Learn Fingerspelling (You May Need it One Day)

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Are the kids stuck indoors, in the car, or just plain bored?

Have them learn “fingerspelling”–the one-handed American Manual Alphabet.  It’s an important part of American Sign Language.manual alphabet snip 1

It’s lots of fun, and it keeps kids occupied.  They also learn something useful that they may need someday, to communicate with someone who is deaf.

Isn’t it great to teach your kids something that they could later use to help a stranger?  Or help them chat with a deaf friend?

And it’s always fun to learn a special new code.  It’s really great for those times when kids need to keep quiet. Continue reading Learn Fingerspelling (You May Need it One Day)

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Lapland’s Sami reindeer people–simple life, superfood diet

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Simple life, superfood diet of Lapland’s Sami people

lapland mapLapland is a cultural region that spans the arctic areas of Finland, Norway, Sweden, and the northwest tip of mainland Russia.

Traditional Laplanders are called the Sami people.  Many of them still live the way their ancestors did, herding reindeer that forage across the wide arctic expanse for lichens in the winter and green plants in the summer.

The Sami lifestyle is simple and peaceful.  The diet is rich in an array of superfoods.

The Sami people rely on reindeer for their very existence.  They eat reindeer meat, use the milk for cheese, and the skins for clothing, blankets, and shelter.  They create tools and decorations from the bones and antlers.

 

The Sami also use reindeer as pack and harness animals.  Even the Lapland police use reindeer!  In arctic weather, reindeer are more reliable than motorized vehicles or other animals.

lapland police

All reindeer are considered domesticated in Lapland.  Reindeer hunting is illegal.

In this two minute video, a young Sami reindeer herder explains the connection he feels to his reindeer:

Continue reading Lapland’s Sami reindeer people–simple life, superfood diet

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Could space experiments help us have healthier food here on earth?

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Fresh Veggies in Space

Go Veggie Team!  To infinity and beyond!

NASA has launched its own “Veggie Team.”  Their goal is to develop ways for astronauts to grow their own fresh greenhouse produce while staying at the International Space Station, and other future out of this world locations.red lettuce snip 2

Record breaking astronaut Scott Kelly who spent a year in space tweeted: “I missed the color green most during my year in space.  Great to see it again on earth!”scott kelley green in spaceIn the following video, NASA Commentator Brandi Dean talks with Dr. Gioia Massa, a Veggie project scientist, about the team’s space experiments, including a recent crop of zinnias. Continue reading Could space experiments help us have healthier food here on earth?

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PSCAA: Harsh wood stove laws hurt “heat-or-eat” rural poor

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Wood Stove “Mobile Apps” for Rural Poor and Elderly?

Forty percent of low-income Americans reported that they have had to choose between paying for food and utilities in the past year.

Should local governments have sweeping power to change how we live–especially when those changes would hurt our neediest citizens the most?

Should a government’s decision making process be more accessible to those who are affected the most?

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) is an unelected, little known, and powerful agency that has created strict and confusing regulations over wood burning, that have a great impact on low income citizens in King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties.

In an apparent attempt to share their draconian wood stove laws with folks who are trying hard not to freeze in their homes, PSCAA came up with some really cool mobile apps.

If you have any problems with PSCAA’s apps, they’ll try their best to get back to you within two business days.  Of course, that doesn’t stop you from getting hit with massive fines if you go ahead and light your wood stove because it’s cold and you can’t reach them for days. Continue reading PSCAA: Harsh wood stove laws hurt “heat-or-eat” rural poor

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Ten Year Old Lydia England Recites “Things of the Spirit”

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10 year old Lydia England recites a portion of President Coolidge’s “Things of the Spirit” speech, which he gave in 1926 on the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Video from 2013.

In many ways, we face the same challenges today!

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