AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreFor children with special needs the opportunities to play baseball are slim, but that’s about to change thanks to the Miracle League of Minnesota. (Video- 3:48) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreHappy month of March! While I want to keep my website free, I also need to pay my costs (around $600.00 per month now) so I’ll send a FREE Good News Network Tote Bag to anyone who sends a new $25.00 donation during the month of March… It’s a nice fairly large canvas bag. Be more enviro-friendly and spread good news at the grocery store! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore Please donate to support our growth!
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreProcter & Gamble and global health organization Population Services International (PSI) are providing 10 million liters of safe drinking water to help prevent cholera in Zimbabwe. Developed by P&G, PŪRTM Purifier of Water is a powdered water clarification and disinfectant technology that comes in small, easy-to-use packets. Using some of the same ingredients as municipal water systems, the PŪR water purification packets remove pollutants and cysts as well as kills viruses and bacteria, including the bacteria that cause cholera. More than one-thousand people have died from the current cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe. PSI has the staff, infrastructure and resources to distribute the PŪR packets in partnership with the non-profit group, AmeriCares. The packets will be distributed for free to those living in areas with high cholera outbreaks in and around Harare, Beitbridge and Mudzi, Zimbabwe. Approximately 10,000 families with 40-60,000 people will benefit with the use of PŪR packets to meet their water treatment needs for three months. “P&G is grateful for the work of our safe drinking water partners, PSI and AmeriCares, during this holiday season to make PŪR available to the people of Zimbabwe and to help address this deadly cholera outbreak,” said Greg Allgood, Director, Children’s Safe Drinking Water at P&G. “PSI will provide the equivalent of 300 tanker trucks of purified water treated with the PŪR packets in order to help prevent thousands of cases of cholera.” The Children’s Safe Drinking Water (CSDW) program is a signature program of P&G’s Live, Learn and Thrive global cause, which reached more than 60 million children in need around the world just last year. Since its launch in 2003, P&G has worked with partners to provide more than 1.3 billion liters of clean drinking water to people in over 40 countries. PSI is a critical partner in these efforts and provides PŪR in 10 countries. In 2008, PSI received commendation from the Congolese government for providing PŪR to save lives during a cholera outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Related Story: Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program Provides One Billionth Liter of Clean Water The Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program celebrated the creation of its one billionth liter of clean drinking water in April, 2008, at a rural clinic in Nigeria, using a packet of water clarification and disinfectant developed by Procter & Gamble. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreIn the largely improvised scramble to set up an alternative to leader Moammar Gadhafi’s regime, the Libyan rebels are leaning heavily on Ali Tarhouni, a University of Washington economics professor who abruptly left his family and students to join an uncertain revolution.In March, Tarhouni, 60, was named the rebels’ finance minister and overseer of its crucial oil and gas portfolio.As a dedicated civil servant, he even jumped on a fishing boat recently to personally deliver salary money to the besieged city of Misrata in the Gadhafi-controlled west. “Courage is not an endowment to particular people,” he says. “It’s surprising how everybody can be courageous. They’re very normal people and, suddenly, most of these normal people could be heroes, courageous — and do things you don’t expect.”(READ the inspiring feature story at NPR)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreWith less silk, lace and gold than many of his predecessors displayed, Pope Francis on Tuesday was inaugurated at a Holy Mass in St. Peter’s Square during which he appealed to world leaders to be protectors of the poor and the environment.The Mass for the man born Jorge Mario Bergoglio was marked by a simplicity that contrasted with the former pope’s 2005 inauguration. In his homily, the pontiff offered a passionate pledge “to serve ‘the poorest, the weakest, the least important”:(The pope, too) must open his arms to protect all of God’s people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison.(READ more of the story from NPR)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA nine-year-old boy from Texas who is going blind got help from Alaska Airlines, a pilot, and others to travel to Alaska to see the aurora borealis.Ben Pierce made a “bucket list” of things and places he wants to see before he loses his sight. Fortunately, the Northern lights did appear one night while he was there.“I still can’t believe we saw them,” his mom told the News Miner. “It felt like a dream.”His family, staying at Chena Hot Springs outside of Fairbanks, got to do other fun things like ride with sled dogs.(READ the full story with photos from the Fairbanks News Miner)Photo by Robert Snache (CC license on Flickr) – Story tip from Susan Seefeldt
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreWhen a Boston taxi driver made headlines for returning a huge bag of cash to a formerly homeless man, many people thought his reward of one hundred dollars was not enough.Royal Caribbean cruise lines contacted Raymond MacCausland to offer him and his longtime girlfriend a seven-day Caribbean cruise, including airfare to the port of departure in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. There are other rewards in the works, according to the Boston Globe.Meanwhile, a friend of MacCausland set up an online fundraiser to help the man who is in his 70s and lives on social security benefits, and what money he can earn driving for a cab company.It has raised more than two thousand of its $5000 goal.SHARE Some Good News Today… AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreIn November 2019, I saw my immediate future as I had known it for several years: after working for 10 months, stashing away some money, it was time to travel the world.But the times were changing, and as it was with Bilbo Baggins, warning his nephew in Lord of the Rings, so it was with me: “You step out onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no telling where you’ll be swept off to.” But, it became worse and worse, and slowly the reality sunk in that this was not something the old, dysfunctional, indebted Italian bureaucracy was capable of containing. And so some of the strictest quarantine measures on earth came down upon us, right as my tourist visa was expiring.Too unnerved by tales of a 3.4% mortality rate to buy a plane ticket home, I remained in Italy until it got so bad that, even in the countryside, we were prohibited from going 200 meters beyond our front door — Bilbo would be appalled — while masks were required at all times, even in the middle of an open field.The best worst year everOur proximity forced us to learn to understand one another. But, I remember one monumental fight where I was certain that it was over, only to open my laptop and discover I could not continue my travels — I could go nowhere, since nowhere was operating flights to and from Italy.The storm would eventually pass, but, meanwhile, Mara and I, unlike many of her civil clients who had sought divorce during the lockdowns, had grown closer. What was required when trapped all day at home during a quarantine isn’t so different from what is required to forge a healthy marriage, I reckon.COVID-19 created and enforced the conditions for our love to grow into a partnership that is now pending international recognition.WATCH: Caring Hospital Staff Help COVID-Stricken Groom Say ‘I do!’ in Heartwarming Bedside Wedding CeremonyAt the time of this writing, an uptick of summer holidaying across the country, specifically the reopening of nightclubs, brought about a small outbreak in Sardinia of around 270 cases which swelled the national number of new cases to around 1,500 per day, but little else in the country of 60 million. The once-empty streets of places like Verona, Naples, and Milan, are bustling with shoppers, diners, and travelers from all across Europe. Life has returned to normal.Mara and I got married in her hometown on the August 31st and—with airline tickets ready to visit my Virginia home for my brother’s wedding in October, and again at Christmas—2020 will be, for me personally, a year that will be very hard to beat.READ more travel articles from Andy Corbley at his website World At Large…SHARE The Story of Love In The Time of Corona With Friends Longing For Connection…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore Arriving in Namibia in December to trek among the dunes, I met an intriguing Italian woman always with three young black children flitting about her. It was for their diversion that one morning on the beaches of the city of Swakopmund, she asked if I would have dinner with the four of them. This dinner consisted of a bizarre cast of characters, and led to a strange enough little game of flirtation between she and I that I eventually followed the four of them back to the capital of Windhoek.The woman, Mara, began visiting Namibia after she became a sponsor, contributing money for school and living expenses, through a remote adoption program 4 years prior. She had been making annual visits there to visit the kids, Barack, Augusto, and Otilie.There was a strength in the way she cared for those children — who were not hers and whom she saw so irregularly. It drew me to her, such that when she invited me to visit her in Italy she had only to wait 37 hours before a picture of my flight receipt arrived in our WhatsApp chat.Northern Italy – and a rumor from ChinaThe story of Mara and I will always remain indelibly linked to the now-infamous virus for several important reasons, but when I arrived in the Milan airport on January the 15th, the rumor of a new SARS epidemic in China could not have been less-interesting to me. More interesting was the fact that Mara, a disciplined Italian lawyer, welcomed a vagabonding American writer wearing jungle clothes, whose boots hung by their laces from his rucksack, where he stowed souvenirs from Ghana (and unbeknownst to him at the time, an overly-ripe, exploded mango).This recipe for relationship disaster took a turn for the even-less advisable when they immediately moved in together in a studio apartment in a small village around 45 minutes from Milan.RELATED: Texas Couple Married for 46 Years Beats COVID-Cancer-Chemo Crisis And Returns Home with Clean Bills of HealthThings progressed tentatively until they planned a spontaneous trip to Venice, arriving on the 28th of February—the opening day of Carnival, the theme of which was “Love, Games, and Folly,” strangely enough.As colored barges floated fire and acrobats down the canals, I felt like 2020 would be a really amazing year. And then COVID-19 hit…A group of tourists had just arrived from China in the famous city carrying SARS-CoV-2 which torched a devastating pandemic that spread throughout Italy like a California wildfire.My friends, neighbors, and Mara’s family, all went through several stages of denial, noting that most of those dead were very old people or those with cancer — my neighbor Carlo added that the average age of patients who died from COVID-19 was higher than the average age of death among Italians.
In an online world dominated by likes, follower ratios and habitual posting, are college students becoming slaves to their Snapchat streaks? Author Donna Freitas addressed this question Tuesday in a lecture on her book “The Happiness Effect: How Social Media is Driving a Generation to Appear Perfect at Any Cost.” Freitas explored how students use social media to construct an identity, navigate the world, create relationships with peers and build connections with professionals. Through her research, she has come to find that in this process, college-aged students are experiencing a disconnect from authentic happiness. “It’s like a bad boyfriend,” Freitas said. “You know [social media] is bad for you, but you can’t help going back to it.”As part of her research, Freitas visited 13 different colleges and universities across the United States and surveyed 900 students through online essays. In their answers, most students said they felt pressured to appear perfect, successful and happy in every way. They said it was taboo to post complaints, attempts to garner sympathy and political or religious affiliations — anything that might be construed as negative or controversial. In Freitas’ online survey, 73 percent of students responded “yes” to the statement: “I try always to appear happy/positive with anything attached to my real name.”“The appearance of happiness is placed above your actual happiness,” Freitas said.The professionalization of Facebook has made users much more aware of their “audiences” — ranging from close friends and family, to college admissions offices, to potential employers. Freitas said this high-stakes environment has forced users to spend an unreasonable amount of time and effort on deciding what is appropriate content to post. In her study, Freitas found that some students adhered to posting during “high-traffic times” for optimal exposure and religiously followed the “three C’s of social media” — crafting a post, curating a brand and cultivating an audience.“Your real name is a brand that you are responsible to promote and protect,” she said. “You’re like a mini company. The reputation of your name is the reputation of your brand.”These carefully created online identities have changed the way college students experience the world. Freitas said one of her subjects, a “beautiful, intelligent sorority vice president” under the pseudonym “Emma,” was extremely frustrated with this new reality.“People used to do things and then post them, and the approval you gained from whatever you were putting out there was a byproduct of the actual activity,” Emma said in her interview with Freitas. “Now the anticipated approval is what’s driving the behavior of the activity.”Freitas presented the smartphone as a social media delivery system in which hits of self-esteem, or hits to the self-esteem, are always available. This non-stop feedback loop has made users feel they also must always be “on,” no matter the situation or time of day, keeping some people scrolling through timelines well into the night. Freitas said the line between using social media and being used by it is ever-blurring.In her research, Freitas said she found many students attempted to cope with this oppressive cycle through various means — social media sabbaticals, periods of unplugging, Wi-Fi free spaces and using anonymous accounts for true expression. “People are seeking freedom from the compulsion of their phones,” Freitas said.Tags: Donna Freitas, smartphones, social media, The Happiness Effect
In 2018, Saint Mary’s will introduce new graduate program, a Master of Autism Studies. Although students cannot begin their coursework until 2019, the program will begin accepting applications and hosting workshops this calendar year. “Everyone knows about the critical need for understanding and responding to autism in the world today,” Michael Waddell, program director, said in an email. “The Master of Autism Studies program responds to this need by examining autism from scientific, therapeutic and humanistic perspectives.”The first proposal for the program was submitted in the spring of 2011, Waddell said. This program speaks to the values of Saint Mary’s and specifically a Holy Cross education, said Susan Latham, a Master of Autism Studies faculty member and program director of the Master of Science in speech language pathology program.“I think it’s important that this is happening at Saint Mary’s because we are Holy Cross. And Holy Cross means that we are educating our students in a way that reflects the way that Fr. Moreau envisioned our work happening,” Latham said. “So for example, one characteristic of Holy Cross educators is respect for the individual in that we don’t concern ourselves with only the mind but also the heart, and that really speaks to our values and how we approach families with whom we work.” Waddell said that throughout their time in the program, students will study autism in relation to both intervention approaches as well as other subjects.“The Master of Autism Studies program will provide the interdisciplinary, autism-specific expertise students need to become leaders in autism-related fields,” he said. “Unlike other programs, the Master of Autism Studies will introduce students to the full range of evidence-based autism interventions, including — but not limited to — behavioralist approaches. And it will do all of these things in conversation with the Catholic tradition.”Waddell said the program looks beyond just the science and examines the intersection of autism with the humanities.“Autism therapies are important because, when done well, they can improve the quality of life of people who live with autism,” he said. “And, of course, in order to provide the best autism therapies, you have to understand the science of autism. But autism is about more than a diagnosis and treatment. It affects every dimension of life. That’s why it’s important to think about autism from humanistic perspectives too.”In these humanities courses, students will study autistic art and literature, as well as take into account how philosophical, theological, political and legal lenses can aid in the understanding of autism, Waddell said. “The humanities courses in the autism studies program help us to think about autism as more than a diagnosis and treatment — to understand that autism shapes the lives and identities of human beings and is giving rise to a distinctive culture,” he said. “This is the only program I know of that takes such a broad approach to thinking about autism as part of the human experience.”This specific approach is unique to Saint Mary’s. Most other programs across the nation look solely at the scientific aspects, and the holistic approach taken in this program is “visionary,” Latham said.“There aren’t other programs like this,” she added. “This is sort of groundbreaking, in having this degree being offered. It’s nice to know that right here, on this campus, we are creating something and are really passionate about something that I feel is visionary, that is not what everybody is doing.”The program brings together faculty and faculty fellows who are experts in various aspects of autism studies, Waddell said. “Every person teaching in the program has a significant interest in autism and brings a special kind of expertise to the table,” he said. “In my personal opinion, the quality of the faculty and fellows is one of the greatest strengths of the program. I want to take every course my colleagues will be teaching.”On March 2, the program will host its first workshop. Waddell said workshops will be focused on intervention techniques, sometimes offering an opportunity for certification.“The autism intervention workshops bring world-renowned experts to campus to provide training in state-of-the-art autism interventions,” he said. “… We strive to represent the full range of evidence-based interventions rather than just limiting ourselves to one particular approach, as happens in many programs.”Waddell said that many of the workshops offer students and community members the opportunity to achieve valuable certification in intervention methods at little to no cost. The upcoming one will be cosponsored by the Master of Autism Studies program, the Communicative Sciences and Disorders department and LOGAN Community Resources. It is free and open to all, as long as participants register online prior to the workshop. “This is the sort of thing that students can list on resumes and professionals can use to maintain licensure,” Waddell said. “The training would cost a lot of money for students and community members if they pursued it on their own, but it’s being offered for free in our workshops through the financial support of sponsors.”Latham looks forward to sharing her passion for autism studies to both the community through workshops and through teaching, she said. “It’s really encouraging to me to know that there are people that think that there is value in this as a graduate study and that they have that same level of compassion and concern for individuals on the autism spectrum,” she said. Tags: Autism, Holy Cross, Master of Autism Studies