Can Keeping a Hen Help You Live Longer?

Want to stay active, feel less lonely and generally be healthier? Maybe it’s time to get yourself a hen. HenPower, an experimental project based in Gateshead, England, aims to get older residents of the community involved in hen keeping as a way to reduce their feelings of isolation and to enhance their health and well-being. The “pensioners,” as the Brits refer to retired folks, look after the hens, collecting their eggs and rearing their chicks; the handiest among them design …

Facing the Perils in Paradise

There is a place beyond imagination and beyond the rattle of the inner city, beyond the housing tracts of suburbia and even beyond the relatively distant semi-wilderness in areas around Los Angeles known informally as exurbia. We call that settlement of heavenly dreams Nowherebia. It is an area that the soul yearns for on those days that freeway traffic is jammed bumper to bumper from the ocean to the desert where crime is on the rise, where tract houses of …

Say Happy Birthday to Two ‘Nonagenarian’ Chimps

As a kid growing up in Indianapolis, nothing excited me more than the thought of piling into the family station wagon for a trip to the big city: Chicago. Our favorite destination in the Windy City, hands down, was the Lincoln Park Zoo. There I would gaze in absolute wonderment at Bushman, the world-famous, fierce-visaged gorilla, who stood 6 foot 2 and weighed in at 550 pounds. Before his sudden death in 1951 at the tender age of 22, Bushman …

Horse Sense Volunteering

Fran Burns of Baltimore County, Maryland, grew up on a horse farm, riding and showing horses. She recalls that the only time in her life when she wasn’t around horses was during college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied broadcast journalism. After many years of working in the world of radio, and later, dental sales, Fran retired in 2006 to her horse farm in northern Maryland where she started volunteering with organizations that were …

Antibiotic-Free Meat: What The Label Isn’t Telling You

The label on the package of ground beef says “all-natural.” What the heck does that mean? Or how about the turkey tenderloin label that says the meat is “antibiotic-free” — can you trust it? While most consumers would like to be able to buy meat or poultry raised without antibiotics — and would even pay a little more for it, according to a new Consumer Reports survey — the problem is determining whether that “antibiotic-free” label really means what it …