Thursday, January 22, 2009

Shot of the Day January 22, 2009

Christian Cowboy
By Flickr Member elisabethshroyer

Good News From Mary January 22, 2009

Recession or depression? Too early to tell

By every measure — lost jobs, plunging stock prices, scarce credit and a profound loss of confidence in the banking system — the economy is in awful shape.

The nation's 11th recession of the postwar era began in December 2007 and easily could become the longest since the Great Depression, although most forecasters expect a weak recovery to begin in the second half of this year.

But what are the odds that we’re in the early stages of what will eventually become a depression rather than just a recession?

Click here to read the rest of this Good News story.

Japanese firms unveil 'robocop'

Two Japanese companies have unveiled a security robot that can be commanded from a mobile phone to hurl a net that traps suspected intruders.

Click here to read the rest of this Good News story.

A Swim With Manatees: No Splashing, Please

IT was just after 8 on a cloudy January morning as the flat-bottomed pontoon boat made its way over the glassy surface of Kings Bay, 600 acres of fresh water in Crystal River, Fla. The bay, actually a spring-fed pool, is rimmed by attractive homes and lush greenery along its many coves and lagoons, but aboard the boat, no one cared.

Click here to read the rest of this Good News story.

Best-laid plans

The maelstrom sweeping through the U.S. economy has had one positive effect: More people are taking a hard look at their finances -- working to pay down debt, cut back expenses and shore up their savings.

But even with the best of intentions and the firmest of New Year's resolutions, plenty of people won't stick to their plans.

One common reason: Our underlying relationship with money often gets in the way. Rick Kahler, a certified financial planner and author in Rapid City, S.D., says he often brings in a psychologist or family therapist to help his clients understand what he calls their "money scripts" -- beliefs about money formed in early childhood that guide each of us as adults. Those beliefs can derail our best-laid plans.

Click here to read the rest of this Good News Story.

Tanning no cure for seasonal depression

People who suffer from winter depression known as "seasonal affective disorder" or SAD — or the less severe but more common "winter blues" — shouldn't seek relief in a tanning bed or booth, a leading expert on light therapy warns.

Click here to read the rest of this Good News Story.

Good News for January 22 from Mary Beth

Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant: Richard John Neuhaus

"If you’ve read the groundbreaking book The Naked Public Square, or ever plumbed the depths of the fine journal First Things, then you know what a powerful intellect and defender of the faith Fr. Richard John Neuhaus was."

Read the rest of Chuck Colson's tribute here.

'Marvelous Malia' and 'Sweet Sasha' dolls are not the Obama girls, Ty says

"Well, that didn't take long.

In one of the first apparent attempts to profit from the star power of the new First Daughters, Ty Inc., the Beanie Babies empire based in Westmont, has come out with Sasha and Malia dolls. Or has it?"

For the discussion, click here.

Bluegrass preservation effort gathers a head of steam

"Bluegrass music never aspired to great popularity. With its blending of guitar, mandolin, banjo and fiddle, the music was never about what's cool or trendy; it was about artistry and earnestness.

But its followers—like those of the Grateful Dead—are hard-core loyal, and that is what led a man in Tinley Park to make his home an unlikely epicenter for a bluegrass music renaissance."

Get the details here.

Snowshoeing -- When there's no other way to get around

"Antsy to hike in the Sierra – but unable because some of our trails and the gated-and-chained trailhead parking lots are under snow – we put aside wishful thinking and went to Plan B."

Click here to plow on through to the rest of the story.

And the Oscar nominees are...

"'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,' a fable about a man who ages in reverse, dominated the 81st annual Academy Award nominations this morning, earning 13 nods, including best film, best actor for Brad Pitt and best director for David Fincher."

Click here for your ticket to the rest of the nominations.

Dr. Bonsai's work is never quite finished

"You can ask Dr. Bonsai anything, but just don't ask him if he can bring a dead bonsai tree back to life. Even if that bonsai is an $8,500 Japanese black pine with artfully displayed gnarled exposed root."

Here are more details of this fascinating job.

Obama books for kids capitalize on a teachable moment

"Now that you have your souvenir edition of the newspaper, brace yourself for the coming commemorative books and magazines documenting the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president."

Read all about it here.

Thursday, January 22, 2009 Good News Posts by Margaret

A wrong turn leads to education for thousands of Pakistani, Afghan children

"Very few people can say they have changed the world.

Fewer yet can say they changed a troubled part of the world for the better.

Greg Mortenson turned a disastrous trip down a mountain into a successful journey to bring education to children in Pakistan and Afghanistan."

Read more of this story HERE.

Life Expectancy Up, Thanks to Cleaner Air

"Steps to curb air pollution in the United States are paying off, helping to dramatically increase average life spans, a new study says."

Read about this study here...

Researchers develop new semiconductor ink

"U.S. researchers have developed a new type of semiconductor ink that brings companies a step closer to making bendable computer screens or inexpensive sensor tags to help retailers keep track of their inventory."

Read more of this story here...

Building a Culture of Life One Heart at a Time

"The mission statement of the Sisters of Life states that they are “a contemplative/active religious community dedicated to protecting and advancing a sense of the sacredness of all human life — beginning with the infant in the womb and extending to all those vulnerable to the threat of euthanasia.” Founded by John Cardinal O’Connor in 1991, the sisters begin with prayer and then go out into the world with outreach to create a culture of life one person and one encounter at a time."

Read more about the Sisters of Life here...