Showing posts from September 13, 2015

Six Million Lives Saved: Malaria Cases in Africa Cut in Half

Concerted efforts across Africa have prevented nearly 700 million cases of malaria on the continent in the past 15 years.

Of those, the World Health Organization and children’s charity UNICEF say more than six million people would have died from the disease, which translates to a 60% reduction in mortality.

UPDATE: Boy Whose Mailman Gave Him Books, Shares Thousands with Hometown

A 12-year-old boy who didn’t have anything to read just a few months ago has donated 3,500 books to his local library in Sandy, Utah.

Matthew Flores came into a wealth of reading material after he asked his mailman if he had any extra “junk mail” because he couldn’t afford books at home. Postman Ron Lynch put out a request for donated books and they’ve been arriving from around the world ever since.

Artist Paints Homeless Portraits, Donates Money Toward Their Care

After a seven-year hiatus, an artist became inspired to pick up a paintbrush again, hoping that his vibrant canvases could fund new lives for the homeless.

Moved by a Christian book into taking action in his community, Brian Peterson decided to reach out and befriend local homeless citizens and learn about their stories, dreams, and struggles.

Dog Stands Guard By Trapped Best Friend for a Week Until Rescued

A loyal setter stayed by her best friend’s side for a whole week, after the smaller dog fell into a cistern in Washington state.

After the dogs escaped from their home during a party September 7th, they wandered into the woods and Phoebe fell into a small, concrete reservoir. The hole was only a couple of feet deep, but Phoebe, being a basset hound, was just too short to climb out.

Daily Inspirational Quote – September 19, 2015

“In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.”

Made me smile because, although it took me a minute to make sense of, it then made perfect sense. Let’s face it who would test your tolerance more than your enemy? Nobody, that’s who! Just by learning to deflect or deal with whatever comes at you from someone who doesn’t regard you as “flavor of the month”, in a calm and mature way, will test your tolerance limits big time. So you should be thanking whoever it is in a way, shouldn’t you, for teaching you to be the tolerant person you are today. Well, maybe not!


Why Gifts Must Keep Moving

Physics tells us that energy can neither by created nor destroyed. Our hearts tell us the same is true of the love and intentionality that propels a gift from one human being to another. Here, Wayne Muller shares the story of Robert Montoya, and the many gifts that grew into a school in Mexico.

Homeless Piano Player Performs Nat’l Anthem at NFL Game (WATCH)

Three months ago, Donald Gould was living on the streets. This week, he performed America’s national anthem before 70,000 people at the NFL Monday Night Football game.

Gould rocketed to fame over the summer when he sat down at a piano on a Sarasota, Florida sidewalk and started playing – magnificently. A video of the bearded, homeless musician tallied nearly six million views on Facebook. Within days of its posting, a restaurant offered him a paying gig and he reconnected with the son he hadn’t seen in years.

New Study Shows That ‘Lovebirds’ Actually May Fall In Love

Looks like they really did earn their nickname.

After spending 1,700 hours analyzing different pairs of birds, researchers found that the ones who got to live with their chosen mates—the “lovebirds,” if you will—were a lot happier than the ones that were forced into “incompatible” pairs.

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Munich, Germany set up a “speed dating” session for 20 male and 20 female zebra finches, allowing half of the naturally-selected pairs to live ‘happily ever after’ and breaking up the other half into “arranged marriages” with mates they hadn’t chosen.

Cooking Indian Food At Home: 7 Easy, Good-For-You Recipes

Indian food may seem elaborate to make, intimidating to eat, and overall, too exotic.

But there are good reasons to get past all that: multiple studies have shown that ingredients like curry and turmeric have multiple health benefits because they contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. The powerful one-two punch helps with digestion and may even aid in the prevention of certain illnesses.

These and other spices found in Indian cooking have proven in studies to be a nutritional way to treat or prevent some cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, autoimmune problems, and even neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.

Airline Pilot Diverts International Flight to Save Dog’s Life

An airline pilot swiftly redirected his plane to save the life of one of his passengers — a seven-year-old French bulldog named Simba.

The Air Canada flight from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Toronto, Canada, was cruising over Europe when the pilot noticed a problem with the heating system in the cargo hold. The pilot also realized there was a small dog down there.

Daily Inspirational Quote – September 18, 2015

“Never limit your views of life by any past experience.”

Not an easy thing to do by any means is it? Past experiences, whether good or bad, can color the way we perceive things in the future, that’s just human nature. However, by allowing this to happen we unwittingly put restrictions in place and that’s not good is it? We deserve better, so be kind to yourself, and leave what’s already in the past where it belongs, in the past. There’s no way you would be silly enough to allow it power over your future now is there? Of course not!


Turn It Into a Good Thing

If you’re disappointed with yourself, with someone else, with a particular situation or just with life in general, you’re at a powerful starting point. You can channel that energy of disappointment in a positive direction and do great things with it.

Feel the disappointment, and then let it pick you up, push you forward and get you going. Suddenly you’re fifty miles down the road, well on your way to meaningful achievement.

Don’t concern yourself with what went wrong, or with whatever things you dislike. Focus your attention on a great, shining vision of how you want life to be.

Give the power of your attention to your positive goals, to your dreams and highest aspirations. Give your time and energy to making all those great things happen.

Doing something positive with your disappointment takes a lot more effort than just sulking and brooding. And yet, very quickly, it feels a whole lot better to be doing something than to just stay mired in negativity.

When life disappoints you, the best …

How To Be More Patient

You may have probably heard of the marshmallow experiment, where children were told they would get two marshmallows if they could resist eating the one placed in front of them for some time. The study highlighted how hard it can be to delay gratification, but how rewarding as well: children who resisted eating the marshmallow not only got two marshmallows but also did better later on in life. This article summarizes the latest research on how adults can have an easier time delaying gratification to secure larger payoffs in the future.

On 4th Anniversary of “Occupy” a Stellar Outcome: $30 Million in Debt Canceled for Americans

Four years ago today, the Occupy Wall Street movement began in New York City’s financial district. Although the encampments that sprang up around the world in solidarity were eventually closed, an amazing effort was soon underway to help “the 99%”.

Since it organized one year later, this positive protest movement has, to date, paid off nearly $32 million in Americans’ personal debt.

Called the “Rolling Jubilee,” the nonprofit buys the debt the same way collection companies do, but instead of trying to collect the money, they simply forgive the debt.

Fierce Competition to Be the Kindest Inside Women’s Prison This Week

Typically, kindness doesn’t top the list of survival skills needed in a women’s prison.

But this week, inmates at a California facility who call themselves “the compassionistas” are teaming up to see who can perform the most acts of compassion, and competing with inmates in prisons around the world.

Prepare For Nostalgia Overload: 90’s Fest Raises Big Bucks for Charity

If you remember that Kel loves orange soda, that the Spice Girls had their own line of lollipops, and that you can never have too many butterfly clips in your hair, you really should have been at 90’s Fest.

The event, which drew thousands to the 50 Kent Avenue performance space in Brooklyn, (mostly) defied the pending rain and featured a 90’s-themed musical lineup that included Lisa Loeb, Salt ‘n’ Pepa, Coolio, Blind Melon, Naughty by Nature, and Smash Mouth. It was was sponsored by The Splat, which is more good news for 90’s babies everywhere: the Nickelodeon throwback channel will run old favorites like Rugrats, All That, and Rocko’s Modern Life.

After False Arrest for Bringing Clock to School, STEM Student Gets Celeb Treatment

Mark Zuckerberg, a famous astronaut, and the White House are all rallying behind a brilliant teenager whose love of science accidentally landed him in jail.

When Ahmed Mohamed brought a clock to his Irving, Texas school yesterday to show his engineering teacher, administrators called police, thinking it looked suspicious.

Designer’s Air Purifier Converts Smog Into Jewelry As it Cleans

A Dutch artist is turning smog into jewelry using the world’s largest portable air purifier.

Daan Roosegaarde first got the idea for the device while visiting smog-filled Beijing. Inspiration struck when he realized that air pollution is largely CO2, which is made up of tiny little particles of carbon–and if you put a lot of carbon under enough pressure, it turns into diamonds.

Little Boy Transforms As Superhero in Comic Book For Kids w/ Asthma

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No… it’s the asthmatic boy wonder!

A regular six-year-old kid with asthma has become the lead superhero in a new comic book written by doctors, and for kids.

Savion Johnson was immortalized as heroic thanks to his mother, Tresha, who was inspired to create the comic book series after her son was first diagnosed with the lung disease.

Daily Inspirational Quote – September 17, 2015

“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.”

This asks us to look at ourselves when we are inclined or tempted to judge other people. Sometimes we can be very judgmental can’t we? I know I can. However, I really understand what this is saying. Every one of us is defined by the words or actions we use to judge someone else, usually without really getting to know them, or being able to get to know them. How many times have you judged someone, then got to know them better, and reversed your initial judgment? What do you think of the person you were when you made that judgment? Exactly! Get it now?


Accept the Challenge

Don’t fight your problems, because they will fight back even more fiercely. Allow them, accept them, and you gain the power to move beyond them.

Don’t pretend or wish or hope that the difficult situations are nonexistent. They are real, and it is by acknowledging the reality of their challenges that you begin to successfully address those challenges.

You are so powerful, so resourceful, so very determined and effective, when you allow yourself to be. Stop running, stop hiding, stop fighting, and let yourself start creating.

Start creating your life from a perspective of love. Instead of being fearful, anxious, angry or in denial about what is, be filled with joy about what you can now do.

Life is difficult, and in that difficulty you can experience your great, positive power. Accept what is, and feel the power rise within you.

You have done many great things, and you have much more to offer. Accept the challenge, and let it bring forth the best you’ve ever been.

— Ralph Marston

How One Artist Is Transforming Fear

"Julie Elman, like many artists, struggles with fear of the blank page. The creative process demands risk-taking, resilience, and messiness. An associate professor of visual communication at Ohio University, Elman understood the expectation to practice what she preached. To move beyond her fear and to explore what she was teaching her students, she conceived the Fear Project. People submit their fears to the project's website, and Elman visually interprets them, bringing them to life. Perhaps the most interesting part, aside from the striking visuals, is the resulting effect. The venture brings different fears together on one interface, normalizing and de-stigmatizing fear as a bad part of everyday life."

Ringo Starr Cleans His House, Fills Rockin’ Auction for Charity

Ringo Starr is planning an all-star garage sale.

After going on a cleaning binge, the former Beatle and his wife, Barbara Bach, have decided to put 800 pieces of music history up for auction to raise money for charity.

“We’re fed up with having the stuff in storage when it could be put to some good use and also give a lot of people joy,” Starr told the Associated Press.

Police Buy Elderly Woman Food With Their Own Money

Over the weekend, two officers went above and beyond their duty in response to a routine welfare call, and made one elderly woman and her family very grateful.

Upon arriving at the local 92-year-old’s apartment, they noticed that all of the food in her fridge had gone bad, and that she had run out of drinking water, after the power had gone out.

Navy Silences “Whale-Harming” Sonar to Protect Marine Mammals

Whales and dolphins are getting some long sought peace and quiet from the U.S. Navy.

The service has agreed to stop using certain types of sonar—or sound waves—believed to harm the marine mammals after signing a deal with several environmental groups that have been fighting the practice in court for ten years.

Conservationists have argued that the sonar waves disrupt the marine animals’ feeding patterns, and can even cause deafness. They also blame the practice for causing whales to beach themselves as they try to escape the sound.

Dad Builds Halloween Costumes Around Wheelchairs as a Nonprofit

When little Keaton asked if he could be a pirate for Halloween, dad knew he had to find a way to make it happen.

It would be a bit of a challenge, since Ryan Weimer’s son needs a wheelchair to get around. But with a little creativity and a lot of heart, Ryan was able to build a costume that incorporated the chair itself as the actual ship with which Keaton the pirate could plunder treats.

Billionaire Fed Up With Low Salaries Raises Math Teachers’ Pay By $15K

After taking a look at teacher salaries across America, a hedge fund billionaire decided that something just wasn’t adding up.

Jim Simons CC GleuschkJim Simons, who made his fortune on Wall Street, actually began his career as a mathematician. Being partial to the field—and having deep pockets—drove him to begin personally allocating an extra $15,000 per year to 800 New York City math teachers.

Cute Russian 5-Year-Olds Escape From Kindergarten To Buy A Sports Car

You’re never too young to appreciate a well-designed sports car.

A pair of five-year-olds in Russia recently made a mad dash for freedom after digging under their kindergarten fence from a sandbox with toy spades.

The boys had been planning their escape for a week, using the time that is usually spent for a supervised walk around the kindergarten grounds to  scoop away the sand with their plastic shovels.

Another Benefit of Fish Oil: It May Reduce Weight Gain From Fatty Foods

Ordering the “catch of the day” may help keep your waistline from expanding every time you eat a french fry.

According to a new study, adding more fish to your diet or taking fish oil supplements could counteract the effects of a greasy diet and help you shed some weight.

Swedish researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg arrived at this conclusion after cooking up two different menus for mice in their labs.

WATCH: Epic Series of Fumbles In One NFL Play Synced to Wacky Song

Covering 38 yards with a pass is nothing in the National Football League, but losing 38 yards on an epic series of fumbles in one play is downright hilarious to watch.

Especially when Nicholas Todor syncs up the action to “Yakety Sax” and posts it on Vimeo as part of his collection.

Daily Inspirational Quote – September 16, 2015

“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.”

We have all gone through hard times in life haven’t we? Times when we feel that Fate, Karma, whatever, has singled us out in order to “get us!” That feeling of “it’s just not fair!” I’ve had my fair share believe me! However, looking back, I realize that I actually reached the other side of whatever it was having learned a valuable lesson for the future. Being so caught up in the situation, at the time, I couldn’t see the “bigger picture.” Now, when faced with a “situation” I know there will be a lesson in there somewhere and, although it may not be obvious to me at the time, I will become aware when the time is right. An, “Oh I geddit” moment!


Passion and Energy

If you want more passion and energy in your life, act like it. Instead of depending on passion to push you into action, take action, and that action will create passion.

Passion doesn’t just come out of nowhere. It comes from being involved and invested in life.

If you’re not passionate about doing something, that’s completely normal and understandable. Get yourself involved in doing it anyway, and suddenly the passion is there.

If you’ve been searching endlessly for things you can be passionate about, search no more. Simply do something useful, then do another thing useful, and soon you’ll feel that passion you seek.

When you can’t think of a good reason to take action, here’s a great reason. Once you begin to act, plenty of reasons, along with passion and energy, will appear.

Put effort into what you care about, even if you only care a little. Your effort will bring your caring and your passion to a whole new level.

— Ralph Marston

Learning Forgiveness in an Unforgiving World

In her enlightening and engaging new book, "Triumph of the Heart," journalist Megan Feldman Bettencourt strives to explain what forgiveness really means, some of its myths and misconceptions, as well as the healthy benefits it possesses. From incredible stories of people who have chosen forgiveness after their lives have been shattered, to others who are struggling to actually forgive themselves, the book is a wonderful overview on the true power of forgiveness.

Egyptian Billionaire Now In Talks to Buy Two Entire Islands for Refugees

An Egyptian billionaire is one step closer to buying a homeland for refugees who are fleeing war and flowing into the EU.

Naguib Sawiris is currently in talks to buy two private islands in Greece, and said they “constitute a good opportunity for the project.”

Australian Widow Leaves $4 Million Mansion To Help Homeless Kids

Lily Fardell may not have had any children of her own, but many children who don’t have a home will be living a better life thanks to the sale of hers.

Lily’s legacy of generosity in her New South Wales community has continued following her death earlier this year, as the sale of her mansion, known as Pacific House, funds charity efforts to help local homeless children.

This Tea Has 10 Times More Antioxidants Than Green Tea

If you’re looking to sip something that contains 10 times the antioxidants of green tea — and 14 times more than wild blueberries — ‘matcha’ may just be your cup of tea.

The consumption of matcha has been linked to better heart health, lower cholesterol, and the prevention of cancer and type 2 diabetes.

Daily Inspirational Quote – September 15, 2015

“A hug is a great gift – one size fits all, and it’s easy to exchange.”

This makes me smile as everybody who knows me is aware that I am a serial hugger and, bless them, not many flee in panic now when they see me coming towards them arms outstretched. Indeed, many people, although not expecting it, seem ready to welcome a hug and reciprocate in kind. It’s like a universal language of saying “I like/love you because you are a hug worthy person.” It’s a mutual expression of just showing you care enough about someone to share a hug. So go on, look for somebody to hug, you know you want to!


Put Excellence Into It

Wherever you go, leave excellence in your wake. Whatever you do, discover ways to put excellence into it.

Excellence may not be perfection, yet excellence is certainly headed in that direction. Excellence happens when you live and act with the highest respect for the life of which you are fortunate to be a part.

Excellence is a mix of profound gratitude, uncompromisingly high expectations, persistent action, unyielding focus, love, respect and compassion. Excellence is fueled by a sincere appreciation for the opportunity you have to make a difference.

The point of excellence is not to gain advantage over others. The point of excellence is to make maximum and meaningful use of the abundance in which you’re immersed.

Excellence is a vision of the best life can offer. Excellence is the act of following through with that vision, in every moment, in every situation, every day.

Your life deserves all the excellence you’re willing to put into it. Live with an attitude of excellence, and use every…

Say It Like It Is

There is no holding back in this powerful film featuring spoken-word artist Prince Ea. His lyrics are on point, wrapping all of society's faults and failings into a tight little ball before firing it straight at us. He lays out the problems but also the solution - "real love, true love, boundless love."

8 Ways to Love Yoga Even If You Have No Flexibility or Balance

When I tell people I teach yoga, at least half of them tell me, “Oh I’m way too inflexible to do yoga” or, “I can’t balance to save my life.”

Which, I get… I really do. When I first went to a yoga class and saw someone standing on their head, I panicked. At the time, I couldn’t even touch my toes, or imagine putting the top of my head on the floor.

Tears Flow As Kindergarten Teacher Sees A Student on TV 30 Years Later (WATCH)

Many of us remember our first teachers—and though they’ve likely had thousands of students throughout their teaching career, they often remember us, too.

One day, while watching the Minneapolis news on KARE-TV, retired kindergarten teacher Lorly Schik recognized one of the reporters as her student from 30 years ago.

“Umbrella Dad” Gives Us All a Lesson in Putting Others Before Yourself

This is why dads are the best.

The unknown father in this photo, holding an umbrella over his son, while getting soaked in the rain, is warming hearts around the world.

More than three million people have viewed this picture in just two days since Reddit user jagershottzz posted the photo.

NFL Drew Brees Helps Two Friends Get Through War and Heartache

Five years after a soldier was given a gift that raised his spirit during days of war, Jackson Smith paid back his best friend Brian.

Both good deeds were made possible by NFL quarterback Drew Brees, who, at the time, had just won the Super Bowl but was happy to send some down-home love to a New Orleans Marine.

3 Ways (Yoga Included!) to Shift Your Body Image

by Anna Guest-Jelley

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

A friend recently asked me how I made the shift towards a more positive body image.
And I froze.

Despite writing about this often and thinking about it even more, an answer didn’t easily spring to mind. I think that’s because it’s a monolithic question in a lot of ways, and I’ve done SO many different things that it’s hard to narrow it down.

Drilling Down
After shaking off my initial brain freeze, I did the next best thing I could think of: spout off some platitudes—therapy, journaling, blah, blah, blah.

Now, those things aren’t blah blah to me—not at all. They’re actually two of my most important tools that I use on a regular basis. But they were blah blah to her at the time because I knew she’d heard it all before, and she was struggling. She wanted to hear something different, and I knew I wasn’t being as real as I wanted to be.

One More Layer
There were a few ...…

Appreciating Our Body, Imperfections and All

An Excerpt from Parenting with Presence by Susan Stiffelman

I talk to my body a lot. Sometimes out loud.

I don’t usually share this fact with people (which makes it kind of interesting that I’m putting it into a book that I hope will be widely read). But the fact is, I place a lot of stock in having loving conversations with my body and its many miraculous parts and have decided that it is an idea worth sharing.

“Thank you stomach, for digesting that meal so nicely.” “Thanks, eyes — what a great job you did in letting me see the colors of those flowers today!” “Thank you, heart, for beating so reliably and keeping my circulation going. You’re amazing!” “Thank you, legs, for ferrying me around so nicely…thank you, ears, thank you, liver…bones…knees…teeth…” This love fest with my body can go on for quite a while. I nearly always find that my heart is soft and melty by the end.

Almost all of us take our body for granted until it breaks down, and then we can be quite mean to it, complaining .…

Daily Inspirational Quote – September 14, 2015

“We don’t meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason.”

I have always believed this to be true. There have been so many people in my life who have made an impact, taught me a lesson, perhaps welcome perhaps not, but definitely necessary, or enhanced my journey through life, etc., that it cannot, just cannot, be just “chance.” I’m very aware that I may not realize it at the time of our coming together but I always do at some point in the future. Like most people I didn’t think about this much, if at all, to be honest. However, too many things have caused me to look at when, where and how certain people came to be part of my life and realize how “meant” their presence was and is. Look around you. See what I mean?


Great Things You Can Do

Feel your power today by putting it to use. Instead of wishing, worrying or wondering, discover how much you can accomplish by actually doing.

The problems that burden you will be less of a burden when you go to work on them. The challenges will loose their power to intimidate you once you experience yourself making progress.

This day is packed full of opportunity. The way to seize that opportunity is to take decisive action.
Find out what works and what doesn’t. Provide yourself with a whole new daily dose of real life, practical experience.

Grow stronger and more capable by making use of your capabilities. Stretch them to the limit, and then figure out new ways to go beyond those limits.

Today, there is a whole day full of great things you can do. Get busy, and enjoy discovering what they are.

— Ralph Marston

My Son With Autism Had Trouble In School Until One Teacher Did This

Kindergarten is a huge change for all children, but it can be even more difficult for those on the autism spectrum. Getting my son to school for the first half of last year was a feat in itself. Each morning, he experienced panic attacks and meltdowns before we even reached the car. By the time we got to school, I would have to hold his hand to his classroom. When we reached his classroom, I would spend a good 10-20 minutes calming him down until he felt comfortable enough to join the rest of his class. When he got home each day, he would spend hours crying.

When a Solar Plant Becomes a Sculpture Garden, Tulip Power Blooms

Who says a power plant can’t be pretty?

This 100-foot-tall structure in the shape of a tulip can deliver clean, sustainably-produced energy, even at night, because it is the world’s first hybrid solar power generator.

Lewd Handmade Doll Shows Grandma w/ Dementia Still a Charmer -WATCH

Everyone warned me that my grandmother with Alzheimer’s might not recognize me and would remain disconnected during what would be my final visit to her hometown in Wisconsin.

She was 98-years-old and I hadn’t seen her in a decade– me, living a thousand miles away and she, living far from any airport.