Inspiring News
Excerpts of Highly Inspiring News Articles in Major Media



Below are one-paragraph excerpts of highly inspiring news articles reported in the major media. Links are provided to the original inspiring news articles on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These wonderfully inspiring excerpts are listed with the most inspiring news articles first. You can also explore the news articles listed by order of the date posted. For an abundance of other highly inspiring material, see our Inspiring Resources page. May these inspiring news 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.

8 technologies for a green future
2007-01-26, CNN
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/business2_archive/2007/02/01/8398988...

The planet's most pressing environmental problems ... may seem just too big to be solved with today's technology. But don't despair: A lot of bright minds are working on futuristic projects that promise to make the world greener. It's save-the-world stuff like toxic-waste-eating trees, smart electricity grids, oceangoing robots, and floating environmental sensors. This technology may seem far out - but it will probably be here a lot sooner than you think. 1. Try a solar-powered hydrogen fueling station in your garage. It's about the size of a filing cabinet and runs on electricity generated by standard-issue rooftop solar panels. The first version of the home fueling station is expected to produce enough hydrogen to give your runabout a range of some 100 miles without emitting a molecule of planet-warming greenhouse gas. 2. Environmental sensor networks [provide] real-time data on a variety of phenomena that affect the economy and society - climate change, hurricanes, air and water pollution. 3. Toxin-eating trees ... a technology that uses vegetation to absorb hazardous waste from industrial plants and other polluters. 4. Nuclear waste neutralizer ... a chemical technology called Urex+ that extracts reusable uranium and separates out cesium, allowing four times as much waste to be packed into nuclear burial grounds. 5. Autonomous ocean robots. 6. Sonic water purifier ... a sci-fi solution for an age-old problem that leaves 1.1 billion people without access to clean water: 7. Endangered-species tracker. 8. The interactive, renewable smart power grid ... the electricity grid of the future ... will look more like the Internet - distributed, interactive, open-source - than the dumb, one-way network of today.

Note: For many other exciting discoveries of new energy sources, click here.




The Monk in the Lab
2003-04-26, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/26/opinion/26LAMA.html

The neuroscience laboratory of Dr. Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin [has been] using imaging devices that show what occurs in the brain during meditation. Dr. Davidson has been able to study the effects of Buddhist practices for cultivating compassion, equanimity or mindfulness. Experiments have [shown] some practitioners can achieve a state of inner peace, even when facing extremely disturbing circumstances. Dr. Paul Ekman of the University of California at San Francisco [found] that jarring noises (one as loud as a gunshot) failed to startle the Buddhist monk he was testing. Dr. Davidson [conducted] research with people working in highly stressful jobs. These people ... were taught mindfulness, a state of alertness in which the mind does not get caught up in thoughts or sensations, but lets them come and go, much like watching a river flow by. After eight weeks, Dr. Davidson found that in these people, the parts of their brains that help to form positive emotions became increasingly active. The implications of all this are clear: the world today needs citizens and leaders who can work toward ensuring stability and engage in dialogue with the "enemy." It's worth noting that these methods are not just useful, but inexpensive. Everybody has the potential to lead a peaceful, meaningful life. Modern technology and human intelligence guided by hatred can lead to immense destruction. To respond wisely and effectively ... we would do well to remember that the war against hatred and terror can be waged on this, the internal front, too. If humanity is to survive, happiness and inner balance are crucial. We cannot neglect our inner development.




This Magic Moment
2005-04-12, weboflove.org/salon.com
http://www.weboflove.org/mantaray

It was like many Maui mornings, the sun rising over Haleakala as we greeted our divers for the day's charter... Near the last level of the dive ... three of us caught the current and drifted along the outside of the reef, slowly beginning our ascent until, far below, something caught my eye. I made out the white shoulder patches of a manta ray in about one hundred and twenty feet of water. So I started calling through my regulator, "Hey, come up and see me!" I had tried this before to attract the attention of whales and dolphins, who ... will come sometimes just to see what the noise is about. Once my brain clicked in and I was able to concentrate, I saw deep V-shaped marks of her flesh missing from her backside. She had fishing hooks embedded in her head by her eye, with very thick fishing line running to her tail. She had rolled with the line and was wrapped head to tail about five or six times. The line had torn into her body at the back, and those were the V-shaped chunks that were missing. Forgetting about my air, my divers and where I was, I went to the manta. I moved very slowly and talked to her the whole time, like she was one of the horses I had grown up with. When she had steadied, I took out the knife that I carry on my inflator hose. I cut through one line and into the next until she had all she could take of me and would move away, only to return in a moment or two. I could have stayed there forever! ... I was totally oblivious to everything but that moment. I loved this manta. I was so moved that she would allow me to do this to her. But reality came screaming down on me. With my air running out, I reluctantly came to my senses and pushed myself away...

Note: Don't miss the entire moving story at the link above.




Researchers Seek Routes to Happier Life
2006-11-26, Washington Post/Associated Press
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/26/AR20061126003...

As a motivational speaker and executive coach, Caroline Adams Miller knows a few things about using mental exercises to achieve goals. But last year, one exercise she was asked to try took her by surprise. Every night, she was to think of three good things that happened that day and analyze why they occurred. That was supposed to increase her overall happiness. "I thought it was too simple to be effective," said Miller. "I went to Harvard. I'm used to things being complicated." Miller was assigned the task as homework in a master's degree program. "The quality of my dreams has changed, I never have trouble falling asleep and I do feel happier." Miller said the exercise made her notice more good things in her day, and that now she routinely lists 10 or 20 of them rather than just three. That exercise is one of several that have shown preliminary promise in recent research into how people can make themselves happier — not just for a day or two, but long-term. There has been very little research in how people become happier. The big reason ... is that many researchers have considered that quest to be futile. But recent long-term studies have revealed that the happiness thermostat is more malleable than the popular theory maintained. One new study ... followed thousands of Germans for 17 years. About a quarter changed significantly over that time in their basic level of satisfaction with life. Another approach under study now is having people work on savoring the pleasing things in their lives like a warm shower or a good breakfast. [Yet] another promising approach is having people write down what they want to be remembered for, to help them bring their daily activities in line with what's really important to them.




The world champ of poverty fighters
2005-07-00, Ode Magazine, July 2005 Issue
http://www.odemagazine.com/article.php?aID=4126

Poverty can be solved, declares Muhammad Yunus. A former economics professor, who holds honorary doctorates from 22 universities in 11 countries, Yunus has seen for himself what works and what doesn’t work in Bangladesh, just about the poorest country in the world. "Charity is not the way to help people in need. If you want to solve poverty, you have to put people in a position to build their own life. Unfortunately, this is not how the aid industry works. Western governments and development organizations think they need to offer permanent charity. As a result, they keep entire economies in poverty and families in an inhuman situation." As founder of the Grameen Bank, he is the creator of a concept that now represents an emerging force in the financial world: microcredit, small loans for poor people. Grameen has become a model for banks in nearly 100 countries. "I still think we can cut poverty in half within 10 years and can eradicate it within a human lifetime. Credit is one of the barriers we must eliminate so that the poor can clamber out of poverty. Thanks to the mobile telephone, farmers in Bangladesh can negotiate directly with their customers. Via internet, farmers find out the actual market value of their goods, enabling them to strengthen their negotiating position. They are no longer forced to rely on the clever middleman who kept the farmers in ignorance and took off with their money." Yunus has demonstrated that combating poverty starts with action. And that these actions can sometimes even make a profit.

Note: Yunus was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for his empowering work. For lots more on this inspiring movement and what you can do to help pull families out of poverty, click here.




Daring rescue of whale: Humpback nuzzled her saviors in thanks
2005-12-14, San Francisco Chronicle
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/12/14/MNGNKG7Q0V1.DTL

A humpback whale freed by divers from a tangle of crab trap lines near the Farallon Islands nudged its rescuers and flapped around in what marine experts said was a rare and remarkable encounter. "It felt to me like it was thanking us, knowing that it was free and that we had helped it," James Moskito, one of the rescue divers, said Tuesday. "It stopped about a foot away from me, pushed me around a little bit and had some fun." Sunday's daring rescue was the first successful attempt on the West Coast to free an entangled humpback. It was a very risky maneuver...because the mere flip of a humpback's massive tail can kill a man. "I was the first diver in the water, and my heart sank when I saw all the lines wrapped around it," said [James] Moskito. "I really didn't think we were going to be able to save it." Moskito said about 20 crab-pot ropes, which are 240 feet long with weights every 60 feet, were wrapped around the animal. Rope was wrapped at least four times around the tail, the back and the left front flipper, and there was a line in the whale's mouth. Moskito and three other divers spent about an hour cutting the ropes with a special curved knife. The whale floated passively in the water the whole time, he said, giving off a strange kind of vibration. "When I was cutting the line going through the mouth, its eye was there winking at me, watching me," Moskito said. "It was an epic moment of my life." When the whale realized it was free, it began swimming around in circles, according to the rescuers. Moskito said it swam to each diver, nuzzled him and then swam to the next one.




Meet the American Couple Saving Thousands Trying to Get to Europe
2014-12-22, Time
http://time.com/3639877/christopher-catrambone-migrants-rescue-europe/

Christopher Catrambone and his wife have spent $7.5 million of their own money rescuing migrants. In the summer of 2014, Catrambone and his wife Regina channelled [their] empathy – and $7.5m of the family’s personal wealth – into an extraordinary mission to launch the world’s first private search and rescue operation. The aim of the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) was to locate the flimsy vessels overloaded with men, woman and children [in the Mediterranean Sea] trying to reach sanctuary in Europe, and save the lives of the passengers if they were in danger. “We’re not here to save the world, we’re here to help people who are in desperate need,” says Catrambone. “We leveraged nearly 50% of our savings on this project because it was that important to us.” Now they are appealing for the public’s help to keep the operation going. Global conflicts have forced record numbers of people on perilous voyages to Europe, but rich nations have scaled back operations to save them – a situation Catrambone finds astonishing. During their [first] 60 days in international waters, MOAS assisted nearly 3,000 people in jeopardy at sea. While an impressive figure, that’s still just a small proportion of the 207,000 people the U.N. refugee agency estimates set sail on clandestine voyages in the Mediterranean this year. That figure dwarfs the previous record of 70,000 people who attempted the voyage in 2011, after the Arab Spring sent the first wave of asylum-seekers towards Europe.

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




Takaharu and Yui Tezuka: Architects who put people first
2007-10-22, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/19/arts/19iht-tezuka.1.7962051.html?pagewanted...

An architect couple is working with the notion that buildings should ultimately serve the people who inhabit them. Takaharu and Yui Tezuka of Tezuka Architects believe that a building should give pleasure to its inhabitants ... without high-tech, touch-panel devices; the building should also be in harmony with the landscape and not isolated from it. "What we're expounding is very simple," said Takaharu Tezuka, who had worked in London [before starting] his own firm in Tokyo. "To be in a space where people can feel the breeze, the sunlight, the changing of the seasons, where they can forge and nourish relationships with one another." Tezuka Architects' recent, most visible project is the renovation of Fuji Kindergarten in Tachikawa, a Tokyo suburb. The kindergarten [welcomes] all children, whatever their economic means. Tezuka Architects ... expanded the whole space of Fuji Kindergarten while keeping its spirit sturdily intact. The result is a circular building with a wood deck roof space that is ideal for playing, running around, climbing trees (none of the stately zelkova trees were cut down but grow right through the new roof), leaning on the railings and gazing at the sky. Next to the kindergarten is a farming area for growing organic vegetables and within the grounds the children keep rabbits and goats. The kindergarten has no confining walls (not even in the bathrooms), no signs and no rules except for "very basic stuff, like putting your shoes away when you come in from outside," said Kato.

Note: Enjoy photos of the amazing kindergarten designed by this couple.




NeverSeconds blogger Martha Payne school dinner photo ban lifted
2012-06-15, BBC
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-18454800

A controversial ban preventing a nine-year-old girl from photographing her school meals has been lifted following a storm of protest on the internet. Martha Payne, from Argyll, has now recorded more than three million hits on her NeverSeconds blog. Martha began publishing photographs of her Lochgilphead Primary School lunches on 30 April. She gave each meal a 'food-o-meter' and health rating, and counted the number of mouthfuls it took her to eat it. She had been using the blog to raise money for the Mary's Meals charity. But in a post published on Thursday evening, Martha said her headteacher told her not to take any more photographs for the blog "because of a headline in a newspaper." The council's decision to impose the ban came after the Daily Record newspaper published a photograph of Martha alongside chef Nick Nairn under the headline "Time to fire the dinner ladies." Speaking on BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme Mr Payne said his daughter was not happy about the council's decision. By Friday morning, the council's decision had sparked a furious reaction on social media. Local MSP Mike Russell, Scotland's education secretary, tweeted he would be writing to the council's chief executive in his capacity as local MSP, calling for the "daft" ban to be overturned. Officials [lifted] the ban. Publicity caused by the ban helped the schoolgirl smash through her £7,000 fundraising target for the Mary's Meals charity - with total pledges of more than £30,000.

Note: Read this awesome article and watch the accompanying TedX talk about how kids are using technology to transform their live and our world. So cool!!!




"Forgiveness Is Liberating": Desmond Tutu On Healing A Nation's Racist Past
2014-12-14, Yes! Magazine
http://www.yesmagazine.org/peace-justice/forgiveness-is-liberating-desmond-tu...

In the mid-90s, the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission heard thousands of hours of testimony about human rights violations. The goal was to confront the crimes of apartheid while reconciling black and white South Africans who committed and suffered from them. Over the course of three years, more than 15,000 statements were taken. [Civil rights activist Angela] Davis hopes a similar process could help reconcile the wounds of deep, systemic American racism today. “To move toward a reconciled America, we have to do the work ourselves,” Davis wrote. So far, Davis’ piece has garnered overwhelming interest, with readers and leaders around the country offering to help establish such a commission. Here we offer a piece from the archives, an excerpt of [Archbishop Desmond] Tutu’s speech to the South African press club in 1997: This process has made a contribution to reconciliation, to healing, as the 1995 Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act says. After the first hearing in East London, Matthew Goniwe’s brother came to me and said, “We have told our story many, many times already. But this is the first time that, after telling it, it is as if a huge weight has been lifted from our shoulders.” Now we will know what happened to the Cradock Four, the Pepco Three, Siphiwo Mtimkulu, Steve Biko, and others. Despite inquests and inquiries, all these truths had remained concealed. The TRC process has helped to expose the real truth, and this surely is helping to heal.

Note: Perhaps a truth and reconciliation commission would help to reveal and even heal all of the massive corruption taking place around the world. Read this article for more. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




1,000-year-old onion and garlic eye remedy kills MRSA
2015-03-30, BBC
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-32117815

Scientists recreated a 9th Century Anglo-Saxon remedy using onion, garlic and part of a cow's stomach. They were "astonished" to find it almost completely wiped out methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, otherwise known as MRSA. Their findings will be presented at a national microbiology conference. The remedy was found in Bald's Leechbook - an old English manuscript containing instructions on various treatments held in the British Library. Anglo-Saxon expert Dr Christina Lee, from the University of Nottingham, translated the recipe for an "eye salve", which includes garlic, onion or leeks, wine and cow bile. Experts from the university's microbiology team recreated the remedy and then tested it on large cultures of MRSA. The leechbook is one of the earliest examples of what might loosely be called a medical textbook. It seems Anglo-Saxon physicians may actually have practised something pretty close to the modern scientific method, with its emphasis on observation and experimentation. Dr Lee said there are many similar medieval books with treatments for what appear to be bacterial infections. She said this could suggest people were carrying out detailed scientific studies centuries before bacteria were discovered. The team's findings will be presented at the Annual Conference of the Society for General Microbiology, in Birmingham.

Note: The recipe for the medieval remedy is available at the link above. For more see this CBS article. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




'Return To Life': How some children have memories of reincarnation
2015-03-16, Today
http://www.today.com/news/return-life-how-some-children-have-memories-reincar...

Ryan’s stories were truly legendary. His mother Cyndi said [that] when he was 5 years old, he confided in her one evening before bed. He said, "mom, I have something I need to tell you. I used to be somebody else.” The preschooler would then talk about “going home” to Hollywood. “His stories were so detailed and they were so extensive, that it just wasn’t like a child could have made it up,” she said. Cyndi said she ... had never really thought about reincarnation. She checked out books about Hollywood from the local library, hoping something inside would help her son make sense of his strange memories. “Then we found the picture,” she said. That photo ... was a publicity shot from the 1932 movie. “She turns to the page in the book, and I say ‘that’s me, that’s who I was,’" Ryan remembers. Finally she had a face to match to her son’s strange “memories,” giving her the courage to ask someone for help. That someone was Dr. Jim Tucker ... at the University of Virginia. [Tucker] has spent more than a decade studying the cases of children ... who say they remember a past life. [His] office contains the files of more than 2,500 children— cases accumulated from all over the world by his predecessor, Ian Stevenson. Tucker has [discovered some] intriguing patterns. For instance, 70 percent of the children say they died violent or unexpected deaths in their previous lives, and males account for 73 percent of those deaths— mirroring the statistics of those who die of unnatural causes in the general population. “There’d be no way to orchestrate that statistic with over 2,000 cases,” Tucker said.

Note: Don't miss the fascinating video of Ryan's story at the link above. His family and Dr. Tucker were able to confirm amazing details five-year-old Ryan described from his past life. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




How to Raise Kids Who Aren’t Spoiled
2015-02-04, Greater Good
http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_raise_kids_are_not_spoiled

All parents want their kids to have the skills they need to thrive in the world. But, while most parents feel comfortable talking about the importance of safety, health, schoolwork, and relationships, when it comes to the importance of money, many fall silent. Perhaps that’s because money can bring up extremely strong emotions. How much we have or don’t have, and how our income compares to that of others, can be a source of shame—whether we perceive ourselves as having too much or too little. Parents often find themselves fighting over finances, leaving the impression on kids that money causes conflict. In my role as the personal finance columnist for The New York Times, parents often ask me for advice. Here are some tips: 1. Talk about money and your values around money. 2. Give children money to manage on their own. 3. Teach kids to spend wisely. 4. Put kids to work. 5. Teach kids the importance of giving. 6. Practice gratitude. While these tips aren’t foolproof, parents who follow them have a better chance of raising children with a wise relationship to money. It’s up to all of us to make sure our children understand our values and know how to save, spend, or give away money in a way that is consistent with those values. If we all approached the topic with more honesty and openness, we might avoid a future where children end up either crippled by debt or thinking that everything should come to them on a silver platter.

Note: The above was written by Ron Lieber, whose new book, The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money, is about how parents can do a better job of teaching their kids about money. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Running on renewable energy, Burlington, Vermont powers green movement forward
2014-01-31, PBS
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/vermont-city-come-rely-100-percent-renewable-e...

Burlington recently announced that it now produces or gets more power than its citizens use. And it’s all coming from renewable sources of energy like wind and solar and hydroelectric. Ken Nolan helps run Burlington Electric, the local utility company that supplies power to the city’s 42,000 residents. Some might say, of course this is happening in Burlington — the town that’s often cast as a liberal, progressive haven. But Burlington — and Vermont at large — has plenty of economic reasons to try and do their part to tackle climate change: Vermont’s iconic, multi-million dollar industries — skiing and maple syrup — are as dependent on the climate as any industry in the U.S. And the state suffered hundreds of millions of dollars in damage from Hurricane Irene — the type of storm scientists say will grow in frequency unless we reduce our consumption of fossil fuels. Nolan says that switching from fossil fuel energy to renewable energy will likely save the city about $20 million dollars over the next two decades. What’s more, consumers haven’t been hit with a big price increase: while residential customers across the US have seen small but gradual increases in their utility bills over the years, Burlington’s rates haven’t increased since 2009. There’s nothing magic about Burlington in terms of where it sits. It was just a bunch of decisions made over ten years or more, to get towards renewable energy.

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




Bacteria used to yield pure water and produce hydrogen, the fuel of the future
2015-02-02, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/bacteria-used-yield-pure-water-produce-hydrogen-fuel...

In two separate research findings, scientists have used bacteria in processes that can deliver substantial power when scaled up in the future. While a Sintef team in Norway has a method to deliver purified water, a Missouri researcher has discovered a bacterium that produces hydrogen, the fuel of the future. The Sintef researchers converted waste water into power using bacteria in an entirely natural process that delivers purified water. As the bacteria feed on waste water, they produce electrons and protons and the resulting voltage generates electricity. While the electricity generated is small, it ... is an environmentally friendly process where the end product is purified water. The team plans to scale up the process to generate the power needed for the water purification. "In simple terms, this type of fuel cell works because the bacteria consume the waste materials found in the water," explains Sintef researcher Luis Cesar Colmenares. The challenge was in finding the bacteria most suited for the job and the right mechanism. The researcher at Missouri University of Science and Technology has stumbled upon a bacterium that could help mass-produce hydrogen for fuel cells in the future. The "Halanaerobium hydrogeninformans" bacterium can produce hydrogen under saline and alkaline conditions, better than modified organisms and could be valuable industrially when the process is scaled up. Another end product of the hydrogen process ... finds application in products including composites, adhesives, laminates and coatings.

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




Placebo effect influenced by perceived cost, study finds
2015-01-28, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-expensive-placebos-work-b...

Parkinson’s [is] a movement disorder that causes tremors, stiffness and balance problems. A 2008 meta-analysis found that placebos used in clinical trials of Parkinson’s treatments improved symptoms by an average of 16%. [A] team from the University of Cincinnati ... had a hunch that patients would be more responsive to a fake drug they thought was real if it came with a heftier price tag. So they recruited 12 patients with “moderately advanced” Parkinson’s and asked them to participate in a clinical trial. The study volunteers were told that there were two versions of the experimental drug and that both were believed to work equally well, [but] one version cost 15 times more than the other. In reality, both placebos were composed of the exact same saline solution. And yet, the patients perceived the expensive version to be more effective than the cheaper one, according to results published Wednesday in the journal Neurology. Both of the placebos improved motor function compared with a base line test. But when patients got the $1,500-per-dose placebo, their improvement was 9% greater than when they got the $100-per-dose placebo, the researchers reported. In another test, 67% of the patients were judged “very good” or having “marked improvement” after they took the expensive placebo, compared with 58% of patients after they took the purportedly cheap placebo.

Note: Even 58% experiencing "marked improvement" on the cheaper placebo is quite impressive! Why aren't more studies being done on the amazing and powerful affects of the placebo? Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Sleeping-Bag Coats Warm, Employ Detroit Homeless
2013-05-09, ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/05/sleeping-bag-coats-warm-employ-...

The Empowerment Plan began in 2010 as an idea to fulfill Veronika Scott’s assignment for her product-design class at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. “We had to design something that could actually happen,” Scott, 22, of Detroit said. Scott’s product was a coat that transformed into a sleeping bag for the homeless population of Detroit. The latest design ... can be rolled up and turned into a shoulder bag for the warmer months. After her class ended, Scott [continued to work] with the homeless at the shelter Neighborhood Service Organization in Detroit to develop the first prototype. Scott said the coat was initially meant to offer comfort and pride for the homeless, but one homeless woman’s words changed that. “She said, ‘Your coats don’t matter, jobs matter. We need jobs, not coats,’” Scott said. “It was then about who I could employ.” The Empowerment Plan [now] employs 13 former and current homeless people to manufacture its coats, [and] only hires homeless single parents without a violent crime record. Employees are paid well above the minimum wage in Michigan and are given microloans. The coats are not only ordered by nonprofit organizations for free distribution to the homeless, but are also used by the Red Cross for disaster relief. With the help of donations ... the Empowerment Plan plans to create 4,000 coats this year. Scott said that she wants the Empowerment Plan to be a model for U.S. humane manufacturing.

Note: Don't miss the inspiring three-minute video of this courageous woman which shows how one person can make a big change.




Mindfulness
2014-12-14, CBS News
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/mindfulness-anderson-cooper-60-minutes/

There's a growing movement in America to train people to get around the stresses of daily life. It's a practice called "mindfulness" and it basically means being aware. Jon Kabat-Zinn is an MIT-trained scientist who's been practicing mindfulness for 47 years. Back in 1979, he started teaching mindfulness through meditation to people suffering from chronic pain and illness. That program is now used in more than 700 hospitals worldwide. Jon Kabat-Zinn: When your alarm goes off and you jump out of bed, what is the nature of the mind in that moment? Are you already like, "oh my God," your calendar pops into your mind and you're driven already, or can you take a moment and just lie in bed and just feel your body breathing. And remember, "oh yeah, brand new day and I'm still alive." So, I get out of bed with awareness, brush my teeth with awareness. When you're in the shower next time check and see if you're in the shower. You may not be. You may be in your first meeting at work. You may have 50 people in the shower with you. If you look at people out on the street, if you look at people at restaurants, nobody's having conversations anymore. They're sitting at dinner looking at their phone, because their brain is so addicted to it. So all of this is leading to a societal exhaustion. But if you're starting to think mindfulness is something you should start practicing, he says you may be missing the point.

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




Changing Our DNA through Mind Control?
2014-12-16, Scientific American
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/changing-our-dna-through-mind-control/

Findings from a new study published in Cancer by a Canadian group suggest that our mental state has measurable physical influence on ... our DNA. Dr. Linda E. Carlson and her colleagues found that in breast cancer patients, support group involvement and mindfulness meditation – an adapted form of Buddhist meditation in which practitioners focus on present thoughts and actions in a non-judgmental way ... are associated with preserved telomere length. Telomeres are stretches of DNA that cap our chromosomes and help prevent chromosomal deterioration. We want our telomeres intact. In Carlson’s study distressed breast cancer survivors were divided into three groups. The first group was randomly assigned to ... mindfulness meditation and yoga; the second to 12-weeks of group therapy; and the third was a control group, receiving just a 6-hour stress management course. Telomeres were maintained in both treatment groups but shortened in controls. Previous work hinted at this. More recent work looking at meditation reported similar findings. The biologic benefits of meditation in particular extend well beyond telomere preservation. Earlier work by Carlson found that ... mindfulness is associated with healthier levels of the stress hormone cortisol and a decrease in compounds that promote inflammation.

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




Dutch Company Powers Streetlights With Living Plants; Will Your Cell Phone Be Next?
2014-11-21, Yes! Magazine
http://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/dutch-company-powers-streetlights-with-livi...

This month more than 300 LED lights were illuminated by the Dutch company Plant-e in a new energy project called “Starry Sky.” Although the bulbs were ordinary, the electricity running through them derived from a new process that harnesses the power of living plants. “Starry Sky” and a similar project an hour’s drive away, near Plant-e’s Wageningen headquarters, are the two first commercial installations of the company’s emerging technology ... fueled by the byproducts of living plants. Plant-e’s co-founder and CEO, Marjolein Helder, believes that this technology could be revolutionary. For decades, middle schoolers have been engineering clocks made from potatoes, which run on a similar principle. Plant-e’s technology is the first to produce electricity from plants without damaging them. Both projects that lit up the Netherlands this month involved native aquatic plants that were supplied by local greenhouses. The process involves plants growing in modules—two-square-foot plastic containers connected to other modules—where they undergo the process of photosynthesis and convert sunlight, air, and water into sugars. The plants use some of the sugars to grow, but they also discharge a lot of it back into the soil as waste. As the waste breaks down, it releases protons and electrons. Plant-e conducts electricity by placing electrodes into the soil.

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