Showing posts from September 6, 2015

Brighter Days in India: College Girl’s Simple Idea Lights 5300 Homes

Talk about a bright idea.

When a 20-year-old college student went to visit her grandparents in India back in 2010, she noticed that many people were living without light—that, or they were using bulbs that fairly quickly ran out. She immediately decided to buy energy efficient bulbs for ten families using her own money.

Nature Bridge Paves the Way For Mountain Lions’ Survival in California

The hunting of mountain lions has been illegal in California since 1990, but because of their proximity to humans and civilization in California, these big cats have had a hard time crossing the street safely.

Construction of the world’s largest “nature bridge” should help reduce the number of statewide, automobile-related wildcat deaths.

S is for Sculpture: Father Teaches Alphabet And Inspires Street Art

When a father started using the streets in Southeast Washington to teach his young daughters the alphabet, he inspired an animal art movement.

Streets running east and west in the U.S. capital are lettered – A Street, B Street, C Street, and so on. Stephen Young started using the streets to teach his young daughters the alphabet back in 2011, telling them what animal’s name began with each letter.

New Vaccine Virtually Scratches Shingles Off Your List of Worries

A new shingles vaccine will be on the market within two years — and unlike the current one, the new shot will be nearly 100% effective and not weaken over time.

A study of 16,000 patients, aged 50 and older, found the new vaccine 97% effective — regardless of age. Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline developed the vaccine and conducted the studies.

Alabama’s New Education Standards Praised for Being Pro-Science

Alabama school standards for teaching science are evolving.

Education leaders have pushed past once controversial topics and focused on more hands-on activities for students.

The old standards included a sticker on biology books warning that evolution was “a controversial theory.” That’s gone, and there’s even course material about global warming and climate change — another, usually, politically charged part of science.

Happy ‘Gotcha’ Day! Celebrates Adopted Pets With Unknown Birthdays

Whenever anyone asks me how old my little Wiley is, I always say, “The rescue folks told us they think he’s between two and four years old.”

That being said, I definitely remember the exact day and time we picked him up, the day he became our baby.

Last Living 9/11 Rescue Dog Honored With Best Day Ever on 16th Birthday

As one of the 100 search-and-rescue dogs deployed at Ground Zero, this golden retriever holds a special place in the hearts of many New Yorkers.

Bretagne (pronounced ‘Brittney’) is the last known living dog to have worked at the 9/11 site and she and her owner were invited back to New York City from Texas for a day curated to honor their work and celebrate the dog’s Sweet Sixteen birthday.

Man Sprinkles Compassion on Fallen Soldier’s Grave During Drought

Ever since his wife died last year, 86-year old Jake Reissig has visited her grave site every day, bringing a single rose – something he did often during their 65 years of marriage.

But this summer, with Texas in a severe drought, he added something else to his daily ritual. When the grass around his wife’s grave was turning brown and dying, Reissig brought a hose and started watering it.

This Moving Company Helps Women Leave Abusive Homes At No Cost

Getting out of an abusive relationship isn’t easy—but actually packing up and moving out is even more daunting.

Hundreds of women have Aaron and Evan Steed to thank for coming to the rescue. These owners of a California moving company have volunteered to complete the move for them, free of charge.

Daily Inspirational Quote – September 12, 2015

“A laugh is a smile that bursts.”

I love this don’t you? It made me smile when I came across it as I can see how this would make sense. It really made me think too. A laugh does grow from a smile doesn’t it? Not always, I know, but it has to start somewhere and where better than a smile? I always think that a smile given freely can perhaps mean more to the person on the receiving end than the “smiler” will ever know. That’s why I tend to smile at everybody I interact with during my day because, knowing how much a smile can mean to me, makes me realize that it may be the same for someone else. Even better, if it bursts into a laugh……..


Opportunity to Create Love

Today is an opportunity to create love. Today is an opportunity to care, and to put your caring into action.

You do not need permission, or any special skills or resources, to make a loving difference. All you have to be, is to be yourself, and to be willing.

Life is good for you to the extent you choose to give of yourself to it. Enjoy the opportunity that today gives you to give your best, to give your love.

Life is good, and you can add to the goodness in your own special ways. Right now, enjoy the experience of being a positive influence.

You will never regret the love you create. Even when the love you give is not recognized or appreciated by others, your life will be richer for having given it.

This day brings moments you can fill with whatever you choose. Fill them with love, and you’ll fill them as full as they can possibly be.

— Ralph Marston

How Awe Makes Us Generous

"What do the Grand Canyon, Sistine Chapel, and gazing at distant stars all have in common? They can awaken a deep appreciation for the world around us and inspire a profound sense of awe....But is that experience strictly personal? New research from UC Berkeley and UC Irvine suggests that experiencing awe can actually prompt us to act more benevolently toward others. In other words, awe can help make the world a better place."

Daily Inspirational Quote – September 11, 2015

“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.”

Curiosity plays a large part in human nature and always has, ever since the beginning of time. No curiosity would have meant no inventions, no exploration of our planet or others, no medicine, or advances in anything and everything. Things we take for granted today in our daily lives wouldn’t exist because nobody was curious enough to take the first step to invent or discover them. I could go on but you get the gist don’t you? Our curiosity is what drives us to persevere in discovering, exploring while perhaps conquering and overruling our own fears in the process. Whew! We owe a lot to our curiosity don’t we? Thank goodness for curiosity I say!


Big Deal

Most of the things you make a big deal about won’t be a big deal for long. Many of the things that consume your attention, you won’t even remember in a couple of weeks.

Life sends a whole lot of seemingly urgent matters your way. The majority of those matters don’t really matter.

Before you get all caught up in the crisis of the moment, step back. Look at it from the perspective of your entire life.

If it really does matter in the big picture of things, then plunge yourself fully into doing something positive and useful about it. If it really doesn’t matter, then move yourself on to whatever does.
Make all the time you spend with life, quality time. Invest that time in the service of what you care about.

There is plenty of time to do what matters, if you will simply stay away from what doesn’t. Give your moments the respect they deserve, and from them you’ll create rich fulfillment.

— Ralph Marston

Photos of Indigenous Americans Without Stereotypes

Three years ago photographer Matika Wilbur, a member of the Tulalip and Swinomish tribes, set out on a vast road trip across America to photograph members of all 562 of America's federally-recognized tribes. (That number is now 566.) Her collection so far includes images from more than 200 tribes she has visited in the course of traveling 80,000 miles around the western United States.

The 4 Apps That Are Total Game Changers For New Yorkers and Beyond

If you dine out with friends, need a compatible roommate, want to stay current with neighborhood happenings, or care about historical street scenes, these four innovative apps will make life in The Big Apple—and in some cases, other cities, too—a whole lot easier and more enjoyable.

If You Post a Photo of Your Rescue Pup, $10 Is Donated to Charity

Pet lovers are always posting their photos and heartwarming rescue stories—now, you can raise money for the shelter of your choice by doing it. is a new website (hosted at .dog, rather than .com) and was created in hopes of raising up to $100,000 to dog shelters and rescues nationwide.

Malawi Celebrates Dramatic Drop in Child Mortality–280,000 Kids Saved

Despite being one of the poorest countries in the world, Malawi has reduced its child mortality rate by more than two-thirds, saving the lives of 280,000 children under age five.

The southeast African country credits its success to three areas: the use of treated mosquito nets to prevent malaria among pregnant women and children; enhancement of its rural community clinics to treat common childhood ailments like diarrhea and infections, and increased immunizations against diseases like polio.

How A Caring Teen Ensured Cozy Bedtimes For 180 Foster Kids

A high school senior’s simple idea is making nighttime less lonely for dozens of foster kids in California’s Central Valley.

17-year-old Conner Johnson decided to collect twin bed sheets for children in foster care — fun, colorful sheets sets, with stripes, superheroes and flowers, the kind that kids love. And in just over 7 weeks, he gathered $3,600 worth of bedding kindness.

Why 100 Black Men In Suits Were Cheering by a School Bus (Awesome)

Racial stereotyping is harmful to everyone, especially our children.

That’s why 100 black men dressed in suits lined the sidewalks last week whooping and hollering as inner-city kids boarded the bus to start another school year.

Martin Luther King Elementary School children in Hartford, Connecticut were high-fived and cheered by doctors, lawyers, police officers, surgeons, and small business owners who gathered together to reinforce positive role model images of black professionals.

Ten Guidelines for Eating Awareness

An Excerpt from The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda by Michelle S. Fondin

Awareness comes on all levels. Food awareness is important in reconnecting the body-mind. If you’ve ever tried to feed a young child, you know that it’s a struggle to get him to eat when he’s not hungry. Certain food, situations, emotions, environments, or circumstances can create a disconnect between the body and the mind and soul when it comes to eating. The reason that so many people struggle with eating is that, while it’s a necessary act for survival, it is also tied to our upbringing, emotions, and relationships. Perhaps for you, food, in the past, meant a loving gesture from someone in a loving relationship with you. Or maybe not eating was a way for you to protest rules set by a parent or authority figure, by going on a “food strike.” Or maybe you experienced food, or lack of it, as a source of punishment.

Through eating awareness we can disarm an emotional or Pavlovian response, by letting go of the trigge…

Ayurvedic Food as Medicine

An Excerpt from The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda by Michelle S. Fondin

The adage “You are what you eat” is more than a cliché. More than ever, in today’s world, it’s a reality. And what we have available to eat is increasingly artificial, genetically modified, chemical laden, and simply unhealthy. Even though the choices may seem varied, in actuality they’re limited to a few ingredients, which show up in different products. So what should you eat to maintain optimal health?

First, I’d like you to consider a few facts and natural inclinations we have. This will put you in touch with your intuitive nature. Fact no. 1: We need to eat in order to stay alive. Fact no. 2: Our ancestors, who lived before the Industrial Revolution, had to rely on hunting, gathering, growing, and storing food to survive. Fact no. 3: Because the human body has been hardwired over time for survival, eating large amounts of food or yo-yo dieting will lead to weight gain.

In the postindustrial era, processed or che…

Daily Inspirational Quote – September 10, 2015

“What day is it, asked Pooh? It’s today, squeaked Piglet. My favorite day, said Pooh.”

Out of the mouths of babes and bears! With the right attitude every day has the propensity to be a favorite day. Just the fact that you’re fortunate enough to have woken up following bedtime the night before is a big plus isn’t it? Of course it is! So, make sure you fully appreciate the rest of your day as the special gift it is, and thoroughly enjoy everything and everybody in it, as who knows what tomorrow will bring……..


Bring Positive Energy

At times, other people will disappoint you. But that doesn’t mean you have to be disappointing in return.

In some cases, people will frustrate you with their recklessness and irritate you with their thoughtlessness. Yet the best response is not to be even more reckless or thoughtless yourself.

On the contrary, you have the opportunity to lead life and to lead others in a more positive direction. Yes, it takes strength and maturity, and yes you have it and can do it.

Imagine transforming a confrontational situation into an experience of cooperation and mutual respect. Imagine being the person to do that, and how quietly satisfying it feels.

Sure, it is naive to think you can resolve every conflict. But it is foolish to neglect the very real opportunities to work through differences in a peaceful and productive way.

See if you can swallow your disappointment and irritation, and look instead for ways to bring positive energy to negative situations. Chances are, you’ll make the difference…

The Inner Landscape of Beauty

Listen to what Irish poet and philosopher John O'Donohue had to say in one of his last interviews about what he called "the invisible world." As he sees it, "the visible world is the first shoreline of the invisible world...And connecting to the elemental can be a way of coming into rhythm with the universe."

“Man Therapy” Uses Humor To Target Serious Mental Health Issues For Bros (WATCH)

Ironic, yes, but also potentially life-saving.

Dr. Rich Mahogany, a fictional therapist with a mental health message for men only, uses ‘bro’ humor to make fun of professional advice, like Will Ferrell makes fun of news people in Anchorman. But, through a similar deep, authoritative voice, comes an attempt to tackle serious issues like stress, anger, depression, addiction and suicide, using videos and a website known as “Man Therapy.”

‘Airbnb’ for Refugees Matches Migrants To Europeans Volunteering Homes

This week, GNN has been covering the positive global efforts to help Syrian refugees – from the Finnish Prime Minister opening up his home, to German football stars promoting hospitality, to 60,000 Iceland citizens volunteering to take in migrants.

Now there’s an online service where German and Austrian residents can share their flats and apartments with refugees.

Best Class in Chicago Invites Dogs to Read With Kids

Dog really has always been man’s best friend – and apparently best teacher too.

10 different elementary school’s in Chicago are being visited by some scholarly pups to help at-risk kids receive a better love of learning and reading.

Gift For Families Dealing with Cancer: 6000 Healthy Take-Home Meals

Getting dinner on the table after a busy day can be a chore–serving healthy food, an even bigger challenge. Now, imagine trying to do it after spending a long day at the hospital with a sick child.

For parents who face this reality, the Healing Meals program is a welcome relief.

Ultra-Strong Bridge Made of Cardboard Inspires Shelter Design

There’s reducing, reusing, recycling—and then, there’s an architect who transforms cardboard tubes into miracle building materials.

Shigeru Ban, a Japanese architect renowned for his functional, sturdy paper-made structures, has built projects ranging from bridges and exhibition pavilions to emergency housing shelters.

Daily Inspirational Quote – September 9, 2015

“Real success is finding your life’s work in the work that you love.”

I can soooo relate to this! I have been blessed that, following early retirement, I have found my niche in working with Tarot. I don’t consider it “work,” as I feel blessed to be able to do what I love most every day. However, I do realize that not all of us are so fortunate. Many people wake up each morning dreading the day ahead in a job they really dislike but feel trapped with no choice because of a need to earn money to pay their way through life. Let’s face it, most of us need to earn a living. Real success is being able to do something you love which also generates enough money to pay the bills. So, if you can or have achieved this for yourself, be sure to give thanks every day that you’re one of the very lucky ones.


Good Things To Be Done

In this moment, on this day, is a whole world of possibilities. Grab on to the good ones, the ones that enrich all of life, and let them unfold through your efforts.

The energy of life surrounds you and flows through you. Give it a positive, purposeful direction.

There is beauty to be seen, to be loved, and more beauty to be created from it. There are ideas to be explored, experiences to be lived, lives to be lifted up, and value to be created.

Fly right on past all the petty, superficial concerns. You have important, fulfilling work to do.

You can learn, you can teach, you can love, encourage, build and improve. You can generously and respectfully offer your own perspective and your own efforts to a world that is rich in its potential.

There are lots of good things to be done, and today is your day to do them. Filled with love for life and its great possibilities, give it your best.

— Ralph Marston

Can People Change?

"One day, after a talk I had given on altruism, a person in the audience got up and said in an irritated tone: "What are you hoping for by encouraging us to cultivate altruism? Look at the history of humanity! It's always the same thing! An uninterrupted succession of wars and suffering. That's human nature, you can't change anything about that!" But is this truly the case?...Can the individual change? And if he can, does this change have an influence on society and on succeeding generations?" Author and Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard takes a deep look at these questions in his book on altruism.

This Old Lady Is So Fresh, She’s Won 1Mil Fans And Celebrity Status

Meet Baddiewinkle, the baddest granny to ever rock lipstick and cutoffs.

Helen Ruth Van Winkle, the 87-year-old rebel that is taking over Instagram by storm with over 1.5 million followers, has the sass, attitude, and fashion sense of a fun-loving teenager.

Wolverine Star Surprises 9-yo Boy Suffering From Incurable Illness (WATCH)

Hollywood couldn’t have written a better script.

When a 9-year-old Australian boy suffering from cystic fibrosis was invited to be on a local radio show, he was beyond excited when the hosts asked if he wanted to chat on the telephone with his action-hero idol– Wolverine star, Hugh Jackman.

Finnish Prime Minister Opens His Home to Refugees, Joins Growing List

From single mothers to a prime minister, Europeans are opening their homes for refugees who need housing.

Because he is serving in the capital, Helsinki, Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä seldom visits his home 370 miles away, so he has offered his house in Kempele to shelter refugees.

Quiet Time Program Brings Radical Improvement To Schools Worldwide

There are hundreds of rowdy at-risk youth in low-income schools that face higher rates of anxiety, stress, and violence in their lives, but when the gong sounds at the start of Quiet Time, students and teachers fall into silence – eyes closed and minds quiet.

The Quiet Time program, started by Twin Peaks director David Lynch, consists of two fifteen minute sessions of transcendental meditation where students are encouraged to breathe deeply, clear their minds, and find their spiritual center.

Blood Cells “Retrained” to Destroy Cancer, Lead Again to Full Remission

Scientists have been able to put a virtually incurable disease into complete remission by altering patients’ blood cells inside the body to fight the stubborn cancer.

The process allows the patient’s own immune system to fight chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Three of 14 patients in a four-year study are in complete remission–and four others showed partial remission.

For Every Product Sold, This Company Picks Up Trash— 124 Tons So Far

The products it sells aren’t so unusual—shirts, bags, coffee mugs, and outdoorsy stuff. The unique part of this business is the stellar service it provides whenever any item is sold– it cleans up a pound of litter.

Focused on fighting pollution, United By Blue has already removed 248,439 pounds of garbage from oceans, rivers, streams, and beaches across 22 states.

Billionaire Offers to Buy Island for Refugees Pouring into Europe

While Europeans are offering up houses to refugees, an Egyptian billionaire wants to buy an island where tens of thousands of refugees can live and work.

Naguib Sawiris is offering to buy an uninhabited island from either Italy or Greece large enough to sustain up to 200,000 people.

Maasai Women & Donkeys Bring Solar Power to Those Who Need it Most

Using donkeys to haul their equipment, groups of women in Kenya are going door to door, hoping villagers will see the light–and benefits–of adding renewable solar energy in their homes.

The solar house-calls are courtesy of a program launched by Green Energy Africa that is putting income into the pockets of women from the Maasai tribe, a semi-nomadic people of East Africa.

Daily Inspirational Quote – September 8, 2015

“It is better to walk alone, than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.”

Oh definitely! Just common sense if we take time to think about it. However, sometimes it’s not so simple or easy for some of us to break away from the wrong footed crowd once we’re part of it and being swept along by it. Brilliant for those of us aware enough to realize that that’s what’s happening and are taking steps to break free in order to walk our own path even if it is alone and therefore a bit scary, even for the more confident among us. At least, as we stand alone and watch the misguided crowd carry on without us into the distance, we know we are now free to choose the direction in life WE want to aim for so, what are YOU waiting for?


Know You Can Do It

The only way to know you can do it is to do it. Have faith, and take the first step.

The only way to get beyond failure is to give it another shot, and another. Get back up, look in the direction of where you’re going and not where you’ve been, and go.

Remember why you started in the first place. And keep going.

You are always amazing when you choose to persist and when the work really means something to you. Latch on to the strong sense of purpose that will push you back up every time you fall, and keep going.

It will be harder than you thought and you’ll be stronger than you realized. That’s precisely why nothing else equals the feeling of achievement.

Create a lot more of that grand feeling for yourself. Share it far and wide.

— Ralph Marston

One Poem that Saved a Forest

We all like to know where our offerings are taking us, the "goals" of the actions we take. But what if we could trust in the offering itself? One poem from Jacqueline Suskin proves that, given the chance, every gift has the power to change the world around us.

Human Library Lets You Check Out People, Aims to Foster Diversity

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover… especially if they can talk.

The Human Library based out of Denmark lets people check out “interactive books” for half an hour–but the words are coming from humans that volunteer to tell their tales.

Postman Delivers Touching Letter to Each Home With Some News

They are all like a second family to this letter carrier in Glendale, Arizona. That’s why he delivered a hand-written letter to each of the homes on his route last week, to announce his retirement.

One of those who received the letter used a more modern form of communication, Reddit, to share a photo of the letter, which delighted thousands of readers, who posted comments about their own beloved mail carriers.

Daily Inspirational Quote – September 7, 2015

“See the light in others, and treat them as if that is all you see.”

Stands to reason that, if you can see the light in others that they, in turn, will see the light in you doesn’t it? So, if we all took the time to appreciate that we ALL have light within us, some not so bright or some brighter than others because we’re only human after all, wouldn’t that be great? Look past the outer veneer so to speak and focus on each other’s inner spark of goodness, of our shared humanity, our good points rather than our perhaps not so good points. Wouldn’t this generate even more light for all of us? Wouldn’t that be wonderful?


Seeds: A Story of Uncommon Change

Discover the story of Aruna, who's journey speaks of the transformative power of love and service. Aruna grew up in a poor leprosy community in India and, like so many other kids growing up in the harsh reality of a slum, did not believe in her dreams or that much good would come from her life, other than a prescribed arranged marriage. That was, until, she met Jayesh Patel, co-founder of Manav Sadhna, an NGO based on the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, India, who recognized and nurtured her potential as a leader. His belief inspired Aruna to take her education and life more seriously, and to take a more active role in her community's affairs. As a result, she is now one of a handful of young women the first in the community's history who successfully enrolled in college, who actively volunteer, and who have opened up an entirely new path for girls growing up. This film gives the viewer a privileged insight into a humble corner of the world in Ahmedabad India. It also reveal…

The US Economy’s Second Quarter Went From Solid to Stellar

The U.S. economy grew at a far faster pace last quarter than economists first had estimated–expanding at an annual rate of 3.7 percent in the April-June quarter.

The Associated Press reported that the country’s gross domestic product was “outpacing the rest of the developed world and bolstering confidence that it will remain sturdy in coming months, despite global headwinds.”

A Safety App That Lets Friends Digitally Walk you Home at Night

You’ll never walk home alone again with this app on your smartphone.

The Companion app connects you with friends to let them keep a virtual eye on you as you walk home from the corner coffee shop or take a taxi across town.

Five students at the University of Michigan developed the app that lets users select friends from a contact list, and then texts to them a link to a map. They can then watch as GPS tracks the user’s movement.