10 Reasons To Jump On The Hammock Bandwagon

10 Reasons To Jump On The Hammock Bandwagon

It's the best bandwagon around!
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I have a hammock. I adore my hammock. I got one to join the stereotypical freshman scene at my university, becoming one of the many hammocks spread across campus. It was the hipster, yet mainstream, thing to do. And I fell in love. I was in my hammock every minute I possibly could be. I did homework in my hammock, I read, I napped, I invited my friends into my hammock. I did anything and everything in this piece of fabric that I had become over attached to. And now you can too!

1. You can experience nature without touching nature.

Bugs rarely try hard enough to break such a fortress as a hammock. You’re off of the ground and dirt. You really only have to interact with nature when putting the hammock up -- once you’re in, you’re in. You get to smell the naturey smells, feel the sunshine (unless you’re in a heavily wooded or cloudy place), and breathe in the fresh air. Nature, without the dirt and bugs.

2. Cuddling.

I will put it simply, you cannot be in a hammock with another person and not be cuddling. I think I have said enough.

3. It’s kind of like a swing if you push enough.

If you sit perpendicular to the hammock you can dangle your legs out and if you’re close enough to the ground, you can push yourself like you’re a porch swing. Except it’s better than a porch swing, because you’re in nature.

4. You can put them up in the woods to achieve isolation.

If you need to focus to do homework or you just plain want alone time, you can put your hammock up in the woods. Obviously this is subject to situation and placement, but if you try hard enough I’m sure you can avoid seeing other human beings. It’s wonderful to sit in a hammock alone in nature, breathing in the air and thinking. Listen to the birds and animal sounds, experiencing nature in it’s solidarity and all that great stuff.

5. Sleeping in them is supposed to be super good for you!

I’ve taken several naps in my own hammock and I can say, they were some great naps. Once you get over the weirdness of basically napping out in the middle of nowhere, it’s quite relaxing. You could even rock yourself to sleep, using the method described in number three. It’s supposedly really good for your back, as it is fabric and is limited in how it restricts you. Also, you can be protected from the wind, while still feeling the sunshine through the fabric! What could be better?

6. You can post cool hammock pictures.

Look up Instagram accounts that are focused on hammock pictures, they rock. So hipster. Very nature. Such artsy.

7. It makes you feel more outdoors-y and cool.

It’s very hipster (slash mainstream) to hammock and hike and do nature things. Hammocks mean you’re cool, I promise.

8. Sometimes it forces you to be more adventurous.

If you have a hammock then you’re forced to be outside and go find cool places to hammock. Once I got my hammock I found myself searching for the perfect hammock spots, hiking further into the woods or even driving to parks and such. It’s so much fun to find a new spot and sit there for a few hours. The more wonderful spots the better. It’s even more fun to go find these hammock spots with other people who have hammocks! Haven’t you seen those pictures of people stacking hammocks? How cool is that?!

9. It’s a handy way to go camping, but more short term.

In the order of least portable to most portable: skyscraper, house, camper, tent, hammock, umbrella. I’m just saying.

10. They are like hugs of outdoors and fresh air.

Laying in a hammock is like being hugged by nature. That’s all I can say.


I have presented some of my best arguments. Please feel free to challenge them, but please consider them deeply first. Think about it. Hammocks improve your life enjoyment. Hammocks help you make friends. A hammock can be your best friend. That is all. I’ll see you at the nearest REI.

Cover Image Credit: Rebekah Lang

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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A Second Person Has Achieved Long-Term Remission Of The HIV Virus

A second man has had long term remission of the HIV virus.

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Over a decade after the first man, known as the Berlin Patient, was declared HIV-free, another patient may also be cured. Though it's too early for scientists to say for sure, the London Patient has been in a long term remission for around 18 months without the help of medication. Both men were treated with a bone marrow transplant. However, these stem cells carried a rare mutation in the genes that affect the production of the CCR5 protein, which HIV viruses latch onto to enter the cell. The virus cannot latch onto the mutated version of the protein, thus blocking its entry into the cells.

With the transplant of these HIV resistant genes, the body effectively builds a new immune system free of the virus.

After the Berlin Patient went into remission, scientists tried and failed to replicate the cure and were unable to until the London Patient, whose HIV count has reduced into undetectable numbers. While this is extremely helpful, bone marrow transplants are not a viable option to cure all HIV infected people, as it is an extremely risky process and comes with many side effects. Even so, scientists are developing ways to extract bone marrow from HIV infected people, genetically modifying them to produce the same mutations on the CCR5 gene or the inability to express that gene at all, and then replacing it back into the patient so they can still build resistance without the negative effects of a bone marrow transplant. There have also been babies whose genomes have been edited to remove the CCR5 gene, allowing them to grow up resistant to HIV.

This does not eliminate the threat of the HIV virus, however.

There is another strand of the virus, called X4, that uses the CXCR4 protein to enter the cell. Even if the editing of the CCR5 allows immunity against one strand, it is possible for a person to be infected with the X4 strand of the virus. Despite this, immunization against one strand could save a countless number of lives, as well as the vaccine that is currently in the stages of development for HIV. Along with the London Patient, there are 37 other patients who have received bone marrow transplants, six of which from donors without the mutation.

Of these patients, number 19, known as the Dusseldorf Patient, has been off anti-HIV drugs for 4 months. It may not be a complete cure, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

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