16 April 2010

The Yes! Digest -- April 16th, 2010

This is: National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day. (If you're reading this and you're already at work, I apologize.) Celebrate by kicking back with your bunny slippers!

Spirit food: "Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today, / And give us not to think so far away /As the uncertain harvest; keep us here / All simply in the springing of the year." --- "A Prayer in Spring," Robert Frost

Brain food: Scientists are using MRI technology to figure out why human beings love books so much. (via The Morning News and the U.K. Observer)

Young adults today...: believe---at least if they are female---that the ideal age for a woman to get married is 26. No one can say exactly why this is, but it appears that Bridget Jones has something to do with it. (via Jezebel)

UU news: The Unitarian Universalist Association Office for Congregational Advocacy and Witness led a march on Wednesday in support of the 'Standing on the Side of Love' campaign. The march took place on Boston Common at the same time as the Tea Party rally that welcomed former Alaska governor and Vice-Presidental candidate Sarah Palin. "We're here," said Office and Standing on the Side of love Director Susan Leslie, "to say there is room for the tea party, but there is no space for racism, anti-immigrant sentiment or homophobia. It's really important to say that is not OK." (via The Sun Chronicle Online)

UU voices: At her blog Impolite Conversations, Rev. Leela Singha wonders how we can bring circle worship, and the deep connections it fosters among participants (most of whom are youth and young adults), out of the church basement and into the sanctuary.

A joy: Starting in late March, in response to search queries having to do with suicide, Google began to offer a prominent link to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at the top of its results page. May the presence of this number give people who might be in crisis a chance to ask for support. (via The New York Times)

A concern:  Kimberly-Clark is marketing their new Kleenex brand disposable hand towels based on these CDC hygiene guidelines specific to cruise ships and the idea that "your hands are only as clean as the towel used to dry them," a phrase that can probably be translated to mean LOOK OUT! Your bath linens are trying to kill you with their GERMS!" Not only is this product unnecessary---there is zero connection between using of cloth hand towels at home and getting sick---but because it's made using 100% virgin wood fiber, it's irresponsible.

What you can do:
  • To help prevent suicide: According to the CDC, suicide is the third leading cause of death among young adults under age 24 and the second leading cause of death among young adults age 25 to 34. This means that not only have millions of our peers ended their own lives, but many more have considered (or are currently considering) doing so. Most of us know someone who has considered ending his or her life. So what can we do to prevent suicide in our communities? Three words: ASK THE QUESTION. Ask: "How are you doing?" Expect an honest answer. Then listen hard, for as long as it takes. If you have to, ask again: "No, really---how are you doing?" Conversation is protective. Connectedness is protective---if a person feels  that they're part of a community, that people care about them, it dramatically lowers their risk of suicide. For more on how to get support for for feelings of stress, depression, or hopelessness---or to help your friends get support---visit Hopeline and NAMI's Strength of Us.
  • To have a greener, healthier bathroom (and help have a greener, healthier world): It's easy, with the help of the internet, to be an informed consumer. It's also easier (if more expensive) to get environmentally-friendly products. For help finding alternative versions of the stuff you like, visit The Green Guide. To decide which toilet paper is best for you and for the environment, see the Natural Resources Defense Council's Shopper's Guide for Home Tissue. To ask Kimberly-Clark to include recycled content in their products, click here.
Churchy things: Slate's XX Factor wants you to know that the Buddhist nuns in Nepal are "the coolest nuns on the planet." Why? They do kung fu to improve their meditation practice and gain strength and respect. (via The XX Factor and BBC)

Unchurchy things: This Nissan TV ad (for emission-free cars) is nearly silent, but oddly exhilarating. (via JoeMyGod)

Young adults of note: 34 year-old Matt Shipman founded The First Step Project to help young adults and others "overcome inertia when it comes to giving." (via Real Simple)

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