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.

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.




Goldman Environmental Prize winners 2013
2013-04-14, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-04-23 08:25:35
http://www.sfchronicle.com/science/article/Goldman-Environmental-Prize-winner...

The Goldman Environmental Prize, the most prestigious award for grassroots environmental work, [was awarded] in San Francisco to six activists who struggled against the odds to protect the world ecosystem. Profiles of winners: Aleta Baun, [of] Indonesia ... was born to a family ... on the western half of the island of Timor. [She] organized villagers against mining companies that started clearing the forests and taking marble out of the mountains. Her efforts led to threats and an assassination attempt by mining interests, forcing Baun, known by villagers as Mama Aleta, to hide in the forest with her baby. The movement grew despite the intimidation. In 2010, the mining companies caved to the pressure and halted mining on all four sites within the Mollo territories. Azzam Alwash, [of] Iraq ... led the effort to restore the Mesopotamian marshland in southern Iraq where he had spent much of his childhood. The marshland, a lush oasis that had been dubbed the Garden of Eden because it was teeming with birds, water buffalo, fox and otter, was drained and poisoned in the mid-1990s by Hussein in retaliation for a Shiite Arab uprising. Alwash ... founded a nonprofit called Nature Iraq and developed a master plan for restoring his beloved marshes. Despite constant threats from armed terrorists, the Alwash-led environmental movement has so far restored half the original marshland, which is scheduled this spring to become the nation's first national park. Alwash is now leading the fight in Iraq to block development of a chain of 23 dams along the border with Turkey and Syria that would reduce the flow of water in Iraq to a trickle.

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




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.





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