Things to Celebrate One Year Ago: Good News from December 2015!

Posted on December 4, 2016 by Dr. Lynda

Some topics are timeless in their ability to delight and bring us all to a new mindset. Today we’ll share ten special articles with you from December of 2015 that get many views each day, still a year later!

If you haven’t read them, be sure to take time to dip into these when you can!

There’s good reason to get excited about things like snake robots, the mysteries of space and mice with ears growing on them!

Image: Collage of star gazing,, megafauna animals, and snake robot

If you are a regular visitor to the website here at Ever Widening Circles, then you know our goal is to change the negative dialogue about our world.

Every day we do that by publishing one carefully fact-checked article to prove this is still an amazing world.

On the first Sunday of each month, we look back a year and point our readers to a few articles that never stopped resonating throughout the year.

Now there’s a reason the wonder has never faded.

People are totally drained by hearing nothing but bad news these days. It gets under our skin, invades our dreams, makes us feel smaller and steals our joy.

And there are plenty of reasons to celebrate! Innovation is growing at an astounding rate,  but we would never know it by what the 24-hour news cycle shares with us relentlessly.

In fact, I looked at the top news stories from 1 year ago and I could not find one positive, uplifting thing that got any serious play on the airwaves.

Here’s what was filling every corner of the “news” in December of 2015

1. The U.S. was still reeling over the San Bernardino massacre that killed 14 people

2. An E. coli outbreak at a Chipotle restaurant in Massachusetts sickened 80 students.

3. Donald Trump sparked major controversy around the world after he called for a “complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the U.S.

4. The pharmaceutical boss Martin Shkreli – famous for hiking the price of a drug used by cancer and Aids patients by 50-fold overnight, and dubbed “the most hated man in America” – was arrested on hedge fund fraud charges.

Great. If that’s all I knew about last December, I’m sure I would have barely wanted to get out of bed. Thankfully, I’ve been right here digging for real news, positive things overlooked by most.

Good News from December 2015!

So today, I’ve chosen ten pieces we wrote a year ago that should not be missed. And the insights from every single one of them are just as relevant as ever! Enjoy!

Try dipping into all these when you get a chance…

First up, have you heard much about “megafauna,” the other giants that roamed the earth after the dinosaurs. Most of us know about the giant, long-haired elephants called mamoths, but that’s about the extent of common solid knowledge. Well, as It turns out, the more we know about animals like giant ground sloths and saber-toothed tigers, the more we know about how to manage both rural and urban environments today!

“Rewilding” is a solution you are going to hear a lot about in the very near future. It’s just fascinating and probably why this article is one of our top ten viewed every single day. See what you think…

Next, I highly recommend an article that makes one just sit back for a minute pondering the unlimited scope of Mother Nature’s creative palate. Deep in the rainforest of Papua New Guinea are representatives of one of the most unique birds species in the world. The diversity of their outlandish design flourishes, color, and shapes make Picaso look like a slacker.

Check out the expedition that set out to photograph and study them all!

This next important article contains an insight that many of us could pontificate about, but can’t seem to model. Can one of the most important philosophies in life be contained in a pickle jar? It can, and it could change our lives and the lives of the people we love, if we could just keep this insight fresh and act on it every day. See what you think…

How much do you trust your own brain? Should you trust it at all? Watching brain-hacker Keith Barry take us on an adventure into our own minds, is great fun and a little embarrassing. His remarkable insights might suggest we should reconsider all the things we stridently believe and act upon. What if the way our brain works has made us incredibly vulnerable to clever manipulation?

This article made me much wiser about the great cons in the landscape of popular culture. (And it’s a lot of fun too!) See what you think…

Oh, now this next article contains something that is just pure delight! Have you ever wondered what lies beyond earth, but didn’t have quite enough knowledge to really dig into the question? The Podcast we point you to – the TED Radio Hour – in this episode, helps us answer so many of our questions in a conversational way with speakers from the TED stage. Even if you are not a “science person”, this article gets at some of the questions we all savor when we gaze up at a stary sky since childhood.

It’s like listening in on a wonderful conversation where you want to interrupt constantly to say things like “Oh my!” and “I always wondered about that!”.

Get a nice beverage, put your feet up, close your eyes and relax into this for an hour. You will be expanded.

Our snake robot article has been a real head-scratcher to me. I wrote it very quickly, did not pontificate much, just let a few videos speak for themselves, and this article too is one of our most viewed every day. People from all over the world just love this article! I suspect it gets at some things we all share at our very core: Are you inspired by all the posibility that robotics afford us in the future? And your feelings about snakes? Most of us just can’t get over the creepy urge to take flight when we see one.

How about a robotic snake?!  The combination is perfectly and irresistably compelling.

What happens when creatures of the sea take flight? The BBC and National Geographic take us on a journey with flying rays to see a marvel of nature!

Now here’s an article that also gets to something at our core as human beings: the wonder of nature’s complexity. When I first saw the spectacle that we are featuring in this article I imagined prehistoric people standing in wonder exactly as we do. There’s a thread of connection here I can’t quite define, but this article had thousands of views within the first few hours after we published it, so that should tell us something.

Did you realize that we know more about the face of mars than our own ocean floor? I had no idea. This next EWC article inspires us to completely rethink the exploration of the amazing depths of our own planet! And what’s wonderful about this piece is that we get to hear Bob Ballard (the man who found the Titanic on the ocean floor) and the voices of real scientist, often sounding like the child within us all, exclaiming, laughing and celebrating particular moments of discovery.

I remember smiling myself as the scientists are so thrilled to be seeing particular wonders for the first time. This article reminds us that we are all connected by the deep emotions stirred by discovery. Enjoy this!

If a picture speaks a thousand words, then the picture we chose for this article organizes them in many confounding questions. I love the fact that this article alone is responsible for bringing tens of thousand of people to our website at Ever Widening Circles. It speaks to the natural curiosity that has driven humans forward for hundreds of thousands of years.

And that response keeps me hopeful. As long as we can stay curious, we can be optimistic.

Someday, very soon, we will be re-growing our own failing or missing parts! This remarkable science may eventually touch every one of our lives. Fascinating!

Regardless of man-made divisions like borders, languages, and cultures, there is just something mind-bending about contemplating our place in the universe. And once informed about that place, human creations like borders seem laughably petty.

If only we could all get on the same plane when it comes to knowledge. Well, we are raising the average up every day here at Ever Widening Circles!

In this article we point you to a brief 209 seconds of perspective. Enjoy this!

So there you have it folks!

One year ago, we could choose where our attention went and we can do it now!

We are living in a time when we are powerless to effect some things, but we can still choose the information we invite into our lives!

Join us here daily for the opposite of the droning narrative in the mass media.

Image: Young people in dark glasses questioning things
Our COO, Liesl, having some fun with a little boy in Cambodia.

And here’s an interesting fact: Since the very beginning of this project, our return visitor rate has been 19.25%. It doesn’t matter whether we are promoting our project in Nepal or St. Louis. It doesn’t seem to matter if we are getting 500 views a day or 5000.

EWC seems to embrace a mindset that appeals to 19.25% of people on the planet.

Thank you ahead of time for helping us reach that 19.25%. Pass the word on about EWC and we will surely change the dialogue about our world.

Stay curious and optimistic!

~ Dr. Lynda