England-based May Savidge was a woman with a mission. When developers and planners threatened to crush her historic cottage under a road-building project, she came up with a daunting plan.
Long before conservation became fashionable, she decided to move her home lock, stock and barrel from busy Ware High Street in Hertfordshire to a Norfolk backwater 100 miles away.
And move it she did, in a 23-year labor of love, during which she battled the authorities, deathwatch beetles, rats and her failing health, accompanied only by her faithful dog, Sasha.
This story is an amazing act of will and courage and sheer tenacity.
By the time of her death, her renovated house was far from completed. But her story will live on.
A city, like a house, can have ghosts. Certainly this was the case with Philadelphia.
The city of Philadelphia, Mississippi where members of the Ku Klux Klan killed three civil rights workers in 1964 in one of the era’s most infamous acts, on Tuesday elected its first black mayor.
Jim Prince/The Neshoba Democrat
His name is James A. Young, a Pentecostal minister and former county supervisor.
Young, a Pentecostal minister and former county supervisor, narrowly beat the incumbent, Rayburn Waddell, in the Democratic primary.
The results, announced Wednesday night, were a turning point for a mostly white city of 7,300 people in east-central Mississippi still haunted by the killings, which captured front-page headlines across the nation and were featured in the 1988 film “Mississippi Burning.”
“This shows a complete change of attitude and a desire to move forward,” said Mr. Young, 53, a Philadelphia native who integrated the local elementary school as the only black student in his sixth-grade class in the mid-1960s. “When I campaigned, the signs on the doors said, ‘Welcome,’ and I actually felt welcome.”
Source: New York Times
Forgiveness is more than just an action or a concept. We all know how powerful it feels when you let go of the anger or attachment of pain when we’ve been hurt by someone’s actions. A higher love takes us over. A deep sense of relief is felt.
But did you know that there are some very practical aspects to forgiveness as well?
According to the Mayo Clinic, here are some other perks to genuinely forgiving and letting go:
Researchers have recently become interested in studying the effects of being unforgiving and being forgiving. Evidence is mounting that holding on to grudges and bitterness results in long-term health problems. Forgiveness, on the other hand, offers numerous benefits, including:
- Lower blood pressure
- Stress reduction
- Less hostility
- Better anger management skills
- Lower heart rate
- Lower risk of alcohol or substance abuse
- Fewer depression symptoms
- Fewer anxiety symptoms
- Reduction in chronic pain
- More friendships
- Healthier relationships
- Greater religious or spiritual well-being
- Improved psychological well-being
Most of us know that iceberg lettuce doesn’t provide a tremendous amount of nutrients. Sure, there’s some fiber there but its a lot of water. Well, some researchers have figured out a way to give this old salad standby a blast of ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and make it healthier for our consumption.
Steven Britz of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, MD., and colleagues will present the research at the 2009 Conference on Lasers and Electro Optics/International Quantum Electronics Conference (CLEO/IQEC), which takes place May 31 to June 5 at the Baltimore Convention Center.
After 43 hours of exposure to UVB light, the studied lettuce plants were noticeably redder than other plants that only saw white light. Though the team has yet to quantify this effect, it appears to increase as the intensity of the light increases. This is a healthy way to make our beloved lettuce a little healthier.
Diets rich in antioxidants are thought to provide a variety of health benefits to human beings, from improving brain function to slowing the wear and tear of aging.
Source: Happy News
Talk about being in the right place at the right time!
A duck built a nest outside of Joel Armstrong’s office window in Spokane, Washington. After they hatched, she set off for water.
But the ducklings weren’t too sure about following her down, until Joel went to wait under the roof.
As soon as he was in position the ducklings started leaping and after showing off some pretty impressive catching skills, they were all safe.
The ducks had to search for water
That wasn’t the end of the tale though, as the ducks still needed a helping hand finding their way to the nearest river.
Thankfully Joel knew where that was too, and was able to guide the family safely to the water.
As our planet becomes increasingly crowded, let’s take a moment to look out for the animals, trying to find their place. Perhaps its time to set up a birdhouse in your yard, or feed a stray cat or possibly adopt a pet. If you can’t adopt, they are many centers that need volunteer help.
Source: BBC/CBBC Newsround
Many of us hear the term “fair trade” without really knowing what it means. And for those who do, we may only know it on a cursory level. One thing to always keep in mind: there’s always a story behind every product you use or food you consume or article of clothing you wear. The more you know, the better your choices can become.
You may be seeing the term “fair trade” when you purchase your coffee. If you’re confused about it’s meaning, here’s some help from Global Exchange:
Fair Trade means an equitable and fair partnership between consumers in North America and producers in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The chief concern of the Fair Trade movement has been to ensure that the vast majority of the world’s coffee farmers (who are small holders) get a fair price for their harvests in order to achieve a decent living wage. Fair Trade guarantees to poor farmers organized in cooperatives around the world: a living wage (minimum price of $1.26/pound regardless of the volatile market); much needed credit at fair prices; and long term relationships. These fair payments are invested in health care, education, environmental stewardship, and economic independence. Fair Trade Certified coffee is the first product being introduced in the United States with an independently monitored system to ensure that it was produced under fair labor conditions; now we need a movement to demand it!!
Think about that the next time you purchase your coffee. We can make educated choices now that benefit the people who need and deserve it. There are over 100 companies that have licensing agreements to offer Fair Trade Certified coffee. Major roasters include Starbucks, Tully’s, Peet’s, Equal Exchange, Diedrich, and Green Mountain, serving over 7,000 retail locations, with volumes rising every day.
Our minds are bombarded with current events today. So much so that events that occurred even a year ago seem miles away in our memories: tragedies such as the earthquake in China that devastated their Sichuan province. Luckily, Habitat for Humanity is at work with a long-term and sustained rebuilding effort.
On May 12, 2008, an earthquake destroyed China’s central Sichuan province. Official figures indicate that over 69,000 people died, over 374,000 were injured and 18,000 were missing.
A month later, a Habitat assessment team and CEO Jonathan Reckford visited some of the affected areas.
“Rebuilding safe, permanent homes after such destructive natural disasters takes time, patience and careful planning,” said Rick Hathaway, Asia Pacific vice president for Habitat for Humanity International. “We are now seeing the first results of that patience and planning.”
About half of the 800 houses Habitat plans to build are currently underway. These houses were designed by an architectural college in the province and incorporate safety features to help the structures withstand future earthquakes.
CEO Jonathan Reckford said, “The devastation is some of the worst I have seen. The stories of lost family members, neighbors and classmates are heartbreaking, but I was struck by the resilience of the people.”
Let’s take a moment today to remember the tragedies that have come before us, sending hope and love to the efforts of people who’ve been affected by these events.
Three civilians put themselves in harm’s way to help a fellow resident of Austin, Texas. The Austin Fire Department says three men saved the life of a man who was pinned underneath an overturned pick-up truck.
The fire department calls these men heroes for the selfless act. The civilians were employees of nearby businesses who came out with fire extinguishers and kept the fire from getting to the pinned man until the fire department’s dispatched firefighters were able to arrive on the scene.
What simple act can you perform today that will help another? Sometimes its simply a kind word or gesture. Or maybe it’s a small gift to someone who’s feeling down. Or a listening ear. Perhaps its giving to the earth or yourself or making an animal feel loved and safe. The act of giving in the act of receiving. It’s the positive circle of life.
We’ve all been there before. Someone says something that triggers you and slowly, you feel your blood pressure rising, your jaw clenching and your need to reply before they’re finished speaking becomes overwhelming. Whether it’s your partner, friend or business associate, we all have to manage our own reactivity for the sake of our mental and physical health.
What are some steps to center you, in the face of your own rising storm?
1. Breathe. I know - you probably tire of me saying it. But going back to your breath is one of the single most effect techniques you have in your arsenal. If your boss is wrongfully attacking you, instruct yourself to begin breathing deeply as you listen. Not only does it center you, it keeps your blood pressure down and your body calm - therefore protecting you from the deleterious effects of stress. (Remember - stress is a killer.)
2. Speak slowly. Arguments often escalate as we accelerate. Focus on speaking quietly and slowly. Again, it protects you from damaging stress and keeps the situation more manageable. It also helps you to speak more soundly and make your point more effectively.
3. Vent! Listen, it stinks being wrongfully accused or maligned. It’s awful getting in a heated argument. When you’re done, remind yourself that it’s VERY important to dispel that negative energy. Whether it’s a run or talking to a friend or crying or playing a song very loudly, do something. Don’t just carry on. Take a moment to check-in with yourself. See what you need.
4. Distance yourself. One of the best aspects of meditation is the training it gives you to take a step back from the internal chattering voices. Look at a situation from a far. “Hmmm…I’m getting really angry because my wife is yelling at me. That’s interesting. I wish she wasn’t yelling but she is.” Emotionally distancing is a way of looking at your life as if it was a movie. It gives you some breathing room from the hot bed of lava burning inside!
Prince William payed a visit to a special elderly woman in a British nursing home last week to deliver a personal apology after she complained about the birthday cards sent to her by the Queen.
All centenarians receive a card from the Queen and Catherine Masters, at 109, was no different. Catherine wrote to Queen Elizabeth because the past five birthday cards she received showed the royal monarch wearing the same yellow dress.
This time, Prince Williams decided to pay her a personal visit and address the matter. The employees at the Grange Care Centre in Oxford said they received about five minutes notice of Prince William’s arrival last Friday.
“It was a total shock and Catherine was speechless. Prince William came in and she asked if he was real. She squeezed his hand to check,” senior nurse manager Wendy Mead told the BBC.
Masters told an Oxford Mail newspaper she told the prince, who is second in line to the British throne behind his father, Prince Charles, that she thought the Queen should wear a blue or white dress.
William assured Masters the Queen would wear another dress for the next photo.The pair, who spent about 40 minutes chatting over tea and scones, also reportedly discussed horse racing and compared recipes for shepherd’s pie.