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News post – Catch-23 No. 1050 You’re welcome

This is the study that Bagel is referring to – it has some very good longevity numbers for people recovering from a stroke or heart attack have a dog, but it was also found that those numbers are quite high for dog owners in general.

The factors they attribute to dog owners living longer include better mental wellbeing and the incidental daily exercise of walking and playing with your dog.

I didn’t see anything regarding cat owners, so that bit I made up. It made me laugh to think that a big medical study would also include some axis proving the stereotypical assumption that cat owners are weird.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1049 Rainbow bridge

We said goodbye to our cat, Lara, this week. She had nineteen good years (except the years where we got other cats, and the years we got dogs) and was in good health for almost the entire time. She went peacefully at home with a belly full of salmon, surrounded by love and pats.

Lara was the original inspiration for my cartoon cat Jaffa – Lara was very traditional cat. Pats could turn to biting then back to licking at a moments’ notice, she carried long grudges and was very affectionate (strictly on her own terms). I suspect Lara was 10% less cynical than Jaffa is.

Farewell, Lara. Thank you for being our cat.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1048 Just peachy

If you’re going to try and blackmail a country by withholding foreign aid in order to dig up dirt on your political rivals, don’t make the call from some place where all the calls are monitored and transcribed.

Will this latest bit of dumbassery be enough to impeach Trump? Maybe. The Democrats have certainly taken their time up til now, which tells me they think this has legs given how quickly this event escalated to impeachment proceedings.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1047 Heating up

Originally, the comic strip was going to say something like ‘protesting for action on climate change is like protesting for (insert forgone conclusion)’. Some day very soon, there won’t be any more climate deniers and everyone will be forced to face the repercussions.

The study Jaffa’s referring to is this one, published the same week as Australia is told that we can’t speak at a climate change summit (something to do with our climate rhetoric being full of hot air), which is fine because ScoMo would rather hang with Trump anyway.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1046 Gratitude

A few weeks ago, the topic of gratitude was discussed in class, and we looked at the practice of gratitude journalling and the work of the Resilience Project. Practising gratitude helps retrain your outlook on the world to be more positive, see the good in things and eventually lead a happier and more fulfilling life.

Being a bit of a ‘glass half empty’ kind of person, I thought starting to keep a gratitude journal help with that, and it’s paying off already.

The practice is easy in principle, but tougher in practice. Each day, you must write down (or log in an app) at least three things that you are grateful for. For an extra challenge, these three things could be things that went well for you.

In a few short weeks, you will notice that you have become vigilant for things in your life to be grateful for.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1045 Gel-like substance

This week, it was reported that China’s Yutu 2 lunar rover spotted something gel-like in one of the craters on the dark side of the moon.

We haven’t seen pictures or been told what this substance is – the predominant theory is that it’s a glassy by-product of the heat of a meteor impact.

Or it could be a new silicon-based life form living happily and peacefully on the moon until we came a long.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1044 Problem solving

I read about the idea that planting loads of trees might bring us back from the brink of irreparable climate change, or at least buy us some more time. Naturally, Bagel would get in there right away while Jaffa would say the problem is too big for any individual to solve.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads of human children, dog fathers, cat pappas, and grand dads.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1043 The greatest superpower

Contract negotiations between Disney’s Marvel Studios and Sony broke down this week – they failed to reach a deal so, for the moment, Spider-Man won’t be appearing in any more Marvel Studios movies.

Spider-Man Homecoming and Far From Home were excellent, well-received and made wads of cash. The folks that starred in and made these movies are still contracted for a couple more movies, so Tom Holland’s version of Spider-Man looks set to continue, just not in the same universe as the Avengers and all the previous Marvel films.

Confused yet?

Ultimately, this could just be a corporate negotiation tactic to get Sony more money and it may all blow over by tomorrow.

The superheroes may be able to stop a villain from blowing up the universe, but that universe operates at the behest of a bunch of people sitting around a board room table.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1042 The Greenland Purchase

Trump is worried about his legacy (with good reason) and wants to do something HUGE so that people remember he exists. So he’s been talking to his people about buying Greenland.

He’s struggled to make America great again, but buying Greenland would certainly make America bigger.

The wild thing is that when I started doing some reading on this, I found out that America has actually started proceedings to buy Greenland from Denmark twice before.

President Truman tried to buy to for $100M back in 1946, and the State Dept looked at buying Greenland (and Iceland) way back in 1868.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1041 Rock on

After doing a few digital painting tutorials, I wanted to practice painting some rocks.

I wondered if I could bring some of the rock painting tricks I had learned into the comic strip, so I popped a rock in between Jaffa and Bagel and waited to see what they’d talk about.

The rock being plastic made me laugh, but I struggled to figure out a location for them where a plastic rock would be as likely as a real rock. A garden centre was my first thought, but visually you need a lot of information to convey ‘garden centre’, so the second idea was a playground. A slide and a seesaw is all you need to get this across.

Mat