15 Interesting Things to Ponder instead of the News

15 Interesting Things to Ponder
instead of the News

Writing and Word Usage, Tips for Better Health,
Stunning Statistics, Time out for Fun, and
 an Inspirational Story you may have missed.

Perhaps some of the following tidbits will resound with you as your New Year continues to unfold.

Writing and Word Usage

#1. Are you a writer or someone who loves words and the uniqueness of the English language? If so, you’ll love this post from the Steve Laube Agency titled, “Weird English Language Quirks.” Two from the list that gave me a chuckle: “If there are typos in a dictionary, how would you know?” And, “We say something is out of whack. What is a whack?” (This site offers helpful resources and an archive of blog posts for freelance writers and authors.)

#2. “Word Woes: The Most Misspelled English Word in Every Country.”   A very interesting story and a colorful map of misspelled words. See how many you are spelling incorrectly.

#3.  Cambridge Dictionary Bows to ‘Woke Activists,’ Changes Definition of ‘Woman.’ The updated definition for the word “woman” now states in its secondary characterization that the term describes “an adult who lives and identifies as female, though they may have been said to have a different sex at birth.” Likewise, the secondary definition for the word “man” is now “an adult who lives and identifies as male, though they may have been said to have a different sex at birth.” (Social media users were quick to condemn Cambridge Dictionary’s shift. As one person commented, “The Cambridge Dictionary can change the definition of a word to suit an agenda, but that agenda still cannot change biology.”)

Tips for Better Health

#4.  Is Your Diet Healthy? According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025, more than 80 percent of people in the U.S. aren’t eating enough vegetables, fruit, and dairy. And most people consume too much added sugar, saturated fat, and sodium, all of which can increase the risk of some of the most common chronic diseases. Let us all strive to eat healthier this year.

 #5.  New Definition of “Healthy.” In September 2022, the FDA began to implement a plan they call “A Fresh Take on What ‘Healthy’ Means on Food Packages.” They also plan to create a symbol that food companies can put on the front of a package to let consumers select foods that will help them build “healthy dietary patterns.” Meanwhile, you can visit the  FDA's site for recommended dietary guidelines and many PDF documents you can download to get you started on eating healthier than you may have been doing in the past.

#6.  Health Benefits of Indoor Plants. Do you know that indoor plants can improve focus, decrease depressive mood, and lessen symptoms of anxiety? Plants will also improve a room’s oxygen supply and help combat any pollutants you may be adding to the air from a home office. Researchers in the field of smell report that fragrance added to the atmosphere of a room can increase typing speed and work efficiency in general. Lavender is said to wake up one’s metabolism and make one more alert. (If you’ve been working up a sweat in your home office, a little perfume couldn’t hurt.)

Stunning Statistics

#7.  California’s Historic Rains. After three weeks of heavy rain causing landslides, sinkholes, and major flooding across the state, The Washington Post reported that 24 trillion gallons of water had drenched the state. The storms are now ending, but the damage they caused is evident in these heart-rending flood photos on CNN’s website.

#8.  More than a million pets were adopted last year, up from 2021. Chewy editors add, “That’s not the only good news. Adoptions of adult dogs and cats, who are traditionally overlooked in favor of puppies and kittens, are also on the rise.” (This article includes the 2022 Animal Shelters & Rescues Report.)

#9. What’s the leading cause of death worldwide? I was stunned when I heard the answer on radio earlier this month. For the fourth year in a row, abortion is the leading cause of death worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) maintains that “around 73 million induced abortions take place worldwide each year.” And now that the FDA has approved the abortion pill—readily available from many sources—this number will surely increase.

Time out for Fun

#10.  A Golden Retriever gives us a lesson in sharing. I think you’ll love this YouTube video of how a Golden Retriever responded when he discovered four tiny kittens in one corner of his bed.

#11.  Comedy Wildlife Photo finalists—in pictures. The short-listed images for the 2022 Comedy Wildlife Photo awards were announced last October. Whittled down from thousands of entries submitted by professional and amateur photographers from around the world, we’re presented with a wonderful mix of hilarious wildlife from a smiling triggerfish to a waving raccoon. Click to see if your favorite pictures were winners.

#12.  The Robots are Taking Over!  Here I am, grappling with simple technology related to cell phones and websites while the world is learning how to operate without humans. This “Fun Fridays” post from the Steve Laube Agency presents a video of how a grocery store warehouse in London fulfills consumer orders with more than 2,000 robots (thankfully, being managed by a few humans). Of it, Laube says, “It seriously looks like something out of a science-fiction thriller. (The Robocapalypse?) When they call it ‘The Hive’ and there is one artificial intelligence running the show, oh my. Next thing you know an A.I. will be writing your book for you!”

#13.  This bit of “memory humor” on the internet hit my funny bone: “I came, I saw, I forgot what I was doing, retraced my steps, got distracted on my way back, have no idea what’s going on and now I have to pee.”

An Inspirational Story
and a Thought to Quit on

#14.  Chris Maynard, video, “Listen to the voice.”  If you’ve seen this video, please pass it on. I found it to be one of the most moving stories I’ve ever heard. If it doesn’t quickly grab you and touch your heart, you need a spiritual tune-up.

#15. A thought to quit on: Every day is a good day—if we make it so. It’s all up to us. Each new day is our opportunity to start all over and breathe a prayer of gratitude for all that we have instead of focusing on what we do not have or may have lost. No matter how bad our circumstances or how dark our world becomes, let us thank God each morning for giving us one more day of life.

P.S. If you need special encouragement today, see my article, “FOUND! A New Source of Strength.

First published as a Brabec Bulletin on January 19, 2023.

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