Heroes

If you don't already think of water as power, these folks make it crystal clear.

Water is our world. Water is our life. So let's keep it that way.

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Stella Artois

I know this might sound weird, but this video got me weirdly excited about water. Yes, water. H20.

In it, a bunch of people explain what water means to them.

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The powerful visuals, the bright colors, the stirring imagery ... the people in the video are right. Water is everything.


HOWEVER. The video didn't do a whole lot to explain what's being done around the world and in developing countries to ensure that everyone has access to water. And that left me with a bunch of questions.

There were three people in the video, the Stockholm Water Prize laureates, whose research I wanted to learn more about. So I did what every millennial does when they want to learn more about something.

I Googled.

Here's what I found:

Women in Bangladesh use their saris to filter their water.

Imagine using your own clothes to stop you from getting sick. How cool is that?? Dr. Rita Colwell discovered that's exactly what women in Bangladesh are doing. The women found that if they folded their saris enough times, they could filter water through them and trap the plankton that was making their water unsafe.

It's so simple. And yet so genius.

Is the problem really access to water? Or is it something else?

You can thank Sunita Narain for an amazing push to shift the way we think about access to water. We often talk about people not having enough water, but Narain thinks that's not the problem.

What is the problem is who gets water and who doesn't.

That is why she works to empower the people of India, particularly women, to build systems to find, preserve, and purify water, rather than rely on the government to take care of it and provide it for them. And that's why she became a Water Prize laureate.

"Water is not about water. Water is about building people's institutions and power to take control over decisions."
— Sunita Narain, Stockholm Water Prize laureate

How can we even measure how much water we use?

Professor John Anthony Allan had his big break when he found a new way to measure water consumption. He figured out exactly how much water it takes to produce different things.

For example, a cup of coffee in the morning doesn't just use a cup of water. When you factor in all the water that goes into growing, producing, packaging, and shipping the coffee beans, your morning cup of joe actually takes 140 liters of water to make.

And why is this so important? His work empowers people to make their own decisions about what they eat or drink and to learn how to become responsible consumers and producers.

How cool is that??

These three may be Stockholm Water Prize laureates, but you don't need to be one to understand how important access to clean water is.

Spread the word. And use water responsibly.

Photo courtesy of Purina® Cat Chow®
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Know someone who’s over 60 and feeling lonely? Help is just a phone call away. Purina Cat Chow has partnered with two non-profits in order to bring senior citizens some much-needed virtual therapy cat visits.

Wait…that’s a thing?

When we think of the term “therapy animal,” most of us are probably inclined to picture a dog. After all, canines dominate the therapy animal field at 94%. Felines, on the other hand, make up part of the other 6% (that’s combined with other animals). Anyone who has experienced that special, soul-soothing bliss that comes from stroking a purring kitty in their lap will tell you: those numbers might be off. Although therapy cats make up a smaller percentage of this segment, cats offer a wide array of positive benefits that make them wonderful therapy animals.

Just ask Roger and Sal – a couple of registered therapy cats – along with their handler Tracy Howell.

Since 2016, Tracy and Roger have been working with Pet Partners®, a non-profit that matches volunteer therapy animals of all kinds with people in need of a furry friend visit, including nursing facilities, assisted living, hospice centers, and children’s hospitals.

Tracy and Roger in 2016; Photo courtesy of Tracy Howell

Sal is a mew addition to the team. But he’s already working very, very hard…putting his head on people’s thighs and letting them massage his paws. What a gig.

According to Pet Partners, who have had more than 1,500 felines registered in their Therapy Animal Program, certain populations prefer cat companions to dogs. For one thing: they’re more compact, and generally more quiet, making lap cuddles a much more Zen experience.

Plus, cats tend to be more particular about who they interact with, which can signal a nice little ego boost. “Cats have a reputation for being selectively affectionate. If a cat likes you, you’re special,” says Moira Smith, Pet Partners staff member, team evaluator, and cat handler.

Basically, it feels really good to be invited into the Cat Club. Some of Roger and Sal’s most loyal fans are, in fact, seniors – in particular, those with dementia.

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via Pexels

The Emperor of the Seas.

Imagine retiring early and spending the rest of your life on a cruise ship visiting exotic locations, meeting interesting people and eating delectable food. It sounds fantastic, but surely it’s a billionaire’s fantasy, right?

Not according to Angelyn Burk, 53, and her husband Richard. They’re living their best life hopping from ship to ship for around $44 a night each. The Burks have called cruise ships their home since May 2021 and have no plans to go back to their lives as landlubbers. Angelyn took her first cruise in 1992 and it changed her goals in life forever.

“Our original plan was to stay in different countries for a month at a time and eventually retire to cruise ships as we got older,” Angelyn told 7 News. But a few years back, Angelyn crunched the numbers and realized they could start much sooner than expected.

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It takes a special type of person to become a nurse. The job requires a combination of energy, empathy, clear mind, oftentimes a strong stomach, and a cheerful attitude. And while people typically think of nursing in a clinical setting, some nurses are driven to work with the people that feel forgotten by society.

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Parenting

Touting the benefits of breast milk during a formula shortage isn't helping anyone

There are times and places for breastfeeding advocacy. This isn't it.

Photos via Canva

A formula shortage crisis is not the time to push breastfeeding advocacy.

By now, you've likely seen news stories about the baby formula shortage in the U.S. According to CBS News, the formula shortage has been coming for months, with supply chain issues, labor shortages, product recalls and inflation creating a perfect storm and hampering manufacturers' ability to keep up with demand.

The shortage is causing intense stress for families that rely on formula as retailers resort to rationing purchases and customers find store shelves empty of major brands.

It's genuinely a crisis. And unfortunately, some breastfeeding advocates are using the shortage to tout the benefits of breastfeeding: This isn't a problem if you breastfeed! It's "free!" It's "readily available!" It's nature's perfect food! It's "what God intended!" It'll never be recalled!

Folks? Now is not the time or the place.

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The 1990s was a magical time.

If you grew up in the '90s then you were part of the last generation of kids who lived without being constantly connected to the internet. You lived during that last gasp of the analog era where most of your entertainment came on tape and if you wanted a new pair of Guess jeans or LA Gear shoes, you had to drive to the mall.

Also, if you wore pants that looked like this, people actually thought you were cool.


Families mattered on Friday nights.



People listened to rock 'n' roll because it was important.



Hip-hop was at its peak.



People spent time talking to each other instead of staring at their phones.

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