Showing posts from February 28, 2016

Libraries Install Exercise Bikes So College Students Can Study and Work Out

Alabama’s Troy University is stepping up their exercise game, big time.

Work out bikes with laptop stands have been installed at the Troy and Dothan campus libraries so students can exercise and study at the same time.

Since exercise is proven to positively affect health and wellness, the installations could have a huge impact on the mental state of hardworking students.

“We are also ordering 6 elliptical machines that can go under desks that we will be adding to this room,” said the Troy University Libraries Facebook. ”Most likely more bikes will be added as well.”

Thirsty Koala Sits On a Bicycle to Get Water From Cyclists (LOOK)

These Australian cyclists were joined by a surprisingly spry little companion while journeying through Adelaide on Tuesday.

A koala by the side of the South Eastern Freeway accosted the travelers during their break from pedaling. The wee marsupial crawled up on the nearest bicycle wheel and took a hefty drink of H2O while animal services was called.

The thirsty koala was later given a clean bill of health and released back into the wild, while his new Facebook photo accrued some fame.

Scientists Find Cancer’s ‘Achilles Heel’

Researchers have developed a new cancer treatment that targets the “Achilles heel” of cancer cells and hope to test it in two year’s time, according to the journal Science.

Researchers from MIT, Harvard and University College London have found a way to locate unique markings within a cancerous tumor that allow the body’s immune system to target the disease.

One problem with developing vaccines to target cancer is that the malign cells are not identical but in fact heavily mutated.

“Many cancers are not standing still but they keep evolving constantly,” Dr. Marco Gerlinger of the Institute of Cancer Research told the BBC. “These are moving targets which makes it difficult to get them under control.”

Unlike previous attempts at developing cancer vaccines, researchers believe they have found a way to trace a tumor’s surface proteins, which are both the cause of cancerous mutation and a recurring “flag” in the constitution of a tumor.

Charles Swanton, a cancer expert who led the study, said th…

Daily Inspirational Quote - March 5, 2016

“Trying to make someone happy who prefers the drama of being miserable, is a guaranteed way to create your own drama of misery.”

Some people are just going to be miserable and view the world and everybody in it as conspirators’ in a plot to make their existence unbearable. It won’t matter how much you do, or put yourself out for them, or even just offering a sympathetic ear, whatever. They have no intention of budging from the misery pit they have created and dug themselves into. Trust me, there is no point in trying to pry them loose or throwing them a lifeline, they’ll resist the former and ignore the latter. You’ll only be wasting your precious time and energy so why bother? They will end up dragging you into the pit with them and perhaps get some measure of happiness because then they’ll know you’re miserable too. Learn when to walk away and leave them to it. You know it’s for the best.


Bhutan's Dark Secret to Happiness

"Citizens of one of the happiest countries on Earth are surprisingly comfortable contemplating a topic many prefer to avoid. Is that the key to joy?...In Bhutanese culture, one is expected to think about death five times a day. That would be remarkable for any nation, but especially for one so closely equated with happiness as Bhutan. Is this secretly a land of darkness and despair? Not necessarily. Some recent research suggests that, by thinking about death so often, the Bhutanese may be on to something."

On a visit to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, I found myself sitting across from a man named Karma Ura, spilling my guts. Maybe it was the fact that he was named Karma, or the thin air, or the way travel melts my defences, but I decided to confess something very personal. Not that long before, seemingly out of the blue, I had experienced some disturbing symptoms: shortness of breath, dizziness, numbness in my hands and feet. At first, I feared I was having a heart attack, …

Tiger Woods Amazed as 11-yo Hits Hole-in-One Next to Him (WATCH)

An 11-year-old boy from Corpus Christi, Texas, hit a hole-in-one on Wednesday at a club that’s home to a new golf course created by Tiger Woods, reports ABC News.

Taylor Crozier was among a group of youngsters from the Southern Texas PGA Junior Golf Club invited to the Bluejack National, a resort-style community in Montgomery where members can play on the first Woods-designed course in the U.S. The kids were there to take a swing at the opening of The Playgrounds, a shorter, 10-hole course.

When he stepped up to the tee, Taylor was introduced by the commentator as a “man with a perfect school attendance record until today.” Woods was standing right behind him, watching the shot. When Taylor hit the hole-in-one, Woods held his head in his hands, then gave Taylor a hug and a high-five, saying, “Are you kidding me right now?” “[The] inaugural shot and he holes it!” Woods shouted to the crowd.

Woods took to Twitter to celebrate Taylor’s achievement: “First hole at The Playgrounds and this ha…

Homeless Man Hands Out Resumes Instead of Asking for Cash-and Lands Job

A homeless man needed more than a place to sleep.

He needed a job, so he parked himself outside a grocery store and turned one encounter into a networking opportunity — and it swung his life around.

Frederick Callison had come to California two years ago for a job with the Salvation Army, but it didn’t work out and the experienced line cook wound up on the streets.

When Michael Marteen first spotted him, the homeless man was sitting on a sleeping bag with a stack of resumes. Marteen asked to read a copy and Callison stood up and treated the discussion as a job interview.

His resume listed eight past employers and touted Callison’s experience, including 35,000 hours of experience and seven years in kitchen management.

The homeless man even had his Social Security card, food handler’s certificate, and other documents ready to show that he could start right away.

Marteen posted the resume to his Facebook page and put out the word to people he knew in the catering industry.

In less than a week, …

Ukraine Renames Street: From ‘Lenin’ to ‘John Lennon’

A Ukrainian governor has ordered that a street named after Vladimir Lenin should be renamed “John Lennon Street.”

Lenin Street in the village of Kalini in Zakarpattia, Ukraine’s westernmost region, will soon no longer bear the name of the Soviet leader and will instead honor the late Beatle.

Ukraine is currently undergoing a government-led campaign of de-communization, in which names and symbols celebrating the USSR are to be gradually removed from view.

The government has vowed to preserve any items or sites that are deemed culturally important; however, a list has been drafted of over 900 towns and villages currently named after Soviet figures that are to be given new names. Streets and squares are also being gradually renamed across the majority of the country. The only areas of Ukraine where this campaign is not going ahead is in the rebel-held parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

The governor of Zakarpattia signed off a decree on Wednesday ordering the changes of names of 10 streets…

Drink 1 to 3 Extra Cups Of Water Daily For Weight Loss, Health -Study

For people who want to control their weight or reduce their intakes of sugar, sodium and saturated fat, water may be just what the doctor ordered.

A new study that examined the dietary habits of more than 18,300 U.S. adults found the majority of people who increased their consumption of plain water – tap water or from a cooler, drinking fountain or bottle – by 1 percent reduced their total daily calorie intake as well as their consumption of saturated fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol.

People who increased their consumption of water by one, two or three cups daily decreased their total energy intake by 68 to 205 calories daily and their sodium intake by 78 to 235 grams, according to a paper by University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An. They also consumed 5 grams to nearly 18 grams less sugar and decreased their cholesterol consumption by 7 to 21 grams daily.

“The impact of plain water intake on diet was similar across race/ethnicity, education and inco…

Machine Creates Beautiful Music with 2000 Marbles and Bells (MUST SEE)

Several instruments in one machine played by one man using 2000 marbles? It certainly makes for one beautiful song.

Martin Molin of the Swedish band Wintergatan just published a debut video of his completed ‘Magical Marble Machine’ following a tedious 14-month building process staged in a windowless Gothenberg building.

The machine, containing bells, bass, and percussion, is powered by a crank lever on the side. Cranking the contraption sends marbles up to the top of the machine which then drops them onto the various instruments.

The results are magical.

Since its premier on Leap Day, the music video has generated millions of views and Mr. Molin promises an audio-only track to come and summer concerts on the horizon.

Daily Inspirational Quote - March 4, 2016

“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.”

Are you like me and prone to being more or less at the beck and call of everybody and everything? I thought so! It has taken me a very long time to learn and actually be able to say NO when I should do. There have been people in my past who thought that anytime they needed me to be somewhere, do something, or just create my day around them, that I would be happy to drop everything I might have already planned and just do it. I am happy to tell you that this changed the day I realized that MY time was precious. Not their fault but mine for allowing them to use me this way until it practically became a way of life. Then one day I “woke” up and decided that I wasn’t going to be available or “on call” unless it suited me. It wasn’t easy and took a while for everybody to get the message but I am happy to …

Inspiring Women Speaking Up for Women

In 2014, at the tender age of 17, Malala Yousafzai was named co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts in fighting for the rights of all children to an education. Malala's story is just one of 23 that were chosen by Salt -- a magazine devoted to celebrating those who offer authentic leadership -- as women who are making a transformative impact of the lives of other women around the world.

This list of inspiring women who are championing women has been selected from Salt magazine’s May 2015 cover story, ‘100 Inspiring Women’.

In the face of adversity, these 23 female change agents are making a transformative impact on the lives of women around the world. We applaud them. While the equality movement is empowered by both men and women, this article highlights the extraordinary women doing extraordinary things for equality issues.

Breakthrough Therapy Greatly Reduces Future Suicide Attempts by Forging Connection

A new breakthrough study may finally provide mental health professionals with a glimpse into how to keep suicide cases from trying to take their own lives again after leaving the hospital.

Despite our growing willingness to address the issue of suicide and some minor victories, there’s been overall little headway made in reducing the number of deaths from it.

For instance, among adults aged 35 to 64, the annual, age-adjusted suicide rate has actually substantially increased since the turn of the millennium, from 13.7 deaths per 100,000 people in 1999 to 17.6 deaths in 2010, a 28 percent greater incidence. Similarly, there’s been no major advances in creating a widely adoptable psychiatric intervention that aims to prevent suicide for those especially at risk — namely people already hospitalized for a suicide attempt. A new study published Tuesday in PLOS Medicine, however, may provide us with the first glimpses of such a breakthrough.…

Adele Surprises 12-Year-old Irish Fan with Bedside Visit

Adele surprised a struggling young fan with a “Hello” right at her bedside.

The little girl, defying the odds of survival, had a “dream come true” when the superstar singer came to visit her home.

Twelve-year-old Rebecca Gibney has cerebral palsy and epilepsy, and is blind. Doctors told her last year she only had six months to live, but she’s beaten their predictions.

Rebecca has been bedridden for some time now, but there are bright moments in her day — when she hears a song by Adele, she breaks out in a smile and sings along.

When Rebecca’s mom, Tracy, learned the singer’s tour was coming to Belfast, Northern Ireland where they live, she appealed to Adele on social media and through an online petition to visit the little girl.

Adele surprised the Gibney’s on Tuesday, stopping off at their house for a visit before inviting Rebecca and her mother to the concert as her guests later that night.

Tracy was shocked that her appeals actually reached the star.

“I will never forget this day and nigh…

Daily Inspirational Quote - March 3, 2016

“Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.”

What a wonderful saying! I totally agree and do my best to do what I am told (which doesn’t happen often believe me!). Not so easy though considering the trials and tribulations life has a habit of placing before us on our way is it? What’s the alternative though? Think, “poor wee me”, curl into a ball and hide away? Nope! I am reminded of the song “Always look on the bright side of life”, which I read recently is the favorite tune played at funerals. No more to be said really is there? Now off you go and decide what you want to do next to bring a smile to your face and a glow in your heart.


The Art of Sho: A Calligraphers's Pilgrimage

Filmmaker Jerry Hsu spent four months observing Dr. Ronald Nakasone practicing the art of calligraphy, and witnessed how this art requires contemplation, perseverance and single-minded concentration. The art of "sho" or "writing", can be properly called abstract art. It is nonfigurative, nonobjective, and nonrepresentational. The process of the work is one of experimentation and distillation. All of these elements are joined harmoniously together within this formless form. Sit back and watch this creation as a form of meditation.

On the Day I Die

On the die I day a lot will happen.
A lot will change.
The world will be busy.

On the day I die, all the important appointments I made will be left unattended.
The many plans I had yet to complete will remain forever undone.
The calendar that ruled so many of my days will now be irrelevant to me.
All the material things I so chased and guarded and treasured will be left in the hands of others to care for or to discard.

The words of my critics which so burdened me will cease to sting or capture anymore. They will be unable to touch me.
The arguments I believed I’d won here will not serve me or bring me any satisfaction or solace.  
All my noisy incoming notifications and texts and calls will go unanswered. Their great urgency will be quieted.
My many nagging regrets will all be resigned to the past, where they should have always been anyway.

Every superficial worry about my body that I ever labored over; about my waistline or hairline or frown lines, will fade away.
My carefully crafted image, th…

Hives Made of Mushrooms Could Save Bee Colonies from Collapse

A mushroom farmer and a scientist have created a beehive containing fungi that might just be the key to saving the imperiled honey bee.

Farmer Paul Stamets started thinking there might be a possible relationship between his crop of mushrooms and bee health after he watched the insects in his garden eating the root-like filaments called mycelium.

With bee populations collapsing since the 1980s and threatening world food supplies, scientists are groping for answers. At least 61 culprits–from viruses to pesticides–are to blame, but one of the biggest threats is a mite that exploded on the scene in 1987.

The lifespan of the varroa destructor mite is so short-lived, it has been able to evolve and develop resistance to pesticides that have been previously able to control it.

Stamets launched a research project — backed by the National Institutes of Health and the Defense Department — that eventually allowed him to show that compounds in certain mushrooms can boost a bee’s immune system.


Tennis at Brazil Open: Shelter Dogs as ‘Ball Boys’ Promote Adoptions

Shelter dogs from Sao Paolo’s slums were center court for an exhibition tennis match at the Brazil Open.

The four pups — Frida, Mel, Isabelle and Costela — were trained to be “ball dogs.” They proved to be great at retrieving stray shots — they just weren’t so good at returning the tennis balls.

There were plenty of delays in the game as players, coaches, and dog trainers on the sidelines coaxed the pups to give up their bright, new toys.

The match was designed to raise awareness of rescue dogs nationwide and the need for people to adopt them.

WATCH: Tennis Pro’s Honesty Costs Him the Match, But Wins Hearts w/ Sportsmanship
The competitors, Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena and Portugal’s Gastao Elias, played along — but the dogs were the big winners of the match.

Pen Pals Finally Embrace With Tears After Writing For 38 Years (WATCH)

These two pen pals have been great friends since they were kids, but now, after finally meeting each other for the first time in 38 years, they’re closer than ever.

Beth Graham and Sandi Fisher first discovered their friendship in the 5th grade when they both replied to the old children’s television show Big Blue Marble to request a pen pal. They’ve had a few brief phone conversations in the past but long-distance calls were too expensive for chatting.

Over the years, their friendship has evolved to include emailing and Facebook messaging. Then came the day when Sandi was visiting Pennsylvania from Colorado and the two finally came together face to face after almost four decades.

It was bliss.

“You’re shorter than I imagined!” says a joyful Beth through tears.

Daily Inspirational Quote - March 2, 2016

One acorn can start a forest.
One smile can begin peace.
One hand can help another.
One touch can show care.
Be that ONE today!

This seems so very apt at the moment with all the terrible things going on in the world today. Most of us wish peace for our fellow human beings who are suffering terribly in the midst of horrendous wars, starvation, or disease. How very, very fortunate we are not to be suffering in the same way. However, the one thing we are capable of doing is showing our support in any way we can. This may involve donating food or clothing, a monetary contribution no matter how small the amount, or volunteering our time, etc. If each and every one of us could commit to doing at least one of these can you imagine the power and force that would be created from the first “acorn”, i.e. the first step in actually doing and not just talking. What a difference we could all make in the lives of those so much less fortunate than we are.


Messy Works: Self-Organized Learning in the Classroom

Sugata Mitra's "Hole in the Wall" experiment in self-organized learning has garnered a lot of attention since it first begun in 1999 and won a TED prize in 2013. It demonstrated that a group of students working together, motivated by a deep question and with access to a computer, could produce amazing results. But few self-organized learning environments exist in traditional education. Maybe it's time to change that...

Daily Inspirational Quote – March 1, 2016

“Remember anyone can love you when the sun is shining. In the storms is where you learn who truly cares for you.”

As most of us know through experience this is very true. We’ve all had people in our lives who are happy to make themselves available to party with us or join us in carefree pursuits etc. It’s when we reach out during the troubling, worrisome times, that we scrabble around in vain to find them. They don’t want to be involved in providing a sympathetic ear, monetary assistance, physical aid, etc. etc., so distance themselves until our own personal “storm” has passed. Then, and only then, do they take the time to seek us out in order to reconnect and get the party started up again. If we have any sense at all we’ll have noticed their absence and their retreat into the background and, you know what, wouldn’t it make sense and feel good just to leave them there?


Peace Fleece: Spinning A Good Yarn

"Peace Fleece started as an act of protest, a way of challenging the continuation of the Cold War...Founded on the mantra of 'peace through trade,' Pete and Marty combined American and Soviet wool into yarn -- it was detente through domestic art." Read on to learn how Pete used this practice to deal with his psychological wounds from memories of Vietnam and how this project blossomed into a company that promotes peace even today.

Monarch Butterfly Population More Than Triples Over Last Year

Try to imagine 10 acres of woodland fields and branches dripping with butterflies. That’s what the remarkable comeback of the monarch species looked like this winter following the annual migration.
Three-and-a-half times as many monarchs as the year before returned to their home in the central Mexico mountains this winter.

Each year, the black and orange insects migrate 3,400 miles south to the tropical climate. Their numbers had been falling in recent years, until a resurgence in 2014. This year’s increase has been even greater.

It’s impossible to actually count all the individual butterflies, but because they huddle so closely together, scientists and conservationists add up all the land area the monarchs cover. This winter it came to 10 acres of butterflies — up from a record low of 1.66 acres just two years earlier.

It’s a strong recovery, but still has a long way to go to match the 44 acres of butterflies from 1996.

Mexico, the U.S., and Canada have all committed to helping the monarc…

Oscars 2016: Chris Rock Nails It –Watch the Funny, Biting Monologue

Chris Rock hosts the 88th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

It was worth the wait.

Chris Rock confidently walked onstage at the 88th Academy Awards and delivered a topical, funny, biting, controversial and even philosophical monologue in response to an awards season dominated not by talk of movies, but of a simple hashtag.

Of course he was funny, opening by calling the diversity-challenged Oscars “the white People’s Choice Awards” and dryly remarking on the number of black actors in the opening montage of nominated films.

He admitted he felt pressure to drop out as host in the wake of #OscarsSoWhite social media protests and boycotts.

“I thought about quitting. I thought about it really hard,” Rock said. “But I realized they’re going to have the Oscars anyway. They’re not going to cancel the Oscars because I quit. And the last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart.”

And Hart wasn’t the only target of a well-timed Rock punchline. He praised Paul Giamatti as “the…

New Material Evokes Indoor Solar Cells That Can Capture Indirect Ligh

Anthony Cuthbertson
Posted with permission from Newsweek

A scientific breakthrough with the “wonder material” graphene has opened up the possibility of indoor solar cells that capture energy from indirect sunlight, as well as ambient energy from household devices.

Researchers from the University of Surrey in the U.K. studied the eyes of moths to create sheets of graphene that they claim is the most light-absorbent material ever created. The energy capture method could be used to power Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as smart clothing, wearables and smart wallpaper.

“We realized that the moth’s eye works in a particular way that traps electromagnetic waves very efficiently,” Professor Ravi Silva, head of the Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey, tells Newsweek . “As a result of our studies, we’ve been able to mimic the surface of a moth’s eye and create an amazingly thin, efficient, light-absorbent material made of graphene.”

Graphene, first created in a laborat…

Now You Have Everything

An Excerpt from Reaching for Insights: Stories of Love, Faith, and the Kitchen Sink, by Mitch Rosenzweig

At my house, everybody used to help out. And it seems it may be that way around the world. Why, it's is almost as much of a tradition as the meal itself. After hours of fussing in the kitchen and an equal amount of feasting, laughing, and dessert-eating we all seemed to bond again around getting the remains cleaned up. The table had been so full there was barely room for our plates. A dish for everything - and everything delicious. But with all the anticipation and most of the food gone, the used dishes were piled on every surface and overflowing. From fine china to burnt bean casserole, the debris was everywhere. You would have thought we fed the 7th Marines.

We didn't have a dishwasher; we had five of them - and dryers too. Wrap, box, bag and put away the leftovers and scale the mountain of dishes. Scrape, soak, wash, rinse, dry and put away. It seemed endless. Although the…

The Zone

An Excerpt from Reaching for Insights: Stories of Love, Faith, and the Kitchen Sink, by Mitch Rosenzweig

At the gym, some of the equipment has them built right in; you just grab them and they tell you all kinds of information. Ideally, you are supposed to be at a certain heart rate, to maximize your efforts. But to actually get an accurate reading you either have to stop what you're doing or, like me, hold on to the handles for dear life until it registers. Without them, it seems next to impossible to tell your heart rate or pulse. Just because you're tired or out of breath doesn't mean your workout has been effective. Too fast or too slow and you are not in the critical zone.

Many of us spend our days trying to chillaxe, relax, detox, and meditate away life's challenges. Many things seem to assault us each day that we need to overcome, get over, or run away from. We seek solace in our own unique ways to get rid of whatever the yuck might be. We dream of trouble-free whi…

5 Herbs for Healing

by Ellen Evert Hopman

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

Within the text of my book, The Druid Isle, various healing herbs are used by Druid healers. Here are five wound-healing plants that were once used by the ancient Celts.

Daily Inspirational Quote - February 29, 2016

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

Now who wouldn’t want to be the rainbow in someone else’s cloud? Not me! This tells me that the people I encounter every day, whether family, friend, colleague or just a stranger I exchange a smile or a few words with in passing, may be having a “cloudy” day. By this I don’t necessarily mean weather wise but rather that they might not be having the best day of their lives for whatever reason. If this is the case, when recalling their day at bedtime, wouldn’t it be nice if they fell asleep with a smile on their lips just because you or I became their very own rainbow for a brief moment in their cloudy day?


The Radical Work of Healing

"Angela Davis and her sister Fania Davis were working for social justice before many of today's activists were born. From their childhood in segregated Birmingham, Alabama, where their friends were victims of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, to their association with the Black Panther Party and the Communist Party, to their work countering the prison-industrial complex, their lives have centered on lifting up the rights of African Americans." This powerful interview with the two sisters shares more about their inspiring journeys and the many dimensions of working for social justice in today's world.

Daily Inspirational Quote - February 28, 2016

“When life knocks you down, roll over and look at the stars.”

I love this quote. I always think that perhaps life is knocking you down for just that reason….you need to lie there, lose yourself in the wonderful cosmos above, enjoy and wonder at the twinkling stars and astral bodies and just be…… Of course, I guess it also means that when life gets troublesome, difficult or just plain nasty, it’s more comforting isn’t it to believe that it’s going to get better, it will pass and we’ll be happy again. Remember that old song, “When you wish upon a star…….?” Lovely!


The Tipping Point

On her last photographic expedition to the Arctic, photographer Camille Seaman realized that the tipping point in global warming has been reached. Less than 500 miles from the North Pole, the snowless landscape was devastating. As we look at her beautiful photos we can ask with her, "What choices can I make to help shift humanity onto a healthier, more sustainable track?"