Can a turkey tweet?

6 10 2012

Thanksgiving is here (for those of us in Canada) and of course the social media is all a-twitter. Yes indeed Twitter is a great source of all sorts of Thanksgiving news. More than just good wishes for the holiday, there are tweets about traffic, health stories, recipes and advertisements. I’ve collected a few here to get you in the spirit of the holiday… if you haven’t yet joined the crowd.

Thanksgiving food safety

Ottawa Health tweeted to warn about the dangers of feasting on undercooked meats. Their article gives some quick facts and then tips for making sure that your delicious meal is safe for everyone to consume.


The Vega Team gave a link to a whole selection of vegan thanksgiving recipes on Pinterest. This pumpkin cheesecake caught my eye!

Pumpkin cheesecake pinned by Sarah Dougherty has that characteristic Thanksgiving appeal

Pumpkin not your thing? Style at Home suggests a classic apple pie in their tweet.


Putting the “giving” in Thanksgiving

The Union Gospel Mission reminds everyone to build community and contribute to those in need this season. UGM is an urban relief center serving Thanksgiving dinners to hundreds this season.

The Salvation Army also gives people some ideas of how to reach out this weekend. In some ways, giving is a true sign of being thankful.

And the “thanks”

And of course, the heartwarming #thingsIamthankfulfor. Truly, it is a delight to read through these posts and realize how truly blessed we are to live in this country.

So what are you thankful for this year?  If you need some help, check out Twitter as just one way to be reminded of all the blessings you have.


A Nature Shortage

2 10 2012

Are children out of touch with nature? Are they mentally, socially, and physically hindered by their lack of outdoor experiences?

Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, will answer these questions with a definitive, “YES!” He coined the term “Nature Deficit Disorder” which describes how todays children and adolescents are completely disconnected with nature and the potential ramifications of such a disconnect.

A common alternative to outdoor play, kids are spending more and more time playing video games or other electronic devices

No one can deny that with the growth of technology such as the computer and internet, video games and television, staying indoors has become easy, entertaining and in some ways, natural. Parents even feel that their kids are not necessarily safe out-of-doors and so encourage their children to find ways to play inside. Furthermore, in some areas, finding an untouched “natural” environment is next to impossible. But are the problems that can come from too much indoor play worth keeping kids in the easier, “safer” environment?

Effects of Nature Deficit Disorder:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • obesity
  • attention problems
  • health problems (asthma, cardiovascular issues, etc.)

Attention deficit disorder (ADD) has been linked to a deficiency in outdoor exposure with several treatments suggesting that kids need to spend time outside. Some studies conclude that getting to use all of the senses in a natural, peaceful environment can be very helpful in reducing ADD symptoms.

toddler picking blackberries

Getting outside gives kids a chance to use all their senses

toddler eating blackberries

Munching on freshly picked berries is just one of the many activities that young kids love.

Being outside not only helps kids to avoid the problems mentioned above but it can truly help children grow into healthy, responsible, and intelligent adults.

Benefits to interacting outside with nature:

  • better overall health, lower blood pressure, reduced stress
  • decrease in aggressive tendencies
  • better immune system
  • higher sense of self-worth
  • improved attention span
  • more responsible when it comes to environmental interaction (littering, sustainability)

How do we make a change?

Louv suggests that parents don’t try to force their kids outside but rather foster a love for nature through their own habits. Encourage children to join you in your walk about the park or takes your kids fishing or on a hike. Give kids the freedom to explore, even if it’s simply the discovery of bugs when turning over a large rock. You won’t be sorry you got outside a bit yourself and your kids will thank you in the years to come. Join the Children and Nature Network to join thousands of others in the effort to connect kids to nature.

Grand Teton National Park

There is a beautiful world outside waiting to be explored. (Grand Teton National Park, WY)

To be hipster…or not to be hipster…

1 10 2012

A quick #hipster search on Twitter will reveal it is a popular trend. An Instagram search of the same hashtag will give you over 1.1 million results and that’s not including the thousands of other photos tagged under various similar names “hipsters” or “hipsterfashion” or, amusingly, the common misspelling: “hispter”.

Being a hipster is about “looking like you aren’t trying”.
Photo credit: stefan.erschwendner on flickr

What is a “hipster”?

What is this trend sweeping the nation? According to WikiHow, “it’s that, ‘I can’t be bothered’ look that actually takes some planning until you get into the habit”. WikiHow tells the hipster wanna-be that they can’t take themselves too seriously and that the goal is to look like you aren’t trying.

For someone who is most definitely NOT hipster and not into the whole “hipster” scene, I’ll admit, it’s hard to understand. I hear that it’s about being non-mainstream, non-matching patterns, shopping at thrift stores, growing your own food, being vegetarian, looking vintage, hanging out in the right places – with the right people and yet… not trying. Sounds like a whole lot of work to me.

The affects of being “hipster”

And is all that work really worth it? Do people choose to be hipster because it is “cool” or because it really defines them? The “not trying” attitude of the hipster culture is not very attractive to the rest of the world. How do you expect to find an employer when you give off the impression that you don’t like to try? And if that negative attitude starts to influence your relationships, how do you expect to keep your friends?

“ironic” T-shirts are a great choice for any hipster wardrobe.
Photo credit: juplife on flickr

And what happens when it becomes mainstream to be hipster? Then what? What happens when it becomes mainstream to be non-mainstream?

I suppose this trend will come and go like the rest, but until then the #hipster will continue to flood the social media and the streets of our cities.

I love the diversity of our world, the freedom we have in our country to display our personalities and quirks, the beauty of multi-culturalism and unique tastes. There is always something new to learn about the people around us.

If you consider yourself hipster, or have more insight into the hipster world, please enlighten me with your comments. I love to hear your take on the trend.