GOOD

Yes, You Can Buy Happiness

With products that target ‘90s nostalgia, a writer makes a case for purchasing some peace of mind

Watching Selena Quintanilla per­form in the early ’90s was, for me, a religious experience. Her thick, brown hair formed a halo as she danced onstage singing “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” beaming into my living room with that magnetic smile and signature bedazzled bra—which I tried to replicate, although I had yet to reach puberty.

She was a popular Mexican- American Tejano singer from Corpus Christi, Texas. I was an 11-year-old immigrant from Iran living in Los Angeles and navigating an identity crisis. Witnessing her seamlessly blend dual cultures, in music and style, helped me come to terms with who I wanted to be. Though Selena died young—shot by a friend in 1995—her legacy helps me re­member who I had been: a shy junior high schooler who took comfort in creating distance from the outside world in order to recover from it. Listening to Selena now, I’m taken back to my childhood room, where I wrote bad poetry in my journal and choreographed dance routines to her songs, safe from anyone’s judg­ment but my own.

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Tiny, Murderous Wasps Are Fighting The Bizarre Effects Of Climate Change

A native tribe teamed up with scientists to defeat the invasive species decimating their ancestral lands. Their solution is wildly creative, totally natural—and a little terrifying

About ten years ago, the black ash trees that had long been a familiar fixture of suburban Detroit started turning yellow, getting thin, and dying off. It was a strange, almost surreal phenomenon, given that the species is particularly hardy—individual specimens are known to enjoy centuries-long lifespans. And for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, the tree was part of a vital basket-making tradition dating back at least a thousand years. So when distressed black ashes started sprouting unusual, fast-growing shoots along their trunks as a means of self-preservation, local arborists called David Roberts for help diagnosing the problem.

To Roberts, Michigan State University plant pathologist and horticulture agent for Southeast Michigan, the answer was initially obvious: ash yellows, a relatively common bacterial disease. But, when he stripped away the bark on a black ash sample, he discovered a much more insidious culprit: a never-before-seen white beetle larvae that was chewing its way through the tree’s insides and blocking off any incoming nutrients.

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Thinning the Herd

The Bison of Catalina Island showcase responsible wildlife stewardship

On a perfectly balmy day in the rugged hills of Catalina Island, about an hour off the coast of California, biologist Julie King peers through the crosshairs of a mounted telescope at a pooping bison.

She records the time the droppings hit the ground, the identification tag of the half-ton offender, and which telescope was used to mark the pile’s location. A few minutes later, calling out instructions over the steady hum of planes flying overhead toward island's private airport, she guides fellow biologist Calvin Duncan down to exact location of the dung.

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