Inspirational News Articles
Excerpts of Key Inspirational News Articles in Major Media
Below are many highly engaging excerpts of key inspirational news articles reported in the mainstream media.
Links are provided to the original news articles on their major media websites. If any link should fail to function, click here
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For an index to revealing excerpts of news articles on several dozen engaging topics, click here
UN: Number of hungry people declines
2010-09-14, Washington Post/Associated Press
The number of chronically hungry people in the world dipped considerably below the 1 billion mark - the first drop in 15 years - thanks partly to a fall in food prices after spikes that sparked rioting a few years ago, U.N. agencies said [on September 14]. Still, an estimated 925 million people are undernourished worldwide, and the latest figures don't reflect the repercussions from the massive flooding in Pakistan. The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization's report suggested some progress in the battle to end hunger, but stressed the world is far from achieving the U.N. promoted Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of undernourished people from 20 percent in 1990-92 to 10 percent in 2015. The report estimated there are 98 million fewer chronically hungry people than in 2009, when the figure just topped 1 billion. The drop in the chronically hungry is partly because ... cereal and rice harvests have been strong. Cereal production this year was the third-highest ever recorded, despite a drought-fueled wheat shortfall in Russia, said FAO director-general Jacques Diouf. Also heartening, Diouf noted, is that cereal stocks are high - some 100 million tons more than the low levels of 2007-2008, when some 38 countries shut down their food export markets in reaction.
Glassdoor offers view inside firms like HP
2010-09-08, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
If the workplace review site Glassdoor is to companies what Yelp is to restaurants, then Hewlett-Packard Co. employees gave former chief executive Mark Hurd only two stars, but remain hopeful of a four- or five-star successor. In the past, those kinds of inside insights into employee morale at any corporation could be locked away behind closed doors. But in the open world of the Web, sites like Glassdoor have moved those sentiments into the open market, giving voice to rank-and-file workers in a way that no company suggestion box ever could. "In a world with Glassdoor and Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, there's a tsunami of transparency washing over the employment space," Glassdoor Inc. CEO Robert Hohman said. The Sausalito company lets any employee post reviews about the overall workplace environment, both the pros and the cons of working there and "advice for senior management." The reviews are posted anonymously, to encourage openness without fear of retribution. In the two years since its launch, the site has grown from having reviews for about 3,000 companies to now having about 90,000 companies, including Bay Area giants like Chevron Corp., Intel Corp., Oracle Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., Facebook Inc. and, of course, HP.
Note: The transparency offered by the Internet is making a big difference.
'Life's Purpose' author Eckhart Tolle is serene, critics less so
2010-04-15, USA Today
Are you weighted down by your past? Anxious about tomorrow? Stewing over how to face today? Stop. Drop those thoughts. Breathe. Be still. Just be. Spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle will tell you this is the ultimate path to inner peace, available to you any time. All you have to do is let go of all your thoughts. Of course, that's a lot trickier than it sounds. Hence, Tolle's soaring popularity as a guide to living in the present un-tense. His most recent book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, a sequel to his earlier best seller, The Power of Now, has sold 6 million copies. When Oprah Winfrey read it, she was so inspired that she invited him to co-host a 10-week set of Internet seminars on how to simply be. So far, 35 million people worldwide have viewed these "webinars." In July, he launched Tolle TV, an Internet channel featuring his videotaped teachings and meditations. Subscriptions to Tolle TV, at $14.95 to $19.95 a month, cost less than a movie and popcorn, and a growing amount of the content — his lectures, teachings and meditations — is free. Most of the proceeds of his books and teaching tours are plowed back into Tolle TV's elaborate professional productions, or the overhead for lecture halls.
Hallucinogens Have Doctors Tuning In Again
2010-04-11, New York Times
Scientists are taking a new look at hallucinogens, which became taboo among regulators after enthusiasts like Timothy Leary promoted them in the 1960s with the slogan 'Turn on, tune in, drop out.' Now, using rigorous protocols and safeguards, scientists have won permission to study once again the drugs' potential for treating mental problems and illuminating the nature of consciousness. Researchers from around the world are gathering this week in San Jose, Calif., for the largest conference on psychedelic science held in the United States in four decades. They plan to discuss studies of psilocybin and other psychedelics for treating depression in cancer patients, obsessive-compulsive disorder, end-of-life anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction to drugs or alcohol. Scientists are especially intrigued by the similarities between hallucinogenic experiences and the life-changing revelations reported throughout history by religious mystics and those who meditate. These similarities have been identified in neural imaging studies conducted by Swiss researchers and in experiments led by Roland Griffiths, a professor of behavioral biology at Johns Hopkins. In one of Dr. Griffiths's first studies, involving 36 people with no serious physical or emotional problems, he and colleagues found that psilocybin could induce what the experimental subjects described as a profound spiritual experience with lasting positive effects for most of them.
Note: For key reports on health issues from reliable sources, click here.
N.Y. Protestant church apologizes to Native Americans
2009-12-01, USA Today
Four hundred years after their spiritual ancestors took part in the decimation and dislocation of Native Americans in New York, one of the nation's first Protestant churches held a "healing ceremony" to apologize. "We consumed your resources, dehumanized your people, and disregarded your culture, along with your dreams, hopes and great love of this land," representatives from Collegiate Church said in a statement. "With pain, we the Collegiate Church, remember our part in these events." The Friday ceremony took place on Native American Heritage Day in lower Manhattan, where in 1628 Dutch colonizers built the first Collegiate Church, then known as the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church, at Fort Amsterdam. The Dutch West Indies Company treated Native Americans "as a resource," Collegiate said in a statement, and "we were the conscience of this company." Ron Holloway, who attended the ceremony as a representative of the Lenape people, said "the native populations were suppressed by a political and religious will of which they could never begin to conceive." But, he said, he and other Lenape people "whole-heartedly accept this apology." At Friday's ceremony, Holloway embraced leaders from Collegiate, according to the Associated Press, and exchanged wampum, strings of beads symbolizing money or ornaments.
Learning His Body, Learning to Dance
2009-11-25, New York Times
Gregg Mozgala, a 31-year-old actor with cerebral palsy, had 12 years of physical therapy while he was growing up. But in the last eight months, a determined choreographer with an unconventional résumé has done what all those therapists could not: She has dramatically changed the way Mr. Mozgala walks. In the process, she has changed his view of himself and of his possibilities. Mr. Mozgala and the choreographer, Tamar Rogoff, have been working since last winter on a dance piece called “Diagnosis of a Faun.” It is to have its premiere on Dec. 3 at La MaMa Annex in the East Village, but the more important work of art may be what Ms. Rogoff has done to transform Mr. Mozgala’s body. “I have felt things that I felt were completely closed off to me for the last 30 years,” he said. “The amount of sensation that comes through the work has been totally unexpected and is really quite wonderful.” Ms. Rogoff has often worked outside normal dance parameters — with prison inmates, for instance — and knew immediately that she wanted to try to create a piece for Mr. Mozgala. “I didn’t know what I was going to do for him,” she said, “but I just knew he was inspiring to me.” She introduced Mr. Mozgala to a tension-releasing shaking technique, and it was immediately revelatory. “My body just really took to it,” Mr. Mozgala said. “I did that for about 20 or 30 minutes, and when I stood up, I was walking completely differently. My feet were flat on the ground.” They knew they were onto something.
New nonprofit uses Web to pressure Chevron
2009-11-16, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Retired retail executive Richard Goldman was astonished when he heard about the $27 billion pollution lawsuit against Chevron Corp. in Ecuador. Astonished at the soil and water contamination surrounding Ecuador's oil fields. And astonished that he'd never heard of it before. So Goldman, one of the founders of the Men's Wearhouse clothing chain, has created a nonprofit group that will use social-networking tools to spread word of the case and put pressure on Chevron. The group, Ethos Alliance, will ask visitors to its Web site to tell others about the issue, hoping that viral communication via the Internet will reach people that news stories about the suit haven't. The site will raise money for humanitarian relief projects in Ecuador's oil patch, encouraging visitors to donate $5 apiece to build a water treatment plant and buy medicine for a health clinic. The Web site, www.ethosalliance.org, goes online today. Ethos also will urge Chevron to settle the long-running lawsuit, something the San Ramon company has vowed not to do. Ethos plans to tackle other issues of corporate responsibility in the future, uniting the alliance's online members with businesses willing to join the cause. Ethos is the latest example of social or political causes using social networking to increase their reach. Earlier this year, a one-day fundraising effort organized via Twitter collected $250,000 for drinking water projects in the developing world.
Like a Skyline Is Etched in His Head
2009-10-28, New York Times
In a helicopter above [New York City], Stephen Wiltshire of London looked down at the streets and sprawl. He flew for 20 minutes. Since then, working only from the memory of that sight, he has been sketching and drawing a mighty panorama of the city, rendering the city’s 305 square miles along an arc of paper that is 19 feet long. He is working publicly in a gallery at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. “I always memorize by helicopter,” he said, pausing from detailing the corners of a street on the Brooklyn side of the Williamsburg Bridge. Mr. Wiltshire sees and draws. It is how he connects. Until age 5, he had never uttered a word. One day, his kindergarten class at a school for autistic children in London went on a field trip. When they came back, he spoke. “He said, ‘Paper,’ ” his sister, Annette Wiltshire, said. “The teacher asked him to say it again. He said it. Then they asked him to say something else, and he said, ‘Pen.’ ” With pen and paper in hand, he drew what he had seen that day. In time, a clever teacher taught him the alphabet by associating each letter with a place he had drawn — “a” for Albert Hall, “b” for Buckingham Palace, and so on. Now 35, he has already drawn eight major cities after flyovers. He has his own Web site and gallery. By unpacking in exquisite detail the riches that he absorbs in a glimpse, Mr. Wiltshire has built a bridge to the world that had once been cut off to him.
Note: For an intriguing five-minute film on Stephen Wiltshire, click here. For a wealth of information about other people with mind-boggling capabilities, click here.
Netherlands to close prisons for lack of criminals
2009-05-20, NRC International (One of the Netherlands' leading newspapers)
The Dutch justice ministry has announced it will close eight prisons and cut 1,200 jobs in the prison system. A decline in crime has left many cells empty. During the 1990s the Netherlands faced a shortage of prison cells, but a decline in crime has since led to overcapacity in the prison system. The country now has capacity for 14,000 prisoners but only 12,000 detainees. Deputy justice minister Nebahat Albayrak announced on Tuesday that eight prisons will be closed. The overcapacity is a result of the declining crime rate, which the ministry's research department expects to continue for some time.
Note: Isn't it interesting that this country, which is one of the very few to have legalized marijuana and prostitution, has a shortage of criminals?
Osteogenesis imperfecta: Motivational speaker Sean Stephenson uses his disorder to inspire others
2009-05-05, Chicago Tribune
Born with a disorder that would leave him 3 feet tall and so brittle that coughing could fracture a rib, Sean Stephenson could not walk as a child. He was racked with pain. People stared at him all the time. Except on Halloween. On Halloween, everyone looked different. His distinct physical appearance, the consequence of osteogenesis imperfecta, helped him blend in, and he loved that. But on Halloween morning 1988, he broke his leg after catching it on a door frame. His favorite day became an agonizing one. He was hysterical until his mother asked him the question that would change his life: "Is this going to be a gift or a burden?" Two decades later, the man who at birth was supposed to survive only 24 hours is doing his best to convert what would seem to be an insurmountable challenge into a gift -- to himself and others. Stephenson, who turns 30 on Tuesday, is a psychotherapist and inspirational speaker. His self-help book, Get Off Your 'But' was [just published], and on April 25 he finished filming a TV documentary pilot for A&E. A college graduate pursuing a PhD in clinical hypnosis, he's toying with the idea of running for Congress, after he opens orphanages for kids with disabilities and a summer camp aimed at eliminating "self-sabotage" in children. "I embrace my life," he said one morning from his 17th-floor office in the Oakbrook Terrace Tower. "I've lived the life of a rock star." He ... stresses that "connecting," which he defines as "an exchange of our humanity," is vastly different from communicating, the simple exchange of information. Understanding that difference can be one of the most powerful tools in changing people's lives, Stephenson maintains. "Being 3 feet tall and in a wheelchair is about 2 percent of who I am. I'm more than able. I'm playing large."
Birds can 'dance' to music, researchers say
2009-05-01, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
After studying a cockatoo that grooves to the Backstreet Boys and about 1,000 YouTube videos, scientists say they've documented for the first time that some animals "dance" to a musical beat. The results support a theory for why the human brain is wired for dancing. In lab studies of two parrots and close review of the YouTube videos, scientists looked for signs that animals were actually feeling the beat of music they heard. The verdict: Some parrots did, and maybe an occasional elephant. But researchers found no evidence of that for dogs and cats, despite long exposure to people and music, nor for chimps, our closest living relatives. Why? The truly boppin' animals shared with people some ability to mimic sounds they hear, the researchers say. The brain circuitry for that ability lets people learn to talk, and evidently also to dance or tap their toes to music, suggests Aniruddh Patel of the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego. He proposed the music connection in 2006.
He also led a study of Snowball that was published online Thursday by the journal Current Biology. A separate YouTube study, also published Thursday by the journal, was led by Adena Schachner, a graduate student in psychology at Harvard University. In sum, the new research "definitely gives us a bit of insight into why and how humans became able to dance," Schachner said. A video of Snowball bobbing his head and kicking like a little Rockette to music has been viewed more than 2 million times on YouTube since it was posted in 2007. Snowball's movements followed the beat of his favorite Backstreet Boys song ... even when researchers sped up the tune and slowed it down.
Note: To watch videos of Snowball dancing to the Backstreet Boys and Huey Lewis, click here.
Mary's Meals: feeding the world from a garden shed
2009-01-21, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
To Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, his father's shed in Dalmally, Argyll, has acquired a talismanic significance. It's where he stockpiled food and clothes for Bosnian refugees in the 1990s – an amateurish humanitarian mission that eventually led him to sell his house, give up his job and concentrate on the much bigger project of feeding poor children in Third World countries. Mary's Meals ... now provides a daily school meal for 350,000 children across Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe. In Malawi, it feeds 10 per cent of the primary-school population. That one meal – provided for as little as Ł8.50 a year – is a passport to education and a way out of poverty. The idea of providing school-age children with one good meal a day sprang from the simple wish of a 14-year-old boy in Malawi. Edward was one of five children whose mother was dying of Aids. He told MacFarlane-Barrow that his twin ambitions were to have enough to eat and to go to school. The Scotsman grasped immediately that if the promise of a meal could lure a child to school, then education could offer an escape from dependence. "It is ridiculous", he says, "that people are hungry when you can feed them for so little. There are dangers to growing, but we wouldn't want to put a limit on it, because there is such a momentum. There are millions of children out there who need this desperately. I don't think we could stop it now, even if we wanted to."
Heaven for the Godless?
2008-12-27, New York Times
In June, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life published a controversial survey in which 70 percent of Americans said that they believed religions other than theirs could lead to eternal life. This threw evangelicals into a tizzy. After all, the Bible makes it clear that heaven is a velvet-roped V.I.P. area reserved for Christians. But the survey suggested that Americans just weren’t buying that. The evangelicals complained that people must not have understood the question. The respondents couldn’t actually believe what they were saying, could they? So in August, Pew asked the question again. Sixty-five percent of respondents said — again — that other religions could lead to eternal life. But this time, to clear up any confusion, Pew asked them to specify which religions. The respondents essentially said all of them. And they didn’t stop there. Nearly half also thought that atheists could go to heaven — dragged there kicking and screaming, no doubt — and most thought that people with no religious faith also could go. What on earth does this mean? One very plausible explanation is that Americans just want good things to come to good people, regardless of their faith. We meet so many good people of different faiths that it’s hard for us to imagine God letting them go to hell. In fact, in the most recent survey, Pew asked people what they thought determined whether a person would achieve eternal life. Nearly as many Christians said you could achieve eternal life by just being a good person as said that you had to believe in Jesus.
Dutchman aims to break record in freezing bath
2008-12-09, The Telegraph (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
A Dutchman who is able to withstand freezing temperatures that would kill most people will submerge himself in icy water for almost two hours in a world record bid. Wim Hof, known as "The Ice Man", has spent the last 20 years testing his talent in the most extreme conditions from scaling mountain tops wearing nothing but a pair of shorts to swimming under sheets of ice [at] the north pole. Now he is set to break his own world record by submerging himself in a Plexiglas container filled with ice at temperatures as low as -20 degrees for more than 1 hour 45 minutes. Mr Hof discovered his unusual talent over 20 years ago during a stroll in the park in his native Holland. "I was really attracted to it. I went in, got rid of my clothes. Thirty seconds I was in and a tremendous good feeling when I came out and since then, I repeated it every day." It was the moment that Mr Hof knew that his body was different somehow: he was able to withstand fatally freezing temperatures. Mr Hof began a lifelong quest to see just how far his abilities would take him. In 2000, dressed only in a swimsuit, he dove under the ice at the North Pole and earned a Guinness World Record for the longest amount of time swimming under the ice. Whilst many scientists around the world find Mr Hof's ability an anomaly, Mr Hof says it is merely a case of mind over matter. Practising an ancient Himalayan meditation called "Tummo," or Inner Fire, Mr Hof says he can generate his own heat. Mr Hof now travels the world teaching the technique through his record attempts, lectures and talks.
What Happens When We Die?
2008-09-18, Time magazine
A fellow at New York City's Weill Cornell Medical Center, Dr. Sam Parnia is one of the world's leading experts on the scientific study of death. Last week Parnia and his colleagues at the Human Consciousness Project announced their first major undertaking: a 3-year exploration of the biology behind "out-of-body" experiences. The study, known as AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation), involves the collaboration of 25 major medical centers through Europe, Canada and the U.S. and will examine some 1,500 survivors of cardiac arrest. TIME spoke with Parnia about the project's origins, its skeptics and the difference between the mind and the brain. What sort of methods will this project use to try and verify people's claims of "near-death" experience? When your heart stops beating, there is no blood getting to your brain. And so what happens is that within about 10 sec., brain activity ceases — as you would imagine. Yet paradoxically, 10% or 20% of people who are then brought back to life from that period, which may be a few minutes or over an hour, will report having consciousness. So the key thing here is, Are these real, or is it some sort of illusion? In my book What Happens When We Die? ... I wanted people to get both angles — not just the patients' side but also the doctors' side — and see how it feels for the doctors to have a patient come back and tell them what was going on. There was a cardiologist that I spoke with who said he hasn't told anyone else about it because he has no explanation for how this patient could have been able to describe in detail what he had said and done. He was so freaked out by it that he just decided not to think about it anymore.
Note: How interesting that when something amazing happened that this cardiologist could not explain, he chose not to think about it rather than consider that there might be some deeper explanation. For an excellent analysis of how this kind of thinking stops scientific progress, see our essay on fluid intellignece available here.
A good Samaritan travels the freeway
2008-07-28, Boston Globe/Los Angeles Times
Christin Ernst was in a fix. An errant screwdriver punctured her tire on a San Diego freeway, leaving her stranded. That is when Thomas Weller - also known as the San Diego Highwayman - arrived in his monstrous white search-and-rescue vehicle, complete with emergency lights flashing. A surprised Ernst watched as Weller slapped on her spare, inflated it and handed her a card. It reads: "Assisting you has been my pleasure. I ask for no payment other than for you to pass on the favor by helping someone in distress that you may encounter." She was lucky. Because of wallet-busting fuel prices, Weller has cut back his good Samaritan runs to once every three days. Weller's aging rescue rig, which weighs more than 5,600 pounds, is a world-class gas-guzzler. "I sit home on the front porch a lot," he said. "It's killing me." Weller started his volunteer highway rounds in 1966. Now 60, he figures he has helped more than 6,000 motorists. Mostly, he helps people whose vehicles are out of gas, or have a flat tires or overheated engines. For those, he carries gas, water, compressed air, and jacks capable of lifting an ambulance or a low-rider. Weller estimates the rig has gone 600,000 miles - the odometer broke 10 years ago. To make a living, he has been a roofer, car repair manager, and security guard. These days, he fixes cars for a select group of customers. He said his job provides enough money for his modest lifestyle. It also covered his daily drives - until gas prices went up.
Note: For a great CBS video on this good Samaritan, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Interest escalates in doctor's African mission
2008-06-01, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Dr. Frank Artress, the former Modesto cardiac anesthesiologist turned African bush doctor, has found little time to eat since his story went around the world a month ago. Artress nearly died from high-altitude pulmonary edema while on a 2002 trek up Mount Kilimanjaro, prompting him and his wife, Susan Gustafson, to make a 180-degree life change. They sold everything they owned and moved from Modesto to Tanzania to administer health care in one of the poorest nations in the world. They wanted to give back to the people who ran Artress down the mountain on a stretcher while singing Swahili prayer songs. Every year since, the couple have spent one month in the United States, fundraising at house parties and collecting checks from friends and family. The donations helped them open a small clinic last month in Karatu, where they have already treated patients with broken bones and chronic seizures. In recent weeks, interest in their work has multiplied as Artress' story, about the social power of the individual, has spread on the Internet. The outpouring comes as philanthropy is becoming more personal, through microloans or community service projects in public schools. With technology exposing the plight of the world's poor, volunteerism is on the rise and the Bay Area tops the list of the most-generous regions. Two decades ago, bookstores were filled with best-sellers about how to make a million. Today, books such as Three Cups of Tea and Mountains Beyond Mountains are best-sellers that inspire humanitarian activism and are helping raise millions of dollars for charity.
Vatican astronomer cites possibility of extraterrestrial 'brothers'
2008-05-14, New York Times
The Vatican's chief astronomer says there is no conflict between believing in God and in the possibility of extraterrestrial "brothers" perhaps more evolved than humans. "In my opinion this possibility exists," said the Reverend José Gabriel Funes, head of the Vatican Observatory and a scientific adviser to Pope Benedict XVI, referring to life on other planets. "How can we exclude that life has developed elsewhere," he said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano. The large number of galaxies with their own planets makes this possible, he noted. Asked if he was referring to beings similar to humans or even more evolved than humans, he said: "Certainly, in a universe this big you can't exclude this hypothesis." In the interview headlined, "The extraterrestrial is my brother," he said he saw no conflict between belief in such beings and faith in God. "Just as there is a multiplicity of creatures on earth, there can be other beings, even intelligent, created by God. This is not in contrast with our faith because we can't put limits on God's creative freedom," he said. "Why can't we speak of a 'brother extraterrestrial'? It would still be part of creation." Funes, who runs the observatory that is based south of Rome and in Arizona, held out the possibility that the human race might actually be the "lost sheep" of the universe.
There could be other beings "who remained in full friendship with their creator," he said.
Note: For a fascinating summary of evidence presented by government and military professionals for the possible presence of extraterrestrials here on Earth, click here.
Mater Dei team gets 2,843 miles to the gallon
2008-04-13, WFIE TV (NBC affiliate in Evansville, IN)
Mater Dei High School finished first and third out of 33 high school and college student teams from North and South America, shattering the miles per gallon record set last year by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Mater Dei's "6th Gen" car won the traditional fuel combustion category in the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas with [a] run of 2,843.4 miles per gallon. Mater Dei's other car in competition, "5th Gen" finished third with a Friday run of 2,383.8 miles per gallon. Mater Dei wins $10,000 for first prize, along with an additional $2,400 for internal combustion engine awards. The Eco-Marathon Americas, which began in 2007, is a gathering of college and high school student teams trying to drive the farthest distance using the least amount of fuel.
Collectively, it's an effort to change the way the world uses energy. Each team uses a hand-built, high-mileage prototype vehicle at the California Speedway from vehicle design to management to financing, the student teams managed their vehicles from start to finish. In addition to being eco-friendly, the competition is also about giving the students an opportunity to gain practical experience in science, math, business and design.
Note: Why wasn't this remarkable news covered by any major media other than this NBC affiliate? For another astonishing, yet little-known engine invention by high school students, click here. For more on the repression of new energy inventions, click here.
In Faith's Pawprints, an Abiding Hope
2008-03-29, Washington Post
Faith was curled up on the carpet beside her agent, Mike Maguire, who kept reaching down to hand her pieces of his chicken sandwich, when their waitress gave him an easy one. "What kind of dog is that?" asked Alicia Weedon, 16. With a flair honed in scores of such encounters, Maguire, a sports agent from Fairfax County, said simply, "A two-legged dog." The chow mix jumped up, her haunches tight and six-pack abs working, and began to walk. She's been on Oprah and Montel. She's been on Japanese and Korean TV and is scheduled to fly to Istanbul next month. Faith has that kind of effect on people. The 5-year-old was born with a shriveled left leg that flopped behind her and had to be removed and a legless, partial right paw with two nails she still hates getting clipped. There is an industry of rolling aids for disabled pets. But peanut butter on the end of spoon and tossed gummy bears got Faith up off her chest. Faith's owner, Jude Stringfellow, 46, said she gave up her job as a teacher in Oklahoma to take Faith on the road. Her son found Faith as a puppy, and the dog has grown into a calling and a job, Stringfellow said. She's considered starting a charity, but the idea has stalled, she said. She said that she does not keep records but that the money has been minimal and that she has passed it on to other charities. Her focus, she said, is spreading Faith's message. "I want people to understand that you can be imperfect physically and still be perfect through your soul, through your spirit," she said.
Note: For an inspiring five minute video of this amazing pup, click here.