February Is Black History Month 

Statue of Carter G. Woodson
 Statue of Carter G. Woodson in Huntington, WV

Although Black History Month is observed each February in the United States, many people are not familiar with how or why it was created. To understand Black History Month, you have to look back to early 20th-century historian Carter G. Woodson. As the son of formerly enslaved people and the second African American to receive a doctorate from Harvard, Woodson was thoroughly familiar with how Black Americans were being left out of the narrative of American History.

Woodson’s desire to correct this glaring oversight lead to the development of Negro History Week in 1926. This week served as a prototype of sorts, and would later grow into the Black History Month we know today. And while people often joke about Black History Month being regulated to the shortest month of the year, Woodson made a calculated decision to begin Negro History Week in February.

The Origins of Black History Month

First, Woodson Developed Negro History Week

In 1915, Woodson helped found the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (today known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History or ASALH). The idea for an organization devoted to Black history came to Woodson as he was talking about the release of the racist film “The Birth of a Nation.” Discussing it with a group of Black men at a YMCA in Chicago, Woodson convinced the group that Black Americans needed an organization that would strive for a balanced history.

The organization began publishing its flagship journal—The Journal of Negro History—in 1916, and 10 years later, Woodson came up with a plan for a week of activities and commemorations devoted to Black American history. Woodson chose the week of February 7, 1926, for the first Negro History Week for its symbolism. It included the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12), celebrated for the Emancipation Proclamation that freed many enslaved people, and the abolitionist and formerly enslaved Frederick Douglass (Feb. 14). As reported by Oprah Magazine, both of these men were already celebrated by many people in the Black community, and it made sense for the ASALH to further solidify that recognition by building a holiday around that week.

Woodson hoped that Negro History Week would encourage better relations between Black and White people in the United States as well as inspire young Black Americans to celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of their ancestors. In his book “The Mis-Education of the Negro” (1933), Woodson lamented, “Of the hundreds of Negro high schools recently examined by an expert in the United States Bureau of Education only eighteen offer a course taking up the history of the Negro, and in most of the Negro colleges and universities where the Negro is thought of, the race is studied only as a problem or dismissed as of little consequence.”

Thanks to Negro History Week, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History began to receive requests for more accessible articles. As a result, in 1937 the organization began publishing the Negro History Bulletin aimed at Black teachers who wanted to incorporate Black history into their lessons.

Then, Black History Month Was Born

Black Americans quickly took up Negro History Week, and by the 1960s, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, American educators, both White and Black, were observing Negro History Week. At the same time, mainstream historians had begun to expand the American historical narrative to include Black Americans (as well as women and other previously ignored groups). In 1976, as the U.S. was celebrating its bicentennial, the ASALH expanded the traditional week-long celebration of Black history to a month, and Black History Month was born.

That same year, President Gerald Ford urged Americans to observe Black History Month, but it was President Carter who officially recognized Black History Month in 1978. With the federal government’s blessing, Black History Month became a regular event in American schools.

Trying to capture the entire history of a people in a single month is obviously impossible. But each year, the ASALH gave Negro History Week themes, and that tradition has extended into Black History Month to help narrow people’s focus to particular aspects of Black history. In 2021, the theme is “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity”, and the theme for 2022 will be “Black Health and Wellness”. In recent years, Black History Month’s themes have included:

  • 2014 – Civil Rights in America
  • 2015 – A Century of Black Life, History, and Culture
  • 2016 – Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memory
  • 2017 – The Crisis in Black Education
  • 2018 – African Americans in Times of War
  • 2019 – Black Migrations
  • 2020 – African Americans and the Vote

Learn More About Ongoing Movements Surrounding Black History

There are a number of organizations that continue to work within a broader movement to capture and help people learn more about Black History. Of course, Woodson’s own organization, the ASALH, is still active today. You can also check out resources like:

The Zinn Education Project: This organization promotes the teaching of people’s history. In other words, the Zinn Education Project pushes at the boundaries of what is considered history, so students are receiving more accurate and complex reflection of events than what is often found in classroom textbooks. Its website includes free teaching materials that can be organized by time period, theme, resource type, and grade level.

Center for Racial Justice in Education: This organization is dedicated to “train[ing] and empower[ing] educators to dismantle patterns of racism and injustice in schools and communities.” It has a number of free resources, including a Black History month guide that is designed for both educators and families.

The NEA Black Caucus: Founded in 1970, the NEA Black Caucus defines its mission as “to advance the global Black community by developing leaders, informing policy, and educating the public.” The organization hosts an annual leadership conference.

Article written by Lisa Vox Ph. D.

Source: What Is Black History Month and How Did It Begin? (thoughtco.com)

The Chinese New Year

Begins Tuesday, February 1. It’s the Year of the Tiger 

The Chinese New Year is the most important festival in Chinese culture. It is celebrated on the new moon of the first month according to the lunar calendar and is a time for family reunions and scrumptious feasts.

While Chinese New Year is celebrated in Asian countries like China and Singapore, it is also celebrated in Chinatowns spanning New York City to San Francisco.

How Long Is Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year traditionally lasts from the first day to the 15th day of the New Year (which is the Lantern Festival), but the demands of modern life mean that most people don’t get such an extended holiday. Still, the first five days of the New Year are an official holiday in Taiwan, while workers in Mainland China and Singapore get at least 2 or 3 days off.

Home Decor

A chance to leave the problems of the previous year behind, it is important to start the New Year fresh. This means cleaning up the house and buying new clothes.

Homes are decorated with red paper banners which have auspicious couplets written on them. These are hung around doorways and are intended to bring luck to the household for the coming year.

Red is an important color in Chinese culture, symbolizing prosperity. Many people will wear red clothing during the New Year celebrations, and houses will have many red decorations such as Chinese knotwork.

Red Envelopes

Red envelopes (►hóng bāo) are given to children and unmarried adults. Married couples also give red envelopes to their parents.

The envelopes contain money. The money must be in new bills, and the total amount must be an even number. Certain numbers (such as four) are bad luck, so the total amount should not be one of these unlucky numbers. “Four” is a homonym for “death”, so a red envelope should never contain $4, $40, or $400.

Launch Fireworks

Starting at midnight New Year’s Eve and continuing throughout the day, fireworks of all shapes and sizes are lit and launched. The tradition began with the legend of Nian, a ferocious monster that was afraid of the colors red and loud noises. It is believed the noisy fireworks scared the monster. Now, it is believed that the more fireworks and noise there are, the more luck there will be in the New Year, so Chinese New Year is a very loud celebration. Long strings of firecrackers are set off throughout the holiday, and there are many displays of fireworks lighting up the evening skies

Avoid Taboos

There are many superstitions surrounding the Chinese New Year. The following activities avoided by most Chinese on Chinese New Year’s Day include:

  • Breaking dishes, which brings bad luck.
  • Getting rid of the trash, which is likened to sweeping away good fortune.
  • Scolding children is a sign of bad luck.
  • Crying is another sign of bad luck.
  • Saying inauspicious words, another sign of bad luck.
  • Washing hair is also said to bring bad luck on this day.
xīn nián kuài lèHappy New Year新年快樂新年快乐

How People Get Alzheimer’s and Some Ways to Reduce Your Risk

Alzheimer’s disease can seem scary and mysterious. A progressive disease that eventually robs a person of the ability to communicate and function, it’s not entirely understood, although scientists are learning more all the time. In recent years, they’ve discovered that most people who get Alzheimer’s have certain risk factors, and there are things you can do to significantly reduce your risk. 

“Scientists believe that for most people, Alzheimer’s disease is caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that affect the brain over time,” says the Mayo Clinic.

These factors may include:

1. Age

Age. This is the #1 risk factor for Alzheimer’s. The risk of developing the disease increases after 65.

2. Genes

Genes. Your risk is somewhat higher if a member of your immediate family had Alzheimer’s.

3. Lifestyle Choices

Lifestyle choices. Obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol can increase the risk of both heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Some studies have found that as many as 80% of people with Alzheimer’s disease also have cardiovascular disease. Excessive alcohol consumption has also been associated with a higher risk of dementia.

4. Social Isolation

Social isolation or a lack of intellectual engagement. Research has found that people who are socially isolated or less mentally active have an increased risk of developing dementia. 

Experts believe those factors may lead to changes in the brain that produce the hallmark symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

5. Toxic Debris Build Up in Brain

Although the causes of Alzheimer’s aren’t completely understood, scientists have zeroed in on the buildup of debris in the brain, which causes brain proteins to stop functioning correctly. Brain cells called neurons become damaged, lose connections to each other and die.

Two kinds of debris that seem to be responsible are plaques (protein fragments that cluster together with other cell debris, disrupting cellular communication) and tangles (proteins that change shape and group themselves together, disrupting the brain’s transport system and killing off healthy cells). 

How to Reduce Your Risk

“Although some risk factors — such as age or genes — cannot be changed, other risk factors — such as high blood pressure and lack of exercise — usually can be changed to help reduce risk,” the Alzheimer’s Association says. Experts recommend:

1. Getting Regular Exercise

Getting regular exercise. CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta says this is the best thing you can do to reduce risk. “Exercise, both aerobic and nonaerobic (strength training), is not only good for the body; it’s even better for the brain,” he said.

2. Getting Quality Sleep

Getting seven to nine hours of quality sleep per night. During sleep, the brain undergoes a “rinse cycle” in which it sweeps away debris and toxins, says Gupta.

3. Maintaining Heart Health

Maintaining heart health. Eat a heart-healthy diet, high in fruits and vegetables, low in red meat, added sugar, and processed foods. 

4. Staying Socially and Mentally Active

Staying socially and mentally active. Being socially engaged and regularly “exercising” the brain with mentally stimulating activity seems to keep it healthier.

Article by Michael Martin for ETNT Helth

Photo credit: goodhealthfacts.com

How to Cut the Cable TV Cord with Streaming Services

It’s time to kick your cable box, and pricy cable TV bill, to the curb. Thanks to streaming, you don’t need cable or satellite service anymore to watch all of the TV shows, movies, news and sporting events live or on-demand. And if you’re used to your cable box’s DVR, live TV streaming services offer cloud DVRs of their own that work in the same way, no box required. All you need to cut the cord is a good internet connection and the apps built into your smart TV or running on an inexpensive streamer, such as a Roku or Amazon Fire TV.

More Americans than ever are cutting the cable TV cord in favor of streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, HBO Max and Hulu. There are thousands of TV shows and movies to stream on-demand, but that’s just the beginning. Direct cable replacement services like Sling TV and YouTube TV start at $25 a month and can stream most of the live channels, sports and news available on your cable box with no contracts to sign, so you can cancel anytime. And if you don’t want to pay at all, numerous other services stream free TV shows, free movies and even live news. 

If you’re ready to save, here’s how to cut the cable TV cord and replace it with streaming services. You just need to a good internet connection and the apps built into your smart TV or running on an inexpensive streamer, such as a Roku or Amazon Fire TV. They’ll give you access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, HBO Max, Hulu and more, as well as numerous free TV streaming options. Here’s how to get started.

Set up a home internet plan with unlimited data, if you can 

Even if you cut cable TV, you’ll still need a home internet connection for streaming. Many people get their internet as part of a cable TV bundle, maybe with phone service too. Often your cable company is the same one providing your internet connection, but sometimes you can shop around to multiple internet providers.

You’ll need to find out how much home broadband costs by itself, without a TV bundle. If your bundle is $130 a month, maybe you’ll have to pay $60 for just internet. That leaves $70 of potential savings by cutting cable TV. That’s a lot of money every month to pocket or spend on new streaming services.

Other things to consider as you shop for internet-only plans:

  • Are you under contract? If so, you’ll have to either wait it out, renegotiate a new internet-only deal with your cable company or eat the early termination fee.
  • How fast of a connection do you need? Start by pricing out the same speed you have already but keep in mind that with everyone in your home streaming more, you might need a faster connection.
  • You should get a plan with unlimited data, if available, which can cost more than data-limited plans. Streaming video can really add up.

Which TV shows and channels are your must-haves? 

Now it’s time to figure out your TV must-haves. Canceling cable means you’ll need to stream the stuff you normally watch on your cable box.

Make a list of the shows and channels you and your family watch regularly. In some cases, you’ll be able to replace your favorite channel programming with a streaming service such as Netflix or Hulu, but be aware that many current-season episodes won’t be available immediately.

The best option to replace your cable box directly is with a live TV streaming service. Each offers a package of live channels you can watch on a streaming app that, with a bit of a learning curve, works just as well as (or better than) a cable box. They include program guides, cloud DVRs and extras your box can’t deliver including user profiles and mobile streaming. Prices start at $25 a month but to get live local channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox or PBS) and a package comparable to cable, you’ll need to pay at least $65 per month. For premium shows, HBO ($15 a month), Showtime ($11) and Starz ($9) all have standalone services, too. 

The best part about any of the services above? Unlike cable, you can cancel and restart service anytime without contracts or penalties. You can subscribe to follow a particular show, for example, and then cancel after the finale. 

Try to replace your DVR’d shows with streaming options

Do you use your cable box’s DVR a lot? Live TV streaming services offer a “cloud DVR,” but they do have some limitations compared to TiVo or the DVR from your cable company. They often have storage limits, shows that expire after a certain time, limitations on which channels can be recorded, and some even force you to watch commercials. YouTube TV has the best cloud DVR we’ve tested, and in most ways it’s as good as TiVo, but other services’ cloud DVRs aren’t as good.

Thanks to on-demand, however, you might not miss your DVR much at all. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and others let you watch shows on-demand — often the same shows you’re using your DVR to record. And live TV services such as YouTube TV and Sling TV offer a lot of on-demand shows, and you can often pause or even skip commercials. On the other hand, every episode of every show might not be available.

Use a streaming device: smart TV, game console, Roku, Fire Stick or Apple TV

You won’t need that cable box anymore, but you will need some kind of streaming device to watch services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and HBO Max. Maybe the app is built into your smart TV, maybe into your game console, or maybe you have to buy a new streaming device like a Roku or a Fire Stick. In any case you’ll also need to connect such a device to each TV that’s currently connected to a cable box.

At least they’re relatively cheap and you don’t have to pay the cable company every month to rent one. And with most services you can also watch on your phone, tablet or computer.

Do you care about watching sports?

Sports fans have an increasing number of streaming options that show live games but depending on which sport(s) you follow, the local team(s) in your area and how many games you want to watch, it can get costly. Channels devoted to pro basketball, hockey and baseball teams, known as RSNs (regional sports networks), are available on most cable networks but are rare and expensive on streaming services. These are the channels you’ll need to watch most regular season games for those sports. 

Do a trial run before you cut the cord for good

Cutting the cable cord can save you a lot of money but you’ll need to do some planning to make the transition as painless as possible. It pays to get all your streaming ducks in a row before you make that final fateful call to your cable provider.

Go through your checklist and figure out which services you need to subscribe to and which devices you’ll need to get. Install everything on your main TV, unplug your cable box and get used to using streaming instead. Familiarize yourself first, then move on to helping other members of your household.

Chances are you’ll experience some bumps along the way. The menu systems on some streaming services are different, the remote controls on devices are different, even the lack of channel numbers and need to use search can be tough to grok. Give it time and patience, however, and it will be fine.

Ready? It’s time to cancel your cable service

After you’ve lived with streaming for a while and have grown comfortable with the process of clicking on an app rather than firing up your cable box, it’s time to make the fateful call. Your cable provider might offer you incentives to stick around and you’ll have to weigh those against the benefits of cutting the cord, but do so carefully. Especially if the offer is contingent on signing a two-year contract. A lot can change in two years and with the freedom of streaming, it’s simply a lot easier to save money than with cable.

In the end, cutting cable TV isn’t for everyone. No single device or service has as many channels as a premium cable package. Juggling different services to find the shows you want to watch can be more effort than some people are willing to put in.

On the other hand, cutting cable is getting easier with every new option that hits the market. Beyond the savings, you get the freedom of being able to pick and choose the service you want — and drop it like a hot potato if you don’t like it anymore, your favorite show ends or something new comes along. Cutting cable is all about choice and if you do it right, you’ll never miss that old cable box.

Article written by David Katzmaier for cnet.com©

Graphic by Sarah Tew/CNET


Yoga retreats are gaining in popularity as travelers seek a relaxing change of pace from the daily grind.

As more and more people seek out retreats, they’ll find an abundance of options in the USA. There are retreats for yogis of all practice levels and at various price points, including off-the-grid adventures and luxurious, high-end trips. They typically include daily yoga classes, guided meditations and optional excursions, as well as some independent time. With so many options to choose from, we’ve identified 12 of the best yoga retreats in the USA below.

4 Day Digital Detox: Move, Breathe, Laugh, Play in San Diego, CA

With over 30 years of experience, yoga teacher John Quirk invites yogis of all levels to enjoy his 4-day digital detox in beautiful San Diego. In addition to daily yoga, Quirk also teaches classes on meditation and the benefits of plant-based eating. Quirk offers this retreat throughout the year at Serenity Mountain Estate, which sits on 20+ acres with spectacular views. Guests have access to a lap pool, terrace and gardens for independent yoga and meditation. Brunch, dinner and snacks are included and prepared by a private chef using locally sourced ingredients. From $1,050 per person

Book at BookYogaRetreats

4 Day Hiking, Yoga, Sound Healing Retreat in Yosemite Valley

Garden of Dreams Wellness offers a completely customizable hiking, yoga and sound healing retreat in the Yosemite Valley. It is hosted by Ashlee Dream, who will offer individualized yoga classes and catered meals throughout the duration of the retreat. Guests will also enjoy guided hiking/walking tours in Yosemite, sound healing sessions and more. Transportation is provided throughout the duration of the trip. The retreat includes lodging at the Fantasy Ranch, with full-access to a saltwater hot tub and sauna. Garden of Dreams’ offers this retreat year-round with start dates to accommodate anyone’s schedule. From $4,500 per person

Book at BookYogaRetreats

6 Day Yoga, Meditation & Wellness in Boca Raton, FL

Experience six days of yoga, meditation and wellness at Zen Den Yoga School in Boca Raton, FL. They offer this retreat year-round to help people unplug and unwind from the stress of daily life. Zen Den’s retreat is accessible to yogis of all practice levels. The retreat cost includes a 50-minute massage and an acupuncture session, as well as meditation and yoga classes. Each morning will start with Zen Den’s signature green smoothie, something they encourage you to incorporate into your routine post-retreat. Additional meals are not included, however, guests will have access to a state of the art kitchen and there are nearby grocery stores. From $950 per person

Book at BookRetreats

Photo: bookretreats.com

4 Day Yoga, Meditation, and Wellness Holiday in Phippsburg, Maine

Maine’s pristine coastline is a retreat from the stress of modern day life. Santosha on the Kennebec is an ideal place to enjoy a 4-day yoga, meditation and wellness holiday, with a flexible start date to work around a busy schedule. Each day, participants will enjoy two yoga classes, a guided meditation session and independent time to go hiking, snowshoeing, and more. Choose from either a bunk room or private room at Santosha, which is tucked away on the Kennebec River in a rural fishing community. Three meals per day are included and different dietary needs can be met. From $850 per person

Book at BookYogaRetreats

Photo: bookyogaretreats.com

4 Day Yoga, Adventure and Hiking Retreat in Williams, AZ

In Williams, AZ, guests will be surrounded by natural beauty as they take a break from the daily grind. Bigger Life Adventure’s four-day retreat includes yoga, mediation, workshops and more. Two excursions are included in the retreat cost. Choose from hiking in the Grand Canyon, stand-up paddleboarding on Lake Mary, rock climbing and more. There are accommodation options at different price points, from an economical shared yurt to a private tiny cabin for two. Ayurvedic, plant-based meals are prepared by Chef Zach and included. This retreat is offered several times throughout the year. From $900 per person

Book at BookRetreats

Photo: bookretreats.com

There are more yoga retreats to view, just click the link.

Source: 12 of the Best Yoga Retreats in the USA 2022 (travelmag.com)

Keep houseplants happy with simple solutions

Keeping houseplants is a source of satisfaction for many. But when plants are not thriving it can be concerning and confusing.

As soon as a leaf yellows or develops a brown spot, many reach for fertilizer or household pesticides, neither of which is an appropriate first response.

Yellowing, brown edges, leaf spots or drops are all symptoms something is ailing a plant and cultural or environmental conditions are often the culprit. Knowing what to look for can alleviate houseplant woes.

Photo credit Creative Commons. Plants can outgrow their container and become rootbound. Lack of adequate soil and nutrients will cause deficiencies and a decline in plant health.

All species of plants have specific light, water, and soil condition needs. This houseplant care guide from University of Missouri Extension and available at go.illinois.edu/CaringForHouseplants outlines the basics of each.

Many plants go through an adjustment period whenever they are moved. This can happen whether it’s from the nursery to a home, the living room to a porch, or one window to another.

This may cause yellowing or leaf drop but the plant will eventually acclimate if in favorable conditions. If the yellowing continues longer than a few weeks, place the plant in another spot and change its watering schedule slightly.

Yellow leaves can also mean the plant is overwatered. A great way to decipher watering issues is to carefully remove the plant from its container and look at the roots.

With some exceptions, healthy plants generally have white roots. If the roots are rusty orange to light brown it is underwatered, and if the roots are dark brown to black it is overwatered.

Gently place the plant back in the container and adjust the watering schedule accordingly. If overwatering is the issue, withhold water until the soil is quite dry and gradually begin a new watering schedule. After two weeks, apply a water-soluble, houseplant-specific fertilizer. If no improvement is seen in the next two weeks, repot in fresh soil.

Yellowing may also occur if a plant needs to be fertilized. Depending on what nutrient is needed, yellowing may begin on the outer edges of leaves, or from the vein outward, or the leaf may even curl. Become familiar with the fertilization needs of each species. Occasionally a plant needs fertilization when it becomes root-bound and may simply need to be repotted into a larger container.

Leaf spots on foliage can be caused by too much sun. When spots appear consistently, move the plant to a place it receives less sun.

Leggy or stretching plants occur when they are reaching for more light. Move them to a brighter location or turn them occasionally to keep them growing evenly.

Some fungal diseases may also cause leaf spots so ensure proper circulation, remove and destroy infected plant parts, and allow soil to dry between waterings.

Brown edged leaves may indicate an erratic watering schedule or exposure to cold drafts. Another cause of brown leaf edges is an accumulation of fertilizer salts on containers. If other issues have been eliminated and the brown edges continue, scrub the edges of the pot and flush the soil with clear water.

Most common insect pests on houseplants include scale, fungus gnats, aphids, spider mites and mealybugs. If the plant is heavily infested with scale, it is best to discard it. Fungus gnats can be greatly reduced by letting the plant dry completely between waterings. Aphids can be controlled by washing away with water or using insecticidal soap. Spider mites often affect already stressed plants so keeping plants healthy is the most effective control measure. Horticultural oil or insecticidal soap may be used for spider mite infestations. Mealybugs can be wiped away with a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol.

When using pesticides, make sure they are labeled for indoor use and read and follow all label directions.

Article by Sarah Vogel, Illinois Extension horticulture educator

Source: Gardeners Corner Winter 2020: University of Illinois Extension

The Worst Most Common Passwords in America

People’s lives have moved online. They watch TV and videos on PCs and smartphones. They do their banking and buy almost everything they use on e-commerce sites like Amazon. People do not write letters anymore – they use email. They store photos and personal videos in the cloud. Some even buy cars without visiting a dealership. One thing all of these activities have in common is that they require a password.

The nature of passwords means that accounts can be broken into. This can happen on an individual level, but the problem can also involve millions of personal records when a company’s passwords are hacked. This has happened to Yahoo, Facebook, Playstation, Twitter, LinkedIn, Adobe, eBay, Equifax, Dropbox, and other sites that you’d think would have impregnable security. It has become a major risk of life online.

The chances of being hacked are greatly increased by the fact that people often use passwords that are easy to break. To determine which are the easiest, 24/7 Tempo reviewed a recent study by the VPN service CyberGhost.

The study revealed that 81% of all data security breaches are caused by weak passwords, and that “Many passwords believed to be deeply personal to you are, in fact, quite common – making them easier to crack – and they could be putting you at an increased risk of being targeted by cybercriminals.” In addition, according to the report, 60% of people use the same passwords across different accounts and 51% use the same password for work and personal purposes

The study listed the most common passwords by category. These included number sequences and variations, the word “password” and variations, keyboard patterns, passwords taken from TV and movie titles, personal names, kinds of animals and names of pets, sports and team names, car brands, IT and technology terms, names of games and applications (and sites). names of celebrities and characters, key events, political names and terms, words from nature, expletives, and miscellaneous terms including those referring to food, colors, locations, and love.

Many of these passwords are astonishingly easy to guess. The easiest include “123456”, “password”, “starwars,” and “Football”. The use of any of the passwords on this list, though – or any other easy ones to guess – shows that people are fools when it comes to protecting themselves online.

Here are the top 10 worst passwords according to SplashData:

  1. 123123
  2. 111111
  3. iloveyou
  4. 12345
  5. 12345678
  6. 1234567
  7. password
  8. qwerty
  9. 123456789
  10. 123456

Article by Douglas A. McIntyre for 24/7 Tempo©

How to Grow a Firethorn Bush

Attractive in all four seasons with its blooms and berries, firethorn bush has a lot to offer. But beware: It also boasts thick, stiff branches covered in thorns.

Some gardeners use firethorn as a barrier shrub for privacy. Luckily, the thorns won’t keep birds, bees and other pollinators from stopping by. The shrub can be trained to grow up a wall.

  • Also known as Pyracantha;
  • Best in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5 to 10;
  • Plant in full sun to part shade.

Easily adaptable to many conditions, firethorn offers year-round interest. Enjoy the beauty of its white flowers in spring and orange fruits from fall through winter.

Before planting, check whether the shrub is invasive in your area. Choose one resistant to fire blight. A firethorn bush will grow six to 15 feet high and wide, although dwarf varieties like Red Elf are available.

Grow Firethorn Bush for Wildlife

This Is Why You Should Grow a Firethorn Bush

Birds like cedar waxwings are attracted to the shrub’s orange and red fruits, which look like berries but are actually pomes. If birds ingest overripe fruits, they may act strangely and almost appear intoxicated, but this is not harmful.

In winter, birds also use the branches as shelter. In spring and summer, they build nests among the glossy foliage. If you’re looking for bee-friendly cultivars, give Golden Charmer and Orange Glow a try.

Berries Provide Winter Interest

The colorful berries of firethorn add a welcome pop of color in fall and winter, and the glossy green leaves stay evergreen in more mild climates. This shrub is an especially nice choice for winter container gardens.

Woody plant expert Michael Dirr says it best: “For fruit display in the winter garden, few plants rival pyracanthas.”

Article by Molly Jasinski for The Family Handyman©

Source: This Is Why You Should Grow a Firethorn Bush (msn.com)

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