For the first time in 3000 years, Tasmanian devils are born into the wild on mainland Australia

photo by Wayne McLean — Creative Commons Wikimedia

The ferocious Australian marsupial, immortalized, and somewhat misrepresented as an unforgettable “whirling dervish” cartoon character, has been teetering on the edge of global extinction.

The Tasmanian devil has been extinct on mainland Australia for thousands of years, due to a non-native predator, the dingo- which is thought to have been brought from Borneo and Sulawesi 5000 years ago.

The rising waters that separated Tasmania from the Australian mainland long ago are believed to have saved the Tasmanian devil from complete eradication.

While the population of devils on Tasmania numbered an estimated 150,000 in 1996, their numbers dropped alarmingly low by…


Bad Behavior Postpones the Return of In-Flight Alcohol

Photo by Eva Darron on Unsplash

Just when we thought things were finally getting back to normal...

Lock downs have been lifted and smiling faces are visible once again, as almost half of Americans are vaccinated. People are going back to work, kids are going to camp, and airline travel is bouncing back.

According to TSA statistics, during the last week, domestic air travel was back to 73% of the 2019 figures. (7 day average 5/27–6/2)

Compare that to the same week in 2020, when travel dropped to 17% of the preceding year’s totals.

Both American Airlines and Delta have recently announced plans to add new…


Why We Ate More in 2020 and How We Can Stop

Photo by Junior REIS on Unsplash

We need to all give ourselves a break as we don our summer outfits and look in the mirror. Traditionally, winter is a time when our bodies crave more carbs, more sleep, and less activity. It’s something we all deal with every spring, as we pull out those summer clothes and pack away our parkas.

Think of 2020 as a year-long winter. …


When Your Boyfriend Says “It’s Him or Me”

Photo by Walter Gadea on Unsplash

“I have a dog,” I said, on my second date with Jake.

We had covered the topics of age, careers, marital history and favorite foods during the first date, and now we were getting into the nitty-gritty.

  • Reading vs. TV watching
  • Ski vacations vs. beach vacations
  • Life plan: kids or no kids?

It was this last one that had prompted me to mention Mozart, my dog. I’d noticed Jake had seemed pleased when I’d answered, “No kids.”

Smiling widely, he had said, “Me neither! Too much responsibility. I like to be able to drop everything and travel on a whim.”


16 Days In, (almost) $40 - but only $1.52 was in “Reads”

photo by asier_relampagoestudio on freepik

I joined Medium on April 16, and I love this platform!

Medium is a great community. I’m always finding new writers to follow, and there’s a constant array of interesting articles to read, depending on my mood at the moment. I’ve done OK, 80% curation rate, and earned $41.87 within 35 days (on Medium). I’m hopeful that will increase.

Soon after joining, I found another site that would reward me for my writing. I was pleasantly surprised with the results, after little more than two weeks.

I joined Vocal Media on May 3rd, after finding out you can just re-post…


Memories Have a Flavor of Their Own

photo by Ulrike Leone on Pixabay

The first five decades of my existence are imbued with peppermint.

That distinctive, energizing aroma that awakens the soul and sharpens the wit… the only flavor capable of simultaneously burning the tongue while cooling the breath.

Peppermint runs through my life, the way mint will overtake your garden, winding over the fence and tangling with all the other herbs - basil, rosemary, sage… until everything carries a minty footprint, and your Thanksgiving stuffing has an odd taste which polite company refrains from mentioning.

They say the sense of smell is perhaps the most powerful memory trigger, and I’m here to…


The new Amazon platform for authors of serialized fiction opens soon! Here’s what you need to know

photo by Diana Grytsku on freepik

At this point, you may have heard about the new Amazon reading platform opening to the public this summer: Kindle Vella.

But if you haven’t heard, you’re not alone! Amazon, so far, has kept the fuss to a minimum - one can only hope, as Vella’s grand opening draws nearer, they’ll start shouting about it from the rooftops.

Kindle Vella will be (yet another) Amazon attempt to break into the serialized fiction market. They have put forth several efforts so far, which yielded far from perfect results, including Kindle Serials, Kindle Worlds and Kindle Scout. …


ANECDOTE | ANIMAL ADVOCACY

Fibrocartilaginous Embolism — what it is, what to expect, and what you can do to help.

A smiling, healthy black lab-mixed dog on a boat
A smiling, healthy black lab-mixed dog on a boat
author’s dog, Jasper, before his accident

The event

Jasper was a happy, healthy, black lab/Newfoundland mix who loved to swim. His size fell between the two breeds, at about 80 lbs. He had an adorable floppy eared face, medium long fur, soulful brown eyes, and a big, booming bark that seemed to surprise even he, himself, on the rare occasion it escaped.

He would bark and then look around, startled, “Who said that?”, before his face would break into a doggy grin, and his frond-like tail would wag.

As I tended my flower garden one day, while Jasper was chased butterflies and romped about, out of the corner…


My way of dealing with 2020’s devastating losses

Photo by James Besser on Unsplash

It’s 3 a.m. and I’m in my pajamas. I stroke my grandmother’s marble rolling pin over the slab of freshly mixed pasta on the floured countertop, as she stands close by, murmuring advice.

“Not too thin . . . even it out some, the middle’s too thick.”

I nod and work the pin from the center, shorter strokes now, trying to get it right. She clucks her tongue in approval.

“That’s it. You’ve got it.”

My mother adds her two cents. “Add more flour, it’s beginning to stick. You don’t want to tear it!”

I lift the dough a bit…


A decadent vegan chocolate dessert cake, with a hint of cinnamon

author’s photo

I initially developed this recipe for my boyfriend’s birthday. Besides following a vegan diet, he’s also very sensitive to refined sugar. Even adding white sugar to tea or homemade lemonade will give him a headache. Since he’s such a strict vegan, honey is off the table, as well.

This recipe has very minimal refined sugar…none whatsoever in the cake, and only a small amount via the chocolate chips used in the icing (no confectioners sugar). The recipe incorporates whole wheat flour, gives an unexpected boost of nutrients through SWEET POTATOES, and… it’s 100% vegan!

It’s suitable for a traditional two-layer…

Hunter Cabot

Dancing with 7 billion beautiful souls on a rolling Big Blue Marble, and somehow managing to keep my balance! Peace out. Editor of The Big Blue Marble

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