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One of the most common questions non-horse people have is “How long do they live?”

And a lot of the time they expect an answer in years. Just like with dogs and cats, it’s a little bit more complicated than that. So, let’s talk about when…and how…horses get old.

How Long Do They Live?

The common answer to this is “About 25 years.”

However, it’s a bit more complicated for a couple of reasons. First of all, just like in dogs, the smaller ones live longer. Ponies generally live longer than horses.

Mules and donkeys typically live to 30, even 35 years.

And then there’s…

It needs to be a legal requirement to list xylitol on the label. Along with anything else known to be severely toxic to pets.

To help people out, xylitol is most commonly found in sugar free peanut butter and sugar free gum. It's also found in some toiletries, in many oral care products, and in other sugar free products (candy, cake mixes, ice cream, chocolate, etc). It's apparently very common in sugar free ketchup.

Basically, check the label on anything sugar free and if in doubt, be careful to keep it away from dogs.

If the label says "sugar alcohols," assume xylitol is in there.

Cats are NOT affected by xylitol. Just dogs.

Reading everything on this, it seems the pause is more about educating providers so we don't have anyone give heparin to one of these patients and possibly kill them.

I would still accept this vaccine if offered, although admittedly I'm just outside the age range in which the issue has occurred. It's a tiny, tiny risk, and compared to the risks of getting COVID, I'll take it.

The J&J vaccine is perfectly fine, and I suspect that by the time they get the production issues straightened out, the pause will also be over.

I agree, but the issue is that there are people who legitimately feel safer and less stressed if hygiene theater is happening. As stress depresses the immune system...

We need to give people time to realize that the paranoid surface cleaning doesn't do any good before we stop it.

On the other hand, I have seen more than one situation where a business has put surface hygiene literally AHEAD of reducing contact between people... "I can't touch that, please spend more time breathing my air to work around it" is a thing that absolutely needs to stop.

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The Andre Norton Nebula Award for Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction is a little different from other Nebula awards because it is not based on length; in theory, a short story could win.

In practice, the nominees are almost always novels, perhaps because of the sparse outlets for shorter fiction aimed at younger audiences.

Let’s talk about the five nominees (spoiler warning).

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Every so often at a science fiction convention (hopefully they will be a thing again before too long) I run into a woman wearing a crinoline.

In most of society, it’s a trend that has been thankfully left in the past. But crinolines were incredibly popular from the 1850s until the mid 1860s, and still occasionally showed up through the 1880s. It wasn’t the first way to achieve a ridiculously large skirt. (One earlier attempt was panniers, which forced the wearer to turn sideways to go through doors, although the crinoline appears to descend more directly from the Spanish farthingale).

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There being vulcanism in Iceland is almost not news. But every so often it becomes news.

In 2010, a volcano named Eyjafjallajökull hit the news big time…the eruptions disrupted air travel across western and northern Europe, ruined multiple people’s trips and cost about $1.7 million in lost revenue. It caused permanent changes in how airlines assess risk from volcanic ash and clouds.

The current eruption in Iceland, though, is of a very different type.

Where is the Eruption?

The eruption is happening on the Reykjanes peninsular at Fagradalsfjall near Geldingadalir. This is the first time in several hundred years.

Reykjanes is a peninsula that…

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Thousands of truckloads of dirt, carefully layered. Concerns about whether windscreens would hold up. Drivers practicing in virtual reality.

NASCAR’s return to it’s dirt track roots was an expensive, wonderful, spectacular success.

Why Bristol? Why Dirt?

On September 30, 1970, NASCAR held what was to be its last dirt race. The race took place at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh on a half mile track.

This was the end of a gradual shift…in 1949, seven of the eight tracks competed on were dirt, with Daytona the only exception.

The truck series returned to dirt from 2013 to 2019, with a single race…

Unfortunately, Discon's hotel closed permanently, in case anyone is wondering about the site move. Many of us locals are quite upset about this and are hoping it will be reopened as a hotel not turned into condos.

I would say free transit passes for attendees would be acceptable, especially as that probably wasn't the Finnish government but the Helsinki local government.

But yes, there would have to be rules.

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Many of us still haven’t got our vaccine against COVID-19. I’m still waiting to be eligible to make an appointment myself.

But people are already talking about boosters. The media is full of stories about how we’re going to need to get a COVID-19 shot every year. This is being presented as a horrible doomsday scenario.

Of course, it really isn’t, adding another vaccine to the adult schedule is annoying, but hardly apocalyptic.

But how likely is it that we’ll need boosters?

There are two reasons why people need booster shots:

  1. Immunity wanes over time, especially if you aren’t being…

Jennifer R. Povey

Freelance writer, freelance editor, novelist and short story writer. Jack of many trades.

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