I’m Back from England and Rome!

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 MoreAddThisMore I am back from two wonderful weeks touring Rome and England. Thanks to my summer intern, Cristina Frick, we were able to pre-publish 4 stories for each day I was gone. Many of you received customer support via my laptop, thanks to free wifi in hotels and cafes. This photo shows the cobble stones and ochre buildings surrounding the Campo di’ Fiori piazza in Rome. Our hotel was steps away and we enjoyed lovely meals in the evenings when these piazzas would come alive with outdoor dining, musicians, and locals gathering for biers and friendship. This second photo, of course, is taken at the end of the famous mile-long street in Liverpool made famous by the Beatles song… The barber shop and bank are still there, and the round-about where a nurse was “selling poppies from a tray.” I’ll likely post more photos later in the Forum, where all GNN members can share their pics …. Geri last_img read more

Old Man In Nursing Home Comes Alive Hearing Music From His Era (WATCH)

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreIn this amazing video an unresponsive nursing home patient reacts to hearing music that he loved from his era. Previously hunched over, his eyes widen, his whole being “quickens”. He recalls who he is and how his favorite songs were sung.The nursing home music program hopes to transform the lives of residents — especially those experiencing dementia — by giving them iPods full of their favorite music.The clip below is part of a documentary called Alive Inside, which follows social worker Dan Cohen as he creates personalized iPod playlists for people in elder care facilities, hoping to reconnect them with the music they love, reports NPR News.Cohen says the YouTube video of Henry is a great example of the link between music and memory. Cohen says his goal is “to make access to personalized music the standard of care at nursing facilities.”Alive Inside screens April 18, 20 and 21 at the Rubin Museum in New York City.You can learn more, and see additional clips from the film, at the Music & Memory website: www.musicandmemory.org.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

New Dating Site Hooks Up Volunteers Who Are Looking for Love

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreAlexandria Price, a 32-year-old international development professional, had enlisted the help of a dating coach to increase her chances of finding a soulmate. Even with a sleek headshot and a robust profile, she didn’t have much luck within the bounds of her town of Norwalk, Connecticut.She found Match.com too overwhelming, the sexual expectations of Tinder too off-putting, and Christian Mingle too…well, you get the point.Niche dating sites are on the rise more than ever, catering to farmers, vegans, and the mentally ill, to name a few. But a new dating site, iHeartVolunteers, is hoping to bring something new to the mix of photos, profiles, and awkward silences.Flower Girl and Ring Bearer from Wedding Get Married 20 Years LaterCreated by Chris and Shelly Zenner, iHeartVolunteers has all the frills of other dating sites with an additional feature that can position volunteer opportunities as dates – a great way to skip the awkwardness of who pays for what.Besides, seeing your date in action just might be the thing you need to give it a go.(Originally published in Affect Magazine)Share This Love Story With Your Pals….AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Woman Reads to Shelter Dogs to Ease Their Loneliness—And Her Own

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreIt all started because she missed her own dog.After 14 years with her beloved Welsh corgi, Sandy Barbabella was at a loss when he died last year—terribly lonely, yet not quite ready for a new four-legger in her life.So the mother of four and grandmother of six decided to volunteer at the local animal shelter in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and spend some quality time with furry friends who, like her, were missing their buddies.Her dog, Angus, had loved being read to, so she brought along a book.Clear Your Schedule: Baby Kitten Cuddling is a Real Volunteer JobIt’s now been 18 months since Barbabella first began settling into her chair beside the kennels every Tuesday at the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society. Shelter workers say it really calms down the dogs, but Barbabella says it does more good for her than it does for the dogs.Barbabella was unaware that photos of herself reading to dogs were spreading on the internet until the media started calling. A fellow shelter volunteer was so touched by the sight of her reading ‘Biscuit and the Little Pup’ to an old pit bull that she snapped a photo (above) and posted it on Reddit.“She was so patient with the dogs—I watched her read to several—and they just loved being petted by her,” Kathleen Costello told TODAY.Inspired by Barbabella’s style of volunteering, the shelter has announced that a read-a-thon is being organized for September.The plan is to get kids involved, reading to the animals, with the added benefit of reading practice for the two-leggers, along with plenty of friendly companionship for the four-leggers.(READ more at TODAY) — Photos: Kathleen Costello; (left) Amy Crawford, West. PA Humane SocietyRead This Story Aloud… Or Just Share It, BelowAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Dog Photobombs Couple’s Engagement Pictures to Keep the Focus on Him

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore The six-year-old dog has been with Megan longer than Chris has been — so maybe Louie was just reminding him who’s the boss.CHECK Out: More Inspiring Stories on the Pets Page at Good News NetworkWATCH the video above and see more pics at WCCO-TV.Share This Goofy Guy With Your Pack Of Friends… (Image from WCCO video)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore The pictures may have been meant to announce a couple’s wedding day, but their jealous little dachshund made sure the photo shoot was all about him.Megan Determan and Chris Kluthe of St. Paul, Minnesota decided to include their dog, Louie, in their engagement photos. It was supposed to be a set of charming, family pictures.But Louie stole the show, photobombing the couple and completely blocking Chris in a wacky series of shots.last_img read more

How One Girl Fed Thousands Thanks to an Unusually Large Cabbage

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreThis little girl became the founder of an organization that fed thousands thanks to a freakishly large 3rd grade project.When 9-year-old Katie Stagliano was in elementary school, her teacher gave all the students an assignment to plant and grow a cabbage seedling.Katie’s cabbage went on to become an unusually whopping 40-pound vegetable – so the Stagliano family decided to donate the greens to a nearby soup kitchen in Summerville, South Carolina. Feeding 275 other people with her cabbage ignited a spark in the young student, and led her to create Katie’s Krops: an organization that encourages other kids in America to grow their own vegetables and feed thousands of hungry people nationwide.MORE: Teen Volunteer Wins $70,000 SUV in Charity Raffle, Then Stuns Crowd“It is the most incredible feeling to know that there are kids across the country who are as passionate as me about ending hunger,” Katie told the Good News Network. “Together as a family of growers, we are helping to grow a healthy end to hunger in our communities.”The team of young gardeners have already served over 2,000 meals and donated thousands of pounds of produce across the US.CHECK OUT: This Doctor Broke The Law To Engineer a Better Nursing Home, And the Death Rate Plummeted“We want to expand Katie’s Krops to 500 gardens in all 50 states,” said the now-18-year-old gardener. “Currently, we are at 100 gardens in 31 states, but thanks to our incredible supporters at Sub-Zero, we are able to start 25 new Katie’s Krops gardens across the United States in 2017.”The group is currently accepting applications from kids ages 9-16 who want to start a Katie’s Krops Garden in their community to help end hunger.RELATED: Woman Donates Entire Toy Store to Kids in Homeless SheltersKatie’s achievements don’t end at a garden’s marigold border, however: She and a team of volunteers host a monthly dinner that provides free garden-to-table meals to the community; she published Katie’s Cabbage in 2014, which won the 2015 Carol D. Reiser Children’s Book Award; and she has founded a yearly summer camp that teaches young gardeners growing techniques.Though she’s off to college, she hopes to take Katie’s Crops internationally and wipe out hunger for good.(WATCH the video below)Grow Some Positivity: Click To Share This Story With Your Friends – Photo by Stacy StaglianoAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Child With ‘Nothing to Give’ Sacrifices the ‘Best Part of Her Breakfast’ as Gift for Her Teacher

first_imgWhile repackaged cereal treats might seem like an unusual Christmas present, Uretsky-Pratt posted a photo of the marshmallows to Facebook in order to explain their significance.LOOK: Sixth Grader Leaves a Note for Vehicle Owner After Seeing School Bus Driver Pull a Hit and Run“You see, 100% of my school is on free/reduced lunch,” wrote Uretsky-Pratt. “They also get free breakfast at school every day of the school week.”If you haven’t guessed already, the free breakfast that was served on the last day of school was Lucky Charms.“This kiddo wanted to get me something so badly, but had nothing to give,” Uretsky-Pratt continued. “So rather than give me nothing, this student opened up her free breakfast cereal this morning, took the packaging of her spork, straw, and napkin, and finally took the time to take every marshmallow out of her cereal to put in a bag—for me.”LOOK: When Teacher Asks Students to Share Supplies, Boy Offers Up Pencils With Sweet, Personal MessagesThe school teacher hoped that the sweet story would help her social media followers gain some perspective and appreciation for the abundance that they may have in their lives – because even when this youngster had nothing to offer her teacher, she was still willing to sacrifice “the best part of her breakfast”.“No one likes Lucky Charms without the marshmallows,” Uretsky-Pratt mused to USA Today.The post ended up being shared over 100,000 times, which spurred hundreds of readers to offer up gifts and donations for the school teacher. Uretsky-Pratt later published a Facebook response in which she encouraged her followers to contact the school principal about making donations.MORE: Watch Deaf Janitor’s Emotional Reaction to Children’s Birthday Surprise“It makes me so proud of my kiddos that they have touched your hearts along with mine,” she wrote. “Your generosity in offering gifts for both the student and I, donations to our school, and our classroom have not gone unnoticed.”“My wish for all of you is to remember this kind and simple gesture of love from one of my school babies and carry it with you and continue to spread love and kindness to everyone you meet – not just during this holiday season. ”Be Sure And Share This Sweet Story Of Kindness With Your Friends On Social MediaAddThis 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 elementary school teacher received several gifts and trinkets from her adoring students before winter break – but there was one gift in particular that melted her heart.Rachel Uretsky-Pratt works as a teacher for the Kennewick School District in Washington. Before her students left for their holiday vacation, they showered her with little gifts of chocolates, jewelry, and handwritten notes.The 24-year-old teacher’s most notable gift, however, was a small package of Lucky Charms marshmallows wrapped in plastic.last_img read more

Scientist Makes Bioplastic Out of Discarded Olive Pits Thanks to Her Dad’s Strange Eating Habits

first_imgMORE: Scientists Are Replacing Plastic With Algae, a Revolutionary Idea That Can Suck Carbon Out of the AirThis chance discovery has since sprouted into the Biolive startup, a group that converts the discarded pits from olive oil manufacturers into bioplastic.While it takes 450 years for typical plastics to decompose, the olive-based plastic created by Biolive decomposes within one year, “blending into the earth like fertilizer”.Another benefit of using biodegradable plastic is its small carbon footprint; replacing 2 pounds of traditional plastic with the same amount of Biolive’s plastic reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 13 pounds (6 kilograms).RELATED: America’s Largest Grocery Store Chain is Saying Goodbye to Single-Use Plastic BagsIn addition to the exciting environmental benefits of Yilmaz’s work, it also has a significant social impact on the young women of Turkey. Globally, women make up about 63% of the work force – but in Turkey, that number is a mere 34%. Yilmaz’s success demonstrates the importance of female entrepreneurs, and the undeniable benefit of diversification in fields driven by unique and innovative ideas.Yilmaz, who has received several awards and grants for her groundbreaking work, hopes that Biolive will continue partnering with more and more shipping companies so that their olive-based material can one day replace wasteful plastic packaging entirely.(WATCH the video below)Be Sure And Pass This Exciting Story Along To Your Friends On Social MediaAddThis 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 Turkish scientist has found a way to convert discarded olive pits into a biodegradable plastic thanks to her dad’s peculiar eating habits.Duygu Yilmaz first started her groundbreaking scientific work after she noticed her father’s quirky habit of eating olive pits in order to soothe his stomach. Yilmaz grew concerned that the pits were harmful to his stomach health, so she decided to do some research.Rather than finding anything dangerous, however, she discovered some surprising similarities between the chemical makeup of olive pits and plastic.last_img read more

Researchers ‘Shocked’ by Discovery That ALS-Diseased Neurons Show Incredible Resilience if Given Glucose

first_img“This project was a way to parse out those details,” said the study’s lead author Ernesto Manzo, who described the results, published online in eLife, as “truly shocking.”MORE: Dogs Detecting Lung Cancer With 97% Accuracy May Spell the End of Expensive Screening MethodsThe study revealed that when ALS-affected neurons are given more glucose, they turn that power source into energy. With that energy, they’re able to survive longer and function better. Increasing glucose delivery to the cells, then, may be one way to meet the abnormally high energy demands of ALS patients.“These neurons were finding some relief by breaking down glucose and getting more cellular energy,” Manzo said.ALS is almost always a progressive disease, eventually taking away patients’ ability to walk, speak and even breathe. The average life expectancy of an ALS patient from the time of diagnosis is two to five years.CHECK OUT: Be Sure and Floss! Researchers Say Good Dental Health ‘Substantially’ Decreases Risk of Alzheimer’sPrevious studies on metabolism in ALS patients have focused primarily on what happens at the whole-body level, not the cellular level, explained Daniela Zarnescu, UA professor of molecular and cellular biology and senior author on the study.The researchers observed brain lobes of ALS-affected fruit flies under a microscope. Pictured is a nerve cord, populated with green-stained motor neurons, expressing human glucose transporters. Areas of neurotransmitter release are shown in red, while muscles are shown in blue. (Courtesy of the Zarnescu Lab)“The fact that we uncovered a compensatory mechanism surprised me,” Zarnescu said. “These desperate, degenerating neurons showed incredible resilience. It is an example of how amazing cells are at dealing with stress.”The novelty of the findings partially lies in the fact that metabolism in ALS patients has remained poorly understood, Zarnescu said.“It’s difficult to study, in part because of limited accessibility to the nervous system,” she said.CHECK OUT: Broccoli Isn’t Just Good For You; Scientists Find It Holds Molecule That Could Be the ‘Achilles’s Heel’ of CancerBecause scientists can’t scrape away neurons from the brain without causing irreparable damage to a patient, the researchers used fruit flies as a model.“Fruit flies can teach us a lot about human diseases,” Manzo said.In the lab, he and Zarnescu used high-powered microscopes to observe the motor neurons of fruit flies in their larval state, paying close attention to what happened as they provided more glucose.They found that when they increased the amount of glucose, the motor neurons lived longer and moved more efficiently. When the researchers took glucose away from the neurons, the fruit fly larva moved more slowly.WATCH: Success of Advanced-Stage Parkinson’s Treatment is ‘Beyond Researcher’s Wildest Dreams’Their findings were consistent with a pilot clinical trial, which found a high carbohydrate diet was one possible intervention for ALS patients with gross metabolic dysfunction.“Our data essentially provide an explanation for why that approach might work,” Zarnescu said. “My goal is to convince clinicians to perform a larger clinical trial to test this idea.”Reprinted from the University of ArizonaTreat Your Friends To The Good News By Sharing It To Social Media…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 MoreAddThisMoreIncreased glucose, transformed into energy, could give people with ALS improved mobility and a longer life, according to a new study.Physicians have long known that people with ALS experience changes in their metabolism that often lead to rapid weight loss in a relentless cycle called hypermetabolism, according to the University of Arizona-led research team.People with ALS use more energy while resting, compared to those without the disease, while simultaneously they often struggle to effectively make use of glucose, the precise ingredient a body needs to make more energy. Experts have not known exactly what happens in a patient’s cells to cause this dysfunction or how to alleviate it.last_img read more

App developers achieve top rankings

first_imgGridiron 2011 College Football, an Apple product application, ranked among the top Apple apps on the market this weekend and the credit went to two members of the faculty and staff at Notre Dame. Tom Klimek, manager of network design for the Office of Information Technology (OIT), and engineering professor Pete Massey created the Gridiron app and released it to the market three years ago. This weekend, the app grabbed top spots on Apple’s Top Paid Sports App list when it placed third for the iPad and 12th for the iPhone. Klimek and Massey released this year’s version of the app in August. Like editions released in its past two years, Gridiron 2011 allows users to access schedules and scores of the 120 Division IA college football teams. The app also features the outcomes of past games and stadium seating charts for fans scoping out tickets, he said. “If you’re looking for what teams are playing on a Saturday, you pick it on the app and it will show you all the games scheduled and when they play,” Klimek said. While the app is completely automated, Klimek said he and Massey scour the Internet daily and enter new information to ensure its information is up-to-date. “Every day we update several files,” he said. “The app indicates on startup the newest data from those downloads.” Klimek said the college football tracker app’s popularity is based in its simplicity and speed. “Other apps are either prone to crashing or are so bloated with features and support for every sport it’s difficult to navigate to what you’re seeking,” Klimek said. “If you’re just looking for college football, that can be cumbersome.” Klimek’s goal for this year is to double the number of users. Based on reviews and the number of repeat customers, Gridiron 2011 might be able to achieve that feat. “Our first year of the app [in 2009] had about 25,000 [purchases],” Klimek said. “The next year had double that. We’re on a better track this year than last year and we’re hopeful to double it again if we can.” Reaching the top of Apple’s charts was not a victory easily won, Klimek said. The project began in February 2009 in a RecSports locker room. “I was talking to [Massey] about a great idea after a pickup basketball game with faculty,” Klimek said. “He liked the idea.” Massey told Klimek he had experience with programming language, so the two purchased a Mac Mini computer, signed up as Apple developers and began creating the football app. “It was a lot more effort than we anticipated, but we got our first app out before the 2009 football season,” Klimek said. “The first day in store, it sold 121 units and a week later Apple featured us with eight other football apps.” Klimek and Massey created another application later that year called “Men’s Bracket 2010” for March Madness. The basketball app was so popular its sales exceeded those of Gridiron, vaulting Men’s Bracket 2010 to the No. 6 spot on the Top Paid Sports App list for two weeks. Over the past three years, Klimek said he and Massey improved the apps in response to user emails. “The second year of our March Bracket app, we automated it for an office pool,” Klimek said. “We also felt it was important to support other users with versions of both apps geared for Android. This year we made an iPad version of each.” The iPad version, he said, was easier to develop than when he and Massey created the original version. “On a small screen of an iPhone, you have to worry about font sizes and being very careful with organization,” Klimek said. “The iPad gives more freedom.” Klimek said he sees many opportunities for new and better apps in the future. He and Massey will continue to create new versions each year of their existing apps and may add a few new sports apps. Along with these two projects, they plan to develop two business apps. “One of them is a fundraising app to help non-profits in sharing content, accepting electronic donations and managing raffles and auctions,” Klimek said. “The other is for location management to share floor plans and building maps.” The opportunity to establish and enhance a reputation in the young app market is still available, Klimek said. “I talk to a lot of people who are interested in mobile development and many think the gold rush is over,” Klimek said. “But the app store provides worldwide distribution, and there are very few household names yet. In my view, there are still many opportunities for developers.”last_img read more