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January 6th Is National Cuddle Day

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Every year January 6 is recognized for one reason or another. It is known nationally for a few different reasons. One of those reasons happens to be that it is National Cuddle Up Day. This day helps promote the health benefit of cuddling.

The month of January is known to be one of the coldest winter months of the year. It is also the first month of the year. What better way to celebrate the new year than to spend a day cuddling up with someone special. Of course one does not have to cuddle up with a person, a favorite pet works just as well.

The act of cuddling releases a natural chemical called oxytocin. This hormone holds tremendous health benefits. Other than giving people warm fuzzy feelings, oxytocin also reduces pain. Oxytocin also helps reduces anxiety, stress, heart disease, and lower blood pressure.

The fact that cuddling can release this helpful chemical is a perk. It has been a well-known fact that physical touch can be an amazing way to communicate.

CuddleCuddle up on a Cold Winter’s Day

Communication is more than just the act of speaking, text, or emails. Physical touch can transmit trust, safety, reassurance, and commitment. Cuddling can help a person communicate all of these healthy relationship values.

It can also release another fantastic chemical. It can boost a person’s sexual desire with the chemical dopamine. The release of dopamine stimulates the brain to seek out pleasure. Dopamine can also improve one’s focus and memory.

There are a few other days viewed nationally in January. National Hangover Day and New Years Day are just a couple.

When a mother cuddles their newborn it can help promote bonding with that child. When a child is cuddled they feel safe and secure.

People are not the only ones that enjoy a good cuddle. Cats, dogs, birds, and many other animals can be seen cuddling at any given point.

Written by Sheena Robertson

Source:

National Day Calendar: National Cuddle Up Day – January 6

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Featured Image Courtesy of Ref54’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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‘Grand Dame of Television’ Betty White Celebrates 99th Birthday [Video]

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When Betty White says she “doesn’t need anyone’s permission,” she is not joking. At 99 years old, she has earned that privilege. On her birthday, Jan. 17, 2021, this tiny little powerhouse says she will be staying up as late as she wants.

She is looking forward to a quiet day in her Los Angeles home. White’s longtime friend and agent, Jeff Witjas, will be bringing her flowers and her birthday meal —  a hot dog and french fries.

WhiteAt 5-foot-four, the diminutive comedienne has been honing her craft since the 1930s. Her sparkling blue eyes light up when she packs a punchline or zings someone with her saucy one-liners.

White, also known as The Grand Dame of Television, has had the longest TV career of any performer on their list, explains the writers of Oldest.org in their updated 2020 compilation.

On May 8, 2010, at the tender age of 88, White hosted “Saturday Night Live.” To date, she holds the title of being the oldest person ever to host the comedy/variety program currently in its 46th season.

In an interview with “Parade,” she claims to hold no secrets to her longevity. However, the iconic actress says she does not plan on retiring. White says:

I just love to work, so I’ll keep working until they stop asking.

Watching clips of her on YouTube is an entertaining activity — especially watching her bloopers and any skit with sexual undertones.

She responds with grace when placed in awkward positions, such as the “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” clip when she and Jason Momoa are guests. Momoa shows off his muscular Men’s Health cover during the program, and White responds in her sassy fashion. Ken Saclo commented:

Dude, I know Conan is hilarious, but cmon you gotta give it up to Betty White, who at age 92, is still so sharp, witty, and funny as hell. I highly doubt I will make it to 92, much less be that cool!! She is awesome!

Happy birthday, Queen of Comedy!

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

AP: Betty White To Mark 99th Birthday By Feeding Ducks, Staying Up Late; by Lynn Elber
IMDb: Betty White Biography
Oldest.org: 10 Oldest Living Actors in the World (Updated 2020)
History: Betty White becomes oldest “Saturday Night Live” host

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Western Lowland Gorillas Positive for COVID-19 at San Diego Zoo Safari

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Members of a lowland gorilla troop tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Earlier this month, two of them began coughing. Since California is experiencing the highest daily rate of infections right, the vet decided it prudent to have them tested. In the Jan. 11, 2021 press release, the USDA and National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed the primates were positive for the virus.

Even though three gorillas tested positive for COVID-19, the vet has not ruled out the virus’s presence in other members of the troop. Lisa Peterson, the park’s executive director, explained the primates were doing well. They have some congestion and coughing. The troop is quarantined together. “We are hoping for a full recovery,” she added.

COVIDPeterson said they believe the primates contracted COVID-19 from an asymptomatic staff member even though the park follows the recommended precautions as detailed by the CDC and S.D. Health Department. Staff members always wear PPE when near the gorillas.

Studies have shown that some non-human primates are susceptible to COVID-19 —however, this the first known case of natural transmission to gorillas. Vets do not know if they will experience any serious reaction to the virus.

The park has been closed to the public since Dec. 6, 2020. Since the gorillas are kept a safe distance from visitors at all times, there is no public health risk.

In addition to the gorillas, natural infections have been confirmed in six other animal species, tigers, lions, mink, snow leopards, dogs, and domestic cats. Even though there are verified cases of mink to human COVID-19 transmission in Denmark and the Netherland, there is no evidence that other species can infect humans.

Unfortunately, the news of the COVID-19 infections at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park confirms earlier research that western lowland gorillas and several other rare or endangered species facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2.

“The potential for COVID-like disease outbreak in either captive or wild populations of endangered primates is pretty high,” states Harris Lewin, professor of ecology and evolution at the University of California Davis.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

AP: Gorillas test positive for coronavirus at San Diego park; by Julie Watson
National Geographic: Several gorillas test positive for COVID-19 at California zoo—first in the world; by Natasha Daly
San Diego Zoo Global: GORILLA TROOP AT THE SAN DIEGO ZOO SAFARI PARK TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19: THE GREAT APES CONTINUE TO BE OBSERVED CLOSELY BY THE SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL VETERINARY TEAM

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House Votes to Impeach Donald Trump for Inciting the Jan. 6th Insurrection

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In a historic move, the House of Representatives will hold President Trump accountable for inciting the insurrection on January 6th using the power of impeachment — for the second time during his four-year term. On Jan. 13, they voted to impeach Donald Trump.

ImpeachDuring three hours of debate, many Republicans and Democrats spoke from their fear. Several GOP House members spoke about the anguish of speaking out against the president; they are afraid of attacks on their families.

When the verbal vote was called, it was not clear which group was louder. As a result, they moved to electronic voting.

At 4:36 p.m. ET., there were 10 Republicans who voted in favor of impeaching the president who joined 232 Democrats — five House members did not cast votes; one Democrat and four Republicans.

McConnell sent a letter to the Senators stating he would not be calling them back before January 19. Therefore, Trump will remain in office no matter what the outcome is today. If Trump is convicted, it will be after he leaves office.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

CNN: Live
CNN: READ: The House of Representatives’ article of impeachment against Donald Trump
The New York Times: House poised to impeach Trump for second time: ‘Incitement of insurrection;’ by Rebecca Shabad

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