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Thursday, July 30, 2020

350Vermont Launches 'Climate + COVID-19: A Community Conversation' Zine

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2020 at 6:02 PM

  • Courtesy of Jean Cannon
  • 'Predator Summit'
The climate crisis and COVID-19 are two topics likely to be weighing on Vermonters' minds. In a new zine presented by the Burlington-based climate justice nonprofit 350Vermont, writers and artists explore the intersection of the pandemic and Earth's changing climate.

In early May, organizers, including project initiator and 350Vermont staff collective member Lily Jacobson, put out a call for submissions. They were looking  for stories, essays, poems, drawings, photos, and other types of writing and visual art to fill a DIY publication, serving as "an artistic dialogue around the connections between COVID-19 and climate justice, aka the climate crisis," according to the call for submissions.

The response was enthusiastic. In a phone call with Seven Days, Jacobson said the team received submissions from 40 people, some of whom sent multiple pieces. With such a large number of works, organizers decided to parcel the zine, called Climate + COVID-19: A Community Conversation, into two issues.

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Monday, March 30, 2020

In Coronavirus Facebook Groups, Moderators and Commenters Clash

Posted By on Mon, Mar 30, 2020 at 2:43 PM

  • Illustration by Diane Sullivan; image of person ©Dreamstime/One Photo; coronavirus images Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
If you scroll quickly through the 802 Stay Safe and Strong Informational Group on Facebook, it almost reads like a regular community forum. Its members post, comment on and react to updates on Vermont businesses, offer praise for thoughtful neighbors, and laugh over the occasional joke or animal video. A single post might get hundreds of likes and dozens of shares.

The group, formerly called 802 Stay Safe and Strong Updates, was created on March 13 by Morrisville resident Tammy Wells and now has more than 15,500 members. Wells had created Facebook groups before and saw this one as a good way to share information with friends and family about local impacts of the coronavirus. She had no idea it would blow up the way it has.

“I’ve been a moderator for five [Facebook] groups that I’m connected with. So I’ve been doing this a long time,” Wells said. “But this one is serious.”

There’s no way of knowing what percentage of the group’s members are Vermont residents. But if they all were, it would mean Wells had acquired an audience of more than 2 percent of the state’s population in just two weeks. For contrast, in the three years since Gov. Phil Scott created his Facebook page, he has amassed 20,000 followers.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Becoming Entranced at Green Mountain Hypnosis

Posted By on Wed, Jul 17, 2019 at 4:39 PM

Karen Gray - SABINE POUX
  • Sabine Poux
  • Karen Gray
Note: This story is a companion to this week's Work column about certified professional hypnotist Karen Gray. Read the column here.

Throughout my last semester of high school, acquiesced beyond repair to my senior year slump and basking in the independence of my new driver's license, I often spent weeknights at my friends' houses until three or four in the morning. At that point, I'd exhaustedly summon every drop of my remaining energy, get in the car and make the five-minute commute home.

Eventually, driving back from these hangouts became second nature, each stoplight and turn through my sleepy suburban hamlet deeply familiar. Most nights, I would end up as if by magic in my driveway, with no recollection of even driving back at all.

During each of these zoned-out drives, Karen Gray told me, I was in a hypnotic trance. My conscious mind had strayed from the situation at hand, like it does in hypnosis, while my subconscious mind slipped into autopilot. A person can drive home without really thinking about it, as unsettling as that is.

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Monday, June 25, 2018

Musician Hikes Long Trail to Raise Awareness of Suicide Prevention

Posted By on Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 12:58 PM

  • Courtesy of Betsy LeBlanc
  • Betsy LeBlanc and Sam
Elisabeth "Betsy" LeBlanc remembers being five years old and scrawling "I want to die" on plastic decorative balloons in her room. Months later, the self-abuse began. When she was in third grade, her family doctor noticed the bruises and bite marks on LeBlanc's arms. She had her first major crisis in high school and got help through therapy.

"You might ask why would a five-year-old want to die," says LeBlanc, now 40, in a video that she uploaded on Facebook. "I genuinely believed people would be better off without me."

LeBlanc continues that she was "properly medicated" for the first time when she was 27. It was also the first time she was able to experience anything other than depression, she adds.

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Center for Cartoon Studies to Host Comics and Medicine Conference

Posted By on Mon, Mar 19, 2018 at 3:03 PM

  • Courtesy of Center for Cartoon Studies
The Center for Cartoon Studies has announced it will host the 9th International Comics and Medicine Conference August 16 to 18.

The annual gathering is organized by an international committee that includes the administrators of the Graphic Medicine website, along with physicians, artists, writers and scholars.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

A Class Proves That Growing Cannabis Is Anything But Simple

Posted By on Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 1:36 PM

Hemp in a grow tent at Green State Gardener - ELIZABETH M. SEYLER
  • Elizabeth M. Seyler
  • Hemp in a grow tent at Green State Gardener
In 25 years of growing organic veggies, I've never met a plant quite like cannabis. It responds to pruning the same way basil or broccoli does — by sending out multiple shoots that eventually flower. It thrives in nutrient-rich soil with the right amounts of light and water. And it's susceptible to the usual insects and diseases.

But terms like "mother plant," "screen of green," and "cloning" never quite enter the conversation when we're talking tomatoes and peppers.

Those cannabis terms rolled off Jahson Friedman's tongue on Saturday at Green State Gardener's "Free Cultivation Class: Vegging and Flowering" in Burlington. A GSG employee and registered medical cannabis cardholder, Jahson Friedman — who goes just by the name Jahson — is a consummate practitioner of the art and science of nurturing  the flowering plant.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Reporter Tries Out Cupping, With Props to Michael Phelps

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 3:30 PM

How cupping works - DREAMSTIME
  • Dreamstime
  • How cupping works
Michael Phelps may have earned his 23rd round medal at Rio recently, but it was the round marks on his back — and on the body parts of fellow Olympians — that have earned raised eyebrows at the 2016 Games. The New York Times compared Phelps to a Dalmatian; the Dallas Morning News described the crimson circles “as if a school of large catfish had latched onto his skin underwater and left him with hickeys.”

By now, everyone knows that the purple dots are a result of cupping. And according to the Washington Post, it was big with top-level athletes long before Phelps brought it to our attention. Far from a new trend, it's actually an ancient form of alternative medicine that uses suction to improve blood flow, reduce soreness and speed healing. For Olympians who bounce from event to event like Ping Pong balls, cupping can be a quick way to recuperate for the next bout.

After hours of watching Rio 2016 swimming, the only soreness I felt was in my eyeballs, and maybe in my heart. (Hubba-hubba, Ryan Lochte!) Still, as an athlete myself, I was curious to experiment with the practice. Would it relieve my chronically stiff muscles, the result of too little stretching? Would I emerge like a spotted salamander?

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