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Inside Iceland’s Annual Tradition of Counting Sheep
Every year in September, Iceland celebrates its annual rettir, a roundup of sheep that involves sorting the woolly creatures after a summer of free-grazing in the highlands. This centuries-old tradition has morphed into a multigenerational celebration that includes a traditional meal of kjotsupa, a soup made from smoked lamb, carrots and rutabaga. The event is a way for farmers to keep their ancestral land going, and to ensure food and warmth for the long, cold winter ahead.
Meet Neil and Auggie, the Dog-Piglet BFF Duo Bringing Joy to the Internet
Neil, a rescue dog who had been through abandonment and was anxious, found his perfect companion in Auggie, a rescue piglet. When Auggie joined Neil's loving family, the two formed an inseparable bond, providing comfort and companionship to each other. Their heartwarming friendship has gone viral online where it's bringing joy to millions of online viewers, and is a testament to the incredible connections that animals can form, bringing joy and comfort to their owners.
These Eagle Scout Volunteers Are Ensuring a Popular Lookout is Accessible to Everyone
A prospective Eagle Scout, Darren Baptiste, along with a team of volunteers, has built a wheelchair ramp leading up to the Sun Top Lookout in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington. This initiative enables individuals with mobility issues to access and enjoy the lookout's stunning views. Baptiste's dedication to this project showcases his commitment to making the outdoors more accessible for everyone and serves as a testament to the positive impact young people can have on their communities.
Watch: This Little Girl and the Baby Duck She Rescued Are Now Best Friends
When young Opal and her mother found an abandoned duck egg on a sidewalk, they knew they had to do something before someone stepped on it. When it was clear the mother duck wasn't returning, Opal and Holly brought the egg home, taking care of it until it safely hatched. The duck, which they named Starlight, has become a part of their family, and has developed a special bond with Opal, and the two are now inseparable.
Prescribing Forests: How One Program is Improving Health Through Nature
A forest-based wellbeing program in the UK is pioneering green social prescribing, providing free outdoor activities like trail-walking, archery, forest bathing, cycling, and volunteering. Participants experience mental and physical health benefits combined with a sense of community, potentially life-changing. The success of this program and others like it is prompting a wider green social prescribing movement, with the potential to improve lives, reduce healthcare costs, and demonstrate the value of nature-based interventions for overall wellbeing
September’s Harvest Moon Will Also Be a Supermoon - Here's How You Can Catch It
As fall approaches, so does the enchanting sight of the harvest moon, a celestial beacon welcoming the cozy season. Named for its connection to the harvest season, this year's harvest moon holds even more allure as it's also a supermoon, appearing larger and brighter in the night sky. Mark your calendars for September 29th and catch a glimpse of this stunning phenomenon, as it symbolizes not only nature's beauty but also holds astrological significance for some.
How AI is Helping Families Process Grief and Connect With Loved Ones
In the era of advanced AI technology, people are finding solace in creating digital simulations of interactions with their deceased loved ones. From using AI chatbots to reenact conversations to virtual reality reuniting family members, technology is helping individuals cope with grief and maintain a sense of connection. While some find it unnerving at first, it serves as a way to remember and reflect on the memories shared with loved ones, making the grieving process a more personal and therapeutic experience.
A New Image From the Hubble Telescope Captures a Cosmic Merging of Realms
The Hubble Space Telescope has captured a stunning image of the Arp 107 system, which features two colliding galaxies connected by a tenuous stream of dust and gas. Located 465 million light-years from Earth, this galactic pair showcases the merging process in the cosmos. The larger galaxy is a Seyfert galaxy, known for its active galactic nucleus, while the smaller galaxy is being absorbed into the larger one, evident by its relatively faint spiral arms.
Vacant Lots in Brazil Are Being Turned Into Thriving Community Gardens
Brazilian NGO Cidades sem Fome has transformed vacant lots in São Paulo into more than 80 urban and school gardens, contributing to food security and community development. Inspired by a project in Germany, these urban gardens offer an opportunity for residents to grow their own food, promote healthy eating habits, and connect with nature. With the potential to feed the city's population with locally grown produce, initiatives like these not only enhance food security but also reduce the environmental impact of long-distance food transportation.
What Went Right: A Roundup of This Week's Best News
In a world full of negative headlines, it's easy to forget the good that's happening too. But we believe that good news matters, and there's tons of it to go around! Some of this week's best headlines include a UK hub nurturing the next generation of conservationists, a species that once vanished making a remarkable comeback, and a new research fund supporting BIPOC scientists! Plus, solar farms in space might be closer to becoming a reality!
A New Color-Changing Coating Could Provide an Eco-Friendly Method of Cooling Buildings
Scientists in China have drawn inspiration from the chameleon's ability to adapt to temperature changes and created a color-shifting coating for buildings that can regulate temperature passively. The coating changes color as the temperature fluctuates, reflecting or absorbing sunlight to keep buildings cool in summer and warm in winter without additional energy consumption. This innovative, cost-effective solution could significantly reduce energy use in regions with varying seasons, offering an environmentally friendly approach to heating and cooling.