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


Below are one-paragraph excerpts of highly inspiring news stories from the major media. Links are provided to the original stories on their media websites. If any link fails to function, click here. The inspiring news story summaries most recently posted here are 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 Human Library Is Tackling Diversity And Inclusion One Person At A Time
2020-07-13, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/kimelsesser/2020/07/13/the-human-library-is-tack...

The Human Library challenges stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue. In the Human Library, people, instead of traditional books, are on loan to readers. Founder, Ronni Abergel says the Human Library was started to create a space "where you can walk in, borrow a human being and talk to them about a very challenging topic. Ideally, we wanted people to talk about issues that they normally would not talk about, or potentially don't like to talk about, but that we need to talk about." These human "books" are volunteers that come from diverse backgrounds and have experiences that they are willing to share with their human readers. Just like traditional books, the human books have titles that describe their experiences like Black Activist, Chronic Depression, Survivor of Trafficking, Muslim, Latino, Transgender and many more. Sometimes one-on-one and sometimes in small groups, the Human Library creates a safe space where people can engage with someone different from themselves. When the library aids in corporate diversity and inclusion efforts, the readers are the organization's employees who are encouraged to ask difficult questions of the human books–things they always wanted to know but never had the opportunity to ask."It's easy to hate a group of people, but it's harder to hate an individual, particularly if that person is trying to be friendly and open and accommodating and totally non-threatening," says Bill Carney, a volunteer book in the Human Library.

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


Giraffe populations are rising, giving new hope to scientists
2022-01-12, National Geographic
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/giraffe-populations-rising...

Giraffe numbers have increased across Africa, new research shows, a rare spot of good news in the conservation world. According to a recent analysis of survey data from across the African continent, the total giraffe population is now around 117,000, approximately 20 percent higher than it was thought to be in 2015, when the last major survey was published. This rise is a result of genuine growth in some areas, but also stems from more accurate census data, says Julian Fennessy, executive director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, based in Namibia. "It's great to see these numbers increasing," says Fennessy, a co-author of the new research. Giraffes were once considered a single species. But recent genetic evidence shows there are likely four species of giraffe, three of which have increased considerably in number: northern, reticulated, and Masai giraffes. The fourth, southern giraffes, have remained relatively stable. Data were collected during the last few years across 21 countries, by governments, researchers, nonprofits, and even citizen scientists. Fennessy and six co-authors then analyzed this vast trove of information and published the results ... in the peer-reviewed research volume Imperiled: The Encyclopedia of Conservation. Northern giraffes, the most threatened species, live in isolated populations across Central and West Africa, as well as Uganda and parts of Kenya. The new paper estimates there are more than 5,900 of this species, a significant increase from 2015, when there were 4,780.

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


The deep seafloor is filled with entire branches of life yet to be discovered
2022-02-05, Live Science
https://www.livescience.com/deep-ocean-floor-teeming-with-unknown-life

The deep-ocean floor is teeming with undiscovered life-forms that help to regulate Earth's climate, a new study finds. Researchers sequenced DNA from deep-sea sediments around the world and found that there is at least three times more life on the seafloor than there is higher up in the ocean. What's more, nearly two-thirds of that life has not been formally identified yet. "It's been known since the 1960s that species diversity is very high in the deep sea, so very high numbers of species," co-author Andrew Gooday [said]. "What was new about this study was that there was a lot of novel diversity at the higher taxonomic level." In other words, there are a lot of unknown evolutionary lineages – like whole families of species – waiting to be discovered. The deep-ocean floor covers more than half of Earth's surface but is home to some of the least-studied ecosystems, according to the study. Previous research analyzed DNA collected through the water column, from above the ocean floor up to the surface, so this latest study sought to complete the picture and give a global view of biodiversity in the ocean by looking at seafloor DNA within deep-sea sediments. The researchers also learned more about the role the deep ocean plays in the so-called biological pump, the process by which ocean organisms such as phytoplankton absorb carbon from the atmosphere near the surface and sink to the deep sea, where the carbon is sequestered in the sediments.

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


What if College Were Free? This State Is Trying to Find Out.
2022-03-31, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/31/us/new-mexico-free-college.html

As universities across the United States face steep enrollment declines, New Mexico's government is embarking on a pioneering experiment to fight that trend: tuition-free higher education for all state residents. After President Biden's plan for universal free community college failed to gain traction in Congress, New Mexico, one of the nation's poorest states, has emerged with perhaps the most ambitious plans. A new state law approved in a rare show of bipartisanship allocates almost 1 percent of the state's budget toward covering tuition and fees at public colleges and universities, community colleges and tribal colleges. All state residents from new high school graduates to adults enrolling part-time will be eligible regardless of family income. The program is also open to immigrants regardless of their immigration status. Some legislators and other critics question whether there should have been income caps, and whether the state, newly flush with oil and gas revenue, can secure long-term funding to support the program beyond its first year. The legislation, which seeks to treat college as a public resource similar to primary and secondary education, takes effect in July. Although nearly half the states have embraced similar initiatives that seek to cover at least some tuition expenses for some students, New Mexico's law goes further by covering tuition and fees before other scholarships and sources of financial aid are applied, enabling students to use those other funds for expenses such as lodging, food or child care.

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


Amid war and disease, World Happiness Report shows bright spot
2022-03-18, McGill University
https://www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/channels/news/amid-war-and-disease-world-happi...

In this troubled time of war and pandemic, the World Happiness Report 2022 shows a bright light in dark times. According to the team of international researchers, including McGill University Professor Christopher Barrington-Leigh, the pandemic brought not only pain and suffering but also an increase in social support and benevolence. "COVID-19 is the biggest health crisis we've seen in more than a century," says Professor John Helliwell of the University of British Columbia. "Now that we have two years of evidence, we are able to assess not just the importance of benevolence and trust, but to see how they have contributed to well-being during the pandemic." Helliwell adds "We found during 2021 remarkable worldwide growth in all three acts of kindness monitored in the Gallup World Poll. Helping strangers, volunteering, and donations in 2021 were strongly up in every part of the world, reaching levels almost 25% above their pre-pandemic prevalence. This surge of benevolence, which was especially great for the helping of strangers, provides powerful evidence that people respond to help others in need, creating in the process more happiness for the beneficiaries, good examples for others to follow, and better lives for themselves." For the fifth year in a row Finland takes the top spot as the happiest in the world. This year its score was significantly ahead of other countries in the top ten. Denmark continues to occupy second place, with Iceland up from 4th place last year to 3rd this year.

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


Trees Talk To Each Other. 'Mother Tree' Ecologist Hears Lessons For People, Too
2021-05-04, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/05/04/993430007/trees-talk-to-...

Trees are "social creatures" that communicate with each other in cooperative ways that hold lessons for humans, too, ecologist Suzanne Simard says. Trees are linked to neighboring trees by an underground network of fungi that resembles the neural networks in the brain, she explains. In one study, Simard watched as a Douglas fir that had been injured by insects appeared to send chemical warning signals to a ponderosa pine growing nearby. The pine tree then produced defense enzymes to protect against the insect. "This was a breakthrough," Simard says. The trees were sharing "information that actually is important to the health of the whole forest." In addition to warning each other of danger, Simard says that trees have been known to share nutrients at critical times to keep each other healthy. She says the trees in a forest are often linked to each other via an older tree she calls a "mother" or "hub" tree. The study of trees took on a new resonance for Simard when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. During the course of her treatment, she learned that one of the chemotherapy medicines she relied on was actually derived from a substance some trees make for their own mutual defense. "One of the main chemotherapy medicines that was administered to me was paclitaxel [also called Taxol]," [she said]. "Paclitaxel is a defense agent – actually a defense chemical – that is produced by the Pacific yew tree, or all yews around the world, actually. It was essential to my recovery."

Note: Watch a great TED Talk by this intrepid scientist showing how forests are much more interconnected than we might imagine. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Solar paint offers endless energy from water vapor
2017-06-04, Phys Org
https://phys.org/news/2017-06-solar-endless-energy-vapor.html

Researchers have developed a solar paint that can absorb water vapour and split it to generate hydrogen - the cleanest source of energy. The paint contains a newly developed compound that acts like silica gel, which is used in sachets to absorb moisture and keep food, medicines and electronics fresh and dry. But unlike silica gel, the new material, synthetic molybdenum-sulphide, also acts as a semi-conductor and catalyses the splitting of water atoms into hydrogen and oxygen. Lead researcher Dr Torben Daeneke, from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, said: "We found that mixing the compound with titanium oxide particles leads to a sunlight-absorbing paint that produces hydrogen fuel from solar energy and moist air. "Titanium oxide is the white pigment that is already commonly used in wall paint, meaning that the simple addition of the new material can convert a brick wall into energy harvesting and fuel production real estate. "Our new development has a big range of advantages," he said. "There's no need for clean or filtered water to feed the system. Any place that has water vapour in the air ... can produce fuel." His colleague ... Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh, said hydrogen was the cleanest source of energy and could be used in fuel cells as well as conventional combustion engines as an alternative to fossil fuels. "This system can also be used in very dry but hot climates near oceans. The sea water is evaporated by the hot sunlight and the vapour can then be absorbed to produce fuel.

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


Cool to be kind: being nice is good for us – so why don't we all do it?
2022-03-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2022/mar/13/cool-to-be-kind-being-nice-is...

What is it, exactly, that makes us kind? Why are some of us kinder than others – and what stops us from being kinder? The Kindness Test, a major new study involving more than 60,000 people from 144 different countries, has been looking into these and other questions. It is believed to be the largest public study of kindness ever carried out in the world. The results, which are currently the subject of a three-part Radio 4 documentary The Anatomy of Kindness, suggest that people who receive, give or even just notice more acts of kindness tend to experience higher levels of wellbeing and life satisfaction. Other encouraging findings are that as many as two-thirds of people think the pandemic has made people kinder and nearly 60% of participants in the study claimed to have received an act of kindness in the previous 24 hours. Luke Cameron, dubbed the "nicest man in Britain", once spent a year doing a good deed every day. It taught him that sometimes offering some help, reassurance or a kind word can make a huge difference. "It's made me more aware of things that happen in front of me. If someone falls over in the street, there's always going to be people who go and help and others who stand back. It's made me one of those people who go and help. Consciously, I now just do it." He became that person, he says, after a "mindset shift" where he realised: "Actually, if it was me, I'd want somebody to help me. That makes you think differently about how you are with people."

Note: Listen to "The Anatomy of Kindness" on BBC4. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Cancer Without Chemotherapy: ‘A Totally Different World'
2021-09-27, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/27/health/breast-cancer-chemotherapy-lung.html

Dr. Seema Doshi was shocked and terrified when she found a lump in her breast that was eventually confirmed to be cancerous. "That rocked my world," said Dr. Doshi, a dermatologist in private practice. "I thought, ‘That's it. I will have to do chemotherapy.'" She was wrong. Dr. Doshi was the beneficiary of a quiet revolution in breast cancer treatment, a slow chipping away at the number of people for whom chemotherapy is recommended. Chemotherapy for decades was considered "the rule, the dogma," for treating breast cancer and other cancers, said Dr. Gabriel Hortobagyi, a breast cancer specialist. But data from a variety of sources offers some confirmation of what many oncologists say anecdotally – the method is on the wane for many cancer patients. Genetic tests can now reveal whether chemotherapy would be beneficial. For many there are better options with an ever-expanding array of drugs, including estrogen blockers and drugs that destroy cancers by attacking specific proteins on the surface of tumors. And there is a growing willingness among oncologists to scale back unhelpful treatments. The result spares thousands each year from the dreaded chemotherapy treatment, with its accompanying hair loss, nausea, fatigue, and potential to cause permanent damage to the heart and to nerves in the hands and feet. The diminution of chemotherapy treatment is happening for some other cancers, too, including lung cancer.

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


The Five Biggest New Energy Trends In 2022
2022-03-01, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2022/03/01/the-five-biggest-new-ener...

2022 is set to be a record year in terms of the scale at which the switchover from fossil fuels to renewable sources will take place. It's also a year in which we will see new and exotic sources of energy emerge from laboratory and pilot projects. Artificial intelligence (AI) is having transformative effects across energy and utilities. It is used to forecast demand and manage the distribution of resources, to ensure that power is available at the time and place it's needed with a minimum of waste. Hydrogen is the most abundant material in the universe and produces close to zero greenhouse gas emissions when burnt. Green [hydrogen] is created by a process involving electrolysis and water, and generating the required electricity from renewable sources like wind or solar power effectively makes the process carbon-free. This year, a number of major European energy companies, including Shell and RWE, committed to creating the first major green hydrogen pipeline from offshore wind plants in the North Sea throughout Europe. In solar, companies including Dutch startup Lusoco are finding new ways to engineer photovoltaic panels using different reflecting and refracting materials – including fluorescent ink - to concentrate light onto the solar cells, leading to more efficient harvesting of energy. This results in panels that are lighter as well as cheaper, and less energy-intensive to produce and install. New materials are also being developed that convert energy more effectively.

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


The marvel of old-growth forests that once cloaked the Pacific Northwest
2022-03-14, Seattle Times
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/the-marvel-of-old-growt...

Pools and streams and springs course and seep and drip. The waters sparkle with clarity and are achingly cold. Moisture glazes the rocks with an ineffable shine. The air is scented with wet, the tread underfoot softened with it. The tiered branches and filtered light create a realm of soft sounds and the feeling of a living dream of green, blue and brown, one ridge and hill of forest easing to the next. There are trees from sprouts to the ancients that have gained a look attained only at great age. Their bark flakes and shreds, and trunks soar to an apse raised over centuries. The soil is darker than coffee grounds, inky, sweet and redolent of fructifying forest funk. "This is the gold," [forest ecology professor Suzanne] Simard said, as she crumbled the soil in her hands, and teased apart filaments within it, finer than a human hair. These are fungal threads. Simard discovered in pioneering research they wind through these soils in a web of connections from tree to tree, sharing nutrients and water. Simard and others have revealed that trees also can recognize their own kin in seedlings they preferentially shuttle nutrients to, through the fungal network. In research published in the New Phytologist in 2016, Simard and her collaborators demonstrated carbon transfer – crucial food – was three to four times greater in kin than in nonkin pairings of Douglas fir seedlings. Kinship increased both the likelihood of establishment of a symbiotic relationship between kin linked by a fungal network, and its robustness.

Note: Watch a great TED Talk by this intrepid scientist showing how forests are much more interconnected than we might imagine. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Remote Bolivian tribe has lowest dementia rates worldwide
2022-03-18, Optimist Daily
https://www.optimistdaily.com/2022/03/remote-bolivian-tribe-has-lowest-dement...

A remote and unique indigenous population in the Bolivian Amazon called the Tsimane (pronounced chee-MAH-nay) sparked the interest of scientists when they were found to show almost no cases of age-related heart disease. Since then, scientists have carried out various studies into the Tsimane community due to their exceptional health even in old age. In 2017, researchers from The Tsimane Health and Life History Project were astonished to find that the elderly Tsimane experienced unusually low levels of vascular aging, and a study in The Lancet reported that the average 80-year-old Tsimane adult demonstrated the same vascular age as a 55-year-old American. Researchers are now looking into the brain health of the Tsimane community, in particular the prevalence of dementia. Only five cases of dementia were detected, which equates to about one percent of the population studied–significantly below the 11 percent of the equivalent American population known to be living with dementia. Researchers also studied 169 individuals hailing from the Moseten community, a community genetically and linguistically similar to the Tsimane. The Moseten also showed very low levels of dementia, even though they lived in closer proximity to modern Bolivian society. "Something about the pre-industrial subsistence lifestyle appears to protect older Tsimane and Moseten from dementia," says Margaret Gatz, lead author of the study.

Note: The profoundly inspiring documentary "Alive Inside" presents the astonishing experiences of elderly individuals with severe dementia who are revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music that meant something to them in their earlier years. Featuring experts including renowned neurologist/best-selling author Oliver Sacks and musician Bobby McFerrin, this beautiful portrait of senile patients coming back to life was the winner of Sundance Film Festival Audience Award.


Thousands of calls later, Denver's acclaimed program that provides an alternative to police response is expanding
2022-02-20, Denver Post
https://www.denverpost.com/2022/02/20/denver-star-program-expansion/

Since June 2020, the mental health clinicians and paramedics working for Denver's Support Team Assisted Response program have covered hundreds of miles in their white vans responding to 911 calls instead of police officers. They've responded to reports of people experiencing psychotic breaks. They've helped a woman experiencing homelessness who couldn't find a place to change, so she undressed in an alley. They've helped suicidal people, schizophrenic people, people using drugs. They've handed out water and socks. They've helped connect people to shelter, food and resources. The program, known as STAR, began 20 months ago with a single van and a two-person team. More than 2,700 calls later, STAR is getting ready to expand to six vans and more than a dozen workers – growth the program's leaders hope will allow the teams to respond to more than 10,000 calls a year. The Denver City Council last week voted unanimously to approve a $1.4 million contract with the Mental Health Center of Denver for the program's continuation and expansion. The contract means the program that aims to send unarmed health experts instead of police officers to certain emergency calls will soon have broader reach and more operational hours. "STAR is an example of a program that has worked for those it has had contact with," Councilwoman Robin Kniech said. "It is minimizing unnecessary arrests and unnecessary costs – whether that be jail costs or emergency room costs."

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


Delivery driver works 7 days a week to create library at former elementary school in Ghana
2021-08-28, CTV News
https://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/saanich-b-c-delivery-driver-works-7-days-a...

Isaac Oduro will never forget the day he was doing deliveries and received a $100 tip. It was so different than what Isaac experienced back in Africa. Isaac moved to Canada alone and worked for years to support his wife and sons in Ghana before they could join him. Two years ago, he returned to his hometown. "I feel so sad when I went back," Isaac says of the old elementary school he last attended 30 years ago. "(It) was in a deplorable state." Issac says the problems ranged from a roof filled with holes to classrooms empty of books. "I wasn't happy about what I saw, so I decided I'm going to do something." Isaac immediately bought seven whiteboards for the school, before making a commitment to do even more later. "I'm going to go back to Canada," Isaac says, after posing for pictures in the school with the new boards. "And in two years I'm going to come back and build a library." When Issac isn't working two jobs (10 hours a day, seven days a week) to earn funds for the renovations, he's requesting book donations from local companies. "Right now, I have 3,000 books," Isaac says. Isaac has packed up most of the books and arranged for them to be shipped to Ghana, along with bags of new school supplies. The library is slowly but surely being transformed, with a new roof, floor, paint and fans. It's on schedule for Isaac's return this fall to help finish the project and fill the school with with hope again. "(I hope) to keep them reading, to keep them learning," Isaac says.

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


Hero Driver Sacrifices His Own Car To Save Another Driver Who Is Having A Seizure
2021-11-22, Sunny Skyz
https://www.sunnyskyz.com/good-news/4469/Hero-Driver-Sacrifices-His-Own-Car-T...

A motorist in the Netherlands sacrificed his own vehicle to save another motorist who was having a seizure on the highway. Henry Temmermans from Nunspeet was driving on the A28 highway near Harderwijk on Friday afternoon when he saw another car driving in the grass on the highway. He peered into her window and realized she was unconscious. "I didn't hesitate for a moment. I had to do something," he [said]. He sped up to get in front of the woman's car and then slowed down so she would crash into him. His plan worked. The woman crashed into the back of his car and came to a complete stop. Behind them was another motorist who managed to record the entire incident on his dashcam. "We both got out immediately. He called 112 and then we looked in the car together," Temmermans said. An ambulance arrived 10 minutes later and took the woman to the hospital. She suffered a few broken ribs but will be okay. Temmermans had to call a [tow] truck as his vehicle was no longer drivable. "The other driver took me home. That turned out to be an old acquaintance from 25 years ago, when we were both young and wild," he said. The next day, the daughter and husband of the woman contacted Temmermans. "They were very grateful to me," he said.

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


Congress Has Closed The Loophole That Allowed Federal Officers To Claim Sex With A Detainee Is Consensual
2022-03-16, Yahoo! News
https://news.yahoo.com/congress-closed-loophole-allowed-federal-155928392.html

Congress passed a bill last week explicitly prohibiting federal law enforcement officers from having sex with people in their custody, closing a loophole that previously allowed them to avoid a rape conviction by claiming such an encounter was consensual. The legal loophole gained widespread attention in 2018, after an 18-year-old woman in New York, Anna Chambers, said that two detectives raped her inside their police van. The detectives, who have since resigned, said she consented. Prosecutors ultimately dropped the sexual assault charges, and the men were sentenced to five years of probation after pleading guilty to bribery and official misconduct. In February 2018, BuzzFeed News reported that laws in 35 states allowed police officers to claim that a person in their custody consented to sex, and that of at least 158 law enforcement officers charged with sexual assault, sexual battery, or unlawful sexual contact with somebody under their control from 2006 to 2018, at least 26 were acquitted or had charges dropped based on the consent defense. Last week ... the Closing the Law Enforcement Consent Loophole Act passed the House and Senate as part of a broader appropriations bill. The act also requires states that receive certain federal grants to annually report to the Department of Justice the number of complaints alleging a sexual encounter between a local law enforcement officer and a person in their custody. The ... Act applies to the 100,000 or so law enforcement officers across all federal agencies.

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


Here's Who MacKenzie Scott Donated To So Far In February
2022-02-12, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/rachelsandler/2022/02/12/heres-who-mackenzie-sco...

MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, is giving away her $46 billion fortune faster than anyone in history. In February alone, nine organizations announced gifts from Scott totaling $264.5 million. The largest donation, $133.5 million, went to Communities in Schools, a non-profit that helps keep at-risk children in schools. Another education nonprofit, Leading Educators, got $10 million to provide professional development for teachers. Scott donated to two organizations combatting addiction: $5 million to Shatterproof and $3 million to Young People in Recovery. Two groups focusing on reproductive rights, the Guttmacher Institute and the Collaborative for Gender + Reproductive Equity, received $15 million and $25 million respectively. The National Council on Aging got $8 million, while mental health nonprofit the Jed Foundation got $15 million. Additionally, the National 4-H Council, an agriculturally focused youth organization, received $50 million. Since divorcing Bezos in 2019, the 51-year-old Scott has emerged as one of the most secretive and prolific philanthropists in the world. Including February's gifts, she has given away a total of $8.8 billion in less than two years to more than 780 organizations–more than four times what her ex-husband has donated so far in his lifetime. Scott's gifts come in the form of unrestricted grants, meaning that nonprofits can spend the money however they want rather than on particular programs.

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


Alzheimer's Disease: Music Brings Patients 'Back to Life'
2012-04-11, ABC News
https://abcnews.go.com/Health/AlzheimersCommunity/alzheimers-disease-music-br...

Henry Dryer sits slumped over the tray attached to his wheelchair. He doesn't speak, and rarely moves, until a nursing home worker puts his headphones on. Then Dryer's feet start to shuffle, his folded arms rock back and forth, and he sings out loud in perfect sync with his favorite songs. "I feel a band of love, dreams," said Dryer, 92, who has dementia. "It gives me the feeling of love, romance!" Henry is one of seven patients profiled in the documentary "Alive Inside," a heartwarming look at the power of music to help those in nursing homes. "There are a million and a half people in nursing homes in this country," director Michael Rossato-Bennett told ABC News. "When I saw what happened to Henry, whenever you see a human being awaken like that, it touches something deep inside you." Rossato-Bennett said he took on the documentary project to promote Music & Memory, a nonprofit organization that brings iPods with personalized music to dementia patients in nursing home care. "When I end up in a nursing home, I'll want to have my music with me," said Dan Cohen, executive director of Music & Memory. "There aren't many things in nursing homes that are personally meaningful activities. Here's the one easy thing that has a significant impact." Cohen said the personalized playlists, chosen by loved ones, make patients light up. "They're more alert, more attentive, more cooperative, more engaged," he said. "Even if they can't recognize loved ones and they've stopped speaking, they hear music and they come alive."

Note: Don't miss this profoundly touching and inspiring documentary available here. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Can MDMA Save a Marriage?
2022-02-08, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/08/well/mind/marriage-molly-mdma.html

After 10 years of marriage, Ree, 42, and her husband were ready to call it quits. Then a friend suggested that they try the illegal drug MDMA, popularly known as Ecstasy or Molly. For Ree ... the answer was an "immediate no." Six months later, after reading "How to Change Your Mind," the best-selling book by Michael Pollan that details his transformative experience with psychedelics, Ree reconsidered. And that's how they found themselves in a secluded area of Utah at a large, rented house with a beautiful view of the mountains to trip on MDMA with five other couples. During their first trip on MDMA, Ree said she and her husband tearfully discussed things they had trouble speaking about for the last decade: How his emotional withdrawal had affected her self-esteem, and how sorry she was that she had continually pushed him to open up without understanding the pain he held inside. "My husband started sharing with me for the first time all these thoughts and emotions," Ree said. "It was him without the walls," she added. They also cuddled in bed for hours, skin to skin, describing all the things they loved about one another. "For a person who has always had body image issues, to allow him to touch me – touch my stomach, the part of me I don't love, was incredibly healing," she said. They continued using MDMA about twice a year to help them have difficult conversations. They both started seeing therapists. Now, about three years after they first tried MDMA ... they no longer need the drug to speak openly with one another.

Note: Read more about the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Alive Inside documentary shows the healing power of music
2012-04-12, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/us-news-blog/2012/apr/12/alive-inside-docum...

Henry Dryer, 92, is one of seven patients profiled in the documentary Alive Inside, a look at the power of music to help those with Alzheimer's. A clip of Dryer, who suffers from dementia, appears in an extraordinarily moving rough cut of the documentary that went up online this week. In the clip, which has been viewed 3 million times already, Dryer is largely mute and slumped over. He does not recognize his own daughter. But when a caregiver places a pair [of] headphones on him, he undergoes an astonishing transformation. His face, formerly slack and inert, lights up. His eyes beam, and he sways in his chair, keening along to the music of his youth. The effect lasts even after the headphones are removed. "I'm crazy about music," Dryer says. "I guess Cab Calloway was my number one band guy." Music "gives me the feeling of love", Dryer says. Author and neurologist Oliver Sacks, who has written extensively about the effects of music on the human brain, watches Dryer. "In some sense, Henry is restored to himself. He remembers who he is. He has reaquired his identity for a while through the power of music," Sacks says in the Alive Inside clip. "There are a million and a half people in nursing homes in this country," Alive Inside director Michael Rossato-Bennett told ABC News. "When I saw what happened to Henry, whenever you see a human being awaken like that, it touches something deep inside you."

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