Forest Bathing

“The Japanese term Shinrin-yoku may literally mean "forest bathing,” but it doesn’t involve soaking in a tub among the trees. Rather it refers to spending time in the woods for its therapeutic (or bathing) effect. Most of us have felt tension slip away in the midst of trees and nature’s beauty. But science now confirms its healing influence on the body. When you spend a few hours on a woodland hike or camping by a lake you breathe in phytoncides, active substances released by plants to protect them against insects and from rotting, which appear to lower blood pressure and stress and boost your immune system.“
 ~Mother Nature Network


Description from Mother Nature Network:

If you grew up thinking these cute little bugs were some kind of beetle, you’re not alone. Most of us think that roly polies — also known as pill bugs, potato bugs and wood shrimp — must be a type of insect since they’re always found under rocks and logs with other creepy crawlies.

However, these unique little animals are like fish out of water, in a way. Roly polies are crustaceans that crawled out of the sea onto land millennia ago.

How do we know this? Well for one thing, they still have gills!

If you asked me to pick a single photograph that encapsulated everything that’s wrong with modern consumer society, this would be my choice.

The Citarum River in Indonesia is reputedly the world’s most polluted.  It’s almost beyond belief that 5 million people depend on the river for their water supply.

An ambitious $500m clean-up project is underway…..but you really have to question whether money and remedial actions are going to solve a problem like that.


Yeah yeah yeah, this is soliciting tech bubble Kool Aid 

But this is also inspiring.  #Shift series provides interesting feedback about today’s tech industry and innovative ideas.  

MNN's Thanksgiving potluck

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We had an office potluck today with desserts and sides and decided to turn it into a little competition among the staff. Although all the dishes were delicious, there could be only one winner, and the prize went to Hope’s hazelnut tri-cherry stuffing! Check out her yummy recipe below

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Hazelnut tri-cherry stuffing

    •    1 large onion, chopped
    •    4 tbsp butter
    •    2/3 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
    •    ½ cup fresh or dried cranberries
    •    1 loaf rustic bread (a 1 lb. size)
    •    A handful of parsley, chopped
    •    2 cups chicken or turkey broth
    •    finely grated zest of 1 lemon
    •    olive oil, for drizzling
    •    salt
    •    pepper
Time Estimates
Prep time: 30 min  
Cook time: 1 hr  
Total time: 1 hr 30 min  


If using dried cranberries, put the cranberries in a bowl and cover with hot water for about an hour.

If you’re cooking the stuffing outside the turkey, heat the oven to 375°F and oil a 9x13-inch baking dish.

Remove the crust from the bread and cut the bread into ¾-inch chunks.

In a large bowl, combine the bread, olive oil, salt, pepper. Arrange the bread cubes in a single layer on baking sheet and toast them until lightly browned.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, 1 to 2 minutes.

In a large bowl mix the bread, cranberries, onions, hazelnuts, parsley, and lemon zest. Stir in the broth. Toss well to combine; the bread should absorb most of the broth.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

If cooking separately, spread the stuffing in the prepared dish and cover with foil. Bake for 25 minutes; then remove the foil and bake until crusty and golden, about 35 minutes more.

No Shampoo - Day 1

So, after reading a very interesting article on Mother Nature Network about how ceasing the use of shampoo had improved the authors hair quality, I thought I’d give it a try. Since I only wash my hair twice a week anyway (calm down, I do wash, but since I don’t dry my hair with a hair dryer, it takes frickin’ aaages to dry, so it’s not practical to wash it everyday. Plus, it doesn’t get greasy so quickly…probably because I don’t wash it everyday!) I thought I’d give it a try.

First thing, much quicker to take a shower! I usually wash my hair, put conditioner on and leave it for 3 minutes or so. So yeah, that was good. I didn’t like the fact my hair didn’t feel soft (since I’d not used conditioner) but I guess that’s something I should get used to.

Now my hair is mostly dry (after 7 hours, told you it took ages) it looks really greasy :( Fortunately I have no where to go, but still! It feels ok though, just looks greasy at the top. It’s also more curly and defined than usual which is a plus.

Another major plus is that, already, my usually flaky scalp is way better. My main reason for stopping shampoo use is because I’ve felt for a while that it only exacerbated my dandruff, but I’ve been ingrained into this notion that you HAVE TO use shampoo.

I’m not sure I can deal with it looking greasy though…we’ll see.