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Great gifts for someone living in a retirement home

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Are you wondering what type of gift to get for a relative who lives in a retirement home? If so, here are a few ideas.

• A bestseller. If your loved one likes to read, look for a new release they can add to their collection. Be sure to pick a book in a genre they enjoy such as historical fiction or action-adventure.

• A potted plant. Whether you opt for a lush fern or a flowering species, the greenery is sure to liven up their space. Opt for a modest-size, low-maintenance variety.

• A warm accessory. Keep your loved one comfortable this winter with a plush bathrobe, soft slippers, or wool socks. Alternatively, choose a quilt or blanket for their bed.


• A goodie basket. Purchase a gourmet gift basket or assemble one yourself with treats your relative loves. Make sure to avoid perishable items if their room doesn’t have a fridge.

• A decorative item. Visit local shops and craft fairs to find unique pieces that will add character to their home. Consider pairing a handmade frame with a new family photo.

While all of these presents are sure to be well-received, remember that the best gift you can give a loved one is time spent together.

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Book Review: How to Change

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One of the hottest new books in the business and personal development space tackles an age-old challenge for anyone who loves to set goals: How and what to change in order to get there.

In How To Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, author Katy Milkman uses research and science to offer strategies on how we can overcome obstacles and affect behavioral changes. The book was released in May.

Milkman is an award-winning Wharton professor and host of Charles Schwab’s Choiceology podcast who has devoted her career to the study of behavior change. The book is earning praise for its meaty content and practical tips, derived from Milkman’s research as well as her scientific collaborators.

How To Change provides strategic methods for overcoming challenges like impulsivity, procrastination, and forgetfulness. It uses case studies and stories to describe how timing can be everything when it comes to making a change and how to turn temptation and inertia into assets. The book’s chapters are a simple list of our common obstacles, including titles like Laziness, Forgetfulness, and Getting Started.


This is Milkman’s first book, though her credentials are extensive. In addition to her work as professor and podcast host, she is the co-founder and co-director of the Behavior Change for Good Initiative and has worked with or advised organizations on how to spur positive change, including Google, the U.S. Department of Defense, the American Red Cross and Walmart; and is the former president of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making.

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Why wolves howl

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Has anyone ever told you that wolves howl at the moon? Since these animals are often heard at night, many people mistakenly believe that they’re howling at the moon. However, in reality, they use these calls to communicate. Here are some of the reasons that wolves howl:

• To gather the pack
• To indicate their location
• To find a mate
• To warn others to stay out of their territory

The reason wolves tend to be more vocal when the moon is out is simply that these nocturnal creatures are most active at night. This doesn’t mean they don’t also howl during the day or on cloudy nights when the moon is hidden. It just depends on whether they have something to say.

The moon isn’t the reason wolves raise their head toward the sky when they howl either. They do this because it helps project sound upward and throughout their environment. Turning their head upward when they howl allows their message to travel over long distances.


Finally, it’s interesting to note that not all howls are alike. In particular, the duration of a wolf’s cry can completely change its meaning.

Did you know?
Just like humans, wolves communicate and express their emotions with different facial expressions.

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August Celebrity Birthdays!

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Tony Bennett meets Stevie Wonder

Tony Bennett, 95, singer, born Anthony Dominick Benedetto, New York, NY, 1926.

 

Do you share a birthday with a celebrity?

1 – Tempestt Bledsoe, 48, talk show host, actress (The Cosby Show), Chicago, IL, 1973

2 – Sam Worthington, 45, actor (Avatar), Godalming, Surrey, England, 1976.


3 – Tony Bennett, 95, singer, born Anthony Dominick Benedetto, New York, NY, 1926.

4 – Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, 40, former actress (Suits), born Rachel Meghan Markle, Los Angeles, CA, 1981.

5 – Jonathan Silverman, 55, actor (The Single Guy), Los Angeles, CA, 1966.

6 – Peter Bonerz, 83, actor (The Bob Newhart Show), Portsmouth, NH, 1938.

7 – Charlize Theron, 46, actress (Mad Max: Fury Road), Benoni, South Africa, 1975.

8 – Roger Federer, 40, tennis player, Basel, Switzerland,

9 – Robert Joseph (Bob) Cousy, 93, Hall of Fame basketball player, former coach, New York, NY, 1928.

10 – Angie Harmon, 49, actress (Law & Order), Dallas, TX, 1972.

11 – Marilyn vos Savant, 75, columnist, claims world’s highest IQ, born St. Louis, MO, 1946.

12 – Cara Delevingne, 29, model, actress (Suicide Squad), London, England, 1992.

13 – Danny Bonaduce, 62, radio personality, actor (The Partridge Family), Broomall, PA, 1959.

14 – Mila Kunis, 38, actress (That 70s Show), Kiev, Ukraine, 1983.

15 – Vernon Jordan, Jr, 86, civil rights leader, Atlanta, GA, 1935.

16 – Taika Waititi, 46, actor (What We Do in the Shadows), comedian, Wellington, New Zealand, 1975.

17 – Julian Fellowes, 72, producer (Downton Abbey), Cairo, Egypt, 1949.

18 – Malcolm-Jamal Warner, 51, actor (The Cosby Show), Jersey City, NJ, 1970.

19 – Erika Christensen, 39, actress (Parenthood), Seattle, WA, 1982.

20 – Donald (Don) King, 90, boxing promoter, Cleveland, OH, 1931.

21 – Kacey Musgraves, 33, singer, songwriter, Golden, TX, 1988.

22 – Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, 54, actor (Lost), London, England, 1967.

23 – Jay Mohr, 51, actor (Jerry Maguire), comedian,Verona, NJ 1970.

24 – Alexander McCall Smith, 73, author, Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), 1948.

25 – Blake Lively, 34, actress (Savages), Tarzana, CA, 1987.

26 – John Mulaney, 39, comedian, writer (Saturday Night Live), Chicago, IL, 1982.

27 – Sarah Chalke, 45, actress (Roseanne), Ottawa, ON, Canada, 1976.

28 – Quvenzhane Wallis, 18, actress (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Houma, LA, 2003.

29 – Lea Michele, 35, actress (Glee), Bronx, NY, Aug 29, 1986.

30 – Michael Chiklis, 58, actor (The Shield), Lowell, MA, 1963.

31 – Marcia Clark, 68, former prosecutor, crime reporter, born Marcia Kleks, Alameda, CA, 1953.

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Quiz: How much do you know about insects?

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Whether you find them fascinating or creepy, insects are interesting creatures to learn about. Here are 12 skill-testing questions to broaden your knowledge.

True or false
1. Ladybugs are part of the Coccinellidae family.
2. When a butterfly is in its cocoon, it’s called a chrysanthemum.
3. Carpenter ants live in dead or rotten wood where they carve out tunnels.
4. Flies rub their legs together as a way to clean themselves.
5. Grasshoppers have longer, thinner antennae than crickets.
6. Fireflies light up because of a chemical reaction in their abdomen.
7. Mayflies usually live for just three or four days.
8. Orchid mantises have legs that resemble flower petals, which helps them remain camouflaged.

Multiple choice
1. This insect is also known as a waterbug or Croton bug. Most people don’t like to have them in their home because they’re considered a pest.
a. A cockroach
b. A bed bug
c. A ground pearl

2. This insect lives in treetops and eats sap. It’s known for its high-pitched buzzing.
a. A tiger beetle
b. A cicada
c. A dragonfly


3. This insect is often confused with other members of the Hymenoptera order, but you can tell it apart by its narrow body and lack of hair.
a. A wasp
b. A bee
c. A hornet

4. Part of the grasshopper family, this insect can grow to be up to four inches long and is the heaviest insect in the world. It lives in New Zealand.
a. A titan beetle
b. A rhinoceros beetle
c. A giant weta

————————–

Answers
1. True
2. False (It’s called a chrysalis)
3. True
4. True
5. False (Crickets are the ones with longer antennae)
6. True
7. False (They usually only live for a few hours)
8. True
9. a)
10. b)
11. a)
12. c)

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With practice, a beginner can learn golf in six months

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Say you’re 35 or 45 years old, and you’ve never played golf. With the right teacher and time to play or practice three times a week, you could be able to make a good showing when you’re out with people who have played casually for many years.

Ron Stepanek, head of business development for the PGA, says almost anyone can learn to break 100 in five or six months. Someone with decent hand-eye coordination and any kind of athletic experience could probably break 90.

With the agreement to take lessons for five or six months, a teacher and student have the time to master the fundamentals in the right order before progressing.

The instructors say committed beginners make faster progress because they don’t have to unlearn as many bad habits.


Beginners start with putting and chipping. Once they understand what well-hit shots feel like at that level, they build up to full-swing shots. The Wall Street Journal’s John
Paul Newport says three of the six instructors he interviewed started with the short game.

He recommends relying on word of mouth to find an instructor, scheduling a trial lesson, and talking about your goals to determine whether the connection is right.

Some good tips:

* Start learning drives at a practice range, not on the course.

* Don’t make your spouse or significant other your main teacher.

* Make sure you learn a proper grip and then proceed to the swing.

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The magical story of Romeo still tugs at Alaska’s heart

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A magical thing happened in Juneau, Alaska, 18 years ago, and as with most magical things, some people loved it and some hated it. But it’s a true story of a solitary wolf who wanted to be friends.

His name was Romeo, a black wolf who is now a legend. He was a rare creature: Wild but friendly, alone and in search of friends, a player of games, a curious visitor and, ultimately, a target.

This story began in 2003 when Nick and Sherrie Jans were walking their dogs across a frozen Alaskan lake. Suddenly, a black wolf appeared. Jans wasn’t surprised. He had seen wolf tracks in the snow. But now their labrador broke free and ran to the wolf. While the couple held their breath, the dog slid across the ice toward the wolf … and then? Wolf and dog sniffed and bowed in that iconic canine way. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

During the next six years, Romeo visited his dog friends, appearing frequently, sometimes disappearing for weeks at a time. The humans didn’t feed him or touch him, but Romeo played with their dogs, dancing with them and chasing — and scaring up a controversy.


Not everyone welcomed a wolf in the neighborhood. Someone tried to trap him, another tried to poison him. Other human friends rallied to protect him.

Speculation arose that he was a wolf without a pack because his mate had been killed. Maybe his mate had been the pregnant wolf killed by a car around the same time Romeo appeared.

Whatever Romeo’s story — no one really knows — in September 2009, he disappeared and never returned.

Romeo’s friend Harry Robinson discovered that Romeo had been shot at point-blank range — easy to get close to a friendly animal. Robinson tracked down the killers, who were arrested, but given no jail time.

Sorrow and anger roiled the community. Jans, a wildlife photographer, and expert on the Alaskan wilderness, wrote a book, A Wolf Called Romeo, detailing the incredible story. (Web: nickjans.com)

Today, after a seven-year struggle, a memorial finally sits at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, where you can see Romeo, relaxed and noble and ready to play with your dog.

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Jul
30
Fri
9:00 am Stop Motion Animation @ Code Ninjas
Stop Motion Animation @ Code Ninjas
Jul 30 @ 9:00 am – Aug 3 @ 12:00 pm
Stop Motion Animation @ Code Ninjas
Stop Motion Animation Experiment with video production through a variety of mediums including Claymation, LEGO® Minifigures, pipe cleaner creatures, and much more! Ninjas will capture images frame-by-frame and produce videos in a rapid prototyping style.[...]
Aug
2
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9:00 am Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Rob... @ Code Ninjas
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Rob... @ Code Ninjas
Aug 2 @ 9:00 am – Aug 6 @ 12:00 pm
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer @ Code Ninjas
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer In this hands-on, fully guided camp experience, ninjas learn the basics of game building and creative development in an exciting, user-generated online gaming platform called Roblox! This camp will[...]
Aug
3
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9:00 am Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Rob... @ Code Ninjas
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Rob... @ Code Ninjas
Aug 3 @ 9:00 am – Aug 7 @ 12:00 pm
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer @ Code Ninjas
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer In this hands-on, fully guided camp experience, ninjas learn the basics of game building and creative development in an exciting, user-generated online gaming platform called Roblox! This camp will[...]
Aug
4
Wed
9:00 am Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Rob... @ Code Ninjas
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Rob... @ Code Ninjas
Aug 4 @ 9:00 am – Aug 8 @ 12:00 pm
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer @ Code Ninjas
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer In this hands-on, fully guided camp experience, ninjas learn the basics of game building and creative development in an exciting, user-generated online gaming platform called Roblox! This camp will[...]
Aug
5
Thu
9:00 am Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Rob... @ Code Ninjas
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Rob... @ Code Ninjas
Aug 5 @ 9:00 am – Aug 9 @ 12:00 pm
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer @ Code Ninjas
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer In this hands-on, fully guided camp experience, ninjas learn the basics of game building and creative development in an exciting, user-generated online gaming platform called Roblox! This camp will[...]
Aug
6
Fri
9:00 am Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Rob... @ Code Ninjas
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Rob... @ Code Ninjas
Aug 6 @ 9:00 am – Aug 10 @ 12:00 pm
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer @ Code Ninjas
Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer In this hands-on, fully guided camp experience, ninjas learn the basics of game building and creative development in an exciting, user-generated online gaming platform called Roblox! This camp will[...]
Aug
7
Sat
9:00 am Waggin’ For Dragons @ Front Royal Golf Club
Waggin’ For Dragons @ Front Royal Golf Club
Aug 7 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Waggin' For Dragons @ Front Royal Golf Club
Our Annual Dragon Boat race is back and better this ever, because we’ve got some special friends joining us! Our race teams, made of local community and business groups, will be racing and raising that[...]
11:00 am Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Aug 7 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Stop by the Friends of Sky Meadows Farmer’s Market for tasty preserved products, heirloom vegetables, eggs and more. Pick from seasonal vegetables grown in Sky Meadows’ authentic Kitchen Garden, July through September. Grab[...]
12:00 pm Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Aug 7 @ 12:00 pm – Aug 8 @ 3:00 pm
Settle's Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Follow your nose to the Log House to see what tasty treats are cooking on the hearth. Watch as a Sky Meadows volunteer or ranger dons historic clothing and cooks delicious dishes using[...]
12:00 pm The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Aug 7 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Blacksmith Shop in the Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work in the Historic Area. Members of the Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac have set up shop and[...]