One U.S. island people lived on disappeared right into the ocean. Another one is on its way.

Can Smith Island be saved?

In 2010, the last remaining house on this Maryland barrier island toppled into the Atlantic Ocean.

A final glimpse before the ocean swallowed up the last remaining vestige of Holland Island. Image by Baldeaglebluff/Flickr.


Holland Island, once located in the Chesapeake Bay, had known this was coming. Rising tides and wind forced the island's residents, once numbering up to 360, to seek drier ground on Maryland's mainland between 1914 and 1922. The house seen in the picture no longer remains in place. It's been enveloped into the surrounding waters, dismantled by a storm in October 2010.

A similar story is in progress with nearby Smith Island right now.

It's not far from where Holland Island once existed, and it's the last remaining inhabited offshore island (inaccessible by car) in Maryland's waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

A report from 2008 forecasts an identical fate — that by the year 2100, the island will be "almost completely under water as the Bay's average level goes up nearly one-foot."

A once-grand home on Smith Island now seems to be waiting for time and the elements to take it. Image by Lee Cannon/Flickr.

That's why the state is trying to buy people out of their land and relocate them to the mainland.

Only a small fraction of Smith Island residents accepted the offer, though. Many of the 276 who remain seem to believe the rising tide predictions are horse-hooey. From a Newsweek interview with resident Tim Marshall:

"'The whole sea-level rise — it's BS,' he says, talking loudly over the boat's motor. 'I've lived here my whole life and haven't seen a difference.'"

But glacial melting is a bona fide fact that says otherwise.

Experts illustrate this expected rise with an image of nearby Deal Island (connected to Maryland's mainland by a bridge):

The red line depicts the approximate level of flooding if a Category 2 hurricane were to hit in the year 2100 (factoring in rising sea level plus the size of waves). Photo via "Rising Sea Level Guidance"/Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Here's the thing: Global warming isn't coming just for these unfortunate residents. They're just on the front end of the timeline. From the Natural Resources Defense Council:

"Scientists at the U.S. Center for Atmospheric Research predict that if the current rate of global warming continues, the Arctic could be ice-free in the summer by 2040."

If the ice caps continue melting at such an increased pace, it could mean the sea levels rising by 10 inches to 23 inches everywhere by the year 2100 (reminder — that's only 85ish years from now). The Gulf Coast, the state of Florida, and the whole Atlantic seaboard would be gone.

What prompts residents to hold fast to these islands in spite of the dire writing on the wall?

The small-town way of life, the remote and peaceful surroundings minimally touched by the modernization happening in the rest of the world, and generations of family ties are all some of the reasons residents might be holding on so tight. It must come down to love, right? Love of their lifestyle and love for the legacy of such a special place.

Smith Island is a 45-minute boat ride from Maryland's mainland shore. Image by Lee Cannon/Wikimedia Commons.

But as Don Henley and Patti Smyth once sang: Baby, sometimes love just ain't enough.

Love won't stop the sea level from rising. Love won't stop time from ravaging Smith Island just the way Holland Island was forced to succumb to the reality of global warming. So residents need to hear the facts, but environmentalists and government folks also need to hear the community perspective, including our calls for them to take action before local situations get this bad. Eventually everyone will leave the island — that's not optional, it's GOING to happen — but in the meantime, an open conversation could be the best way to help get people engaged and planning for their futures.

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Natural Resources Defense Council
Photo by Gregory Hayes on Unsplash

"Can I buy you a drink?" is a loaded question.

It could be an innocent request from someone who's interested in having a cordial conversation. Other time, saying "yes" means you may have to fend off someone who feels entitled to spend the rest of the night with you.

In the worst-case scenario, someone is trying to take advantage of you or has a roofie in their pocket.

Feminist blogger Jennifer Dziura found a fool-proof way to stay safe while understanding someone's intentions: ask for a non-alcoholic beverage or food. If they're sincerely interested in spending some time getting to know you, they won't mind buying something booze-free.

RELATED: States are starting to require mental health classes for all students. It's about dang time.

But if it's their intention to lower your defenses, they'll throw a mild tantrum after you refuse the booze. Her thoughts on the "Can I buy you a drink?" conundrum made their way to Tumblr.

via AshleysCo / Tumblr


via AshleysCo / Tumblr

The posts caught the attention of a bartender who knows there are lot of men out there whose sole intention is to get somone drunk to take advantage.

"Most of the time, when someone you don't know is buying you a drink, they're NOT doing it out of a sense of cordiality," the bartender wrote. "They're buying you a drink for the sole purpose of making you let your guard down."

So they shared a few tips on how to be safe and social when someone asks to buy you a drink.

From the other side of the bar, I see this crap all the time. Seriously. I work at a high-density bar, and let me tell you, I have anywhere from 10-20 guys every night come up and tell me to, "serve her a stronger drink, I'm trying to get lucky tonight, know what I mean?" usually accompanied with a wink and a gesture at a girl who, in my experience, is going to go from mildly buzzed to definitively hammered if I keep serving her. Now, I like to think I'm a responsible bartender, so I usually tell guys like that to piss off, and, if I can, try to tell the girl's more sober friends that they need to keep an eye on her.
But everyone- just so you know, most of the time, when someone you don't know is buying you a drink, they're NOT doing it out of a sense of cordiality, they're buying you a drink for the sole purpose of making you let your guard down.

Tips for getting drinks-

1. ALWAYS GO TO THE BAR TO GET YOUR OWN DRINK, DO NOT LET STRANGERS CARRY YOUR DRINKS. This is an opportune time for dropping something into your cocktail, and you're none the wiser.

2.IF YOU ORDER SOMETHING NON-ALCOHOLIC, I promise you, the bartender doesn't give two shits that you're not drinking cocktails with your friends, and often, totally understands that you don't want to let your guard down around strangers. Usually, you can just tell the bartender that you'd like something light, and that's a big clue to us that you're uncomfortable with whomever you're standing next to. Again, we see this all the time.

3. If you're in a position to where you feel uncomfortable not ordering alcohol:
Here's a list of light liquors, and mixers that won't get you drunk, and will still look like an actual cocktail:

X-rated + sprite = easy to drink, sweet, and 12% alcoholic content. Not strong at all, usually runs $6-$8, depending on your state.
Amaretto + sour= sweet, not strong, 26%.
Peach Schnapps+ ginger ale= tastes like mellow butterscotch, 24%.
Melon liquor (Midori, in most bars) + soda water = not overly sweet, 21%
Coffee liquor (Kahlua) +soda = not super sweet, 20%.
Hope this helps someone out!

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If you do accept a drink from someone at a bar and you want to talk, there's no need to feel obligated to spend the rest of the night with them.

Jaqueline Whitmore, founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach, says to be polite you only have to "Engage in some friendly chit-chat, but you are not obligated to do more than that."

If someone asks to buy you a drink and you don't want it, Whitmore has a great tip. "Say thank you, but you are trying to cut back, have to drive or you don't accept drinks from strangers," Whitmore says.

What if they've already sent the drink over? "Give the drink to the bartender and tell him or her to enjoy it," Whitmore says.

Have fun. Stay safe, and make sure to bring a great wing-man or wing-woman with you.

Well Being
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

Jasmine has been used as a natural treatment for depression, anxiety, and stress for thousands of years. Oil from the plant has also been used to treat insomnia and PMS, and is considered a natural aphrodisiac. It turns out, our ancestor's instincts to slather on the oil when they wanted a little R&R were correct.

A study, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and according to Professor Hanns Hatt of the Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, revealed that jasmine can calm you down when you're feeling anxious.The results can "be seen as evidence of a scientific basis for aromatherapy."

"Instead of a sleeping pill or a mood enhancer, a nose full of jasmine from Gardenia jasminoides could also help, according to researchers in Germany. They have discovered that the two fragrances Vertacetal-coeur (VC) and the chemical variation (PI24513) have the same molecular mechanism of action and are as strong as the commonly prescribed barbiturates or propofol," says the study.

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Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is a name you should remember. If you don't follow politics closely, remember his name because he's the first Republican in Congress to openly join the call for a renewed federal ban on assault weapons.

If you're a Democrat or a diehard progressive partisan, remember his name because it's proof that as a nation we can put principles before party and walk across the political aisle to get things done.

If you're a Republican, remember his name as evidence that real leadership in politics sometimes means risking your reputation to do what is right even when most of your colleagues disagree or lack the political courage to go first.

But let's allow Rep. King to explain himself in his own words:

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Democracy