Did you know that eight herds of wild horses live in a mountain range in the middle of America? Most people don’t know about the mountains–and even fewer know about the wild horses! Read on to find out about the curious little colts that get adopted from these herds.
America’s Midwest Mountain Range–Sort Of
Everybody spends time learning about the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains in school. But most of us don’t learn about the Ozarks–at least, not very much.
The Ozarks are actually the most ancient mountains in the continental United States. They were once as grand and tall as the Colorado Rockies.
But after centuries of erosion, the Ozarks aren’t as big as they used to be. While almost everybody refers to them as mountains, geologists call them the Ozark Foothills instead. They are gentle, rolling, and misty-green in the mornings. They also hide eight herds of wild horses!
Where Did The Ozarks’ Wild Horses Come From?
The wild horses of the Ozarks weren’t always wild. Before the 1930s, there were plenty of Ozark farmers who kept the horses on their farms.
But the Ozark Foothills aren’t great for farming. The rocky soil is good for oak trees, elm trees, and blackberry bushes–but not so good for crops. That’s why many farmers who moved to the Ozarks, had to move out during The Great Depression: They couldn’t grow enough crops to sell and make money on. In fact, they could barely grow enough for themselves!
That’s why many farmers in the region moved away during the Great Depression. And when they did, they had to leave most of their animals and possessions behind. That’s when the horses became wild!
Curious Colts of the Ozarks
Today, the horses still roam free around Echo Bluff State Park. When they were left behind, they learned to live off berries, grass, and other vegetation. They get their water from a collection of brooks and streams known as the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Thousands of people come to the park every year to float or walk along these rivers–and to see the horses!
But not every horse that is born wild, gets to stay wild. A handful are adopted by the people of the area every year. If it hadn’t been for one brave soul, the horses wouldn’t be there at all!
The Man Who Saved the Wild River Horses
In 1992, the National Park Service decided to take all of the horses out of Echo Bluff Park. They were worried that the horses were damaging the natural environment.
Many of the locals didn’t want the horses to go, however. One of them–a man named Jim Smith–even went to Washington, D.C., to testify in front of Congress. Smith told Congress how much the local residents loved the horses. They admired the herds for their grace, beauty, and strength. Congress agreed on a compromise.
The horses could stay, they said–but only 50 of them. To keep this number right, a handful of young horses–colts–are adopted every year.
Every year since 1992, caring citizens like Mr. Smith have adopted young horses from the wild herd. Smith called the one he adopted, the “gentlest animal you’ve ever seen.” These colts have also been called exceptionally smart, good-natured, and beautiful. If you ever get to see them, we think you’ll agree!
Mysteries From Ancient Times That Still Defy Explanation
The devices we use every day would baffle people who lived just 100 years ago, as technology has advanced in leaps and bounds in the modern age. One of the most amazing inventions is the computer, and it has taken over our lives in every area, from our phones to our cars to our kitchen appliances. Anyone can look at a phone to find out almost anything now. Why, then, are there still mysteries from the past? As archaeologists uncover more artifacts and scientists apply modern techniques to their finds, there are more mysteries instead of fewer ones.
Your Older Brother Meets You Everday After School …In a Different Costume.
Siblings have been well known for doing weird things to each other. It’s the kind of experience that can shape memories and their opinions of each other for a lifetime and be brought up well into their senior years with either laughter, anger or both. So, it’s no surprise that Noah Tingle, as an older brother, would likely leave an impression on his younger sibling. However, it’s the way that Noah went about this time-honored behavior between brothers that stands out as so different.
The fact is, Noah is a persistent fellow. And he wanted to make an impression on his younger brother, Max, that would last a lifetime. This intentional act took planning, and a lot of different resources. Because, as Noah figured out, it takes a lot of creativity to stay with the program that he came up with.
The first day Noah’s plan went into effect, his younger brother had no idea what was in store for him. It was a normal day of going to school, getting on the bus, sitting all day in class, yearning for those midday breaks, and then the bus ride home. Except that’s where things went different. When Max got off the schoolbus at his stop only to find his older brother standing at the stop waiting for him, in a full costume, his senses went into def-con 5 mode. The 12-year-old didn’t know whether to laugh or get back on the bus. Worse, the costumed goof came running at him with arms wide open for a big hug. Scary!
This wonderful, crazy, insane, scary, funny experience continued every school day. And while Noah’s younger brother got used to the idea of his older sibling waiting for him, each day was a new costume. From the obvious and easy ones like Santa Claus, a football player and a dinosaur to the more complicated ones like Star Wars’ Chewbacca, Noah was diligently at the bus stop to make his brother’s day.
Not only did Noah completely make his brother embarrassed by the whole affair, he also made Max the talk of his own school. The younger brother wasn’t the only kid on the bus every afternoon, after all. So Along with Max, every other kid on the bus got to see the costumes as well, something the younger brother wasn’t going to live down anytime soon. And, over time, Max started looking forward to the surprise each day and what new costume Noah could come up with a day’s time.
Their mom got in on the act and began posting photos of the outfits on social media. No surprise, it gained a quick audience and big following, making Max’s “ordeal” now a bit of a national even and story of life on the Internet. Folks even got in on the act helping Noah out by sending him costumes they came up with or procured, so the older brother would haven’t to be entirely on his own keeping the gig going. There have been some real knock-outs as a result, enough to be contenders for a future Burning Man trip probably.
Once Noah goes away to college the costume parade will end, but Max’s memory of the entire affair won’t. It’s the kind of thing siblings talk about for decades to come. And that’s what Noah wanted for his brother to remember him by.
Successfully launching adult children provides parents with more happiness as they age
Children make their parents happy, but they are frequently a source of stress. From the expense of child-rearing to the emotional rollercoaster adolescence presents, parents can have it tough. Does the good outweigh the bad over the long-term? According to one study, it definitely does on the happiness front.
An important caveat is that the children grow up and establish their own household separate from mom and dad. Older people with children are statistically happier than their childless peers once their children leave home.
The finding comes from a team of researchers led by Christoph Becker at Germany’s Heidelberg University. It is rooted in data gathered in the massive “Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe.” Survey data is collected from 16 countries and over 55,000 respondents and focuses on a population age 50 and over.
Becker told The Independent in the United Kingdom that while the difference in the amount of happiness was not large — less than one point — children are still a significant influence on the emotional well-being of their parents.
Many researches believe it is the built-in social network that a child provides to a parent throughout later life. Adult children and spouses are an easy opportunity to maintain fellowship as a person ages. When the adult child has left home on good terms, they are less likely to present an emotional and financial burden, so their company is more readily enjoyed as a familial friendship.
As far back as 1979 studies and beyond, researches have documented the importance of social relationships. As people age, the ability to maintain social and community ties improves longevity, even when those who are living longer fall into high-risk categories. The obese, smokers, the sedentary and drinkers with social ties still lived longer than their counterparts going it alone.
The ageing study suggests the trend holds true even in the digital age. The study responsible for the “happiness” finding also references the importance of friends and children for maintaining cognitive functioning skills, such as reasoning, remembering and decision-making, in later life.
In fact, the role of the spouse as an aid to cognitive functioning is much less important than other social ties outside the home as people age. However, the study does shows the built-in social network of marriage or having a partner can significantly boost happiness.
Succeeding as an empty nester
The study findings clearly illustrate the importance of adult children not living in the home as part of the happiness bump. This requires parents to successfully ready children for the financial and emotional demands of adulthood.
Preparing children for a productive, fulfilling life as an adult is one of the most important responsibilities of a parent, and it now seems it is also one of the best gifts parents can give themselves as they age.
Should school nurses be able to send unvaccinated kids home? Many parents say ‘yes’
Should kids be allowed in school if their parents refuse to vaccinate them? Some parents say yes while others say no. The Philadelphia public school system is also weighing in on the debate with new regulations that prohibit nurses from sending children home due to outdated immunization records.
Nurses who work in public schools used to have the right to send children home if their vaccination records were not up to date. Many parents and some experts say that such a system proved effective as even moms and dads who disagreed with vaccinations assured that their kids were immunized during the school year. City officials, however, recently decided that school nurses had too much power with full discretion for sending kids home being left up to the medical professionals. Thus, government officials saw the need to change the rules. Now, school nurses may only send unvaccinated children home on a case-by-case basis.
City officials claim that the aim of their new regulations regarding children and immunization records is to create better uniformity. Nurses, officials say, must follow a set pair of rules across the board. Some, however, find the new measure problematic.
“It’s very dangerous that you’ve got kids who are not immunized, and you have medically fragile kids,” school nurse Peg Devine tells the press. “It’s unprecedented.”
Several parents agree with the school nurse and even cite Temple University’s recent outbreak of the mumps as proof of there needing to be stricter guidelines in the way of immunization.
“I wouldn’t take my kids to a doctor’s office if they allowed patients that weren’t up to date on their vaccines,” one concerned mom shares. “It puts everyone at risk, especially those who are immunocompromised and our babies who haven’t been able to get vaccinated yet.”
Those most at risk of encountering health problems caused by viruses are individuals recovering from diseases such as cancer and expectant women. There are indeed several kids who attend public schools in the Philadelphia system currently recovering from cancer. For them, contracting the flu from an unvaccinated child is more than a matter of taking a few days off to recover.
Still, there are those parents who believe that immunization should not be a matter of government intervention. “The government should never be given the power to dictate someone’s medical condition as a norm,” one anti-vaccine mom shares. “The occasional extreme, maybe, but that should be determined case-by-case,” the parent adds. “Choosing alternative immune support methods is not an extreme situation.”
While it is true that decisions regarding a child’s health should be left to the parent, it is also the case that children with outdated immunization records pose a threat to other children in a public school setting. Parents who feel strongly about vaccinations may want to consider homeschooling their children. Such options afford kids the opportunity to learn the essentials without parents having to compromise their personal beliefs. For now, at least, parents who are against immunizations have won a battle in Philadelphia!
Teenager Makes One Simple Lifestyle Change, Loses 100+ Pounds!
When Michael Watson, then a sophomore in high school, stood in front of the mirror, he didn’t like what he saw. Michael recalls seeing someone that he didn’t want to be. Motivated to change his body in a substantial way, he knew that he had to do something different. Dramatically different. For Watson, changing his body was all about changing his routine and, as you’ll soon see, that routine change was incredibly effective! First, let’s take a moment to step into Watson’s shoes as he began this journey toward life-changing weight loss.
For most high school students, your image is everything. Nobody wants to be the kid that everyone makes fun of. While school bullying should never inform your decisions, sometimes you end up stumbling into the real problems that you are dealing with. For Watson, he was tired of being the one kid on the bus that nobody wanted to sit by because there wasn’t enough room. When Watson began his weight loss journey, he was nearly 340lbs. In order to get all of that weight off, Watson decided that he was done taking the bus to school. Watson wasn’t just done riding the bus for a week or a month, he was done riding it for the entire year. Rain, snow, or shine, Watson was going to walk to school.
Walking. It’s as simple as that, right? Well, sort of. For Watson, deciding to opt-out of the bus ride meant walking nearly twenty miles total every single day of the school year. Watson says, “When I started walking, I didn’t even know what time the bus came and that was my motivation. I have to walk.” While walking was the major change that Watson made in his life, he also made other equally important changes. Watson gave up eating at Kentucky Fried Chicken which was unfortunately difficult, as he worked there. Watson recalls how horrible this lifestyle change was, but he was motivated every step of the way when progress began to show. Watson says, “What motivated me was stepping on the scale.”
Thanks to Michael’s tremendous work in reclaiming his health, he was able to chop 100 pounds right off of his waistline. Now, Watson is a trim and athletic young man with a body that looks as good as it is healthy. Watson’s hard work would get highlighted by his school district, Canton City Schools. Even though the 6’4 Watson has received plenty of praise for his work, he knows that what he did wasn’t particularly special. Watson says, “Anybody can do it if they put their mind to it.” Even though Watson would have his off days, he made sure that his on days always outnumbered them. Thanks to his commitment, the occasional cheat day at KFC wouldn’t put him into a hole that he was incapable of walking out of.
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