Sunday, May 31, 2009

Marine from Dorchester receives long-awaited honor

"From behind thick brush, they fired machine guns at Marines positioned in rice paddies near a river in South Vietnam.

Feb. 12, 1970, was a long and bloody day for the men of Bravo Company of the Seventh Marines.

Corporal Paul R. Moore of Dorchester, then 19 years old and only 10 days' married, crawled through fields to carry dead and wounded comrades to the safety of a tree line. The North Vietnamese Army kept firing, and Moore was struck by a bullet in his right cheek. Unable to speak, he sketched the enemy's position on paper."

Click here for more on this award-winning soldier.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Triplet sisters scarred in fire have new hope

"They were three little 17-month-old blondes — identical triplets cute as matching buttons, all nestling together in the same bed — when their house went up in flames. And for the next 20 years, as they grew into beautiful young women, they thought that they would have to live forever with the thick and disfiguring scars that covered their arms, backs, chests and faces."

Click here to read about the medical advances that have changed their prognosis.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Avoiding the midlife diet crisis

While time may adorn you with new lines on your face, a new color hair (gray) and a new waistline, the passing decades are not to blame for all of the changes in your body. Your eating habits, your attitude and your approach to everyday experiences also play key roles.

As we age, our bodies lose muscle and gain fat. Our nutritional needs change, as well. But you don’t necessarily feel these changes on a daily basis. Metabolism gradually slows each decade after age 20, so it's not as if you suddenly wake up 10 pounds heavier. It creeps up slowly. Fortunately, you do have some control over your changing body and slowing metabolism. Some strategies to help you avoid a midlife diet crisis:

Click here to read about the midlife diet strategies.

American Red Cross headquarters reopens on Canal Street

"After almost four years on the move, the American Red Cross has returned to the heart of New Orleans to renew its mission of relief and support for the city.

The organization's Southeast Louisiana chapter headquarters officially reopened its doors at 2640 Canal St. Thursday during a ceremony at which the building was renamed for Robert Merrick, a local businessman and former board chair of the chapter."

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Volunteers needed for STAIR summer workdays

"STAIR (Start The Adventure In Reading) needs volunteers for its summer workdays to help prepare learning materials that will be used for the coming school year."

Click here for more information on this worthy program.

When Myth Trumps Science

Whether it's thinking that vitamin C can cure a cold, or that you must drink eight glasses of water a day, people cling to outdated medical lore long after it's been shown to be wrong. Here's why.

Click here to find out why.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sonia Sotomayor is Obama's Supreme Court nominee

"The White House is seeking swift Senate confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court, as Republican congressional leaders suggest they may be in no rush to move on the nomination.

While critics challenge what they view as a record of 'judicial activism' demonstrated by Sotomayor during her nearly two decades on the federal bench, Republican congressional leaders today are taking a more cautious approach to the Democratic president's first Supreme Court nominee, positioned to become the first Latino and only the third woman on the nation's highest court."

For more on this important news story, click here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Haverhill, MA man gets war honor - 65 years later

"John Gale doesn't know whether he hit anything or not. But the German planes that swooped in on Algiers that day in 1943 got to him.

When the attack ended, the Army soldier discovered he wasn't the same. Last month, nearly 66 years later, Gale, 93, received the Purple Heart for hearing loss sustained during his military service."

Click here for more on John Gale's story.

Ivy League dreams come true with liquor magnate's gift

Sidney Frank made millions marketing Jagermeister and other alcohol brands. Three years after his death, he's a big hit with students at the Ivy League college he briefly attended.

He's a big hit not because of what he sold, but because he's given dozens of them what he couldn't afford as a young man: an education at Rhode Island's Brown University.

On Sunday, 49 students from low-income families became the first Sidney E. Frank Scholars to graduate from Brown, owing virtually nothing except gratitude to the late liquor magnate.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Shot of the Week

Flower - Wildblumen
By FLickr Member Member Ela2007

Sunday, May 24, 2009

U.S.: Iraq attacks down nearly 60 percent

"High-profile attacks in Iraq have fallen nearly 60 percent in the past year, the U.S. military said Sunday, though violence continues to plague the northern city of Mosul, where a suicide car bomber targeting an American convoy killed one Iraqi and wounded 45 others."

Click here for more details about the shift in violence in Iraq.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

World War II veterans get a day to remember: Special trip to D.C., rousing welcome home complete unforgettable thank-you for vets

"The ceremony at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., was brief, solemn.

Yet for Lorraine Egan, the sight of fellow veterans reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and listening to the mournful strains of taps was just too much."

Click here for more on the ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Friday, May 22, 2009

‘Keyboard Cat’ takes Web, TV by storm

A new Internet phenomenon has drawn the interest of millions — including Stephen Colbert.

One of the most popular current online crazes is something called "Play Him Off, Keyboard Cat," a user-generated video meme.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Put your passwords to the test: Stopping online crooks takes a little patience and a little imagination

Every few months, a little box pops up on my office computer screen prompting me to change my password, and the dreaded countdown begins. It warns me I have 14 days to craft a new word or phrase that will act as gatekeeper to my online identity. Each day I ignore the task until I finally pick something lame at the last minute.

Sound familiar? Online security experts say passwords all too often are afterthoughts, and our lack of effort puts us at risk for identity theft and other computer crimes. When it comes to Internet security, passwords are the front line of defense.

Click here for suggestions on stopping hackers.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Start your dragons: A look at some unusual races

Race fans have a big Memorial Day weekend ahead. Open-wheel cars at the Indianapolis 500. Stock cars at the Coca-Cola 600.

But if you need a different sort of racing fix, maybe you'd be into fire-breathing aluminum dragons.

Friday kicks off Northern California's annual Kinetic Grand Championship, a three-day race in which teams aboard pedal-powered works of art move across 42 miles of road, sand and water.

Click here to read more about these unusual races.

House approves credit card measure

"The House gave final approval Wednesday to a bill that would prohibit credit card companies from arbitrarily raising interest rates on existing balances and charging certain fees.

With a 361-64 vote, the House ensured that President Obama would be able to sign the bill into law by Memorial Day, as he requested."

For more on what this bill means to you, click here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

S.D. residents finance town's only variety store

This prairie town of 1,300 loves its football, and residents are just about split between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers, says Randy Gruenwald, a local banker. It's no surprise when the annual Potato Days Parade has entries representing both teams, he says.

The people of Clark aren't split, however, when it comes to financing the Clark Hometown Variety Store. They're rooting together for a business model that helped build the Green Bay Packers into a National Football League power as they attempt to make a go of a community-owned general store that opened in February.

Click here to read how this small town came together to open a store.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Orleans is awarded the Super Bowl in 2013

"It's New Orleans.... Again.

The NFL awarded New Orleans the 2013 Super Bowl (XLVII) during the NFL owners' meeting Tuesday afternoon. It's a record-tying 10th Super Bowl for the Crescent City. The game is scheduled for Feb. 3, 2013."

Click here for more on how the Crescent City scored this coup.

Frugal Shoppers Become Swappers

The turtleneck from designer Marc Jacobs costs hundreds of dollars at Neiman Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue. But at one Brooklyn bar, the charcoal-gray sweater was free for the taking - along with jeans, belts and shoes.

The neighborhood watering hole called Sycamore will never be mistaken for a department store, but for some recession-battered consumers, it's serving a similar purpose. It's a chance to update their wardrobes and capture the adventure of shopping without having to open their wallets.

"It's guilt-free shopping," said Shannon McDowell, a bartender and swapper.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Plumber Uses Snake With Camera To Find Cat In Wall

When Bubba the cat disappeared inside the home he shares with Cheryl and Phillip Albers, they knocked holes in walls looking for him, but he couldn't be found. Bubba's meows could be heard through the night last Monday, Cheryl Albers said, after he vanished following a visit from an air-conditioner repairman.

Bubba normally hides high atop a kitchen cabinet when there is a stranger in the house that he doesn't want to meet, Albers said. He wasn't there, however, after the repairman left.

Click here to find out how Bubba was found.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

At Notre Dame, Obama confronts abortion uproar

"Confronting the nation's deep schism over abortion, President Obama on Sunday called for greater understanding on all sides and 'open hearts, open minds, fair-minded words' on the issue as he spoke to graduates at one of America's premier Catholic universities.

Obama stressed the importance of common ground as opponents of abortion rights protested his appearance and the honorary degree he received from the University of Notre Dame."

Click here for more on President Obama's appearance at Notre Dame.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ministers Urged to Keep Resolution at Center of World Health Assembly’s Agenda

"Millions of children will continue to die of preventable causes each year unless health and development ministers get their priorities straight next week in Geneva, says leading aid agency World Vision.

Days before government officials begin their annual forum at the World Health Assembly, World Vision is urging them to support a vital resolution on primary health care, and place it at the center of the development agenda."

Click here for more about World Vision's position.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Folsom, CA Veterans Parade Gets New Moniker

"A one-man parade that has grown to more than 1,000 received a new name Tuesday night.

The annual Veterans Day Parade will now be known as the Wayne Spence Memorial Folsom Veterans Day Parade, thanks to a move by the Folsom City Council."

For more of this heartwarming story, click here.

Space tomato packs nutritional super-punch

What started as a science experiment to grow plants in space has blossomed into a drought-resistant, nutritionally rich tomato — patent pending.

Mariya Khodakovskaya was a researcher at North Carolina State University when she created a genetically altered tomato seed designed to better withstand the rigors of space. The seeds were flown to the International Space Station in August 2007.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Confused by SPF? Take a Number

Last year, Coppertone rolled out two easy-to-use sprays with its highest-ever sun protection factor: SPF 70+. Not to be outdone, Neutrogena offered its Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch lotion in SPF 85 strength, that year’s big gun.

This sun season, Banana Boat is retaliating with a pair of SPF 85 sprays, which it trumpets on its Web site as “our highest SPF level in a continuous spray formula.”

But now, SPF creep has hit the triple digits with Neutrogena’s SPF 100+ sunblock, leading some dermatologists to complain that this is merely a numbers game that confuses consumers.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Don't paper the house

It's hard to stay on top of your finances if you can't tame the paperwork; and yet many people keep more paperwork than they need, which makes the beast stronger and more difficult every month.

Last week, this column looked at investment and tax paperwork. This week, it moves on to the rest of the financial documents that can quickly build and create a paperwork mess.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Switched at birth, women meet 56 years later

On a spring day in 1953, two baby girls were born at Pioneer Memorial Hospital in eastern Oregon. They grew up happily, got married, had kids of their own and became grandparents. Then last summer their lives were turned upside down.

Kay Rene Reed Qualls found out that she and DeeAnn Angell Shafer were switched at birth.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

How I spent 3 days gorging in Ann Arbor

"The first time I heard that people lived in Orlando, I couldn't shake the idea: Where would such people sleep? The Magic Kingdom? There's a government? A mayor who doesn't wear a mouse head and pose for pictures?

This is an occupied territory. Not a city.

To that list, add Ann Arbor.

If you've ever lived in this bucolic college town (population 114,000), gone to school here (at the University of Michigan), worked here (home to Domino's Pizza and Borders world headquarters) or dreamed of living here (Ann Arbor routinely lands on those Best Places To Live lists), you might take umbrage -- but never has a nice Midwestern town been so dominated by a delicatessen."

Click here for the juicy details!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Shuttle lifts off for last Hubble repair job

The space shuttle Atlantis and a crew of seven thundered away Monday on one last flight to the Hubble Space Telescope, setting off on an extraordinarily ambitious repair mission that NASA hopes will lift the celebrated observatory to new scientific heights.

Atlantis rose from its seaside pad just after 2 p.m. ET and arced out over the Atlantic, ducking through clouds. Hubble was directly overhead, 350 miles up (560 kilometers up).

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Art Car bash shows how Houston rolls

"The intricately painted cars drove down Allen Parkway Saturday afternoon, drawing squeals from adults and children alike.

Included in the celebrated procession: A giant, rolling living room, complete with couches and a bar.

One car was made to look like a peacock with a giant waving tail."

Click here for the rest of the story, the photos and the video -- but stay within the speed limit, okay?

Friday, May 8, 2009

California Ghost Town Honors Historic Memories

"On Saturday at 10 a.m., a local ghost town will shake off its cobwebs and open its gates for a bash to be held in its honor.

The remains of Clarksville will be open to the public for a celebration of the town’s history. The family friendly event will feature Pony Express Remount demonstrations, a Civil War era encampment, the Mormon Battalion re-enactment group, gold panning, music and more."

Click here for more on this living-history event.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

‘i-house’ is giant leap from trailer park

From its bamboo floors to its rooftop deck, Clayton Homes' new industrial-chic "i-house" is about as far removed from a mobile home as an iPod from a record player.

Architects at the country's largest manufactured home company embraced the basic rectangular form of what began as housing on wheels and gave it a postmodern turn with a distinctive v-shaped roofline, energy efficiency and luxury appointments.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Our Family Treasure Has Bubbles

Maple syrup is strictly prohibited. So are forks and knives. There are, in fact, only two approved ways to eat my family's traditional sourdough pancakes: 1) slathered in butter, dusted with cinnamon and sugar, and rolled up like a spongy piccolo; and 2) folded double over a melted slice of sharp cheddar cheese. I live on the edge of heresy; I like mine with honey and diced fruit. All varieties find their way to your mouth via your fingers.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Now best time to buy home, Houston economist says

"The single-family housing market may prove to be the strongest of all of Houston’s real estate sectors as the area plods through the economic downturn and global recession, said local economist Barton Smith at his annual real estate symposium Tuesday.

Even though the recession is just now beginning to unfold locally, this could be the best time to buy a home, Smith said.

Prices — already down 2 percent — may fall some more, but historically low interest rates won’t last much beyond this year."

Click here for more information on Smith's predictions.

Christians Tweet to Donate Drinking Water

Hundreds of twitterers and bloggers have been skipping their morning Starbucks runs and afternoon sodas, drinking only water for five days to help save lives.

Among the less-caffeinated bunch is Shawn Wood, Experiences Pastor at Seacoast Church in South Carolina, who launched a water initiative called "5 Days In May" to help provide clean water to those in developing countries who do not have access to the basic resource.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Signs and Landmarks (A devotion)

"What are the landmarks in your life? What are the signs pointing you along the road?

Have you ever considered the Sabbath as a landmark? It is an important one on the Christian path."

Click here for a devotion which looks at landmarks in light of the Christian walk.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Ancient tsunami 'hit New York'

A huge wave crashed into the New York City region 2,300 years ago, dumping sediment and shells across Long Island and New Jersey and casting wood debris far up the Hudson River.

The scenario, proposed by scientists, is undergoing further examination to verify radiocarbon dates and to rule out other causes of the upheaval.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Orphaned baby owls being placed with foster families

"Wildlife rehabilitation groups were placing two orphaned barn owl babies with wild foster parents Sunday in Santa Cruz so they could learn survival skills, WildRescue officials said.

Rescuers are hopeful the wild parents will accept the babies and raise them, since they lost their own, according to WildRescue, an organization based in Malibu dedicated to developing programs that promote care of sick, injured and orphaned native wildlife."

Click here for more information on these little orphans.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Turning Virtual Lessons Into Life Loans

Devoting her life to communities in Africa and Latin America, Katie Smith Milway was eager to bring home the lessons she learned and pass them on to others.

"I wanted to inspire kids to know, at their age, they can take a step that could have repercussions for their community, for their town and for others," she said.

The result was "One Hen," a children's book written by Milway about micro-financing that's become a hit around the world.

Click here to read the rest of this story.