Showing posts from February 21, 2016

Scientists Make Anti-Aging Breakthrough During Skin Cell Study

For the first time, scientists have identified the activity of a metabolic enzyme found in the batteries of human skin cells as being key to the declines of aging.

A Newcastle University study, published online in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, has found that the activity of mitochondrial complex II significantly decreases in older skin.

This discovery brings experts a step closer to developing powerful anti-aging treatments and cosmetic products which may be tailored to counteract the decline in the enzyme’s activity levels.

  Paving the way for developments in age-related diseases
Findings may also lead to a greater understanding of how other organs in the body age, which could pave the way for drug developments in a number of age-related diseases, including cancer.

Mark Birch-Machin, Professor of Molecular Dermatology at Newcastle University, led the pioneering study with Dr Amy Bowman from his research group.

Professor Birch-Machin said: “As our bodies age we see that the bat…

Wild Wolves Are Bouncing Back From Extinction in Europe

Just two decades ago there were no wolves in Germany, after they were hunted to extinction a century ago.

“Wolves were not deliberately reintroduced into the wild in Germany, but returned naturally. They were first spotted 18 years ago, having wandered across the border from Poland,” reports the Telegraph.

They have since established a population of some 150 in eastern Germany and another 50 are roaming in western parts of the country.

A pack of wild wolves has been photographed roaming just 30 miles from the German city of Hamburg, in a sign of the species' remarkable comeback in northern Europe.

Just two decades ago there were no wolves in Germany, after they were hunted to extinction in the early years of the 20th century.

But now the population has become so extensive that a trainee forestry official was able to photograph a pack of eight openly wandering a woodland path just 30 miles outside Germany's second largest city.

"The wolves were only 80 meters away from me,"…

Man Leaves $3 Million Fortune to Create New Animal Rescue Farm

URBANA — An Urbana resident who passed away in December left his $3 million estate to establish an Animal Welfare League in Champaign County.

David Robert Wetzell, known as “Bob,” left specific guidelines in his will for establishing the shelter, which will be modeled after the Animal Welfare League of Clark County in Springfield, said Ronald Tompkins, executor of Wetzell’s estate.

Wetzell left instructions in his will for Tompkins to sell his assets and use the money to establish the shelter and purchase a secluded farm in Champaign County. It is to be used as an animal preserve, pet cemetery, dog training facility and rehabilitation home for unwanted pets. Tompkins said he will soon file inventory on Wetzell’s assets, which he estimated to be valued at $3 million.

Wetzell left no family behind when he passed away Dec. 6, 2014, at the age of 80, except for a few cousins who life far away, Tompkins said. He described Wetzell was a devoted pet owner and animal lover.


Daily Inspirational Quote - February 27, 2016

“Don’t belittle yourself. Be BIG yourself.”

Occasionally, we our own worst enemy. You know what I mean. Somebody will ask us to do something and we decline, saying we’re not up to it, don’t have the confidence, or the skills, etc. etc. The downside is that, if we do this long enough, we start to believe our own hype and our self-confidence takes a nosedive. Much, much better to say, okay, maybe I haven’t done this before or don’t have much experience but I’ll give it a go. If you keep putting yourself down others will too but, if you believe in yourself and are willing to try, look out World!


GivePhotos: Portraits for People Who've Never Been Photographed

"Given the utter ubiquity of photography in the USA, most Americans probably dont view photography as special. But in impoverished areas around the world, personal photos can be rare. On visits to her birthplace of Kolkata, India, Bipasha Shom frequently took portraits of people she met, and she was struck by how many people lacked access to a camera and had no family photos of her own." So she came up with an idea of how she could use instant film to bring photography to their doorsteps. Then she landed a set of donated instant cameras and film, and traveled back to India along with a photographer friend Julie Black, and her husband Chris Manley (who happens to be Director of Photography for the runaway hit series Mad Men). And just like that their project was launched, a heart-warming mission to gift photos to people who've never had access before to this simple pleasure.…

Daily Inspirational Quote - February 26, 2016

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan and, guess what they have planned for you? Not much!”

We’re all guilty of just drifting along, occasionally buffeted by the winds of life, blown here, blown there, allowing ourselves to be at the mercy of others. Some of us are fortunate enough to wake up, perhaps a tap from a piece of life’s driftwood knocks some sense into us. Each one of us has our own destiny and this relies on us actually taking charge of our own steering wheel of life, charting our course, and keeping to it. I know so many people who have given control of their wheel to others who, of course, are only focused on following their own route, and give no thought to their travelling companion’s dreams and aspirations. Go on, grab your own wheel!!


Estella's Brilliant Bus

Even after 50 years as an educator, Estella Pyfrom was not ready to slow down after retirement. When Estella realized that fewer students had access to computers after school, she and her husband spent their life savings on a mobile learning lab called Estella's Brilliant Bus. Now, Estella provides whatever services a community might need, from after-school tutoring to free food distribution. Her reward, the smiles on the faces of the children who look at her and say: "I did it."

After Two Centuries, Atlantic Salmon Return to the Connecticut River

For the first time since the American Revolution, wild Atlantic Salmon are spawning in the Connecticut River.

Industrial pollution and a series of dams constructed in the 1700s killed off the annual runs that used to feature 50,000 of the fish swimming upstream to lay their eggs — the largest such annual migration in North America at the time.

With new pollution controls becoming law, a restoration program in the 1960s tried to reintroduce the salmon to the river, which runs all the way from the mountains of New Hampshire through Connecticut and New York into the Atlantic Ocean, and in the 1970s, a captive breeding program tried to create a strain of salmon that conservationists hoped would eventually return to spawn in the river.

But the program ran into what Connecticut fisheries biologist Steve Gephard called “a perfect storm” of bad luck.

Salmon and other fish populations in the North Atlantic saw massive population declines in the 1990s as their food supply disappeared. Shifting ocea…

Connecticut Becomes Second State to End Veteran Homelessness

Any veteran who wants a home in Connecticut now has one. The state has become the second, after Virginia, to effectively end homelessness among veterans.

Connecticut created a coalition of state and federal government agencies, non-profit groups, and other organizations to launch a coordinated effort to make sure homeless vets had permanent shelter if they wanted it. The state also committed to spending a billion dollars on new housing and other help for the homeless.

“We will not stop here,” Governor Dannel Malloy said in his announcement Thursday. “We will keep working to end all chronic homelessness in Connecticut by the end of this year.”

Last year, the state became the first in the country to end chronic homelessness among veterans, defined as being without a home for one year coupled with a disabling condition, or having at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years.

Connecticut is one of several states and cities that signed onto a 2014 White House initiative to el…

Solar Power in US Sets New Records, Beats Natural Gas for the First Time

For the first time in history, solar beat out natural gas in new additions to generating capacity on the American electrical grid last year.

More than 29% of all new power capacity in the U.S. came from solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in 2015 – offering 7.3 gigawatts (GW) in additional renewable energy, a 17% increase over 2014.

Credit: Solar Market Insight
Graph by Solar Market Insight

Overall, solar now accounts for 25 GW of the U.S. power supply, up from just 2 GW in 2010.
Electrical utilities accounted for more than half the new installations, but residential installations accounted for a record breaking 2 GW of the total.

Sunny states in the west and south led the way with California, North Carolina, and Nevada topping the list for the most solar installations, but the fourth and fifth place slots went to Massachusetts and New York in the northeast.

Solar outperformed U.S. Energy Department forecasts for the year, and is part of a mix of renewable energy sources — including wind, water, …

Sleek 3-Wheeled Car to Get 84 mpg and Sell for Just $6,800–Meet the Elio

You may be seeing a lot of these three-wheeled, two-seat cars in the future because more than 50,000 people have already signed up to buy one when they roll off the assembly line late this year.

Priced at just $6,800, the American-made Elio is designed to save you money–not just when you purchase the vehicle, but at the gas pump, too.

Because of its aerodynamic shape, the car can go 84 miles per gallon — about twice as far as the most fuel efficient subcompacts — but still has a 672-mile range on a tank of gas. Its fuel efficiency means the Elio has a smaller carbon footprint than any of its four-wheeled cousins.

Prototypes have been touring the car show circuit around the United States in the past few months, and Elio Motors has just launched a national advertising campaign with commercials running on major cable channels including ESPN and FOX News networks.

Paul Elio created the company in 2009 with a goal of building a safe, fuel-efficient, and inexpensive car right in America.


Daily Inspirational Quote - February 25, 2016

“Some people are going to leave, but that’s not the end of your story….that’s the end of their part in your story.”

I’ve found this to be true as I’ve got older. When I look back it’s easy to see that, although I didn’t realize it at the time, when people left my life for any reason it was usually because it was the right time for us to walk our separate paths again. We had each taken and given what was necessary from and to each other while we walked the same path. How wonderful! A constant stream of people stepping onto our path to journey beside us, willing to share their lives and time. Some of them, at a time known only to fate, stepping back onto their own path, leaving us to continue our own journey and the others waiting ahead taking their turn to walk beside us.


How to Listen to Pain

In this thought-provoking Q and A, Greater Good's book review editor Jill Suttie asks author Brene Brown about the intricacies of her book 'Rising Strong.' One of the key points of the book is how we all react -- or 'listen' -- to the intense pain we may feel when we experience shame in our lives. And it is how we respond to those feelings that can either hinder our emotional well-being, or lead us to a new sense of courage and genuineness.

Why do we feel shame and how does shame change us?

According to Brené Brown, a researcher at the University of Houston, shame is an “intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.” It’s an emotion that affects all of us and profoundly shapes the way we interact in the world. But, depending on how we deal with it, shame can either shut us down or lead us to a new sense of bravery and authenticity.…

The 15 Most Healthy And Happy Cities in The US Are…

Want to be healthier, less stressed, and leave depression behind? You may want to move to Naples, Florida or nearby Marco Island and Immokalee, where well-being and love of community is highest in the nation.

The place with its Gulf breezes earned the top spot in this year’s Gallup-Healthways poll of 190 metro areas in the US.

The State of American Well-Being: 2015 Community Rankings annually weighs each city’s quality of life in five categories–purpose, social, financial, community and physical–to determine the happiest and healthiest places in America.

Top rated metropolitan areas in this year’s poll tended to feature lively culture and higher income levels, with half of them located along beaches.

The tri-city area of Naples, on Florida’s Gulf Coast, did not rank in the top ten last year, but a city located just 117 miles to the north, Sarasota, was voted number one – it fell to #3 in the latest survey.

Here are the top 15 cities for overall well-being:
1. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, …

Best Moments of First Reunion for ‘Friends’ in 12 Years (WATCH)

What keeps friends apart for 12 years? Successful careers, or maybe just that “Smelly Cat?”

Five of the six stars from the long-running American TV comedy, “Friends” reunited for one night to salute the driving force behind their sit-com – a television icon named James Burrows.

David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow sat together on stage during the all-star gala reminiscing about their ‘friend-ships’ and paying tribute to the creator and director of so many hit shows—“Friends” in the 1990s, but also “Cheers,” “Fraiser,” “Will and Grace,” and “Taxi,” among others. (See a second video...)

Matthew Perry, who is currently working on a stage play in London, couldn’t attend in person Sunday night but sent a video introducing his co-stars to the stage.

The actors reflected on how working together was the start of actual real-life friendships between them:

“We really just fell in love and adored each other instantly, and would hang out at each other’s houses…

Daily Inspirational Quote - February 24, 2016

“Instead of being afraid to start a new chapter in your life, be as excited as you are when reading a really good book and want to know what happens next.

We all know what it’s like to be engrossed in a good book. Longing to turn the page to find out what happens next but, at the same time, realizing that you’ll be one page closer to the end of the story! Life is like a book isn’t it? Made up of chapters we write on our way through it. Some of us are happy with the chapter we’re in and choose to stay there for most of the book but some of us, me included, want to write a brand new chapter to be included. How exciting to be able to choose what sort of characters and events to include, and to be able to welcome new ideas. Of course, there may be some uncertainty about how the chapter will end but we’re not going to let that stop us from putting pen to paper are we? Of course not. Now, where’s my pen……?


College Happiness Clubs

"College students often get stereotyped as stressed out and sleep-deprived. But at universities across the country, students are aiming to change that as they join clubs dedicated to a common, joyful purpose: spreading happiness. Northwestern University is home to one of the country's oldest college happiness clubs, which began unofficially in 2008 when a group of students handed out hot chocolate outside the library on a cold evening right before finals week. This semester the club hosted events like "Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles," where children's soap bubbles, bubble wrap and bubble gum were handed out for students' amusement." These seemingly light-hearted activities in campuses across the country have powerful implications for the overall well-being of students.

Heart Disease Runs In Your Family? Ingenious Blood Test Detects All Possible Conditions

An all-in-one test can now identify every known, inherited heart disease with a single blood sample.

The test identifies 174 faulty genes associated with heart and circulatory system conditions including heart rhythm disturbances, a propensity for high cholesterol levels, and aortic diseases — 17 known diseases and conditions in all.

The new test can identify family members at risk years earlier than before, allowing them to take action ranging from surgery to simple lifestyle changes to prevent heart trouble later on. It could benefit about a half-million people at risk of inherited heart disease in the UK alone. 
The British Heart Foundation, which funded a portion of the research to develop the new test, says it provides a “cheaper and more efficient diagnosis” than previous genetic tests.

“Genetic tests are invaluable when managing inherited heart conditions,” Dr. James Ware, one of the lead researchers said. “Without a genetic test, we often have to keep the whole family under regul…

Woman’s Blindness Apparently Reversed by Stem Cell Treatment

Sitting on the front steps of her Cockeysville, Md., home a year and a half ago, Vanna Belton was startled and thrilled when her eyes focused on a car's license plate. Essentially blind for more than five years, she suddenly could read the numbers and letters.

"When I realized I could see the license plates, we started walking around the neighborhood reading them," said Belton, recalling the excitement she and her fiancée felt at that moment. "We drove around and read store signs. The Pennsylvania Dutch Market. The tanning salon."

No one can explain exactly how Belton came to see again, not even the doctor who treated her as part of an unconventional stem cell study shortly before she regained limited vision.

Despite their promise, stem cell treatments often garner skepticism from experts who are still studying their safety and effectiveness. While stem cells can be grown into any type of cell in the body, scientists generally believe proving the cells can repair …

New Study Shows Meditation Changes Both Brain and Body

It isn’t just in your head. A scientific study shows mindfulness meditation really does reduce stress and “rewire” the brain to be less reactive.

There has been anecdotal suggestions that mindfulness meditation, which involves being aware and non-judgmental in each moment, helps the brain and body relieve stress. However, there were problems with studying its effects scientifically—until researchers at Carnegie Mellon University figured out a way to create a placebo for comparison between groups.

The scientists found 35 unemployed people under stress from their job searches. All were given brain scans and blood tests to measure levels of inflammation and and levels of cortisol — a chemical related to stress.

They were then put through a three-day program to test the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation.

Half the group was taught actual mindfulness meditation and practiced it for 25 minutes a day for three consecutive days. The mindfulness group “paid close attention to bodily sensation…

At 106, She Breaks Into Jig Upon Meeting President & First Lady -WATCH

A woman who has lived for 106 years thought she would never live to see a day that she would walk into the White House, but she did—and she not only walked up to President Obama and First Lady, she sauntered and danced with them both.

Virginia McLaurin came to Washington, D.C. to celebrate Black History Month, after having witnessed more than a century of it herself.

The spirited centenarian couldn’t keep still when she met Barack and Michelle Obama, booming a loud hello and almost running across the room to celebrate the moment.

While the President worried about her falling down, Michelle Obama beamed, “I want to be like you when I grow up.”

Daily Inspirational Quote - February 23, 2016

“Without the darkness the stars and moon could not shine.”

I don’t think I am the only one who enjoys looking at the moon and the stars in the night sky. Isn’t it humbling to know that, in the great scheme of things, we are all only tiny, tiny specks when compared to the wonders above us? This could also apply to each of us personally in that perhaps the sad or troublesome situations we experience, although seeming dark at the time, enable us to appreciate it more when we enjoy happy, carefree times, as if the stars and the moon have appeared to show that there is hope out there beyond the darkness.


Stop Trying to Be Creative

Writer Christie Schawnden investigates how the creative process works using the example of the story behind one of her own articles. Interwoven with her journey are glimpses of her conversations with computer scientist and AI researcher Kenneth Stanley on the topic of creativity. Schwanden shares personal insights and explores research-backed ideas on some of the surprising secrets that are at the root of creative innovations -- blind searching and an openness to discovering the novel.

Developing Your Energetic Senses

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, smells, taste, or touch? When you determine your stronges…

Casting a Circle for Clairvoyant Readings

Casting a circle is a practice that makes use of the life force energy that pervades all things, which is often thought to be the mechanism through which clairvoyant visions are delivered. Casting a circle constructs a circle out of energy on the astral plane. The main purpose for casting a circle before a clairvoyant reading is to hold the energy out of which clairvoyant visions are made close to you for long enough to achieve an optimal clairvoyant reading. A secondary purpose for casting a circle is to exclude any negative energy or entities from your person during a clairvoyant reading, if you are concerned that they may influence your visions by making them disturbing or inaccurate.

Casting a circle can be very simple or incredibly complex. For beginners, I'll be making the circle casting as simple as possible to be effective for clairvoyant readings. For that reason, I'm going to omit or make optional a lot of the extra tools and techniques that can be used. If you happen…

A Week of Psychic Development

Developing your psychic abilities to the next level can take time, but if you don't take that first step you might not make time for the opportunity. Here are five days of psychic development exercises that you can try for yourself. I've given you the weekend off, which is a good idea if you want to save your energy. By the end of this week, you should be able to decide whether you can fit psychic development into your life at this time, and how far you'd like to take it.

Daily Inspirational Quote - February 22, 2016

“Sometimes you have to move on without certain people. If they’re meant to be in your life, they’ll catch up.”

I believe this is very true for every one of us on our wonderful journey through life. We meet so many people on the way, some at our side the full distance but many others joining us for just a short way before leaving us to carry on without them. Personally, I am a great believer that everybody who touches our lives, even for just a moment, does so for a reason. I also believe that, although someone may have journeyed with me for a while then fallen behind while I went on, if it is meant, they will again walk beside me in the future as they have a reason to be there and a purpose to serve. It is as it is meant to be.


Acting from the Heart: An Exploration of Generosity

"For me generosity comes when you're in a state of equanimity. So it has nothing to do with the state or the context that you're in. It's about a radical acceptance of life -- as it is. And when you do that, then you realize that, "Oh, I don't want anything from it so what can I do for it?" It's almost like this natural state of service happens... If you're able to accept life as it is, no matter if it is good or bad, or even if it is in transition, if you can accept life as it is, then I think that becomes the basis of real generosity." In this thought-provoking conversation, author Jacob Needleman, and Nipun Mehta the founder of ServiceSpace dialogue around what it means to truly 'act from the heart'.

How Extroverted Introverts Interact Differently With The World

Your whole life you’ve been confusing people - including yourself. Social interactions can either recharge or drain your social batteries. Parties can make you feel alive, switched on, and your most confident - or completely bored, annoyed and withdrawn. You’re resilient and sensitive at the same time. Very social but rarely out. You enjoy being the center of attention - there are days when you think out loud, and you rarely care. And then there are days when you over-think everything, rarely thinking out loud, your annoying inner monologue kicking in. The entirety of your being is a conundrum.

You need constant mental stimulation. You hate first dates. “Please anything but small talk” you think to yourself. Unlike a real extrovert, small talk stresses you out like crazy - you need deeper conversations to make you feel alive. At times you physically can't stand talking on the phone. You’ll screen your phone calls - even from your closest friends. It’s too intrusive for you. Friends…

The Best Place In America To Retire If You Are Sick

We’ve all seen those best- places-to-retire lists. Inevitably, they are based on low taxes, good weather, or lots of activities. But how about this metric: Where will you get the best care if you are old and frail?

Hint: Oregon is good. Rural Louisiana is not.

The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, which has access to an enormous amount of Medicare data, has mapped the quality of local health care for older adults throughout the country and created a useful scorecard. Where are you most likely to be hospitalized, or be readmitted to the hospital, or get useless tests or dangerous drugs? Where will you spend those most time seeing doctors?  The study is based on 2012 Medicare data.

It turns out that there is enormous variation across the country in the way older adults get medical care, and some troubling patterns across these different measures. There are some parts of the country where older adults are likely to get good care. And there are others where it is l…

Apple vs. The FBI: What You Need to Know

CNET breaks down what's at stake in the battle between Apple and the FBI over an iPhone that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters.

Apple says its fight not to help the FBI unlock a cellphone that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters is about security and privacy for everyone, about the U.S. government trying to compel a public company, using a 227-year-old law, to compromise its most important products, and about setting a "dangerous precedent" that gives the U.S. authority to ask it and other businesses to change their products in the future.

The FBI and the Department of Justice say it's about making sure Americans aren't in jeopardy, about fighting terrorists who are using increasingly sophisticated communication tools, and about a reasonable request to gain evidence from a single iPhone.

Daily Inspirational Quote - February 21, 2016

“Some people are going to reject you, simply because you shine too brightly for them, and that’s okay, keep shining."

If you are reading this quote you are probably a very spiritual, sensitive soul and, as such, possess your own “inner light.” You may be on your own spiritual journey and therefore constantly learning and growing in knowledge and becoming comfortable in your own power. In a perfect world everybody you know would be encouraging you and proud of what you are accomplishing. However, in our less than perfect world, this is often not the case as one person or several people around you can become envious of your newfound wisdom and focus in your life and may gradually distance themselves or indeed may attempt to deter you from staying on your spiritual path. Stay focused and do not allow anybody, no matter who they are, to have the power to dim your precious “light.”


Gotta Have Sole

When Nicholas Lowinger was 5 years old, he was excited to show off his new light-up sneakers. But he soon realized that the kids in the homeless shelter he was visiting with his mom were living in circumstances very different from his own. Most were wearing tattered old shoes; some didn't even have a pair of shoes to call their own. By the time Nicholas was 12, he started a project to give brand new shoes to kids in the shelters of Rhode Island. Since then, he has given away shoes to over 44,000 children in shelters in 43 states throughout the United States.