Orphans in Remote Russia Cheered by Moscow Deliveries

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore“Children pour out of orphanage No. 72, laughing and waving, and hurry to help unload the cars, stacked with boxes of toys, sports equipment, and coats – as well as cutlery and a new VCR with a selection of cartoons.” The donations are from Moscow adults 300 miles away who generously deliver to the orphans’ doors, stepping in where the state has failed. (CS Monitor)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Parrot Saved Girl’s Life With Warning

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA babysitter’s parrot is being credited with helping save the life of a 2-year-old girl who was choking at a Denver area home while the sitter was in the bathroom. The parrot started screaming and flapping his wings and saying ‘mama baby’ “over and over and over again.”  (w/ video at CBS4Denver.com) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Satellite Launched to Provide Pictures of Greenhouse Gases

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreEfforts to tackle global warming received a boost today with the successful launch of a Japanese satellite, the first to monitor greenhouse gases from space. The Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite “IBUKI” (or “GOSAT” in its English-language acronym) is the first satellite to observe greenhouse gases and monitor changes in the effects they cause. It was launched from the island of Tanegashima, in southern Japan, by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), a key partner in addressing disaster risk reduction and environmental issues for the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). Using a high precision sensor, “IBUKI” can measure from outer space the concentration of greenhouse gases throughout almost the entire surface of the earth, including large regions where data was never collected before. The obtained data will be used to determine the emission, transportation and absorption of these gases with a view to eventually contributing to controlling global warming. Covering every region in the world, the satellite will play a fundamental role in monitoring an increase or decrease of greenhouse gases. After the operations start, the data will be obtained every three days from the observation points and distributed to scientists free of charge. 56,000 global observation points will be available thanks to “IBUKI”. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Armed Shopkeeper Takes Pity on Robber

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA store owner who was being robbed turned the tables on the man pulling a shotgun from behind the counter. When the man started to beg and said he was only trying to feed his family, the shopkeeper provided the man with forty dollars and a loaf of bread and made him promise never to rob again. They even prayed together after the thief said he was inspired.Watch the interview with the inspiring shop owner (in the first of two videos)…last_img read more

Typo in Email Address Spells Romance For Two Salazars

first_imgTheir conversation flowed easy — even with 8000 miles between them — and love soon followed.(READ or listen to the StoryCorps tale at NPR)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreThis is the story of a romance that began with a typo. In 2007, Rachel Salazar was living in Bangkok, Thailand, and Ruben Salazar was in Waco, Texas. Their email addresses were nearly identical. Ruben received an email sent to the wrong person and forwarded it adding his own little message. “Something to the effect of ‘Hi, Rachel, it seems as if this message came to me instead of you. I’m in Waco, Texas, U.S.A. Have a great day. P.S. How’s the weather there in Bangkok?’”last_img read more

Diner Owner With Down Syndrome Serves Breakfast, Lunch and Hugs

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreTim Harris, owner of Tim’s Place, is the country’s only restaurant owner with Down’s Syndrome, and the joy he gets from serving people good food carries over into his diner’s most famous export: hugs.He even has a hug counter on the wall advertising the World’s Friendliest Restaurant and recently boasting, “Over 31,814 Hugs Given.”Since Tim was 14 he has wanted to own a restaurant and his parents gave him the money to live his dream – managing a real diner.(WATCH the video from CNN below) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble to Phase-out Hazardous Chemicals

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreDo you know what’s in your cosmetics? Or your perfume? The nation’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart announced Thursday that it will require suppliers to disclose and eventually phase out nearly 10 hazardous chemicals from the fragrances, cosmetics, household cleaners and personal care products at its stores.Similarly, Procter & Gamble cited consumer preferences last week as the reason it will eliminate hormone-like phthalates and the antibacterial triclosan, which is a known endocrine disruptor, from all its products. Triclosan has been used in some tooth pastes, mouthwashes, and many soaps with “anti-bacterial” on the label.In 2012, Johnson & Johnson pledged to remove those two chemicals, along with formaldehyde and parabens, from its personal care products worldwide.(READ the story in the USA Today)RELATED: For Your Health: Use Hand Sanitizers Without TriclosanPhoto credit: www.fitsugar.comAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Mail Carrier Saves Man Who Went 3 Days Without Medication

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreFor two decades Mickey Wheeley has delivered the mail to the same residents every day, so he knows something about these apartment dwellers.The observant letter carrier became suspicious when the mail began piling up in one of the boxes, which included the resident’s medication.So the North Carolina mailman decided to walk to the resident’s door to check it out — a decision that might have saved the man’s life.— WATCH the video below— READ the story from WGHPThanks to Joel Arellano for submitting the link on our Facebook Page!AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Lullabies Reduce Pain in Children, Say Academics

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA study at Great Ormond Street Hospital suggests lullabies do more than just help babies sleep – they reduce pain in sick children.Singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Hushabye Baby and Five Little Ducks to sick children was found to alleviate their suffering, and in a more significant way than previously parents might have guessed. (READ the story in The Telegraph)Photo credit: joeforjette via Flickr -CCRELATED: Pharmacy Prescribes Music for PainAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Study Promises New Hope for Children with Autism

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreAn alternative and non-invasive treatment for autism has led to significant reductions in maladaptive behaviors in children, according to a new study published in the January issue of the peer-reviewed journal, EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing.Robert Weiner, the author and lead researcher of the multi-site study, calls the novel NeuroModulation Technique a “promising intervention for autism.”Weiner, a Dallas, Texas behavioral medicine psychologist who has been in private practice since 1987, told the Good News Network, “I started using NMT, a gentle consciousness-based therapy, in my practice in 2004 and observed remarkable results, particularly with allergies.” “I saw long-standing allergies in both children and adults clear in as little as a single office visit.”Children in the study, after receiving NMT sessions twice a week for 6 weeks — a total treatment time per child of 9 hours — demonstrated improved mood, speech, language and social awareness, as well as a decrease in irritability and repetitive behaviors.The mother of one child who participated in the study commented, “Before the NMT Autism Study, my son had an extremely difficult time keeping a calm body for any length of time. Now he can sit through his preschool’s 40-minute circle time with 0-2 reminders on most days.  He is doing better sitting properly at the dinner table and also in the shopping cart at the market.  He still has some issues waiting in line at school, but we’ve even seen some improvement there as well.” Weiner, who designed the study, said the traditional treatments for autism tended to produce slow, incremental results and, in some cases, may require years of therapy, which can be prohibitively expensive. He posited that NMT, if found to be effective, could speed up the treatment process, and thus be a valuable therapy to add to a child’s treatment regimen.He recruited 8 other researchers to participate, and though it is a preliminary study, he called the results “very gratifying.”“NMT may offer a new hope for parents who are looking for effective treatments for their children who have autism,” he said in an email. But he also thinks the therapy will prove to be helpful for any condition.“I believe consciousness-based interventions for healing including NMT will become more and more accepted as research studies in fields ranging from physics to psychology continue to demonstrate the ability for consciousness to produce changes in matter.”For more info you can email: [email protected] the study’s PDF report from the Mind-Body Wellness Center.Photo credit: D Sharon PruittAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Homeless Man Reunited w/ Inheritance Thanks to Good Samaritan and Police

first_imgA receipt in one of the bags led them to a shopping mall. Security camera footage from one of the stores gave them a picture of who they were looking for — a homeless man police identified as “Joe.” But after days of searching, Detective Danny Mursell still couldn’t find him.A week after the money was lost, and while Mursell was working on something else, he just happened to spot Joe drinking coffee and reunited him with his traveling money.(WATCH the video below from WFOR News) – Photo by 401(K) 2013, CChttp://launch.newsinc.com/share.html?trackingGroup=69016&siteSection=latimes_hom_non_sec&videoId=29216968Help your friends find this story, share it (below)…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA volunteer on beach patrol who was looking for sea turtles, instead found a bag of money — and launched a week-long search to find its owner.Meanwhile, a homeless man who’d received an inheritance from a relative, was hoping to use the cash to return home to friends and family in Pennsylvania.The bag, discovered at a Florida bus stop bench, only contained half of his inheritance. A deputy sheriff spotted the other bag and together they contained nearly $10,000.Police believed it belonged to the same person, but finding him would take some detective work.5 Year-old Sings Grace for Homeless Man in Diner, Brings Tears (WATCH)last_img read more

Student Uses Coupon Clipping Skills to Buy $100,000 of Products for the Poor

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreReality TV shows are good for something, it turns out.A 16-year-old girl actually learned a valuable skill while watching “Extreme Couponing,” and has turned it into a philanthropic powerhouse for aiding people in hospitals and homeless shelters.Instead of hoarding a stash of goodies, she uses those coupon skills to deliver food, household and personal supplies, and electronics to people in need. Hannah Steinberg has delivered many thousands of dollars worth of products by being a savvy shopper, stockpiling the goods that she buys super cheap–and continues the effort, even while in college, through her own nonprofit.SHOP FOR FREE GOOD NEWS WITH OUR APP—>  Download FREE for Android and iOSThe Tufts University student runs her nationally recognized nonprofit, “Our Coupons Care” in Massachusetts.A youth coordinator at Coachman Family Center in White Plains says Hannah has donated $100,000 in products to that shelter alone, helping the 175 children living there.By understanding how “Extreme Couponing” works, Hannah tracks deals and stacks coupons and other offers together in combinations, which slashes the price of items to tiny fractions of their usual cost.RELATED:  Woman Donates Entire Toy Store to Kids in Homeless SheltersFunneling the money her nonprofit raises into buying more bargains lets her multiply every dollar’s purchasing power by five.She’s done so much good for her community, she has earned recognition by New York congressional leaders and her city of Scarsdale declared a Hannah Steinberg Day.“This has become something so much bigger than I would’ve imagined, for me and for the families,” Hannah told the Boston Globe. “What I’m doing is very simple.”CHECK OUT:  Food Stamps Double Their Value at Michigan Farmers MarketsEven in college, she finds time to organize a new donation drive almost every month and has rounded up donations for the Toys for Tots campaign and for Boston Children’s Hospital among her other causes.(READ more at the Boston Globe) — Photo: Chris Potter, CCShop This Story Around To Your Friends…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Community is Overjoyed to Pitch in and Care For New Local Celebrity: The Island’s Only Duck

first_imgRegardless of the “how”, the intrepid mallard, who is named after Trevor Mallard, the speaker of New Zealand’s House of Representatives, has already made a home for himself in a small puddle by the airport. Locals visit him every day to bring him peas, corn, rice, and sometimes a former New Zealand commissioner comes by to feed him bok choy. Tourists even stop by to take pictures with the feathery celebrity.RELATED: Endangered Parrots Won’t Stop Messing With Traffic Cones So the Cheeky Birds Have Been Given Their Own Roadside GymsFelicity Bollen, the chief executive officer of Niue Tourism, told the ABCs Pacific Beat: “We pride ourselves on being a funny, quirky little island and he fits with the quirkiness, so he’s a perfect fit from a marketing perspective for our country.”Even the local fire department is involved in welcoming their new neighbor; they’re in charge of refilling his puddle when it gets low.Bollen went on to tell The Guardian that interest in Trevor stems from the lack of land animals and birds in Niue. “We have whales and dolphins, we have a lot of things in the water, but not land animals… so for a duck to be wandering around the island, that’s why it’s so interesting.”WATCH: Mesmerizing Video of 10,000 Snow Geese Taking Flight Will Soothe Your SoulThe island residents are debating the merit of getting a companion duck for Trevor so he doesn’t get lonely – but for now, Niue is more than happy to provide all the food and love that a community could provide a wandering fowl.If you want to find out more about Trevor the duck, you can check out his official Facebook page.If This Story Floats Your Boat, Be Sure And Share With Your Friends – Photo by Trevor the Duck FacebookAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreWhat walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and splashes around like a duck? Well, for residents on the small island of Niue, the answer to that question is a duck – but they may not have been able to answer that before last month.A recent settler to the island, Trevor the duck has been causing a stir in the local community; because Niue has never had a duck before.No one knows how he could have gotten there, either. Theories range from him flying all the way from New Zealand to stowing away aboard a luxury yacht!last_img read more

Man Returns to Poor Neighborhood Where He Grew Up So He Can Give Away $12,000 in Free Toys

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorePhoto by Lauren WilhelmChristmas came early for the children living in these low-income neighborhoods and housing complexes.That’s because a former resident of the area returned to the streets where he grew up so he could hand out more than $12,000 worth of toys to the local children earlier this week.Adam Armstrong grew up poor in a mostly government-subsidized apartment complex in Harrisonburg, Virginia. When he was just 18 years old, he was sent to jail to serve a 3-month sentence for marijuana possession. By the time he was released, he knew that it was time to turn his life around. Armstrong, who is now the father of a 3-year-old girl, ended up moving to Baltimore and working a string of different jobs until he finally got into the mortgaging business.RELATED: After ‘Mountain Santa’ Dad Spent 42 Years Giving Away Gifts to Poor Families, His Son Decides to Do the SameAs Armstrong became more and more financially comfortable, he felt more and more compelled to give back to people living in poverty—so he began donating heaps of toys to local charities every holiday season.This week, the 35-year-old philanthropist drove to his former neighborhood in a 26-foot moving truck packed with 1,327 toys to give away to all of the children.Sara Lewis-Weeks, the property manager of the complex, says that when Armstrong had approached her about the giveaway last week, she had been wary of his intentions.Photo by Lauren Wilhelm“He comes [into my office] and says, ‘What are you doing on Saturday? I’d like to give away a lot of toys’ and I’m like, ‘Yeaaah, I don’t know about that,’” Lewis-Weeks recounted to NBC News. “I’m very skeptical at that point.”To her astonishment, however, Armstrong made good on his promise.“It wasn’t like stuffed animals—he was giving away bikes, remote-controlled cars, real Barbie dolls—not Dollar Store Barbie dolls,” says Weeks. “He didn’t miss anybody. His heart was truly in this.CHECK OUT: Dying 86-Year-old Bought 14 Years Worth of Christmas Gifts for His 2-Year-old Neighbor“They thought it was going to be a couple of stuffed animals, not, ‘And you get a bike, and you get a bike, and you get a bike,’—like an ‘Oprah’ for little kids,” she added.Armstrong simply told The Washington Post that he was happy to bring joy to little kids for the holiday season.“The kids were so innocent and sweet,” Armstrong told the news outlet. “You can’t put a price on looking at these kids’ happy faces. Some of them have nothing, and to be able to give them a small toy … the reward and the pleasure was mine.”(WATCH the news coverage below)Be Sure And Share The Sweet Story Of Holiday Cheer With Your Friends On Social Media…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Company Emerges to Help Small Businesses Compete with Amazon’s Same-Day Delivery—But With Green Cred

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreAs companies like Amazon, Walmart, and Target begin to dazzle us with the growing possibility of same-day delivery, it’s becoming harder for small businesses to compete in ways that provide the same speedy delivery without relying on high-emission forms of commercial storage or transportation options like renting space in large warehouses and air delivery.That is all now changing thanks to an organization called Ohi—a US-based warehousing and delivery service that allows small businesses to offer speedy, sustainable delivery options.Speaking with Fast Company, Ohi CEO Ben Jones detailed the problem that many small US businesses face when attempting to compete with nationwide distributers. “The problem that we’re solving for is that consumer expectations for e-commerce are getting faster and faster, driven primarily by Amazon, but also now by Walmart, by Target, and by all these other big brands enabling same-day delivery,” said Jones.RELATED: LEGO is Now Offering to Pay For You to Ship Your Unused Bricks to Children in Need“For smaller brands, it’s almost impossible for them to do that at low cost. If we’re going to build a replacement that will last for the next 60 years, we have to have sustainability as one of our core values.”From Seed to SproutOhi’s service allows small, growth-stage companies to expand their network of fulfillment centers across the United States in a unique way that saves money and energy.Since a small business might have only one pallet’s worth of product in any given city, Ohi allows them to expand their next- and same-day delivery capabilities by renting out space in “micro-warehouses” in unused office building spaces and retail parks.MORE: CEO Who Raised the Minimum Salary of His Employees to $70K is Now Doing It All Over AgainThe micro-warehousing means that brands can avoid the much higher environmental costs of maintaining traditional warehouses or offering next-day or two-day shipping on a plane. This also eliminates the much higher costs of long-term leases and fees associated with air travel.Reducing WasteOhi’s clients are also able to ensure sustainable next- and same-day shipping by cutting out various forms of middle men and extra steps between storage.“When you’re not throwing parcels around between various trucks in between the different distribution centers, you eliminate the need for a cardboard box,” said Jones.CHECK OUT: Canadian Credit Card Holders Are ‘Over the Moon’ With Chase Bank’s Decision to Forgive Outstanding DebtIf you order something from one of Ohi’s clients, it may be delivered to you on a bike, rather than from a truck—and it may be delivered in a in a recyclable cardboard bag rather than a cardboard box.Jones also said that this sustainable alternative to the standard fulfillment protocol has helped reduce cardboard, plastic, and paper waste associated with packaging and shipping by 75% compared to if Ohi used standard fulfillment practices.The service is currently only based out of New York City and Los Angeles, but the company hopes its success will help to expand their platform to other US cities within the next few decades.Be Sure And Share The Exciting News With Your Friends On Social Media…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Model Village for Alzheimer’s Patients in France Makes Residents Feel Like They’re Still Independent

first_img“It’s like being at home,” 82-year-old Madeleine Elissalde, one of the village’s first residents, told Reuters. “We’re well looked after.”The program costs in the neighborhood of 6.7 million euros to run each year. Residents and their families kick in about 24,000 euros in annual fees, but more than half the total expense is subsidized by government authorities.Expensive? Perhaps, but researchers at France’s National Institute of Health and Medical Research Shows closely studying how such model conditions impact the progression of dementia may ultimately conclude the insights they gain for future treatment standards will be well worth the cost.RELATED: Though Her Alzheimer’s Worsened, Supermarket Still Found Creative Ways to Keep Her on the TeamIn the meantime, residents of villages in France, the Netherlands, and another prototype community in Canada are able to live out the remainder of their years with not only a measure of self-esteem, dignity, and sense of purpose but some true “liberté, égalité, et fraternité” as well.(WATCH the video tour of this French village below.)Build Up Some Positivity By Sharing The Good News To Social Media…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore Built in the same spirit as De Hogeweyk, a purpose-built village for dementia patients in the Netherlands, it’s the first such facility in France.In addition to nursing facilities, the Landais campus includes a grocery store, hair salon, cafeteria, library, and music room.Residents are given as much freedom as their conditions allow, and treated to numerous entertainments.They’re also encouraged to participate in daily activities that can include shopping, cooking, and regular hairstyling appointments, as it’s believed sticking to a familiar routine may actually hinder the advance of the disease’s worst symptoms.WATCH: Thanks to Student’s Hunch, Seniors With Dementia Are ‘Coming Alive’ Again With the ‘Magic’ of Virtual Reality AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreAs the old African proverb says, “It takes a village to raise a child,” but it seems that same wisdom may also hold true when it comes to caring for elderly Alzheimer’s patients.Village Landais AlzheimerRather than placing them in traditional memory care units, some groups charged with the care of these special seniors are taking a more innovative approach.In southwestern France near the city of Dax, a community has been created with the specific needs of its 105 residents—all of whom suffer from Alzheimer’s in varying stages.last_img read more

Howard Hall teeters, totters for water

first_imgOn Thursday, Howard Hall will host its annual Totter for Water event, aiming to raise $4,000 to build a water well in Cameroon.Photo courtesy of The Water Project Sophomore Mary Kate Marino, Totter for Water commissioner, said Howard’s 24-hour, teeter-totter fundraiser raises awareness about water needs around the world.“The Totter is fun and builds a good sense of community,” Marino said. “It also provides a good way to start conversations about the world population’s water needs.”Although the event begins Thursday at 5 p.m. on South Quad and ends Friday at 5 p.m., Howard already has started fundraising efforts.“Totter [for Water] is technically a week-long fundraising event,” Marino said. “We have sent e-mails to everyone in the dorm requesting that they gather donations from their friends and families.”This year, Howard changed the partnering organization for their project.“Last year, we worked with The Water Project,” Marino said. “This year, we partnered with Engineers Without Borders at Notre Dame. We are able to operate under the same principle of improving water development worldwide, but we are now more specific to a Notre Dame group.”Partnering agencies are not the only change, she said. Howard has also raised the fundraising goal from last year.“We beat our goal last year by roughly $2,000. So this year, we made the fundraising goal $4,000, and we hope to beat even that,” Marino said.Hannah Miller, a junior in Howard, said she looks forward to tottering from midnight to one a.m. on Friday.“Totter for Water is a really good cause and a good way to build dorm community,” Miller said. “It serves as a reminder about the needs of others, especially with something that we take for granted.”Marino said the project is having a positive effect on dorm residents’ habits.“Totter is an environmental reminder to all the members of our dorm,” Marino said. “The project is influencing the girls [in Howard] to turn off water when it is not needed and turn off lights to conserve electricity.”Marino said water should not be such a scarce resource for the world’s population.“We have to look at the international community and not just our own needs,” Marino said. “This project provides one opportunity to go out there and help people access this resource.”For more information, Marino said log onto ewbnotredame.weebly.com and to donate log onto ssl.charityweb.net/ewbusa.Tags: 24 hour totter, fundraising for water, Howard, Howard Hall, totter for waterlast_img read more

NSF renews funding for nuclear physics program

first_imgLast week, the National Science Foundation (NSF) renewed funding for the Notre Dame-led Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics (JINA).“Over the last decade, JINA has pushed the frontiers of physics by fostering collaborations between researchers who normally would not have interacted with one another,” Michael Wiescher, principal investigator and Notre Dame’s Frank M. Freimann Professor of nuclear physics, said. “There is also a strong educational component for both young researchers as well as K-12 and general public outreach.”According to a University press release, JINA is dedicated to the research of broad-range nuclear processes in the universe and their effect on the lifetime and creation of stars.“One goal of JINA is to answer the longstanding question of where the heaviest elements — like platinum and uranium — found on Earth were originally produced. Since we don’t know where in the galaxy these elements are made, we use our models to test possible astrophysical sites, like supernovae,” Rebecca Surman, researcher and associate professor of nuclear theory and astrophysics at Notre Dame, said.Notre Dame has collaborated with Michigan State University, Arizona State University and the University of Washington, all core institutions in the research, according to a University press release.“It really brings together scientists from diverse areas of physics, such as nuclear experiments, astronomical observations, astrophysical modeling and nuclear theory to solve multidisciplinary problems in nuclear astrophysics,” Surman said.The institute is broad in its research, and according to Surman, this represents only a small amount of the work JINA does, as all the research builds on itself.“As part of JINA, I make recommendations as to which of these unstable nuclei have properties that most strongly influence the models and thus should be the targets of the next generation of nuclear physics experiments led by JINA nuclear physicists,” Surman said. “I work to understand its impact on astrophysical predictions. The predictions can be compared to observations made by JINA astronomers.”While the nuclear astrophysics can appear complicated, graduate student and researcher Tyler Anderson simplified the question JINA asks to the following: “Where do all the elements come from?”“We know that elements up to iron are created in stars through nuclear fusion, but we can nail down the specifics of those processes by recreating the relevant nuclear reactions in the lab,” Anderson said. “Most experiments boil down to smashing a nucleus into a stationary one and watching what comes out. Depending on what we see, such as gamma rays or x-rays, which are just different energies of light, or other ejected nuclei, we can piece together what happened in the reaction.”Tags: JINA, NSF, nuclear physicslast_img read more

ND Chorale prepares traditional Christmas performance of Handel’s ‘Messiah’

first_imgFor nearly 30 years, the Notre Dame Chorale has ushered in the holiday season with their performance of George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah,” a wildly popular Baroque masterpiece that tells the story of Christianity in three parts. Music professor Alexander Blachly, director of the Chorale, described the piece as “indestructible.”“That’s the word that people usually use about it,” Blachly said. “It means no matter how you perform, it is going to sound great. But I think it sounds a lot more great when it’s performed with this sense of style.” Courtesy of Alexander Blachly The Notre Dame Chorale performs Handel’s “Messiah,” a Christmas tradition at the University, in Leighton Concert Hall.When Blachly arrived at Notre Dame in 1993, the Chorale had significantly fewer members and performed “Messiah” with a full orchestra. For the past several years, however, the Chorale, which now has around 70 members, has performed with a small orchestra composed of 15 Baroque instruments. The distinctive sound of the Baroque orchestra, Blachly said, contributes to the “style” of the work.“It’s clearer, it has a different kind of articulation, the notes speak in a different way,” Blachly said. “The sound of the orchestra is really quite light and the whole piece then has an agility to it. Many movements in Messiah are dances. It’s very hard to get a modern orchestra to dance. It sounds very heavy. … Just by nature, the Baroque instruments have this quality of a kind of dance-like agility. It just makes the piece move so much faster and so much, much, much more interesting.”Handel loved “Messiah” and directed it many times during his years in London, usually as a fundraiser for a charity or hospital. The passion, variety and drama of the piece, Blachly said, points to Handel’s inspiration.“It sort of runs the gamut of what’s possible to make an interesting performance,” Blachly said. “… The piece is just full of these great contrasts and that’s part of what makes it such a great piece. You don’t get bored because so many different things happen one after the other. It’s a very colorful conception that Handel had and he wrote it in this blind white heat. He wrote this whole piece in three weeks.”The movements range from exuberant to gentle to powerful, Blachly noted, making for an interesting experience for the Chorale members as well. Senior Caiti Crahan, president of the Chorale, emphasized the unity of the work despite the differences in tone.“Some of [the songs] are very serious and loud and some of them are more bouncy and some of them are very slow,” Crahan said. “So there [are] variations but it’s all him.”In order to represent the full range of Handel’s expression, Blachly said the Chorale approaches the work “rhetorically.”“We try to think what it was in the words that inspired Handel to write the music that particular way because in every case, he’s illustrating the words in one way or another,” Blachly said. “So once you’re aware of that, then you try to figure out ‘what is it in his mind, what is he thinking of, what do those words suggest to him’ and then what is going on in the music that would correspond to the words.”Blachly offered the interaction between the angels announcing Jesus’ birth and the shepherds on Christmas night as an example of Handel’s grasp on his composition.“What happens with Handel is he’s got this incredible burst of sound with trumpets, when the angels first sing Glory to God,” Blachly said. “And then you can actually hear them going back up to heaven. You can hear them disappearing. The music is softer and softer and softer and softer … and then they’re gone. You can literally hear the angels moving through the sky.”Tapping into Handel’s mind in such a way gives the performance a richness that is not often seen, Blachly said.“I think some performances are not particularly aware of these things and they really miss out on an opportunity to make the music more interesting because of that,” he said.For Crahan, the Messiah tradition is one of the highlights of Chorale.“The soloists are really talented. It’s kind of inspiring to see them perform,” Crahan said. “I think the part that I like best is that we do it every year so it feels like a very Christmas-y tradition and gets us all [in] the holiday mood. … You can kind of hear yourself improving over the four years that you sing it, which is also really fun.”“Messiah” is Chorale’s most popular performance of the year, Blachly said. Crahan described how the adrenaline of performing is heightened by having a larger audience than a typical Chorale performance.“We have so much more energy and so much more fun when you can see an audience is engaged,” Crahan said. “When we sing the Hallelujah chorus, which is the last piece and the most famous one, obviously, everybody stands up which is so cool to see every year.”Blachly pointed to the Chorale members’ talents and the adjustable acoustics of Leighton Concert Hall as major improvements to the tradition. The acoustics, Blachly said, allow the less powerful, but more “colorful” Baroque instruments to stand out.“This is really satisfying because the choir is so good and the hall is so good and the orchestra so good,” Blachly said. “It’s just a great treat to do it. It’s really fun to do it and we can do it on very short notice; that’s the other thing that’s kind of incredible. When I started here, it was very slow going … now the learning curve is so fast. It’s just extraordinary.”Tags: chorale, christmas, Handel, Messiah, Orchestralast_img read more