio. Once a week I have to water them. Each Monday, their water day, I think of all the fun I might have had if only I had snuck out to help Mr. Brownlow. Oh well we neurotics tend to suffer from reminiscences. I guess especially those of us who write. If you enjoy my reminiscences, why not visit http://www.kennethweene.com  ?


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11 cold, hard facts that show why the snow leopard is unlike any other feline.

11 cold, hard facts that show why the snow leopard is unlike any other feline. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it

Compared to the rest of the cat pack, the mighty snow leopard is in a category of its own — a "cat-egory" if you will.

Kenneth Weene's insight:
Snow leopards: One of my favorite animals. Some fascinating facts and pictures. Enjoy and have a great day. And, for a great read, today's recommendation is Memoirs From the Asylum. Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBUhagWFWt4 
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California's Super Bloom Trampled By Hordes Of Overeager Visitors

California's Super Bloom Trampled By Hordes Of Overeager Visitors | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Prime lake trail was shut as environmentalists assessed damage, added staff to protect wildflowers.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Humans have become the bane of nature. We have, as a species, no restraint. As the saying goes, it is a stupid bird that fouls its own nest. And, for some bizarre reason we think of ourselves as the uber-species. Ha! 
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Nature Docs Might Offer Relief From Anxious News Cycles

Nature Docs Might Offer Relief From Anxious News Cycles | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
More reason to catch "Planet Earth II."
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Of course, if you think about what we humans are doing to the environment, you may just get more anxious. Still, it does look like a great show. 
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2º from Oblivion | New Zealand Geographic

2º from Oblivion | New Zealand Geographic | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Kenneth Weene's insight:
On the sad side of the New Year, consider the tuatara of New Zealand, an ancient line of lizards now headed for extinction. And the strange reason: as their breeding area gets warmer the eggs are warmer and that means more males are born. How's that for a lousy way to go? 
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Two Moose Locked In Mortal Combat Found Frozen In Ice

Two Moose Locked In Mortal Combat Found Frozen In Ice | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it

They literally somehow drowned while fighting each other to what ended up being the death. And then the water froze.

Kenneth Weene's insight:
Those who know my love of moose, can guess at my horror in reaction to this story. On the other hand, there is the hilarious reality that males of any species can get so heated-up about rutting as to lock themselves in mortal combat. Of course, we humans aren't that crazy dumb, ARE WE? Just looking in the mirror.  
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Indigenous rights are key to preserving forests, climate change study finds

Indigenous rights are key to preserving forests, climate change study finds | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Leaving forests in communal hands cuts carbon emissions from deforestation, helps communities and offers long-term economic benefits: ‘Everyone wins’
Kenneth Weene's insight:
My friends who have studied preColumbian America have always said that the Native populations were much better at caring for the land than the Westerners who came with their herds and plows. Sure, modern faming can feed more people, but what about keeping a sustainable world. 
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We've figured out how to solve human-elephant conflict. It takes bees. Lots of bees.

We've figured out how to solve human-elephant conflict. It takes bees. Lots of bees. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
How do you stop an elephant from raiding farms? Set up a unique, buzzing defense.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Some stories are just fascinating. This is one, using bees to help protect farms from marauding elephants, what a great idea. 
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Meet the Newest Species of Whale

Meet the Newest Species of Whale | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The new whale species, not-yet-officially named named 'karasu,' was speculated about for more than 70 years and confirmed by DNA research
Kenneth Weene's insight:
With so many species going extinct, the idea of finding new species, especially an animal this large, is really exciting. I understand that Herman Melville is asking for a recall of all copies of "Moby Dick" while he writes an addendum for the "raven" whale. 
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Absolutely Stunning Photographs of the Sky

Absolutely Stunning Photographs of the Sky | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
These new photos show everything from a meteor shower to the auroras dancing in skies above stark terrain.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Absolutely stunning photographs of the sky. Take time to blow your mind and check out these incredible pictures. My favorite, the heron and the moon. Now that could inspire a great poem. 
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Proposed national park is a multimillion-dollar gift wrapped up in distrust

Proposed national park is a multimillion-dollar gift wrapped up in distrust | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
In Maine, a region battered by the closure of paper mills and traditionally wary of the federal government wrestles with the prospect of a national park.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
As a lover of Maine, I can see both sides of this controversy. The wilderness, in which I have camped, is glorious and worth seeing. However, the way of life is private and built around hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling. The economic boost of a national park and tourism would be huge, but it would change that way of life and I can certainly understand why folks would not want to give up their small town ways. If you'd like to get a sense of that way of live, be sure to read my book "Broody New Englander" which one professor called the best book she'd ever read. You can find "BroodY" on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Broody-New-Englander-Kenneth-Weene-ebook/dp/B00QCUYK12?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc
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Koala mauling is an uneasy reminder of mountain lions' place in Southern California

Koala mauling is an uneasy reminder of mountain lions' place in Southern California | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Natalie Riggs was sickened by the sight of the carcasses of cherished pets ravaged by a mountain lion. Blood streaked the ground in the pen where her two sheep, Blanca and Blackie, had their throats slashed. Blanca's hindquarters had been eaten. Blackie was killed for no apparent reason. "I
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If you have domesticated animals, it is your responsibility to protect them from the wild predators that live around you. As a strong supporter of that position, I share this story of Mountain Lions and other animals, yes, sadly including a Koala. 
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He was supposed to kill these 2 bear cubs. He saved them instead. Now he might lose his job.

He was supposed to kill these 2 bear cubs. He saved them instead. Now he might lose his job. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Thousands of people are trying to get him his job back.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is one of those feel good but wait a minute stories. Sure the cubs are cute and who would want to harm them, but do we really need to save black bear cubs? The species is hardly endangered, especially in the Vancouver Island region. Which brings us to a reality—nature is cruel. We humans are strangely ambivalent about the creatures that surround us. We fight for them and then decry the reality when they become a problem for us, for example when deer raid our gardens or coyotes eat our dogs and cats. Anyway, I think it wrong to tell a firefighter that he has to kill animals. If you want to euthanize an animal, the least you can do is get somebody to do the job who is willing, not somebody who is dedicated to saving life.

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Live, long and black giant shipworm found in Philippines - BBC News

Live, long and black giant shipworm found in Philippines - BBC News | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Scientists find live specimens of the giant shipworm, described as "rare and enigmatic".
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Being a Broody New Englander, my first question is, "will they make a good chowder?" Next consideration, red or white? Not really, of course it would have to be white. Seriously, I'm always amazed when new forms of life are found. True, we knew this clam/mussel (not a worm) species existed, but now we can actually see them. 
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Why wolves mate for life and 22 other interesting things to know about these animals.

Why wolves mate for life and 22 other interesting things to know about these animals. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Gray wolves get a bad rap. Here's why they are actually pretty amazing animals.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Most of us grow up fearing wolves, but do they deserve their fearsome reputation? Here are some facts about this beautiful canines. 
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Attention small children and seniors: I know it's fun, but please don't feed the birds.

Attention small children and seniors: I know it's fun, but please don't feed the birds. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Put down the bread. The birds will thank you.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Of course some people provide seed and other appropriate food for birds, but let's be mindful that in the old days on board ships putting a sailor on bread and water was a serious punishment for a reason. So is feeding it to ducks and other wild foul. One of the best things I used to do when we had a house and yard was to refuse to spray the trees and lawn. Sue we had a few more bugs than our neighbors, but we had a many more birds, usually in mating pairs, who ate the bugs and made our lives more beautiful. 
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Peru’s Amazon Jungle: Rich, Lush and Worth Saving - Indian Country Media Network

The Manu Wildlife Center in Manu, Peru was establish to offer high-quality ecotourism, so Natives will have jobs in the Amazon.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
A reminder of the wonderful world of nature still to be found and very much in need of protection. 
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32 years separate this before and after of a beautiful Washington forest. Take a look.

32 years separate this before and after of a beautiful Washington forest. Take a look. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
These satellite photos prove we can still save our forests — if we have time.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
A few summers ago, I went back to my beloved Maine. Much of the logging in that section of the state had long stopped, and the woods were thicker and greener than I remembered. Yes, nature does recover. However, the best recovery of forests is when humans play a positive role not just a passive one. When the Europeans came to the North America, much of the forested continent appeared like parks due to the role of the Native populations. The Native Americans knew that they were part of nature and that they had a role to play, that they had an investment in the longterm quality of the environment. It is a European value to use and move on, to expect nature to do the work. 
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Watch What Penguin Does When He Comes Home To Cheating Wife

Watch What Penguin Does When He Comes Home To Cheating Wife | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The most savage thing about this encounter was the narrator
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Love and home wrecking among penguins. Fascinating ethology video that strikes too close to humans to be comfortable. 
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Polar Bears Trap Meteorologists on Remote Island

Polar Bears Trap Meteorologists on Remote Island | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Five Russian meteorologists are trapped by polar bears in their remote weather station.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This is one of those man and animal stories I just have to share. 
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Iowa farmers ripped out prairie; now some hope it can save them

Iowa farmers ripped out prairie; now some hope it can save them | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Wild prairie protects soil from farm-killing erosion and reduces water pollution.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
What a great idea, to use nature take better care of nature. Having seen the phosphates bubbling into suds in the Iowa River, I must say this sounds like a great idea. Another possible way to cut the destruction of Iowa's soil and rivers would be to stop the farce of ethanol. Instead, let's subsidize good farming practices. Yeah, I know, taxes or food prices, `but think of the cost to us all when the soil is gone and the water is undrinkable. 
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15 rare species and why it's critical you know they (and others) exist

15 rare species and why it's critical you know they (and others) exist | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it

A rodent that looks like a horse? A blue-faced monkey with orange fur? It's all here, folks. Including the sand cat a wild feline that lives in the deserts of North Africa. 

Kenneth Weene's insight:
Enjoy this wonderful animals, but keep in mind that they need our human help if they are to survive in the wild. Help fight poaching, habitat encroachment and environment degradation. 
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Amah Mutsun Band Returns to Mount Umunhum, Sacred Site of Their Creation

Amah Mutsun Band Returns to Mount Umunhum, Sacred Site of Their Creation | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
After 200 years the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band has access once again to sacred ceremonial grounds at Mount Umunhum in the San Francisco Bay area.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Something to make us a little happier about the world in which we live. After many years, the Amah Mutsun people have new access to their sacred places and we all have a a beautiful natural place to celebrate. It may not be Maine, but it makes this Broody New Englander happy to see. 
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Scientists Have Discovered a 600-Mile Coral Reef

Scientists Have Discovered a 600-Mile Coral Reef | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
It’s at the mouth of the Amazon River.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Not as diverse or colorful as other great reefs, but still significant and already endangered. Preserve nature; let us be stewards of the Earth not just parasites.
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World's Rarest Giraffe Spotted

World's Rarest Giraffe Spotted | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
She was named by a local guide after a brand of detergent.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Got to celebrate the wonder of nature. 

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