Nothing can beat the splendor of the preserved beauty of nature for miles, lit by a setting sun while you sip a beer you snuck in. Public parks are great in nearly every form, and National Parks are a national treasure. There are 59 of them designated right now (although there are 417 units in the National Park Service) in these United States and I recommend racing your friends to visit the most.

At a lot of these parks, you’ll end up having to hike a bit. But good news! Hiking is just walking. Grab some fashionable yet comfortable sneakers, a reusable water bottle, and get your park on. Summer is the perfect season for sweating off your booty while enjoying one of these charming spots.

mt sneermore

Plus, they need us! We all know how politics go, and don’t you want America to still be here in hundreds of years, in the form of natural landmasses that we had little to do with? Show your support by visiting and indicating that you appreciate their existence. Our national parks are doing a really great job lately, and we should each and every one of us let them know!

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It’s May and that means, without a doubt, that it is Spring! The birds and the butterflies and bees are coming out, along with the flowers, grass, and big leafy trees.

Well, today we’ve got a simple craft you can do to make an adorable bird feeder just in time for your local feathery pals to visit and have a snack. This craft is brought to you by our nonprofit charity Wilder Friends, where we help bring bird feeders and butterfly gardens to public places and to organizations who need it.

feed some friends

 

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colorrrr

Happy birthday, David Attenborough! And happy David Attenborough’s Birthday to all of you out there in Sneeryland. I am sure you all know of this legend, this gift to the world, and have watched all five million documentaries he has been a part of. An inspiration both far and wide, his love of travel and dedication to studying and sharing knowledge about animals and the natural world is a glorious thing to behold, and characteristics we would all do well to embrace, ourselves. Each and every one of us.

Below, you will find a coloring page that shows just a few of the animals he has seen with his own eyes: tortoise, various birds of paradise, zedbra, bat, sugarglider, gerenuk, tree frog, red panda, sifaka lemur, marmoset, monarch butterfly. And one he hasn’t seen alive: the trilobite. Also, behind them all in pieces are forest, desert, tundra, grassland, and marine ecosystems. I tell you this because it might be hard to tell, and might help you in your coloring efforts. This drawing is a loving, yet meager attempt to show just a little of what he has seen, this great man who is very probably the most-traveled human being to ever exist.

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like all the way 90s

I always like to consider myself as “timeless.” I am Amanda Wood no matter what decade or location I am in, and that’s fine by me! Sometimes, though, I do feel like I might be very “90s” about things. It was the ten year span that I was an impressionable teen, so it makes sense that it would leave its stain on me for the rest of my life. And really, with hindsight making things clearer, it is probably a symptom of the ’90s to feel as though you were alone, or in any way apart from the others. A generation of alienated youths probably didn’t have a solid cohort base. I know buzzfeed makes a lot of lists that only ’90s Kids Would Understand, but I often wonder which of us would even bother making that kind of thing?

As an old person now, I derive a little satisfaction seeing that my classmates don’t really want to bother setting up class reunions. We kept the friends we wanted to keep. No one really wants to put forth that kind of effort, anyway. None of us really wants to awkwardly see how much we’ve aged or discuss shattered dreams or whatever. It’s nice. Thanks, class of ’98. I probably like you all better because it turns out we were all as antisocial as I thought only I was! Bonding from afar.

With that in mind, I always planned to preface this article with a disclaimer saying that my impression of the ’90s is probably extremely personal and just one tiny rare facet that is nothing like anyone else’s experience. But, no. I had a teen time probably like everyone else’s, at least in rural Ohio. I’ve heard it suggested that rural Ohio is kind of surprisingly horrible in many ways, so maybe the rest of you dear readers had some sort of decade of playing in flower fields and volunteering your time to good causes. Well la dee da, sunshine. Good for you.

 

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gurrrrrrl

I was a Girl Scout when I was younger. In some ways, I’ll always be one! In other ways, why isn’t everyone? I still have my old Girl Scout badges, though I wouldn’t wear that vest around (it wouldn’t fit, mostly). I also still have my old book of how to earn each badge and sign. In the book it explains that the badges are also called recognitions, so when someone sees your badge, they recognize your accomplishments. As the book says, “Badges… show that you have done something so often and so well that you can teach it to someone.”

This week is Girl Scout Week. It falls the week of March 12, the anniversary of when Juliette Gordon Low held her first troop meeting. In honor of that, I propose we earn some Scouting for Women badges.

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It’s so damn hot, you guys. It’s like, really hot. I’m not saying that it’s never been hot before, and I’m not even saying it’s never been THIS hot before, but what I certainly am saying is that right now: it is really hot. Did somebody accidentally bump the sun a little closer to us on the last trip round? I’m looking at you Jupiter, you stupid piece of goddamn shit.

poor juper

I’m.. I’m sorry, Jupiter, and fans of Jupiter. I didn’t mean to have an outburst. It’s just, you guys… it’s really hot right now. It’s like I’m playing the maracas underwater and every time I shake my maracas, the water gets hotter. And everybody wants to do the samba, and also everyone else has maracas too, and also everyone has a serious tremor in both hands AND ALSO the song we are all playing is “Johnny Fast-Hands Plays The Maracas Faster Than Usual.” Additionally, instead of a pool it’s a furnace fill with water, and instead of that water, there’s fire, and no maracas, and Johnny Fast-Hands’ fast hands are fused together, pock-marked by the embers and pitch black like your grandparents’ souls.

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We have a lot of fears. Some make sense; others, not so much. This latter type will be featured once monthly until we run out of material, at which point, we might begin accepting the fears of our readers. 

Microscopic Bugaboo

A fear of natural bodies of water is so deeply ingrained into my life that I didn’t remember that it is an “irrational fear” until last week. Every summer, I have always shuddered in horror as millions of people cool off by taking dips in ponds, swimming in lakes and oceans, “go tubing” down rivers. All I see in these places, including rain puddles, are nests of germs, parasites, and single-celled organisms that could cause sickness or death. It doesn’t seem that irrational to me to not want any of these afflictions! But people act like I’m being crazy when I look at them like they’re crazy when they ask me to go swimming down at a swimmin’ hole. Why don’t I just ingest a petri dish laden with giardia and hookworms?? No thanks forever.

We have a lot of fears. Some make sense; others, not so much. This latter type will be featured once monthly until we run out of material, at which point, we might begin accepting the fears of our readers. 

snow fear

I have seen documentaries and read articles about the Ice Age. There were a lot of great species of megafauna that obsess me here and there. I love them very much. What I have never loved, however, are the discoveries of woolly mammoths well-preserved in sheets of ice. Some of the mammoths still have mouthfuls of vegetation in place, as though they had been caught mid-chew. How fast did the Ice Age happen? How much time passes while eating one bite of food? Did glaciers come down from the Terrible North in mere seconds, trapping all living things and eventually dragging their bodies some of the way back?

Whatever the real answer is (I have so far refused to ever dig around for that information because I am frightened enough as it is), the fact remains that whenever the weather man speaks of a “polar vortex,” I get a little nervous. “Siberian Express” in the form of weather is a dreadful notion. Whenever I so much as see a flake of snow falling from the sky, I wonder if it is the start of our inevitable deaths by frozen ice. I watched footage from a few years ago when it was so cold and so windy that a lake appeared to actually produce glaciers and they ran ashore and broke the exterior walls of houses, and I feared for us all. It happened so fast that I could imagine in a few thousand years, new scientists would find perfectly preserved men and women encased in ice sheets, bites of scrambled eggs in their mouths, caught unexpectedly, too fast.

Horrible winter time. I will not relax until the spring thaw.

Have you ever had a panic attack? They are different for everyone, we hear. Us Sneer Campaign writers, well we are a fragile bunch. Mentally.

For each of us, for a variety of reasons, our first panic attacks were each our worst. One horrific reason for this is that you pretty much think you’re dying. If you’ve never experienced a panic attack, it wouldn’t quite be comforting to not know what’s happening to you, to have trouble breathing or speaking, to move and shout involuntarily, to not even be able to cry.

My first landed me in the emergency room, while Amanda stayed home, wallowing in fear. We both ended up okay. We both survived not just those, but many since. We have both become more anxious. We both live in fear.

panic attack

 

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Animals are great! The world is wonderful! Nature is really nice and we should all do our best to preserve it. I think a lot of people don’t mean to harm the environment and the things which dwell within, but they have never really given it much thought. Like that awful business with palm oil. If most people were faced with the actual destruction of animal homes, they would find it within themselves to read labels and make ethical choices. I think most people know that all of the bees are dying, and probably can now correctly identify a honeybee so that they do not kill one in a panic. Learning things helps you make informed decisions, and that is never bad. Or at least, then, if you choose to do bad, it isn’t just because you are ignorant. It is because you are terrible.

We at the Sneer Campaign believe strongly that knowledge is power, just like Schoolhouse Rock told us. And we would like help you to know things. We want to help the world. We want to do good. Now, we are just beginning this journey of earthly well-wishing. We are not at Leonardo DiCaprio, Eco-Savior levels quite yet. Unlike him, we are only mere mortals with limited funds. Lucky for us all, learning is free, and now we will teach you a handy thing or two on how to care for the wild creatures of the forest, free of charge. Specifically, we are going to guide you on how to keep bears happy.

black bear

 

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