Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shot of the Day for March 31, 2009

By Flickr Member Borderlinepansy

Good News From Mary March 31, 2009

Doctor who lost arm to cancer now helps others

Having to undergo radiation treatments five days a week can take its toll on a patient, but having a doctor who is a cancer survivor himself can make it easier.

Dr. Hejal Patel lost his right arm to bone cancer at the age of 13, but the experience turned into a motivating force: He became an award-winning medical student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and is now a radiation oncologist helping others try to overcome the same obstacles he faced 20 years ago.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Fat-producing gene may be clue to obesity

U.S. researchers have found a gene responsible for turning a plate of pasta into fat, offering new clues about how the body metabolizes carbohydrates and how they contribute to obesity.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Sara Moulton's Homemade Lasagna and Tips on Staying Fresh

In the current economic climate everyone is looking for ways to save money. But the average family of four can throw away up to $500 a year of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Chef Sara Moulton comes to the rescue with easy tips on the best ways to store food in your freezer and refrigerator.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

The return of Home Economics

The series "Depression Cooking with Clara" has become something of an Internet sensation, as Americans pinch pennies at home.

In the videos, 93-year-old Clara Cannucciari demonstrates how to make meager meals she enjoyed as a child. One family favorite is "Poorman's Meal," consisting of fried potatoes, onions and cut-up hot dogs -- "one of the meals we always asked for as kids," said Chris Cannucciari, her grandson who works with her on the show. Videos are posted on YouTube.

It's a sign of the times when survival tales from the Great Depression resonate strongly with Americans.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Ultra-orthodox Jews give Amish walking tour

The city's ultra-Orthodox Jews took the Pennsylvania Amish on a walking tour of their world Tuesday, saying their communities are naturally drawn to each other with a commitment to simpler lifestyles.

"It's reinforcing to the Amish community to see us Jews living the way the Bible says Jews are supposed to live, and have lived since the time of Moses and Abraham," said Yisroel Ber Kaplan, program director for the Chassidic Discovery Center in Brooklyn.

"The Amish are also living their lives as the Bible speaks to them."

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Good News for March 31 (posted by Mary Beth)

Healthy Fast Food: Guide to Making the Healthiest Fast Food Choices

"America has been called a 'fast food nation' and for good reason. Everyday, one out of four Americans eats fast food. If you are eating out, fast food restaurants are often the cheapest option, but unfortunately, not usually the healthiest one. Eating just one fast food meal can pack enough calories, sodium and fat for an entire day, but the quick-and-cheap temptation can be hard to resist.

As an informed customer, you can make healthier choices and still enjoy the convenience of fast food restaurants."

Click here for more on making healthy choices when heading for fast food.


Review of PBS Documentary 'Jerusalem: Center of the World'

"PBS documentary Jerusalem: Center of the World—which airs Wednesday, April 1—isn't a pilgrimage-on-film, but it's not a bad place to start.

The title is partly inspired by medieval European maps in which Africa, Asia, and Europe are shaped like three petals attached to the center, Jerusalem. Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, a 'compass' marks the center of the world. This film shows that the city is, rather than the geographic center of the world, a focal point of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism—which together account for more than half of the world's population."

Click here for more on the documentary.


World Vision urges Afghanistan donor conference countries to shift future response from military focus to development priorities

"As Afghanistan donor countries meet in The Hague today, aid group World Vision is calling for a new approach that would strengthen development and reduce the militarization of aid in the war-torn country.

'We commend the Obama administration for focusing on the critical human needs in Afghanistan, but call for greater efforts to bring balance to the military-heavy NATO response,' said Rory Anderson, World Vision’s deputy director for advocacy and government relations."

Click here to read World Vision's recommendations regarding Afghanistan.


Rare Gettysburg Address copy to go on display

"Two hundred years after Abraham Lincoln's birth, one of only five known handwritten copies of his most famous speech will visit Chicago for a limited run, starting Wednesday.

A two-page copy of the Gettysburg Address, hand-copied by the 16th president in the months after his landmark Nov. 19, 1863 speech, will be the centerpiece of the Lincoln Treasures exhibition at the Chicago History Museum."

Click here to access the rest of the story.


Recipes for Health: Bruschetta With White Bean Puree


"This recipe will give you enough white bean puree for plenty of leftovers. The savory, hummus-like mixture also makes a great high-protein, high-fiber dip."

Click here for this healthy yet delicious recipe.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 Good News Now Stories

Don't fret about Conficker: Here's what to do (AP)

"The Conficker worm, a nasty computer infection that has poisoned millions of PCs, will start ramping up its efforts Wednesday to use those machines for cybercrimes. It's unclear whether everyday PC users will even notice, but this is as good an excuse as any to make sure your computer is clean."

Click here to learn more.


5 Ways to Avoid an Audit

"If you think you have to be caught stowing away cash in an offshore bank account to trigger an audit, think again. One tiny error on your tax return can have the IRS knocking on your door.

There’s good reason to be meticulous this year: According to the most recent data, in 2007 the IRS audited approximately 1.4 million returns, a 7% increase from 2006 and the highest number on record since 1998. And this year, it's unlikely that number will fall, says Mark Luscombe, a principal analyst at CCH Tax and Accounting."

Click here to read more.


Genetic Basis For Migration In Monarch Butterflies Uncovered

"Scientists studying Eastern North American monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) have uncovered a suite of genes that may be involved in driving the butterflies to migrate towards Mexico for the winter. Their research describes 40 genes that are linked to the butterflies' compulsion to orientate themselves by an internal 'sun compass' and begin the 4000km journey southwards."

Click here to read more.


Audio Bibles Make the Final Four

"Rev. Billy Graham once said, 'One coach will impact more young people in a year than the average person does in a lifetime. So who's coaching the coaches?'"

Click here to read more.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Shot of the Day for March 30, 2009

First Cherry Trees at Asbury

By Flickr Member Z170727 - Liz KB

Good News for March 30 (posted by Mary Beth)

In the Face of Injustice: Making Sense of Life's Inequities

"'Why me?' is the great existential question of all time. When the 'subway of life' dumps its refuse in our lap, we shake our head in wonder. .."

Click here for insight into injustice.


It's Never Too Late! Sharing the hope we have with aging family members

"I met my wife's grandfather when he was 89 years old. Whenever we visited her grandparents or attended family gatherings in Minnesota, our favorite topic was our childhood memories—even though we were 60 years apart in age.

I guess my childhood in a small village in the Philippines was similar to the way things were for him when he was growing up. We especially enjoyed sharing our fishing stories. Grandpa loved hearing about how I caught mudfish in the rice paddies with my bare hands."

Read more about reaching out to others by clicking here.


21 reasons to smile

"Ruth Kaiser can always find something to smile about. What others see as mundane, 'The Smile Captain' sees as art. Kaiser is a California artist who embraces social media, spreading the word about the Spontaneous Smiley Project around the world using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

Armed with a camera and an infectious positive attitude, Kaiser, 50, acts like a giddy teenager when she talks about effortlessly finding smiles in places you'd never expect -- on a water faucet, in an onion or on the side of a cheese grater."

Click here to share some smiles (and can't you always use one?)!



Plan floated to add life to jazz site


"For more than a year, people have come to the Dew Drop Jazz and Social Hall in Mandeville to listen to jazz performances in the same rustic cabin where Louis Armstrong once serenaded audiences at Saturday night dances.

The 114-year-old venue, partially refurbished and reopened with help from volunteers and the Mandeville city government, has been limited to just a handful of concerts annually because of its age and lack of amenities. It can hold only about 100 people."

For more on the plans to make the music available to more listeners, click here.

Good News From Mary March 30, 2009

Take Your Masks Off: The Value of Authenticity

If you’re in a hurry, you may not worry about leaving the house wearing a stained shirt or mismatched socks, without brushing your hair or putting on makeup. But what if other people could see beyond your physical appearance and look at your insecurities, pride, shame, or malicious thoughts?

Those are the kinds of things our society urges you to cover up. After a while, you create masks to hide your true thoughts and feelings and present an image you hope will prove your worth. The longer you wear your masks, the more comfortable they feel. But you can’t enjoy healthy relationships unless you remove the masks and show others who you really are.

Here’s how you can take off the masks you present to the world and be authentic:

Click here to read more of this story.

Out of the Dark Tunnel and into the Sunshine

This morning, on my way to the office, I conducted an impromptu inspection of my little world in Southern California. Despite all the threatening headlines and doom-filled stories of the day, everything was going on just as it has for a very long time.

I didn't see fewer cars on the freeway and there was not a single For Sale sign in my neighborhood. Schools were bustling with kids and teachers, restaurants were backed up for seating and the sun was shining.

Click here to read more of this story.

2 Men Catch Toddler After 40-Foot Fall

Two men were hailed as heroes Monday after they caught a toddler who fell 40 feet from a third-floor window in Lawrence.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Super-chemo targets cancer spreading to liver

Bill Darker grinned as he headed into the operating room for a dramatic experiment: A super-high dose of chemotherapy dripped directly into his cancer-ridden liver, 10 times more than patients normally can tolerate.

Not to fear. Working through small puncture holes, doctors sealed off Darker’s liver and washed most of the toxic medication from his blood so it didn’t poison the rest of his body.

It’s a rigorous effort to fight a notorious killer, cancer that has spread to the liver from elsewhere in the body and left patients with few options and little time.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Cholesterol Drug Lowers Blood Clot Risk

Statin drugs, which are taken to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease, also can cut the risk of developing dangerous blood clots that can lodge in the legs or lungs, a major study suggests.

The results provide a new reason for many people with normal cholesterol to consider taking these medicines, sold as Crestor, Lipitor, Zocor and in generic form, doctors say.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Monday, March 30,2009 Good News Now Stories

How do you know if your child is ready for kindergarten?

"Is he ready? Will she succeed? Should I hold him back? Should I send her this fall?

When it comes to kindergarten, there are a number of questions and concerns parents might have.

According to the Ohio Department of Education, kindergarten students must be 5 years old either by Aug. 1 or Sept. 30, depending on their school district, to attend kindergarten. The compulsory school age in Ohio is 6. But kindergarten readiness is not simply a matter of chronological age."

Click here to read more.


Eat Your Weeds (but Get to Know Them First)

"EVERY gardener longs for the first intimation of spring. For some, the signal is the fleet of robins in the yard, the seed packets jamming the mailbox or the postcards and fliers sent by various flower shows. Not for me. I’m very particular about what constitutes proof that I’ve survived the winter and will soon be grubbing in the dirt and eating from the garden again.

For me, it’s the weeds. They’re the first things to appear when the ground is still heaved up and crunchy with frost. These tiny seedlings, self-sown from last summer’s plants, miraculously beginning a new generation, pull me through every year."

Click here to read more.


The First Place That I Can Well Remember...

"On March 30, 1820, Anna Sewell was born in Norfolk, England. A fall at the age of 14 made her very lame and for the rest of her life she could not stand or walk for any length of time. Anna Sewell was what is called an autodidact, meaning that she was responsible for the most part for her own education, although her mother was an author of children’s books and Anne helped her with editing."

Click here to read more.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Shot of the Day for March 29, 2009

In A Bubble Umbrella

By Flickr Member Imageining

Good News for March 29 (posted by Mary Beth)

Post Pals Makes Our World a Bit Smaller

"In a classroom in Sweden, students are laughing and getting creative as they each contribute to the plot of one collective story. They’ve made up characters, set the scene and reached a climax.

But the story suddenly stops there. How does it end? They will have to wait to find out."

For more on the story behind the story, click here.


Gaza’s Children Need Your Help

"Tens of thousands of children in Gaza remain at serious risk of physical and psychological harm more than two months after a cease-fire ended the 22-day conflict that began on Dec. 27, 2008, Save the Children reported."

Click here for more on what's happening to the children of Gaza.


'ER' built strong Chicago ties and took its setting seriously

"Chicago-based producer/production manager Roger Anderson had two of his nine heart attacks while on the set of "ER" but didn't go to the emergency room either time.

'You get wrapped up in your job,' he said. 'You never want to slow down production.'"

Backstory on the long-running series' finale awaits you here.


Bagpipe Veterans Make Sweet Music for CCF

"Veteran bagpiper Edith Silver and organist Michael McCormick are turning musical notes into a sweet melody for Christian Children’s Fund. The two have performed an annual concert of bagpipes and organ music with the proceeds benefiting CCF, which serves 15.2 million deprived, excluded and vulnerable children in 31 countries. The proceeds will specifically benefit CCF’s programs in Cheyenne River, S.D., the home of the Lakota Tribe."

Click here to learn more about the fund raising effort.


World Vision seeks to bridge humanitarian gaps in Darfur camps

"World Vision is addressing critical aid gaps in various displacement camps in Darfur after the expulsion of several relief organizations from the war-torn region earlier this month

A joint assessment by the United Nations and the Sudanese government has found gaps in the provision of food, health care, water, shelter and other humanitarian services formerly provided by the expelled organizations."

To learn more about what World Vision is doing and how you can help, click here.


Local Alligators Getting Spring Fever: But Westwego trapper says he has the cure

"Friday was a reminder that alligator season is in full swing in Jefferson Parish.

Perhaps not as well known as Carnival season or hurricane season, spring and summer are when alligators are most likely to pop up and create a nuisance where crowds of people are located, officials said."

Click here for more on alligators and how they interact with suburban humans.

Sunday, March 29, 2009 Good News Now Stories

How to Harden Off Plants

"Young, pampered seedlings that were grown either indoors or in a greenhouse will need a period to adjust and acclimate to outdoor conditions, prior to planting in the garden. This transition period is called "hardening off". Hardening off gradually exposes the tender plants to wind, sun and rain and toughens them up by thickening the cuticle on the leaves so that the leaves lose less water. This helps prevent transplant shock; seedlings that languish, become stunted or die from sudden changes in temperature. Hardening off times depend on the type of plants you are growing and the temperature and temperature fluctuations. So be flexible when hardening off your seedlings and be prepared to whisk them indoors if there's a late freeze and snow"

Click here to read more.


Autism: New Clue to Earlier Detection

"A surprise discovery is leading autism researchers at Yale University toward earlier detection and new therapies for children with autism -- possibly beginning in infancy."

Click here to read more about this research.


Sheep and Goats

"The fifth and final discourse in Matthew’s gospel provides a vivid picture of Jesus standing just outside the Temple in Jerusalem as He tells his followers about the second coming. The irony could not have been greater. Even as Israel rejected the first coming of Jesus, He spoke to them of His second coming."

Click here to read more.

Shot of the Day for March 28, 2009

Spring in the Neigborhood, Madison, MS
By Flickr Member OnlyByGrace

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday, March 28,2009 Good News Now Stories

We Wish to See Jesus

"Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, tells a story of a visitation he made to a parish while he was the bishop of the Diocese of Fall River, Mass. When he stepped up to the pulpit to deliver the homily at Mass, he was struck by a phrase engraved into the area of the pulpit right above where the lectionary would rest so that the lector or homilist could see the phrase but the congregants could not."

Click here to continue reading this story.


Community reaches out in full force in response to flood, priest says

"Father Gary Benz received a phone call late in the afternoon March 22 that he will likely never forget.An elderly parishioner called the priest, pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Linton, N.D., pleading with him to save her home from the rising floodwaters of nearby Beaver Creek.Father Benz, along with several members of the community, spent the next several hours in the pouring rain frantically sandbagging around her house and pumping out water that was coming in. Late that night police officials told the woman she would have to abandon the flooded house as it was no longer safe."

Read more of this story here.


Shot of the Day for March 27, 2009

Crocus After The Rain


By Flickr Member audreyjm529

Friday, March 27, 2009

Good News From Mary March 27, 2009

When in doubt, throw it out

It smells okay. You don't see any fuzz on it. So what if that bottle of barbecue sauce has been sitting in the back of your fridge since July 4, 2003? And that frost-covered lamb chop that's been chilling in your freezer since last year — it's still good, right?

Click here
to read the rest of this story.

Cheese beats Baboon Metaphysics in odd book prize

The prize for oddest book title of 2008 was awarded to "The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais," thanks to a late surge in popularity, The Bookseller magazine said Friday.

Philip M. Parker's "Fromage Frais," which literally means "fresh cheese" in French, beat out titles such as "Baboon Metaphysiscs," "Curbside Consultation of the Colon," and "Strip and Knit with Style" in the annual competition run by the British magazine.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

NASA hopes intrepid space spider is still alive

An intrepid spider may have survived the long months at the international space station, with scientists eager to know for sure once it returns to Earth aboard the space shuttle Discovery.

The arachnid, one of two orb weaving spiders sent to the station last November, is due to land with Discovery's astronaut crew in Florida on Saturday afternoon. The spiders, and some butterfly larvae, are part of an educational experiment with students on Earth to compare their development in zero gravity with their counterparts on Earth.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

With a Buzz Cut, I Can Take On Anything

I GOT a buzz cut last July, four days before radical open surgery to remove my cancerous prostate. I told family and friends that I did it for reasons of ease and style: I wanted to avoid the heartbreak of hospital hair, that lank and greasy thatch that repels visitors.

But I was lying.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

UV-C wand touted as super-weapon against germs

For all the trouble they cause, bacteria and viruses are actually very fragile. Shower them with a little bleach or Lysol and they'll die in apocalyptic waves. Make their homes too dry, too cold or too hot and they'll drop like microscopic flies.

Ultraviolet light -- more specifically, short wavelength ultraviolet light, or UV-C -- kills germs too. In nature, UV-C is almost always absorbed by the atmosphere before it reaches Earth, but scientists have harnessed artificial UV-C rays to blast germs in labs, hospitals and water treatment plants.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Friday, March 27, 2009 Good News Now Stories

Pastors help make Christian films a hit

"The Rev. Mark Fuller has used his pulpit to preach and inspire.

He also has used it to promote the Christian megahit movie Fireproof.

The movie's marketers looked to pastors like Fuller to pass the word on to their congregations through sermons, group studies and ticket sales."

Click here to read more.





Kale - Growing Kale in the Home Vegetable Garden

"Kale is a leafy vegetable that is usually grouped into the “Cooking Greens” category with collards, mustard and Swiss chard. The leaves can be curly and quite ornamental, but become too tough to eat fresh, as they mature. Kale is a member of the cabbage family and is susceptible to many of the same pests."

Click here to read more.


Scientists find safer way to make human stem cells

"U.S. researchers said on Thursday they have found a safer way to coax human skin cells into becoming powerful embryonic-like stem cells, taking a step closer to their potential use as treatments for diseases.

A team at the University of Wisconsin said they made the so-called induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, from human cells without using viruses or exotic genes, which leave behind genetic material that might pose risks if the cells were used as medical therapies."

Click here to read more about this study.


The church ladies of 1969

"My lovely wife recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of her 30th birthday, which occasioned a good friend giving her a copy of the Ladies Home Journal from her birth month, March 1969. It has an advertisement for Palmolive dish detergent on the back, with the unflappable Madge insisting that a client soak her hands in it. Inside are ads for other products that no longer seem so innovative: Breck hair color, Beautyrest mattresses, and Betty Crocker’s fancy new one-step, angel-food cake mix. The articles range from recipes to an interview with Elizabeth Taylor on mothering to an article by Mama Cass Elliot explaining that the diet on which she lost 110 pounds is ill-advised. No wonder people in my generation have such a finely honed sense of irony."

Click here to read more.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Shot of the Day for March 26, 2009

Rural Rays

By Flickr Member Elisabeth Shroyer Photography

Good News From Mary March 26, 2009

Flood forecast worsens in tired Fargo

North Dakota's largest city moved to the brink of potentially disastrous flooding Thursday, with earlier optimism fading as officials issued an updated forecast with an even higher crest by the weekend.

The National Weather Service raised its Red River crest forecast at Fargo to as much as 43 feet. The service had been predicting a crest of 41 feet by Saturday afternoon. The new guidance is for the city to expect between 41 and 42 feet, but not to rule out 43 feet.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Bucket Baths Make Babies Happy

Anyone who has spent time with a newborn knows how stressful bath time can be. Now a Dutch company has come up with a product that claims to “make bath time enjoyable from birth.”

Click here to read the rest of this story.

How Connected Are You to Your Doctor?

For several years, I cared for a patient whom I’ll call Marcus. Compact and wiry, with a shock of white hair and blue eyes, Marcus was in his 70s when he developed liver cancer. At our first meeting, I was hesitant to put him through an operation based on his age alone. But then he mentioned the work he had done during his youth: he had been a lion tamer.

“Weren’t you ever scared?” I blurted out.

“No,” he replied with a sly smile. “And if I was, I didn’t let the lions know.”

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Natasha's lesson helps save Ohio girl

Connie and Donald McCracken were watching CNN one evening last week when they learned of the tragic death of actress Natasha Richardson from a head injury. Immediately, their minds turned to their 7-year-old daughter, Morgan, who was upstairs getting ready for bed.

Two days earlier, Morgan, her father, and brother had been playing baseball in the yard of their Mentor, Ohio, home when her father hit a line drive that landed just above Morgan's left temple. A lump formed, but the McCrackens iced it down and the swelling subsided within an hour.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Make No Mistake: To Err IS Human

Erasers … delete buttons … spot removers … that annoying woman on the GPS device ("Recalculating…") … all depressing evidence of the obvious:

We're destined to make mistakes.

Documentary filmmaker Ric Burns says it may be history's greatest lesson: Mistakes happen … again and again … from missteps to miscues, to misadventures with happy outcomes.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Thursday, March 26, 2009 Good News Now Stories

Music May Help Stroke Patients

"Listening to music you like is a mood booster, and it may also help stroke patients with visual awareness problems do better on neurological tests.

That news appears in the early online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

British researchers -- including David Soto, PhD, of Imperial College London -- studied three patients with visual 'neglect' due to stroke."

Click here to read about this study.


Hands-On History Lessons

"THE quince hedge was already covered with salmon-pink flowers the day Lawrence Griffith, the curator of plants at Colonial Williamsburg, planted 19 varieties of heirloom flowers from seed.

Not indoors in pots, mind you, something the colonists rarely did. Mr. Griffith sprinkled these seeds over meticulously prepared soil, raked them in a bit and tamped them down with the back of the rake."

Click here to read more.


Loving the Neighbor in Our Own Home

"A wise priest once said to me, “It is often easier to love the orphans in Africa than it is to love our own siblings.” I thought of that quote today as we were doing a lesson on “loving one’s neighbor” in third grade CCD. The first page of the lesson talked about how we should love all people as our brothers and sisters. Note to Religious Education publishers: this is a bad analogy to use in a textbook aimed at eight and nine year-old children. The teacher’s manual prompted us to ask the students how they should treat their brothers and sisters. Interestingly, the only student who answered “we should be kind to them” was the one who doesn’t actually have any brothers or sisters. The others proceeded to give a run-down of all the mean things their siblings and they do to each other. As a mother of two boys, nineteen months apart, I can relate. I’m actually pretty lucky. My children get along well most of the time. But when they don’t, I feel like refereeing international disputes at the United Nations might be an easier task than trying to keep them from killing each other. They swear that they will never speak to each again, only to be best friends an hour later."

Click here to read more.


Media effort draws 92,000 inactive Catholics back home to church

"An estimated 92,000 inactive Catholics in the Phoenix Diocese have come back to the church in the last year thanks in large part to a groundbreaking television advertising campaign called Catholics Come Home.

The promotional spots featured people and locations from around the Phoenix Diocese to promote the church during prime-time television. The cornerstone of the campaign, the Catholics Come Home Web site, addresses often misunderstood aspects of the faith."

To read more, click here.


Stimulus for a Spiritual Recession

"Dying to Live, Clive Calver offers a powerful corrective to the human soul that injects hope and peace into a world that is looking for something real. Calver gives insight into what it means to 're-start' a stale Christianity in favor of a walk with God that is marked by power and abundant life. But Calver's proposed stimulus isn't found in a surface Christianity filled with the excesses of legalism and emotionalism. Instead, he sets forth the idea that true life, true power, and true stimulus can only be achieved through death"

Click here to read more.

Good News for March 26 (posted by Mary Beth)

E-mail add-ons can tame even the peskiest inbox

"I don't have the sharpest memory around, but my computer forgets nothing. That's why I prefer to communicate via e-mail; it provides a permanent record of the conversation.

But with thousands of messages rolling in every week, how do you keep track of it all? My favorite e-mail software, Microsoft Corp.'s Outlook, has a pretty good set of management tools, but there's lots of room for improvement."

Click here for more information on organizing your inbox.


KFC's proposal: First pot pies, now potholes

"Everybody needs a little KFC. But maybe not Chicago.

The fast-food chain has sent off a letter to the nation's mayors, offering to patch their potholes for free. The company will leave behind a stenciled brand on the patch informing people the road has been 'Re-Freshed by KFC.'"

Read about KFC's newest strategy by clicking here.



Right whales in Cape Cod Bay

"In a rare congregation, about 70 North Atlantic right whales have gathered in Cape Cod Bay. The group represents approximately 20 percent of the endangered species' worldwide population."

Click here to enjoy a slideshow of images taken of this unusual gathering.


A baby's first Bluebonnet patch

"Nature's first green may be gold, but in Texas it's also blue, pink and orange. Take a look at how happy spring makes these kids."

To view the joy of kids and wildflowers, click here!



Bridging the past and present


"Sitting on the banks of the American River, Folsom has always had one engineering feat to aid its transportation needs — bridges.

And in celebration of the city’s newest bridge, the Folsom History Museum is highlighting the structures, both past and present, with a special exhibit that opened earlier this week and runs through May 10."

Click here to visit the Folsom History Museum and its new exhibit.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Shot of the Day for March 25, 2009

The Berlin Wall
By Flickr Member Extranoise

Good News for March 25 (posted by Mary Beth)

DREAM RESCUE Fire Fighter Spiderman Saves Autistic Boy

"A Thai fire fighter put on a Spiderman suit to save a scared, autistic boy from falling down three stories from a balcony he sat on in school.

Teachers of the school for children with special needs in Bangkok called for help when the boy, who was scared of his first day in school, sat on a balcony on the third floor and refused to get down."

For more on this amazing rescue, click here.


Pet-ernity Leave: Treating Pets as Humans

"People expecting an addition to the family have a lot on their minds. Besides the changes to their routines, there are short-term considerations like getting time off to properly welcome the bundle of joy into his or her new home.

Happily, there are enlightened employers who understand their anxious employees’ concerns. That’s why Virgin Mobile of Australia is offering its employees five days of unpaid leave to welcome the newcomers home.

Only five days? Well, how long does it take you to get a kitten settled?"

Click here for the rest of Chuck Colson's commentary.


Number of New Orleans area jobs climbed in February

"The New Orleans metro area added 700 jobs in February, a gain that temporarily lays to rest concerns that the local economy might mimic the job hemorrhaging that is taking place nationwide. Employment levels were also up compared with the same month a year ago, according to data released Wednesday by the Louisiana Workforce Commission."

More on the increase is waiting for you here.


Meteorite windfall: Thousands of space rocks land at Field

"Amid months of grim economic news that has been crippling public museums, $3 million worth of rocks from outer space and a $7.3 million endowment landed at the Field Museum Tuesday like manna from heaven.

The windfall means that even as museums everywhere cut corners and pare back research, the Field can expand one of its oldest departments: meteorites."

Click here to read more about this new exhibit at Chicago's Field Museum.


A watery revolt in Boston Harbor

"They came in colonial garb to Boston Harbor today not to dump tea - but to dump what they say is overpriced unnecessary water.

Noting that tap water in Boston and most Eastern Massachusetts' communities that comes from the Quabbin Reservoir passes a slew of rigorous standards for safety and purity – and costs less than a half cent per gallon – ten members of the Think Outside the Bottle campaign performed the tongue-in-cheek demonstration at Christopher Columbus Park in the North End."

To read more about this living history event, click here.

Good News From Mary March 25, 2009

Va. Hospital Treats the Whole Person

At Fauquier Hospital in Warrenton, a patient doesn't have to worry about getting stuck with a chatty roommate: All 86 of the hospital's rooms are private. Restricted visiting hours are a thing of the past, too: Family and friends can drop by any time, day or middle of the night.

Fauquier patients can order decidedly non-institutional dishes such as breakfast burritos, brick-oven pizza, Mongolian stir fry and desserts that are to die for, although the hospital probably wouldn't care to put it that way. And if a patient is accustomed to dinner at 8 or likes to sleep until 10, the concierge will take note and try to oblige.

Click here
to read the rest of this story.

Teen's Vision Brings Safe Water to Darfur

Joshua Guthrie was a troubled teen. Like many others of his generation, the high school sophomore was troubled by the needless suffering of so many people in so many places. Hunger and poverty. Wartime atrocities and sex trafficking. AIDS orphans and genocides.

It seemed so impossible for a 16-year-old in west Tennessee to make a difference.

Then Joshua read "Do Hard Things," a bestselling book by twin brothers Alex and Brett Harris, at 20 years old only barely out of their teens themselves. The book challenges young people to rebel against "the myth of adolescence" -- the notion that teens are by nature irresponsible, immature and rebellious. "By breaking the mold of what society thinks we are capable of, teens can achieve so much more than what's expected," the brothers write. "We've seen 'average' teenagers transformed from channel changers to world changers who are accomplishing incredible things."

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Shuttle Discovery undocks from space station

After eight days together, space shuttle Discovery pulled away from the international space station Wednesday, ending a successful effort to boost electrical power and science research at the orbiting outpost.

Click here
to find out more.

'Miracle fruit' turns sour things sweet

The small fruit has the color of a cranberry, the shape of an almond and tastes like a flavorless gummy.

But after chewing the fruit and rubbing the pulp against the tongue, the berry, known by a promising name -- "miracle fruit" or Synsepalum dulcificum -- releases a sweetening potency that alters the taste buds.

For about 15 to 30 minutes, everything sour is sweet.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Where 'Undo Send' and other Gmail ideas are born

Most of us have done it.

Instead of hitting "reply" to an e-mail, we accidentally push "reply all," sending a potentially embarrassing or insulting message to those we didn't intend to see it.

To address this problem, Google Inc.'s Gmail Labs has launched an experimental feature called "Undo Send" that gives users a chance to rewrite their message, correct settings or simply fix typos.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Man survived both atomic bombings

Tsutomu Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on a business trip on 6 August 1945 when a US plane dropped the first atomic bomb.

He suffered serious burns and spent a night there before returning to his home city of Nagasaki just before it was bombed on 9 August.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 Good News Now Stories

Companion Plants for Tomatoes

"There are plants that work well together and plants that should be kept apart. Matching the two groups into a garden plan is often difficult, especially in a small space. Companion planting tomatoes is a lot easier than trying to lay out your entire vegetable garden with good companions."

Click here to read more.


Idaho Pastor Claims Successful Answer to Famous Atheist's Easter Challenge

"Dan Barker was once a preacher and writer of popular Christian songs, but in 1984 he told friends he did not believe in God any longer and walked away from ministry. He is now co-president of the largest atheist group in the U.S., the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF, Inc.) in Madison, Wisconsin. The group has filed numerous legal suits trying to do such things as removing monuments of the Ten Commandments from city parks and 'under God' from the Pledge of Allegiance. When it comes to Easter, for sixteen years Dan Barker has challenged Christians concerning the reliability of the story from the Bible. His 'Easter Challenge' is found in his 1992 book "Losing Faith in Faith." Using the words of the Bible, Barker asks Christians to begin at Easter and make a list of the events described in all the various stories of who did what, when, and where from the time of the resurrection up to the time of Jesus' ascension into heaven. His only condition is that not one detail from the Bible be omitted. Barker sees the accounts as contradictory in numerous places, casting a shadow of certain doubt on the truthfulness of the Easter story. According to Barker, few Christians have responded to his Challenge, and none have succeeded."

Click here to read more.


TV Anchor Left at the Altar Gives Advice on Dating

"At the height of her career as a TV anchor and madly in love with a man she expected to soon call husband, Kimberley Kennedy lost everything – her career, love, health, and money. In her wrestle with God and life, she learned about the Father’s love and emerged with a new motto in life – 'man’s rejection, God’s protection.'"

Click here to read more.


Let the Children Come to Me

"March 21, 2009—Jesus said, 'Let the children come to me.' On Saturday morning in Montevideo, Uruguay, thousands did just that."

Click here to read more.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Shot of the Day for March 24, 2009

If the Walls Could Speak

By Flickr Member Kevin Labianco

Good News Stories From Mary March 24, 2009

In race against river, communities pull together

As the swelling Red River lapped within 30 feet of his back door, Carlis Kramer's property resembled nothing so much as a bustling construction site.

In a well-ordered ballet, four people loaded sandbags, four others hauled them to the house and another person stacked them into a dike.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Obama: Long recovery effort will succeed

Recovery from the economic recession, now in its 16th month, will take a long time, President Barack Obama cautioned Tuesday evening, but he reassured Americans that he was making progress “on all fronts.”

“This crisis didn’t happen overnight,” Obama said in his second prime-time news conference. And the recovery will take “many months,” he said, because “we’ve accumulated structural deficits that are going to take a long time” to rectify.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

The hunt for the last Nazis

This avuncular 73-year-old is the epitome of politeness in his large office, with a photocopier whirring in the corner, brightly coloured document folders stuffed in many shelves, and cats tiptoeing over papers and desks.

But once, in 1973, Mr Klarsfeld, brandished a pistol in the street at a former World War II Nazi - Kurt Lischka, wartime Gestapo chief for Jewish affairs in France who was living comfortably in Cologne.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

The Guilted Age: Spending to Keep Others Afloat

Melanie Ulle and her husband are scrimping these days, and she feels guilty about the exotic foods -- the hummus, the naan, the chai -- that she stocks in her already-full kitchen each week.

Truth is, though, she'd feel worse if she stopped buying them.

Ms. Ulle likes the couple who runs the small ethnic market by her Denver home; she likes their kids, who play by the register after school. She sees how empty their shop is now. She's heard they've both taken second jobs. So, despite her own pinched budget, Ms. Ulle feels compelled to help them out. Each week, she faithfully runs up a bill close to $50.

Click here to read the rest of this story.


Good News for March 24 (posted by Mary Beth)

Selling The Silver Lining

"When it comes to the news of the day, there are two kinds of people: the Wallowers and the Deniers. Wallowers are the ones who soak up the latest unemployment statistics the day they come out. They actually open up their 401(k) statements rather than just shoving them to the bottom of a drawer and draw pleasure from rants about bloated execs who used federal bailout money to give themselves fat bonuses. The Deniers are the ones who turn their heads, choosing to immerse themselves in the "Back to the Future" trilogy or scrapbooking , turning off the news altogether. As a journalist, I've long been in Camp A."

Another new source discovers what we already knew! Read more about the subject by clicking here.


Mindful Eating, Mindless Sex: Our Inner Sense of Right & Wrong

"Imagine inviting some new neighbors to a dinner party. The first couple tells you they’d love to come. But, they warn, they think it’s immoral to eat animals, so please—vegetarian options only.

The second couple also wants to come, but—they’re almost embarrassed to mention it—they only eat locally grown food. No strawberries from Chili, or shrimp from Asia. Importing food from faraway countries damages the environment, they explain."

Click here for the rest of Chuck Colson's commentary.


Town salutes Illinois guardsman hurt in Afghan blast

"The long trip home from a devastating suicide blast in Afghanistan has felt like a dream for Spec. Daniel Acosta Jr., but none of it so much as his arrival Monday in Chicago.

He met his extended family at a yellow-ribboned gate in O'Hare International Airport. Firefighters and police officers were there to shake his hand. Former Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft happened by and did as well. Someone started singing 'God Bless America,' and everyone within earshot of Gate H6 joined in. A police escort—growing with each state-line town it passed—took him to Whiting, Ind., in a stretch Hummer."

For more on Spec. Acosta's homecoming, click here.


That's Funny? Jews in New Yorker Cartoons

"New Yorker cartoon editor Robert Mankoff tonight (3/24) is kicking off a New Center For Arts and Culture series with a talk on cartoons about Judaism. He was featured in Saturday's Globe talking generally about cartooning, but for the religion blog, I wanted to hear more about his thoughts about making fun of Jews, so I gave him a call."

Click here to read the interview.


Parrot honored for warning that girl was choking

"A parrot whose cries of alarm alerted his owner when a little girl choked on her breakfast has been honored as a hero.

Willie, a Quaker parrot, has been given the local Red Cross chapter's Animal Lifesaver Award."

Read the storyhere.



Spacewalking Teachers Display 'Right Stuff'


"Not everything went their way Monday, but two math and science teachers turned NASA astronauts demonstrated the right stuff as they joined forces for a stroll outside the international space station.

The 6½-hour spacewalk was the second outing each for Ricky Arnold and Joe Acaba, two of the shuttle Discovery's seven astronauts.

But it was their first without a veteran spacewalker alongside."

Read more about the mission by clicking here.

Tuesday, March 24,2009 Good News Stories

Botox Frees Muscles for Stroke Patients in the Know

After her stroke, Francine V. Corso, a software engineer who worked on NASA’s lunar lander, was housebound from 1992 to 2001.

Her left arm was twisted up near her neck, making it difficult to pull on a blouse, and her fingers curled so rigidly that her nails buried themselves in her palm. When she finally learned to rise from her wheelchair, her contorted left leg had the so-called horse gait of many brain-injury victims — she stepped toe-downward, and then fought to keep her foot from rolling over.

Now, with injections of botulinum toxin every three months, she says, 'I’m completely transformed — I drive, I volunteer, I take art classes.' Her fingers are so relaxed that a manicurist can lacquer her nails red."

Click here to read more.


7 Rules for Eating


"We Americans suffer a national eating disorder: our unhealthy obsession with healthy eating.

That's the diagnosis delivered by food author Michael Pollan in a lecture given last week to an overflow crowd of CDC scientists.

As part of an effort to bring new ideas to the national debate on food issues, the CDC invited Pollan -- a harsh critic of U.S. food policies -- to address CDC researchers and to meet with leaders of the federal agency."

Click here to read more.


Scripture project makes best use of falling newspaper circulation numbers

"Falling newspaper subscriptions are helping International Bible Society-Send The Light.

CityReachers is a project that creates regionally-customized New Testaments and distributes them through the newspaper.

However, CityReachers Director Paul Tolleson says that with circulations down, they've begun their own distribution of the Scriptures door-to-door. "

Click here to read more about this ministry.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Shot of the Day for March 23, 2009

Keukenhof - Holland - Europa - Netherland

By Flickr Member Ela 2007

Monday March 23 News From Mary

How You Can Face Crisis Without Panic

A number of years ago a pastor friend of mine from another state was visiting my home when he received a late night phone call. It was bad news.

His wife, who was three months pregnant, had been taken to the hospital. She was paralyzed from the waist down and had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In addition, she had lost her sight, which they discovered was caused by a tumor behind her eyes.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Mind your pees and queues

A world record in the length of a queue to a toilet was set on Sunday when 756 people lined up to a latrine in central Brussels to raise awareness for the need for clean water on World Water Day.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Oops: Colbert wins space station name contest

NASA's online contest to name a new room at the international space station went awry. Comedian Stephen Colbert won.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Warner Bros launches "made-to-order" DVD service

Warner Bros on Monday became the first studio to open its film vault to "made-to-order" DVDs, as it sought new revenues in a slumping DVD market by making it possible for fans to buy decades-old films.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Two astronauts who were teaching math and science to middle school students just five years ago went on a spacewalk together Monday, but could not free a jammed equipment shelf no matter how hard they tried.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Monday, March 23, 2009 Good News Stories

'Miracle Dog' Beats Aggressive Cancer

"Researchers with the Cleveland Clinic have successfully treated cancer in dogs without toxic side effects or discomfort. The feat could soon lead to a powerful new strategy for treating the disease in people."

Click here to read more about this research.



New Pro-Life Fiction Novel Opens Doors for Discussion

"A seventeen year old girl researches the Catholic orphanage she's from while writing a newspaper article, when she stumbles upon a remarkable discovery between the orphanage and the women's clinic that performs abortions next door in Kenny Blair's "The River Nile." As the young woman digs for information, she realizes that the women's clinic is just a front for what really happens when mothers come to abort their third trimester babies. Mothers checking in are unaware that the clinic refuses to kill their babies, but instead removes their children alive and then transfers them to the Catholic orphanage that cares for and raises them."

Click here to read about this new novel.


5 Ways to Cut Household Costs

"Each month, you can count on two things arriving in your mailbox: the latest round of promotional offers -- and bills.

Paying all of those monthly obligations and balancing the household budget can seem like a full-time job, especially when times are tough. But there are some simple ways to cut back on expenses without making too much of a sacrifice.

Here are simple ways to save hundreds of dollars each year on five major household bills:"

Click here to read more.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Shot of the Day for March 22, 2009

Great Egrets Nesting

By Flickr Member Jim Vail

Good News for March 22 (posted by Mary Beth)

Was Jesus a Universalist?

"In this discussion, I’d like to dispute the common notion that Jesus was a universalist. Once again, I openly admit that many Universalist Unitarians and I have disagreements about the inspiration of the Bible as well as whether the current 66 books of the Bible should be the primary basis for establishing one’s theology. Nevertheless, I endeavor to answer this question by referring to the recorded words of Jesus."

Click here for more of this commentary.


Devilish and Divine: The man who is the voice of God and the incarnation of Screwtape

"Several times a week, Max McLean does something that most would want to avoid—forever.

He goes to hell. On purpose. And he has a devil of a good time doing it.

McLean, you see, is the eponymous star of The Screwtape Letters, a stage adaptation of C. S. Lewis's classic that has played to sold-out audiences over the last year and wowed critics in New York, Washington, D.C., and, most recently, Chicago."

Click here to read more on McLean's "transformation" into Lewis's Screwtape.


Michael Jordan Cries Over Basketball Victory

"Michael Jordan celebrated another Chicago basketball championship - his son's.

Marcus Jordan, son of the Bulls' six-time champion, scored a game-high 19 points to lead Chicago Whitney Young to a 69-66 victory over Waukegan in the Illinois Class 4A championship Saturday."

For more on Michael Jordan's parental pride, click here.


Looking beyond grades and scores: Students' stories move admissions panels

"The admissions team at Tufts University embraced the Yahtzee enthusiast and budding engineer who built a wooden catapult in his backyard and the straight-A teenager who described herself as a 'wise old owl' whom her friends turn to for advice.

Amherst College eagerly admitted the son of a New York City cab driver, a Bangladeshi immigrant who had flunked gym class but founded a newspaper dedicated to economics. The school's admissions committee also delighted at the math wiz from Queens who loses sleep when he's stumped by a problem and lives for bowling nights in his mother's league."

Click here for more on the secrets of getting admitted into college.


Employers get creative to reduce staff stress

"Taking the helm of troubled Lowell Co-operative Bank after a shake-up, Rich Bolton turned his recent first meeting with employees into a rollicking game show, handing out cash prizes to give staff a needed lift in difficult economic times.

After rolling out cost-cutting measures to weather falling sales, Woburn travel agency executive Karen Hanssen helped turn an old storage space at work into a comfy, low-budget 'oasis room' for relaxed meetings - and a bit of minigolf."

For more on how employers are coping with stressed out employees, click here.


George Rodrigue Blue Dog Painting Fetches $170,500


"Now that's a lot of kibble.

The folks at Rodrigue Studio report an unexpectedly high price paid at auction for a George Rodrigue blue dog painting."

Click here for more on this colorful story.


Killing bugs for Christ: Missionaries work odd jobs

"Randall Adams’ exhibit looked similar to many others at last summer’s Global Missions Conference. A laminated map pointed to where he and his family hope to live — northern Italy. A hand-drawn thermometer showed how much of their financial goal they had raised — a humble 20 percent.

But next to a Bible opened to Romans was an industrial sprayer. And Adams’ shirt didn’t bear a ministry logo or a cross. It said 'Rid-a-Pest, servizio disinfestazione.' That’s Italian for 'extermination service.'”

More on missionaries and their goals awaits you here.

Sunday, March 22, 2009 Good News Stories

Spring Cleaning Your Garden - Getting Your Garden Ready to Grow

"There's no point in pretending you're not going to be out in your garden the first warm second of spring. While there is no harm in cleaning up fallen branches and debris, wait until the soil is no longer wet enough to form a ball in your hand, before walking on it and compacting it. But don't wait too long to start your clean up. It's much easier to cut plants back before the old growth gets tangled up in the new growth."

Click here to read about planning your garden.


New Yogurt Fights Stomach Ulcers

"A new yogurt, already on the shelves in some Asian countries, may offer a tasty new way to prevent and treat stomach ulcers."

Click here to read more about this new yogurt.


Moment of need inspired Helping Hands project

"Some folks create their own volunteer job by finding a need and filling it.
That's exactly how Helping Hands got its start."

Click here to read more.


These dresses are fit for first ladies

"Fashionistas are still twittering about Michelle Obama's inaugural gown, a creamy confection of ivory silk chiffon studded with silk flowers and crystals. What better time for an exhibit of 'First-Ladies Style: White House Gowns'?"

Click here to read about the exhibition.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Shot of the Day for March 21, 2009

Discovery's lift-off on the STS-119 mission

Good News for March 21 (posted by Mary Beth)

London's lost rivers rise again

"Stand outside the Old Tiger's Head pub in Lewisham, in southeast London, and through a manhole cover in the street you can hear the River Ravensbourne rushing incongruously underfoot.

Over the past five centuries, London has paved over, diverted into concrete channels or otherwise hidden away more than a dozen of its rivers, all tributaries to the Thames."

Click here for more on why London is planning to "uncover" some of its hidden rivers.


Astronauts go on 2nd spacewalk at space station

"Astronauts took another spacewalk at the international space station Saturday, this time to lighten the workload for future crews.

Steven Swanson and Joseph Acaba loosened bolts on batteries, hooked up an antenna and photographed a pair of radiators. But they were stymied by a protruding pin that prevented them from setting up equipment storage platforms."

For more on the out-of-this-world activities, click here.


Country discovery is reel find: Local engineer is restoring tapes of Opry legends

"For years, there have been whispers of a lost treasure-trove of country recordings hidden away somewhere in the Northeast. Tapes of George Jones, Dolly Parton, Hank Williams Jr., Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Roy Acuff, Tammy Wynette, Buck Owens, Charley Pride, and other icons - a veritable all-star spectacular - were among those rumored to be languishing in obscurity.

Last year, the myth became reality. Hundreds of tapes were pulled from a barn in southern Pennsylvania, recordings made at high schools, dances, fairs, festivals, and auditoriums in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, and elsewhere."

Click here to get the lowdown on the restoration of this amazing find.


Stimulus tax-credit offer builds interest in energy fixes: Shoppers at Home Show look for ideas

"When the Boggs family moved into a 15-year-old Pearland home last fall, they penned a laundry list of renovations that they hoped to make over the next two years.

The lineup changed, however, after they learned about the tax credit offered for energy-efficient home improvements under the federal economic stimulus bill."

Is there something in the tax-credit offer to benefit you? Click here for more information.

Shot of the Day for March 20, 2009

Long Shot


By Flickr Member Lynn Parks

Friday, March 20, 2009

Good News for March 20 (posted by Mary Beth)

Helping Us Pull Our Ox Cart: The Holy Spirit

"A friend of mine is a rabbi in the Reformed Jewish tradition. After we had become good friends, he gave me a word to the wise. “You’re going to have trouble with Jews and Muslims with this talk of Jesus taking care of your sins for you,” he said in a friendly way."

Read more of Stephen Reed's commentary. Click here.


Want some good environmental news? NASA study finds we dodged global ozone layer catastrophe

"Here's rare good news about an environmental crisis: We dodged disaster with the ozone layer.

A NASA study about ozone-munching chemicals from aerosol sprays and refrigeration used a computer model to play a game of what-if. What if the world 22 years ago didn't agree to cut back on chlorofluorocarbons which cause a seasonal ozone hole to form near the South Pole?"

Click here for more details on the study.


New Orleans actor Patrick Gendusa survives violent attack to get back onstage and in the classroom

"One night in May 2006, local actor and teacher Patrick Gendusa nearly lost his life while walking to his condo in Fauborg Marigny.

A mugger crept up behind him, threw him to the ground and repeatedly kicked his face, leaving him for dead steps from his home."

Gendusa's journey back is chronicled here.


Time to Plant the Peas!

"For gardeners, this week is like the start of the Indy 500, with the announcer saying, “Gentlemen, start your engines!” (Wait, do they still say that now that Danica Patrick is racing?), and the subsequent revving that signals the beginning of a long and exciting race. Friday is the first day of spring, and that means it’s time to plant the peas…"

Click here to learn more about gardening timetables.


World Water Day, March 22nd: Cause for Celebration -- and Indignation)

"If you wake up to clean, running water on World Water Day or any other, count yourself blessed and celebrate, no matter how ordinary it may seem to you. More than 884 million people worldwide don’t have that luxury – roughly one in eight people on the planet."

To learn more about World Water Day, click here



Dubai Cares Supplies School, Hygiene Kits in Gaza


"CARE has distributed more than 10,000 school and hygiene kits to children in the Gaza Strip, courtesy of the charitable organization Dubai Cares, based in the United Arab Emirates. CARE partnered with a number of community-based organizations to distribute the supplies in the aftermath of the Israeli incursion into Gaza that started on December 27, 2008 and ended January 18, 2009."

Click here read more on CARE's activities in the Gaza Strip.


Before you forward that email, check it out!

Email makes mass communications easy and efficient. It can also make an excellent instrument for misinformation. A rumor or hoax can be spread worldwide in a matter of hours. Before you send that story on to someone else, check out the validity of the information by checking with one or more of the Internet myth-busters."

TruthorFiction.com offers one resource for checking out emails. Click here.

Snopes.com is another source for verifying or debunking that hot story. Click here.

About.com offers an urban legends resource as well. Click here.


She's square with life: Hospice brings partners for resident's last dance

"Marilyn Coyne survived the Depression with little food and no heat in her parents' flat in Portland, Maine. She married and sent four kids to college. She saw her husband and one of their children die. And, in November, after three years of fighting breast cancer, she was told by a doctor that she had months to live."

Click here for more of this heartwarming story.

Good News From Mary March 29, 2009

Why it is Good to Give Thanks

Every Sunday morning for over 20 years, with very few exceptions, I have gathered with a group of prayer partners to read a Psalm and then spend an hour in worship-based prayer. Typically, we have started at 6:15 AM. The worship in the Word is sweet and the Spirit always guides us as we take time to specifically focus on prayers for the Sunday services of the church and all God wants to do through them.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Marking Wall's fall by toppling giant "dominos"

Berliners plan to topple a two kilometer-long chain of giant "dominoes" along the path of the wall that once separated communist east from the west, to mark the 20th anniversary of its fall.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Pink elephant is caught on camera

A pink baby elephant has been caught on camera in Botswana.

A wildlife cameraman took pictures of the calf when he spotted it among a herd of about 80 elephants in the Okavango Delta.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Serious Overtones to Jon Stewart's Smack Down

I was mesmerized by the most fascinating financial program recently.

Surprisingly, it was not on one of the business cable networks. It was on Comedy Central, where Jon Stewart took down Jim Cramer, the host of CNBC's "Mad Money."

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Dayton's Flyin' High After Upset of West Virginia

Dayton is haunted by Bob Huggins no longer.

Chris Wright scored a career-high 27 points to lead the 11th-seeded Flyers to a 68-60 win over sixth-seeded West Virginia on Friday in the first round of the Midwest Regional.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Friday, March 20, 2009 Good News Stories

Lighting the way for those in need

"Ruth Beckman's job is to solve other people's problems. She has plenty of experience. As a younger woman, Beckman raised eight children. Now 73, she mothers the poor, hungry and desperate in Columbus."

Click here to read more.


Lettuce

Here are some tips are growing lettuce along with a list of the different varieties of lettuce available.

Click here to read the article.


Biodiversity Found In Unexpected Regions: More Than 200 Plant Species Found In Semi-arid Rivers In South Eastern Spain

"The prevailing belief to date has been that the streams of south eastern Spain contained nothing of interest. However, a research project by the University of Murcia has shown that these ecosystems, which are unique in Europe, are home to great plant and animal biodiversity. This has enabled the research team to explode the myth that arid systems do not contain any organisms of interest, and to call for them to be protected because of their ecological value."

Click here to read more about this discovery.


Emotions Evoked by Music Are Universal

"Three basic emotions evoked by Western music affect people everywhere, regardless of culture or habits, a new study shows.
People in Africa who've never listened to a radio can still pick up on happy, sad, and fearful emotions in Western music, researchers say in the journal Current Biology."

Click here to read more on this study.


Idled workers volunteer more

"Nonprofits are reporting record-setting volunteer interest, helped in part by high unemployment, which has given people more free time and resume gaps to fill. Charity groups also attribute the rise to President Barack Obama's call to community service and a general sense of wanting to help others through tough economic times."

Click here to read more.

Shot of the Day for March 19, 2009

Curve

By Flickr Member Glen's Pics

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Good News From Mary March 19, 2009

Walking the River for World Water Day

As World Water Day takes place this coming Sunday (March 22), a Samaritans Purse team is walking the entire length of the River Thames in England this week to raise money for their vital water projects. En route the walkers will stop off at 10 Downing Street in London to urge UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown to act urgently for better access to sanitation in the developing world.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Overcoming the Fear Factor

Worry, fear, and anxiety were never meant to be a part of our vocabulary, and yet most of us worry more than we’d care to admit. What are you afraid of? Are you scared of waking up to an intruder in the middle of the night? Perhaps it’s flying on an airplane. Maybe it’s the fear of sending your child off to college. Perhaps your greatest fear is not being able to provide for your family. Most of us can find something that haunts us.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Pint-Size Interviewer Grills Prince William on Childhood, Scars

Interviewing the future king of England is the type of assignment seasoned journalists clamor for.

But Prince William's went to someone decidedly less experienced but well prepared nonetheless -- 10-year-old cancer survivor Alice Marples.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Astronauts install last piece of station's spine

Two visiting space shuttle astronauts floated outside the International Space Station on Thursday to hook up a final set of solar panel wings to bring the orbital outpost to full power.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

iTunes rolls out high-def movie downloads

As expected, iTunes customers (Windows|Mac) can now buy and rent films in high definition, Apple said Thursday.

Customers can buy hit titles for $19.99 and rentals will cost $4.99. Rentals will be available a month after a film is released on DVD. Prior to this offer, high-def films were only available for rental.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Thursday, March 19, 2009 Good News Stories

A Burst of Begonias to Satisfy a Yen

"I USED to think that tuberous begonias were plants that only old people grew, like African violets and sansevieria, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, so called for its blade-shaped leaves.

Maybe it’s an age thing — I’ll be 60 in August — though I haven’t had any longings for chintz. But I’ve wanted to grow tuberous begonias since last summer, when I walked into a greenhouse full of these gorgeous bloomers."

Click to read more of this story.


Sony e-book reader gets 500,000 books from Google (AP)

"Google Inc. is making half a million books, unprotected by copyright, available for free on Sony Corp.'s electronic book-reading device, the companies were set to announce Thursday."

Click here to read more.


Inner Quietness in the Midst of Busyness

"Many of us have lives that feel like they are spiraling out of control. We struggle to find balance by juggling hectic careers, meeting the expectations and responsibilities involved in maintaining relationships, managing a household and staying on top of fast-paced changes in our culture. This can tax even the strongest of men and women."

Click here to read these suggestions for inner peace.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Shot of the Day for March 18, 2009

Spring is Almost Here


Flickr Member Z170727 - Liz

Good News From Mary March 18,2009

For Spring Breakers, No Sign of Katrina Fatigue

The staccato banging of dozens of hammers dispelled the morning quiet as college students, lawyers and nurses from Massachusetts clambered about four new houses rapidly taking shape at the hands of Habitat for Humanity and St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church.

Meantime, across town, students from the University of Pennsylvania, Syracuse University and dozens of other colleges painted, laid tile and nailed weatherboards on older homes, pulling them back from ruin. And in nearby St. Bernard Parish, 600 professionals gathered by United Jewish Communities plan to transform a gutted Catholic school into a community center.

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Dream a little dream for better health

If you're like most people, your return to consciousness each morning follows a predictable pattern: You blink awake, still half-trapped in the dream you just had — a high-stakes epic in which you soared over the Grand Canyon or watched as a tsunami engulfed your house. What was THAT about? Within minutes, though, you sweep away the hallucinatory traces like cobwebs, dismissing the dream as just another meaningless, though exciting, sleep-time drama.

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Lightweight metallic glass is strong as steel

As anyone who lives too close to a baseball field knows, glass can be frustratingly fragile.

But a new type of glass, made from opaque titanium and zirconium instead of transparent silicon, is harder and tougher — and weighs less — than stainless steel. The California scientists who developed and tested the opaque glass hope it could one day replace steel and aluminum in a wide variety of products, from golf clubs to airplanes.

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Scientists grow diabetes drug in tobacco plants

Scientists have found a healthy use for tobacco after breeding genetically modified plants containing a medicine that could stop type 1 diabetes.

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Whoopie! Cookie, Pie or Cake, It's Having Its Moment

FOR generations, vacationers in Maine and visitors to Pennsylvania’s Amish country have found a simple black and white snack in restaurants and convenience shops and on nearly every gas station counter: whoopie pies.

Now whoopie pies are migrating across the country, often appearing in the same specialty shops and grocery aisles that recently made room for cupcakes. Last fall, they even cracked the lineup at Magnolia Bakery in Manhattan, which helped turn cupcakes into a national craze thanks to the bakery’s exposure on “Sex and the City.” Under the name “sweetie pies,” heart-shaped whoopie pies showed up in the February catalog from Williams-Sonoma. Baked in Maine with local butter and organic eggs, they sell for $49 a dozen.

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