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.
- I’m not much of a swimmer, but this list of the best swimming holes in the nation has me ready to pack my bags for an adventure.
- Looking for an easy way to carry maps in the backcountry? You might want to check out Fatmap or any of these map apps designed for even the most intrepid explorer.
- If you’ve never volunteered with your local Special Olympics, I highly recommend it. If you still need some persuading, check out Mariah Gilbert, who won the new Stand Up Paddleboarding class at the USA Games after only paddling for a year.
- We’re lucky to live in a state with lots of backcountry horseback riding opportunities. But if most of your non-arena riding takes place on the road, this new saddle-mounted traffic detector could make your ride safer. (Also, PSA for you non-equestrians out there: If you’re driving and you see a horse and rider on the shoulder, please please please slow down, pass safely, and whatever you do, DON’T HONK. This is not a joke.)
- It takes a lot of work and passion to train a winning racehorse. See how they get their start in this fascinating video, which was first brought to my attention by my racehorse-loving sister. Thanks, Kate!
- Aren’t the color and light in these paintings of sliced fruit just magnificent?
- And speaking of color, look at these gorgeous photos of Istanbul by photographer Yener Torun.
- These black and white images of life in the ocean by photographer Anuar Patjane Floriuk are totally swoon-worthy. I especially love the photo of the diver with the school of fish towering over him.
- These three-dimensional doodles by artist HuskMitNavn are sure to give you a giggle.
- I’m totally digging both the sound of this band: Boy Girl Banjo.
- This week, the LDS Church and the NAACP announced plans for a joint venture to launch educational and employment initiatives in the US.
- I find spiders fascinating, but if you don’t share my enthusiasm, you may want to skip this piece on how spiders use electricity to fly. In the words of my brother-in-law, Taylor, “Time to nope the heck off this planet and nuke it from orbit.”
- Corn contains lots of health-promoting nutrients like phenolic acids, but most of those are lost during processing.
- Warming water in the South Pacific Ocean might be the key to predicting drought in the southwestern United States.
- These glow-in-the-dark creatures are sure to make your next rave a total hit.
- One Utah woman orchestrated an event to provide over 1,200 stuffed animals to migrant children separated from their parents. But that’s not all—she has also organized shipments of over 10,000 toys to kids in crisis all over the world. Check out the Facebook page for her organization, Dolls of Hope, if you want to get involved.
- Looking for ways to serve and minister to those around you? Look no further than the perfect example, Jesus Christ.
- These behind-the-scenes pictures from the LDS Church’s production of Book of Mormon videos makes me really miss film school.
- I had no idea that St. Louis was a haven for early Latter-day Saints until I read (and watched) about the newly renovated museum at the St. Louis Arch.
- The more I get to know our new Apostles, Elders Soares and Gong, the more I love them. This interview talks about how their new roles have affected—and blessed—their lives.
- Fun fact: cow burps and farts are actually a major concern for environmental health. Those burps release a significant amount of methane into the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change. But thanks to science, we’re learning that feeding Bessie seaweed can limit the amount of methane she emits when she burps at the dinner table.
- I’m all for allowing livestock owners to protect their animals, but since less than 1% of all livestock losses are caused by wolves, I’m in agreement that hunting the rare Red Wolf is a bad idea.
- I hate how much plastic is used in product packaging, so props to a company called LimeLoop, which makes reusable packaging out of recycled materials.
- Good news for small-scale farmers: a new study shows that switching to organic production can provide much-needed economic stability and financial security for their families. Good for the planet AND good for the farmers? You betcha.
- Sustainability isn’t just about what’s good for plants and animals. It’s also about making sure that all humans are taken care of, too. That’s why I love the innovative approach Fort Worth, TX, is taking to simultaneously provide jobs for homeless people and keep litter off the streets.
- The Yellowstone River is an important water source for wildlife, ranchers, and communities—and it’s threatened by a proposed mining development. Now’s the time to join the fight to protect this vital resource.