Thursday, April 30, 2009

Laptops help sick kids stay connected to school

Ahmed Hamdi wants to be a superhero when he grows up. A lot of people at his school will tell you he already is one.

A third-grader at Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia, Ahmed hasn't seen much of his class in the past few months. That's because he was diagnosed with leukemia 1½ years ago. Although he's in remission, he's still susceptible to complications.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Thursday, April 30, 2009 Good News Story

Don't Toss Tops; Leave the Leaves

"It's called 'nose-to-tail' eating, to borrow the subtitle of British chef Fergus Henderson's wonderful book, "The Whole Beast," and it was the way everyone ate in the days when you raised a yearly hog and used 'everything but the squeal.' In recent years I've enjoyed buying a whole lamb, pig or side of beef from a neighboring farmer, learning ways to cook trotters and finding I prefer flavorful short ribs to steak."

Click here to read more.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

'Great to Good' Churches: For those who find trying to be great isn't good enough

"Jim Collins's book Good to Great has inspired both business and church leaders. It is a study of 28 good companies that became great as measured by their outperforming the stock market by at least seven time's over a 15-year period. Countless companies are now applying the 'hedgehog concept' and other principles from the book, trying to become similarly great.

Likewise, many churches are seeking to become great churches. Entire ministry industries exist to help that process—from fund raising, to church building programs, to worship resources, to programming. And in nearly every community, there's at least one great church, as measured by numbers and facilities."

Click here for more information on what churches are doing.

America’s best bathroom found in Tennessee

The Hermitage Hotel has afternoon tea in the grand lobby. Down-filled duvets (that's a fancy word for comforters). A presidential suite with 2,000 square feet. And a really nice toilet.

So nice, in fact, that it's been voted (drum roll please) America's best restroom.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Builders find Auschwitz message

Builders working near the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp have found a message in a bottle written by prisoners, museum officials say.

The message, written in pencil and dated 9 September 1944, bears names, camp numbers and home towns of seven young inmates from Poland and France.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Survey: Americans switch faiths often

The United States is a nation of religious drifters, with about half of adults switching faith affiliation at least once during their lives, according to a new survey.

The reasons behind the swap depend greatly on whether one grows up kneeling at Roman Catholic Mass, praying in a Protestant pew or occupied with nonreligious pursuits, according to a report issued Monday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Moth

Moth

By Flickr Member Iris Dragon

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Moorpark High School wins National Academic Decathlon for fourth time

"Amid cheers and leaps of excitement, Moorpark High School had won the National Academic Decathlon, the fourth time the team has won the highest prize.

'There is joy, there is happiness and there is the academic decathalon,' said 17-year-old Zyed Ismailjee, who started sobbing when the results were announced during an awards luncheon in Memphis, Tenn., this afternoon."


Click here for more on these impressive young people.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Electronic medical records have people abuzz. What's the reality?

"Primary care physician Matt Handley believes that information technology enables him to provide better patient care. So much so that he recently spent an afternoon hooking up a computer and DSL line at the home of a patient so she can contact him more frequently.

Handley is the associate medical director for quality and informatics at Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, a nonprofit health system armed with technology systems that have replaced paper records and enable patients to take part in their healthcare online."

Click here for more on the information revolution.

Good News April 24, 2009

Woman gives birth to twins on Fifth Ave.

After nearly 40 years as a nurse, Lucille Nassery had no problem identifying the sounds coming in the window from Fifth Avenue. Those were definitely the sounds of childbirth.

“There’s a certain kind of sound that comes from women who are about to deliver. It’s not just a typical scream. It’s a whole-body scream,” she said Friday, hours after she ran to peer down at an SUV parked hastily in front of Mount Sinai Medical Center. A distraught man circled the vehicle, looking for help, and a very pregnant woman lay across the front seat, howling.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Houston scientists milk cow genome for its secrets

"Houston scientists have sequenced the genome of a single Hereford cow, opening the barnyard door to a future where insight rather than chance guides domestic breeding.

Understanding the genetics of bovines should allow breeders to build a better cow by selecting genes for everything from disease resistance to improved milk production and meat marbling, scientists say."

To moo-ove into the rest of this story, click here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009 Home and Garden Story

New York’s Roses, Home to Root

"IN the cold mist one morning in early April, Stephen Scanniello planted Harison’s Yellow — a rose bred in the 1830s by a reclusive New York lawyer, George Folliott Harison — at the Trinity Cemetery on the corner of Broadway and 153rd Street in Harlem, a stone’s throw from Mr. Harison’s grave.

Mr. Scanniello, a dedicated rosarian, explained that he 'wanted to celebrate the horticultural history of New York City' by planting a collection of the old roses that grew up with the city itself, including some bred by New Yorkers buried in the cemetery. 'What better place than with Mr. Harison watching over his rose?' he asked."

Click here to read more.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 22 Good News

Chewing gum may raise math grades in teens

In a study likely to make school janitors cringe, U.S. researchers said Wednesday that chewing gum may boost academic performance in teenagers.

Many U.S. schools ban chewing gum because children often dispose of the sticky chaw under chairs or tables.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Community colleges add dorms to boost appeal

"In Mammoth Lakes and elsewhere, some campuses are offering housing with cool amenities -- like maid service -- to help draw students to the traditionally commuter-oriented schools."

Click here for more on this shift in perspective.

April 21 Good News

Elmo launches planetarium show

Elmo is reporting for duty at the National Air and Space Museum, ready for a trip into outer space.

The beloved Sesame Street character donned a space suit Tuesday to introduce a planetarium show. It's the museum's first astronomy show designed for children 4 to 6 years old.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 Good News Story

The Perfect Bath

"Looking for the ultimate indulgence without a day spa price tag?

Head for the tub. Luxury is said to be 'the total fulfilment of all five senses at once.' Keep this in mind and you'll be amazed how good a long soak in your own tub can be."

Click here to learn more.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Crown jewel of royal pantry? Tabasco

McIlhenny declared a supplier to queen

"It seems that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has acquired a taste for Tabasco.

Executives at McIlhenny Co., the Louisiana company that produces the fiery pepper sauce, have gone to great lengths to document the fact that their product is kept in stock in the Buckingham Palace pantry. And their efforts have earned them the ultimate royal seal of approval."

Click here for more on this hot story!

April 20, 2009 Good News

Juggling: the handy art of not dropping the ball

Juggling needn't be just for medieval court jesters, street performers and circus clowns.

The ancient skill of keeping two or more objects aloft by alternately tossing and catching them can boost your hand-eye coordination, improve your alignment, and even pump up your heart. Your perseverance, patience and focus will also get workouts.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Shot of the Day for April 19, 2009

Golden

By Flickr Member Emma Werderman

Obama has put his ambition and audacity to work

"On the last Friday in March, President Barack Obama summoned leaders of the banking industry to the White House, where they gathered around a mahogany table in the sumptuous State Dining Room. On this day there was not a piece of fruit or can of soda in sight. At each place was a glass of water. No ice. No refills.

The president's message was as hard and crusty as a slab of day-old bread."

For more on how President Obama is rolling up his sleeves, click here

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bike race mirrors trends in MS: Annual event raises millions in search for a cure

"Patients arriving at a hospital with symptoms of multiple sclerosis a quarter-century ago presented physicians with a quandary.

'There was controversy among doctors at the time,' recalls Dr. Jerry Wolinsky, a professor of neurology at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. 'We argued about whether we should even tell people they had MS because there was absolutely nothing we could do for it.'”

Click here to read about the evolution of treatment and the growth of a fund-raising drive.

Saturday, April 18, 2009 Good News Story

Priest not surprised by Scottish woman's performance on British TV

"The audience snickered and the judges of "Britain's Got Talent" either rolled their eyes or allowed their blank expressions to betray their bemused skepticism as the awkward-looking middle-aged woman told them she wanted to be as famous as the popular British actress and singer Elaine Paige.

Then Susan Boyle began to sing, and they were spellbound and shocked by the beauty of her voice and rose to their feet in applause.

But Father Basil Clark, who watched the show on television at his home in Broxburn, Scotland, was not surprised."

Click here to read more.

Friday, April 17, 2009

April 17, 2009 Good News

Apple tops customer satisfaction survey

A survey released by analyst house Forrester has shown customers are happier with Apple computers than any other brand.

The company surveyed over 4,500 consumers in November last year about their feelings and experience towards different brands. Apple scored highest among computer manufacturers, with Dell scoring the lowest levels of satisfaction.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

(BTW: I'm Mary and I'm a Mac)

Friday, April 17, 2009 Good News Now Story

Healing Comes to the Broken-Hearted in Sunshine Cleaning

"If Henry David Thoreau was right when he said, 'Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them,' then Sunshine Cleaning is a film about some exceptional, desperate people who learn to sing.

Debuting at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008, it has taken over a year for a wise distributor to deliver Sunshine Cleaning to the public. The timing could not be better. In the midst of a serious economic downturn, with people wondering which end is up, or even if there is an up, many will relate to the story of Rose Lorkowski -– a maid who starts a most unusual janitorial service."

Click here to read more.

Obama's $8 billion plan would dramatically shorten trips from Chicago to other Midwest cities

"Year after year, high-speed rail in the U.S. has been a popular idea that never left the station because of a lack of political will. All that changed Thursday.

Passenger trains traveling at 110 m.p.h.—arriving in Chicago from St. Louis in under four hours—could be operating in three or four years after President Barack Obama allocated $8 billion in federal stimulus money to begin building a national high-speed rail system, Illinois officials said Thursday."

Click here for more on this exciting plan.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Good News April 16, 2009

Is Suicide an Unforgivable Sin?

Q: My sister struggled with severe depression most of her life and had to be hospitalized several times. Last year, she finally got so depressed that she took her own life. In spite of everything, she had a strong faith, but is suicide the unforgivable sin, as some people say? It's all been very painful to me. - Mrs. M.M.

A: The only sin God cannot forgive is the sin of rejecting the Holy Spirit's witness to Jesus Christ and His offer of forgiveness. Only when we reject God will He reject us. This alone is the unforgivable "blasphemy against the Spirit" of which Jesus spoke (Matthew 12:31).

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Thursday, April 16, 2009 Good News Now Story

Tiny Toads To Slow Traffic At Cape Cod National Seashore

"Piping plovers and sea turtles have halted traffic at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, lava flows and their gases have done the same at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and floods have shut down traffic at Olympic National Park andMount Rainier National Park.

At Cape Cod National Seashore, a tiny toad has the power to divert traffic."

Click here to read more.

Shot of the Day for April 15, 2009

Monet on 14th Street
By Flickr Member Lynn Park

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Good News April 15, 2009

Chili, Your Way, Any Way, in Cincinnati

"You'll never see anyone eating it like that," said Tom Yunger, owner of a Skyline Chili parlor in north-central Cincinnati. "You're twirling it." I drop my fork, chastened. After that faux pas, it's obvious I'm a Cincinnati chili virgin. How was I to know that, in this southern Ohio town, when a plate of spaghetti lands in front of you, topped with what looks like bolognese sauce, you're supposed to cut it with a fork and scoop?

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Happy Tax Day! - April 15

Obama's (dog) Bo's grandma at DOT

"They say Washington is a small town, a company town.

Here's a measure of how small it is:

You know that Portuguese water dog that has moved into the White House -'Bo,' first pup of the Obamas, a gift from Sen. Edward Kennedy, who has a PWD of his own from the same litter?

Well, Bo's grandmother lives at the Department of Transportation - not quite at DOT, maybe, but in the home of the chief financial officer for the secretary of the nation's transportation agency."

Click here for more on Bo's distinguished background.

Good News Now Story for April 15, 2008

Ornamental Grasses - How to Choose an Ornamental Grass

"There are good reasons that ornamental grasses have become popular in gardens so quickly. Ornamental grasses add texture, form, motion and sound to a garden, not to mention the array of colors. They will look good all season long with minimal care. But deciding which one or two to include in your garden is a tough decision. There are so many attractive ornamental grasses to choose from. "

Click here to read more about these grasses.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April 14, 2009 Good News

Change is good — but only if you cash it in

Nearly all of us have spare change piling up in a jar or piggy bank, or accumulating beneath the couch cushions. But $7,000 worth?

That's how much Clark Pellington's family has collected in coins the past five years. It's a windfall from life's little transactions — change from that cup of coffee bought on the way to work, or a few dimes back from the toll booth clerk.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday April 13, 2009

7 great tax refund vacations

FOR FAMILIES

Philadelphia
Because its reputation as a family-friendly city is well deserved.

The Audit: 3 nights + a "penny" tour + kid-friendly attractions + meals + transportation = $895 per family*

Shelter: Base your brood at the centrally located, 48-room, art deco–style Alexander Inn. Ask for one of the half-dozen Double Your Pleasure rooms, each of which has a pair of double beds, a seating area, and bay windows. These rooms start at $169 per night in July and include breakfasts.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

From the Webmaster

Blessed Easter and Good News!

Our site is back up! We love the blog so much we plan to keep it active. The blog will feed on Sunday Evening and Wednesday Evening.

We will be posting our favorite topics on the blog.

As a reader you are invited to post stories on the site. Sign in. If you aren't a member sign up. Then click to submit and share your good news.

We particularly would like to know what your faith community is doing. These stories go in the Faith Issues, Ministry Focus or Event category.

Let us know your good news!

Sunday, April 12, 2009 Good News Now Stories

Dandelion

"Dandelion is an herb that is beneficial from root to blossom. It is one of the most versatile and important herbs to learn about."


Click here to read more.




The Resurrection: Reason to Rejoice

"I remember several years ago standing behind the curtain during our church’s Passion Play. At the end of each performance, I would step out and explain how to be saved by trusting the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior. Onstage, Jesus had just risen, and the disciples were running back to look inside the tomb. I got so caught up in their excitement that for a brief moment, I wanted to go out on stage amidst all those characters dressed like people two thousand years ago, so that I could look inside with them and see the empty tomb."

Click here to read more.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Good News for April 11 (posted by Mary Beth)

Easter Saturday

"Today we wait: having faced the sorrow of Good Friday, we eagerly anticipate the joy of Resurrection Sunday. We have the benefit of knowing what happened on that glorious day. Pity Jesus’ followers who were waiting with all of the doubts and fears and pains brought on by the previous day’s events."

Click here for more on Easter Saturday.


Resurrection pastors rely on Mark to tell Easter story

"When pastors gaze upon their flocks after sunrise on Sunday, many will see congregations cast in shadows—haunted by diminishing investments and the prospect of losing jobs and homes.

Amid this fear and doubt, the clergy must lead the faithful to a message of hope—the miracle of the Resurrection commemorated at Easter.

To do it, many will rely on the Gospel of Mark, a tale that embodies the anxiety of confronting the unknown."

What can Mark say to you in these times? Click here to find out.


Live Stations of the Cross: Houston worshippers gather to witness re-enactments of Christ’s last hours

"Join St. Phillip of Jesus Catholic Church parishioners as they portray the Stations of the Cross."

Visit the slideshow here.


Chocolate masterpiece: Snook’s Candies a popular spot for Easter supplies


"Just call him Folsom’s Michelangelo, but instead of marble, he works with chocolate.

Snook’s Chocolate Factory on Sutter Street, which was founded in 1963, is offering a wide variety of Easter treats including various chocolate bunnies. The store’s classic surprise bunny has a chocolate coin and a coupon for a chocolate-dipped waffle cone sealed inside its hollow body."

Click here for the sweet story!


Mom's job: Driving kids ... everywhere

"This week alone, my four boys had basketball practices and games, tae kwon do classes, religious education classes, floor hockey games, piano lessons, a Japanese class, chess club, a violin lesson and two birthday parties.

Like parents everywhere, my husband, Pat, and I struggle to manage the schedule of our four boys (ages 11, 9, 7 and 4). Including trips to preschool and the elementary school, we made 26 round trips and spent about seven hours in the car."

For tips on managing a schedule full of chauffeuring, click here.


Having a ball: Bowling is still the family sport

"As a kid in the '70s, I occasionally watched the Pro Bowlers Tour on ABC. It was appealing in an old-fashioned sort of way. I dug the players' double-knit pants, the special shoes, and, of course, announcer Chris Schenkel's even-keel call of the games.

Bowling is anything but dowdy these days."

Click here to read more on a real family outing.



New apartments open for seniors in Lower 9th Ward


"A new Lower 9th Ward apartment complex, built with financial help from the city and the federal government, is giving some senior citizens a chance to return to the part of the city they called home before Hurricane Katrina.

Rising Sun Homes, a 34-unit complex at 1420 Charbonnet St., offers efficiencies that rent for $375 a month and one-bedroom apartments for $475 to people 55 and older with low incomes."

Learn more about this bright spot on the New Orleans map by clicking here.


Backstory: How rapper Lil Wayne was saved by alert off-duty cop

"Lil Wayne never would have made it had it not been for big Robert Hoobler.

The celebrated New Orleans rapper would have bled to death on the floor of his mother's Hollygrove apartment the afternoon of Nov. 11, 1994, at just 12 years old, after accidentally shooting himself in the chest while playing with a 9 mm handgun."

Click here for the story of a big-hearted man and a future star.


Artwork from Hearst Castle returned to heirs of Jewish couple

"The grandchildren of a Jewish couple whose artwork was taken by the Nazis in 1935 received three of the paintings back from the state of California this afternoon at a ceremony in Sacramento attended by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger."

To read more on the story, click here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good News From Mary April 10, 2009

You're Never Too Old To Come Of Age

On a normal day at the Menorah Park senior living center in Cleveland, it's pretty easy to get an appointment at the beauty salon.

But when CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman visited, it was no normal day.

Women were lined up to be jacked up and dolled up. They each got new lashes and lips and enough hairspray to down a bird in flight.

Why the fuss?

Residents were getting ready for a Bat Mitzvah -- their Bat Mitzvah.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Paying More For Music -- And Liking It

The price of music on CDs is going down -- way down. As in, dying. Case in point: The Virgin Megastore across the street from the Apple store in San Francisco is closing for good. You can get some nice going-out-of-business prices there.

And make no mistake, it's Apple, and its iTunes online store, that is nailing the coffin shut on CDs. So what is Apple doing now that they've won? Raising prices, of course.

Click here
to read the rest of this story.

From the Bronx to Germany and Dachau

Johancy Torres had never heard of the Holocaust before last fall, but she will soon be tracing the footsteps of Jews at the Dachau concentration camp during a trip for fifth- and sixth-grade students at Public School 86 in the Bronx.

“I think I may cry when I see the ovens,” said Johancy, 11, adding that she planned to take a copy of “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl” when she leaves later this month.

The Holocaust lessons are part of an unusual effort by P.S. 86’s teachers to expose students to a world far from their Spanish-speaking neighborhoods near the No. 4 train in Kingsbridge Heights. About 95 percent of the school’s 1,700 students are Hispanic or black. More than three-quarters of them are poor enough to qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

UFOs? Aliens? Area 51 Revealed


It's the centerpiece of virtually every modern UFO theory and a symbol for everything the government doesn't tell us.

About an hour's bus ride northwest of Las Vegas, Area 51 is one of the most famous military bases in the world, in part because the government barely acknowledges its existence.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Report: Amazon At Work On Larger-Screen Kindle

The second version of Amazon's Kindle e-reader hasn't been out two months, but Kindle 2 may already have a big brother on the way. According to a late Friday The Wall Street Journal report, Amazon is working on a new larger-screen version of Kindle that could be available before the 2009 holiday shopping season.

The Journal cited unnamed sources who said they had seen prototype versions of the new Kindle. Amazon itself wouldn't comment except to tell the Journal that it wouldn't speak to "rumors or speculation."

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Good Friday, April 10, 2009 Good News Now Stories

It's Easter that makes eternal life worth it

"If a scientist offered you a pill that could keep you from dying, would you take it? Many people would say, 'Of course' without hesitation. But let's think about this for a moment!"

Click here to read more.


Extreme Love on the Cross

"It may be a singular Catholic devotion to contemplate deeply and often the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. These days, not even many Catholics want to keep Christ company in such a manner. Human nature begs us to move on to the glory and comfort of the Resurrection. Why stay in the ignominy and suffering of the cross when you can bask in the light and promise of Easter?

Because upon the cross hangs Extreme Love and there is nowhere else to experience such a love as this."

Click here to read more.

Shot of the Day for April 9, 2009

Finding Free

By Flickr Member Sherri Mcleod

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Good News From Mary April 9, 2009

"Miracle" Baby Survives Off Life Support

A heart transplant between two baby girls in Canada had to be scrapped because of the seemingly miraculous improvement in one of the infants' health.

Kaylee Wallace, 2 months, suffers from a rare condition called Joubert Syndrome, a brain malformation that affects motor functions and the ability to breathe. Knowing their child would soon die, her parents decided to donate her heart to another little girl in need.

But when they took her off life support, reports CBS News correspondent Randall Pinkston, Wallace continued to breathe on her own, despite warnings from doctors that she would not be able to survive without the help of a respirator.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

The Intensity of Christ's Love and the Intentionality of His Death

The love of Christ for us in his dying was as conscious as his suffering was intentional. "By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us" (1 John 3:16). If he was intentional in laying down his life, it was for us. It was love. "When Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end" (John 13:1). Every step on the Calvary road meant, "I love you."

Therefore, to feel the love of Christ in the laying down of his life, it helps to see how utterly intentional it was. Consider these five ways of seeing Christ's intentionality in dying for us.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

For disabled, video games can be a lifesaver

Nissa Ludwig used to be musician and a dancer and a performer. But ever since a progressive metabolic disorder rendered her wheelchair-bound, “Rock Band” is as close as she gets to the stage.

“It’s a place where you don’t lose your social skills,” says Ludwig, a top-ranked bass player in “Rock Band.” “I have the opportunity to be a human being and not be judged by what I look like.”

Click here to read the rest of this story.

As the bird turns: Scientists figuring out flight

For millennia, people have watched the birds and bees and wondered: "How do they do that?" Thanks to high-speed film and some persistent scientists, at least one of the secrets of flight is now revealed. When birds, bats or bugs make a turn, all they have to do is start flapping their wings normally again and they straighten right out.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Travel essentials you can find at your drugstore


On a recent trip to my local drugstore, I discovered that high-priced travel specialty shops aren't always the best places to find must-pack travel products.

Drugstores offer a wealth of multi-use items that are affordable, practical and carry-on compliant, from toiletries to tasty snacks. Here's my list of the top things you should pack on your travels, plucked from the shelves of a simple drugstore — print this out and bring it on your next shopping excursion.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Thursday, April 9, 2009 Good News Now Stories

Health care workers urge Obama not to rescind conscience rights

"Dr. John T. Bruchalski would rather close the doors of his highly successful Fairfax, Va., medical practice than violate his conscience if he is forced to offer services that violate the basic tenets of his Catholic faith.

A pro-life obstetrician and gynecologist whose Tepeyac Family Center delivered 629 babies in 2008, Bruchalski is concerned that a Department of Health and Human Services proposal to rescind a conscience protection regulation for health care workers would force him to perform abortions or, at the very least, refer patients to physicians who offer the procedure."

Click here to read more.





Making Kosher a Little More Convenient

"BACK when the rules of Orthodox Judaism were set forth — that no work should be done on the Sabbath, from Friday evening until Saturday evening — no thought was given to the number of dirty dishes that would pile up in Howard and Elaine Alt’s kitchen over the weekend.

The Alts, who live in Teaneck, N.J., typically have nine people for Friday night dinner, an elaborate meal that includes homemade chicken soup with matzo balls, and 15 or 16 for lunch on Saturday, when the family digs into roast chicken or beef as well as vegetables. But the Alts never turn on the hot water or even use a sponge during the Sabbath, so the mess at the end can be pretty big."

Click here to read more.





Tropical Forest Seed Banks: A Blast From The Past


"Seeds of some tree species in the Panamanian tropical forest can survive for more than 30 years before germinating. That is 10 times longer than most field botanists had believed."

Click here to read more.


How Green Is Your Gadget?

"The idea started with organic beer. In recent years Scot Case had noticed an explosion in green advertising claims on everything from electronics to, yes, alcohol. So as vice president of the consulting firm TerraChoice Environmental Marketing, he dispatched researchers to investigate whether company claims were verifiable. The result: Only one of roughly 1,000 products examined in 2007 passed muster. 'How am I, as a consumer, to know what's accurate?' asks Case."

Click here to read more.


Easter Blessing Eggs

"Make these colorful Easter Blessing Eggs with your kids as a reminder of God's blessings and his promise of eternal life."

Click here to read how to make these eggs.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Shot of the Day for April 7, 2009

HE IS RISEN!!!

By Flickr Member Jim Vail Photos

Good News From Mary April 8, 2009

Make the Easter Message Come Alive for Your Kids

For 3 ½ years I’ve opened my home to 6 very special girls. I call them my Balcony Girls, and each time we meet, the girls learn a life lesson. In honor of Holy Week, I want to give you a very simple, easy, valuable lesson that you can share with children to help them prepare for Easter! I believe this lesson encompasses the most important lesson that our children will ever learn. It goes like this:

Discuss Love and Betrayal

Your friend, who you’ve known and trusted for years, has betrayed you. You are shocked and cannot believe it has happened. The daggers go deep into your heart and it really hurts. Betrayal separates, divides and causes strife. It’s very painful when a friend betrays you. It hurts even worse when it is someone whom you consider to be a best friend!

Click here to read the rest of this story.

"Brown fat" may help adults lose weight

A sparse form of fat that helps keep newborns warm is more common in adults than previously thought and that discovery that could lead to a new way to lose weight, researchers said on Wednesday.

Once activated by cold temperatures, so-called brown fat burns calories faster than regular fat. It is normally so dormant in adults that there has been debate over how much adults have or whether they have it at all.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Test 'sheds light on back pain'

A simple technique could help doctors differentiate between patients with different causes of back pain and thus improve treatment, a study suggests.

Researchers writing in PLoS Medicine have devised "bedside" tests which distinguish between neuropathic - nerve damage - and other causes of pain.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Tapping Business Skills That Already Exist

Entrepreneurial impulses can be stirred to life by the most unexpected influences.

In Donna Young’s case, it was culture shock. Ms. Young grew up on the sparsely populated Andros Island in the Bahamas with 10 siblings and had long pursued a professional career. But after she married Larry Young, an architect, and moved to Epping, N.H., in 2003, she struggled to adjust to New England’s taciturn ways. “I was the only black woman in my work place,” she said. “A lot of the time, I felt I didn’t fit in. I felt I had to be best at everything I did.”

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Making the grade

With the end of the recession nowhere in sight, starting out at an inexpensive community college or state school and transferring to a more prestigious but costlier institution after a year or two takes on new appeal as a way to save thousands of dollars.

But any anticipated savings can evaporate quickly when students make some common and costly transfer mistakes.


"Transferring between schools can be a great way to save money, but you have to do some investigation and preparation to make it work," said Susan Weir, an assistant vice-provost at the University of South Carolina and author of Transitions: A Guide For the Transfer Student.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Wednesday, April 8,2009 Good News Now Stories

Parents hope others learn from child's death

"For John and Tammy Sand, nothing will replace their young daughter, but the couple is determined the accident that took her life won’t happen to anyone else."

Click here to continue reading.


Cognitive Therapy May Ease Seniors' Anxiety

"Cognitive behavior therapy may help older adults deal with anxiety.

Generalized anxiety disorder is common among seniors. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on changing a person's way of thinking in order to change their behavior or emotions."

Click here to read more about this study.


Sports Fan Outreach makes plans for Derby weekend

"Sports Fan Outreach International (SFOI) uses 'Derby weekend' as an opportunity for evangelism. When the FEI World Equestrian Games visit downtown Louisville next year, SFOI hopes to use that opportunity for outreach as well. "

Click here to read more.


The Flip Side of Giving

"There’s a saying of Jesus—reportedly more than two thousand years old—that goes like this: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' But in our time, many in our society seem to be ruled by a contradictory principle: 'Receiving is all that matters.'

Click here to read more.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Shot of the Day for April 7, 2009

Behold the Beauty of the LORD

By Flickr Member Only By Grace

Good News From Mary April 7, 2009

Three-tiered iTunes pricing due Tuesday

Apple and major music labels are hoping that the launch of three-tier pricing at the iTunes Music Store will boost music sales with a new mix of song-based packages and give consumers more options.

Apple will announce its new three-tier price points at 69 cents, 99 cents and $1.29 on Tuesday, according to several people familiar with its plans. Since opening in 2003 all songs in the iTunes store have been priced at 99 cents.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Blood sugar can be anyone's problem

The average American consumes more than a pound of refined sugar a week. It sounds unbelievable until you realize that sugar goes by more than 50 names and is an ingredient in virtually all processed foods, from your morning doughnut to the ketchup on your burger.

Eat it (along with excess fat and calories), sit around, and you'll gain weight.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Affordable Fun on South Florida’s Gold Coast

IN the battle of fish versus pelican, our money was on the fish. Not that the plump, yellow-tailed amberjack was still alive, mind you. The catch was an angler’s reject — not particularly good eating, in other words — but it looked like a decent lunch to the pelican that spotted it along the pier.

The only problem? The bird hadn’t quite figured out how to wrap its mouth around its extra-wide find, resulting in a comical scene. My 10-year-old daughter, Emma, stood firmly in place, capturing it all on the family camera.

Such was the kind of cheap entertainment that abounded during a recent weekend family trip to the beach communities north of Fort Lauderdale and south of Boca Raton along the Gold Coast of South Florida. By most definitions, these oceanside towns — Deerfield Beach, Hillsboro Beach, Pompano Beach and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea — hardly qualify as destinations unto themselves. They are best suited to families (or retirees) who like the lost-in-time way of life they represent.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Habits can be broken, but not forgotten

Maybe you chew your fingernails when you're nervous. Or scarf down chocolate when you're sad. Or take home a stray kitty whenever you see one, until the SPCA has to come rescue them all and have you arrested for being a hoarder.

Chances are, you have a few habits you wish you didn't have, and quite possibly you've tried (and tried and tried) to break them. Scientists are learning why you may have failed (and failed and failed). In fact, they now know that once you have a habit, you can never really unlearn it.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

When Clean Dishes Means Smuggling Detergent

Lisa Brewer doesn't consider herself a criminal and she really wants to help the environment -- even biking to work -- but she also wants clean dishes.

That's why later this week, the Spokane, Wash., resident plans to cross into Idaho and smuggle back some dishwasher detergent.

She's not alone.

Spokane County has banned the use of most common detergents because of the effect they have on area rivers and lakes. The problem is, the detergents now sold instead just don't seem to do the job.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Tuesday, April 7,2009 Good News Now Stories

Marjie Gilliam: Ignoring knee pain increases likelihood of injury

"An estimated 2 million people each year are treated for aches, pain and stiffness in the knee joint. The patella (kneecap) is a free-floating bone held in place by four ligaments that act as stabilizers. These ligaments also allow for flexibility and give the knee, thigh and lower shin the ability to work together. Patellofemoral dysfunction, often referred to as runner's knee, occurs when the kneecap is under stress and/or tracks out of normal alignment. The kneecap may be pressing against the femur, or it may be misaligned, causing it to glide, tilt, rotate or move to the front or back."

Check here to read more.


When All You Have Left Is Your Pride

"Look around you. On the train platform, at the bus stop, in the car pool lane: these days someone there is probably faking it, maintaining a job routine without having a job to go to."

Click here to read more.


Bamboo

"The idea of growing bamboo sparks intrigue and fear in gardeners. We've all heard about bamboo running amuck, making their term 'invasive' seem tame. But we've also seen a lot of garden magazines exhibiting gorgeous golden, striped and even black rustling graceful, plants, we know, would look wonderful in our own gardens. Is it worth the risk? "

Click here to read more.


The Road Less Taken

"It is time for another of my children to recite “The Road not Taken.” I always look forward to it. They are also asked to memorize another Robert Frost favorite, “Stopping by Woods on Snowy Evening.” While the latter is more appropriate winter fare, I also ask them to tackle the “Road Not Taken” to coincide with Lent. It fits perfectly with the idea of dying to self that Lent inspires."

Click here to read more.


Mercy nun a finalist for Time list of world's most influential people

"You wouldn't expect to see a Philadelphia nun who works with the homeless on a list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Mercy Sister Mary Scullion, co-founder and executive director of Project HOME, has been named a finalist in Time magazine's 2009 annual most influential list, which calls her 'Philadelphia's Mother Teresa.'"

Click here to read more.

Good News for April 7 (posted by Mary Beth)

The Empty Tomb and the Emptied Urn

"I inhaled as I stepped behind the pulpit, ready for a fight. It was a sermon series on the end times, and I knew there'd be controversy. I looked out at the elderly man in the fourth pew with his ScofieldReference Bible in tow, the woman in the back with her John Hagee book on the Middle East crisis, the teenager in the front with the Left Behind video game on his computer at home."

To learn more about what the wounds of Jesus can — and can't — tell us about our resurrection bodies,click here.



Obama makes surprise first visit to Iraq as president


"Unannounced and shielded by heavy security, President Barack Obama flew to Iraq today for a brief inspection of a war he opposed as a candidate and now vows to end as commander in chief. 'There is still a lot of work to do here,' he declared.

Arriving not long after a deadly car bomb exploded across town, Obama spoke favorably of political progress being made in Iraq but also expressed concern that recent gains could deteriorate with the upcoming national elections."

Click here to read more about the President's visit.


North Carolina rolls past Michigan State 89-72 to win the NCAA tournament championship

"Nobody disagreed that North Carolina was the best team in the nation at the start of the season. There's no argument at the end either.

The Tar Heels capped an outstanding season by dismantling Michigan State 89-72 in Monday night's NCAA tournament championship game at Ford Field, delivering on preseason hype when they were selected as a unanimous No. 1 team and predicted by some to go through the season undefeated."

Click here for more on the story.


Top 20 Police and Fire shows


"Television shows focusing on police and firefighters have long been a favorite among viewers. The mystery, excitement, and drama, tend to keep fans coming back for more."

Did your favorite make the Boston Globe's Top Twenty? Find out here.


Pondering the past: Clarksville Day will give wrecking-ball slated ghost town a chance to shine

"Dozens of volunteers donned gloves and hauled trash out of Clarksville so the once-thriving town can have another chance to shine before it faces bulldozers for commercial development in a few years.

El Dorado Hills is built on the bones of Clarksville, but there is still a small area containing about a dozen structures and a stretch of the original Lincoln Highway that most don’t even know still exists."

Click here for more on Clarksville, California.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Shot of the Day for April 6, 2009

Spring


By Flickr Member Iris Dragon

Good News for April 6 (posted by Mary Beth)

Poll Finds New Optimism on Economy Since Inauguration

"Americans have grown more optimistic about the economy and the direction of the country in the 11 weeks since President Obama was inaugurated, suggesting that Mr. Obama is enjoying some success in his critical task of rebuilding the nation’s confidence, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll."

To read the rest of this story, click here.


Save the Children Responds to Children Affected by Italian Earthquake


"Save the Children has deployed emergency experts to central Italy, where a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck in the early hours of Monday morning and displaced thousands of people. The team will focus on assessing and responding to the most urgent needs for children."

Click here for more on the relief effort.


Astonishing Folly: Anti-Christian Britain

"As you may know, in Islamic countries such as Afghanistan, converting from Islam to Christianity is a crime punishable by death. While they don’t go that far, certain Indian states and Nepal erect formidable hurdles for would-be converts to Christianity.

And then there’s the United Kingdom."

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



Michael Jordan elected to Basketball Hall of Fame


"Michael Jordan accepted a Hall of Fame jersey, looked at former competitors John Stockton and David Robinson and threatened to make another comeback.

'Every time I see these guys, I want to put my shorts on,' Jordan said."

Want to know more about his feelings? All you have to do is click here.


Advocate of livable cities sees the big, detailed picture


"Tim Beatley wants to bring nature back to city streets. He’s trekked through Copenhagen, Melbourne and other far-flung locales to see why people have left their cars in favor of walking, or planted gardens on their roofs. In Houston last week to speak at Rice University, the author and University of Virginia professor took a few minutes to talk with Chronicle reporter Maggie Galehouse."

Click here to eavesdrop on the interview with Professor Beatley.



World-Record Athlete Scott Rigsby Named Team World Vision Advocate for Children Living with Disabilities


"If you think running a marathon or completing a triathlon for a great cause is beyond your reach, don’t tell Scott Rigsby. The Ironman triathlete, also a double amputee, is teaming with World Vision to ask Americans to look beyond their limitations and set previously unthinkable goals---to help children with disabilities and living in poverty achieve theirs."

For more on how World Vision plans to work with Rigsby to aid disabled children, click here.


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?'

Two influential Christian ministries have teamed up to do just that. This week in Detroit at the NCAA men's basketball tournament, Faith Comes By Hearing and Nations of Coaches will inspire about 700 coaches to lead their teams from a biblical perspective and then provide them with free Audio Drama New Testaments."

Click here for more on this plan to coach the coaches.

Good News From Mary April 6, 2009

Easter and My Struggle with the Brutality of God's Plan

Something about the story made me cringe every time I heard it, and since I grew up a Baptist, I heard it a lot: To satisfy His need for justice and His demand for holiness, God sentenced His own Son to death in the brutal agony of a crucifixion as punishment for the failures and excesses of humanity.

Don't get me wrong. I want as much mercy as I can get. If someone else wants to take a punishment I deserve and I get off scot free, I'm fine with that. But what does this narrative force us to conclude about the nature of God? to read the rest of this story.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Cooking up a new career in the food industry

It’s all about food lately.

Culinary shows like “Top Chef” and “Hell’s Kitchen” are all the rage. Tainted peanuts have us worried about what we eat and how to make it better. Books such as “The Omnivore's Dilemma” and “Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics” are bestsellers. And even first lady Michelle Obama is getting in on the act, planting a vegetable garden at the White House.

Not surprisingly, more and more laid-off workers, those switching careers and young people just starting out are contemplating jobs in the food industry.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Cutesy nicknames strengthen a couple’s bonds

Lovey-dovey language — even your own — can be so corny it makes you want to puke. But researchers have found that it might actually serve a purpose: Pet names and code phrases pave the way to a playful, resilient, and satisfying relationship. One study on couples' "insider language" published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships reported that the more goofy names, made-up terms, and covert requests for nooky a couple used, the higher their relationship satisfaction tended to be.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

When It Came to Dirt, Dad Knew Best: Feed It, Then Brace for Bounty

MY father loved his lordly third of an acre in our suburban development, and sported grass stains on his khakis from April through October. When he died 10 years ago, we grown siblings sent him to glory with a couple of gardener’s talismans tucked into his coffin.

There was a little vial of the green paint he used to camouflage every frugal garden cheat — be it a piece of rebar staking a lily or a bit of plywood hammered in as edging. And there was his garden radio, the innards of a transistor set held together with rubber bands. Tony Bennett soothed him as he faced down the chickweed.

In hindsight, we should have added one more thing: a scoop of soil from Dad’s vegetable garden. You could taste the spicy, sublime earth in his lettuce, a revelation in those days when watery iceberg reigned at the A & P.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Scientists find why scratching relieves an itch


Scratch an itch and you get ... aaaaaah. Now scientists have watched spinal nerves transmit that relief signal to the brain in monkeys, a possible step toward finding new treatments for persistent itching in people.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Monday, April 6, 2009 Good News Now Stories

Experts find gene trigger for deadly skin cancer

"Up to 70 percent of melanoma skin cancers may be triggered by a gene mutation that causes cells to become cancerous after excessive exposure to the sun, researchers said on Monday."

Click here to read more about this discovery.


How To Get Your Kids to Enjoy Gardening

"Most kids love to play in the dirt, so gardening has a built in advantage as a fun activity. To get young children enthused about having their own special garden, start small.

Get them excited by letting them pick out what they will grow. A walk down the seed packet isle should tempt them with the pictures. Point them toward quick growing plants like, radishes, peas and cucumbers. Smaller children do best with large seeds like corn, beans, peas and sunflowers."

Click here to read more.


135-City 40 Days for Life Campaign Ends; Many Communities Eager to Keep Going

"From February 25 to April 5, 135 cities in the United States, Canada, Australia and Northern Ireland joined together for the 40 Days for Life campaign, an effort that features 40 days of prayer and fasting for an end to abortion, constant vigil outside abortion centers, and extensive community outreach."

Click here to read more.


What Does the Bible Say About Organ Donation?

"Q: Recently, a friend had a kidney transplant that probably saved his life, and it's made me want to be an organ donor. Would anything in the Bible forbid this? - D.L. "

Click here to read Billy Graham's answer.

Shot of the Day for April 5, 2009

Turtle Creek

By Flickr Member Ruthieonart

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday, April 5, 2009 Good News Now Stories

Eco-friendly palms gain popularity

"The palms that First Congregational Church ordered for Sunday's services were farm grown in Central America using environmentally friendly methods."

Click here to read more.


Sleep Clears Way for New Learning

"Want to learn something new? Try getting a good night’s sleep or taking a long nap.

Sleep is now recognized as being critical for learning and memory, and now a new study in fruit flies offers clues as to why."

Click here to read more about this research.


Keys, Self-Centeredness, and Stations

"Lent is winding down, but it’s still cold, and early Monday mornings are stiff with the desire to stay in bed.

I left my keys in my husband’s car last night, but didn’t realize it until all the children were in jackets and headed to the van for Mass this morning."

Click here to read more.


Easter Lilies - Selecting, Caring For and Re-Blooming Your Easter Lily

"Easter Lilies, (Lilium longiflorum), with their large, white, trumpet-shaped flowers and wonderful fragrance are a traditional Easter time treat. More than likely your Easter Lily was grown by one of a handful of growers located along the border of California and Oregon, an area labeled the “Easter Lily Capital of the World”. Ninety-five percent of the 11 ½ million Eater Lilies grown and sold originate in this capital. "

Click here to read more.

Straw Bale House Survives Violent Shaking At Earthquake Lab

"It huffed and puffed, but the 82-ton-force, earthquake-simulation shake table could not knock down the straw house designed and built by University of Nevada, Reno alumna and civil engineer Darcey Donovan."

Click here to read more.



Good News for April 5 (posted by Mary Beth)

The key to spending less: Write it all down

"I now carry a stack of tiny, cream-yellow Post-It notes in my wallet. Every credit and debit card I own now has a Post-It affixed to the front; on the left side I enter a date, and the right side how much I spend and the reason. I even bought a mini clip pen to carry in my billfold so I'd never be without a writing tool (or an excuse) to track my purchases."

Click here for more on how one person copes with a recession.



Jewels of the road: It's not all unremitting asphalt from Boston to Virginia - there are bits of glitter to glean


"So the recession has clipped your wings, and you're planning on driving south for April vacation instead of flying. Good idea.

Unfortunately, to go south from here, you have to travel an awful stretch of featureless interstate, bland roadside service areas, and forgettable stopovers in perfunctory cookie-cutter hotels. It's bad enough if you are an adventurous couple with a thing for road trips. But with a carful of antsy kids, it can be excruciating."

Find out how to avoid the bland and find the gems. Click here.


Spring Holiday Recipes to Enjoy - whether you're cooking for Passover or for Easter

Special occasions call for special dishes. If you're planning a holiday meal, check out these delightful recipes for Spring favorites.

Click here to start cooking!


Texts work with rival Web: Medical bookstore keeps a hold on customers in a digital age

"In the age of Amazon.com, it’s hard being a family-owned bookstore. But Majors Books has managed to survive for a century by offering special services to its customers, opening the store to events and adapting to the online world.

It resembles a model that the American Booksellers Association believes other independent bookstores should follow if they want to survive in this digital age of Kindles and iPods, where books can be purchased and downloaded in seconds."

Read about how Majors Books is bucking the trend. Click here.


Obama’s promise to increase U.S. aid for agricultural development a victory for the poor, says World Vision

"International relief organization World Vision welcomes President Obama's announcement at the G-20 summit that he intends to double U.S. assistance for global agricultural productivity and rural development. President Obama also called for a comprehensive food security strategy to alleviate chronic hunger that affects one-sixth of the world’s population."

Click here for the rest of this hopeful announcement.


He Talked to Us on the Road: The surprising rewards of Christian travel

"Less than a decade ago, one could find several books combining travel and Eastern religions, along with scads of interfaith volumes on 'looking for God in America.' But only in the last few years have Christian publishers such as InterVarsity Press and Lion Hudson jumped in with titles on uniquely evangelical pilgrimages. Treks to historically Protestant pilgrimage sites like Iona, Scotland, and Taizé, France, are booming, while evangelicals throughout Europe, particularly in Scandinavia, see their continent's growing interest in pilgrimage as a missional opportunity and a sign that their neighbors' hunger for God is gnawing away at them."

Find more reasons to take a pilgrimage by clicking here.


Make Good Friday and Easter Spiritually Meaningful and Memorable for Your Children

"For Christians, the upcoming Holy Week is an important time to pause and reflect on all that Christ has done on our behalf. It’s also filled with many teachable moments as you explain to your children the significance of Good Friday and Easter. How crucial it is for our kids to know that these holy days are about much more than chocolate, the Easter Bunny and jelly beans!"

Click here for ideas from Awana about teaching your children why we celebrate Easter.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Friday, April 3, 2009

Good News From Mary April 3, 2009

Betrayal's Role in Holy Week

Have you ever felt betrayed by a friend or by someone you dearly loved? When it happened, were you shocked? Did it feel like that person put a knife in your back by violating your trust and revealing things that should have been kept in confidence? Did you marvel that such a trusted friend could turn out to be so disloyal? Did you wonder, How in the world could a person so dear and close be used so viciously by the devil to attack me in this way?

It’s painful when a friend betrays you. It’s even worse when the person is your best friend or someone you’ve known and trusted for many years.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Sites For Smarter Money Management

Apparently, I am one of the few people who use the personal finance app Quicken the way its geek programmers intended: I use it to record my every financial transaction (except small cash purchases), every investment activity, and every penny I pay on interest for my mortgage into it. For some reason, I'm obsessive about keeping track of my money. My one concession to practicality and time savings in recent years: I no longer break out what I spend on sales tax for retail transactions.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

How infection may spark leukaemia

Scientists have shown how common infections might trigger childhood leukaemia.

They have identified a molecule, TGF, produced by the body in response to infection that stimulates development of the disease.

Click here to learn more.

As tax hits, smokers call 'quitlines' for help

Quit-smoking hotlines are being swamped — some as much as four times their usual volume — by smokers ready to kick the habit after the largest-ever increase in the federal tobacco tax.

We're seeing magnificent volume because of the tax," says Mary Kate Salley of Free & Clear, a Seattle company that runs "quitlines" for 17 states. She says the lines got 3,250 calls on Wednesday, the day the increase took effect, up 369% from the same day in 2008.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

Nintendo rolls out DSi to U.S. on Sunday

Nintendo is rolling out the next generation of its popular handheld gaming console in the United States on Sunday, pitching the product as more of an all-purpose social and entertainment device.

Aside from game-playing functions, the dual-screen DSi features two cameras, a microphone and a host of tools that will allow users to create content and share with others.

Click here to find out more.


Friday, April 3, 2009 Good News Now Stories

Heart Muscle Renewed Over Lifetime, Study Finds

"In a finding that may open new approaches to treating heart disease, Swedish scientists have succeeded in measuring a highly controversial property of the human heart: the rate at which its muscle cells are renewed during a person’s lifetime.

The finding upturns what has long been conventional wisdom: that the heart cannot produce new muscle cells and so people die with the same heart they were born with."

Click to read about of this study.


Pulmonaria - Springtime Charmers in the Perennial Flower Border

"Most gardeners first encounter Pulmonaria with the old fashioned ‘Mrs. Moon’. This is a charming little plant with lance-shaped deep green leaves spotted with small white moons. The buds start out pink and open to a azure blue."

Click here to read about this flower.


On new cell phones, QWERTY eases out 1-2-3

"Goodbye, numeric cell phone keypads. You're going the way of the rotary dial. Touch screens and QWERTY keyboards will take over from here, thank you.

At North America's largest cell phone trade show, running this week in Las Vegas, there were few new phones for the U.S. market that had a numerical keypad instead of an alphabetic keyboard. Touch screens also were out in force."

Click here to read more.


Muscles Sore After Exercise? Sip Caffeine

"Caffeine eases the muscle pains of exercising, new research shows, suggesting coffee might literally be a brew that promotes health.

University of Illinois researchers found that caffeine intake is associated with pain reduction in both young men who take in lots of caffeine and also in young men who don't."

Click here to read more about this study.


Another Perspective

"I attended a wonderful family wedding this past weekend and enjoyed great company and delicious food along with an eye-opening perspective worthy of Lenten reflection that came from — of all places — the restroom!

Standing at the sink, washing my hands, minding my own business — which I try to do on a fairly regular basis — I had to laugh (or else I might have cried) at the way in which I was brought into a conversation.

Next to me was an older woman — surely much older than myself — sort of reprimanding two young girls for the stiletto heels they were wearing and in which they could barely stand. The older woman concluded her words to these two young women with a harumph and this line, 'Well, you will see when you are older that you won’t choose to suffer for fashion!' at which point the woman turned, looked me squarely in the eye, and said, 'Right?'"

Click here to continue reading.

Shot of the Day for April 2, 2009

Study in Color

By Flick Member Cassia

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Good News From Mary April 2, 2009

God Will Provide

For many people, the biggest obstacle to becoming a successful investor is the belief that investing is too difficult for them to handle. Because that misconception is so prevalent, Sound Mind Investing shows people how to bust that complexity by establishing a personal investing plan.

With all the emphasis on planning, it's easy to start thinking that investing success or failure depends solely on you. What a relief that isn't the case! Surely God expects each of us to faithfully do the best we can, but ultimately, He has promised to provide for every need, whether or not we pick all the right mutual funds along the way Matthew 6:25-33.

Becoming overly focused on questions such as “Are my investments earning enough?” and “How did the market do today?” can get our eyes off two important areas.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Eat better — for less money

It took a vicious case of Lyme disease to convince Keith Schorsch to change his diet — and his family's. The 44-year-old Seattle resident credits his recovery to nutritional improvements, and ever since then he has insisted on organic, unprocessed, and low-sugar everything. He cut back on carbs, beefed up his protein intake, and lost 50 pounds in the process. His two young sons evince a genuine fondness for yogurt and broccoli. "Eating well and exercising properly changed my life," says Schorsch. "I can now run five to seven miles, whereas before I could run only one to two miles comfortably. And now I bike for two to four hours at a high heart rate; before I was more comfortable in the one-hour range."

Click here to find out more about eating better for less.

Computer exercise helps stroke victims "see" again

Millie Sauer did not even know she had suffered a stroke until she tried to read a book as she recovered from surgery and saw only a gray blur for part of the page.

Hours or even days had passed since the stroke had damaged part of her brain responsible for vision and Sauer, 69, was far past the point for any effective treatment.

"I was told I would have to live with my situation," Sauer, who lives in Sun City West, Arizona, said in a telephone interview.

Click here to see what helped Millie.

Time to Say Bye To Washers of Old?

One of the main selling points of high-efficiency clothes washers is that they'll save you several hundred dollars in water and energy costs over the life of the appliance. We've come a long way from the washers of the 1930s, but is it worthwhile to spend $200 to $300 more than the price of a typical washer?

"These days we're loath to tell someone to spend the extra money because we don't know what kind of budget they're working with," says Celia Kuperszmid Lehrman, deputy home editor for Consumer Reports, which published its latest washer ratings in February. "But if you tend to take the long view, you will make up that money in the end."

Read on for help in deciding whether a high-efficiency washer is right for you.

Click here to read more.

Do You Know What Your Doctor Is Talking About?

Lately when I see patients nodding their heads at the end of a visit, as if in agreement with the therapeutic plan, I can’t help but remember Jack.

Jack (not his real name) had barely entered middle age when I met him, a hospital patient who suffered from diabetes, high blood pressure, vascular disease and kidney failure. I spent about a week caring for him, covering temporarily for a colleague who was away, and I quickly learned from the nurses that Jack was a well-known figure on the ward.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 Good News Now Stories

Making Ends Meet in the Great Depression

"AT a time when life in America is beginning to resemble a roller-coaster ride on the way down and everyone is trying to find ways to save money, it may be instructive — both in terms of offering helpful hints and putting things in perspective — to look at how people ran their households during the Great Depression.

Back then there was little money for food, let alone new curtains, but people found ways to cope. Backyard gardens were cultivated not because of a sudden itch to eat locally grown produce, but out of necessity; homeowners did their own repairs and found ingenious ways to make their homes functional and attractive."

Click here to read more.


Five Ways to Use Money

"If you think about it, there are really only five things you can do with money:"

Click here to read the five ways.


Talking in color: imaging helps social skills

"Karrie Karahalios can show a child with Asperger's Syndrome when he's lost in a conversational riff or a taciturn spouse when he doesn't speak very much.

Their voice appears on a computer terminal as vibrant colors -- red, yellow, blue, green -- the image growing in size if the voice gets louder, overlapping another color as it interrupts or abruptly narrowing with silence.

They are talking in color."

Click here to read more.

Social and economic stability linked: G20

"The G-20 Summit leaders acknowledge that the world's economy cannot recover without social stability and protection for the most poverty-vulnerable. That is women and children, many of whom wind up being trafficked. "

Click here to read more.


From the Desk of Billy Graham: 'My Heart Goes Out to You'

"Who looks forward to turning on the news these days? All we seem to hear about are problems. People are losing jobs and savings. A person can get depressed listening to it all, and many people are fearful."

Click here to read this message from Billy Graham.

Good News for April 2 (posted by Mary Beth)

A Manifold Resurrection: Why the risen Jesus met people in five different ways—and still does

"From January to April, we live between the times—between Christmas and Easter, Bethlehem and Golgotha, Incarnation and Resurrection. What strikes me about the Gospel accounts of Christmas and Easter are the varied ways in which God works. In the Incarnation, God masterminds the announcement of the good news of the birth of Christ. He sends prophets well in advance to foretell the coming of the Messiah. He commissions an angel to announce the birth to a virgin. He sets a new star in the heavens to summon wise men from the East. He sends a company of singing angels to pronounce Christ's birth to the shepherds in the fields. He quickens Anna the prophetess to declare the arrival of the Messiah on his day of circumcision. Though Christ was born in a lowly manger, there was nothing quiet about his birth."

For more on the celebration, click here.


Standing Up to Distractions (A Devotion)

"I have learned from hard experience how easy it is to be distracted by seemingly innocent behaviors. Suddenly time has passed; things I should have done are not done, while I’ve been doing something that bore no fruit. Have you ever had that happen to you? If so, you know what I mean."

Click here for the rest of this devotion.


Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue: Designer Babies

"Mr. and Mrs. Jones want a baby. They visit a fertility clinic and announce: 'We want a boy—blond hair and blue eyes, please. We want him to be at least six feet tall, good at sports and have great musical ability.'

'No sweat,' the doctor says. Nine months later, baby Logan is born."

The rest of Chuck Colson's commentary awaits you here.


Capone home on the market

"For sale: Six-room two-flat in Chicago's Park Manor neighborhood; ornate tile work; impressive brick exterior; an underground cellar big enough to hide some cash or ditch a tommy gun.

The home at 7244 S. Prairie Ave. once owned by mobster Al Capone and his family has hit the market for $450,000. It's a hefty sum considering similar two-flats in that working-class South Side neighborhood are selling for $180,000 to $230,000. But no other home in Chicago can match the history of the modest brick house that has had just two owners since Capone's mother died in 1952."

Want more information on this famous (or would 'infamous' be more appropriate?) home? Click here.


French Ambassador to Benin Visits Mercy Ship

"This week, French Ambassador Hervé Besancenot and his contingent of 11 officials made a scheduled visit to the Africa Mercy, docked in the port of Cotonou, Benin.

The Ambassador and his team were given an informative tour of the Africa Mercy’s onboard hospital. The Ambassador was keen to interact with the patients in the wards, particularly a young boy who had recently undergone corrective surgery on his legs."

Click here to learn more of the ambassador's visit.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Shot of the Day for April 1, 2009

if i could fly away, i would fly over the sea...


By Flickr Member Anah na uwr

Good News From Mary April 1, 2009

Heaven: Home of Laughter

Who said, "If you're not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don't want to go there"? (Hint: It wasn't Mark Twain.) It was Martin Luther.

In Heaven, I believe our joy will often erupt in laughter. When laughter is prompted by what's appropriate, God always takes pleasure in it. I think Christ will laugh with us, and his wit and fun-loving nature will be our greatest sources of endless laughter.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

2-nosed bunny surprises pet shop owner

It's no April Fools’ joke. The baby bunny really does have two noses.

Allison Noe, a Connecticut pet shop worker, found the nosey bunny in a delivery of 6-week-old dwarf rabbits that arrived at the Milford store last week, according to the Connecticut Post. Both noses have two nostrils.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Study Finds 6,000 Rare Dolphins off Bangladesh

Thousands of rare Irrawaddy dolphins have been found in Bangladeshi waters, a wildlife advocacy group said Wednesday, a hopeful sign for a vulnerable species found only in small numbers elsewhere.

However, the newly discovered population is already threatened by climate change and fishing nets, the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society said.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Marketers find Twitter a tweet recipe for success

Cake decorator Suzi Finer fills in spare time during the workday updating her "status" on Facebook, telling about 2,000 customers about what she's working on.

It's no frivolous exercise: Finer is looking to boost business for her employer, Hansen's Cakes of Beverly Hills, and says that sales are up 15% to 20% since she embraced Facebook as a sales tool in September. "That's even in a recession," she says. "People are still having birthday parties and weddings, and seeing these little bits about cakes on updates get them excited about the possibilities."

Click here to read the rest of this story.

The Simpsons on postage stamps? D’oh!

Don’t have a cow, man! The Simpsons will appear on postage stamps.

America’s most enduring — or is that endearing? — dysfunctional family will be honored on their own stamps, the Postal Service announced.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Good News for April 1 (posted by Mary Beth)

What’s a Government to Do?: The Political Illusion

"Just this week we received the stunning news that the President of the United States for all intents and purposes fired the chairman of General Motors. He also gave Chrysler 30 days to merge with Italian automaker Fiat. This level of White House involvement in areas formerly reserved to corporate board rooms is unprecedented.

And whether you applaud or bemoan the President’s actions, we have to ask the question: What is the proper role of government? It’s a good time to ask it now, especially when people seem to be succumbing yet again to what I call the 'political illusion.'”

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


Year of the Study Bible: Christian publishers struck the right chord in 2008


"In some ways, 2008 was a year of the Same Old Thing in Bible publishing. Marketing teams somehow thought up more niches to target, including the comic-book junkie (with the Manga Bible graphic novels), the avant-garde photographer (with Bible Illuminated), the eco-enthusiast (with HarperOne's Green Bible), and the tween wanting personalized charm pendants (with the Expressions of Me NIV Bible for Girls).

In another way, though, it was a year when Christian publishers remembered their first love and provided a new set of study tools for serious miners of God's Word."

To read more on Bible publishing, click here.


Peeps on Parade: Which will be the winner?

"Ah, the rites of spring -- that first crocus poking through the dirt, people in Uncle Sam suits in front of tax preparation offices, a Cub with a tender shoulder."

And Peeps making their ap-peep-rance in the Chicago Tribune Peeps competition!

Click here for a little soft, colorful and fluffy fun!


Strengthening the safety net for autism in adulthood

"It is a lament that would ring familiar to many a parent: I don't want my child to leave home.

But this parent, Marie Duggan, was not talking about a child trundling away to college or shipping off to war. Her autistic son, Michael, had scarcely crested adolescence when his Roslindale family confronted the prospect of him moving to a house, miles away, with other teens.

Duggan's cry found a receptive audience in Boston's mayor, Thomas M. Menino."

For more on what is being done to fill gaps in programs for autistic adults in the Boston area, click here.


A Diplomat’s Unlikely Rise to ‘Slumdog’ Acclaim

"It’s an impossible story, really, how a modest fellow from a family of lawyers becomes a back-office diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service, writes his first novel in a feverish two months, finds a clientless agent over the Internet and has a British director turn his mid-list book into a movie that wins the best-picture Academy award and seven other Oscars."

Click here to learn more about this unlikely author.


The Next Best Step

"I'm standing at a crossroad in my life. Whenever I encounter times like this I try to remember to stop and breathe deeply, noticing where my attention is focused. Occasionally I am surprised, and receive immediate guidance to move forward. At other times, I discover that I really am stuck by not-knowing, fear, uncertainty, or the knowledge the best next step isn't clear--or it isn't time to be made, just yet."

For more on her story, click here.