This Week in the News; I Am Pretty Sure These are Real

I try to stay a-political in my blogs, because the Internet world is a big place with a wild, wild west culture. Travel, writing, art, are all pretty safe. But today I’m going off-script a little, sharing tidbits in the news these last few weeks that, to me, stood above all the rest of the divisive, nasty, fraught news that flows into my various news feeds.

(I had to block a Facebook friend. I don’t like to do that, but I couldn’t stand it any more.)

Thailand cave rescue: Boys found alive after nine days. [BBC]

It seems the entire world is following this story on whatever device they can use, cell phones, tablets, computers, and old-fashioned TV. I haven’t spoken to a soul who is not overjoyed to learn they were discovered alive and intact by probably the most skilled cave divers in the world.

A story like this, dramatic and oh, so real, captivates those of us on either of the great political divide that slashes through the U.S.—it’s not as if we’re unique in living in a quarrelsome state. Just ask anyone living in Africa or the Middle East. To a one, in the feeds and blogs, established newspapers and the enemy TV channel that-shall-not-be-named that I peruse, each has set aside the hating and sits on the edge of their seats, watching the faces of those boys, their families, and their rescuers, admire the Thai government and monarchy, and write checks of support.

The EU is polling citizens if daylight saving is really necessary [The Verge]

A great many of the people I work with live in South Africa. When we have to change the time of a scheduled meeting because we’re making the switch from standard to daylight, they smirk at us and shake their heads.

“Why,” they ask. “Why do you change your clocks?”

The history of daylight saving, in the U.S. any way, is spotty. Sometimes we had it, sometimes we didn’t. As crazy as Arizona politics appear to be to a non-Arizonian, I think they got this one right.

There are arguments on both sides. Cons say changing the clocks increases energy consumption and messes up our sleep cycles. Pros say the later daylight hours save lives. Personally, I’d rather not have the hassle.

EU residents stepped up to the task. The poll servers went down hours after polling opened. Daylight saving hasn’t been repealed yet.

Hawaii to ban sunscreen that damages coral reefs. [San Francisco Chronicle]

This scores a big point for ocean protection. Oxybenzone and octinoxate have been found to cause the reef cells to die by causing bleaching. We’re putting this stuff on our skin??!! But that’s the American way. My question is, how will this be policed? Will the TSA cooperate, confiscating the banned substances from tourists bound for the Big Island? Sun block patrols on the Kawaii beaches, snatching tubes from children? We’re putting this stuff on our kids??!!

I think there are plenty of folks on both sides of the Great Political Divide who care very deeply about the future of their offspring. Threats to the environment are never very far from their thoughts.

And my favorite,

Lions kill suspected poachers in South African reserve [africageographic]

These 3 guys were armed with rifles and a hatchet with plans to steel rhino horns on a private reserve. The ladies got the better of them. Not much was left but their shoes.

Enough said.



About Jill Zeller

The author of numerous short stories and novels, Jill Zeller lives near Seattle, Washington, with her patient and adoring husband, two English mastiffs, and one self-centered tuxedo cat. Her works explore the boundaries of reality. Some may call it fantasy, but there are rarely swords and never elves. More to the point, she prefers to write as if myth, imagination and hallucination were as real as the chair she is sitting on as she writes this. Maybe it is because she was raised as a Christian Scientist. Jill Zeller also writes under the pseudonym Hunter Morrison


This Week in the News; I Am Pretty Sure These are Real — 10 Comments

  1. I’m extreme in my dislike of Daylight Savings Time. I want the whole world to move to Zulu.

    • My sweetheart feels the same way. I’d settle for the current times zones without DST, because I like my morning sunshine. California is about to vote on year-round DST, which I think is the wrong direction, but no change days are an improvement.

      • Year-round DST will be a *temporary* move. But people and companies will adjust. It’s like moving to Central Time or Rocky Mountain Time and finding the evening TV shows are an hour earlier.

      • I’d rather keep DST all year. I really hate coming home in the dark, and sun before I get up is merely irritating.

  2. Cheers to Hawaii for working to protect coral reefs. That’s easy for me to say since I can’t wear sunscreens with the banned chemicals in them because of what they do to my skin. That does make me wonder just what we’re doing smearing active ingredient sunscreens all over our kids.

    Jeers to Consumer Reports for their “better living through chemistry” sunscreen ratings. I’ve got easily burned skin. Mineral-based sunscreens work just fine for me and they don’t bleach reefs (at least as far as we know). Why doesn’t CR cover more of them?