Summer’s here, so be sure to use sunscreen
Kids are about to break out (err… be let out) of school after what was a cold, snowy winter and particularly long lead up to spring-like weather and upcoming temps show (dare we say) upper 70s and low 80s. Now is the time to pull out the sunscreen bottles and make sure they’re not expired, which some experts say they can be good for up to three years after the purchase date though most companies put an expiration date right on their bottles. Kids can burn easily and it’s better to be safe than sorry, so don’t be afraid to lather them up as often as you can. While you’re at it, throw a hat on them if they’re going to be outdoors for longer period of time.
Burnout at work is real, so play some Nerf basketball
According to the World Health Organization, burnout now officially a medical condition and, if you have a high-stress job, you can quickly feel mentally and emotionally exhausted from work. Symptoms could include feelings of energy depletion, feelings of negativity related to one’s job, reduced professional efficacy, or even increased mental distance from your job. Is there a cure? Well, that depends on each person and how they handle stress. Like to take vacations? Take them. Like to walk during your lunch break? Do it. Want to shoot some Nerf basketball hoops, golf putt a round on the office floor or throw some magnetic darts at the wall? Have at it. Oh wait, that’s just at the Times’ office… Either way, find something that can help reduce your stress at work and at home, or rearrange your life so there’s less stress.
Let’s get real on climate change
97 percent of climate scientists agree that climate change is happening and humans are responsible, but President Trump’s appointed leader of a new climate review panel is neither a climate scientist nor in consensus with the 97 percent. The Trump administration’s latest assault on the climate includes creating a climate review panel that will be led by Princeton Physicist William Happer. Happer has specialized in the study of atomic physics, optics, and spectroscopy and pioneered the development of adaptive optics. Happer is also a vehement defender of carbon dioxide and disagrees with the scientific consensus on climate change, despite having no formal training in climate science. Happer argues that climate change is not dangerous, and that “most of the warming has probably been due to natural causes.” He also argues that the “demonization of CO2 is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler.” Coincidentally, Happer has also accepted funding from fossil fuel companies. Climate change is a problem - most scientists and most Americans agree - but the Trump administration continues to insist it is not an issue. The administration has further promoted its own ignorance by appointing a fossil fuel backed physicist with no formal climate science training to lead its panel on climate review. This will only promote more misinformation and confusion about the climate issue, leading to the possibility that we will miss the opportunity to slow down climate change before it begins to seriously affect our lives. There has been enough discussion on whether or not climate change is happening- today, informed leaders are necessary to make a positive difference in the world, and Trump’s disillusioned physicist will only make things worse. – Maddie Everett, intern
Let’s send some Pirate student-athletes to state
Well, this abbreviated, accelerated, cramped, hindered and schedule-stressed Pirate spring sports season is on the homeward stretch even though it seems like it finally got underway a couple short weeks ago. While the season is over for some teams, other teams, many of which have individual competitors as well as team competitions, are into the heat of the post-season. There are some talented Pirate golfers, track and fieldsters, trapshooters. While it always takes some especially extraordinary performances to send entire teams to state - and that's what we hope for, obviously - it's always fun and rewarding for individual Pirate student-athletes to advance as well. No matter the final outcome, give it your all, Pirates, try your best, and end with no regrets.
Enjoy a tremendous spring bird migration while you can
Whether you agree with those who have said we really haven't had a spring, or those who think spring was just hopelessly tardy this year, the stubborn winter and chilly start to early summer has positively impacted the spring bird migration in Crookston. Yes, the grackles and blackbirds, as usual, are trying their best to ruin the fun for birders, but even the obnoxious, loud and swarming birds aren't enough to overshadow all of the orioles, finches, warblers, grosbeaks, thrushes, thrashers and migrating sparrows choosing to spend some time here. There have been some especially rare treats, too, like the occasional indigo bunting, and even a scarlet tanager. If you want in on the fun, buy some cheap grape jelly and slice up a couple of oranges and you'll at least see some orioles. But you'd better hustle.