Showing posts from February 14, 2016

Wondering About Medical Issues? New Animated Videos by Doctors Can Explain

If online medical searches are turning you into a hypochondriac, these doctors may have the cure for what ails you.

“Doctablet”, which was launched this week, is a series of animated, online videos hosted by respected physicians that explain basic health issues through storytelling.

Dr. Jose Taveras and Dr. Christopher Palmeiro created it as an alternative to boring pamphlets, inaccurate search engine results, and uninformed health blogs.

Doctablet’s videos provide accurate, factual medical information in an entertaining format. They’re free of medical jargon and explain health matters in easy to understand illustrations — such as comparing diabetes to the workings of an old-fashioned locomotive or heart attacks to your car’s engine.

“I’m a jokester and I love breaking things down in a novel way,” Dr. Palmeiro said. “This method is not only more fun than, ‘here, read this pamphlet,’ it keeps with educational practices of today. How do we learn? We go online.”

They unveiled their Doctablet …

The Most Worldly Awareness Comes Out of This 11-Year-old After Illness (Listen)

Dramatic seizures aren’t enough to dampen this 11-year-old’s quest for knowledge – and this interview suggests they have actually piqued the boy’s spirituality and love for friends and family.

After the seizures started about a year ago, Benny Smith had to leave school and be tutored at home. That’s rough for a brilliant kid who has an insatiable thirst for learning–but it is also tough on his sister who didn’t get equal attention at home. Benny pointed out this fact to his mother, hoping to change it, which shows he’s more worried about his family’s well-being than his own.

In a candid, thoughtful interview recorded by his mom for the StoryCorps website, this smart-as-a-whip child reveals, “I’ve got a yearning.”

“It’s like the call of the sirens from Odysseus, but instead of flesh-eating monsters, it’s like a treasure-trove of knowledge.”

As you can see, Benny is not your average sixth-grader.

He’s going back to the classroom this year and throughout his ordeal kept a positive outlook on …

It’s Grrrreat: Wild Tiger Populations On the Rise in Thailand

Thailand’s tigers are coming back from the brink — with their numbers nearly tripling here — thanks to heightened protections.

An eight-year long “census” tracked the big cats across Southeast Asia between 2005 and 2012, and found tiger populations nearly tripled in size in Thailand, where the government has carried out tough anti-poaching efforts.

The study, published in the journal Conservation Biology, was the first ever long term study of tigers in the region. It identified 90 Indochinese tigers in Thailand’s Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary — up from their all time low of 35 just a few years earlier. Only 350 of the subspecies existed in a handful of countries in the wild in 2010.

The Wildlife Conservation Society and Thai government have worked together for nearly 15 years to step up anti-poaching efforts, such as armed guards regularly patrolling in the sanctuary. Conservationists believe those protections have created an environment where not only tigers are safe, but their pre…

Tribute To Harper Lee (1926-2016): 10 Intriguing Things About The Author

Harper Lee experienced immediate success with the publication of To Kill A Mockingbird in 1960.

Then it was more than a half-century until the publication of her next work, Go Set A Watchman.

While To Kill A Mockingbird was hailed as a masterpiece, and sold some 40-million copies, Go Set A Watchman was widely considered by many critics as little more than a curiosity.

It enjoyed an initial printing of 2 million, despite often weak reviews.

Here are 10 things about Pulitzer Prize-winning Lee, who died peacefully on Thursday at age 89.

Hop to It! Adorable Baby Kangaroo Demands Its Milk NOW (WATCH)

This hungry little joey’s patience is wearing thin.

The little guy is a resident of The Kangaroo Sanctuary Alice Springs, created by Chris ‘Brolga’ Barns in 2005 to care for orphaned baby kangaroos.

Barns was nominated for “Australian of the Year” in 2014 for his work to rescue the country’s iconic animals. He has written a book called Kangaroo Dundee, which is also the title of a BBC Documentary about his hopping-good works.

His refuge cares for more than two dozen joeys at a time, but this one isn’t interested in waiting until the rest are at the dinner table. Watch the animal’s insistence in the cute video above.

“I Got You a Hamster!” Sister’s Love Brings Boy to Tears (WATCH)

What’s better than a new pet hamster? …How about a hug.

That’s what this little boy gives his sister after she surprises him with a gift bought with her own birthday money.

Abby Stout’s parents asked her what she wanted to do with the $55 she’d received from friends and family, and the little girl never faltered in her answer.

“I want to surprise Daniel and buy him his hamster,” she told them. “He has been working soooo hard.”

Her mother, Rachel, caught the surprise on video as Daniel hugged his sister and cried tears of joy over her kindness.

The video has been shared more than a million times. It even brought tears to their dad at work.
“I am literally crying at work…,” the elder Daniel Stout wrote on his wife’s Facebook page. “Our kids are incredible.”

Maker of OFF! Donates $15M and Cuts Price to Help People Avoid Zika Virus

The maker of one of the world’s most popular mosquito repellants is ramping up production, cutting its cost in Argentina, and donating millions to help people around the world avoid the Zika virus.

Wisconsin-based S.C. Johnson, maker of OFF!, is giving $15 million dollars over the course of this year to the Red Cross and governments of countries affected by the mosquito-borne disease.

Zika is usually a mild disease–most people won’t even know they’ve had it–but in some cases it can cause severe birth defects if a woman contracts the disease while pregnant.

Production of the repellant has been increased at three factories to supply nine times the normal demand in both Brazil and Argentina where the virus has spread fastest. They also cut the cost of OFF! by 25% after a request from Argentinian leaders.

CEO Fisk Johnson says the company is running round-the-clock shifts seven days a week. He also says the family-owned company has shifted its focus from profits to making sure there is a stea…

Daily Inspirational Quote - February 20, 2016

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

I don’t think this means to literally scare you but more that you should do something that gets the blood pumping through your veins. Something along the lines of perhaps joining a group that you’ve wanted to join for a while but getting to know a bunch of new people scares you. Or just getting on a bus or train to somewhere you’ve never been before but have always wanted to explore, etc. You get the picture? We all put off or dismiss things we’d like to do but are too scared or nervous about the reaction of others. Why put it off any longer, make a resolution to do something every day that scares you. Even if you only do it for a week, a month, won’t it be fun and, who knows, what it could lead to in the future. Exciting times.


The World's Happiest Man on Altruism

Matthieu Ricard, also known as 'the world's happiest man', spent the best part of 25 years in the Himalayas with barely any contact with the Western world he was born into. At 26-years-old he left behind his molecular biology studies and settled into a life of serenity and spiritual training. However, he is now very much back on the Western scene. When I ask Ricard why he returned, he sighs and says: "When I was in my hermitage I thought, if I can do something useful, maybe I should come down for a bit"

This piece shares more about Ricard's perspectives on life, business, and altruism.

Daily Inspirational Quote - February 19, 2016

“The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest, and the first to forget is the happiest.”

I’d like to think that I could be all three wouldn’t you? That would be great and would say a lot about how nice and how sensible I am……. However, I have to be honest and confess that I find I can’t always be this nice, but I’m working on it. I think that’s the only thing most of us can do and that’s to work on being the first to be brave, strong and happy. At least if we are aware that this is what we need to be doing then we are half way there so good for us and, if everybody thought the same, well wouldn’t that be just wonderful?


The Principle of Sufficiency

Lynne Twist, author of "The Soul of Money," shares the distinction, as she sees it, between sufficiency and abundance and why understanding this distinction can help build a future that will serve us all. "We can move our money, or the money we are entrusted with, toward that which will serve us all from a sense of our own wholeness rather than a desperate longing to be complete. I call this living in the context of sufficiency. This is not the same as abundance (abundance is more than we need-- it is excess), and in the context in which I'm speaking, abundance is merely the flip side of scarcity. You strive to get more than you need because you believe or fear there is not enough."

We can learn to invest the resources that flow through our lives in a new future for all of us. We can direct those resources, whether they are like a rushing torrent coming through our lives or a small trickle, to our highest commitments and ideals. We can move our money, or the mo…

Students Design Refugee Coat that Becomes Tent, Sleeping Bag

A group of interior design students have created the ultimate outerwear for refugees — a poncho that converts into a tent or sleeping bag, while safely storing important documents.

The wearable shelter features large, waterproof pockets for carrying vital papers and supplies, and it offers the convenience of an easy folding method to create a warm sleeping bag or, by adding a few kite rods, a personal tent.

Students at London’s Royal College of Art took part in an intense “hackathon,” working with guidance from Doctors Without Borders to create what they’re calling “wearable habitations.”

WALL Fashion London paid for factory-ready prototypes of the final design and the students have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money needed to bring their idea to market.

They hope to have their design available to the public in June.

“While our wearable won’t solve the whole problem it addresses a small part of it,’ Dr Harriet Harriss said. “Its conspicuous, provocative design also acts as …

Vet Crawls Into Rescued Dog’s Crate to Show Her How to Eat (WATCH)

A veterinarian won over a jittery stray dog — and the hearts of millions of people — after he crawled into the pup’s crate and shared a meal with her.

The little rescue dog that Dr. Andy Mathis would later name “Graycie” was brought into his office about two weeks ago, emaciated and in poor health. The vet was afraid he’d have to put her down, but decided to ask his Facebook followers for advice.

The dog made improvements but still wouldn’t always eat — until Dr. Mathis started climbing into her crate and having regular breakfasts with her.

Dr. Mathis has been documenting Graycie’s progress on his Facebook and Instagram pages and she’s doing better — perhaps proving breakfast really is the most important meal of anyone’s day.

Daily Inspirational Quote - February 18, 2016

“Don’t ruin a good day today by thinking about yesterday’s bad day….let it go.

This should be a mantra for us all. Easier said than done though. However, yesterday is gone, there’s nothing we can do about it, so why not concentrate on the new day ahead and make it a good one? Every time a wee niggly, troublesome thought about the day before comes into your head just push it away as it doesn’t belong in your head anymore, it belongs to yesterday so wish it back there and have a great day instead.


Dignity Village: Homes For Portland's Homeless

"On a frigid January morning in Portland, Ore., a tour through Dignity Village follows the same path its residents are required to travel. All were, or are, homeless. Newcomers to this homeless refuge huddle in the warming station, a small portable with photos of smiling former residents and where they are required to stay during a 60-day probationary period. They hope to graduate to a small makeshift home like Karen, a three-month resident whose boisterous laugh carries through the village...'There's a real sense of pride here, a real sense of community that you don't find elsewhere,' she says. Called an "intentional community" by its members and a homeless encampment by outsiders, Dignity Village is a step toward curbing Portland's skyrocketing homeless population."

Daily Inspirational Quote - February 17, 2016

“We do not heal the past by dwelling there; we heal the past by living fully in the present.”

Good advice isn’t it? Basically telling us to move on and turn our energy into making the present a much better place to find ourselves living in than the past turned out to be. It’s knowing when to let go and move on that we find difficult. It can be difficult to release our past in order to move on as everything we go through in life becomes part of us, whether we wish it to or not. We are made up of everything that happens to us since we first draw breath and this becomes who we are. However, as we travel through life, we need to realize that when our present has done what it is supposed to, it then becomes our past, so we’re always moving, never still, so should live fully in the present not the past.


Our Shortened Attention Span & 3 Ways To Stay Focused

"In the digital age, where the news is limited to 140 characters and conversations take place in the form of emojis, our attention span has shortened. A recent study has found this digital lifestyle has made it difficult for us to stay focused, with the human attention span shortening from 12 seconds to eight seconds in more than a decade....Humans now have less of an attention span than a goldfish (nine seconds average)....A weaker attention span could be the side effect of the brain having to adapt and change over time in the presence of technology. However, there are ways to improve our attention span amid the ongoing texts, tweets, and other interruptions."

Girl With Half Her Brain Becomes Speech Pathologist as Adult (Video)

An 8-year-old girl who had the right side of her brain removed in a life-saving surgery has grown up to earn a Master’s degree and become a speech pathologist.

Christina Santhouse was suffering from Rasmussen’s encephalitis — an extremely rare autoimmune disorder that caused 150 seizures every day.

With the condition worsening, doctors agreed the only way to save her life was to remove the right half of her brain.

As she was wheeled into the operating room, Christina was upbeat and excited about getting her life back after having experiencing so many seizures. Dr. Ben Carson — who would one day run for President — performed the surgery.

People who undergo the radical procedure — called a hemispherectomy — usually have very limited options for the rest of their lives. One of Christina’s teachers believed her job options would be limited to answering phones.

But as Christina grew up, she held on to her goals. Even though she lost motor skills on the left side of her body, the use of her left…

Paralyzed at Columbine, Shooting Victim Forgives Mother of Gunman

Saying she looks to the future and at what’s positive in her life, a woman paralyzed in the 1999 Columbine, Colorado high school shooting has publicly forgiven the mother of one of the killers.

Anne Marie Hochhalter says it took her years to get over her anger and move beyond the tragic events that left her paralyzed from the waist down.

“I have forgiven you and only wish you the best,” Anne Marie Hochhalter wrote to Sue Klebold in a Facebook post Thursday.

Hochhalter’s decision to go public comes as Sue Klebold is releasing a book about her son Dylan, who was one of the two shooters. All the profits from the memoir, A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy, will go to help people with mental illness.

Hochhalter admitted that mental illness is a common bond between her family and the Klebolds’. Her own mother struggled with it before committing suicide six months after the shooting.

“It means a lot to me that you wouldn’t keep those proceeds for yourself, but to help others…

It’s Random Acts of Kindness Week: The Health Benefits of Being Kind

Did you know that people who are kind produce 23% less cortisol (the stress hormone) and age slower than the average population? It’s true. Engaging in acts of kindness actually lowers blood pressure and reduces stress.

Science also shows that being kind rewards everyone with increased energy and well-being–even people viewing the kindness are infused with positive benefits.

Formally recognized by President Clinton in 1995, Random Acts of Kindness Week has been spreading goodness each February (14–20 this year) for more than two decades, but the general trend goes back even farther.

A magazine article in the 1980’s by Anne Herbert – and her later book, Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty (first published by Conari Press in 1991) – began the ‘random acts of kindness’ craze that is abbreviated for social media to #RAK. Ms. Herbert was sitting in a Sausalito, California restaurant when she was first inspired to scribble these words on a place mat: “practice random acts of kindness …

New App Turns Phones into Earthquake Alert System

When an earthquake hits, even a few seconds advance notice can be precious. Because digital communications can outrun seismic waves, scientists at the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory have designed and released MyShake, a free Android app that crowdsources earthquake detection.

The app uses the same built-in accelerometers that tell your phone when to flip its screen orientation. They’re sensitive enough to register quakes starting at magnitude 5.0—when shaking typically begins to damage built structures. After the scientists have tested it under public use, they plan to add an early warning feature, complete with a timer counting down to impact. At that point, perhaps a year from now, MyShake should be able to sense, report and alert users to an earthquake in less than a second. That would be a crucial heads-up, especially in parts of the world with no other seismic sensor network.

The brain of the app is an algorithm that picks earthquake vibrations out of the ordinary bumps, jumps a…

Principal Announces Snow Day With Soulful Adele Cover Video (WATCH)

As principal of Moses Brown School, Matt Glendinning decided to get creative when announcing to the kids of Providence, Rhode Island that school was canceled due to bad weather.

The community was hit by a blizzard with 3 feet of snow – but they also got a hilarious Adele cover.

In a sepia-toned parody video, Matt tells his students to stay home to the tune of Adele’s “Hello”.
“Oh it snowed a lot out siiiiiiiiide,” Matt crooned, ”and now it’s not safe to driiiiiiive.”

With his surprisingly soulful voice and witty replaced lyrics, is it possible that Matt did Adele better than Adele?

Daily Inspirational Quote - February 16, 2016

“When the dark clouds of doubt, anger or worry begin to move upon you, steady yourself in the knowledge that, in time, the storm will pass.”

It’s something I try to do whenever I’m facing a problem, feeling angry, worrying, or occasionally when the dark cloud of just feeling down seems to hover over my head. I’ve learned, from experience, that because time passes no matter what’s going on in our lives, it all eventually fades into the past. So, no matter how dire things appear, I can be reassured it’s a transitory phase and I just need to focus on this fact until the “weather” forecast becomes more promising for the future.


Karen Armstrong on Leading from the Heart

"It is difficult not to feel helpless as we witness the widespread cruelty, poverty and injustice that human beings inflict upon one another. It is tempting to harden our hearts or to dwell only upon the suffering that we have endured. But this can no longer be an option. Compassion is not emotional feeling of goodwill; it does not mean pity; it is rather the principled determination to put ourselves into the place of the other. One of the most urgent tasks of our generation is to build a global community, where men and women of all races, nations and ideologies can live together in peace."

You Live in a Multidimensional Reality

An Excerpt from Seven Cups of Consciousness by Aleya Dao

The world you live in is made up of multiple dimensions. The physical dimension is just one floor of a multistory building. Each floor or dimension holds different energies and levels of consciousness.
The physical dimension contains solid objects, a linear time line, finite resources, and limited space. You can only accomplish a certain amount in a day, depending on your energy level, the amount of time you have, and the resources available to you. It is a finite experience.

The nonphysical dimensions are more etheric realities. Time is not linear, space is infinite, and resources are endless. For example, when you dream, a few seconds may seem like several hours. During a meditation, you may grasp a concept in seconds that might otherwise take years of study to fully comprehend. When you use your imagination or fantasize, you are accessing different dimensions that contain different layers of information and perspectives.

Let’s ta…

Working with Your Team

An Excerpt from Seven Cups of Consciousness by Aleya Dao

You may remember that as a child you sensed a presence around you. You might have called this presence by a particular name or just thought of it as your imaginary friend. You may have had several “friends” you talked to during the day. Perhaps they were there for you in the middle of the night if you woke with a fright.

Your friends — your guides and your Team — are all still around you. These beings of love and light can help you. They can support and buffer energy for you. In fact, the primary purpose of your Team is to protect you and to model a connected, balanced, and supportive energy to you. (I capitalize Team when referring to this group of energy beings to emphasize their importance in your life.)

Your Team is similar to your angelic guides, but they never leave you. Your guides, who are beings like archangels or Ascended Masters, come and go, depending on your needs and circumstances.

Your Team is unique to you. Each one …

Developing Your Energetic Senses

An Excerpt from Seven Cups of Consciousness by Aleya Dao

Being aware of and feeling the energy in the other dimensions is different from feeling and being aware of energy in the physical dimension. It is not something you can tangibly see with your eyes, touch with your hands, smell with your nose, or hear with your ears. The energy in the other realms is subtle. It may feel like little wisps of energetic wind, a flash of light, a tingle on your arm, a quick high-pitched ringing in your ears, a weird swirling sensation in your head.

Your body’s five senses give you information about the physical dimension. In addition to your five physical senses, you have five energetic senses. When you develop your energetic senses, you will be able to perceive other dimensions.

The easiest way to develop your energetic senses is to identify your strongest physical sense. When you talk, do you describe things by the way they look, sound, feel, smell, or taste? Are you more sensitive to light, sounds, s…

Daily Inspirational Quote - February 15, 2016

“Forgiveness doesn’t mean that what they did is okay. It means that you are no longer willing to carry toxic anger in your heart.”

All of us, at one time or another, have known betrayal by someone else. Be it in a relationship, workplace, an acquaintance, a friendship, etc., and, no matter, how many times it happens it always causes us pain. It’s because we believed that whoever betrayed us was a lover or a friend and had only our best interests at heart and now we look back at our relationship with them for signs we may have missed that showed them for who they really were. It’s very easy to dwell on how much they hurt us and spend time thinking of ways to retaliate in order to inflict the same hurt and pain on them. However, let’s forget them for a moment and think about the best way forward for us. Is it to let this hurt fester and grow unchecked within us, like a dark weight we then carry forever, or to believe, as I do, that what goes around, comes around, and that karma has a way…

Sitting By the Well: Stillness in Times of Chaos

"When all is in confusion, when I don't know what to do next or where to find inner quiet, I go and sit down by the well. Usually I'm at a point where nothing else works before I give up and just sit and listen to myself and the world, saying goodbye to all the permutations and combinations of efforts that seem to have brought me relief in similar past situations. There's nothing more to do. Just sit. And wait. The well is deep. I know that. Perhaps it's bottomless. I don't know if that's true although it certainly feels that way."

This reflective piece explores a counter-intuitive way of responding to times of confusion.

5 Lessons On Love You Can Learn From Your Pooch For Valentine’s Day

Another Valentine’s Day when it appears that everyone in the world has a perfectly happy committed relationship. In other words, a day when most of us writhe in disappointment.

It’s not that we’re saying we’re not loved at all, or that we don’t love, or that we’ve never tasted love. The frustration I hear most (in my office, in the media, and from friends) is that, “No one loves me the way I need to be loved.” And sure enough, as spring blooms, scads of those happy couples around us will break up or divorce for just this reason – at least one person didn’t feel adequately adored.

But ask if they’ve ever felt loved in the right way–even by an animal–and you’re bound to hear,  “Oh! Well sure. My dog loves me unconditionally, but no person can do that.”

Really? Ask a four-year-old how they feel about their mother. You won’t hear a lot of conditions. Or, more relevantly, ask a new parent how they feel about their teething six-month-old baby at 3:15 a.m. Would they actually make a trade for f…