Entertaining and Useful Thanksgiving Tips

29 minutes ago

A Thanksgiving with Mo Rocca, Amy Sedaris, and Robert Krulwich. Host Dan Pashman of The Sporkful podcast and Cooking Channel’s You’re Eating It Wrong presents "Thanksgiving is for Eaters."

This Thanksgiving I’m going to give a toast to all the nomads in my life - the travellers, the road warriors. The sojourners, seekers, and the strays.

A Thanksgiving week special.  Host and raconteur Paul Holdengraber gathers guests in a roundtable discussion about how and where they celebrate the holiday, what they cook, with whom they dine, how the literature they love captures the essence of food, family and other things for which they are grateful.

As I sat down to write this week’s bird report, I was prepared to talk about the latest mind-bogglingly rare bird to turn up on the Cape. But then I had one of those forehead-slapping realizations where the proper course of action becomes painfully obvious. I’ll get to that rare bird next time, but this week we obviously need to talk turkey.

It’s estimated that one in ten Cape Cod and Islands residents lack funds to purchase food for all household members. Local schools are reporting an increase in the number of children who qualify for federally subsidized student lunches, and we know seniors living on fixed incomes are also vulnerable to food insecurity. The good news is that there are a number of regional organizations on a mission to provide food and clothing, as well as assistance with shelter and other household expenses. On The Point, we talk about the resources available, and ways we can all pitch in for those in need.

Claudette Gallant / goo.gl/RGhSnv

On a sunny and breezy day last month, Kathy and I walked out into the dunes to pick some wild cranberries that grow in the wet bogs there. I’m always newly surprised at the extent, the sweep of the dunes, the expanse of ridges and valleys they contain.

NASA

This fall marks 20 years since NASA began continuous, global measurements of life on Earth from space. This kind of thing is unprecedented, and it helps us get a much better idea of how climate change and other environmental factors are affecting life on Earth. 

biomimicry.org

Humans have always been designers and engineers, but we’ve only been on this planet a few million years. Life and evolution have been going for nearly four billion years. And the millions of species on this planet today have evolved millions of ways to meet the challenges of survival. Increasingly, human engineers are turning to nature for solutions to our own challenges, like energy production, water use, transportation, and advanced materials. For example, there’s a way to make concrete using the same method as corals do, to build their structures.

There are scientists studying how spending time in nature restores us physically and mentally.

A cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Utah noticed that after he spent a few days backpacking in nature, he got great ideas. He wanted to quantify it, so he gave people pencil-and-paper tests before and after they took hikes. The scientist, Dr. David Strayer, found that the people experienced a 50 percent increase in their creativity after the hike.

Florence Williams is the author of The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative. She says even 15 minutes of walking in the woods reduces the blood pressure, reduce your cortisol stress hormones, and change your heart rate variability – all things that lead to better health.  

Florence Williams is a journalist and contributing editor to Outside magazine. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, and National Geographic among others. Her first book, Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History, was a New York Times Notable Book of 2012 and the winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Science and Technology. Williams lives in Washington, DC.

Brian MorrisWCAI

Cape Cod’s fire towers –like the one at Howlands Park Hill in Falmouth - have played a major role in helping to detect fires for over a century – and today they’re used in much the same as they always have been.

Joshua Nigro is a District Fire Warden with the State Department of Conservation and Recreation.

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