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To The Best Of Our Knowledge
December 29, 2018
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Ending With A Flourish


New Year celebrations can feel hollow sometimes, in a way no hangover remedy in the world can fix. We’re so good at embracing the future – we welcome January’s new beginning with bubble and fizz, confetti sparkle, midnight cheers and laughter. But where’s the ceremony for laying the old year to rest? For releasing the past, letting go of unfulfilled dreams and expectations, and leaving behind what we’ve outgrown? Where is the acknowledgment and acceptance of loss, necessary for any new beginning to take root?

Maybe it’s just middle age setting in, but lately I’ve been feeling bogged down by possessions and habits accumulated over the course of years. It’s time to let go of some things – literally and metaphorically. Perhaps you feel the same – which is why once again, I’m sharing my tiny, personal, end of the year fire ceremony, in case you’d like to end the year with me. 


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A Ritual For A New Year

Choose something from 2018 and leave it behind.
Anne shares a yearly ritual for leaving behind something you regret, and moving into the new year a little bit lighter.
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Would You Build Your Own Coffin? With Your Dad?

David Giffels and his dad
A few years ago, David Giffels took on an unusual woodworking project — he started building his own coffin. With his 80-year-old father. But after losing his mother and best friend suddenly, his woodworking project took on a whole new meaning.
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Control The Data, Control The World

Data streams
Yuval Noah Harari is the big-thinking historian who warns that whoever owns the data owns the future. He told Steve Paulson that it’s become the most important resource in the world.
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"More Hawk Than Human": Helen Macdonald Battles Grief With a Goshawk

Goshawk in flight
Shattered by her father's sudden death, writer Helen Macdonald began dreaming of wild hawks. In an effort to move beyond her grief, she bought and trained a wild goshawk — one of the world's fiercest birds of prey. But between the bird and her grief, she became, in her words "more hawk than human."
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Helen MacDonald Recommends "The Dark Is Rising"

"The Dark Is Rising" by Susan Cooper
Wizarding fiction didn't start with "Harry Potter," says the author of "H is for Hawk." Every year, MacDonald reads this tale of a boy who finds out he's one of the "old ones," part of a series from author Susan Cooper. She says it reconnects her with a sense of wonder inspired by what might lurk beneath the surface of the seen world.
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Twitter, Your Friend Who's Up All Night

deray on Twitter
Maybe you can do without social media, if your life is already pretty comfortable. But you know what? Some people can't wait for something better to come along. They need social media today. Like organizer DeRay Mckesson.
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Want the Internet To Be Less Mean? Think Before You Share.

internet of nonsense
Viral videos and memes are good for a laugh — but how often do you think about where they came from? Digital culture scholar Whitney Phillips says the internet is both playful and mean. And we’re not good at telling the difference.
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