Inspirational Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Inspirational Media Articles from Major Media


Below are many highly engaging excerpts of key inspirational articles reported in the mainstream media. Links are provided to the original articles on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These inspirational articles are listed by article date. You can also explore the articles listed by order of importance or by date posted. Enjoy the inspiring articles!


Inspirational Media Articles


Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.

Laughing Makes Your Brain Work Better, New Study Finds
2014-04-20, ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/laughing-makes-brain-work-study-finds/story?id=2...

Ever have trouble remembering where you just left your keys? Just laugh it off. New research suggests that humor can improve short-term memory in older adults. In a recent small study conducted at Loma Linda University in Southern California, 20 normal, healthy, older adults watched a funny video distraction-free for 20 minutes, while a control group sat calmly with no video. Afterwards, they performed memory tests and had saliva samples analyzed for stress hormones. You guessed it; those who got to laugh the 20 minutes away with the funny video scored better on short-term memory tests, researchers said. And salivary levels of the stress hormone cortisol -- a memory enemy of sorts -- were significantly decreased in the humor group. The less stress you have, researchers said, the better your memory. It works like this: humor reduces stress hormones, lowers your blood pressure, and increases your mood state, according to Dr. Lee Berk, a co-author of the study. The act of laughter -- or simply enjoying some humor -- increases endorphins, sending dopamine to the brain to provide a sense of pleasure and reward, Berk said. That, in turn, makes the immune system work better and changes brain wave activity towards what's called a "gamma frequency," amping up memory and recall.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Plant Breeders Release First 'Open Source Seeds'
2014-04-17, NPR
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/04/17/303772556/plant-breeders-release-...

A group of scientists and food activists is launching a campaign to change the rules that govern seeds. They are releasing 29 new varieties of crops under a new "open source pledge" that is intended to safeguard the ability of farmers, gardeners and plant breeders to share those seeds freely. The new Open Source Seed Initiative will pass out 29 new varieties of 14 different crops, including carrots, kale, broccoli and quinoa. Anyone receiving the seeds must pledge not to restrict their use by means of patents, licenses or any other kind of intellectual property. Any future plant that is derived from these open source seeds also has to remain freely available as well. Irwin Goldman, a vegetable breeder at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, ... doesn't like the consequences of restricting access to plant genes — what he calls germplasm. "If we don't share germplasm and freely exchange it, then we will limit our ability to improve the crop," he says. Sociologist Jack Kloppenburg, also at the University of Wisconsin, has been campaigning against seed patents for 30 years. His reasons go beyond Goldman's. He says turning seeds into private property has contributed to the rise of big seed companies that in turn promote ever-bigger, more specialized farms. "The problem is concentration, and the narrow set of uses to which the technology and the breeding are being put," he says.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Iranian killer's execution halted at last minute by victim's parents
2014-04-16, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/16/iran-parents-halt-killer-execution

When he felt the noose around his neck, Balal must have thought he was about to take his last breath. Seven years ago Balal, who is in his 20s, stabbed 18-year-old Abdollah Hosseinzadeh during a street brawl in the small town of Royan, in the northern province of Mazandaran [Iran]. But what happened next marked a rarity in public executions in Iran, which puts more people to death than any other country apart from China. The victim's mother approached, slapped the convict in the face and then decided to forgive her son's killer. The victim's father removed the noose and Balal's life was spared. Balal's mother hugged the grieving mother of the man her son had killed. The two women sobbed in each other's arms – one because she had lost her son, the other because hers had been saved. [The slain boy's father, Abdolghani] Hosseinzadeh said a dream prompted the change of heart. "Three days ago my wife saw my elder son in a dream telling her that they are in a good place, and for her not to retaliate … This calmed my wife and we decided to think more until the day of the execution." Many Iranian public figures, including the popular TV sport presenter Adel Ferdosipour, had called on the couple, who have a daughter, to forgive the killer. Although they did so, Balal will not necessarily be freed. Under Iranian law the victim's family have a say only in the act of execution, not any jail sentence.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




This Man With A Van Has A 'Wild Obsession' With Helping Homeless People
2014-04-16, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/16/man-van-homeless-one-inc_n_5153832.html

Armed with a van and fueled by passion, Aaron Reddin is on a mission to help homeless individuals in need. After conquering his own drug addiction, Reddin began to run a long-term drug and alcohol program and a homeless shelter. Through this experience, he developed a "wild obsession" with helping the homeless. "I was dissatisfied with the number of folks that were sleeping outside, and the fact that everyone expected them to somehow come to us to help," Reddin says in the video above. "I said, you know what, let's raise a thousand bucks and buy a crappy old van." With his van, Reddin began a nonprofit called The One, Inc. The organization aims to help any "one" person on the streets. Whether it be through providing shoes, blankets, food, supplies or just lending a helping hand, the organization works to make contributions big or small. A large part of their mission includes mobility. "We primarily serve these needs by going to the people in need, wherever they may be," the website states. "We visit current homeless camps, search for new camps, comb alleyways, check under bridges and seek out the needy deep in the woods."

Note: The One, Inc. now has four buses in four cities. To learn more about The One, Inc., click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




French parliament bans cultivation of GM maize
2014-04-15, Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/15/us-france-gmo-idUSBREA3E1NY20140415

France's lower house of parliament adopted a law on [April 15] prohibiting the cultivation of any variety of genetically modified maize, saying it posed a risk to the environment. France adopted a decree last month to halt the planting of Monsanto's insect-resistant MON810 maize, the only GM crop allowed for cultivation in the European Union. The law also applies to any strain adopted at EU level in future, including another GM variety, Pioneer 1507 developed jointly by DuPont and Dow Chemical, which could be approved by the EU executive later this year after 19 out of 28 member states failed to gather enough votes to block it. The Socialist government, like its conservative predecessor, has opposed the growing of GM crops because of public suspicion and widespread protests by environmentalists. Jean-Marie Le Guen, the minister in charge of relations with parliament, told the National Assembly, "This bill strengthens the decree passed last March by preventing the immediate cultivation of GMO and extending their reach to all transgenic maize varieties." A debate on the future of GM policy is going on at EU level, with the European Commission suggesting an opt-out that would allow individual countries to ban such crops. Le Guen called for a stable EU system that would ensure member states' decisions could not be challenged legally.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Netherlands face prison undercrowding crisis
2014-04-11, CBS News/Associated Press
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/netherlands-face-prison-undercrowding-crisis/

The Dutch government is facing an unusual crisis: Prison undercrowding. There are now more guards and other prison staff than there are prisoners in the Netherlands for the first time, according to data released by the Justice Ministry. In 2008, there were around 15,000 inmates, in a country of 17 million. As of March of this year, there were just 9,710 inmates remaining, compared with 9,914 guards. And the number of inmates included 650 Belgian criminals the Netherlands is housing as part of a temporary deal. In the U.S., the figure is more like one guard or staff member per five prisoners. The overall U.S. incarceration rate is more than 10 times higher. Justice Ministry spokesman Jochgem van Opstal said "we're studying what the reason for the decline is." The ministry is already in the process of closing prisons and cutting 3,500 staff. Last week, labor union Abvakabo FNV slammed the cuts, saying they were leading to "staffing shortages." "At this moment you can't say there is any safety in Dutch prisons," union leader Corrie van Brenk said in an interview with Dutch broadcaster NOS. "It's an explosive situation." The government has rejected the criticism, saying violent incidents at prisons have been declining. One change politicians are considering is ending a practice of granting probation to criminals once they have served two-thirds of their sentences.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




The Vatican's Precious Manuscripts Go Online
2014-04-11, Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303873604579495370743103510

Almost 600 years after Pope Nicholas V founded the Vatican Apostolic Library, the Holy See is now turning to 50 experts, five scanners and a Japanese IT firm to digitize millions of pages from its priceless manuscripts, opening them to the broader public for the first time. When the project is finished, one of the richest and most important collections of historical texts in the world will be available with a click of the mouse—and free. [The] institution known as the Popes' Library ... houses more than 82,000 manuscripts, some dating back to the second century. Scholars must now submit a detailed request to gain access to the library, which sits within the Vatican walls. The most precious works of art ... have been mostly off-limits. For the past year, Vatican officials have worked closely with experts at Japanese IT firm NTT DATA to test special scanners designed to handle particularly delicate documents. The machines have a protective screen to limit the manuscripts' exposure to light, and windows must remain shut and curtains drawn during the scanning procedure to keep dust and extraneous light out of the room. With the test phase finished, about 50 Italian and Japanese operators will soon begin the process of digitizing the first batch of 3,000 manuscripts under the watchful eye of Vatican librarians. That process, which will take place entirely inside the library, is expected to take four years. After each document is scanned, it will be formatted for long-term storage and then released onto the library's website. The first digital images are expected to be put online in the second half of this year.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




A German company is printing food for the elderly
2014-04-10, USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/04/10/a-german-company-is-printing-fo...

A German company, Biozoon, is working on a 3D-printed food extruder that creates food that literally melts in your mouth, allowing elderly patients with dysphagia – the inability to swallow – to eat without choking. Biozoon uses molecular gastronomy to create food that can be "printed" using a standard extruder-based printer. The food solidifies and is completely edible but when it's eaten it quickly dissolves in the mouth. Over 60% of older patients have problems swallowing. This could save lives by ensuring they don't aspirate food crumbs into their lungs. The product itself can be molded and extruded in different ways and you can add colorants and texturizers to make things look and taste almost like the real thing. The powder mixes [can be easily prepared] for new forms of nutrition. Starters, main courses, desserts and snacks can be made which meet individual requirements, are balanced and above all optically appealing. According to the website: "The powder mixtures ... enable universal implementation so that both family caregivers and professional cooks and nurses can easily make the new diets. Appetizers, main dishes, desserts and snacks can now [be] custom fit, balanced and also be made visually appealing." The product, called seneoPro, will be available for use in 3D printers this year. It is true "customized" food and it's a fascinating use of the technology.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Goodbye, Oil: US Navy Cracks New Renewable Energy Technology To Turn Seawater Into Fuel, Allowing Ships To Stay At Sea Longer
2014-04-08, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.com/goodbye-oil-us-navy-cracks-new-renewable-energy-techno...

After decades of experiments, U.S. Navy scientists believe they may have solved one of the world’s great challenges: how to turn seawater into fuel. The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel could one day relieve the military’s dependence on oil-based fuels and is being heralded as a “game changer” because it could allow military ships to develop their own fuel and stay operational 100 percent of the time, rather than having to refuel at sea. The new fuel is initially expected to cost around $3 to $6 per gallon, according to the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, which has already flown a model aircraft on it. The Navy’s 289 vessels all rely on oil-based fuel, with the exception of some aircraft carriers and 72 submarines that rely on nuclear propulsion. The breakthrough came after scientists developed a way to extract carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas from seawater. The gasses are then turned into a fuel by a gas-to-liquids process with the help of catalytic converters. The next challenge for the Navy is to produce the fuel in industrial quantities. It will also partner with universities to maximize the amount of CO2 and carbon they can recapture. ”For the first time we've been able to develop a technology to get CO2 and hydrogen from seawater simultaneously. That's a big breakthrough," said Dr. Heather Willauer, a research chemist who has spent nearly a decade on the project, adding that the fuel "doesn't look or smell very different."

Note: Strangely, the major media networks appear to be largely silent on this important breakthrough, except for Forbes, which downplays the whole thing, as you can see at this link. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




The 3 best plants to clean your air
2014-04-03, The Intelligent Optimist
http://theoptimist.com/3-best-plants-clean-air/#!CRsQt

The world’s air quality is deplorable. You don’t have to look far to find examples of how bad it is. Harder to find are solutions to this problem. Government mandates and clean air initiatives help the goal of reducing greenhouse gases on a larger scale, but these measures do little to help improve the quality of air that you’re breathing right now. [Here is information about] three plants that create enough oxygen to keep you alive, even if you’re sitting with them inside a sealed container, though we don’t suggest you try that. Dypsis lutescens [or] bamboo palm: In addition to removing carbon dioxide from the air and replacing it with oxygen, the bamboo palm filters out air particles that can be dangerous when inhaled. The main particles the bamboo palm removes from the air are xylene, a byproduct of the petroleum and chemical industries, and toluene, a component of car exhaust. It is recommended to have 4 shoulder high palms per person in your house. Sansevieria trifasciata [or] snake plant: Snake plant ... converts carbon dioxide to oxygen at night [and] removes nitrogen oxide, a by-product of car exhaust and fertilizer, and formaldehyde, a component of textile and wood production, from its environment. It is suggested to have 6–8 waist high plants per person per household. Epipremnum aureum [or] devil’s ivy: Devil’s ivy ... filters out formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene, a byproduct of petroleum combustion, from the air you’re breathing. A handful of these 12-inch high plants should do wonders for making the air quality in your house better.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Venezuela: A Call for Peace
2014-04-02, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/02/opinion/venezuela-a-call-for-peace.html

Venezuelans ... have built a participatory democratic movement from the grass roots that has ensured that both power and resources are equitably distributed among our people. According to the United Nations, Venezuela has consistently reduced inequality: It now has the lowest income inequality in the region. We have reduced poverty enormously — to 25.4 percent in 2012, on the World Bank’s data, from 49 percent in 1998; in the same period, according to government statistics, extreme poverty diminished to 6 percent from 21 percent. We have created flagship universal health care and education programs, free to our citizens nationwide. We have achieved these feats in large part by using revenue from Venezuelan oil. Since 1998, the movement founded by Hugo Chávez has won more than a dozen presidential, parliamentary and local elections through an electoral process that former American President Jimmy Carter has called “the best in the world.” Recently, the United Socialist Party received an overwhelming mandate in mayoral elections in December 2013, winning 255 out of 337 municipalities. Popular participation in politics in Venezuela has increased dramatically over the past decade. The claims that Venezuela has a deficient democracy and that current protests represent mainstream sentiment are belied by the facts. The antigovernment protests are being carried out by people in the wealthier segments of society who seek to reverse the gains of the democratic process that have benefited the vast majority of the people.

Note: This article was written by Nicolás Maduro, the president of Venezuela. We have long observed a strong media bias against Venezuela. Thanks to the New York Times for finally printing an article in support of this country which, despite its problems, has made remarkable strides in recent years.




Facebook CEO Zuckerberg’s Base Salary Falls to $1
2014-04-01, MSN
http://money.msn.com/business-news/article.aspx?feed=BLOOM&date=20140401&id=1...

Mark Zuckerberg has decided he’s a $1-a-year man. Zuckerberg, who is Facebook Inc.’s chief executive officer and also the 22nd richest person in the world as ranked by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, was paid $1 in salary for 2013, according to a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday. That’s down from a base salary of $503,205 in 2012, the year that Facebook went public. Zuckerberg is following the well worn path of other Silicon Valley technology moguls who also chose to take on the symbolic annual salary of $1 after they were already wealthy. Apple Inc.’s late co-founder Steve Jobs helped popularize the practice, which is today also espoused by Google Inc. co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, among others. All own sizable equity stakes in their own companies. Zuckerberg, whose wealth totals around $27 billion, owns Facebook shares that give him 61.6 percent of voting power in the Menlo Park, California-based social network, according to the filing. He saw his net worth balloon last year as Facebook’s stock more than doubled in value. The 29-year-old has ramped up his public service and philanthropy, including starting a group called Internet.org to connect the world to the Web. Zuckerberg’s total compensation last year was $653,165, down from $1.99 million in 2012. The amount, besides the $1 salary, was for the passenger fees, fuel, crew and catering costs for his use of private planes for personal reasons, as part of his security program, according to the filing. The CEO also made $3.3 billion last year after exercising stock options to purchase 60 million shares, according to the filing.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Collective thoughts that heal
2014-03-28, lynnemctaggart.com
http://lynnemctaggart.com/blog/262-collective-thoughts-that-heal

A remarkable study carried out by Harvard University [is] detailed in Dr. Joe Dispenza’s fascinating new book You are the Placebo. In 1981, eight men in their 70s and 80s attended a five-day retreat at a monastery in Peterborough, New Hampshire, organized by Harvard University, where they were asked to pretend that they were 22 years younger than their present age. When they got there, they discovered constant reminders of two decades previously: old issues of Life magazine and the Saturday Evening Post, shows on TV that had been popular in the late 50s, radios playing Perry Como and Nat King Cole. The men were asked to discuss events that had been current two decades before: Fidel Castro’s sudden ascendancy to power in Cuba, Nikita Khrushchev’s stand-off with Eisenhower in a US meeting, homeruns hit by Mickey Mantle and knock-out punches by Floyd Patterson. This carried on throughout the five days of the retreat. After the retreat ended, the researchers took the same physiological measurements they’d carried out at start of the study and discovered that the men actually had grown ‘taller’; they showed improved height, weight and gait, their postured straightened, their joints had become more flexible, their hearing, eyesight, grip strength, memory and general mental cognition had all improved. In fact, by the end of the five days, many of these octogenarians had given up their canes and were playing touch football. Once they’d been reminded of their younger selves, their bodies actually became younger – and all in less than a week. ‘The change wasn’t just in their minds,’ wrote Dispenza, ‘it was also in their bodies.’

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




10 ways to keep your diet GMO-free
2014-03-25, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/25/health/upwave-gmo-free-diet/index.html

Jeffrey M. Smith, author of Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods and founding executive director of The Institute for Responsible Technology, a leading source of GMO-health-risk information, says several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with genetically modified food, including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. In fact, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine has asked physicians to advise all patients to avoid genetically modified foods altogether. Ready to go GMO free? Here are 10 ways to shop smarter: 1. Go organic. The USDA National Organic Standards prohibit GMOs, so shopping organic is a great way to avoid them. 2. Load up on fruits and veggies. Most fresh produce is non-GMO, says Smith, but zucchini, yellow summer squash, edamame, sweet corn and papaya from Hawaii or China are considered high risk and are best avoided. Only buy those high-risk fruits and vegetables if they are labeled "organic" or "non-GMO," he advises. 3. Look for the non-GMO-verified seal. Since GMOs require no labeling, this seal is one of the best ways to tell when foods are free of genetic modification. 4. Join the Tipping Point Campaign. This network of local activists is working to educate communities on the dangers of GMOs. 5. Beware of additives. The five most common GMOs -- corn, canola, soy, cotton and sugar beets -- often end up as additives (in the form of corn syrup, oil, sugar, flavoring agents or thickeners) in packaged foods.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Can what you eat affect your mental health? New research links diet and the mind
2014-03-24, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/can-what-you-eat-affect...

Scientists have recently begun to investigate [whether] food can have as powerful an impact on the mind as it does on the body. Research exploring the link between diet and mental health “is a very new field; the first papers only came out a few years ago,” said Michael Berk, a professor of psychiatry at the Deakin University School of Medicine in Australia. “But the results are unusually consistent, and they show a link between diet quality and mental health.” “Diet quality” refers to the kinds of foods that people eat, how often they eat them and how much of them they eat. In several studies ... Berk and his collaborators have found lower rates of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder among those who consumed a traditional diet of meat and vegetables than among people who followed a modern Western diet heavy with processed and fast foods or even a health-food diet of tofu and salads. “Traditional diets — the kinds of foods your grandmother would have recognized — have been associated with a lower risk of mental health issues,” Berk said. The association between diet and mental well-being may start even before birth. A 2013 study of more than 23,000 mothers and their children, led by Berk’s frequent collaborator and Deakin colleague Felice Jacka, suggests a link between a mother’s consumption of sweets and processed foods during pregnancy and behavioral and mental health issues in her child at age 5.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Seems like the whole world is 'Happy'
2014-03-20, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/20/showbiz/music/happy-pharrell-williams-song/inde...

There are happy songs -- and then there is "Happy." The bouncy tune by singer/composer/producer/rapper Pharrell Williams has occupied the No. 1 spot on the charts for more than a month. It's spurred countless covers -- including one by Academy Award-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, reprising her guest star role in the 100th episode of "Glee." There is even a YouTube version of "Happy" that has gone completely to the dogs. It has managed to seemingly capture the rush of happiness in its lyrics and melody. Not a bad trick for a tune that slowly grew from a single on last summer's "Despicable Me 2" soundtrack to such popularity that Robert Morast, a writer for the Virginian-Pilot, recently entered into a debate of whether it should be considered for the official state song of Virginia. "Pharrell's hit track is a jolt of mood-lifting music," wrote Morast. "And while it's fine to be happy, the best art is crafted with a range of emotional perspectives." Even with its slow build, "Happy" caught ears from the beginning. Upon release it was quickly dubbed "an instant contender for 2013's Song of the Summer" by Rolling Stone. Since then, it's topped the charts in more than a dozen countries besides the United States, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Poland. Williams has partnered with the United Nations Foundation in celebration of Thursday's International Day of Happiness, encouraging fans to donate to the organization and submit content to his 24Hoursof Happiness.com site.

Note: To watch this awesome four-minute happy video which has had over 100 million views, click here. To see the website which has great videos of people in happy dance 24 hours a day based on this song, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Why happiness is healthy
2014-03-20, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/20/health/happiness-wellbeing-health

Happiness -- you know it when you see it, but it's hard to define. We also know that we don't always have control over our happiness. Research suggests that genetics may play a big role in our normal level of subjective well-being, so some of us may start out at a disadvantage. On top of that, between unexpected tragedies and daily habitual stress, environmental factors can bring down mood and dry up our thirst for living. Being able to manage the emotional ups and downs is important for both body and mind, said Laura Kubzansky, professor of social and behavioral sciences at Harvard School of Public Health. Many scientific studies ... have found a connection between psychological and physical well-being. A 2012 review of more than 200 studies found a connection between positive psychological attributes, such as happiness, optimism and life satisfaction, and a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease. Lower blood pressure, normal body weight and healthier blood fat profiles were also associated with a better sense of well-being in this study. Some researchers speculate that positive mental states ... have a direct effect on the body, perhaps by reducing damaging physical processes.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




California drought: Solar desalination plant shows promise
2014-03-18, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/California-drought-Solar-desalination-p...

Quietly whirring away in a dusty field in the Central Valley is a shiny solar energy machine that may someday solve many of California's water problems. It's called the WaterFX solar thermal desalination plant, and it has been turning salty, contaminated irrigation runoff into ultra-pure liquid for nearly a year for the Panoche Water and Drainage District. It's the only solar-driven desalination plant of its kind in the country. Right now its efforts produce just 14,000 gallons a day. But within a year, WaterFX intends to begin expanding that one small startup plant into a sprawling collection of 36 machines that together can pump out 2 million gallons of purified water daily. Within about five years, WaterFX company co-founder Aaron Mandell hopes to be processing 10 times that amount throughout the San Joaquin Valley. And here's the part that gets the farmers who buy his water most excited: His solar desalination plant produces water that costs about a quarter of what more conventionally desalinated water costs: $450 an acre-foot versus $2,000 an acre-foot. That brings Mandell's water cost close to what farmers are paying, in wet years, for water from the Panoche and other valley districts - about $300 an acre-foot. And that makes it a more economically attractive option than any of the 17 conventional desalination plants planned throughout California. If Mandell can pull it off, the tiny farming town where he is starting his enterprise could be known as ground zero for one of the most revolutionary water innovations in the state's history.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Catholics, Anglicans, and Muslims join to fight world slavery
2014-03-17, Christian Science Monitor
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Latest-News-Wires/2014/0317/Catholics-Anglican...

Christians and Muslims have joined to try to help free millions of men, women and children held in modern-day slavery, forced to work as maids, prostitutes, child soldiers and manual laborers. The Global Freedom Network, launched [on March 17] at the Vatican, aims to eradicate slavery by encouraging governments, businesses, educational and faith institutions to rid their supply chains of slave labor. The initiative is the brainchild of billionaire Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest, who founded the Walk Free Foundation in 2012 to mobilize a grass-roots movement to end slavery. Forrest, ranked 270th on Forbes' list of the world's richest people, used personal contacts to bring the 1.2-billion strong Catholic Church, 85-million strong Anglican Communion, and al-Azhar university in Cairo, the world's foremost seat of Sunni learning, on board with the initiative. Representatives from all three gathered ... at the Vatican to sign an agreement to launch the project, which will be based at the Vatican and have a chief executive responsible for implementing a five-year business plan. Objectives include getting the G20 to condemn modern-day slavery, persuading 50 major corporations to commit to slavery-proofing their supply chains, and convincing 160 governments to endorse a seven-year, $100 million fundraising effort to implement anti-slavery programs globally.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Cuddling Babies: Hospital Volunteers Show the Power of Human Touch
2014-03-13, ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/03/cuddling-babies-hospital-volunt...

The neonatal intensive care unit [NICU] is full of buzzers, bells and the steady hum of technology. The machines that line the rooms are safeguarding the most fragile human lives. How reassuring ... is the sound of a friendly voice? The look of a friendly face? Babies in the neonatal intensive care unit cling to moments like that, but sometimes parents and nurses can’t be there to offer the constant reassurance. That’s where Pat Rice comes in. He is a volunteer “cuddler” at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. He and his wife, Claire Fitzgerald, have been cuddling babies there for 16 years. His deep voice helps soothe the babies. He joked someone once told him it sounded like a tuba. “Apparently the voice helps make a difference. I don’t know why,” said Rice. “But I find that it works pretty well.” The nurses said that the cuddles have an immediate impact for these infants. It can even be measured. Their blood oxygenation starts to climb, meaning the baby is relaxed and is breathing deeper. The doctors say cuddling leads to better tolerance of pain, more stable body temperature and even stronger vital signs. Fitzgerald and Rice said they often comfort parents whose babies are admitted to the NICU because they can share stories about all the babies they have cuddled who are now home and thriving. Rice said that at his granddaughter’s soccer game recently, a little girl came up to him and gave him a big hug — it was a child he had once cuddled in the hospital.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.





Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


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