Showing posts from July 10, 2016

These Folks Worked Together to Claim World Record: 50 Million Trees Planted In One Day

India continued its massive push to reforest their nation on Monday when men and women in the state of Uttar Pradesh set out together to plant 50 million trees in a single day to improve the environment —and for bragging rights.

The feat would easily break a 2013 world record set by neighboring Pakistan for most trees planted by a team of 300 in 24 hours (847,275).

More than 800,000 turned out to plant the saplings, which were handed out by officials who will be monitored the plantings for growth with the use of aerial photos.

A government agency elsewhere in the nation had already claimed the record for most trees planted in 12 hours by a team in multiple locations, according to the Guinness record book. The Forest Department in Madhya Pradesh planted 14,372,801 trees with the participation of volunteers at 9,272 locations in July 2014.

India is spending $6.2 billion for tree planting across the country with a goal of 235 million acres of new forests by 2030.

It will take judges from the …

A Bolt of Insight Saved Him From Suicide; Now He’s Saving Kids in East L.A. With Meditation

After this Los Angeles man hit rock bottom, with partying, depression, and joblessness, only meditation provided a way out. Now he is taking his mindfulness practice to the city’s most vulnerable kids.

Swami Varadan was born in India and moved to Silicon Valley when he was two-years old. As an adult, he seemed to have it all, working on radio projects with Ryan Seacrest—until he lost it all.

Within the span of a month, after losing his car, his job and his home, Swami had no other choice but to move in with his parents in their small California apartment at the age of 31. Shortly after his arrival, Swami’s uncle, grandmother and best friend passed away.

After losing his best friend to cancer, Swami fell into a deep depression. Still unemployed, he dove into severely unhealthy patterns and addictions. He was 30 seconds away from suicide, literally walking in front of a train, when he experienced a profound spiritual awakening. He left the train track and promised to better his life, by he…

New Alzheimer’s Vaccine Could Be As Common As The Flu Shot

Dana Dovey

Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating, incurable illness affecting an estimated 5.4 million American adults. However, a new studysuggests that a vaccine for the condition could become a reality in as little as five years, and may one day become as much of a fixture in the lives of our aging population as the common flu shot.

The study comes from researchers at Flinders University in Adelaide Australia in partnership with a ­research team at the Institute of Molecular Medicine, and University of California, Irvine. Although the exact pathology of Alzheimer’s is not clear, scientists know that two proteins in the brain, amyloid-beta (a-beta) andtau, play an important role. When these proteins die, they can build up into plaques and block connections between brain nerve cells. Autopsies have shown that these plaques are always present in the brains of deceased Alzheimer’s patients, although Medical News Todayreported that it is not clear if there are other underlying processes a…

Electricity From Salt Water: A New Abundant Clean Energy Source From Rivers

Anthony Cuthbertson

River mouths around the world may soon provide an abundant new source of clean energy after scientists developed an efficient system to generate electricity from salt water.

Research published this week in the journal Nature outlines how significant amounts of power can be generated from a natural phenomenon that occurs when fresh water comes into contact with seawater through a membrane.

The process of osmosis that occurs can be harnessed to capture the electrical charge of the salt ions that travel through the membrane to balance the concentrations in each liquid.

“We had to first fabricate and then investigate the optimal size of the nanopore,” said Jiandong Feng, a researcher at EPFL’s Laboratory of Nanoscale Biology and lead author of the research.

“If it’s too big, negative ions can pass through and the resulting voltage would be too low. If it’s too small, not enough ions can pass through and the current would be too weak.”

Osmosis is seen as a promising source o…

Daily Inspirational Quote for July 16, 2016

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”

Easy to say but not so easy to do! We have all had times and, no doubt, will again, when we’ve felt the sun would never shine again for us. Times when perhaps life has pulled on boxing gloves and we’ve been defenseless against the ensuing onslaught. Some blows can be dodged or parried so they land lightly and, although painful, we can recover quickly. However, some blows may knock the very breath from us and bring us to our knees, defeated. However, we all have the spark of endurance, of living to fight another day within us so use this to lift your face to the sun and banish the shadows to the past where they belong.


How Poetry Captivates Us

Former US poet laureateRobert Hassdemonstrates the awe-inspiring power of poetry, in a series of readings that will make you say, “Woah!”

Robert Hassis one of contemporary American poetry’s most celebrated and widely-read voices. He served as U.S. Poet Laureate from 1995-1997 and has won both theNational Book Awardand thePulitzer Prize.More about Robert Hass.

Daily Inspirational Quote for July 15, 2016

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

Now doesn’t that just make perfect sense? I am a great believer in that old adage, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get” so, if there’s something I want to do, and I need someone else’s agreement, I ask! If I get turned down, at least I’m not always going to regret not asking and wondering about the outcome for a long time to come. If I get the green light, well done me for actually asking. That’s the “door.” Always be prepared to “knock” and ask and you just might be pleasantly surprised. What have you got to lose?


Bolivia's Law of Mother Earth

Imagine a lake having the same rights as a landowner. Or a condor with the same rights as a child. Under Bolivia's historic Law of Mother Earth, signed into law in 2010, all entities in nature have equal rights to humans. Based on Andean spiritual principles, the law was enacted in an effort to curb climate change and the exploitation of Bolivia's natural resources. It spells out seven specific rights that nature and all its constituents have. Read nature's rights and find out more about this groundbreaking, comprehensive plan to protect the environment.

--by Ryan Hewlett

Bolivia’s Law of Mother Earth (“Ley de Derechos de La Madre Tierra”) holds the land as sacred and holds it as a living system with rights to be protected from exploitation.

The law, which was passed by Bolivia’s Plurinational Legislative Assembly in November 2010 is part of a complete restructuring of the Bolivian legal system following a change of constitution in 2009.

It has been heavily influenced by a res…

Daily Inspirational Quote for July 14, 2016

“The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.”

Definitely! I believe that every one of us, no matter who we are or what kind of background or upbringing we had, all have our own unique gift or talent. The most advantageous and sensible route for us to take therefore is to realize this and take steps to use it to further our goals and ambitions in life. This is what defines us and how other people will perceive us, so we want to be the best we can in the eyes of the people who matter most to us, don’t we?


What Motivates You to Be Generous?

BySharon Begley

Recent research helps illuminate what's going on in our heads when we choose to give or to hold back.

I’m skeptical about the benefits ofcompassion meditation. Scientists, like humans generally, fall into the trap of looking for explanations that suit them best. Meditation may indeed do all that is claimed. But has research really demonstrated that fact? Researchers often find that after several weeks of compassion meditation practice, people perform more acts of kindness and caring outside the lab, such as visiting a retirement home or telling a coworker what they appreciate about her. They also report more feelings of compassion toward suffering people. They act more kindly toward strangers. They become less subject to the “bystander effect,” whereby everyone assumes that someone else will step up and come to the aid of a stranger in need. They more readily offer an exhausted woman a chair, as occurred in a 2015 study at Stanford University’s Center for Compassion a…

Daily Inspirational Quote for July 13, 2016

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”

Not something that ever occurred to me before I came across this quote but, when I did, it make perfect sense. It’s only natural that as we grow and mature into the person we become so our thoughts grow with us. We subconsciously allow our thoughts to shape us in what we come to believe and how we perceive the people or events we encounter on our journey through life. These thoughts become “who we are” and I, for one, never took the time to examine and explore just who I “am”. However, fortunately, for the past several years I have changed my thought pattern, mainly around what I am capable of achieving and what kind of person I ultimately want to be. Taking time to do this definitely changed my whole perception of my world. Perhaps time for some thought spring cleaning in your life….?


A Tribute to Mr. Happy Man

For over thirty years, Bermuda's Johnny Barnes stationed himself every morning for six hours at a busy traffic intersection. He made sure to tell all who passed by that he loved them. His delight and sincerity were infectious, and the people of the island loved him back. His service was a simple reminder of the power of happiness and loving-kindness to change any day for the better. Though Barnes passed away earlier this week, his spirit lives on in this beautiful film, and in all the hearts he touched.

Robin Williams, in private and public

"Robin Williams: A Singular Portrait"

CREDIT: Arthur Grace

Robin McLaurin Williams was an American actor and comedian. Starting as a stand-up comedian in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the mid-1970s, he is credited with leading San Francisco's comedy renaissance.

Born: July 21, 1951, Chicago, IL

Died: August 11, 2014, Paradise Cay, CA

Children: Zelda Williams, Zachary Pym Williams, Cody Alan Williams

Spouse: Susan Schneider (m. 2011–2014), Marsha Garces (m. 1989–2010), Valerie Velardi (m. 1978–1988)

Kids Need More Than Just Brains to Succeed

ByJill Suttie

A conversation with Paul Tough about his new book,Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why.

Science journalist Paul Tough first became fascinated by how kids in poverty overcome hardship when he met Jeffrey Canada, the charismatic founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone, which provided comprehensive support for the disadvantaged, low-income kids in central Harlem. HCZ had produced promising results for kids, especially in terms of graduation rates and test scores. Paul Tough But after chronicling Canada’s work in his book,Whatever it Takes, Tough was left with more questions: What did we actually understand about the lives of kids growing up in poverty? Of all the many obstacles they are facing, which are the ones that are making it most difficult for them to succeed at high levels? And, when kids are succeeding in disadvantaged circumstances, what is it that’s different about their lives? These questions led him to dive further into psychological research, where he discove…