Good News

Good News of the Week: UPDATE: ‘Golden Voice’ Ted Williams – Once Homeless Now Giving Back and more

Top 10 Good News Stories of the Week

  1. Man Offers His House to Homeless Family for a Year (Watch)
    Tony Tolbert, a Harvard-educated lawyer in Los Angeles, decided to move into his mother’s home so he could offer his own fully-furnished house to a homeless family of five, and give it to them rent-free for a year.
  2. UPDATE: ‘Golden Voice’ Ted Williams Once Homeless Now Gives Back Do you remember the story two years ago about the homeless man with the golden voice who was discovered pan-handling for change on a cold Ohio street? It turns out, he didn’t fall back into old habits and end up on the street again as some had worried. Williams now helps the homeless and the addicted whenever he can. He maintains an apartment and continues recording voice-overs for Kraft Mac and Cheese commercials.
  3. High School Boy Broadcasts Compliments for Students Having Bad Day To combat bullying and to simply cheer up students at his high school, Jeremiah Anthony set up a Twitter Account a year and a half ago that posts compliments about kids and teachers.
  4. After Fighting To Go To School, Young Pakistani Builds Her Own

    Beyond grade five, Humaira Bachal’s mother hid her daughter’s schooling and endured beatings from her husband when the truth was discovered. Since finishing high school, Humaira, 25, has become a crusader for education going door-to-door asking other fathers to send their daughters to school.

  5. iTube Lab App Detects Allergens in Food
    Do you have a serious food allergy and want to know if there’s any culprits in your cookie? Now there’s an app for that. It will take you 20 minutes to get the answer using a new application developed by UCLA researchers for your smartphone.
  6. Why a German Pilot Escorted a U.S. Bomber to Safety in World War II
    Once in a while, you hear an old war story that restores your faith in humanity. A new book explores the incredible encounter of two WWII pilots in mid-air — a rookie American on his first bombing mission, piloting a crippled aircraft that was missing an engine and a German flying ace who not only saluted, then spared the rookie, but escorted him out of enemy airspace.
  7. High-tech Shack Brings Solar Power to Slums
    An innovative approach to housing is being tested in the windswept slum of Enkanini, in South Africa. The iShack — with rooftop solar panel, outdoor security light and slanted roof for rainwater harvesting — was developed nearby, at the University of Stellenbosch as an initiative of the HOPE Project. (CNN)
  8. Wonderful Love Story to Kick-start the New Year, from Richard Branson
    Sir Richard Branson shares the story of Pankaj Shah, a generous guy who, whenever he eats in restaurants, pays the bill for whichever couple looks most in love. Recently back in Boston for the first time in three years, the manager came over and explained how a couple for which he had previously paid the bill were back in the restaurant. (Virgin blog)
  9. Big Banks Agree to Pay $8 bil To Homeowners After Foreclosure Abuse

    Ten of the major American banks have agreed to pay $8.5 billion after an investigation into the abuse of homeowners during foreclosures on mortgages during the recent housing crisis. According to the Fed, $3.3 billion of the settlement will be direct payments to eligible borrowers and $5.2 billion will go toward other assistance, such as loan modifications and forgiveness of deficiency judgments. Bank of America also agreed to pay Fannie Mae billions of dollars and to buy back billions more in shoddy mortgage. (NPR)

  10. Ten Resolutions The Most Successful People Make And Then Keep

    New Year’s resolutions. Some of us will vow to eat less, exercise more, live in the moment, be more grateful. But what about your New Year’s business resolutions? Here are ten of the most important ones, from one entrepreneur to another… (Forbes)

Video of the Week: Mormons Skip Church for Weeks to Volunteer for Families Flooded by Sandy

Thousands of Mormons volunteered for weeks following Hurricane Sandy, assisting the devastated families in digging out their flooded homes. A beautiful video was made on November 11th, when thousands of these church members cancelled their Sunday services and arrived by air, bus and train from all across the country to help. (Watch With a Box of Tissues!)

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6 Photos That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity Plus, Top 10 Good News of the Week!

Top 10 Good News Stories of the Week

  1. Hero of the Year: Nepalese Woman Frees Kids of Incarcerated Parents
    Pushpa Basnet, a Nepalese woman who runs a home for children so they don’t have to live behind bars with their incarcerated parents, was named the 2012 CNN Hero of the Year on Sunday night. She was in her twenties when she started a home in Kathmandu where children can receive education, food, medical care and a chance to live a more normal life.
  2. Six Photos That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity – and Cops This photo taken by a tourist in Times Square, shows a 25 year-old police officer stooping on his knee against the cold sidewalk to talk to a homeless man with bare feet. He asked his shoe size, went into the Skechers store and bought all-weather boots. Here are 6 photos posted in November on social media that serve to inspire and restore your faith in humanity.
  3. Lego Surprises Boy After He Saved for Years to Buy Discontinued Toy A Massachusetts boy who believed that his dream toy was no longer available received an amazing surprise on his 11th birthday – all courtesy of the Lego company.
  4. Self-Taught Boy Genius From Sierra Leone Impresses MIT

    15-year-old Kelvin Doe is an engineering whiz kid in Sierra Leone who has invented or manufactured his own batteries, generators and transmitters for radio broadcasting using spare parts he gathered from trash bins. Completely self-taught, the boy was invited by MIT to visit America recently to expand his horizons.

  5. Growing Food in the Desert: Solving the World’s Food Crisis Now

    Agriculture uses 60-80% of the planet’s scarce fresh water, but what would happen if food production used no water at all? That is happening now in Australia, and soon in Qatar. A group of scientists is using the sun to create something-from-nothing — fresh water for irrigation, from condensation — to grow high-quality, delicious, pesticide-free vegetables in greenhouses year-round.

  6. Anonymous ‘Santa’ Hands Out $100 bills in Storm-hit NY
    A wealthy Missouri man posing as Secret Santa stunned New Yorkers, handing $100 bills to many in Staten Island who had lost everything to Superstorm Sandy. The Kansas City businessman is giving away $100,000 this holiday season, and spent the day in New Jersey and New York giving away thousands.
  7. No Person Shot, Stabbed, or Murdered in NYC Monday: A Trend?
    For a blissful 36 hours beginning on Sunday night, there was no gun or knife violence reported in New York City. Officials couldn’t remember the last time that happened. But it may not be as rare in the future. Homicide rates in the Big Apple have fallen continuously since the 1990’s.
  8. Missouri Couple Hopes to Live Normally Having Won Powerball Jackpot
    To announce one of the biggest events of their lives, and surrounded by family and friends, Cindy and Mark Hill were introduced Friday as winners in this week’s huge Powerball lottery — an extraordinary stroke of luck that gives them half of the $588 million jackpot.
  9. From Dog Fighting to Prison Pup to Famous Therapy Dog

    Judging from her scarred body, Peyton had been used as a bait dog in vicious dog fighting rings. A day or two before her scheduled euthanizing, a group called New Leash on Life plucked her from the shelter and brought her to a prison for training. Now 2 years old and a long way from her heartbreaking past, Vivian is being honored by the National Dog Show as one of this year’s featured therapy dogs.

  10. Catholic Bishop Builds Peace Between Jews and Arabs in Israel

    In contrast to what the news media portrays as a hopeless situation in the Middle East, there is an Arab village in northern Israel, Ibillin, where the leaders of tomorrow are gathering daily in school classrooms, Jews befriending Muslims befriending Christians. At the Mar Elias Educational Institutions, children receive a superior education but also work together to promote peace, justice, and reconciliation in the Middle East.

Video of the Week: This is Why You Should Never Judge Too Quickly

A series of funny TV ads produced by Ameriquest clearly demonstrate why it is not a good idea to judge our fellow human beings too quickly. Situations are often not what they seem. Humor makes the point so very well in these clever ads.

(A Fun Way to Learn a Lesson!)

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Man Drives Hummer in Path of Car to Save Children; Plus, Top 10 Good News of the Week

Top 10 Good News Stories of the Week

  1. Retiring Car Dealer Gives Employees $1,000 for Each Year of Service

    Before Howard Cooper sold his car dealership that he’d owned for 47 years, he stipulated that all 89 employees must keep their jobs. Workers like Bob Jenkins, a 26-year mechanic, were thrilled. But not as shocked as they were when they were handed checks worth tens of thousands of dollars — thank you bonuses for their years of service. (

  2. Young Homeless Mom Fighting Cancer Surprised With New Home Jessica lost her home in a tornado last year and has been living in shelters. Now she’s fighting a cancer diagnosis. But, lunchtime conversations with strangers can sometimes lead to miraculous luck. Such was the outcome for this Alabama woman working at a sandwich shop whose friendship with a compassionate Methodist Pastor led to a fresh start. (Video)
  3. The Boy Who Has the World Planting Thousands of Trees
    Felix Finkbeiner is an environmental superstar and author of the book Tree by Tree who is at the helm of a global network of child activists whose aim is to mitigate climate change by reforesting the planet.
  4. The Homeless in Miami Find New Outlet Working on Organic Farm

    Homeless people have allowed an innovative program to lift them off the streets and place them in a community co-op farm growing organic fruits and vegetables.

  5. Five ‘Good News Heroes’ Win Sweet Treats for Their Inspiring Acts has partnered with the Good News Network to award free gourmet fudge to people who are consistently doing nice things to make a difference in other people’s lives. Check out these 5 inspiring winners named honorary Good News Ambassadors.
  6. Puppy Born Without Front Legs Gets a Second Chance at Life

    The double amputee Olympic runner, Oscar Pistorius was the inspiration for a veterinary technician in St. Cloud, Florida to stop the request to put down a 2-week-old chihuahua puppy born without functioning front legs. Vickie Dryer decided to rehabilitate him instead. (Video)

  7. DNC Gives Charities 8,000 Pounds of Leftover Food From Convention
    65,000 people may have been disappointed by the cancellation of the Barack Obama stadium speech Thursday, but Charlotte’s homeless and hungry were celebrating in high style on Friday. All the fancy catered food intended for the VIP suites and club rooms at the stadium was redistributed Friday to local soup kitchens and shelters. (Herald)
  8. Man Drives Hummer in Path of Car to Save Children
    Darrell Krushelnicki didn’t think twice when he pulled his Hummer in front of a speeding car in order to prevent four children crossing the street from being mowed down. The 46-year-old was traveling in Edmonton, Canada and said, I could just tell it was a bad scenario that was going to take place. (CNews)
  9. Maine Girl Returns Lost Money, Gains Awesome Reward

    A young stay-at-home mom in Maine admits that she had to think about it a for a minute when her young daughter discovered $4000 on the sidewalk by a department store. As for Abbie, age 8? It never crossed her mind to keep it. And her honesty paid off when a bank CEO stepped in after reading about the one thing Abbie would bought with the money. He scored Justin Bieber tickets for the family to attend a sold-out show. (Yahoo)

  10. Infographic: Top 6 Yoga Poses for Back Pain
    Because September is National Yoga Month, we are updating a previous story with a handy downloadable infographic to illustrate (for easy reference) the 6 best yoga poses for back pain. With a few moves, you can bring your spine into proper alignment, releasing tension and pain.

Video of the Week: Pizza Man Lifts President Obama Off The Ground in Bear Hug

President Obama got a lift in Fort Pierce, Florida recently by a pizzeria owner who can bench-press 350 pounds. Even though the business owner is a registered Republican, he said he was swept away by Obama’s enthusiasm — and he swept the President off his feet in a huge bear hug. (WATCH: Happy to See Me?)

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Good News: Father and Son Save 120 From Rooftops During Flooding

I want to give you a GIFT, just for telling me how you define good news, Karah. Four great prizes include an artisan ceramic piece (right), 7 personal coaching sessions, or Astrology and Numerology charts that will spur you to success. In honor of the Good News Network’s 15th anniversary, we will choose four winners who best answer the question, "What Good News Means to Me." But you must answer this week: Get details here... (Also, we MAY have last minute space on our DC boat party Sunday, so get in touch if you’re free!) ~ Geri


Top 10 Good News Stories of the Week

  1. First Song Transmitted From Another Planet (WATCH)
    For the first time in history, a recorded song was beamed back to Earth from another planet. Will-i-am’s new composition, "Reach for the Stars," traveled 300 million miles to the ears of students gathered yesterday at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., after it was transmitted from the surface of Mars by the Curiosity rover.
  2. Louisiana Father-Son Team Rescues 120 From Flooding They stayed behind rather than evacuating their Louisiana home in the path of Hurricane Isaac. While police and the fire department were unable to reach stranded people using their vehicles, Jesse Shaffer, 25, and his father were able to save dozens of lives using boats in their Plaquemines Parish. (Video)
  3. Hollywood Producer Leaves $125 Million to Indiana Town
    Elkhart, Indiana was hit pretty hard by the recession of 2008. But now, things will run a lot smoother, after Hollywood producer David Gundlach bequeathed his entire personal fortune to the Elkhart community foundation, which supports the county.
  4. 5 Simple Tips to Boost Your Confidence
    Confidence can improve your life in many ways, but it isn’t always easy to practice. You may want the improvements that self-confidence can bring to your life — a higher salary and more friends — but it’s hard to know exactly what to do to make yourself more confident. I offer you these tips.
  5. Miraculous Recovery for Veteran After Getting a Dog
    Inspired by the sudden bonding between their father, who is a veteran suffering with Vietnam-era Agent Orange poisoning, and a little rescue dog in their home, Brenda had an idea. Her father-in-law’s improved condition following his friendship with the dog was remarkable: "Within months of taking the dog home, my father-in-law, who’d actually given up on life, had lost 40 lbs, his diabetes was under control."
  6. Commuters Have Happy Mondays When Man Waves Uplifting Signs

    Bleary-eyed drivers entering Washington, DC on Monday mornings, have been jolted into happiness by people waving with signs with optimistic slogans from the side of the road. Held by 29-year-old Massoud Adibpour and 4 other volunteers, the signs were scrawled with uplifting messages — "Honk if you love someone!" and "Don’t be so hard on yourself" and "Smile!" — aiming to affect hundreds of workers who might otherwise be blue because it’s Monday.

  7. Stolen Laptop Leads to Generous Outreach Toward Poor Teen
    A Boston, man who found his stolen computer in the hands of a teenager, instead of getting angry, decided to raise money to buy the boy from the housing projects a new laptop.
  8. Google Founder Quietly Buys Up Property, Charges Below-Market Rent

    Soviet-born Sergey Brin is already a world-changer. The Google co-founder has donated millions of dollars to charity and given us public technology tools that make us smarter. But one of the most touching efforts comes from his small real estate holding firm. (Wall Street Journal)

  9. How Brazil’s Good Governance Created a Model Country for the World

    Brazil has become one of globalization’s success stories. A rigorous battle against corruption and poverty has ushered in new freedoms, growth, and increasing equality, winning the country respect around the world. (Der Spiegel)

  10. Unique Way to Help Hurricane Victims Suffering from Massive Flooding

    As expected, Hurricane Isaac wreaked havoc last week along the Gulf Coast — and New Orleans in particular — with storm surges flooding coastal communities under ten feet of water and displacing thousands of people. Of course, there are the usual ways to pitch in. But there is another simple option most people haven’t considered.

Video of the Week: Security Cameras Catch the World Doing Good

Security Video Surveillance is always looking for wrongdoers. Rarely do we see clips highlighting the actions of good Samaritans or friends. This is a great example of people doing good things when no one is looking. (WATCH the heartwarming video)


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Crafted by Kids: Delicious Recipes from the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge

First Look: Delicious Recipes from the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge

Posted by Colleen Curtis on August 17, 2012

On Monday August 20, First Lady Michelle Obama will welcome 54 talented young chefs to the White House for the first-ever Kids State Dinner. The guests — ages 8-12 — are all winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, and each of them created an original recipe that is healthy, original and affordable, and contains the five food groups (fruits, veggies, protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains).

The recipes have been gathered into a digital cookbook, which will be published by Epicurious and available as a free download starting this week. But we’re previewing a few of them here — just click the links below and get cooking!

via First Look: Delicious Recipes from the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge | Let’s Move!.

Top 10 Good News of the Week: Dude Spends Summer Traveling the World Doing Favors for Strangers

Reserve your spot on our 85-foot charter boat to help celebrate the Good News Network’s 15th anniversary! "Good News Goes To Washington" will launch in DC on Sunday, Sept. 9 with several inspiring people aboard to receive special awards. RSVP to reserve your spot; limited seating available, so contact me asap if you WILL be attending the 5:00pm evening cruise. . . So exciting!


Top 10 Good News Stories of the Week

  1. Dog Rescue at 14,000 Feet
    A Colorado couple hiking up a 14,000 foot mountain along rough terrain happened upon a German shepherd, dehydrated, hungry and alone and although they couldn’t coax the injured animal to walk with them, their posting on a hiking website galvanized volunteers from at least 5 social websites to hike back up with supplies to rescue the heavy dog and carry her to safety.
  2. Dude Spends Summer Traveling the World Doing Favors for Strangers An American college graduate decided to travel around the world using a family member’s free airline miles, but the grateful 22-year-old wanted to give back in return for his good fortune. He posted a message on a social media bulletin board asking strangers how he could help. 300 requests came in from people all across the globe.
  3. Businessman’s Product Sample Saves Vet in Freak Accident at Airport
    An 82-year-old veteran from Cary, N.C. traveling through O’hare Airport had no idea he was about to fall, literally, in a life-threatening accident involving his luggage and an escalator. A traveling salesman who happened to be in the right place at the right time potentially saved his life with product samples that can stop severe bleeding.
  4. Elderly Man Starts Painting his Run-down Town, Strangers Join in

    He was so sad after losing his wife last year that he needed to find something to do. He decided to spruce up his community — by painting everything in sight. Well, the idea has really caught on. The small town of Glouster, Ohio, once peeling – and unappealing – now glistens, with neighbors helping out for free.

  5. Treasured Rings Flushed but Dedicated Sanitation Crew Digs Deep
    After accidentally flushing them down the toilet, a sewer crew of devoted city workers went out of their way to help a Colorado woman recover a pair of valuable diamond rings that were an 18th birthday gift from her late father, worth $10,000.
  6. One Man, One Dog, and the Facebook Photo That Touched Thousands
    19-year-old Schoep is cradled in his father’s arms in the warm waters of Lake Superior every night, where the buoyancy of the water soothes his aching arthritic body. The man’s friend is a professional photographer who took this photo during one of their therapeutic evening swims. She posted it on Facebook and it went wildly viral, with thousands sharing it and 21,936 comments.
  7. Mystery Woman Picks Up Lunch Tab For Everyone in Denny’s Diner
    A lunchtime diner at Denny’s decided she wanted to pay everyone’s bill in the restaurant — but under one condition, that she remain anonymous. People thought we were joking, a waitress told KCRA. She didn’t want anybody to know she paid, and then she left.
  8. Pizza Hut Delivery Guy Surprises Customer On Her Birthday
    A user of the popular website, Reddit, posted that she received a special birthday surprise from her pizza deliveryman after ordering the food online.
  9. India Gives Another 50,000 Houses to Urban Poor

    192 women and their families were given new apartments as part of a 7-year urban renewal project that has constructed tens of thousands of homes for poor families living in leaky, crowded huts.

  10. Flickr Users Discover New Species of Insect

    A photographer in Malaysia who specializes in macro photography was hiking in a state park when he came across a lovely green lacewing. He posted the photos on the Web. When a scientist came across them, he realized it was an entirely new species. The discovery of "Semachrysa jade," named by the two men, has been described as a triumph of citizen science, surging amid the advent of digital cameras, the internet and social media. (Wikipedia)

Video of the Week: Hillary Steps Out, Dancing in Johannesburg

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got her groove on in South Africa last week, dancing at a party in Johannesburg, as the crowd of attendees cheered along with the country’s foreign minister who hosted the dinner. (Happy, Happy Government Leaders)

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Good News: Girl Lifts a Car to Save Her Father; Plus, Top 10 Good News of the Week

GNN is throwing a private party in DC and you are invited, Karah! We are bringing good news to Washington, DC on Sunday, Sept. 9 in honor of our 15th anniversary. Please RSVP as soon as possible to reserve your seat. More details to come; limited seating available, so contact me asap if you will be attending the 4:00pm soiree. ~ xxoo Geri


Top 10 Good News Stories of the Week

  1. Lottery Winners Buy Prosthetic Leg for 13-year-old Olympic Torchbearer

    Crowds cheered as he donned a cane and carried the Olympic torch through northeast England in June, even when the young amputee tripped and fell. His parents had been fundraising to buy him a lighter replacement limb. This week Britain’s biggest lottery winners stepped in to supply the money.

  2. Virginia Girl Lifts a Car, and Breathes Life Back into her Father A 22 year-old woman performed ‘the impossible’ when she found her father unconscious having been crushed by his car that slipped off its jack. She managed to pick up the BMW weighing a ton and a half and shove it away from her father’s body. When she discovered he was not breathing, her skills as a former lifeguard kicked in and she brought his limp body back to life.
  3. Brother’s Last Wish To Tip $500 Turns Into $47,000 Fund for Waiters
    Remember Aaron’s Last Wish, the video showing his family giving a waitress five hundred dollars as a last remembrance of their brother? Well, the cash was raised online from friends and family to fulfill the request. Three weeks later, the family announced it had collected nearly $50,000 and three more lucky servers have been surprised with $500 gratuities. The family is posting videos weekly as they spread the good cheer.
  4. Science Says Smiling is Helpful When You’re Stressed – Even Faking it

    Feeling good usually makes us smile, but does it work the other way around? Scientists investigated the potential benefits of smiling by looking at how different types of smiling, even faking it, affects individuals’ ability to recover from episodes of stress.

  5. Endangered Whales Sing Like Birds in Recordings, Numbers Rebound
    A University of Washington researcher listened to the audio picked up by a recording device that spent a year in the icy waters off the east coast of Greenland. She was stunned at what she heard: whales singing nearly constantly for five months using the most remarkable variety of songs. The findings also hint at the possibility of a rebound in bowhead whales.
  6. Covert Teddy Bear Airdrop Into Belarus Promotes Human Rights
    Belarus’ authoritarian President Lukashenko has sacked two of the nation’s top generals after two Swedish ad agency employees piloted a light plane into the country’s heavily guarded airspace, dropping 879 teddy bears decked out in parachutes and slogans supporting human rights. Following the incident, Belarus officials denied the flight took place, but then jailed a journalist for posting a photo of these bears on the internet. Fellow journalists are now rallying with their own photos.
  7. Boy Rallies Restaurants to Recycle Used Crayons for Schools in Need
    After a family dinner at a local Outback Steakhouse, Yoni Kalin noticed the waiters tossing into the trash small packs of crayons given out to young diners. He wondered how many thousands were being thrown out around the country at a time when news reports showed teachers digging into their own pockets to buy school supplies for students.
  8. ‘Pay it Forward’ Business School in Africa Gives Free Tuition for Service
    A unique, not-for-profit business school in South Africa held its fifth graduation ceremony for students who are not required to pay for their education monetarily, but rather to ‘Pay it Forward’ by transferring the knowledge, skills, and resources into their communities. Since its first classes in 2004, 760 students have been awarded full scholarships to the private college who would otherwise be unable to access higher education.
  9. British Player Finally Wins at Wimbledon – 1st Man in 75 Years… w/ Gold

    Four weeks to the day after Roger Federer downed him on the same patch of grass at the Wimbledon finals, Britain’s Murray routed the Swiss superstar in the Olympic men’s singles final to win Olympic gold. The victory broke a losing streak for British tennis players at the hallowed Wimbledon grounds. Not since Fred Perry in 1936 has a British male won on the center court.

  10. Comeback: Why the US Economy Is Much Stronger Than You Think

    In America these days, if you are watching too much news, you’re not getting the truth about the economy as much as political messaging and strategy. The truth is that the U.S. still has the strongest economy on the planet. America’s performance should be measured against the current competition, not against the records it set in the 1990s or 2000s. (Atlantic)

Video of the Week: Town Solves Crime of Stolen Flags at Veterans’ Graves

Just before the 4th of July, local New York media started reporting about dozens of flags stolen, ripped right off the flag poles pushed in the ground at the graves of veterans. Town residents were angry and disgusted by the "dirtbag who did this," until cameras caught the real culprit. (Watch Steve Hartman Play the Clever Sleuth)

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Top 10 Good News Stories of the Week!

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Top 10 Good News Stories of the Week

  1. Aaron’s Dying Wish: Family Leaves $500 Tip for a Pizza
    A dying man’s last wish was to impact a stranger, to make their day with a lasting gift. While alive, 30-year-old Aaron Collins didn’t have the means to make it happen. After his death, Aaron’s family set about to fulfill his wish in a local cafe: Ordering a pizza, they gave the waitress a $500 tip, and videotaped her reaction.
  2. Family Finds Old Baseball Cards in Mint Shape, May Fetch Millions A 51-year-old man was cleaning out the contents of an old house that belonged to his grandfather and found a soot-covered box that had been tucked away in the attic. Inside he found hundreds of new baseball cards bundled with twine, including 16 mint-condition ‘Ty Cobbs’. They remained untouched for a century, making them perhaps the most significant sports card find in history.
  3. Reverse Begging: Man Gives Away Money at Intersection (Video)
    Many drivers commonly see homeless people carrying cardboard signs asking for money at intersections, but commuters who passed Doug Eaton on Wednesday were instead surprised that he was handing out money. In honor of his 65th birthday, he decided to distribute free money to people, advertising his giveaway with a hand-painted sign that read: Do you need a few bucks for some coffee?
  4. 13-yo Recycles Cooking Grease into Heating Oil for Needy Families

    After reading an article in the local newspaper, Cassandra Lin discovered that many residents could not afford to heat their homes. Inspired to do something, she formed a team of seventh graders to recycle waste cooking oil and turn it into biofuel for distribution to needy families. They collected 36,000 gallons in one year.

  5. Ships Permanently Rerouted to Save Whales in San Francisco Bay
    Federal maritime officials have approved a plan to protect whales in and around San Francisco Bay. Shipping industry representatives joined with whale researchers to establish new cargo lanes that will protect blue whales, the largest marine mammal, in their feeding grounds outside one of the busiest ports in the world.
  6. Man Plants Heart-shaped Tribute to Late Wife Using 6000 Oak Trees
    A bereaved husband painstakingly planted a tribute to his late wife, Janet using 6,000 oak trees to imprint a giant heart-shaped meadow in the middle of his 112-acre farm in South Gloucestershire, England. In a sudden flash of inspiration to mark her legacy, Winston Howe hired a gardener and spent weeks planning and setting out each oak.
  7. Strangers Hoist Disabled Fan So He Can See Favorite Concert Two strangers became heroes at an Overland Park Blake Shelton concert last Saturday. Patrick Connelly’s wheelchair kept him from being able to actually see his favorite country singer perform at the outdoor show. In the sweltering summer heat his mom and sister tried to hold him up but he was too heavy for them. Then, suddenly two strangers come over.
  8. Teen Wins $10,000 Hero Award for Giving Fashion Makeovers to Deserving Girls
    A 16-year-old California girl wasn’t satisfied with the idea of underprivileged teen girls settling for wearing used clothing from a thrift shop. At an age when outward pressures can easily threaten a girl’s self esteem, she should be able to look her best and take pride in her appearance. That’s why Allyson created Threads for Teens, a clothing boutique confidence-booster.
  9. Teresa Project Update: 375 Cards Deliver Joy to Homebound Sister

    We received an update on the Teresa Project’s birthday card campaign. As of today, Teresa, whose brother sought to flood her mailbox with birthday cards this year, has received 375 cards and letters, along with gifts from all across Florida and Tennessee and two dozen other states, as well as Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, Germany and The Netherlands.

  10. Student Cycles Across Canada to Support Taboo Topic
    Sean Jacklin, 21, is riding his bicycle coast to coast — 4,660 miles — in an effort to shine a light on a topic many people find difficult to talk about, raising awareness and funds for the hospice movement across Canada. As the second cyclist to organize a solo tour supporting end of life care, Sean knows it is hard to raise money for something no one likes to talk about.

Video of the Week: Best Prank Ever, Aussie Gent Wears Wig of Own Hair

Two and a half million people around the world have been laughing at an Australia man’s prank to trick his friends and family using a wig of his own hair.

(Watch as the Hair-larity Ensues)

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9 Women Secretly Deliver Cakes to Poor People for 30 Years; Plus, Top 10 Good News Stories of the Week!

One update on a story last week: So many people heard about the 9-year-old school lunch blogger after intense media exposure, that she raised £100,000 to feed lunches to thousands of African children… I love this job. Enjoy these news stories, sure to be even better. xxoo Geri
Top 10 Good News Stories of the Week

  1. Healthiest Meal Ever: Scientist-Devised Menu Includes 222 Health Claims

    Food researchers pored over thousands of health claims for various food items and found only 222 that were judged to have basis in scientific fact — and from these they have concocted a menu that is being hailed as the healthiest ever.

  2. Women Secretly Deliver Cakes to Poor Families for Over 34 Years For more than three decades, nine women have been secretly baking and delivering hundreds of pound cakes in the middle of the night to people in Tennessee who could benefit from knowing that somebody out there loves them. They also secretly pay utility bills for widows or single moms in need. In all, they have contributed nearly $900,000 to the happiness of others.
  3. Unemployed Veteran Posts Army Medal on eBay And Gets Huge Bid
    Unable to find a job after he was laid off from his retail position, a former Iraqi vet put an Army medal, received during his 2008-09 deployment, on eBay. There were no bids for days until a news reporter told his story.
  4. ‘Water-less Shower’ Invented by African College Student
    Inspired by a friend who was too lazy to take a shower, a South African university student has won global recognition for an invention that takes the water out of bathing. His product, called DryBath, has wide application in the developing world where basic hygiene is lacking and millions do not have regular access to water.
  5. Bullies Taunting Bus Driver Goes Viral, $600,000 Raised for a Vacation
    A former bus driver, who in her senior years works as a bus monitor, sat patiently through ten minutes of relentless and brutal bullying by middle school kids on her route, as a video camera rolled. The video went viral and an online social media community so sympathized with her that they raised money to send her on a vacation — to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  6. Couple Plans Honeymoon Taking Strangers to Breakfast Across America
    This July, after an Oregon couple walk down the aisle, they will hit the open road on a unique journey from Portland, Ore., to Portland, Maine, taking a leap of faith with dozens of people they have never met. The leap? The new bride and groom will sit down to breakfast with strangers across America and select 50 of those breakfasts to highlight in a book, Breakfast with Strangers: 50 Meals across America.
  7. Find Health and Happiness on a Walk in the Woods Do you want to be happier, healthier, and smarter? I have just the prescription for you: add a daily dose of nature to your routine. Over the past decade, researchers from fields as diverse as biology, psychiatry, horticulture, neuroscience and medicine have discovered countless links between time spent outdoors and cognitive, physical, and emotional improvement.
  8. Tennessee Community Saves Elderly Woman From Eviction
    It was a house she and her late husband built in 1956. Mary Cate Jones had spent the past few weeks packing up memories and preparing for a forced eviction from the home where she lived in Tennessee for 56 years. But after her plight was featured in the local paper last month, donations began pouring in. (Video)
  9. Plasticity Conference Showcases a Green Future for Plastics at Rio+20

    Last week, 50,000 leaders in government, business and the environment gather for the Rio+20 Earth Summit UN conference. What is new this year is a one-day creative break-out session focused entirely on the future of plastics — how to use bio-waste instead of oil to make them, and how to get more of it recycled — including new initiatives in design, packaging, recovery, and reuse.

  10. 20 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity
    An online pop culture editor posted a collection of 20+ heartwarming photos to illustrate inspiring stories of kindness. (Buzzfeed)

Video of the Week: Homeless Shelter Kids Surprised by New Computer Lab Donated by Dell

Covenant House is an L.A. shelter that serves homeless and disadvantaged youth. When the team at Dell found out that the shelter’s computer lab was in desperate need of an upgrade — and still using floppy disks — they donated all new equipment to create a state of the art classroom where the young people can pursue job skills, high school GED diplomas, and entrepreneurial dreams. (Watch the inspiring moment)

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Meditation Research: Mechanisms of white matter changes induced by meditation


Mechanisms of white matter changes induced by meditation

  1. Yi-Yuan Tanga,b,c,1,
  2. Qilin Lub,
  3. Ming Fand,
  4. Yihong Yange, and
  5. Michael I. Posnerc,1

+ Author Affiliations

  1. aDepartment of Psychology, Texas Tech Neuroimaging Institute, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409;

  2. bInstitute of Neuroinformatics and Laboratory for Body and Mind, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China;

  3. cDepartment of Psychology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403;

  4. dInstitute of Basic Medical Sciences, Beijing 100850, China; and

  5. eNeuroimaging Research Branch, National Institute on Drug Abuse-Intramural Research Program, Baltimore, MD 21224
  1. Contributed by Michael I. Posner, May 9, 2012 (sent for review April 6, 2012)


Using diffusion tensor imaging, several recent studies have shown that training results in changes in white matter efficiency as measured by fractional anisotropy (FA). In our work, we found that a form of mindfulness meditation, integrative body–mind training (IBMT), improved FA in areas surrounding the anterior cingulate cortex after 4-wk training more than controls given relaxation training. Reductions in radial diffusivity (RD) have been interpreted as improved myelin but reductions in axial diffusivity (AD) involve other mechanisms, such as axonal density. We now report that after 4-wk training with IBMT, both RD and AD decrease accompanied by increased FA, indicating improved efficiency of white matter involves increased myelin as well as other axonal changes. However, 2-wk IBMT reduced AD, but not RD or FA, and improved moods. Our results demonstrate the time-course of white matter neuroplasticity in short-term meditation. This dynamic pattern of white matter change involving the anterior cingulate cortex, a part of the brain network related to self-regulation, could provide a means for intervention to improve or prevent mental disorders.