The New Abnormal (& Friday Links)

It’s been like a permanent sunset since the fires started burning. It’s hard to believe it has been nearly a week. Classes at the University have been cancelled all week and our kids’ schools were cancelled today. Everyone is inside, hoping their filters are working as promised—the air outside is unhealthy to breathe—or moving about in particulate-masks. It’s an eerie scene.

And yet we’re lucky. Up north, the Camp Fires has become the deadliest in the state’s history, with close to 600 people still missing. Near Los Angeles, the Woolsey and Hill Fires have forced thousands to evacuate. So many people have lost their homes. The enormity of the disaster is heartbreaking.

According to Popular Science, “The state has been so parched that massive fires pop up all the time, and climate change isn’t helping. In the last few years huge swaths have dried up, burst into flames, and left blackened land to try to recover. Most of California’s hottest fires have burned since 2000—13 out of 20 total—as higher temperatures have made wildfires increasingly likely and destructive. Just in the last five years, this is how much of the state has burned.” 5,395,088 acres in the last five years alone. “Unfortunately, global warming will make it harder and harder to prevent and contain fires—until we address that issue, we’re in for a lot more burning.” And not just in California, but all over the world where places are parched.

Governor Jerry Brown called the intensifying situation the “new abnormal.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists is reporting on our impact on increasing CO2, and the big takeaway is this, “As individuals, we can help by taking action to reduce our personal carbon emissions. But to fully address the threat of global warming, we must demand action from our elected leaders to support and implement a comprehensive set of climate solutions.”

In the meantime, it’s touching to see so many people coming together to help, in so many different ways:

Here are ways support the fire survivors and first responders now. The fire departments have been asking that those who want to help to donate directly to charities equipped to deploy assistance to large groups of people who need help.

This beautiful photograph, “California Flourishing,” is just one of the many examples of small businesses offering to donate profits. This a partnership between photographer Crystal Lynn Collins and floral designers The Pollen Mill. 100% of the proceeds for this print will be donated to assist with relief efforts in California. (Feel free to leave any other suggestions in the comments.)

Thank you to those who have sent messages asking after our family. Next week is Thanksgiving, so I’ll be holding mine tightly, practicing gratitude, and keeping everyone affected by the fires in my thoughts.

In the meantime, some other Friday links of note… 

Very cool! An interactive version of Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s panel, Nederlandse Spreekwoorden, lets you get a closer looks at illustrations of more than a hundred Dutch language proverbs.

UNESCO has a Memory of the World Register that lists library and archival holdings of universal value (similar to the list of World Heritage Sites).

Dear Teenagers, Be Patient While I Let Go

Way to go, UCD. New research in the New England Journal of Medicine: “How to Stop Mass Shootings.”

A tofu recipe I could get excited about.

One could wear this dressed up for Thanksgiving, or perhaps to sip tea and read a book. Looks so cozy!

We order a wreath or garland almost every year from Creekside Farms via Food52. They’re gorgeous!

“Our fight isn’t about Stacey Abrams, it is about fairness and the integrity of our Democratic process.” The fight continues in Georgia.

How the 100th anniversary of Armistice day was honored around the world, in pictures. Sixteen million people died in World War I, and 21 million more were wounded, in the “war to end all wars.”

(Meanwhile, our president couldn’t handle the rain.)

I’d like to try this take on caramel corn.

This is incredible! My understanding: Bulls don’t attack unless threatened, and don’t recognize things below eye-level as threats.

Vincent Ferrané’s Milky Way captures scenes of a breastfeeding mother in such a start, honest (beautiful) way.

Warm, fuzzy slippers.

All the gift guides are starting to come out… I always find something fun on the Urban Outfitters Top 50. (That little sloth mug!)

Give a little shape to that poofy puffer. A chic way to wear a duvet coat.

Our latest book club pick.

I’ll share some last-minute Thanksgiving tips and some holiday sales next week. Have a good weekend!

[Photo: “California Flourishing” by Crystal Lynn Collins, with The Pollen Mill.]

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