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One realization I had after studying a bit of history is how little say most people have in it. Traditionally, a limited number of people have been in charge of most things, usually to the detriment of the rest. (We remember the pyramids, for example, but what about those conscripted to build them?)

There’s a reason democracies attract people. 

“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” 

― Winston S. Churchill (often quoted, still true)

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Today is voting day in the United States. Not sure where you need to go or what to bring with you? These sites can help.

Get to the Polls

How to Vote

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Yes, there are a lot of forces trying to pull us apart, and there are many aspects of our economic and social lives that could be improved. 

There are also many elements we agree on. Consider health, safety, education, holding doors for the elderly, giving up a seat for the pregnant, and of course, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The devil’s in the details, of course, and as anyone with even a passing acquaintance with the news or social media can tell you, we are flooded with examples of what’s broken on a daily basis. But that’s not all that’s happening, or all that is possible.*

There are a lot of ways to live and I happen to think that democracy is one of the best. (Just ask those pyramid builders.) That doesn’t mean the system can’t improve.

How can we make our voices heard? Vote.

How do we build a world that works? Together.

* For a break from doom and gloom, I recommend a visit to David Byrne’s Reasons to be Cheerful.

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Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

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Do you love Tuesdays? Want to get a head start on tomorrow? (Or hate Tuesdays and want something to make tomorrow better? Yeah, that’s more me, I’m afraid.) Or perhaps you’re just looking for an excuse to stay up late, you know, For Science? You are in luck!

A total eclipse happens this week, and it will be the last one for 3 years : NPR

The initial phase of the eclipse begins at 3:02 a.m. ET, according to NASA. The partial eclipse then begins at 4:09 a.m. ET, when to the naked eye, it looks like a bite is being taken out of the moon. The lunar disk enters totality at 5:17 a.m. ET and will last for about an hour and a half.

Want more science? Check out NASA’s page on this eclipse: What You Need to Know About the Lunar Eclipse – Moon: NASA Science.

One of my relatives is very much a night owl, so she will have no trouble catching this. The rest of us might have to set our alarms (or, let’s be honest, check out the video tomorrow; no shame either way!).

Enjoy!

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Photo by Vincenzo Malagoli on Unsplash

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I woke to light dancing through the curtains. This is my attempt to replicate that feeling.

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Morning Sun: JrJ

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Exactly one year ago today I decided to do a little time travel. You may remember I mentioned a site called FutureMe, an easy and fun (and free) way to write yourself a letter to be delivered at some time in the future. 

My letter arrived this morning, delivering a boost from NaNoWriMos past.

Thanks, Past Me, I will.

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Photo by Mihai Moisa on Unsplash

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It’s fall, a time for leaf peeping, pumpkin everything, and seasonal creations like corn mazes. 

Ever wonder how they make those elaborate maze designs? Check out this explainer on the really complicated examples:

Now that you’ve been introduced to the how, here’s more on the where, when and why: Farmers Create Elaborate Corn Mazes To Bring In Cash.

So next time you spot a corn maze, spare a thought for the effort, planning and artistry that made it possible.

Or you never know, it might be aliens.

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I know this isn’t corn, but you’d be surprised at how hard it is to find good open-source alien corn maze photos. It’s like our visitors have better things to do or something. Feeling corn deprived? See links above. Photo by Sigmar Schnur on Unsplash

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This is a place I would like to visit. The colors! The drama! The stratigraphy!

Look at all that history, waiting to be turned into future fiction. Photo by Miha Rekar on Unsplash

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Into the Trees

No writing today. Instead, adventure.

Morning: an early drive through the fog-filled hills of Quebec to canoe through a giant water maze, home to beavers, frogs, birds, turtles and more.

Éco-Odyssée

Lunch: hot dog with ketchup and sauerkraut in honor of my grandfather, who also liked them that way.

Afternoon: three hours of hiking, climbing, zip-lining, rock climbing fun.

Ziptour – Adventure – Discover our Arbraska Parks

A representative view from the aerial bridge trail. Strangely, it doesn’t look as high as it actually was.

And now we rest.

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This photo represents neither the location or season of today’s zip-line experience. The country and coolness factor are spot on, however. Photo by Constante Lim on Unsplash

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Me, Today

Child on a swing in a park on a summer's day.
Photo by Johnny Cohen on Unsplash

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“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Photo by Guille Álvarez on Unsplash

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A friend asked for an update on the cat naming conundrum, and I had to report that it is still under discussion.

“I don’t know why this is so hard but it is. All we know is that Argyle doesn’t feel quite right, but nothing else does either. I think it’s a matter of getting to know him better.”

You’d think that a writer would have an easier time with this sort of thing, but I’ve been focused on the importance of finding the right name.

In an effort to make us feel better, our friend sent this:

And I do:)

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