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On Monday, Dec. 4, President Donald Trump announced that he'd be slashing the size of Utah's Bears Ears National Monument.

The southwestern landscape — which currently covers 1.3 million acres of red rock canyons, sweeping vistas, and archaeology sites, such as ancient cliff dwellings — would be shrunk to about 15% of its current size. Another nearby monument, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, would also be cut by about half.

[rebelmouse-image 19530301 dam="1" original_size="750x364" caption="Photo by Bob Wick/Bureau of Land Management/Flickr." expand=1]Photo by Bob Wick/Bureau of Land Management/Flickr.


National monuments are sites already owned by the federal government that have been set aside as particularly important to cultural or natural heritage. The Statue of Liberty is a national monument, for example.

Bears Ears was designated as a national monument in late 2016 by President Barack Obama after lobbying from local environmentalists, outdoor enthusiasts, and local Native American tribes to protect them from oil and gas extraction, logging, mining, or other environmental harms.

In his announcement about this decision, Trump explained, "Some people think that the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington."

But this is a wild mischaracterization of how protected lands actually work and who owns them.

National monuments aren't just pretty places for elites kept around for their good looks. They're assets that belong to the people — and there are lots of reasons why that matters.

[rebelmouse-image 19530302 dam="1" original_size="750x499" caption="Tourists check out ancient rock art at Bears Ears. Photo by Bob Wick/Bureau of Land Management/Flickr." expand=1]Tourists check out ancient rock art at Bears Ears. Photo by Bob Wick/Bureau of Land Management/Flickr.

For one thing, they're a good investment.

National parks, monuments, and other public lands are the backbones of domestic tourism and outdoor recreation such as hunting, fishing, and hiking. The outdoors industry is worth more than $800 billion a year and supports 7.6 million jobs.

In fact, a study showed that just being near protected lands could help bring economic growth to small towns or rural areas.

For another, the wild areas of the United States help nourish and sustain its citizens.

About 124 million Americans get their drinking water from national forests and grasslands. And forests remove as much as 10% of America's carbon emissions from the atmosphere each year.

Finally, many of them help protect our history from literal grave-robbers.

[rebelmouse-image 19530303 dam="1" original_size="750x499" caption="Ancient cliff dwellings. Photo by Bob Wick/Bureau of Land Management/Flickr." expand=1]Ancient cliff dwellings. Photo by Bob Wick/Bureau of Land Management/Flickr.

Bears Ears, for instance, has been home to the local Native American tribes since time beyond memory and is home to thousands of important historical and archaeological sites, some dating back as far as 13,000 years ago. Looting, vandalism, and grave-robbery has plagued the area for years, and archaeologists and historians were hoping that federal protection might finally put an end to it. Now those hopes have been dashed.

"This is the worst-case scenario," Jason Chuipka, co-owner of Woods Canyon Archaeological Consultants, told Nature.

The New York Times quoted Helaman Thor Hale and Andrea Hale, who are Native Americans, as saying of Trump's move, “It’s a historical trauma our people have been through over and over."

But listen, you're not here for a deluge of facts and quotes. If you are, there are plenty of amazing articles and resources out there that show how incredible our parks and monuments are. What you're here for is this:

This land is not just Trump's land. It's your land.

[rebelmouse-image 19530304 dam="1" original_size="750x433" caption="The Valley of the Gods in Bears Ears. Photo by Bob Wick/Bureau of Land Management/Flickr." expand=1]The Valley of the Gods in Bears Ears. Photo by Bob Wick/Bureau of Land Management/Flickr.

National parks and monuments aren't the president's land or Congress' land. They are just the stewards of them. The real owners are all of us.

Trump's decision is already being challenged in the courts. On Monday, a coalition of Native American tribes filed a lawsuit. Environmental organizations like The Sierra Club and The Wilderness Society have followed suit, and the retailer Patagonia announced it will as well.

Until these cases are decided, however, the fate of Bears Ears is uncertain.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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Education

All-female flight crews known as 'Night Witches' bombed the crap out of Nazi targets in WWII

The Germans were terrified of these pilots whose silent planes swooped in like ghosts.

The Night Witches were feared by the Germans for their stealth bombing runs.

If you like stories of amazing women, buckle up, because this one is a wild ride.

During WWII, the Soviet Air Force's 588th Night Bomber Regiment flew incredibly harrowing missions, bombing Germans with rudimentary biplanes in the dead of night. The Germans called them Nachthexen—"Night Witches"—because the only warning they had before the bombs hit was an ominous whooshing sound akin to a witch's broom.

The "whoosh" sound was due to the fact that the women would cut the planes' engines as they approached, gliding in stealthily before dropping their bombs. And the Night Witches moniker was fitting, considering the fact that the 588th was an all-female regiment.

Their missions were incredibly dangerous, especially considering how the women were equipped. Most of the recruits were in their late teens to mid-20s, and crew members had to learn how to pilot, navigate and maintain the aircraft so they could serve the regiment in any capacity. They underwent an intensive year of training to learn what usually took several years to master.

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This article originally appeared on July 2, 2019


Sadly, a lot of men go out of their way to avoid learning anything about a woman's period.

(That could be why throughout most of the United States — where the majority of lawmakers are men — feminine hygiene products are subject to sales tax.)

So we should give some love to the guys who make an effort to learn a bit about the menstrual cycle so they can help their family members when they're in desperate need of feminine hygiene products.

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