Inspiring News Stories
Excerpts of Highly Inspiring News Stories in Major Media



Below are one-paragraph excerpts of highly inspiring news stories reported in the major media. Links are provided to the original stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These inspiring news stories are listed with the stories most recently posted to the website listed first. You can explore the same list with the most inspiring stories listed first. See also a concise list providing headlines and links to a number of highly inspiring stories. May these articles inspire us to find ever more ways to love and support each other and all around us to be the very best we can be.


Note: This comprehensive list of inspiring news stories is usually updated once a week. See also a full index to revealing excerpts of key news articles on several dozen engaging topics.

James Doty's Helper's High
2014-08-22, Daily Good/Nautilus
Posted: 2014-09-02 10:43:48
http://www.dailygood.org/story/838/james-doty-s-helper-s-high-bonnie-tsui

James Doty is not a subject under study at the altruism research center that he founded at Stanford in 2008, but he could be. In 2000, after building a fortune as a neurosurgeon and biotech entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, he lost it all in the dotcom crash. His final asset was stock in a medical-device company he’d once run called Accuray. But it was stock he’d committed to a trust that would benefit the universities he’d attended and programs for AIDS, family, and global health. Doty was $3 million in the hole. Everyone told him to keep the stock for himself. He gave it away—all $30 million of it. In 2007, Accuray went public at a valuation of $1.3 billion. That generated hundreds of millions for Doty’s donees and zero for him. “I have no regrets,” he said. Doty [formed]—with a seed donation of $150,000 from the Dalai Lama, whom Doty had met in a chance encounter—the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, or CCARE, part of Stanford’s School of Medicine. Many of its core findings mirror Doty’s own life. Emiliana Simon-Thomas, a neuroscientist, the science director of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, and former associate director of CCARE, sees Doty as a remarkable embodiment of what researchers are learning about altruism. “He rose to absurd riches and found that having every possible need met isn’t better,” she said. “That kind of question motivates him. He’s gone to the extremes of the pendulum, and he’s trying to find the place in between that will bring him the most rich and authentic sense of purpose.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Hemp Homecoming: Rebirth Sprouts in Kentucky
2014-08-16, ABC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2014-08-25 07:56:14
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/hemp-homecoming-rebirth-sprouts-kentucky-2...

Marijuana's non-intoxicating cousin is undergoing a rebirth in a state at the forefront of efforts to reclaim it as a mainstream crop. Researchers and farmers are producing the first legal hemp crop in generations in Kentucky, where hemp has turned into a political cause decades after it was banned by the federal government. The comeback is strictly small scale. Experimental hemp plots more closely resemble the size of large family gardens. Statewide plantings totaled about 15 acres from the Appalachian foothills in eastern Kentucky to the broad stretches of farmland in the far west, said Adam Watson, the Kentucky Agriculture Department's hemp program coordinator. The crop's reintroduction was delayed in the spring when imported hemp seeds were detained by U.S. customs officials. The state's Agriculture Department sued the federal government, but dropped the case Friday after reaching an agreement on importing the seeds into Kentucky. The seeds were released after federal drug officials approved a permit. Since then, test plots have shown the crop to be hardy and fast growing — and a potential moneymaker with a remarkable range of traditional uses including clothing, mulch, hemp milk, cooking oil, soap and lotions. "What we've learned is it will grow well in Kentucky," Comer said. "It yields a lot per acre. All the things that we predicted." Hemp's roots in Kentucky date back to pioneer days and the towering stalks were once a staple at many farms. "We've got an excellent climate for it, excellent soils for it," Watson said. "It's a good fit for Kentucky producers."

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Spurn materialism, pope tells young
2014-08-15, MSN
Posted: 2014-08-25 07:54:58
http://news.uk.msn.com/world/spurn-materialism-pope-tells-young

Pope Francis urged Asia's Catholic youth to renounce the materialism that afflicts much of their society today and reject "inhuman" economic systems that disenfranchise the poor. Francis, who received a boisterous welcome from tens of thousands of young people as he celebrated his first public Mass in South Korea, pressed his economic agenda in one of Asia's powerhouses where financial gain is a key barometer of success. In his homily, Francis urged the young people to be a force of renewal and hope for society. "May they combat the allure of a materialism that stifles authentic spiritual and cultural values and the spirit of unbridled competition which generates selfishness and strife," he said. "May they also reject inhuman economic models which create new forms of poverty and marginalise workers." Many link success with ostentatious displays of status and wealth. Competition among the young, especially for places at elite schools, starts as early as pre-nursery and is fierce. The country has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Francis said that in such "outwardly affluent" societies, people often experience "inner sadness and emptiness. Upon how many of our young people has this despair taken its toll?". South Korean Catholics represent only about 10% of the country's 50 million people, but their numbers are growing. Once a country that welcomed missionaries, South Korea now sends homegrown priests and nuns abroad to help spread the faith.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Pure Genius: How Dean Kamen's Invention Could Bring Clean Water To Millions
2014-06-16, Popular Science
Posted: 2014-08-25 07:53:46
http://www.popsci.com/article/science/pure-genius-how-dean-kamens-invention-c...

[Dean] Kamen is the closest thing to a modern-day Thomas Edison. He holds hundreds of patents, and his creations have improved countless lives. His current projects include a robotic prosthetic arm for DARPA and a Stirling engine that generates affordable electricity by using “anything that burns” for fuel. The Slingshot, more than 10 years in the making, could have a bigger impact than all of his other inventions combined. Using a process called vapor compression distillation, a single Slingshot can purify more than 250,000 liters of water per year, enough to satisfy the needs of about 300 people. And it can do so with any water source—sewage, seawater, chemical waste—no matter how dirty. For communities that lack clean water, the benefit is obvious, but to realize that potential, the Slingshot needs to reach them first. Which is where Coke comes in: The company is not just a soft-drink peddler; it is arguably the largest, most sophisticated distribution system in the world. That’s important because the scale of the water crisis the world faces is unprecedented. Water seems so abundant it’s easy to forget how many people don’t have a clean source of it. According to the World Health Organization, nearly a billion people lack ready access to safe drinking water, and hundreds of thousands die every year as a result.. Kamen, being Kamen, sees the current goals of the Coke partnership as the first step toward a much larger one. “Fifty percent of all the people in the developing world suffer from waterborne pathogens,” he says. “We’d empty half the beds in all the hospitals in the world if we just gave people clean water.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Dr Robin Carhart-Harris is the first scientist in over 40 years to test LSD on humans
2014-08-17, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-08-25 07:48:08
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/dr-robin-carhartharris-is-the-first-...

Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, a research associate in the Centre for Neuropsychopharma-cology at Imperial College, is ... the first person in the UK to have legally administered doses of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) to human volunteers since the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971. Born in Durham 33 years ago and raised in Bournemouth, he ... is a careful and articulate speaker, but his enthusiasm for his work is evident. "We're at an early, but certainly promising, stage. It's really exciting," he says. The potential scientific benefits of psychedelics ... fall broadly into two categories. They look like being medicinally or therapeutically useful, and they offer an unconventional view of the workings of the human mind, such that the age-old, so-called "hard problem of consciousness" might be made a little easier. Uniquely potent in minute doses, and with what Carhart-Harris calls "a very favourable physiological safety profile" – which is to say, it is non-toxic – this newly synthesised psychedelic drug opened new doors, in more ways than one. "You could say the birth of the science of psychedelics occurred with the discovery of LSD," says Carhart-Harris. "It was only then that we started to study them systematically." Cary Grant famously used it during his therapy, as did the Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson. Between the 1950s and 1965, when Sandoz withdrew the drug, there were more than 1,000 clinical papers discussing 40,000 patients. A 2012 meta-analysis of six controlled trials from the era found its clinical efficiency for the treatment of alcohol addiction to be as effective as any treatment developed since.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Iceland president: Letting banks fail helped recovery
2012-12-13, CNN
Posted: 2014-08-18 07:29:51
http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/13/business/iceland-recovery

Four years after the country let its debt-ridden banks fail, and as the country's growth looks set to far outpace the eurozone, [Iceland's president Olafur Ragnar Grimsson] said the decision not to save the banks was "the most difficult I ever had to make," but maintained it was the right one. "Allowing the banks to fail is one of the fundamental reasons Iceland is now in a strong recovery with respect to other European countries," he said. Now, according to Grimsson, "Iceland is better placed to benefit by maintaining our present position, rather than to let the EU speak on our behalf." The 69-year-old president pointed to Norway and Greenland -- two other Arctic economies and non-European Union members -- as role models. However, Grimsson said he was not sure whether Iceland's strategy with its banks could have been replicated by other countries with similar problems, such as Ireland. "Being part of the eurozone, they couldn't devalue their currency. But they could have adopted our policy with respect to the banks," he said. The Icelandic krona fell sharply as a result of the financial collapse, helping the country recover by increasing demand for exports. "There are still scars," Grimsson said, "but on the whole, the will of the Icelandic people has enabled us to recover and move confidently towards the future."

Note: Watch a great video interview of Iceland's president discussing this matter. Iceland has gone through tremendous transformation that has greatly supported both the people and the economy of this nation. Why is this getting so little press coverage?




Study: Running 5 Minutes a Day Could Add Years to Your Life
2014-07-29, Time Magazine
Posted: 2014-08-18 07:27:40
http://time.com/3053081/running-daily/

According to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, running five minutes per day can reduce an individual’s risk of premature death by about three years. Researchers found that people who ran less than an hour per week also saw an increase in lifespan, not just a decrease in risk of premature death. The study took place over the course of 15 years, testing participants ranging in age from 18-100. Separate research found that running more than 20 miles per week could take years off an individual’s life, providing further evidence that less can be more with regard to exercise. According to that research, individuals who exhibit consistent but moderate workout patterns are likely to live the longest.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Kentucky State president to share his salary with school’s lowest-paid workers
2014-08-05, Washington Post
Posted: 2014-08-18 07:25:48
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-leadership/wp/2014/08/05/kentucky-stat...

This summer, [Raymond Burse,] the interim president at Kentucky State University, made a large gesture to his school's lowest-paid employees. Burse announced that he would take a 25 percent salary cut to boost their wages. The 24 school employees making less than $10.25 an hour, who mostly serve as custodial staff, groundskeepers and lower-end clerical workers, will see their pay rise to that new baseline. Some had been making as little as $7.25, the current federal minimum. Burse, who assumed the role of interim president in June, says he asked the school's chief financial officer how much such an increase would cost. The amount: $90,125. "I figured it was easier for me to forgo that amount, rather than adding an additional burden on the institution," Burse says. The school ratified his employment contract on the spot — decreasing it from $349,869 to $259,744. He has pledged to take further salary cuts any time new minimum-wage employees are hired on his watch, to bring their hourly rate to $10.25. Burse describes himself as someone who believes in raising wages, and who also has high expectations and demands for his staff. "I thought that if I'm going to ask them to really be committed and give this institution their all, I should be doing something in return," Burse says. "I didn’t have any examples of it having been done out there and I didn’t do it to be an example to anyone else," Burse says. "I did it to do right by the employees here."

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Indian Man Single-Handedly Plants 1,360 Acre Forest In Assam
2012-04-03, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-08-18 07:24:18
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/03/indian-man-jadav-molai-pa_n_1399930....

More than 30 years ago, a teenager named Jadav "Molai" Payeng began planting seeds along a barren sandbar near his birthplace in India's Assam region. It was 1979 and floods had washed a great number of snakes onto the sandbar. When Payeng -- then only 16 -- found them, they had all died. "The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover. I sat down and wept over their lifeless forms," Payeng told the Times Of India. "It was carnage. I alerted the forest department and asked them if they could grow trees there. They said nothing would grow there. It was painful, but I did it. There was nobody to help me." Now that once-barren sandbar is a sprawling 1,360 acre forest, home to [many] varieties of trees and an astounding diversity of wildlife -- including birds, deer, apes, rhino, elephants and even tigers. The forest, aptly called the "Molai woods" after its creator's nickname, was single-handedly planted and cultivated by one man -- Payeng, who is now 47. Payeng has dedicated his life to the upkeep and growth of the forest. Accepting a life of isolation, he started living alone on the sandbar as a teenager -- spending his days tending the burgeoning plants. Today, Payeng still lives in the forest. He shares a small hut with his wife and three children and makes a living selling cow and buffalo milk. According to the Assistant Conservator of Forests, Gunin Saikia, it is perhaps the world’s biggest forest in the middle of a river. "[Locals] wanted to cut down the forest, but Payeng dared them to kill him instead. He treats the trees and animals like his own children. Seeing this, we, too, decided to pitch in," Saikia said.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




63% of Americans Actively Avoid Soda
2014-07-29, Time Magazine
Posted: 2014-08-18 07:22:51
http://time.com/3053000/63-of-americans-actively-avoid-soda/

The soda craze is going flat–at least, according to a new Gallup poll, which found that almost two-thirds of Americans actively avoid soda in their diet. While 41% percent of those polled in 2002 said that they try to steer clear of soda, that number has now jumped to 63%. Gallup’s poll shows that generally Americans are making more effort to have healthier diets. More than nine out of ten Americans try to include fruits and vegetables in their diets, and 52% said that they are trying to avoid sugars. Don’t start pouring one out for the dying soda business just yet, though. A 2012 Gallup poll also found that 48% of Americans drink at least one glass of soda a day.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




TD Bank surprises customers and scores a viral video hit
2014-07-31, CNN
Posted: 2014-08-11 13:13:51
http://money.cnn.com/2014/07/31/news/companies/td-bank-video

Why pay good money to release an advertisement when a viral video will do the trick? It worked for Canada-based TD Bank, which has a viral hit on its hands after filming customers who were surprised when an ATM spit out gifts -- very personal ones. In an effort to tell the world that the bank really knows its customers it turned one of its ATMs into what it called an "automatic thanking machine." The promotional video went viral, with more than 3.8 million views after just a week on YouTube. One woman received airline tickets to Trinidad so she can visit her only daughter, who has been diagnosed with cancer. Another mom got $2,000 to start savings plans for her two children, as well as tickets to take them to Disney Land. The recipient was ecstatic. "I've never been able to take my kids anywhere," she said. TD Bank (TD) customer Mike Jobin, a big baseball fan, got a Blue Jays hat and tee and the chance to throw out the first pitch at one of the team's games. The special ATM was located at a branch in Canada, where employees helped design the personalized gifts, the bank said in a statement. TD also gave away $20 bills to some customers at other TD locations.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Woman challenges tradition, brings change to her Kenyan village
2013-11-10, CNN
Posted: 2014-08-11 13:12:13
http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/14/world/africa/cnnheroes-ntaiya-girls-school/inde...

About 140 million girls and women worldwide have been affected by female genital mutilation, also known as female circumcision. But when [Kakenya] Ntaiya endured the painful ritual in 1993, she had a plan. She negotiated a deal with her father, threatening to run away unless he promised she could finish high school after the ceremony. Ntaiya's bold move paid off. She excelled in high school and earned a college scholarship in the United States. Her community held a fundraiser to raise money for her airfare, and in exchange, she promised to return and help the village. Over the next decade, Ntaiya would earn her degree, a job at the United Nations and eventually a doctorate in education. But she never forgot the vow she made to village elders. In 2009, she opened the first primary school for girls in her village, the Kakenya Center for Excellence. Today, Ntaiya is helping more than 150 girls receive the education and opportunities that she had to sacrifice so much to attain. The Kakenya Center for Excellence started as a traditional day school, but now the students, who range from fourth to eighth grade, live at the school. This spares the girls from having to walk miles back and forth, which puts them at risk of being sexually assaulted, a common problem in rural African communities. It also ensures the girls don't spend all their free time doing household chores. "Now, they can focus on their studies -- and on being kids," Ntaiya said. "It's the only way you can give a girl child a chance to excel." Students receive three meals a day as well as uniforms, books and tutoring.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Some Food Companies Are Quietly Dumping GMO Ingredients
2014-07-22, NPR
Posted: 2014-08-04 07:28:21
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/07/22/333725880/some-food-producers-are...

Ben & Jerry's has made a pledge to remove all GMO ingredients from its ice cream. The company has taken a vocal stand in recent years in support of states looking at legislation that would require manufacturers to disclose food that is made with genetic engineering. And Vermont recently passed a law that will require labeling starting in 2015. Ben & Jerry's co-founder Jerry Greenfield [then] launched a campaign to help fill the coffers of Vermont's crowd-sourced defense fund set up to combat lawsuits over its labeling law. Some other mainstream companies are carefully — and much more quietly — calibrating their non-GMO strategies. General Mills' original plain Cheerios are now GMO-free, but the only announcement was in a company blog post in January. Grape Nuts, another cereal aisle staple, made by Post, is also non-GMO. And Target has about 80 of its own brand items certified GMO-free. Megan Westgate runs the Non-GMO Project, which acts as an independent third-party verifier of GMO-free products, including Target's. She says her organization knows about "a lot of exciting cool things that are happening that for whatever strategic reasons get kept pretty quiet." The Non-GMO Project has certified more than 20,000 products since it launched in 2007, and Westgate says this is one of the fastest growing sectors of the natural food industry, representing $6 billion in annual sales.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




BRICS nations to create $100bn development bank
2014-07-15, BBC News
Posted: 2014-07-29 06:02:15
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-28317555

The leaders of the five BRICS countries have signed a deal to create a new $100bn development bank and emergency reserve fund. The BRICS group is made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The capital for the bank will be split equally among the five participating countries. The bank will have a headquarters in Shanghai, China and the first president for the bank will come from India. Brazil's President, Dilma Rousseff, announced the creation of the bank at a BRICS summit meeting in Fortaleza, Brazil on [July 15]. Despite their political and economic differences, the one thing these countries do agree upon is that rich countries have too much power in institutions like the World Bank and the IMF. Rousseff's comments made that feeling crystal clear - the BRICS countries, she said, have the power to introduce positive changes - ones that they think are more equal and fair. At first, the bank will start off with $50bn in initial capital. The emergency reserve fund - which was announced as a "Contingency Reserve Arrangement" - will also have $100bn, and will help developing nations avoid "short-term liquidity pressures, promote further BRICS cooperation, strengthen the global financial safety net and complement existing international arrangements". The creation of the BRICS bank will almost surely create competition for both the World Bank and other similar regional funds.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Doctors without orders
2014-06-30, The Intelligent Optimist
Posted: 2014-07-29 06:00:17
http://theoptimist.com/doctors-without-orders/

The Metropolitan Community Clinic, in Athens ... is no average health facility. The Metropolitan is a “social clinic,” where all the doctors and assistants commit themselves for a period of at least two years to provide free health care to uninsured sick people. And right now there are a lot of those in Greece. Cardiologist Giorgos Vichas is the inspired founder and director of the clinic. Two and a half years ago, when he looked around and saw what the economic crisis meant for more and more patients, he decided to start providing free health care. He rallied a number of his colleague friends, and together they started their clinic in the southern part of Athens. Vichas heads a team of some 100 doctors and 150 assistants. Many of them have a paid job apart from this work; some are jobless. The Metropolitan harbors all kinds of specialists: eye doctors, gynecologists, physical therapists, orthopedists, psychologists, cardiologists, dentists. The clinic offers diagnostics and medical treatment. On top of that, the chronically ill can come back for medication, follow-up examinations or psychological support. Since the clinic started up, some 25,000 patients have been treated. The Metropolitan accepts no financial donations. “If someone drops in offering a hundred thousand dollars,” says Vichas in his treatment room, “I write down on a piece of paper what our needs are and tell them, ‘Here you are—go and buy it wherever you want and bring it to us.’ That’s how donors get to know us and will get to know the patients we’re helping.” Most of all, the clinic needs medicine, which is also received through donations.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




When This New Zealand School Got Rid Of Playtime Rules, It Actually Got Safer
2014-01-28, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-07-29 05:58:21
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/28/new-zealand-school-no-rules_n_468186...

One school has found that eliminating rules can actually be a good thing. After Swanson Primary School in New Zealand got rid of rules during recess as part of a study, administrators saw a decline in rates of bullying, injuries and vandalism, as well as an increase in students’ ability to concentrate during class. The [Auckland University of Technology] and Otago University study ... eliminated recess rules in an effort to discover ways to promote active play. As a result, kids were more engaged in their activities. "The kids were motivated, busy and engaged. In my experience, the time children get into trouble is when they are not busy, motivated and engaged. It's during that time they bully other kids, graffiti or wreck things around the school," school Principal Bruce McLachlan [said]. Previously, the students were not allowed to engage in playground activities like climbing trees or riding bikes, McLauchlan [said]. While he says the playground is now more chaotic looking, it is also safer. “What happens is when you let kids do anything they like is that they actually don’t go and purposefully hurt themselves,” McLauchlan said.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Why You Should Know Emanuel Swedenborg
2012-04-19, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-07-29 05:56:53
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gary-lachman/why-you-should-know-emanu_b_142448...

The 18th century Swedish scientist, traveller, statesman, and religious philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg is one of the most fascinating and least understood figures in Western history. If people know of Swedenborg at all, it is usually because of his connection with the poet William Blake, who was a follower of Swedenborg. Or they may know of Swedenborg because of his remarkable psychic powers. Yet Blake was only one of the many thinkers, artists, and writers influenced by Swedenborg. A full list would include, among others: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Baudelaire, August Strindberg, Honoré Balzac, Arnold Schoenberg and Jorge Luis Borges. And his psychic abilities extended far beyond clairvoyance, into interplanetary travel and visits to heaven and hell, where he conversed with angels and devils and other strange beings. He developed the notion of "correspondences," the idea that the things of the physical world have a direct link with the spiritual one. Through Baudelaire, Swedenborg's "correspondences" would lead to Symbolism, arguably the most important cultural movement of the 19th century. Swedenborg's accounts of heaven, hell and what he called the "spirit world" spell out in homely detail the parallels between life on earth and in these other places. These higher worlds are no abstraction, and readers of Swedenborg's Heaven and Hell and Conjugial Love ... encounter a very robust reality. Some of Swedenborg's reports on the social conditions of heaven -- where, among other things, angels engage in continuous and mutually satisfying lovemaking -- make it seem infinitely more vital than life here and now.

Note: The author of this essay, Gary Lachman, has written a book on Swedenborg, Swedenborg: an Introduction to his Life and Ideas. This webpage contains a wealth of excellent resources on this most fascinating man who inspired Carl Jung, Helen Keller, and Ralph Waldo Emerson among many others.




Organic foods are more nutritious, according to review of 343 studies
2014-07-14, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2014-07-22 10:07:48
http://www.latimes.com/science/la-sci-organic-foods-20140715-story.html

Most everyone who has ever selected their fruits and vegetables from the "organic" section while grocery shopping probably thought they were doing something good for their bodies and the environment. Yet the question of whether organic foods are in fact more nutritious than their conventionally grown counterparts remains a topic of heated scientific debate. On [July 14], the British Journal of Nutrition published research that disputed the notion that organic foods are essentially no more healthful than conventional foods. After reviewing 343 studies on the topic, researchers in Europe and the United States concluded that organic crops and organic-crop-based foods contained higher concentrations of antioxidants on average than conventionally grown foods. At the same time, the researchers found that conventional foods contained greater concentrations of residual pesticides and the toxic metal cadmium. "This shows clearly that organically grown fruits, vegetables and grains deliver tangible nutrition and food safety benefits," said study coauthor Charles Benbrook, a research professor at Washington State University's Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Note: Read more about this landmark study in this article.




Solar has won. Even if coal were free to burn, power stations couldn't compete
2014-07-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-07-22 10:04:45
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/07/solar-has-won-even-if-co...

Last week ... the wholesale price of electricity in Queensland fell into negative territory – in the middle of the day. For several days the price, normally around $40-$50 a megawatt hour, hovered in and around zero. Prices were deflated throughout the week, largely because of the influence of one of the newest, biggest power stations in the state – rooftop solar. “Negative pricing” moves, as they are known, are not uncommon. But they are only supposed to happen at night, when most of the population is mostly asleep, [and] demand is down That's not supposed to happen at lunchtime. Daytime prices are supposed to reflect higher demand, when people are awake, office buildings are in use, factories are in production. That's when fossil fuel generators would normally be making most of their money. The influx of rooftop solar has turned this model on its head. The impact has been so profound, and wholesale prices pushed down so low, that few coal generators in Australia made a profit last year. Hardly any are making a profit this year. State-owned generators like Stanwell are specifically blaming rooftop solar. The problem for Australian consumers [comes] in the cost of delivery of [electricity] through the transmission and distribution networks, and from retail costs and taxes. This is the cost which is driving households to take up rooftop solar, in such proportions that the level of rooftop solar is forecast ... to rise sixfold over the next decade. Households are tipped to spend up to $30bn on rooftop modules. It is not clear how centralised, fossil-fuel generation can adapt. In an energy democracy, even free coal has no value.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Tim's Place, Restaurant Run By 26-Year-Old With Down Syndrome, Serves Hugs With Lunch
2012-06-22, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-07-22 10:03:14
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/22/tim-harris_n_1617057.html

Tim Harris was born with Down syndrome and his father, Keith, admits that acceptance didn't come easily at first. But over the years, Keith's attitude shifted. "Tim is the second of four boys, and when he was growing up, we saw the challenges that his disability presented socially,” Keith [said]. “We started to ponder when he was young about his future and made the choice that we wanted to create a life for him that was as close to typical as possible.” Thanks to his parents' faith and support, Harris has not only accomplished the typical, but he's also made the world a little bit more extraordinary. Today, Harris is the proud owner of Tim's Place, a successful -- and unique -- restaurant in Albuquerque, N.M. Other than selling regular New Mexican fare, Tim's Place has a trademark special. It's called the Tim Hug -— a "calorie-free" and "guilt-free" treat that, according to the menu description, guarantees to "improve your lease on life." "I love giving all the customers a hug because I want them to feel comfortable and connected and being around friends,” Harris told Albuquerque The Magazine. Tim's Place, which calls itself the "world's friendliest restaurant" opened its doors in 2010 and since then, Tim has given out more than 19,000 hugs. He keeps track using a Hug Counter. Only 26, Harris -- a college graduate -- is also an accomplished Special Olympian, an excellent sailor and an experienced offshore fisherman. In high school, Harris was also elected homecoming king and Student Of The Year.

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