Holidays are never quite the same after someone we love dies.
Even small aspects of a birthday or a Christmas celebration — an empty seat at the dinner table, one less gift to buy or make — can serve as jarring reminders of how our lives have been forever changed.
Although these realizations are hard to face, clinical psychologist Mary-Frances O’Connor says we shouldn’t avoid them or try to hide our feelings. “Grief is a universal experience,” she notes, “and when we can connect, it is better.”
O’Connor, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Arizona, studies what happens in our brains when we experience grief.
She says grieving is a form of learning — one that teaches us how to be in the world without someone we love in it. “The background is running all the time for people who are grieving, thinking about new habits and how they interact now.”
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: Attempts to ban books in schools are as old as books themselves. But there’s new momentum on book bans now that’s driven by conservative activists targeting local school boards. Nomin Ujiyediin of member station KCUR in Kansas City reports.
NOMIN UJIYEDIIN, BYLINE: Books about LGBTQ issues and race have spurred more conservative activism against school boards in recent months. It’s often the same books that are challenged, like “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison and “Crank” by Ellen Hopkins, because they deal directly with issues of sex, racism, violence and drugs. One group leading challenges calls itself No Left Turn in Education. It publishes lists of books and guides to help activists complain to their school boards. Andy Wells heads the Missouri chapter. He considers books like “The Bluest Eye” to be pornographic and argues they shouldn’t be in schools.
In Mombasa on the coast of Kenya is a place called Haller Park. People flock there to see 180 indigenous species of plants and trees, and a variety of animals including hippos and giraffes.
In The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times, Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams (Gail Hudson is an additional author), discuss the park as an example of how our injured Earth can be restored and healed.
At one point the park was “a monstrous five-hundred-acre scar where almost nothing grew” because a cement company created a quarry that ravaged the land. The company’s CEO decided to repair the damage and slowly, year by year, with horticultural tending and introduction of wild animals, the area was transformed.
Blue Origin’s second human spaceflight has returned to Earth after taking a brief flight to the edge of space this morning. Among the four passengers on board — there is no pilot — was William Shatner, the actor who first played the space-traveling Captain Kirk in the Star Trek franchise.
“The covering of blue. This sheet, this blanket, this comforter that we have around. We think, oh, that’s blue sky,” an emotional Shatner said after returning to earth.
“Then suddenly you shoot through it all of the sudden, as though you’re whipping a sheet off you when you’re asleep, and you’re looking into blackness, into black ugliness.”
It is official: The pandemic’s effect on America’s waistline has been rough.
New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed 16 states now have obesity rates of 35% or higher. That’s an increase of four states — Delaware, Iowa, Ohio and Texas — in just a year.
The findings confirm what several recent research studies have found: Many Americans have gained significant weight since the COVID-19 crisis started, likely fueled by an increase in sedentary behavior, stress and troubles such as job and income loss that make healthy eating harder. And those rates are rising faster among racial minorities.
For those in the Northern Hemisphere, summer will come to an end next Wednesday.
Slowly but surely since the middle of June, days have been getting shorter. With the arrival of the autumn equinox comes cooler weather and a change of color amongst the trees.
And Monday, two days before the official start of fall, the harvest moon.
For three days, moonrise will come shortly after sunset, but the harvest moon will reach its peak illumination at 7:54 p.m. ET Monday.
Historically this lunar event provided farmers a little extra light to harvest their crops. However, unlike the equinoxes, which take place at the same time each year, the harvest moon is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox. Which means it can fall in September or October, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.