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.

Japanese Octogenarian Becomes Oldest Man to Reach Summit of Mount Everest
2013-05-23, ABC News
Posted: 2013-05-28 09:55:57
http://abcnews.go.com/International/japanese-octogenarian-oldest-man-reach-su...

Japanese climber Yuichiro Miura, 80, reached the top of Mount Everest [on May 23], becoming the oldest man to scale the world's highest mountain. The climb marks the third time Miura has summited Everest, a successful feat in itself, but even more remarkable considering his age and his medical history. Discussing the hurdles of climbing at such an old age, the octogenarian said, it was to challenge his "ultimate limit." "It is to honor the great Mother Nature," he said on a statement posted on his website. "Hoping to raise even an inch of human possibility." Miura didn't attempt his first climb to the top of Everest until 2003, when he was 70 years old. He made that trek with his son, a former Olympian, and set a world record as the oldest climber to successfully scale the mountain. Five years later, he returned again -- at 75 years old -- to set another record. Yuichiro Miura has spent a lifetime defying the odds. In his younger years, he skied down Mount Everest's South Col, an adventure that was documented in the 1975 Academy Award winning documentary, "The Man Who Skied Down Everest." Not satisfied, Miura summited and skied down all seven summits of the world, by his 50s. Miura has already discussed his next venture -- skiing down the Himalayan mountain of Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world. He hopes to take on that challenge five years from now when he is 85 years old.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




The price of pacifism: Refusing to go to war is finally being recognised as a brave act
2013-05-18, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-05-28 09:54:29
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/world-history/the-price-of-pacifism-r...

International Conscientious Objection Day took place this week, on 15 May, and in the UK, a ceremony was held at the CO Commemorative Stone in Tavistock Square, Bloomsbury. The UK has also recently seen the opening of a new memorial to COs, at The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. The earliest recorded incidence of conscientious objection was in 296AD, when a Roman refused to serve as a soldier because of his religious beliefs; he was killed, but subsequently canonised as Saint Maximilian. The term 'conscientious objector', however, only gained currency during the First World War, following the implementation of conscription in 1916. In Britain, over 16,000 men refused to fight. While it is well known that many with strong religious beliefs objected, interestingly some war-resisters refused on socialist grounds: they would not fight brother workers, feeling that the average soldier was but a pawn of the ruling classes. Few were given total exemption. Many were forced to join the army or the Non-Combatant Corps (NCC), to serve in a supporting role to the armed forces. Many 'conchies' refused either option, and were sent to prison as a result. The abuses they suffered for their stance make for extremely grim reading, [as] told by David Boulton, in his book Objection Overruled. But word got out about such experiences – and public feeling did move towards respect. It became recognised that to stand up and be counted as someone who would not fight required its own, very high, degree of courage.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




New app lets shoppers boycott companies by scanning barcodes
2013-05-15, MSN
Posted: 2013-05-28 09:52:03
http://news.msn.com/science-technology/new-app-lets-shoppers-boycott-companie...

Do you know where your money really goes? A new app aims to help consumers avoid companies and products they don't even realize they're investing in. People can create campaigns or join existing boycotts. For example, a campaign identified in the app asks consumers to avoid Koch Industries. More than 8,000 people have pledged to boycott the company, which is owned by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch. Buycott helps consumers do this by untangling a long trail of associations and relationships among companies. For example, sales of Brawny paper towels accrue to Koch Industries because Koch's subsidiary, Georgia-Pacific, produces the towels. Consumers may not be aware of those connections while casually browsing supermarket shelves. The Buycott app scans barcodes and then traces products to their parent companies. The app checks that the product doesn't already run afoul of boycott campaigns the user has joined. If someone joins the Local & Sustainable Food Initiative through Buycott, for example, they can scan barcodes at the supermarket to make sure their food really is coming from a local source. The app can even tell you if a certain food product contains GMOs. One campaign pushes buyers to boycott companies, including Monsanto, that fought against putting GMO labels on food. The app isn't perfect though. As Buycott admits, "Corporate ownership structure is always changing and can sometimes be complex." The app allows users to add their own knowledge of products not yet part of the database, making Buycott more accurate as more people download and contribute to it.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




The Hippie Serving Peace and Breakfast
2010-12-08, New York Times
Posted: 2013-05-28 09:50:44
http://movies.nytimes.com/2010/12/08/movies/08saint.html

A portly, bearded, 74-year-old hippie clown, born Hugh Nanton Romney but better known as Wavy Gravy, he has been sending ripples of good will that have gently lapped around the fringes of American culture for more than 50 years. The subject of Michelle Esrick’s doting documentary portrait, “Saint Misbehavin’: The Wavy Gravy Movie,” he is first seen practicing his morning prayers at his home in the Berkeley branch of the rural California commune known as the Hog Farm. “May all beings have shelter; may all beings have food,” he intones before an altar crowded with iconography, both holy and comical. “Bless this day as it transpires and help me be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster.” Given his nickname by B. B. King at the Texas International Pop Festival in 1969, Wavy Gravy, who physically resembles an older, shaggier Robin Williams, is the real thing: an authentic unreconstructed hippie idealist living the communal life, doing good works and advocating peace, love, and laughter, in the guise of a clown. The movie looks back to his roots as a Greenwich Village poet, traveling monologuist and, among numerous projects, organizer of the Phantom Cabaret with Tiny Tim and Moondog. Along the way he forged connections with everyone who was anyone in the 1960s counterculture, including Lenny Bruce, Bob Dylan, Ken Kesey and the Grateful Dead. The person who emerges is a man who has long transcended rancorous political debate by embodying a holy fool. The Hog Farm became a touring hippie caravan invited to provide security at the first Woodstock festival, where the group ran a free kitchen that provided breakfast for thousands.

Note: For an engaging interview with this inspiring man, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




The Soul of Teamwork
2013-05-13, Daily Good
Posted: 2013-05-21 07:53:21
http://www.dailygood.org/view.php?sid=430

Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson—by percentage (.738) the winningest coach in NBA history—is renowned for his ability to turn megastars into team players. And his secret is spiritual. “The most effective way to forge a winning team,” he writes in Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior, “is to call on the players' need to connect with something larger than themselves.” Before Jackson arrived, both the Bulls and the Lakers were teams that, despite the presence of breathtaking talent, had failed to achieve the harmony needed to win championships. Yet under his guidance, schooled in his characteristically unselfish, team-oriented style, they went on to record-breaking success. So what does this remarkable head coach have to say about the heightened group consciousness that can awaken when teams come together beyond the divisive forces of the ego? [Q.] In Sacred Hoops you write about “the energy that's unleashed when players put their egos aside and work toward a common goal.” You also refer to “a powerful group intelligence [that] emerges that is greater than the coach's ideas or those of any individual on the team.” What is that powerful energy and intelligence that emerges in a collective when the ego is set aside? PHIL JACKSON: When a player surrenders his self-interest for the greater good, his fullest gifts as an athlete are manifested. It's funny—by playing within his natural abilities, he activates a higher potential beyond his abilities, a higher potential for the team. It changes things for everybody.

Note: DailyGood is an inspiring website that also offers a daily inspiration email. To learn more and subscribe, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Newly Released Tim DeChristopher Finds a Movement Transformed by His Courage
2013-04-22, Yes! Magazine
Posted: 2013-05-21 07:51:54
http://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/tim-dechristopher-peaceful-uprising-movemen...

Tim DeChristopher, who was released from federal custody yesterday, is best known as the man who disrupted an auction of pristine public lands. But there’s more to his story than his role as “Bidder 70.” Yesterday, after 21 months in federal custody, climate activist Tim DeChristopher approached the pulpit at his church in Salt Lake City, Utah, as a free man. The First Unitarian congregation rose in uproarious applause, tears streaming down more than a few faces. “It’s good to be home,” DeChristopher told the crowd. During his sermon, he said that he had never expected to change the oil and gas industry alone. “But I thought that I could change people like you, and I knew people like you have a lot of power.” What often gets overlooked in this folk hero tale of a man who went to jail for his principles is that DeChristopher didn't want to be the only hero. And so he became one of the most consistent and strongest voices for direct action and civil disobedience in the movement, urging environmental groups to use personal sacrifice as means of becoming more effective. By showing that people who don’t hold positions of authority can successfully confront injustice, his example helped to build the climate-justice group Peaceful Uprising, changed the tactics of the nation’s most established environmental organizations, and helped shape the mass climate movement, which turned out nearly 50,000 people on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in February.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Heroic Women: Judge Debbie O'Dell-Seneca
2013-04-17, Huffington Post
Posted: 2013-05-21 07:50:39
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alexia-parks/heroic-women-judge-debbie_b_308226...

Judge Debbie O'Dell-Seneca, of the Washington County Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania, [has issued a] historic ruling that corporations are not "persons." They cannot elevate their "private rights" above the rights of persons. In uncommonly elegant language, Judge O'Dell-Seneca cites the 1776 Pennsylvania Constitution as she declares: "It is axiomatic that corporations, companies, and partnerships have no 'spiritual nature,' 'feelings,' 'intellect,' 'beliefs,' 'thoughts,' 'emotions,' or 'sensations,' because they do not exist in the manner that humankind exists... They cannot be 'let alone' by government, because businesses are but grapes, ripe upon the vine of the law, that the people of this Commonwealth raise, tend, and prune at their pleasure and need." The judgement came after several Western Pennsylvania newspapers had gone to court to reveal the monies one family had received from Range Resources Corp. and other corporations included in a complaint to settle claims of water contamination caused by fracking. The amount: $750,000. This ruling by O'Dell-Seneca, which caused a corporate settlement to a single family to become unsealed, will lend strength to 150 cases now being brought in eight other states around the U.S. Calling it "A New Civil Rights Movement," the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund of Mercerberg, PA documents the victory.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




What is the state of the world in 2013?
2013-04-03, Positive News
Posted: 2013-05-21 07:38:35
http://positivenews.org.uk/2013/peace_democracy/11731/state-world-2013/

If we look back over the past quarter century since the end of the Cold War in 1989, we can see how quickly confidence about the future can bloom and wither. A short-lived sense of a peace died in the Gulf, the western Balkans and Rwanda. Waves of prosperity came and went with the dotcom boom and bust, and the bursting of our western credit-based bubble of prosperity in 2008. The five big challenges we face as a global community [are] wealth and poverty, war and peace, rights and respect, and the health of people and the planet. The indices of inequality keep worsening and while there are many excellent initiatives on curbing waste, meaningful reductions in carbon output still seem out of political reach. But a look at the other three big issues shows that it need not be thus. This is not a peaceful world and yet it is more peaceful today than at any time since before the first world war and, some argue, ever. Military spending remains high and armed conflict remains a major cause of death, yet by comparison with earlier times, there are markedly fewer wars and they are less lethal. There has been an avalanche of peace agreements in the two decades since the end of the Cold War and a major sustained, if quiet, effort not only to make peace, but then to lay the foundations for long term peace in conflict-affected countries. It would be wrong to look at the issues of war and peace and declare ‘job done’. If the United Nations and the peace-funding governments can stay focused, there is every reason to expect a reasonably successful record of building peace to continue.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Tesla’s Model S receives top rating from Consumer Reports
2013-05-09, Washington Post/Bloomberg
Posted: 2013-05-14 09:02:11
http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/tesla-electric-model-s-sedan-grabs-con...

Tesla Motors Inc.’s electric Model S, Motor Trend’s 2013 “Car of the Year,” received the highest rating from Consumer Reports in an evaluation of the luxury sedan that led first-quarter North American plug-in car sales. The Model S from Palo Alto, California-based Tesla scored 99 out of 100 points, the non-profit magazine said in an e-mailed statement. The $89,650 car bought by Consumer Reports “performed better, or just as well overall” as any vehicle it’s ever tested, the ... magazine said. “It accelerates, handles and brakes like a sports car, it has the ride and quietness of a luxury car and is far more energy efficient than the best hybrid cars,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing. No rechargeable car has won a score as high as the Model S. The magazine last gave a vehicle 99 points in 2007, when Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus LS460L ranked that high. Model S shortcomings include limited range, long charge times and “coupe-like styling that impairs rear visibility and impedes access,” Consumer Reports said. Along with reliability that isn’t yet determined, Tesla still has a limited service network, the magazine said. The test vehicle had an 85-kilowatt/hour lithium-ion battery pack and averaged about 200 miles (322 kilometers) per charge in real-world driving, the magazine said. The Tesla “is easily the most practical electric car that has been tested to date,” Consumer Reports said.

Note: After undeniable suppression of the electric car by car manufacturers, independent upstart Tesla Motors has done it! Expect to see more breakthroughs from this great new company. For more on the company's amazing namesake and how his inventions were suppressed, click here.




Solar-powered plane completes first leg of cross-country journey
2013-05-04, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2013-05-14 09:00:37
http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-solar-airplane-phoenix-...

[Solar Impulse HB-SIA, a] solar-powered aircraft making a landmark cross-country flight [piloted by Bertrand Piccard], successfully completed its first leg [on May 4], and will rest about a week in [Phoenix] Arizona before taking to the skies again. "It's a little bit like being in a dream," Piccard told the Associated Press. The aircraft, running off solar cells and electric batteries rather than fossil fuels, ... travels at a leisurely 43 mph and cruises at a maximum altitude of 28,000 feet. Spokeswoman Alenka Zibetto [said] that the exact length of the stay would depend on weather. It is proving to be a popular attraction. Online registration for the Sunday slots -- with space for 150 people per hour -- filled up within a day, Zibetto said. The solar company SunPower [manufactured] the solar cells lining the 208-foot wingspan of Solar Impulse.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles on exciting new energy technologies, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




The Falling Cost Of Solar Energy Is Surprising Everyone
2013-05-02, Business Insider
Posted: 2013-05-14 08:58:16
http://www.businessinsider.com/citi-the-solar-age-is-dawning-2013-5

Citi has just named solar photovoltaics, which convert solar radiation into electric currents via semiconductors, to its list of 10 world-disrupting technologies. In a note this week in advance of the disruption report, Citi's Jason Channell said that in many cases, renewables are already at cost parity with established forms of electricity sources. The biggest surprise in recent years has been the speed at which the price of solar panels has reduced, resulting in cost parity being achieved in certain areas much more quickly than was ever expected; these fast ‘learning rates’ are likely to continue, meaning that the technology just keeps getting cheaper. At peak solar exposure, parts of the southwest U.S. are now already capable of meeting their electricity needs via solar panels. The rapidly expanding parity provides enormous scope for growth in the solar industry, driven by standalone economics as opposed to subsidies, which are becoming ever scarcer in an austerity-driven world. Gas isn't going away, but renewables are coming on strong.

Note: It's rather strange that most mainstream media have hardly reported on this most awesome news at all. For another article showing that solar energy cost is already near parity with other energy sources, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles on exciting new energy technologies, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Profile: Global campaign group Avaaz
2013-02-28, BBC News
Posted: 2013-05-14 08:56:56
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17199253

Avaaz - meaning "voice" in Farsi as well as several other European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages - describes itself as "a global web movement to bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere". According to the group's website, it was launched in 2007 with a mission to "organise citizens of all nations to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want". It campaigns in 15 languages and is served by a small core team of 52 full-time staff worldwide and thousands of volunteers in all 192 UN member states, including Iran and China, where its website is illegal. "Our model of internet organising allows thousands of individual efforts, however small, to be rapidly combined into a powerful collective force," it says. Avaaz's founder and executive director, Ricken Patel, told the Times newspaper earlier this month: "There are two types of fatalism. The belief the world can't change, and the belief you can't play a role in changing it." The group employs a wide variety of tactics in its campaigns, including collating petitions with hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of signatures; organising demonstrations and phone-ins; fundraising, and paying for advertising. It says its successes range from helping to uphold the EU ban on GM crops to helping to circumventing the Burmese government's ban on international aid after Cyclone Nargis.

Note: The membership of this great organization has rapidly grown to over 20 million worldwide. Consider joining them and making your voice heard at avaaz.org. You can start a petition there which just might draw millions of supporters and make a real difference in building a better world. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




SF startup's solar lamps aid developing world
2013-04-26, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-05-07 07:50:39
http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/SF-startup-s-solar-lamps-aid-deve...

Most of Donn Tice's customers make $4 to $6 a day. What little money they have, they guard. But they're willing to part with some of it, Tice says, for a product that can improve their lives. Tice's company, d.light, sells solar-powered lamps in the developing world. The lamps charge on their own during the daytime, shine for at least four hours at night and are designed to last more than five years. The standard model costs $30 - a significant investment for d.light's core customers. But the San Francisco startup has sold about 3 million lamps in the last five years, mostly in parts of rural Africa and India with limited access to electricity. "What we've discovered, frankly, is there's a much bigger global problem around reliable power than we imagined," said Tice, d.light's chief executive officer. D.light is one of a growing number of companies trying to make money by selling to the "bottom of the pyramid" - the world's poor. They see a vast, often-ignored pool of potential customers for a wide range of products, so long as those products serve real needs and are affordably priced. For entrepreneurs like Tice, there's the added lure of doing something that can help people pull themselves out of poverty. "I can't tell you how profoundly meaningful it is, how inspiring it is, to go to a village with our customers and go to a school where recently the students weren't using lights to study," Tice said. "It doesn't take a lot of imagination to visualize how really transformative that could be in the trajectory of their lives."

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




EU Embraces 'Suspended Coffee': Pay It Forward With A Cup Of Joe
2013-04-25, NPR
Posted: 2013-05-07 07:49:10
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/04/24/178829301/eu-embraces-suspended-c...

Tough economic times and growing poverty in much of Europe are reviving a humble tradition that began some one hundred years ago in the Italian city of Naples. It's called caffè sospeso — "suspended coffee": A customer pays in advance for a person who cannot afford a cup of coffee. The barista would keep a log, and when someone popped his head in the doorway of the cafe and asked, "Is there anything suspended?" the barista would nod and serve him a cup of coffee ... for free. It's an elegant way to show generosity: an act of charity in which donors and recipients never meet each other, the donor doesn't show off and the recipient doesn't have to show gratitude. It's fitting that the tradition started in Naples, a city that prides itself on having the best coffee in Italy. The caffè sospeso tradition waned as Italy entered the boom years of postwar reconstruction and La Dolce Vita. For decades, the custom was confined mainly to the Christmas season. Now, it's made a comeback. Two years ago, with the eurozone crisis already raging, unemployment rising and small businesses closing on a daily basis, more and more Italians could no longer afford the national beverage — an espresso or a cappuccino. Then someone remembered the old Neapolitan custom. So several nongovernmental organizations got together and — with the support of Naples Mayor Luigi de Magistris — Dec.10 was formally declared "Suspended Coffee Day." The practice is now spreading to other crisis-ravaged parts of Europe.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




From Housing to Health Care, 7 Co-ops That Are Changing Our Economy
2013-04-23, Yes! Magazine
Posted: 2013-05-07 07:47:07
http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/how-cooperatives-are-driving-the-new-econom...

Ideas for co-ops may flourish, but few people understand exactly how to make theirs real. The Co-op Academy is providing answers. Founded four years ago by Omar Freilla (who recently made Ebony magazine’s list of the Power 100), the academy runs 16-week courses that offer intensive mentoring, legal and financial advice, and help designing logos and websites. Run by the South Bronx-based Green Worker Cooperative, the academy guides up to four teams per session through the startup process and has graduated four organizations now thriving in New York City. These include Caracol Interpreters, which is raising the bar on interpreter wages, and Concrete Green, which focuses on environmentally sound landscaping. Six more co-ops are in the pipeline. “I’m amazed at how little knowledge and information is out there for the average person about how co-ops function and how to start one,” says Janvieve Williams Comrie, whose mother-owned cooperative Ginger Moon also came out of the program. “That’s one thing the Co-op Academy really provides, the hands-on know-how.” Even money for tuition ($1,500 per team) gets the treatment. Freilla is adamant that teams fundraise to cover that cost—even if they can foot the bill themselves. “By fundraising for the registration fee, you are promoting the vision for your cooperative, gaining supporters, and creating a buzz before the program even starts,” he says. “That is just the kind of support that will propel your business forward, and while you’re doing it you’ll be getting an early opportunity to see just how well you and your teammates work together.”

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Seva Cafe Serves Generosity on a Platter
2013-04-11, Forbes India Magazine
Posted: 2013-05-07 07:45:26
http://forbesindia.com/article/changing-lanes/seva-cafe-serves-generosity-on-...

The milieu at Shantivan, a garden in Mumbai’s tony Malabar Hill area, on February 17 was like a hangover from Valentine’s Day. Placards displaying messages like ‘Love is all we need’ were tied to tree branches. The occasion was the second monthly lunch hosted by Seva Café. Omnipresent at the venue was a bespectacled man [named] Siddharth Sthalekar, who was orchestrating this “generosity enterprise”. About three years ago, he was the co-head of the derivatives trading desk and the head of algorithmic trading at Edelweiss Capital. [One] morning in 2010 [he took the decision] to throw it all away. For some time, the 31-year-old Mumbaikar had been contemplating quitting his cushy job to explore if there is an alternative to the premise of accumulation that seemed to drive individuals in the corporate world. When he finally took the plunge, he set out to travel across India with his wife Lahar. Over the next six months, as they visited several non-profit organisations, they woke up to the concept of gift economy where goods and services are extended without any formal quid pro quo. This motto formed the cornerstone of Moved by Love, an incubator at Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, which carries out various projects. One such project, Seva Café, was in hibernation. Sthalekar ... and his wife became its core volunteers and helped reopen it in September 2011. Seva Café practises giving, the antithesis to accumulation. At the café, volunteers cook and serve meals every week from Thursday to Sunday for free. What is Sthalekar’s takeaway from the experiment? The idea, he says, is to trust the assumption that every individual, irrespective of his economic standing, can be generous. [He] hopes that people will develop the habit of being generous even outside the café—in all environments and circumstances.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Jessica Cox: Pilot born without arms on flying with her feet
2013-02-17, BBC News
Posted: 2013-04-30 08:02:32
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21377627

Jessica Cox was born without arms as a result of a rare birth defect. That has not stopped her from living her life to the fullest. In fact, Ms Cox has experienced and achieved more than most people do in a lifetime. She can drive a car, fly a plane and play piano - all with her feet. In 2012 she married Patrick, her former Taekwondo instructor (she has two black belts). They live in Tucson, Arizona. Ms Cox, 30, travels around the world as a motivational speaker, using her own life as an example of what one can achieve if one wants it enough. This month she visits Ethiopia to help promote disability rights.

Note: Don't miss the inspiring video on the BBC webpage. And for another incredibly inspiring man born without arms or feet, learn about Nick Vujicic at this link.




Evian's dancing babies are back!
2013-04-24, USA Today
Posted: 2013-04-30 08:00:57
http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2013/04/24/evian-dancing-babies-are...

Remember the Roller Babies craze in 2009? That Evian video has been viewed more than 65 million times. Now, Evian Natural Spring Water has just launched a follow-up video, Baby & Me, and it's already got nearly 30 million views on YouTube. The new video, which features adults walking on a busy street when they suddenly see their "inner babies" in a storefront window reflection, launched simultaneously in 14 countries on Friday. The adult characters interact with their baby selves, mostly through dance. "You can't not smile watching this," said GMA anchor Lara Spencer this morning during a piece on the video. "This type of commercial is about happiness and energy," the ad's director, Remi Babinet, told GMA. Produced by creative agency BETC, and directed by We are from LA, the Baby & Me video is remixed by electronic music producer, Yuksek, notes Evian in a release about the ad. And the music? The '90s dance hit Here comes the Hotstepper serves as the soundtrack.

Note: Click on the link above to watch the video. For a video diving deeper into this by ABC, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Izhar Gafni invents a cardboard bicycle that may revolutionize transportation
2012-12-07, Christian Science Monitor
Posted: 2013-04-30 07:59:25
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Making-a-difference/2012/1207/Izhar-Gafni-inve...

Izhar Gafni smiles and shakes his head in wonder when asked about the whirlwind of events that have taken place since news of his revolutionary cardboard bicycle first made international headlines a few weeks ago. As an amateur cycling enthusiast, Gafni was inspired to create a bicycle using common cardboard following a visit four years ago to a local cycling store, he says. "We were all chatting in the store, and somehow started discussing how someone had built a canoe out of cardboard," he recalls. "It was this canoe that was sitting in the back of my head when it suddenly struck me: Why not make a bicycle out of cardboard, too?" Even though friends and experts warned him that it could not be done, Gafni refused to give up, growing ever more determined to take on what appeared to be an impossible challenge. "There is really no knowledge of how to work with cardboard except for using it to make packages," he explains, describing how he started to explore the material, which is essentially made from wood pulp, folding it in a variety of ways like origami and adding a mixture of glue and varnish to get it to the strength he desired. "It is still a work in progress, and we are still looking at how to create a design that can be mass-produced," says Gafni, who ... hopes to sell the bicycle to markets in Africa in the near future. "There is no doubt that cheap bikes at $20 a pop could really transform the lives of people living in poor countries who need to walk ... to get to a clinic for medical treatment or find work," says Karin Kloosterman, founder and editor of the Middle East's premier environmental news website, Green Prophet.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




A good Samaritan travels the freeway
2008-07-28, Boston Globe/Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2013-04-30 07:57:49
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/07/28/a_good_samaritan_travel...

Christin Ernst was in a fix. An errant screwdriver punctured her tire on a San Diego freeway, leaving her stranded. That is when Thomas Weller - also known as the San Diego Highwayman - arrived in his monstrous white search-and-rescue vehicle, complete with emergency lights flashing. A surprised Ernst watched as Weller slapped on her spare, inflated it and handed her a card. It reads: "Assisting you has been my pleasure. I ask for no payment other than for you to pass on the favor by helping someone in distress that you may encounter." She was lucky. Because of wallet-busting fuel prices, Weller has cut back his good Samaritan runs to once every three days. Weller's aging rescue rig, which weighs more than 5,600 pounds, is a world-class gas-guzzler. "I sit home on the front porch a lot," he said. "It's killing me." Weller started his volunteer highway rounds in 1966. Now 60, he figures he has helped more than 6,000 motorists. Mostly, he helps people whose vehicles are out of gas, or have a flat tires or overheated engines. For those, he carries gas, water, compressed air, and jacks capable of lifting an ambulance or a low-rider. Weller estimates the rig has gone 600,000 miles - the odometer broke 10 years ago. To make a living, he has been a roofer, car repair manager, and security guard. These days, he fixes cars for a select group of customers. He said his job provides enough money for his modest lifestyle. It also covered his daily drives - until gas prices went up.

Note: For a great CBS video on this good Samaritan, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.





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