June 14th, 2019

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Gut Feelings

This study compares other studies on gut bacteria and anxiety.  Improving diet worked notably better than merely introducing probiotic cultures.  Regrettably I could not find details about the more effective diets.

The researchers conclude: "We find that more than half of the studies included showed it was positive to treat anxiety symptoms by regulation of intestinal microbiota.

"There are two kinds of interventions (probiotic and non-probiotic interventions) to regulate intestinal microbiota, and it should be highlighted that the non-probiotic interventions were more effective than the probiotic interventions. More studies are needed to clarify this conclusion since we still cannot run meta-analysis so far."
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High-traffic Roads Harm Children

Living near high-traffic roads comes with prenatal and postnatal exposure to pollutants that damage development. 

Now consider how many poor and ethnic communities have major freeways cutting through them because they don't have the power to block such incursions the way richer, whiter communities often can.  This is a much subtler form of genocide than the overt disruption of the neighborhood itself.  There is a particular bitterness to white people claiming that people of color are stupid, and then doing things which physically impair their development. >_<
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Minimum Need for Nature

According to this study, the minimum need for nature is about 2 hours per week for people to maintain good physical and mental health.  That can happen all at once or be subdivided, such as two 1-hour sessions, four half-hour sessions, or a little more than a quarter-hour each day.  This is the first time I've seen a concrete timespan attached to health markers, as well as acknowledging that adults as well as children can suffer from nature deficit disorder.  But it's pretty obvious that if people get little or no access to nature, they tend to get sick.

In pursuit of this, a daily walk of more than 15 minutes can fulfill your nature needs.  For most people, that's about one mile.  This works well for folks whose days are equally busy.

Longer (two 1-hour or one 2-hour)  sessions of forest bathing may work better for people who have less wiggle room in their daily schedule but more time on certain days.

Here are some other outdoor activities for kids and adults.
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Friday Yardening

Today is cool, cloudy, and breezy.

Round One, I fed birds.  I filled the hopper feeder and thistle sock.  I also put out a watering bowl and filled that.  For whatever reason, my birds don't like the kind of birdbath they're supposed to; they prefer their water on the ground.

Then I picked half a bag of mulberries. 

My Asian lilies are blooming around the telephone pole in shades of salmon.  :D

EDIT 6/14/19: Round Two, I watered plants.

EDIT 6/14/19: It's raining a little -- hopefully enough to do more than wash the dust off the leaves this time!
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Community Building Tip: Sharing Skills

In today's fragmented world, people can improve it by reaching out to each other. Here are some ideas for building community in your neighborhood.

Share your skills. Are you tech savvy? Perhaps you can sew or like to tinker with cars. Your neighbors would love for you to share these skills with them, either by teaching them or just helping on a one-time basis. Skill-sharing banks are popping up in neighborhoods across the country.
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Half-Price Sale in Polychrome Heroics

The June 4, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl made its $300 goal, so there will be a half-price sale in Polychrome Heroics.  Because I have major obligations that will tie up my time the week after the sale, it will run from Monday, June 17-Friday, June 21.  Hopefully that will give me time to post all the sponsored poems before other activities take over.  The quarter-price rate will apply.  Pooling is welcome, but please close it by Friday so I can get started on posting.  We could really use the boost to the family budget, so if you've been thinking about whether to make a donation, that would be a good time.