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canada health, national park prescription, nature and health
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Finding joy and health in nature.

Humans didn’t evolve to stare at screens for an average of 10 hours a day. We evolved to hunt and gather on the plains, not to walk on asphalt or spend our days in high-rise buildings changing the colors of pixels on a computer screen.

So it’s understandable that modern humans suffer in some way or another from a lack of connection to nature. We may not feel a conscious disconnect from nature but it definitely has a negative impact on our mental and physical well-being. We know this because being in nature has shown to have an incredible therapeutic value that researchers are just beginning to understand.

Health officials in Canada are starting to take note of these benefits and have launched a new program that allows its doctors to prescribe free annual passes to the country's national parks to improve their patients’ well-being.

In the past, Canada’s doctors have prescribed spending time in nature, but this is the first time they've been able to hand out year-long passes that work across its national park system.

The program is called PaRx and was launched by the BC Parks Foundation in partnership with Parks Canada.


"Given the growing body of evidence that indicates nature time can improve all kinds of different physical and mental health conditions, we're hoping that our PaRx program not only improves patient health, but reduces costs to the healthcare system, and helps to grow the number of people who are more engaged environmental advocates," Prama Rahman, a coordinator for the BC Parks Foundation's Healthy By Nature Program, told NPR.

There are similar programs in the United States but because the U.S. has a privatized healthcare system they vary based on location and provider.

The more we study the connection between our health and access to nature, the clearer the connection becomes.

“There is mounting evidence, from dozens and dozens of researchers, that nature has benefits for both physical and psychological human well being,” says Lisa Nisbet, Ph.D., a psychologist at Trent University in Ontario, Canada, according to the American Psychological Association.

“You can boost your mood just by walking in nature, even in urban nature. And the sense of connection you have with the natural world seems to contribute to happiness even when you’re not physically immersed in nature,” she said.

Studies show that being connected to nature is associated with improved memory, cognitive flexibility and the ability to maintain focus.

There are three different theories that attempt to explain the health benefits of being in nature. The biophilia hypothesis argues that because we evolved in wild settings and relied on the environment for survival, we have an innate need to connect with nature.

The stress reduction hypothesis backs the idea that spending time in nature triggers a physiological response that lowers stress levels.

Finally, the attention restoration theory holds that nature replenishes our cognitive resources, improving our attention and concentration.

It’s a little funny that after all of these years, we’re starting to realize that we have a special connection to nature and that spending time in the environment in which we originally flourished is important for our own sense of well-being. Kudos to Canada for taking things a step further and making it part of its commitment to health.






10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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Watch Mister Rogers totally win over a tough, skeptical senator in 6 minutes

"I'm supposed to be a pretty tough guy, and this is the first time I've had goosebumps in the past two days."

Fred Rogers managed to secure $20 million in PBS funding from Congress.

On May 1, 1969, Fred Rogers sat before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications to make the case for funding children's educational programming. His show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, had recently become nationally syndicated, and the program relied on the $20 million in government funding allotted to public broadcasting. That funding was on the chopping block, with President Nixon wanting to cut it in half, so Rogers went to Washington, D.C., to advocate for the funding before Congress.

In a video clip of Rogers' testimony, we can see how subcommittee chairman Senator John O. Pastore sat across from Rogers, appearing somewhat disinterested. He had never heard of or seen Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and wasn't familiar with Rogers himself.

"Alright Rogers, you have the floor," he said in an almost condescending tone.

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Three people engaged in conversation at a party.

There are some people who live under the illusion that everything they say is deeply interesting and have no problem wasting your time by rambling on and on without a sign of stopping. They’re the relative, neighbor or co-worker who can’t take a hint that the conversation is over.

Of all these people, the co-worker who can’t stop talking may be the most challenging because you see them every day in a professional setting that requires politeness.

There are many reasons that some people talk excessively. Therapist F. Diane Barth writes in Psychology Today that some people talk excessively because they don’t have the ability to process complex auditory signals, so they ramble on without recognizing the subtle cues others are sending.

It may also be a case of someone who thinks they’re the most interesting person in the conversation.

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