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.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 Good News Now Stories

Night Prayer

"We’ve looked at three components of a daily spiritual plan for peace: a morning offering, time for spiritual reading and meditation and an intentional plan for the day. These were three of the strategies I put into play to bring peace to my home following the traumatic birth of our ninth baby.

I was overwhelmed by all the details of daily life and I didn’t want to lose the peace and clarity that prayer had brought to my time of bedrest before the birth of our baby girl. Now, let’s look at the fourth key. Moms with newborns are notorious for being sleep-deprived and I’m no exception. To the typical newborn waking, I’ve added the nighttime parenting that comes with having teenagers in the house. We truly burn the candle at both ends here."

Click here to continue reading.

Pope urges world leaders to stabilize markets without excluding poor

"In a letter to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Pope Benedict XVI urged leaders from the world's wealthiest nations to stabilize financial markets without excluding families and the poor.

In the March 30 letter, Pope Benedict emphasized that participants in the Group of 20 leaders' summit in London April 2-3 must find a way out of the global economic crisis but must avoid selfish or protectionist solutions."

Click here to read more.

Regional Gardening Guide for April

If April means spring to you, get out your garden tools and get moving. As always, we’re slaves to the whims of nature. It always seems spring drags its heels and then runs full force into summer. Be prepared with an organized ‘To Do’ list and take advantage of whatever nice days we are afforded. Our plants will still need pruning, feeding and weeding even if the sun doesn’t always shine."

Click here to read more of this article.

EBay to test eBay Bucks shopping rewards program

"Shopping on eBay just got a bit more rewarding, at least for some users of the online auctioneer's site.

On Wednesday, eBay Inc. launched a 'beta' test version of eBay Bucks, a program that lets participants earn a 2 percent reward on certain items they buy through the site and pay for using eBay's online payment service, PayPal. Rewards come quarterly as gift certificates, which can be used to buy other items through eBay within 30 days."

Click here to read more about this program.

The Power of Saying Yes to God

"Those who give their lives over to Jesus often speak of the transformative power that follows. Ann Rocha-Pierce wants readers to know how this devotion impacted her family through a matriarchal role model with a pure servant heart. Her new book, My Mother, the Wife, the Grandmother, the Mystic (published by AuthorHouse), follows her mother's life work and invites readers to live by her example."

Click here to read more about this book.