Friday Favorites is a weekly round up of my favorite stories and products from around the web. See what I’ve loved in the past here.
My apologies for missing my regular Wednesday post this week. I’ve been up to my elbows in taxes for a few days and didn’t have time to get it drafted. If you’re also slogging through the IRS quagmire, here’s a fun video to cheer you up. I recently discovered the Holderness Family’s YouTube channel, and I can’t get enough. These people are beautiful, talented, and funny—and they seem to have such a great family dynamic. I love them.
- The Department of the Interior, which manages the National Parks system here in the US, recently proposed increasing the entry fee from $20-25 to $70. Apparently, no one was having it, though, and 100,000 people made their voices heard during an open comment period (which I wish I had known about, because then it would have been 100,001 people making their voices heard). And thankfully, they’ve decided not to increase admission prices.
- I love this incredible video of a well-trained cutting horse having some fun in the arena—sans rider. If you’re not familiar with the sport of cutting, Wikipedia actually has a nice primer.
- Juliana L. Brandt, blogger and author of MG and YA literature, has a great post on plotting that includes a fabulous downloadable plotting outline. If you’re an aspiring author, you should totally check it out! Juliana is also my critique partner, so I can testify that this gal knows how to plot a book.
- Amber Clawson Fife, a friend of mine from my days at BYU, has just launched Women Create Weekly, a blog dedicated to empowering women to engage in creative pursuits on a regular basis. I am loving what I see so far, and I’m excited to watch this take off. And with over a decade of experience as a professional photographer and photography instructor, Amber has lots of experience and expertise to share!
- I’ve mentioned before that I love miniatures, and I also have a thing for dystopian stories. No wonder I’m totally digging this set of post-apocalyptic miniatures by artists Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber.
- I LOVE LOVE LOVE this gorgeous animation about a cute little fox who goes on an adventure. The visuals are absolutely stunning. Check it out!
- I used to be the person who rarely failed to finish a book. If it contained material I am opposed to (immorality, graphic violence, excessive swearing, that sort of thing) I would put it down, but if it was just boring? Nope. I usually forced myself to read it through to the end. But like Janet Frishberg, I’ve recently realized it’s okay to quit reading books that don’t tickle our fancy so that we can spend more time with books that do.
- One upside (sort of) to global warming and the shrinking polar ice caps is that scientists are able to access species they previously couldn’t reach, like Antarctica’s Minke whales. Not saying it’s good that Antarctica is melting or anything, but whales are cool, so…
- One of my greatest frustrations is that I can’t access many peer-reviewed scientific papers so that I can have a correct and science-based understanding of certain topics I’m passionate about. That’s why I really appreciated this talk by researcher Erica Stone on how we can give more people access to research results and why that’s important.
- I recently discovered that I’ve been taking care of my LDS Temple Garments incorrectly. LDS blogger Mrs. Lady Wordsmith has some great tips for giving your garments the care and respect they deserve.
- Ever wondered about a Mormon wedding? LDS Standing United has a nice video overview that explains our beliefs about temple marriages, and World Wide Wed did a special on a couple preparing to get sealed in the temple.
- Grist has a great list of five people fixing the food system. I’ll be watching the work of these innovators with great interest.
- Civil Eats has a great article about a group of activists who are using urban farming to help people in vulnerable communities in Washington, D.C., gain access to healthy food, build valuable skills, and connect with their heritage.
- President Trump wants to repeal a plan that would save the lives of thousands of people, especially children. Family members, medical professionals, and even coal miners spoke up in favor of keeping the Clean Power Plan.
- Did you know that the USDA has a series of grants designed to help underrepresented populations including minorities and veterans get started in farming? It’s called the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program (or “Section 2501”) and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has some very useful information on the program.
And finally, I’ll leave you with a lovely, inspiring quote a friend of mine shared on Facebook. Have a great week!