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Bee Lifeguard

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From time to time I check the swimming pool to see whether any bees have fallen in.

If I find one, I scoop it out using my hand or a leaf, or — if the bee is in the middle of the pool — a broom.

And then, depending on the state of the bee — newly stranded and still raring to go, or thoroughly water-logged and just barely alive — I either leave it in a sunny spot in the backyard or I take it to Bee ICU, which is under the heat lamp on the porch.

When my wife got the lamp installed, I thought it was the type of thing we’d almost never use. But now that I’m on a bee-saving jag, it comes in handy. Bees recover quickly under its warmth.

Full disclosure: I told a bit of a lie in my opening line — the part about checking the pool ‘from time to time.’ In truth, if I’m at home and awake, I’m basically a bee lifeguard. I check the pool every half hour. I rescue any insect which seems to have a fighting chance.

This is somewhat insane, I know. As my sister pointed out, I’ve come to resemble the Jonathan Franzen character who goes door-to-door trying to get neighbors to clothe their housecats in tiny vests with a bell on the front, to reduce the killing of songbirds.

My sister isn’t wrong. The bee lifeguarding triggers some OCD-ish intensity.

I suppose another way of saying all this is, yeah, we’re right in the middle of Sad Dad territory. Both kids have left for college. My dog died. And I’m in the backyard patrolling an empty pool as if 20 toddlers were jostling each other at the edge.

That said, bee lifeguarding doesn’t feel sad. For one thing, you’d be amazed how utterly dead the bees can seem upon arrival under the heat lamp — they’re not moving, they’ve lost their color, they’re kind of black and slimy looking — and then minutes later, they dry out, their color comes back, their legs start moving, the abdomen begins pulsating. (Apparently this helps them take in oxygen.) They stand up, clean off their head and legs, wait till all systems are go, and then fly off. I’m astounded, every time.

I should just cover the pool, to obviate the need for lifeguarding. But a) then I wouldn’t get to be the hero; and b) even though the pool is currently around 52 degrees, I do like to sit in it for a few minutes each day.

I guess regularly sitting by myself in a cold pool removes any doubt about Sad Dad status. Well, that and my Spotify playlist. But in my defense, I started sitting in cold water long before Wim Hof made it popular. It’s good for sore muscles and a cluttered mind. It puts at least a tiny dent in my espresso addiction.

The other thing about bees, they’re surprisingly relatable. When you first lift them out of the pool, they are so clearly not at their best. They aren’t on a winning streak, I guess you could say. But then you watch them battle to come back to life. It’s a struggle, you don’t have to be a scientist to see that. And not all of them survive. So there’s an element of suspense, too.

Okay, it’s probably not hugely suspenseful. But for me it is.

I spent more than an hour with one particular worker bee. After a slow start, she looked like she would be all right. She recovered enough energy and coordination to walk around. She drank a bit of the sugar water I dabbed beside her. Then she tried to fly off. For whatever reason, whether wing damage or a separate issue, she couldn’t fly. She exhausted herself trying. And then slowly the whole process went backward. I watched her … not come back to life.

I tried everything — repeated trips to the heat lamp, more sugar water. I put her in different spots around the backyard, using a leaf to transport her. But gradually her movement slowed. She started to curl up in the posture which a dead bee winds up in.

Not knowing what else to do, I thought, ‘Okay, well, at least keep her company.’

I moved her from the leaf to the palm of my hand, and the two of us just stayed together in the fading light of late afternoon.

Before she died, she reached out her long back leg and touched the base of my thumb. It took my breath away. I’m sure it was nothing, just a reflex on her part. But in the moment, it gave me a jolt. The gesture felt a bit like her saying, ‘We are connected.’

So anyway, I guess we can also add Bee Hospice to my résumé, not just Bee Lifeguard and Bee ICU Nurse.

Now dear readers, please don’t send me Amazon links for floatable pool objects to decrease bee drownings. I’ve tried them. They help a little, but don’t eliminate the problem altogether. As I said, I should just cover the pool. Or drain it and let the kid down the street use it as a skateboard park.

But then I would need to find a new cold-water spot. Besides, my wife wouldn’t go for an empty pool, due to aesthetics. Nor would she go for a stranger coming over to see how many days he could string together before breaking an arm or leg, or neck.

Anyway, if you have a swimming pool, try it sometime — rescue a bee and watch it come back to life. It will blow your mind. You don’t have to be a Sad Dad, though that does heighten the experience.

Originally published on https://kittroyer.wordpress.com/

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Is Crypto Safe? What You Need to Know

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Is Crypto Safe? What You Need to Know

What You Need to Know About Crypto Security

The cryptocurrency market is booming with more new coins and startups than ever, but they’re not all created equal. Cryptocurrency is a trailblazing technology that could overhaul the financial systems of the future. However, it’s wise to do your homework before actively trading or investing in cryptocurrencies with price volatility and privacy concerns.

What Is A Cryptocurrency?

Digital money that makes use of cryptography to safeguard transactions and regulate the generation of new units is called Cryptocurrency. It’s called a cryptocurrency because it relies on cryptography’s encrypted form of data. Cryptography also provides anonymity for users by obscuring their identity and, indeed, all aspects of their transactions.

Cryptocurrencies can be mined, traded or used to purchase goods and services. A person would have to rely on already established relationships with merchants or banks to make purchases in the past. 

How Safe Is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is more than an idea to create a digital form of currency at its core. Cybercriminals have learned that they can target these digital currencies because they are not regulated and not backed by any government. In theory, it’s tough to track down the source or the location of cryptocurrency transactions.

Cryptocurrencies are a prime target opening for cybercriminals since it’s difficult to trace transactions and identify the individuals involved.

How to Safeguard Your Cryptocurrencies

Cybersecurity in Cryptocurrency is a common issue and one that you should be aware of if considering an investment. Though the concerns are real, these problems can be mitigated mainly through a few simple security steps before trading or investing in Cryptocurrency.

Here are some basics steps to help secure your account from Cryptocurrency transactions:

Password Protection

Enable two-step authentication and password protect your computer when searching for cryptocurrency exchanges. This will prevent anyone from accessing your machines if they are stolen or hacked.

Use a Virtual Private Network

A virtual private network (VPN) is a computer network where you can hide your proper IP address. If a hacker were to try and break into your account, they would see an IP address from the VPN, so it would be impossible to gain access.

Backup Your Wallet

Backup information that includes public address and private keys. This will help you retrieve any lost currency or prevent others from transferring Cryptocurrency from your wallet.

Use Multiple Wallets

Using more than one Cryptocurrency wallet helps protect your investment from theft even if your account is compromised. If you have a cryptocurrency wallet on multiple devices and platforms, it’s easy to keep a backup of your information in case of an account breach.

What Are the Risks Associated with Cryptocurrency?

With all the blockchain talk about decentralization and anonymity, getting swept up in the hype is easy. Cryptocurrency has become a rapidly growing portion of the investing market, and many retail investors are looking to trade or invest in cryptocurrencies.

While the technology behind cryptocurrencies is impressive, risks are rushing, making trading and investing in Cryptocurrency risky for inexperienced traders. 

Phishing Scams

Phishing scams come in many forms, including emails and text messages. These scams can occur on an individual or a more general level, as most commonly happens. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) publishes information on detecting phishing scams. Still, it’s hard to tell the difference between a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange and an imposter because most large cryptocurrency exchanges do not have contact information listed for regulatory reasons.

Volatility

Cryptocurrency is a very volatile market that can swing wildly in either direction in almost no time at all. All cryptocurrencies are responsive to news, which can cause price changes within minutes or hours. There are also several different types of currencies, so you may have a hard time getting used to the volatility of each type. If you see only one digital currency (e.g., Bitcoin), it’s easy to assume stability when it’s still highly volatile.

Online Payments

While using crypto for online payments is a convenient method to pay for products and services, there are significant hazards involved with such transactions. When you pay for anything using bitcoin, you have no way of knowing the seller’s identity or having your payment details validated by a third party. You’re on your own if there’s an issue with the transaction.

With online purchases, you don’t have access to a complaint process, and there is no recourse if something goes wrong. This all results in anonymous transactions that pose risks online. As long as Cryptocurrency continues its rapid growth, this will be an iCryptocurrencyilers and sellers will need to solve.

Conclusion

Cryptocurrency is a highly sought-after currency for investors due to its untraceable nature and ability to exchange value without interference from a third party, such as a bank. However, this feature also makes it an appealing target for cybercriminals.

If you’re considering investing or trading in Cryptocurrency, educate yourself on the processes used to make transactions and invest your money safely and securely with reliable services that vet every transaction before letting it go through. Before diving in headfirst, make sure you research the different types of Cryptocurrency available and what risks are associated with each one. For more information on Cryptocurrency and its different types, visit our blog now!

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Food Is Medicine And What We Eat Is Important

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Your mental state is a critical component of your physical health. And when you’re under a lot of stress, you might not be eating the healthy food that provides nutrients for fighting anxiety and depression. So when we examine what we’ve been eating, most of us discover that the decisions we’ve been making in the name of simplicity, convenience, or saving time have been damaging to our total health – body, mind, and spirit.

A person’s diet is a direct reflection of their health. When a person does not eat the right foods, their body breaks down. This can lead to an overall decrease in quality of life and many other diseases linked to improper nutrition. In North America, our current diet mainly consists of an excess of grain, sugar, fried and fatty foods. As a result, disorders including hypertension, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s, and certain malignancies are becoming increasingly widespread.

The science of food has always been discussed; however, with recent technological innovations in food processing and agriculture, people have enjoyed more convenient foods that are less expensive than ever before. Unfortunately, with every convenience comes a trade-off. Smart foods are often packed with sugar, salt, and calories, leading to poor health in some individuals. 

To understand what a person is putting into their body, it’s essential to realize that the small molecules in food are responsible for allowing our bodies to function. These small molecules are called nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and enzymes. A nutrient is not a value unless absorbed by the body through a specific pathway. For example, if you absorb calcium without vitamin D, your body will not use that calcium. 

Eating a balanced diet keeps you healthy, but it helps reduce your stress. For example, eat foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants because they help augment your immune response and prevent toxins from damaging your cells. Vitamins A, C, and E serve as antioxidants that fight off free radicals in the body. Free radicals are toxic products of metabolism that cause damage to your cells. Experts claim that they are responsible for the aging process. Good sources of these vitamins are deeply-colored vegetables- green leafy, yellow, and orange vegetables, such as squash, broccoli, kale, spinach, and carrots.

Iron is one of the most abundant minerals in the body, and it mainly functions to deliver oxygen to your cells. Hence, an iron deficiency, medically termed Iron-deficiency anemia, is associated with weakness, easy fatigability, and pale skin. Tea, coffee, red wine, grapes, and berries are rich in antioxidants that function the same as your vitamins A, C, and E. 
You need a diet that’s healthy and balanced – and one that can fit comfortably into your busy lifestyle.

Here are some of the recommended dietary guidelines.

Eat a diet high in fresh vegetables, vitamins, and minerals. 

Exercise every other day to release endorphins, feel good, get the blood flowing, and reduce stress levels. 

Eat salt only when you need it, but not too much as your body does not need it. Many people with anxiety are hypothyroid or have low magnesium. When your body needs more sodium, it can indicate that you are not producing enough cortisol or are dehydrated. If you experience chronic anxiety, I recommend working with a physician to run tests on cortisol levels and then take salt supplements as needed. Use spices like turmeric, ginger, curry, and aromatic herbs like parsley, rosemary, sage, and basil.
Eat low-fat meals because they will cause a minor spike in blood sugar levels: think lean meats, eggs, vegetables, and nuts; avoid dairy if it makes you feel anxious. 

Drink lots of water — keep hydrated all day — ideally at least half a gallon if possible — your brain needs water to function optimally! 

Avoid foods that you know will make you feel bad, such as dairy, even with low-fat content. You can cut out dairy and not worry about it! 

Avoid sugar, caffeine, processed foods, alcohol, and any other substance that makes you feel bad or increases anxiety levels. Also, avoid coffee — drinking more than one cup a day can cause anxiety in some people. Coffee is also dehydrating and inhibits the absorption of minerals from food/water/supplements — try caffeinated water as a substitute for coffee if you like the caffeine kick. 

Find a natural health professional that you can talk to or work with to quickly get the results you want. 

Healthy foods and nutrition can help you stay fit, but they can also assist you in treating disease. When you nurture your body physically with these nutrient-dense foods, your mental capacities improve, as does your spiritual welfare. Moreover, because your spiritual health is at its best, it will radiate to the exterior world, causing others to notice you’re happier and more relaxed, and your stress levels have decreased dramatically.

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The Points of Light Civic Circle Offers Real Ways You Can Change the World 

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Sixty-six percent of Americans don’t believe they can make a big impact in the world. 

That figure is according to Points of Light’s research on civic engagement. But what if I told you there are actually many ways to drive change? 

Today’s political climate can feel divided or even stagnant, but the truth is, you really can make things better, starting with your own community, one act of kindness at a time. And those aren’t just words. I’m here to share real, practical ways for you to make a difference. 

The Points of Light Civic Circle helps people connect to opportunities and understand that doing good comes in many forms. It is a framework that represents your power to lead, lend support and take action for causes you care about and live your best civic life. 

The Civic Circle provides actionable examples of all the ways you can change your community to reflect the world you want to see around you. In fact, you’re probably doing some of these things already. Are you helping a neighbor by picking up groceries or chaperoning on your child’s class field trip? You’re volunteering. Did you vote in the last election or help others get to the polls so they could vote? Those acts of civic duty illustrate the “vote” element. When you buy a product, do you choose to support companies that reflect your values or advance a social cause? That’s called “purchase power.” There are nine elements of the Civic Circle, and countless ways to bring each one to life. 

This blog is the first in a five-part series that will help you find real and manageable ways to activate the Civic Circle through apps, documentaries, podcasts and books. 

We also offer other resources to help you connect with all the ways you can become empowered to be the change you want to see in the world. Check out our videos that provide an in-depth look at each element of the Civic Circle. And don’t miss Civic Life Today, our digital magazine series. Each issue takes a deep dive and provides materials, ideas and inspiration so that you can become civically engaged.  Get started today, and launch your own civic engagement journey with these tools. 

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