What I Learned From Don

By Nalini MacNab

Don is a self-avowed, full-blooded Apache. A warrior in its truest sense, though it took me quite some time to see behind the mask. His loudly-proclaimed ancestry made amazing amounts of sense until I stared into his blazingly blue eyes. Hmmm. Not going there. No right. Definitely no invitation, though we did become allies over time.

Don was scary. Tall, almost gaunt, with nut-brown skin and what remained of his long dark hair tied back most of the time. He had received his first black belt the year I was born. He refused to test after that, until finally forced, but it had been decades. No one wanted to spar with him, so I was blessed with that pairing almost every practice. He and my sensei were close friends. Sensei was always telling me I needed to toughen up. So…Don. And, a blessing he turned out to be.

Don taunted his sparring partners. My body shook with outrage, until the moment when... Keep Reading

The Angel and the Pier

By White Feather

In the summer Gerald would leave the house after eating the breakfast his mother prepared for him. In the cool early morning hours he could sit on the pier at the lake without other kids being around. That early morning alone time out in nature was very important to him.

That was when he could have some uninterrupted alone time with HER. It was while he sat on the pier looking out over the small lake in the cool, still morning air that he could feel her presence. Sometimes when he talked to her she would answer. But whether or not she spoke he could always sense her.

Gerald was not sure who she was. Maybe she was the spirit of Mother Nature. Maybe she was an angel.... Keep Reading

Lone Wolf

By Ann Litts

Lone Wolf
Photo by Gregoire Bertaudon on Unsplash

I have several good friends who seem born to coupledom. They are happiest when they are in a pair. I see them glow with a significant other in their life. It makes me happy they are so happy.
However, even when I look at them, I see... Keep Reading

Is a World That Works For Everyone Possible?

By Jack Preston King

In the early 1990s, social psychologist Shalom Schwartz identified 10 basic values shared by all people everywhere, in every class and culture. These are not morals in the religious/ethical sense, or virtues in the Aristotelian. They’re intrinsic psychological drives that shape how human beings see the world, and which motivate our choices and behavior.... Keep Reading

The Virginity Deadline

By White Feather

A very powerful short story with a delightful ironic twist at the end....

The Virginity Deadline

Cooking In Our Genes

By White Feather

I was thinking about how the love of food and cooking passes down through families. So I decided to take a peek at the kitchens in my family tree.

The farthest I can go back is my maternal grandparent’s kitchen in their apartment in the old town part of Heidelberg, Germany. It was actually my grandfather’s kitchen since he did most of the cooking. He had a very strong passion for cooking and I think I may have inherited that from him since no one else in my family tree had the same passion.... Keep Reading

Primates and Pesticides in Uganda

An extremely biodiverse region, Kibale National Park in Uganda is a 300 square mile protected area that includes savannahs, woodlands and forest and hundreds of different species of animals, including over a dozen different species of primates. But over the last few years something very alarming has been happening to the primate population.

Chimpanzees, baboons and several kinds of monkeys have experienced a shocking increase in birth defects. There are cleft lips, concave faces, noses with tiny nostrils or no nostrils or extra nostrils. There are missing fingers and there has been a sharp rise in female reproductive maladies. Scientists are scrambling to figure out what is causing this.

Currently, the leading suspect is pesticides. While the land surrounding the national park has been farmed for many years it is only in recent years that pesticide use has dramatically increased. Foods that the primates eat have been tested and significant residues of both DDT and Chlorpyrifos have been found. Chlorpyrifos (manufactured by DOW Chemical) is a very controversial insecticide and there have been efforts to have it banned. The EPA was on the verge of banning it when President Trump's new EPA administrator Scott Pruitt denied the ban.

Since humans react to these dangerous insecticides similarly to the way other primates do, there is great concern among scientists to solve the dilemma in Uganda.

Find out more about what is being done here

Cold Turkey - When Writing is an Addiction

By White Feather

Cold Turkey - When Writing is an Addiction

George’s morning was just like every single one of his mornings. He awoke each morning at 6 a.m. sharp. After performing ablutions he would take a short walk around the neighborhood. It was the best time of day for a walk.

He would then come back inside and have breakfast. Every single morning his breakfast was exactly the same. He would eat three eggs and nothing else — and he did not even eat all of the eggs. With the fried eggs on his plate he would cut away the white part of the eggs and then scoop the yolk whole into his mouth. There is nothing like the taste and texture of a hot egg yolk exploding in one’s mouth. Over ninety per cent of all the nutrition found in an egg is in the yolk. The white parts of George’s eggs ended up in the trash.

After breakfast, George would fix himself a tall glass of ice water then he would proceed to his desk where he would boot up his laptop. He then spent the rest of the morning writing. Seven days a week, every morning was the same.

Today, George found himself staring at the blank screen for a very long time. It is not that he had nothing to write about. Writer’s block is something he never experienced. It is because he was thinking intensely about his writing and how it was like an addiction.....

Psychedelic Fluorescent Purple Frog Discovered

By GrrlScientist

Purple Frog

When scientists investigate new areas of the wilderness, they often discover insect species that are new to science, but last year, a group of researchers went in to the highlands in the South American country of Suriname and found 24 new species of animals, including a spectacular fluorescent purple frog in the genus Atelopus. The frog’s skin is covered with irregular fluorescent lavender loops over a background of aubergine, which is the deep reddish purple-brown color of aubergines (eggplants)..... Keep Reading