Saturday, October 3, 2015

Doing Yoga On A Rooftop Cleansed My Chakras (Learn To Do It At Home)

Five of us gathered after dark on the rooftop of a Wall Street high-rise in New York City’s financial district.

Armed with nothing but a Bluetooth speaker and a smile, Fern Olivia instructs us all to lay down our mats. The night is slightly breezy, but warm enough to practice without discomfort.

The first poses we do are unique, centered around cleansing our chakras, the seven subtle energy points in the non-physical body, according to Indian teachings. We needed to “clear ourselves” of the energy picked up from people on the street by “shaking them off.” On one side of me is a shirtless guy wearing lots of beads, on the left is a 13-year-old girl making me feel ridiculous for not being able to land a handstand.

Girl’s Fight for Friend in Wheelchair Gets New Swings at Four Schools

A fourth grade girl in Texas felt really sad that one of her best friends couldn’t play with her on the swings at school. Her motorized wheelchair couldn’t roll over the gravel on the playground, and it certainly wouldn’t fit in a swing.

But Rylea Lambert has one thing going for her when it comes to playtime. Her friend, Jayci Stubblefield, decreed the situation just wasn’t fair and decided to do something about it.

Teen Volunteer Wins $70,000 SUV in Charity Raffle, Then Stuns Crowd

To begin with, Erin Byrnes was pretty excited to be attending the annual gala for a nonprofit that helps pregnant mothers and their children. She was all geared up to accept an award from Joseph’s House for her volunteer work.

Turns out, Erin had even more reason to celebrate that evening: she won the big raffle prize, the SUV worth nearly seventy thousand dollars.

She spent the summer collecting cans and bottles just to be able to buy herself 60 raffle tickets for nearly $200 .

Mealworms Love Eating Styrofoam! Breakthrough Discovery Best In 10 Years

Who would have thought that the container used to transport your take-out food could be a meal itself?

For the right consumer, it is.

Mealworms, scientists have just learned, will indeed eat styrofoam, which could spell glorious progress in the fight to eliminate plastic waste.

Researchers at Beihang University in China and Stanford University in California arrived at this conclusion after putting the worms—larvae of the common American beetle—on a diet of nothing but styrofoam. Not only dud the bugs digest the plastic into biodegradable compounds, but they were just as healthy afterwards as worms that ate their normal diet.

Daily Inspirational Quote – October 3, 2015

“Not everyone you lose is a loss.”

Well I guess we can all relate to this although not all of us will have realized it at the time. Have you ever bemoaned the fact that someone you considered a friend, a lover, a trusted colleague, etc., has left your life and you wondering what just happened? Perhaps there was no explanation for their departure or, if there was, maybe you disagreed with their reasons and begged them to stay around. However, when you’ve looked back, sometime in the future, how many times have you realized that they actually did you a favor and you should actually get down on your knees and thank your lucky stars that you “lost” them when you did. Whew!


Vegetable Seller to Reputed Oncologist

Dr. Vijayalakshmi Deshmane is one of India's most reputed oncologists who dedicates her life to service through medicine. But, when she was just a child, born into a "backward caste" and a socio-economically disadvantaged family living in the slums of India, with little access to food and basic amenities, leave alone educational opportunities, it was not obvious she would have such an illustrious career. Yet, through her family's and her own efforts, she defeated the odds stacked against her. In this interview, Dr. Deshmane describes her incredible journey of personal and social transformation -- fostered through love, service, community, and faith -- that led her from a childhood selling vegetables with her mother to being a leading breast cancer specialist.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Twister, Battleship, Jenga and Super Soaker Vie for the Toy Hall of Fame

Woody and Buzz Lightyear still haven’t made the cut, even though some of their “Toy Story” supporting actors, like Mr. Potato Head and Barbie, have.

This year’s 12 nominees for the Toy Hall of Fame include American Girl Dolls, games like Jenga and Twister, and generic toys like the scooter and coloring book. They are vying for the two annual openings in The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York.

Shaving with Lasers Instead of Blades Will Save Money and the Environment

Taking a laser to your face and other body parts may seem crazy, but inventors of the “Laser Razor” say it’s the best shave that’s ever grazed humankind.

This innovative device actually uses light instead of metal blades to slice through whiskers and hair, literally melting the hair’s follicles.

Morgan Gustavsson and Paul Binun, inventors of the Skarp, made a breakthrough when they discovered the chromophore, a particle in the hair that absorbs certain wavelengths of light. It is common in every person—regardless of age, sex, or race—allowing the laser razor to work on everyone, even those with light hair, which older laser hair removal treatments missed.

Kind-Hearted Boy Helps Blind Deer Find Food Every Day Before School

Most kids have some sort of morning routine: eat breakfast, check messages, pick out their clothes….lead a blind deer to food.

That’s what this ten-year-old boy chose to do before school every day for a week, taking it upon himself to walk the animal over to a number of nearby grass patches and make sure it had enough to eat.

Landscapers Rehab Front Yard for Man Who Kept Falling in Wheelchair

Domingo Matos has been a quadriplegic for 11 years. Last week, he flipped his wheelchair twice trying to get from his front door to the driveway, hurting his head and shoulders.

Matos couldn’t afford a new walkway so a neighbor put out an appeal for help on Facebook.
Derek Jenks, owner of landscaping company Outdoor Perfections in Golden Gate, Florida swung into action as soon as he saw it. He rounded up spare paving stones and rallied his employees.

Brilliant: Guess What Happens When This Van Pulls up to Panhandlers

Instead of spare change, roadside panhandlers in Albuquerque, New Mexico will be getting $9 an hour, if they want a job for the day.

The mayor announced the program, “There’s a Better Way,” by unveiling a van that will cruise through the city two days a week, picking up beggars who’d rather spend the day working on a variety of city beautification projects. At the end of the day, the panhandlers will be dropped off at a homeless shelter, St. Martin’s Hospitality center, paid in cash, and informed about the services that are available to them.

New Test Can Diagnose Every Virus At Once, Even When Doctors Are Stumped

A new test can identify virtually any virus that affects humans and animals and will allow doctors to quickly diagnose diseases they weren’t even looking for.

The test, called ViroCap, can identify the culprit easily because it sequences DNA and RNA from 34 different families of organisms representing tens of thousands of viruses.

Once Speechless, Teen Finds Loud Calling Among Veterans at VA Hospital

Aidan Knaus is quite the chatterbox.

He doesn’t simply push patients from one place to the next. His intense interest in striking up long conversations has made him the most requested volunteer at a veterans hospital in Minnesota.

What’s especially interesting about Aidan is the time when he was a boy, and his mother was unsure he’d ever talk at all. She’d even begun to teach him sign language.

Diagnosed with ADHD and high-functioning Autism earlier this year, the eighth grade student has had to overcome a number of obstacles but his gift of gab now comes naturally–and he is using it for good.

Daily Inspirational Quote – October 2, 2015

“Don’t get upset with people or situations; both are powerless without your reaction.”

Very true don’t you think? However, not easy for most of us not to react when people or a situation are causing us upset. I can see the logic here though. If we do allow whatever is happening to provoke a response then we are giving them/it what it was hoping for when they/it said or did to us, ergo they/it win! Sounds convoluted I know but take time to think about it and you’ll see what I mean. So, next time you feel yourself getting upset, take a deep breath, count to 10, 20 or, if it’s a real humdinger, to 100, and hopefully the response you give, or don’t give, will be one in the eye for your own personal upset, so there!


The People Who Make Last Wishes Come True

Kees Veldboer and his wife Ineke, a nurse, started Stichting Ambulance Wens or the Ambulance Wish Foundation to fulfill last wishes of terminally ill patients. Eight years later with 230 volunteers, six ambulances and a holiday home, the service has fulfilled almost 7,000 last wishes.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Doctor Builds Makeshift Device To Save Baby’s Life on Airline Flight

Flying at 35,000 feet over the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, a doctor cobbled together a makeshift medical tool — partly from trash — to save a baby’s life.

Four hours into the seven-and-a-half hour flight from Spain to the U.S., a two-year-old had an asthma attack, but her medicine was in the family’s checked luggage.

Dr. Khurshid Guru answered a flight attendant’s call for a doctor and quickly assessed the situation.

Dozens of Neighbors Harvest Fields for Farmer with Cancer

Anyone looking at Carl Bates’ fields would think he raises corn, but it turns out he’s also growing a bumper crop of friends.

The farmer, who lives in Galva, Illinois, had 450 acres of grain ready to harvest this year, but couldn’t work the fields because of his cancer treatments.

Floating Garden Cleans As It Grows In One of Most Polluted Waterways In US

The Gowanus Canal in New York City is notorious for being one of the most polluted waterways in the U.S. Imagine everyone’s surprise when, three weeks ago, an oasis of pure greenery sprouted atop the surface of the river.

Not only is this improbable garden a breathtaking sight on the brackish water, but it is also cleaning the stream as it blooms.

The project, called GrowOnUs, is an experiment in “floating infrastructure” that utilizes a process called phytoremediation to tidy up the murky canal. Over 30 different kinds of plants act as sponges to purify, desalinate, and mitigate the chemicals affecting the waterway.

83-yo Was In Bad Shape on the Street… After Loving Care, He’s a New Man

A local Peruvian man nicknamed “Crazy Chuman” has gotten some crazy love from his neighbors.

Even though Don Luciano Chuman has a family and a home, he often wanders the streets, un-bathed and unkempt, for days at a time.

Earlier this month, members of the Peregrin Evangelical Church decided to help him get showered, shaved, and groomed, and to buy him some new clothes.

Vinyl Record Sales Top Streaming Music Ad Revenue by $60Mil

This will be music to the ears of audiophiles — vinyl records are spinning up more profits for the music industry than every ad-supported streaming service combined.

In the first half of this year, vinyl records brought in $60 million more than streaming services like Pandora, Spotify, Vevo, and YouTube. From January through June, vinyl not only accounted for $221.8 million in sales, the revenue was up 52% over the same period from the year before–recording nearly twice the growth of streaming music.

Amazon Deforestation in Brazil Has Plummeted Almost 90% in Ten Years

Brazil is seeing a whole lot of green these days after slashing its rate of Amazonian deforestation by about 90%.

The happy decline began in 2005 after Brazil became more aggressive in protecting its Amazon basin by creating protected areas, designating more than half of that land for use in national parks.

Daily Inspirational Quote – October 1, 2015

“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.”

Definitely! 100% spot on! That’s why I personally try to give every day the best of me I can. Not always easy, not always possible but at least I try my best. I always appreciate my life, my family, my friends and my passion for what I do. Every night, when I put my head on my pillow and reflect on the day that will soon morph into tomorrow, I give thanks and feel happy, content and satisfied that what I’ve accomplished today will, hopefully, be carried forward into all my tomorrows. I hope you can say the same?


Walking the World at Three Miles an Hour

Polly Letofsky is the only woman to have walked across the world. She started in 1999 and took over five years. She tells, in an amazing interview, how you need to walk across at least four continents, cover at least 14,000 miles, and get signatures along the way of people who see you walk every day. She got into the Guinness Book of World Records but her own personal motivation was "to discover the world and how it ticks, and the people."

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Find Out Why A Step-Father’s Photo Got 15 Million Views in 24 Hours

Throughout the wedding planning process, Todd Cendrosky was a good sport.

He had accepted that during his stepdaughter Brittany’s ceremony, her biological father, Todd Blackburn, would be the one to walk her down the aisle while he watched from the sidelines.

But when the music cued up on the big day, a tug on Cendrosky’s jacket indicated that the plan was about to change.

“You worked as hard as I have. You’ll help us walk our daughter down the aisle,” Blackburn told Cendrosky as he took his hand.

Trevor Noah Steps Into Jon Stewart’s Enormous Sneakers With Confidence

It turns out Stephen Colbert taking over for David Letterman may not be the toughest gig in late night comedy.

Stepping into the shoes of the legendary Jon Stewart at The Daily Show, Trevor Noah had some enormous sneakers to fill for a mostly unknown comic.

Love of Books Lifted Homeless Man From Streets, Now He’s Written One

Exactly one month ago, Good News Network brought you the story of a homeless man who turned his life around by selling books — and giving book reviews — to passing motorists.

Now, Philani Dladla has his very own book to share, a memoir titled “The Pavement Bookworm,” after one of his nicknames.

Daily Inspirational Quote – September 30, 2015

“When nothing goes right….Go left.”

This made me laugh while, at the same time, I wondered about the meaning. I guess it is just telling us that, at those times when nothing seems to be going right for us, maybe we need to consider changing direction. I do believe that, if something we’re trying to accomplish is beset by continual delays, problems, disappointments, then perhaps “something” is trying to tell us that we need to think again. So, maybe going left or just in another direction from our original planned path, might prove more successful? Only time will tell if we have “got the message.”


7200 Kites Flying for Peace and Dignity

This short excerpt from the feature documentary film, Flying Paper, is an uplifting story of Palestinian children in Gaza engaged in the age-old tradition of kite making and flying. The driving narrative of the film centers on a remarkable quest, but showcases the determination and artistic expression of the youth that come together to achieve a shared goal. This quest is a beautiful form of creative resistance and resilience in the face of the daily difficulties endured by the children of Gaza.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Girl Forfeits Personal Record, and Loses Race, To Help Fellow Runner

The teenager was on a pace to break her own personal record at a middle school cross-country meet.

Half-way through the two mile run, her coach shouted the good news, but then, with a half-mile to go Makenna Finnegan from Shelby, Ohio saw an opponent grimacing in pain and holding her side.

When she asked what was wrong, the girl said, “Bad cramps.”

Without a second thought to winning the race, Makenna slowed down, grabbed her hand, and they finished out the race together.

Perk Up on Nat’l Coffee Day: Here’s Where To Get Your Free Cup

Happy National Coffee Day! We’re so excited! We’ve already had five cups!

UN Serves Lunch Made From Food Scraps to 30 World Leaders

Chefs usually fret over what to serve world leaders at the United Nations, but for this group discussing hunger and climate change, a fitting menu was prepared from food scraps, leftovers, and produce that normally end up at the dump–a “Landfill Lunch” that provided food for thought.

Mediterranean Diet and Extra Olive Oil Can Lower Risk of Breast Cancer

Chefs usually fret over what to serve world leaders at the United Nations, but for this group discussing hunger and climate change, a fitting menu was prepared from food scraps, leftovers, and produce that normally end up at the dump–a “Landfill Lunch” that provided food for thought.

Favorite Yoga Pants From Socially Responsible Companies

National Yoga Month may be coming to a close, but a good pair of leggings are a year-long necessity. These companies also have Om-worthy philosophies that you can definitely get down with. Check them out.

Boy Fleeing Syria Makes His Puppy a Passport So They Can Stick Together

Rose is one lucky puppy.

Her owner, Aslan Al Hakim, loves her so much that he absolutely refused to part with her on his 500 kilometer journey out of Damascus, Syria.

As he traveled on foot, the 17-year-old carried only a small bag of his own belongings on his back so that he could bring Rose along in her carrier.

Confucius Day

Date When Celebrated : Always September 29th

Confucius Day honors one of the world's greatest philosophers.

Born in China on October 18, 551 B.C., Confucius is one of the earliest, and perhaps the first great philosopher. He was also a teacher, a scholar, and a politician. He gave the world many teachings, and gave the world 499 famous sayings.

Celebrate Confucius Day by learning more about this ancient philosopher, and read some of his teachings and sayings.

Note: Over the years, many comical and humorous sayings have been created and referenced as sayings of Confucius, usually titled "Confucius Says". As a rule of thumb, if the saying is humorous, chances are it is not a true saying by this great scholar. 

Origin of Confucius Day:
The original Confucius day dates back thousands of years. We do not know who created this special day, and why on this date.

Daily Inspirational Quote – September 29, 2015

“The older I get, the less I care about what people think of me. Therefore the older I get, the more I enjoy life.”

It’s wonderful and, trust me, it does set you free. During most of my earlier life what other people thought of me really mattered and made a difference as to how I saw myself. However, with age comes a lot of unexpected blessings, one of which, is not giving a hoot what anybody else thinks of me. I love and enjoy my life just as it is, and try to live it to the full. I also do and say what I please nowadays and if other people don’t like it or agree with me well I just don’t care, so there!


Homes for the Homeless

Homelessness is a fluid state. While the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development counted 578,424 homeless in January 2014, some advocacy groups say more than 3 million Americans experience an episode of homelessness each year: a night, a week or a month in a motel, in a recreation vehicle or on a friend's couch...but a few organizations like Housing First are trying to change the odds.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Historic US-China Ban to End Ivory Trade Ensures Elephant Survival

In a historic accord to save Africa’s elephants from poaching, President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping agreed Friday to ban ivory sales in the United States and China.

As China is the largest market for legal and illegal ivory in the world, this ban on all exports and imports has the potential to save tens of thousands of elephants from poachers every year.

WATCH The Supermoon Lunar Eclipse Unfold in 90 Seconds

If you missed last night’s “Supermoon” lunar eclipse and you don’t want to wait 18 years to see the next one, here you go.

The time-lapse video produced by Danish photographer Thomas H. captures the supermoon’s
rise over the Øresund Bridge in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the total lunar eclipse later in the night.

Volunteers Transform Bleak City Schoolyard Into Breathtaking Cafe (WATCH)

Students at a severely under-performing public high school got a huge morale boost to start the year when they walked into a tsunami of color decorating the once-gray courtyard.

The outdoor cafeteria and recreation area at Jordan High School in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles had always been a drab landscape until a group of volunteers converted it into a beautiful plant-lined café, buoyed by positive messages in bold splashes of color.

Homeless Find New Life Working at 22-Acre Organic Farm and Restaurant

In the 22 years since the Miami Chamber of Commerce decided to do something about the growing number of homeless individuals in their county, more than 10,000 have been placed into housing, including 145 families in the most unique solution yet– an organic farm and market.

Mind Reading Experiment Lets People Get into Someone Else’s Head

At the University of Washington, people have been reading each other’s minds–sort of.
Scientists connected together the brains of two people in a way that let them play a game of 20 Questions, even though they were located a mile apart.

One person, the “respondent,” was shown objects on a computer screen while connected to an EEG machine that measures electrical brain activity.

The Roles We Play

An excerpt from Step Out of Your Story by Kim Schneiderman

Some authors start out thinking they know where a story is going to go, only to discover that the main character’s natural unfolding takes the plot somewhere else. Suddenly, it’s as if the protagonist’s drives and need for expression usurps the author, and the writer can’t help but move in the direction that the protagonist insists on going. The challenge is, of course, being able to let go.

The same is true in real life. Once you have a sense of where your character arc is headed, you might realize that if you continue following the current trajectory, you won’t end up where you want to be. When this happens, you need to be willing to let go of your attachment to who you think you are in order to step into the person — or in this case, the character — you were meant to become.

For example, you may be a marketing professional with an interest in photography. And you may have a sense that your character arc involves developing your creative ...

What’s Your Character Arc?

An excerpt from Step Out of Your Story by Kim Schneiderman

Now that you’ve put on your story glasses and changed your perspective to the third person, it’s time to get better acquainted with the star of your story — you. Every human story is also a journey of transformation. We start out in one place, with a particular outlook, and end up in another. Yet rarely do we explore who we are as evolving characters with the same gusto and curiosity that we reserve for foreign travel — that is, until something forces us to take a closer look at the person behind the passport.

While you can’t predict your future, you can take charge of the direction of your character arc if you’re willing to explore your protagonist’s terrain with the same sense of adventure and awe you would bring to a trek through the Himalayas.

Every protagonist has a character arc, a particular way he or she matures and develops in response to the shifting tides of the story. This area of growth is the threshold between the hero’s present self and ...

Embracing the Story Lens on Life

An excerpt from Step Out of Your Story by Kim Schneiderman

Every life is an unfolding story, a dynamic, unique, purposeful, and potentially heroic story with bright spots, turning points, and abounding opportunities for personal growth and transformation. From the day we’re born, we become the star and spin doctor of our own work in progress, with the power to tell our stories as triumphs, tragedies, or something in between. Our story has supporting characters who provide love and assistance and antagonists who cause us to realize the substance we’re made of and what’s really important. Like stories, our lives are filled with suspense. Our personal decisions, both big and small, affect our storyline — the relationships we choose, how we spend our day, and how we nourish ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Yet few of us take time to explore the character we ’re playing. We don’t stop to discover what our story is about, who’s writing our script, and how the challenges we face can help us develop the insights and skills we need to move to the next chapter.

Stuck in the ...

Daily Inspirational Quote – September 28, 2015

“The best angle to approach any problem is the try-angle.”

Clever play on words don’t you think? Makes a lot of sense too. If you have a problem surely the best and most efficient way to deal with it is to actually be prepared to tackle it head on! What’s the alternative, pretend it’s not there? It won’t go away just because you’re ignoring it! In fact, in order to get your full attention, it will stand in your path and make itself as big and nasty as it can, ooo ‘er! So, don’t you think that the very sensible thing to do would be to try and make it go away while it is still small enough not to be as scary as it could be if you continue to ignore it? This is where the “try” comes in and the clue is in the word! Next time a problem rears its ugly head, try it and see.


The Science of Stress

Maria Popova explores her own experience of stress and PTSD, pointing out that long before scientists began shedding light on how our minds and bodies actually affect one another, an intuitive understanding of this dialogue between the body and the emotions, or feelings permeated our very language. Ancient Greek, Roman, and Indian Ayurvedic physicians all enlisted the theory of the four humors -- blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm -- in their healing practices.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Daily Inspirational Quote – September 27, 2015

“People with tact….have less to retract.”

Or, put another way, think before you speak. Unfortunately, this is not something everybody is able to put into practice and, personally, I’ve been guilty of putting my foot in it more than once. However, thankfully, through time, I have learned that if I take the time to ensure that what I am about to say won’t cause offense to whoever is on the receiving end, then there is less chance of it coming back to “bite me on the bu…’er bottom!” So, please try to follow my example. Trust me, it will save you a lot of back-pedaling in the future so well worth it.


Understanding The People We Serve

While there is a huge appetite in development agencies for quantitative data on objective things like health, wealth and education, data on what people actually think lags far behind. And when the United Nations and the Overseas Development Institute finally asked 7.5 million people around the world about their priorities for themselves and their families., more than 80 per cent felt that what happened to them in the future depended on their own efforts.