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.

Mater Dei team gets 2,843 miles to the gallon
2008-04-13, WFIE TV (NBC affiliate in Evansville, IN)
http://www.14wfie.com/Global/story.asp?S=8159222&nav=3w6o

Mater Dei High School finished first and third out of 33 high school and college student teams from North and South America, shattering the miles per gallon record set last year by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Mater Dei's "6th Gen" car won the traditional fuel combustion category in the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas with [a] run of 2,843.4 miles per gallon. Mater Dei's other car in competition, "5th Gen" finished third with a Friday run of 2,383.8 miles per gallon. Mater Dei wins $10,000 for first prize, along with an additional $2,400 for internal combustion engine awards. The Eco-Marathon Americas, which began in 2007, is a gathering of college and high school student teams trying to drive the farthest distance using the least amount of fuel. Collectively, it's an effort to change the way the world uses energy. Each team uses a hand-built, high-mileage prototype vehicle at the California Speedway from vehicle design to management to financing, the student teams managed their vehicles from start to finish. In addition to being eco-friendly, the competition is also about giving the students an opportunity to gain practical experience in science, math, business and design.

Note: Why wasn't this remarkable news covered by any major media other than this NBC affiliate? For another astonishing, yet little-known engine invention by high school students, click here. For more on the repression of new energy inventions, click here.




Life In a Jar?
2007-03-07, MSNBC
http://allday.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/03/07/82430.aspx

Ninety-seven-year-old Irena Sendler, just four foot eleven, saved twenty-five hundred children from Nazi death camps. Few knew. Mrs. Sendler seldom spoke of what she did. Considering all the remarkable stories from the Holocaust that have surfaced over the years, it's hard to believe this one lay mostly unnoticed for sixty years, until four high school girls from Uniontown, Kansas, uncovered it. Thanks to those teenagers, Mrs. Sendler has just been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. That tiny Catholic nurse not only saved all those children, she managed to sneak a Jewish man out of the Warsaw Ghetto. Right past the Nazi guards. She later married him and had two children of her own. Television is at its best when it shows the incredible things of which we are capable. People who see things that need to be done and do them without regrets or apologies; without sending out a press release. I like to reflect on such unassuming people like ... Irena Sendler. Perhaps they are put in a reporter's path to remind us never to get so caught up in the "Big Stories" that we overlook everyday people working in the woods. Their lives mattered and did make a difference.

Note: For an MSN video clip depicting the inspiring story of this woman and the teenagers who rediscovered her, click here. For the wonderful website dedicated to her, click here.




Iceman on Everest: 'It Was Easy'
2008-03-07, ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=4393377

Wim Hof [is] known as 'The Ice Man." Scientists can't really explain it, but the 48-year-old Dutchman is able to withstand, and even thrive, in temperatures that could be fatal to the average person. It's an ability he discovered in himself as a young man 20 years ago. "I had a stroll like this in the park with somebody and I saw the ice and I thought, what would happen if I go in there. I was really attracted to it. I went in, got rid of my clothes. Thirty seconds I was in," Hof said. "Tremendous good feeling when I came out and since then, I repeated it every day." It was the moment that Hof knew that his body was different somehow: He was able to withstand fatally freezing temperatures. Hof began a lifelong quest to see just how far his abilities would take him. In January of 1999 he traveled 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle to run a half-marathon in his bare feet. Three years later, dressed only in a swimsuit, he dove under the ice at the North Pole and earned a Guinness World Record for the longest amount of time swimming under the ice: 80 meters, almost twice the length of an Olympic-sized pool. When he didn't experience frostbite or hypothermia, the body's usual reactions to extreme cold, his extraordinary ability started to get the attention of doctors who specialize in extreme medicine. Dr. Ken Kamler, author of Surviving the Extremes, has treated dozens of people who tried to climb Mount Everest, and instead nearly died from the frigid temperatures. He couldn't believe it when he got word of a Dutchman making the ascent with no protection other than a pair of shorts. "People are always looking for new firsts on Everest. It's been climbed so many times now, people climb it without oxygen, they climb it with all different kinds of handicaps. But no one has come close to climbing Everest in those kinds of conditions," Dr. Kamler said. "It's almost inconceivable."

Note: Wim Hof's charity foundation, Happy People of the World, is based in the Netherlands. Visit the Web site by clicking here.




Oprah effect brings microlending to Main Street
2008-01-07, ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=4096536

The credit crisis may be fouling up billion-dollar takeover deals, but if you're a poor African seamstress who needs a loan for a new sewing machine, you could not ask for a better borrowing market to expand your business. Anyone with $25 to spare and an Internet connection can now become an international microfinancier through Kiva, an organization that matches individual lenders with impoverished entrepreneurs in the developing world. Steve Thomas, 50, a property tax consultant in Chicago, got started by lending $50 to a man in Togo who makes a living refurbishing used sneakers for resale. The loan was repaid in full and Thomas has gone on to fund 83 other ventures ranging from a cyber cafe in Ecuador to a mushroom-growing enterprise in Moldova. Microlending has been in use for decades. Muhammad Yunus shared the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize with Grameen Bank, the lender he founded in the early 1980s to help empower Bangladesh's rural poor. Several other institutions have developed since then, but Kiva is the first to open direct microlending opportunities to the general public with an online platform. Kiva hit the publicity jackpot in September when Oprah Winfrey featured the organization on her daytime television program, attracting a tidal wave of interest from Middle America. Demand was so high the day the episode aired, every loan on the site was fulfilled. Since then, Kiva has limited lenders to a $25-portion of each loan, the average of which is about $600. Even with the $25 cap, Kiva's lenders manage to fully fund each loan in 0.97 days, on average. The recent holiday season brought a fresh crop of lenders -- Kiva sold $2.2 million in gift certificates, which the givers were able to print out from their own computers.

Note: For a treasure trove of stories about the amazing successes of microlending in raising some of the poorest out of destitution, click here.



Radical banking: You shop locally -- why not bank locally too?
2007-09-04, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/g/a/2007/09/04/moneytales.DTL

Jessica ... lives what some might consider the perfect alternative lifestyle. She makes enough money to pay for rent and food (from the farmer's market) by teaching classes at the Solar Living Institute and selling her self-published zine about alternative fuel. She grows much of her own food and raises chickens and bees in her backyard. As a child, her family life centered around growing food and cooking meals together. Her parents never emphasized money. She hasn't strayed far from her upbringing. When asked about her views on money, she said: "It's better to be happy than to worry about your credit card bill or working a lot." One of the key points of being happy, for Jessica, is to bank at Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union. Jessica's made it a point to convert her friends to using credit unions, which are nonprofit banks. "I say to people: So you shop at a farmer's market. You use alternative fuel or bike or take public transportation. But you still bank at Bank of America?" She laughed at the paradox of the small-is-beautiful crowd supporting a global corporation. "With banks, it's a business and all your money goes to make someone you don't know rich -- but with credit unions, all the money goes back into the community," Jessica explained. "It's people banding together to share the abundance." Credit unions -- also called cooperative banks or people's banks -- have origins in Europe. They were first started by German farmers in the 1860s who felt private banks were charging unfair fees. These rural people pooled money together in order to make loans within their tight-knit community. In North America, the idea of credit unions was first embraced by Canadians. These days in the United States, there are over 8,000 credit unions; 536 of them are in California.

Note: To locate a credit union near you (in the United States), click here.




Water into fuel?
2007-05-22, WKYC (NBC affiliate in Cleveland, Ohio)
http://www.wkyc.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=68227

Retired TV station owner and broadcast engineer, John Kanzius, wasn't looking for an answer to the energy crisis. He was looking for a cure for cancer. Four years ago, inspiration struck in the middle of the night. Kanzius decided to try using radio waves to kill the cancer cells. His wife Marianne heard the noise and found her husband inventing a radio frequency generator with her pie pans. "I got up immediately, and thought he had lost it." Here are the basics of John's idea: Radio-waves will heat certain metals. Tiny bits of certain metal are injected into a cancer patient. Those nano-particals are attracted to the abnormalities of the cancer cells and ignore the healthy cells. The patient is then exposed to radio waves and only the bad cells heat up and die. But John also came across yet another extrordinary breakthrough. His machine could actually make saltwater burn. John Kanzius discovered that his radio frequency generator could release the oxygen and hydrogen from saltwater and create an incredibly intense flame. "If that was in a car cylinder you could see the amount of fire that would be in the cylinder." The APV Company Laboratory in Akron has checked out John's ... invention. They were amazed. "That could be a steam engine, a steam turbine. That could be a car engine if you wanted it to be." Imagine the possibilities. Saltwater as the ultimate clean fuel. A happy byproduct of one man searching for the cure for cancer.

Note: Though this exciting breakthrough was reported in dozens of local media, not one major news outlet found it worthy of mention. To verify this yourself, click here.




Can Rumi save us now?
2007-04-01, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2007/04/01/...

The Persian poet Rumi was surrounded by news of terrorism. Mass murders from war -- what today would be called genocide and ethnic cleansing -- were a routine part of Rumi's 13th-century world. So, where's the bloodshed in Rumi's writing? Rumi, a man so advanced in Islamic training that he could issue fatwas, divorced himself from talk of revenge, retribution and eye-for-an-eye killings. Like Jesus, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., Rumi insisted violence was an unsatisfying way of resolving issues. Sentiments like that have turned Rumi into one of America's best-selling poets -- someone whose thoughts on love and other matters are revered by hundreds of thousands of readers. Interest in the mystic from Persia (now Iran) -- in his all-inclusive message that the faithful of all religions have a common humanity -- has mushroomed in the past six years. Go to Borders, Barnes & Noble or any neighborhood bookstore, and you're likely to find many more Rumi titles than books by Robert Frost or Walt Whitman. So, who is Rumi? He was a mystic and a scholar. He was an adherent of religious Islam ... who, in the later part of his life, famously said, "I am not a Jew nor a Christian, not a Zoroastrian nor a Moslem." The love and longing that Rumi felt was everywhere, including his soul. "Keep in mind that the holy Quran states there is no force in religion," says Naini, a Rumi expert who has lectured on the poet at the United Nations. "Rumi wants to remind us that we are all children and the creation of God, regardless of religion, race, color, nationality, etc." In the current climate of war and warmongering ... Rumi's biggest gift to readers today may be his emphasis on the power of love and tolerance.




He gave up the fast track that led to jail and now helps youths
2007-03-12, San Francisco Chronicle
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/03/12/DDGLAOI6HD1.DTL

When other kids were doing homework and navigating the jangly uptake of adolescent hormones, [Derrick] Bedford was dealing pot in East Oakland.. It was the early '90s, when Oakland's crack entrepreneurs became folk heroes to kids on the street. For the next decade he was in and out of juvenile hall. He never went beyond seventh grade. He spent five and a half months in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. "From 12 to 23, it seemed like I was just a magnet to the police." Today, Bedford is a role model -- an exemplar of reinvention and a life transformed. Arrest-free for 11 years, he's a husband, a father of two and owns his own home. He loves his career. Bedford is on the opposite side of the law today. A juvenile institutional officer, ... he works with kids under house arrest. "No matter what these kids are going through," he says, "I have some experience and some testimony to help them through their situation." Bedford fell naturally into the work: He spoke the same language, knew the scams and could recognize the lies because he'd told them all. He brought credibility, and found that he loved the work and thrived on it. He won the Spirit of Youth Award, given by the Coalition for Juvenile Justice in Washington, D.C. "When I look back at my life," Bedford says, "there is definitely a lot of bad that I have done ... but I think it was all priming me to deal with the war we have going on with young African American men." Some days, he says, when he's walking through juvenile hall, "I'm just daydreaming. To grow up and be employed by the same county where I once was an offender ... is just unreal."




The Bonobo In All of Us
2007-02-13, PBS Nova Program
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/bonobos/dewaal.html

We can learn as much about human evolution and behavior by studying the sensitive, peace-loving bonobo as by studying the more violent chimpanzee—both of which share more than 98 percent of our DNA. "Bonobos help us to see ourselves more in the round," says Frans de Waal, a primatologist at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Atlanta. In this interview, de Waal explains [why] it's vital to protect this highly endangered close relative of ours. De Waal: I first saw them in 1978. At the time, I knew a lot about chimps, because I had been studying them. The sense you get looking [bonobos] in the eyes is that they're more sensitive, more sensual. There's a high emotional awareness. At the time, I was interested in reconciliation after fights, and I wanted to know how bonobos did it compared to chimpanzees. Very soon I discovered that they were much more sexual in everything they did, and that interested me—not so much for the sex part ... but much more how they have such a peaceful society, because they are much less violent than chimpanzees. Bonobos tell us about the possibility of having peaceful relationships. When the Japanese scientists ... came along with the story that bonobo groups [meeting for the first time not only] mingle, but they have sex together, the kids play with each other, they groom each other afterwards ... all this was absolutely shocking and didn't fit the image that we had of where we came from. And it was totally ignored. It's very interesting: when something doesn't fit your thinking, the best way to deal with it is to shove it out the window and ignore it, and that's what the scientific community did for about 20 years.

Note: To see how bonobos use language symbols to communicate with researchers, click here. To access a wonderful series of articles, slide shows, and presentations on the bonobos from the PBS website, click here.




Marching in Gandhi's footsteps
2002-03-23, Bangkok Post
http://web.archive.org/web/20030125174150/http://search.bangkokpost.co.th/bkk...

David Hartsough is quietly building an army. Hartsough is traveling the globe to rally a force that will march into the danger zones of the world armed with only a commitment to peace...In 1960, all across the southern states of the US, people began protesting [racial] segregation. Every Saturday, Hartsough and his black friends would leave DC, which had already been desegregated, and cross into Maryland. They would sit at a lunch counter there until they were arrested. When months passed and no one challenged the racist law [in Virginia], he and his friends mustered their courage. "Twelve of us went in and sat down at this lunch counter. Within minutes there were cars and sirens coming from all directions. They didn't arrest us, but neither were they going to serve us any food. We stayed there for two days, and it was the most difficult two days of my life." Hartsough and his friends endured vicious name-calling, lit cigarettes being dropped down their shirts, punches so hard they were knocked off their stools...and members of the American Nazi Party sporting swastikas and brandishing photos of apes. At the end of the second day, as Hartsough sat in meditation...a man approached him from behind. "He said to me, 'you nigger-lover', and he had this horrible look of hatred on his face; `if you don't get out of this store in two seconds, I'm going to stab this through your heart'." In the man's hand was a switchblade. "I had two seconds to decide if I really believed in nonviolence. I looked this man right in the eye, and I said, `Friend, do what you believe is right, and I'll still try and love you.’ It was quite amazing, because his jaw began to fall and his hand began to drop and then he left the store.'"




Christmas truce still stirs Europe 90 years later
2005-11-24, Yahoo/Reuters
http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:SV_nwSXUZL0J:news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051124/...

Even 91 years after peace interrupted the war, French generals still can't fathom why their soldiers disobeyed orders and joined the German enemy in the silenced battlefields for a forbidden Christmas truce. But Christian Carion, director of a stirring new film about the spontaneous 1914 ceasefire in World War One, said he was moved all the more when the British military asked to send copies of his decidedly anti-war film to their troops overseas. French generals said: 'You go ahead and make your movie but without us, we don't want to be partners to this rebellion.' I said: 'Rebellion? It was 90 years ago? Is that still a 'rebellion'? They said 'Yes'. The heart-warming film of the real-life story about enemies who left the trenches in northern France, east of Paris, to sing carols together, swap chocolate, drink toasts and bury their dead for a few days in 1914 has nevertheless been seen by a lot of French people. "Joyeux Noel" ["Merry Christmas" in English] rose to the top of the French box office after its November 9 premiere at home with 600,000 tickets sold the first week. Carion said the box office count hit the 1 million mark on Thursday -- a record for a film with subtitles in France.

Note: It is most interesting that an Internet search reveals the Yahoo News was the only media outlet to pick up this engaging Reuters story. There is a clear trend in the media to avoid stories that paint war in a negative light. For the full, inspiring Christmas truce story: http://www.WantToKnow.info/christmastruce




Responsible Banking Is Responsible Government
2012-12-27, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-alarcon/responsible-banking_b_1301026.html

Local governments, both big and small, are debating and approving "responsible banking ordinances" to hold banks accountable for how they treat people living in each city. The core tenet of each ordinance is simple: improve the availability of information that banks provide cities when we consider depositing taxpayer dollars and awarding contracts for new financial services. Responsible banking ordinances have recently been approved or are being considered in cities including New York, Seattle, Berkeley, Boston, Portland, Kansas City and San Francisco (responsible banking laws have been on the books in Cleveland and Philadelphia for years). The Los Angeles responsible banking ordinance will create a public, transparent process for gathering information about each bank's history of service in the community. The City of Los Angeles has a $30 billion banking portfolio, and the city's decision-makers are charged with selecting the financial institutions that will be allowed to profit from conducting transactions ... on behalf of our taxpayers. Progress toward banking responsibility is not coming without a fight. Big banks have been visiting city council offices [and have] argued that their investment divisions should not be held accountable. There is a good reason that responsible banking ordinances are being approved across the country -- banking responsibly is the fiscally responsible thing to do.

Note: The responsible banking ordinance movement has gained momentum since the above article was written about Los Angeles' inspiring success. In 2013, Minneapolis, MN became the 10th major US city to join this movement. In 2014, New York City beat the bankers in court to keep their ordinance alive. Want to see this model used by your city government?




Quaker Project Offers Inmates Alternatives to Violent Actions
1996-08-11, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/1996/08/11/nyregion/quaker-project-offers-inmates-alte...

Alternatives to Violence Project is a conflict-resolution workshop for inmates with a history of violent behavior at Sing Sing Correctional Facility. It is a program started by the Quakers in 1975 and still has strong Quaker involvement from meetings around the county. Each month the program conducts workshops at the prison for some of the most violent offenders in the New York State prison system. "Quakers have been involved in prison ministry for a long time because the founders like George Fox were incarcerated for civil disobedience," said Fred Feucht, 65, a Quaker from the Purchase Meeting and an outside coordinator for the project at the prison. Although the program is steeped in the nonviolent beliefs of the Quakers, most of the volunteers are not Quakers and believe that people need to learn conflict-resolution skills to avoid violence. "We grew out of the Quakers but we reached outside for most of our leaders," Mr. Feucht said. "A lot of our inside leaders are Muslims." Inside, leaders are inmates who have completed the ... workshops and now work as volunteers to conduct and administer the program. Volunteers in the project advocate that violence is the basic cause for people being incarcerated. Many remain involved with the program outside prison, and a group of former project facilitators formed a support group called the Landing Strip. With tougher sentencing laws today, repeat violent offenders may never be freed. For many graduates of the program, it is seen as a last chance.

Note: For more on this excellent program which is powerfully changing lives, watch this inspiring video and see their website.




Are these glimpses of the after-life?
2014-10-19, Daily Mail
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2799385/glimpses-life-brain-surgeon-t...

Neurosurgeon Dr Eben Alexander was convinced out-of-body experiences were hallucinations — until he went into a coma himself and had what he now believes was a glimpse of heaven. Dr Alexander, who has taught at Harvard Medical School, reveals many others have also seen what he described. Dr. Alexander: A near-death experience will change your life in more ways than one. It means you have survived a serious illness or a major accident, for one thing. But the aftermath ... can be even more significant. For me, it was as if my old world was dead and I had been reborn into a new one. Coping with that is hard: how do you replace your old vision of the universe? Many people are going through similar versions of what I went through, and the stories I have heard from other near-death experience witnesses give me courage every day. They are a constant corroboration of everything that was revealed to me — how we are loved and cherished much more than we can imagine, how we have nothing to fear and nothing to reproach ourselves for. If you have never seen yourself as a spiritual person, and perhaps did not even believe in God, this new dimension to your understanding has an even greater impact. One of the most extraordinary things about my own glimpse of heaven was that, back in this world, no one was aware of the transformation that I was undergoing. All the monitors and sensors and computers could detect no activity: my brain was flat-lining. New knowledge like this changes us for ever. We evolve into someone fresh.

Note: Learn a lot more about Dr. Alexander on this webpage. Explore an abundance of inspiring resources on near-death experiences.




Bridging the Clothing Divide
2012-10-13, New York Times
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/clothing-the-poorest-for-surv...

One of the most glaring oversights in the field of development is the lack of attention to clothing. Countless organizations work on food, energy, education, health care, economic opportunity — but beyond disaster relief efforts, you hear little about the need for clothes. In India, this makes no sense. In 1998, the Guptas started an organization, Goonj (meaning “echo”), to redistribute (clothing) where it was most needed. They wanted to find a way to address the problem systematically — to craft a permanent, rather than an episodic response, to what they considered a non-natural, perpetual disaster. Goonj has found a way to assist villagers that moves beyond the stigma of charity. The model is grounded in the Indian concepts ... advocated by Gandhi and his disciple Vinoba Bhave. “The whole chain is full of respectful links. Not many supply chains are full of respect.” Today, Goonj operates collection centers in nine Indian cities and provides about two million pounds of materials, mostly clothes, but also utensils, school supplies, footwear, toys and many other items. It will assist about a half a million people in 21 states this year. Goonj also takes pains to see that its materials actually reach the intended recipients. They carefully vet N.G.O. partners and do follow-up visits. If that is impossible, they require that photographs be taken to show the distribution of goods. Gupta said. “It’s a tough game to deal with local police and government officials and tax officers. But we have a zero bribe policy.”

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




Wind Power Blows Away Coal and Gas in Nordic Countries
2014-10-17, Scientific American/Reuters
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/wind-power-blows-away-coal-and-gas-...

Wind power is blowing gas and coal-fired turbines out of business in the Nordic countries, and the effects will be felt across the Baltic region as the renewable glut erodes utility margins for thermal power stations. Fossil power plants in Finland and Denmark act as swing-producers, helping to meet demand when hydropower production in Norway and Sweden falls due to dry weather. The arrival of wind power on a large scale has made this role less relevant and has pushed electricity prices down, eroding profitability of fossil power stations. "Demand for coal condensing power in the Nordic power market has decreased as a result of the economic recession and the drop in the wholesale price for electricity," state-controlled Finnish utility Fortum said. Nordic wholesale forward power prices have almost halved since 2010 to little over 30 euros per megawatt-hour (MWh) as capacity increases while demand stalls on the back of stagnant populations, low economic growth and lower energy use due to improved efficiency. "The Nordic system price will likely more often clear well below the production cost for coal fired power production," said Marius Holm Rennesund Oslo-based consultancy THEMA. "This will, in our view, result in mothballing of 2,000 MW of coal condensing capacity in Denmark and Finland towards 2030," he added. Adding further wind power capacity at current market conditions could lead to power prices dropping towards as low as 20 euros per MWh, the marginal cost for nuclear reactors, Rennesund said.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of key energy news articles from reliable major media sources. To learn about new energy technologies, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our New Energy Information Center.




CrowdMed wants to bring crowdsourcing to medicine
2014-05-10, Star Tribune/San Jose Mercury News
http://www.startribune.com/business/258540431.html

What Wikipedia has done for knowledge, a San Francisco company called CrowdMed is betting it can do for medicine. Send your symptoms and a nominal fee to CrowdMed.com, and dozens of medical professionals, students and average Joes will “crowdsource” — that is, share their knowledge and expertise — to help diagnose what’s wrong with you. The company isn’t out to replace your family doctor, but instead take advantage of the reach of social media to tap into an age-old medical practice: seeking second opinions. Or, in this case, hundreds of them. At the UC-Berkeley/UC-San Francisco Joint Medical Program, Dr. Amin Azzam, director of the “problem-based learning” curriculum, wants to use CrowdMed “to push the boundaries of how we train medical students.” Instead of teaching first- and second-year students with “pretend patients,” as is done now, Azzam is proposing adding CrowdMed’s cases to the curriculum. “They might even be more motivated to learn because it’s a real patient,” he said. Within 90 days of a consumer putting a case online, CrowdMed’s algorithm generates a list of the most probable diagnoses submitted by its “medical detectives,” along with their explanations. Patients are asked to give those suggestions to their physicians for consideration. Once it’s confirmed that the suggestions were helpful, the patients are refunded their $50 deposit and the detective who made the correct diagnosis gets his or her reward.

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




Rockefellers, Heirs to an Oil Fortune, Will Divest Charity of Fossil Fuels
2014-09-21, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/22/us/heirs-to-an-oil-fortune-join-the-divestm...

John D. Rockefeller built a vast fortune on oil. Now his heirs are abandoning fossil fuels. The family whose legendary wealth flowed from Standard Oil is planning to announce on Monday that its $860 million philanthropic organization, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, is joining the divestment movement that began a couple years ago on college campuses. In recent years, 180 institutions — including philanthropies, religious organizations, pension funds and local governments ... have pledged to sell assets tied to fossil fuel companies from their portfolios and to invest in cleaner alternatives. In all, the groups have pledged to divest assets worth more than $50 billion from portfolios. Some say they are taking action to align their assets with their environmental principles. Others want to shame companies that they believe are recklessly contributing to a warming planet. Ultimately ... their actions, like those of the anti-apartheid divestment fights of the 1980s, could help spur international debate, while the shift of investment funds to energy alternatives could lead to solutions to the carbon puzzle. At the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, there is no equivocation. The fund has already eliminated investments involved in coal and tar sands entirely while increasing its investment in alternate energy sources. The family has also engaged in shareholder activism with Exxon Mobil, the largest successor to Standard Oil. Members have met privately with the company ... in efforts to get it to moderate its stance on issues pertaining to the environment and climate change. They acknowledged that they have not caused the company to greatly alter its course.

Note: Read through a rich collection of energy news articles with inspiring and revealing news on energy developments. Then explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




How a German soldier-artist saved Dutch Jews from the Nazis
2014-09-05, Sacramento Bee/McClatchy News
http://www.sacbee.com/2014/09/05/6682262/how-a-german-soldier-artist-saved.html

This is the story of how a beloved German children’s book illustrator, while serving in the army of Nazi Germany, saved the lives of hundreds of Jews from Adolf Hitler’s death machine. It’s ... a story that the artist, [Werner Klemke,] who died 20 years ago, never told. The story surfaced only when Dutch documentary filmmaker Annet Betsalel asked whether she could poke around in the long-shuttered archives of the Jewish community of Bussum, the Netherlands. What she found was the story of a network set up by a Jewish businessman, Sam van Perlstein, who knew in 1942 that Jews were living on borrowed time under Nazi occupation and that if they were going to survive they were going to need some help. Betsalel is turning [the story] into a documentary titled “Rendezvous at Erasmus.” To survive the Nazis, van Perlstein needed documents proving he was half Aryan, and he asked [a young German soldier named Johannes Gerhardt, his friend] for help. Gerhardt was a photographer and knew he could help with part of the project, but he’d need another friend to produce the documents themselves. He turned to another another German soldier, Klemke, who ... hated Nazis, and was an artist. The documents they created were perfect, and fooled everyone who needed to be fooled. They allowed van Perlstein to reclaim his import business and money that had been frozen. That money went to fund resistance to the Nazis, and a hideaway network. Over the next few years, [Klemke] produced documents that helped some people escape from the country, and allowed others to survive while they remained in hiding.

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Laughing Makes Your Brain Work Better, New Study Finds
2014-04-20, ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/laughing-makes-brain-work-study-finds/story?id=2...

Ever have trouble remembering where you just left your keys? Just laugh it off. New research suggests that humor can improve short-term memory in older adults. In a recent small study conducted at Loma Linda University in Southern California, 20 normal, healthy, older adults watched a funny video distraction-free for 20 minutes, while a control group sat calmly with no video. Afterwards, they performed memory tests and had saliva samples analyzed for stress hormones. You guessed it; those who got to laugh the 20 minutes away with the funny video scored better on short-term memory tests, researchers said. And salivary levels of the stress hormone cortisol -- a memory enemy of sorts -- were significantly decreased in the humor group. The less stress you have, researchers said, the better your memory. It works like this: humor reduces stress hormones, lowers your blood pressure, and increases your mood state, according to Dr. Lee Berk, a co-author of the study. The act of laughter -- or simply enjoying some humor -- increases endorphins, sending dopamine to the brain to provide a sense of pleasure and reward, Berk said. That, in turn, makes the immune system work better and changes brain wave activity towards what's called a "gamma frequency," amping up memory and recall.

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