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.

Waste picker wins Goldman prize
2013-04-15, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-04-23 08:24:06
http://www.sfchronicle.com/science/article/Waste-picker-wins-Goldman-prize-44...

Fourteen years ago, Blanca Cecilia Lopez began combing the streets of [Bogota, Colombia] in search of sellable articles to feed her family. She typically earned only a few dollars a day scavenging bottles, cans, paper and any other reusable items that she could find. Two years ago, however, her life changed dramatically thanks to a grassroots organization that found her a position at a city recycling center with a monthly salary and health benefits. The 50-year-old mother of seven owes her new life to Nohra Padilla, who began organizing waste pickers like Lopez in 1990 into the Bogota Recyclers' Association. For her work, Padilla is one of six recipients of the [2013] Goldman Environmental Prize. Over the years, the association, which has 2,000 members, has battled city officials and private sanitation companies vying to monopolize trash collection from Bogota's 8 million inhabitants. In the 1980s and 1990s, Padilla and other organizers were threatened by right-wing paramilitaries who regarded organizing the poor as subversive. Several waste pickers were murdered in what the militias called "social cleansing." A talent for organizing and motivating others emerged, turning Padilla into a leader of an estimated 17,000 waste pickers who are a common sight on Bogota streets pushing hand carts or riding on horse carts piled high with scavenged trash. "If she (Padilla) weren't around, the recyclers would have to compete with the big trash companies," said Federico Parra, regional coordinator for a global nonprofit that helps improve conditions for the working poor.

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




Book explores how giving helps a career
2013-04-18, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-04-23 08:22:19
http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Book-explores-how-giving-helps-a-...

Adam Grant believes that nice guys - and gals - can finish first. The young Wharton management professor, just 31, ... has spent years studying how and why certain people succeed in the workplace. It's more than just hard work, talent, luck or looking out for No. 1. He believes that it also takes a generous spirit. In his new book, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, Grant outlines three types of workers: givers, takers and matchers. Givers, he says, are generous about helping others, including lending a hand to junior employees, without expecting something in return. Takers may excel at "managing up" with their bosses, but they can't be bothered with their colleagues and underlings. And matchers fall somewhere in between that spectrum, handing out favors but expecting reciprocity, too. In a recent interview, Grant talked about how to be a giver. Q: What is the first step to becoming a giver? A: The first step is to figure out the people you care about helping and the forms of giving you enjoy. The evidence shows that giving is rarely sustainable when you're doing it out of a sense of guilt, duty and pressure. For some people, (the most meaningful form of giving) is to be a connector and to make an introduction, or for other people, it's sharing knowledge or expertise, solving a problem or becoming a mentor.

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




Readers Join Doctor’s Journey to the Afterworld’s Gates
2012-11-26, New York Times
Posted: 2013-04-23 08:20:48
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/26/books/dr-eben-alexanders-tells-of-near-deat...

For years Dr. Eben Alexander III had dismissed near-death revelations of God and heaven as explainable by the hard wiring of the human brain. He was, after all, a neurosurgeon with sophisticated medical training. But then in 2008 Dr. Alexander contracted bacterial meningitis. The deadly infection soaked his brain and sent him into a deep coma. During that week, as life slipped away, he now says, he was living intensely in his mind. He was ... guided by “a beautiful girl with high cheekbones and deep blue eyes” on the wings of a butterfly to an “immense void” that is both “pitch black” and “brimming with light” coming from an “orb” that interprets for an all-loving God. Dr. Alexander, 58, was so changed by the experience that he felt compelled to write a book, Proof of Heaven, that recounts his experience. He knew full well that he was gambling his professional reputation by writing it, but his hope is that his expertise will be enough to persuade skeptics, particularly medical skeptics, as he used to be, to open their minds to an afterworld. Having trained at Duke University and taught and practiced as a surgeon at Harvard, he knows brain science as well as anyone. And science, he said, cannot explain his experience. “During my coma my brain wasn’t working improperly,” he writes in his book. “It wasn’t working at all.” [Proof of Heaven] rose instantly to No. 1 on The New York Times’s paperback best-seller list and is there again for next week. The publisher has printed nearly one million copies, combined hardcover and paperback, to be snapped up at airports and as stocking stuffers at big retailers like Target. Another 78,000 digital copes have been sold.

Note: As of now, Dr. Alexander's book has been the New York Times #1 bestseller for 23 weeks. For an inspiring online lesson which dives deep into near-death experiences (and the possibility of reincarnation) using solid, reliable sources, click here. For other inspiring articles on near-death experiences, click here.




National Child Abuse Prevention Month
2013-04-08, Chicago Tribune
Posted: 2013-04-16 08:16:28
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/northbrook/community/chi-ugc...

America is a country where all of us should be able to pursue our own measure of happiness and live free from fear. But for the millions of children who have experienced abuse or neglect, it is a promise that goes tragically unfulfilled. National Child Abuse Prevention Month is a time to make their struggle our own and reaffirm a simple truth: that no matter the challenges we face, caring for our children must always be our first task. Realizing that truth in our society means ensuring children know they are never alone -- that they always have a place to go and there are always people on their side. Parents and caregivers play an essential part in giving their children that stability. But we also know that keeping our children safe is something we can only do together, with the help of friends and neighbors and the broader community. All of us bear a responsibility to look after them, whether by lifting children toward their full potential or lending a hand to a family in need. Together, we are making important progress in stopping child abuse and neglect. So this month, let us stand up for them and make their voices heard. To learn more about ending child abuse and how to get involved, visit www.ChildWelfare.gov/Preventing. Now, Therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, ... do hereby proclaim April 2013 as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month with programs and activities that help prevent child abuse and provide for children's physical, emotional, and developmental needs.

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




A small foundation learns how to make a big difference in juvenile justice
2013-04-05, Christian Science Monitor
Posted: 2013-04-09 14:58:06
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Making-a-difference/Change-Agent/2013/0405/A-s...

Tackling the world’s most vexing social problems is a challenge for even the biggest foundations but much more daunting for small ones. Nonetheless, it is possible for small foundations to bring about large-scale change. At the Tow Foundation ... we learned this when we decided to take on one such problem—our state’s failing juvenile-justice system. The United States leads the world in incarcerating young people. Every year, juvenile courts handle an estimated 1.7 million cases in which a youth is charged with a delinquency offense. That’s about 4,600 delinquency cases a day. Over 70,000 juvenile offenders are not living in their homes on a typical day but are held in group homes, shelters, and other juvenile-detention facilities. An estimated 250,000 youths are tried, sentenced, or incarcerated as adults every year across the country. Most of the young people prosecuted in adult court are charged with nonviolent offenses. With just two staff members, we decided to focus our grants on local organizations that were working to change how the courts treated young people. Some 300 grants and $12 million later, we can confidently say we have gotten an excellent return on our investment. When the Tow Foundation first started examining the situation, Connecticut’s system was one of the worst in the country, with deplorable conditions of confinement. Two influential reports released in recent weeks have called Connecticut a national leader in reducing the number of young people who are placed in detention facilities and prisons.

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




Living With Less. A Lot Less.
2013-03-10, New York Times
Posted: 2013-04-02 09:01:10
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/opinion/sunday/living-with-less-a-lot-less....

I live in a 420-square-foot studio. I sleep in a bed that folds down from the wall. I have six dress shirts. I have 10 shallow bowls that I use for salads and main dishes. When people come over for dinner, I pull out my extendable dining room table. I don’t have a single CD or DVD and I have 10 percent of the books I once did. I have come a long way from the life I had in the late ’90s, when ... I had a giant house crammed with stuff — electronics and cars and appliances and gadgets. Somehow this stuff ended up running my life, or a lot of it; the things I consumed ended up consuming me. We live in a world of surfeit stuff. There isn’t any indication that any of these things makes anyone any happier; in fact it seems the reverse may be true. In a study published last year titled “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century,” researchers at U.C.L.A. observed 32 middle-class Los Angeles families and found that all of the mothers’ stress hormones spiked during the time they spent dealing with their belongings. Our fondness for stuff affects almost every aspect of our lives. Housing size, for example, has ballooned in the last 60 years. The average size of a new American home in 1950 was 983 square feet; by 2011, the average new home was 2,480 square feet. And those figures don’t provide a full picture. In 1950, an average of 3.37 people lived in each American home; in 2011, that number had shrunk to 2.6 people. This means that we take up more than three times the amount of space per capita than we did 60 years ago. Intuitively, we know that the best stuff in life isn’t stuff at all, and that relationships, experiences and meaningful work are the staples of a happy life.

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




Humble Honey Kills Bacteria
2008-09-23, CBS News
Posted: 2013-04-02 08:59:34
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/09/23/health/webmd/main4471318.shtml

A new study from researchers at the University of Ottawa shows honey to be effective in killing bacteria that cause chronic sinusitis [which] affects millions of people every year. In chronic sinusitis, the mucous membranes in the sinus cavities become inflamed, causing headaches, stuffy nose, and difficulty breathing. Though it can be caused by allergies, chronic sinusitis can also be caused by bacteria that colonize in the nose and sinuses. That's where honey may help. Researchers, led by Tala Alandejani, MD, at the University of Ottawa, tested two honeys, manuka and sidr. [They] singled out three particularly nasty bacteria: two strains of staph bacteria ... and one called Pseudomonas aeriginosa. The two types of honey were effective in killing the bacteria. Even bacteria growing in a biofilm, a thin, slimy layer formed by bacteria that affords resistance to antibiotics, were susceptible to honey. The researchers also found that the two types of honey worked significantly better than an antibiotic against [the staph bacterias]. Scientists hope the results can help lead to a new treatment for people with chronic sinusitis.

Note: One note of caution: Infants one year or younger should never be given honey because it could become toxic in their underformed intestinal tract, causing illness or even death.




How to sing like a planet: Scientists say the Earth is humming
2008-04-23, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-04-02 08:57:58
http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/morford/article/How-to-sing-like-a-planet...

The Earth is humming. Singing. Its song is ethereal and mystifying and very, very weird – a rather astonishing, newly discovered phenomen[on] that's not easily analyzed, but which, if you really let it sink into your consciousness, can change the way you look at everything. Scientists now say the planet itself is generating a constant, deep thrum of noise. No mere cacophony, but actually a kind of music – huge, swirling loops of sound, a song so ... low it can't be heard by human ears, [roars] churning from the very water and wind and rock themselves, countless notes of varying vibration creating all sorts of curious tonal phrases that bounce around the mountains and spin over the oceans and penetrate the tectonic plates and gurgle in the magma and careen off the clouds and smack into trees and bounce off your ribcage and spin over the surface of the planet in strange circular loops. It all makes for a very quiet, otherworldly symphony so odd and mysterious, scientists still can't figure out exactly what's causing it or why [it's] happening. Sure, sensitive instruments are getting better at picking up what's been dubbed "Earth's hum," but no one's any closer to understanding what ... it all might mean. Mystics and poets and theorists have pondered the "music of the spheres" (or musica universalis) for eons; it is the stuff of cosmic philosophy, linking sacred geometry, mathematics, cosmology, harmonics, astrology and music into one big cosmological poetry slam.

Note: Not only does the Earth hum, but the Sun sings! Listen here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the nature of reality, click here.




At 93, world's oldest yoga teacher still going strong
2012-05-10, NBC News
Posted: 2013-03-25 16:07:45
http://www.today.com/id/47378120#.UUzebzcTSSo

Tao Porchon-Lynch considers her hundreds of yoga students to be her own children. The 93-year-old has been practicing yoga since she was 8 years old, and was just named the world's oldest yoga teacher by Guinness World Records. Based in New York, Porchon-Lynch has taught hundreds of students around the globe for over 45 years, and has followers in India, France and the U.S. It wasn’t until the age of 73 that Porchon-Lynch decided to concentrate on teaching yoga, founding the Westchester Institute of Yoga in New York. Porchon-Lynch teaches yoga four days a week and also keeps busy ballroom dancing and guiding wine tours in New York State. And she certainly knows how to overcome a challenge. At 87, she had hip surgery but a month later she took to the dance floor, starting lessons. “I believe that we can always reach just a little bit further," said Porchon-Lynch. "I’m inspired to bring yoga into others’ lives along with helping people unearth new talents.”

Note: For an awesome, two-minute video showing this amazing woman's strength and flexibility, click here. For an inspiring article and video of an incredible 86-year-old gymnast performing unbelievable feats, click here. For an article and video of a 75-year-old grandmother who is a champion body builder and runs 10 miles a day, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Major US supermarkets to boycott GM salmon
2013-03-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-03-25 16:06:37
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/mar/20/major-us-supermarkets-boyco...

A number of US supermarket chains pledged on [March 20] not to sell genetically modified salmon, in a sign of growing public concern about engineered foods on the dinner table. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in the final stages of deciding whether to allow GM salmon on to the market. If approved, AquaBounty Technology's salmon would be the first genetically engineered animal to enter the food supply. The GM salmon is the first [of some 30 species] of genetically engineered fish under development, including tilapia. Researchers are also working to bring GM cows, chickens and pigs to market. However, those plans could be blocked by Wednesday's commitment not to sell genetically engineered seafood from national grocery chains including Trader Joe's, Aldi and Whole Foods, as well as regional retailers. Between them, the chains control about 2,000 outlets. Campaigners said they represent a growing segment of the population that is concerned about GM food, and willing to pay higher prices for healthier foods. Critics of GM salmon say the FDA has not conducted proper oversight of the fish, which are raised from eggs hatched in a facility in Prince Edward Island, Canada, and grown to maturity in tanks in a remote area of Panama. They say there is insufficient data to back up AquaBounty's claims its salmon can grow to maturity twice as fast as wild salmon. They also dispute the company's claims that there is no increased risk to people with allergies.

Note: For an excellent summary of the dangers posed by genetically-engineered organisms in the food supply, click here. To sign a petition against GM salmon, click here. For information on a recently passed law which grants Monsanto immunity from prosecution for planting dangerous GM crops, click here.




Go Malala! First Day Back at School
2013-03-19, The Daily Beast/Newsweek
Posted: 2013-03-25 15:52:40
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/03/19/gordon-brown-malala-returns-...

Malala Yousafzai has gone to school today for the first time since she was shot last October. Then, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl was left for dead by the Taliban, a punishment inflicted on her simply for wanting to be educated. Malala’s journey back from a hospital bed to the classroom is not only an inspirational story of courage triumphing over all the odds but a story of determination and, indeed, of destiny: a signal to the world that nothing—not even bullets and death threats—can now stand in the way of every girl’s right to education. Yesterday Malala, who spent months in hospital recovering from neck, face, and head injuries, met teachers at her new school in Birmingham, England. But around the world there are 32 million girls who will not be joining Malala at school today, unable to go to school because they are prevented from doing so or because there is no school to attend. Of the 700,000 children not at school in their home province of Khyber Pakhtunkwha (KPK), 600,000 are girls. Until we provide both the resources and security for them and others to travel securely to school and feel safe from the Taliban while there, then many of Pakistan’s schools will remain closed, and literally millions of Pakistani girls will be denied an education. Some, perhaps as many as 10 million girls each year, will be taken out of school because they are forced into child marriages against their will. Other girls, perhaps as many as seven or eight million school-age girls, will become domestic laborers, sent to sweatshop factories or to languish in the fields and farms.

Note: After many years of U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan, the U.S. government has failed to put any significant pressure on the government to change the policy there. Does anyone in government really care? For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on abuse of women and girls, click here.




Safe2Tell program lets kids play it safe
2010-10-19, Denver Post
Posted: 2013-03-25 15:46:23
http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_16373212

Kids help resolve such issues as bullying, violence and suicide threats, the director of Safe2Tell told Chatfield High School students. "You're the solution to your own problem," said Susan Payne, urging students to be proactive about reporting trouble when they see it. The state program allows young people to anonymously report potentially dangerous and life-threatening situations. Since Safe2Tell launched in the 2004-05 school year, there have been 2,782 reports from 158 cities in 58 counties. The reports resulted in 393 investigations, 282 school-disciplinary actions and 67 arrests. The program's website also credits Safe2Tell with 200 suicide preventions. "I think a lot of kids would feel intimidated to say something normally," said [senior] Ellie Roberts. Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said Safe2Tell, a nonprofit organization that partners with his office as well as law enforcement and various advocacy groups, gives young people a way to combat the problems they face before those problems escalate to such serious levels. "Safe2Tell has been a tremendous asset to schools and local law enforcement," Suthers said. "The success of this program should underline for educators and the public that bullying, harassment and all the other problems facing youth today can be prevented when we give kids the resources to ask for help." Young people can report problems on issues of bullying, drugs, violence and other dangerous activity by phone; at the Safe2Tell website, safe2tell.org; or by text message.

Note: Programs like this around the world are giving children a safe way to expose child abuse, bullying, and much more. Because of this, children growing up now will almost certainly be much more psychologically and emotionally healthy overall than preceding generations. For more on this inspiring trend, click here.




How letters from strangers saved a teen's life
2013-03-08, CBS News
Posted: 2013-03-19 09:03:57
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57573381/how-letters-from-strangers-sav...

"There are a lot of kids out there that suffer depression and anxiety," said seventh-grader Noah Brocklebank. And not many are willing to talk about it on national television. Noah is okay with people calling him depressed -- mainly because, over the past couple years, he's been called worse. "Like 'fat,' 'ugly,' 'annoying,' 'loser,'" he recalled. Noah's mother Karen says the bullying, combined with his underlying depression, ultimately led to the night of January 26. That night, her son posted a clear warning on the Internet -- a picture of his arm all cut up and a note that read: "Day of scheduled suicide, February 8th, 2013, my birthday." It was to be his 13th birthday. "I just felt like everything was worthless," said Noah. "My life was terrible. I had no one." After that, Noah ended up in the hospital for eight days. And while he was in there, as his doctors assessed his mental health, his mother came up with a plan to improve his vision --- a plan for Noah to see more clearly how much he matters, how much he's loved, and that there really is life beyond seventh grade. So she asked some friends on Facebook to put all that in a letter. What happened next is a remarkable testament to both the power of social media and the kindness of strangers. Noah has received thousands of letters from every continent on the planet, including Antarctica. The sheer volume alone has brightened up his home a million watts. As for how this changed him, Noah said: "I was focused on the bad side of the people, like the bullies. Then I realized there are caring people out there that can be my friends."

Note: For a deeply moving four-minute video clip from an Emmy-award-winning documentary on bullying, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Rescuing girls from sex slavery
2010-04-30, CNN
Posted: 2013-03-12 08:46:30
http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/04/29/cnnheroes.koirala.nepal/

Geeta was 9 when she began wearing makeup, staying up until 2 a.m. and having sex with as many as 60 men a day. The daughter of Nepalese peasant farmers, Geeta -- now 26 -- had been sold to a brothel in India by a member of her extended family. It was not until Geeta was 14 that a police officer rescued her and brought her to a safe house compound run by Anuradha Koirala. The 61-year-old woman and her group, Maiti Nepal, have been fighting for more than 16 years to rescue and rehabilitate thousands of Nepal's sex trafficking victims. By raiding brothels, patrolling the India-Nepal border and providing safe shelter and support services, Koirala and Maiti Nepal have helped rescue and rehabilitate more than 12,000 Nepali women and girls since 1993. According to the U.S. State Department, some 10,000 to 15,000 women and girls from Nepal are trafficked to India and then sexually exploited each year. The group has facilities throughout Nepal and India, but most of the rehabilitation work takes place at its main campus in Kathmandu, Nepal. Koirala said girls from the brothels arrive empty-handed, sick, in many cases pregnant or with small children, and "psychologically broken." "When the girl first comes to Maiti Nepal, we never, never ask them a question. We just let them [be] for as long as they need. We let them play, dance, walk, talk to a friend," Koirala said. "They are afraid at first, but eventually they will talk to us on their own." The group also takes in rape and domestic violence survivors, as well as abandoned children. "I cannot say no to anybody," Koirala said. "Everybody comes to Maiti Nepal."

Note: For lots more on the work of this brave and caring woman to stop sex slavery and support the victims, click here.




India's rice revolution
2013-02-16, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-03-05 09:01:17
http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2013/feb/16/india-rice-farmers-r...

Sumant Kumar was overjoyed when he harvested his rice last year. Every stalk he cut on his paddy field near the bank of the Sakri river seemed to weigh heavier than usual, every grain of rice was bigger and when his crop was weighed on the old village scales, even Kumar was shocked. A shy young farmer in Nalanda district of India's poorest state Bihar, [Kumar] had – using only farmyard manure and without any herbicides – grown an astonishing 22.4 tonnes of rice on one hectare of land. This was a world record and with rice the staple food of more than half the world's population of seven billion, big news. It beat not just the 19.4 tonnes achieved by the "father of rice", the Chinese agricultural scientist Yuan Longping, but the World Bank-funded scientists at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, and anything achieved by the biggest European and American seed and GM companies. And it was not just Sumant Kumar. Krishna, Nitish, Sanjay and Bijay, his friends and rivals in Darveshpura, all recorded over 17 tonnes, and many others in the villages around claimed to have more than doubled their usual yields. But the Bihar state agricultural universities didn't believe them at first, while India's leading rice scientists muttered about freak results. The Nalanda farmers were accused of cheating. Only when the state's head of agriculture, a rice farmer himself, came to the village with his own men and personally verified Sumant's crop, was the record confirmed.

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




iDoctor: Could a Smartphone Be the Future of Medicine
2013-01-25, NBC News
Posted: 2013-03-05 08:59:54
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/21134540/vp/50582822#50582822

One of the world’s top physicians, Dr. Eric Topol, has a prescription that could improve your family’s health and make medical care cheaper – the smartphone. Topol has long been one of the world’s foremost cardiologists. He has now become the foremost expert in the exploding field of wireless medicine, and this explosion, he says, is about to make our health care better and cheaper. He shows how simply his modified iphone produces a cardiogram for a patient. The device was approved by the FDA in December and is now sold to physicians for $199. Topol tells his patient he just saved a $100 technician’s fee. [Topol:] These days i’m actually prescribing a lot more apps than I am medications. You can take the phone and make it a lab on a chip -- you can do blood tests, saliva tests, urine tests, all kinds of things. Actually I think it helps make the whole interaction much more intimate, because now I’m sharing the results in realtime. There’s so much technology now that we could — by using digital [infra]structure that exists today -- make the office visit an enjoyable thing. [Topol] had a reputation for brashness. He questioned the safety of the hugely profitable pain killer Vioxx and eventually forced it off the market.

Note: To see the full text of this inspiring video, click here.




What Would You Do If You Saw a Waitress Refusing To Serve Gay Parents?
2011-05-19, ABC News
Posted: 2013-03-05 08:58:05
http://abcnews.go.com/WhatWouldYouDo/hidden-cameras-roll-cafe-patrons-defend-...

With one in five gay couples raising children in the U.S., the traditional mother and father setting is no longer the rule. Several professional organizations -- the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychiatric Association -- have issued statements saying that a parent's sexual orientation is irrelevant to their ability to raise a child. The Gay Parents Scenario: An actress hired by "What Would You Do?" is waiting tables at a local family style diner, Norma's Café in Farmers Branch, Texas. It's a typical busy morning for her until our actors portraying the role of a gay couple -- first females, then males -- dining with their children are seated in her section. As she begins to express her discomfort and probe their parenting skills, other diners begin to take notice. Will these patrons take the side of our waitress or will they defend the unconventional family? What They Said: Our actress portraying a waitress: "I mean it's bad enough you're lesbians but you're also parents and they don't have a father. I think that's kind of bad...I think this is terrible. I think they need a Dad!" Reactions from bystanders who witness the waitress's behavior: "I've never felt so uncomfortable and so beside myself with anger. You are a horrible person and a horrible waitress, and you need to leave." "You're the hate monster." "This is not the place for a political debate. This is a place for you to do your job." "It's about the quality of the parents and the love that there is in the home more than it's having a mom and a dad."

Note: For an inspiring seven-minute video on this showing how Texans have bigger hearts than many people imagine, click here.




Pee power! African teens create urine-fueled generator
2012-11-08, CNET
Posted: 2013-02-25 16:20:49
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57547296-1/pee-power-african-teens-create...

Four teenage African girls have come up with a urine-powered generator ... which they claim generates one hour of electricity from one liter (about a quart) of urine. The pee-powered product made its debut at Maker Faire Africa in Lagos, Nigeria. Urine is put into an electrolytic cell, which separates out the hydrogen. The gas cylinder pushes hydrogen into a cylinder of liquid borax, which is used to remove the moisture from the hydrogen gas. This purified hydrogen gas is pushed into the generator. The girls will probably be famous chemists one day, in any case, but they aren't the first to propose urine (or more solid human and animal waste) as a possible alternative fuel. Last year, in one example, researchers from Ohio University came up with their own technology for extracting hydrogen from urine. Doing so, they say, requires less power than plucking it from water, as hydrogen can be separated more easily from the ammonia and urea chemical compounds present in pee. The four African teens likely are the youngest researchers yet to dabble in pee as power. Skepticism aside, can we all just agree that the foursome should be lauded for their efforts to find alternative power sources on a continent that could really use them?

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




Ensler's Billion Rising Movement Spans The Globe
2013-02-14, NPR/Associated Press
Posted: 2013-02-19 10:20:30
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=172025304

Organizers say [there are] thousands of events taking place in 205 countries [on Valentine's Day] as part of One Billion Rising, an international call led by Eve Ensler's V-Day organization to end violence against women and girls. Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, announced the campaign last year, urging women and men around the world to walk out of work or school on Feb. 14, 2013, and dance to raise awareness of the troubling U.N. statistic that one in three women worldwide will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. "It's happening, and what we're seeing is really huge uprisings," Ensler said ... in a telephone interview from Congo. "It's amazing because it goes from huge events like in Collins Square in London to six girls in a living room in Iran. That's what's so beautiful about it, like the whole world's doing it in the way they can do it." "The UN has officially endorsed it, and I think unprecedentedly they, at 12:30 today, stopped their work and had a rising at the UN," Ensler said. "The pressure of One Billion Rising is forcing these people to have to say they're going to do something about it," she said. Scheduled stateside events included flash mobs in San Francisco, a Zumba dance party with Jane Fonda in Los Angeles, a special program at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom featuring Rosario Dawson and Glenn Close, and a rally led by Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter Bernice A. King on the sunny streets of Atlanta. The outpouring of participation surpassed even Ensler's hopeful dreams.

Note: For a powerful three-minute video on women breaking free, click here. To join the "One Billion Rising" movement, see their inspiring website here.




The ‘One Billion Rising’ on the Streets of Delhi
2013-02-15, New York Times
Posted: 2013-02-19 10:19:20
http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/15/the-one-billion-rising-on-the-stree...

On Valentine’s Day in Delhi, the pink band was ubiquitous, tied around arms, on wrists and foreheads, around necks and backpacks. Printed on it were the words “Enough! No More Violence Against Women.” 'On Thursday evening, as many set out for the customary Valentine’s Day dinner in the nation’s capital, several hundred men, women and children gathered at Parliament Street for an unorthodox celebration: a movement using music and dance to oppose violence against women. “We don’t want violence; we want love,” said Kamla Bhasin, the movement’s South Asia coordinator, to a cheering crowd of about 500 people. “We want a just love, a love based on equality.” In nearly 200 countries around the world, people took to the streets Thursday with a carnival spirit as part of One Billion Rising, a campaign initiated by Eve Ensler, the author of The Vagina Monologues, to highlight violence against women. In India, the message mirrored widespread public sentiment that has swelled after the gang rape and death of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in Delhi in December, bringing women’s rights and safety to the center stage of civic and political discourse. The campaign Thursday was a continuation of that fight. In recent months, young Indians have poured out in angry protests, condemning a police force that often exists for the preservation of power rather than the protection of people, and a political class that has routinely displayed apathy.

Note: For a powerful three-minute video on women breaking free, click here. To join the "One Billion Rising" movement, see their inspiring website here.





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