Banter Bites

Endangered Species – More Than Names On A List

When it comes to species becoming extinct, you can be mad … you can be sad … just don't be indifferent.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Red can remember learning about extinct species as a kid, whether in the classroom or when she'd visit the awe-inspiring American Museum of Natural History in New York City. But let's face it, learning about dinosaurs or woolly mammoths, doesn't make the topic of extinction seem relevant today. (Even if, as Red points out, the movie "Night at the Museum" gives an amusing perspective of how "creatures" from the past might see today's world).


However, when U.S. scientists announced 23 species as extinct, it made headlines around the world. And although the list included many species we may never have heard of, it did include the ivory-billed woodpecker, which was once the nation's largest woodpecker (but was last spotted almost 80 years ago, well before there ever were "protected" lists).

Black, of course, went back to the actual U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announcement and saw where, technically, the 23 species had not yet been declared extinct, the USFWS was proposing "delisting" them from the Endangered Species List (created as part of the 1973 Endangered Species Act). In other words, they had given up all hope. But there was a 60-day comment period before they were declared gone forever. (She couldn't help but wonder what happens if they're spotted after being declared extinct, would they no longer be protected?)

Regardless, if you're looking at this from an emotional perspective or solely scientific,

The successful efforts of the Endangered Species Act can only do so much, and although the reasons for extinction may vary, humans were the ultimate cause. And there's no denying that we're going to see more extinctions if we don't do more in terms of conservation.

Two years ago, on MLK Day, Red learned the power and inspiration of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And the power of dreams. And as long as there's social unrest and social injustice in the United States (stop and think about the first word … as we’re supposed to be united), the more we can learn from him … as not only did he fight for equality for all, but his approach is proof of the power of peaceful protests.

For most of us, writing and delivering one powerful and/or inspiring thing would be a very difficult task. To be remembered for hundreds is truly amazing.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: There's so much one can say about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who led the civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968, and whose leadership was fundamental to the ending of legal segregation in many parts of the United States. But regardless of your position on segregation, it's almost impossible not to acknowledge, yet alone appreciate, how incredibly powerful and inspiring his words were and the impact they continue to have on the civil rights movement. But don't believe us. This goodreads post provides more than just a good read, it's a seemingly endless list of inspirational quotes while a great "refresher" course on Dr. King is available at History.com.

We grew up in New York, where bagels are almost sacred, but even though they may have started as a Jewish food in Europe, they’re now enjoyed by everyone everywhere (including Red and Black, but in very different ways) – why else would there be a National Bagel Day?

National holidays aren’t the time to count calories.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We both agree that happiness has a hole in it, although one of us may only eat one bagel a year while the other tries to keep it to only one bagel when she does indulge.

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Another year and another National Clean Your Desk Day (yes, that’s actually a thing). So, is Red’s desk any better than the “disaster” it was last year? Well, believe it or not, it may not be perfect, but it’s significantly better. Is it because she finally listened to Black’s advice (see below) or somehow found a “secret” of her own? As it turns out, it was a combination of the two as Red discovered, even if the rest of her life isn’t “nice and neat” (that’ll never happen), she loves walking into her workroom in the morning and starting the day in a (somewhat) organized space, which provides the best motivation for keeping it that way. (Luckily, Black never brought up the science of messy desks.)

A day to clean up your desk?! It will take way more than a day …

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: No one is immune from piles of paper, not even Black, the master of organization, but there’s a huge difference between a desk with a few small piles and some scattered papers (although her laptop’s keyboard needs serious cleaning) and Red’s “workroom” that usually looks like a tornado hit it.

Which is why Red rolled her eyes when Black mentioned today’s National Clean Your Desk Day, as it’d take her significantly more than a day to “clean up this mess,” but then she remembered Black’s advice on how to keep her piles (and piles) of paper under control and felt inspired. Red admits often feeling like she’s drowning in paper, but that’s because she lets the piles get out of control before reminding herself of Black’s very easy, straightforward approach to turning her mountains of paper into small manageable hills. And, significantly reducing stress along the way, because as Black points out,

Sometimes, it is more important to know what you are ignoring than it is to deal with everything in the piles.