Monday, December 23, 2013

Tchaikovsky's "Sugar Plum Fairy" From "The Nutcracker" On Glass Harp

For those who celebrate, Christmas is almost upon us, and here's a very cool rendition of P.Tchaikovsky - Sugar Plum Fairy (The Nutcracker) on glass harp by polish musicians Glass Duo.

This was a performance in June 2010 at the Chamber Music Festival in the Basilica di Santo Stefano, in Bologna, Italy.

It's quite lovely.


Happy Happy, Merry Merry!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Little Drummer Boy- by A Capella Group Pentatonix

This is a beautiful version of "Little Drummer Boy" by amazing A Capella group Pentatonix. They're very young, and very talented.

Thought I would share, since 'tis the season.


Friday, November 8, 2013

GiveBackFilms Does Good Deeds To Inspire Others To Do The Same

While most of the youth today are too busy being self-involved, about a month ago Kyle Orrefice (18) of Atlanta, GA, and Josh Gibson (25) of Utah created the YouTube channel GiveBackFilms. The lads are dedicated to doing good deeds, videotaping themselves helping people in their communities, and then posting those videos on YouTube. They are doing this in hopes of inspiring people to help others by paying it forward and giving back.

In the latest video (below) at a gas station, Gibson and two buddies, Andrew and Robert, are seen randomly paying for other people's gas for people's gas. But they also have a video of paying for fast food at a drive through (which then inspired others to do the same thing for the drivers behind them), giving homeless people $100.00, and tipping a waitress $200.00. Initially it came out of their own pockets, but they have been pulling in some revenue from ads on YouTube, so they are hoping that will fund future projects. They hope to post a new video every Monday.

Now you might think that videotaping good deeds defeats the purpose, that one should not want or expect recognition for doing good, and in a way that's true, but they want these videos to go viral to get others to be inspired to do the same thing, maybe consider giving a waitress a larger tip, or buying someone a meal for no reason, or giving a little more to some homeless person. Nothing wrong with that.

Well done, lads. There is hope yet.

Here's some more background on the boys.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Handy Smartphone Apps For Information On Unsafe and Safe Cosmetics

Do you ever wonder whether the cosmetics or skincare items you are buying are safe, and whether there's a safer alternative? Well there's an oddly named app called THINK DIRTY, that you can download for free onto your I-Phone from the i-Tunes Store, that will do that for you. I don't have an i-Phone, but it looks like an interesting app.

The description:

Think Dirty is the easiest way to learn about the potentially toxic ingredients in your cosmetics and personal care products. It’s an independent source that allows you to compare products as you shop. Just scan the product barcode and Think Dirty will give you easy-to-understand info on the product, its ingredients, and cleaner options.

- Barcode Scanning: over 10,000 cosmetics and personal care products majority from Canada and the U.S. are currently in our database.

- Dirty Meter: a comprehensive rating is given, along with detailed (but easy-to-understand) information on ingredients, certifications, and health impacts.

- My Bathroom Rating: keep track of what’s already in your bathroom. Learn your current dirty rating, and track your progress on “cleaning” it up.

- Shopping lists: save products to make shopping faster and easier.

- UPC Submission: Are we missing a product? Scan and submit a barcode for us to look into. For registered users who submitted products, we thank you and will notify you once they are in our database.
If anyone has an i-Phone, and you download the app, let me know what you think. And of course, free is good, you have nothing to lose.

Then for those of us who have Androids, there's another similar app called SKIN DEEP from the Environmental Working Group for both i-Phones and Androids.

The description:

EWG’s Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database is the world's largest safety reference tool for personal-care products. EWG has launched this app to provide you with easy-to-navigate safety ratings at your fingertips for a wide range of products and ingredients on the market.

This Skin Deep® app has information and online safety assessments for more than 72,000 personal care products, 2,500 brands and 9,000 ingredients, culled from product labels and from the scientific and industry literature.

To calculate a product score, we tally the hazards of each ingredient and evaluate every product in relation to all the others in Skin Deep®. The safest products score well by both measures: a low hazard rating AND fair or better data availability. EWG’s ratings are the best available information you can find on the safety of personal-care product ingredients.

Download for  i-Phone. Download for Android on GooglePlay.  I have downloaded the Skin Deep app, and will update after I have a chance to see how it works.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Music Helps With Chronic Pain

For those who suffer or have ever suffered with chronic pain, you know how debilitating that can be. It colors your whole world. I have fortunately kept mine, for the most part, in check with herbs and supplements (with a very occasional Aleve).  But in some cases certain herbs that are good for pain and inflammation aren't always good for people on certain allopathic medications. Turmeric (Curcumin), for example, is a wonderful anti-inflammatory and part of my Rheumatoid Arthritis regimen, but people on blood thinners (Coumadin etc) should not take Turmeric.  Same thing with ginger.  And sometimes, just like western medicine, certain herbs are of no help either..  So what can people who would rather shun western medicine, or can't do herbs turn to for help with pain?  Music, apparently.

According to an article in the U.K. Telegraph, research by Lloyds pharmacy found that listening to music can actually help ease pain. It's not a huge percentage but 41 percent- or four in ten people- found some relief.

The younger generation seemed to benefit the most, with 66 percent of  16 to 24-year-olds finding relief.

As for the genre of music:

Pop music was found to be the most effective for 21 per cent of patients, followed by classical (17 per cent) and rock or indie (16 per cent).
The most effective songs were "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel, "Angels" by Robbie Williams, and "Albatross" by Fleetwood Mac.
These were followed by "Candle in the Wind" by Elton John, and "Easy" by "The Commodores".

Lloyds Pharmacy is now adding music as part of its "pain service" in some of its locations on a trial basis.

According to David Bradshaw of The University of Utah Pain Management Centre:

 "People in pain should try to find some activity to get fully engaged in. Listening to favourite music is excellent for that because it can involve both thoughts and feelings. No matter how anxious you may feel, if you can get absorbed in the music this can help with your pain. Choose music you like and know well, humming or singing along can help you engage in listening and distract you from your pain."
So grab whatever music makes you feel good and see if it works for you.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sometimes All That's Needed Is A Hug- Video Edie The Scared Dog

I can't believe how long it's been since I last wrote. Things got overwhelmingly busy and this blog took back seat to other things. But I am back, and will be posting more regularly.

Thought I would start with this video. It's an oldie from 2010, and although I already posted this a while back, it's too powerful not to share again. It's about Edie, an extremely scared, shaggy dog who was about to be euthanized.  You can see why no-one was interested in adopting the poor thing, it was a mangled mess that wouldn't let anyone near it. Its yelps and screams are absolutely heartbreaking. Yes, I needed some Kleenex. But someone at the shelter saw there was more there than meets the eye, that maybe all it needed was a hug and a whole lot of love. See what happens when that's what Edie gets, the transformation is miraculous.

This applies to people as well. Sometimes that's all it takes to transform a challenging person. Hugs and a whole lot of love can make a huge difference in someone's life. And the best part is it's free, so share amply and willingly, it will transform your life as well.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Video: Treating Common Ailments With Food With Dr. Nieca Goldberg

It's always better to get your vitamins and minerals from foods, if you can. It's also preferable to treat common ailments with food.   Dr. Nieca Goldberg shares some great tips in this short video, including how to deal with cracks in the side of your mouth, eat milk or spinach, and puffy ankles, eat bananas, apricots or oranges.  She explains why, and has some tips for some other common health troubles.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Video- With A Piece Of Chalk - finding joy through dance

Starring Dutch break-dancer Justen Beer, Jubafilms produced this powerful short film about how a young boy with a turbulent home life and bullied at school finds peace, joy and freedom through his break-dancing.

What's most impressive is Justen is only 12, and the equally talented filmmakers- 4 of them based in Germany- are pretty young themselves.


The UK Daily Mail has more information on Justen and Jubafilms.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Figs For Good Health

When thinking of figs, the first thing that comes to mind are fig newtons, those little cakey cookies with some mashed up, sugary fig stuff inside. But unless you buy the healthy kind, they are full of sugar and fat, and since they are processed you aren't getting the full benefit of eating them fresh or dried.  And who knew there were so  many benefits of eating figs.

Figs are the fruit of the Ficus carica tree, which is part of the mulberry family. You can eat them dried year-round, or fresh during the season- approximately June through September. The healthful benefits come from the fact that they are high in alkaline (which can help lower acid levels in the body), magnesium, manganese, calcium, potassium, phenol antioxidants, iron, pectin, Vitamin B-6, omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.

Aside from the  benefits in the chart above, the alkaline can help lower acid levels, and figs can help lower triglycerides, boost energy and brain power, and help with inflammation. They're also beneficial in protecting against postmenopausal breast cancer, and protecting against macular degeneration. They are also good for the skin.  Apparently, if you want help with acne, mash two ripe figs, and slather on your face. Leave on for 15 minutes.

For more info on figs, check out

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Fireflies- Mike Tompkins Song Video

I'm sharing this because it just makes me smile, and we certainly can't have enough of that.

The sound of the instruments are made with singer Mike Tompkins' mouth, voice and some glasses.  I'm sure he synthesizes some of the vocal sounds, but nothing on here is an instrument, other than his own voice.

Pretty amazing.  I love this, other than the chicken mid-way through the song.

It's his version of Fireflies by Owl City.

Hope you enjoy as much as I did.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Viral Video: Laughing Tram Man- Laughter Is Contagious Proves Rituals Cosmetics

Ella Wheeler Wilcox starts off her poem "Solitude" with:

 "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone."
And how true that is.

I came across a video that has gone viral called the Laughing Tram Man, and it's all over FaceBook.  Turns out the video was part of a campaign by the UK-based body and cosmetic company 'Rituals' to promote their newest product line the Laughing Buddha. Their motto:

"Smile to the world and the world smiles back."
Not quite laughter, but it has the same result. It's contagious, and makes us feel good. Try it sometime, walk around smiling (or laughing) and  notice the difference it makes in your life and those you come in contact with. And the actual physical action of smiling will put you in a good mood.

Anyway, Rituals set off for the Netherlands where they planted a man at a tram stop, along with some hidden cameras, to see what would happen to the people around him when he started laughing.  See what happens below. I dare you watch it without laughing yourself.

I am going to make sure to watch this often, since laughter cures many ills.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

War Vet Amputee Turned Model

Alex Minsky was a marine who lost his right leg on his first tour in Afghanistan. Recipient of a Purple Heart, Alex went through hell and back- including 3 DUIs in 3 months, until he was discovered by a photographer in a gym. No longer drinking, he models underwear and is spokesperson for Manning Up, a website for positive change and overcoming adversity.

Alex had a few detours down the wrong path, but he never let the loss of his leg slow him down.

With determination anything is possible.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Keys to Happiness: The Optimist Creed, by Christian D. Larson

Born in the late 1800s, Christian D. Larson penned The Optimist Creed back in 1912. It was later adopted by Optimist International in 1922, sans the last stanza, as its official creed. These are very wise words, and it's probably some of the best advice you will ever find on how to conduct your life. It addresses most of the things we mortals struggle with on a daily basis.

Certainly a worthy thing to strive for.

Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you.”

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Miracles Update: Chinese Newborn Boy Rescued From Sewer Pipe After Being Flushed Down Toilet

UPDATE 5/29/13:  It turns out the 22-year-old woman who reported the baby crying was actually the mother.  She is a single woman who claims the baby slipped down the squat toilet. It's entirely possible she is telling the truth.

Chinese Squat Toilet
It's still a miracle the baby survived.

Some things that happen in life can only be classified as a miracle. Like the rescue in China of a newborn baby boy who was flushed down a squat toilet in an apartment building in Jinhua, Zhejiang province. Tenants apparently heard some cries from the sewer pipes, and that's how they discovered there was a two-day old baby stuck in there. Firefighters cut away a section of the pipe containing the baby, and medical personnel in the local hospital carefully cut around the pipe to be able to remove the baby.

Baby 59 is in stable condition.

If you watch the video below you will see just how miraculous the rescue was.

There have been offers to adopt the boy, but that's not going to happen. If the parents don't claim him social services will take over.

Since boys are the preferred sex in China, as a result of their "one-child" policy, one can only assume that they already had a child and did not want to be penalized for having a second. It's heartbreaking on so many levels, but at least the boy survived.

This baby's soul obviously has things it wants to accomplish this lifetime.  God speed Baby 59.

Source: NY Daily News

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Make People Happy - Zach Sobiech's Advice Before He Died Of Terminal Cancer

Zach Sobiech just passed away at the tender young age of 18. He had osteosarcoma, a terminal, rare form of bone cancer. When he was told he had six months or so to live he started writing songs as a way to say goodbye to his friends and loved ones.

The following video is a tribute to his "Last Days", and he gives us all a lesson in how to live.

Live your life as if today was your last, and most importantly- make people happy.

He left the physical plane on May 20, 2013.

Zach's song, 'Clouds' is available on iTunes and other online music stores. The proceeds benefit the Zach Sobiech Research Fund of Children's Cancer Research Fund. 
He was and is an inspiration.

Another box of kleenex video.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

It's Better To Give Than Receive- Homeless Man Gives $250.00 To Charity

From a spiritual perspective it's far better to give than to receive. Most religious and spiritual faiths emphasize the importance of giving to others, either through good deeds or monetary aid.  Acts 20:35 of the King James Version of the Bible says:

I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
It's even more remarkable when those who have nothing manage to find small ways of giving to others what little they have.  That's what a homeless 77-year-old veteran did. Ed Denst saved up 250 one dollar bills and then donated the lot to the Society of Saint Vincent De Paul Council in Los Angeles. $250.00 might not seem much to some, especially those cynics who believe that since he "didn't lift a finger to get that $250", " giving it away means absolutely nothing," but it does.

KCAL9's Rachel Kim asked Denst, "You could buy meals, you could buy yourself clothes, you could do a lot with that money. Why give it away?"

"Well, because I thought about giving back. (It) makes me feel very good," he said.

Denst, an ex-Marine, said he became homeless after his wife died 23 years ago. He admitted he sold his house and spent all his money.

Denst said he'll continue to give, not just take. He doesn't consider himself a religious man, but he's learning the Lord's prayer.

"Give us this day our daily bread...that is very meaningful to me. I think that is how I have every day," he said.

"What I'm learning is that people are charitable and that should make me thankful."
Kudos to Denst.

Source: CBS

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Video- What is love? Bill Forward's Unconditional Love For His Wife Glad

What is Love?

This video of an Aussie couple who have been married for 50 years demonstrates what unconditional love and selflessness is all about. Bill Forward has been taking care of his wife Glad, who has Alzheimer's, since 2004/2005. He now has to do everything for her including brushing her teeth. He does not see this as a burden.

Grab your tissues.

A little background on the video.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Eldon Taylor's Paperback Book Launch Party For "I Believe"

Eldon Taylor, NY Times best-selling author of "Choices and Illusions",  wrote a book called "I Believe" which was published by Hay House last year as a hardcover.  It quickly became an international hit, so Hay House has decided to release a paperback version.

In case you are not familiar with the book:

I Believe: When What You Believe Matters! reveals the importance of choosing your every life belief and the effects these choices have on the quality of your life—impacting areas that may surprise you in ways you have not thought of. From influencing how long you will live and how your DNA expresses itself to what you will allow yourself to see and hear, I promise that you will be astounded at the many consequences for every single belief. It's like a spider web that continually builds upon itself often trapping us where we don't want to be. The book also comes with a CD featuring Eldon’s patented InnerTalk technology.

Eldon's people are inviting my readers to a book launch party, with a bunch of bonus gifts when you order, plus a chance to enter a drawing to win some wonderful gifts from some of Eldon's supporters. This is a limited time offer. If you are interested, check out their promotion link.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Wonders Of Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera, that cactus-looking plant that is actually a succulent, has more benefits than you probably realize. It is has anti- bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties.

Normally thought of as a wonderful salve for skin problems, it also helps with many health issues when ingested in  juice form.

During some past flare-ups of my Ulcerative Colitis (UC), I drank aloe vera juice as part of my healing regimen. That, along with Robert's Formula (the brand I used is no longer available) and a product called Intestinew, quickly brought me back into remission.  Not all aloe vera juices, however, are the same. Some contain aloe latex (aloin) which can exacerbate problems with diarrhea if you have Crohns or UC, although if you have constipation it might be useful. Check the label to make sure it is aloin and preservative-free if you have bowel or other issues.  I used a product called George's Road Runner, expensive, but it is distilled and tasted like water- a quarter of a cup was all I needed. (Remember to always comparison shop when you purchase supplements in retail venues and online.)

The juice and gel can help with many health problems including:

Canker Sores
Diabetes (can help manage)
Digestion (it's a great cleanser and detoxifier)
High Blood Pressure
Irritable Bowel Syndrom
Ulcerative Colitis
Weight loss (can help)

Personally, I wouldn't make my own juice from whole aloe plants, unless you know how to remove the aloin, but I have cut open a leaf and used the gel with success for skin troubles.

Remember to always research how to use supplements, and ask your health practitioner if aloe is right for you.  Since it is a potent medicinal plant, I would use it only as long as you are in the healing process, and not on a regular basis.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Lavender And Its Many Health Benefits

Besides smelling wonderful, Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) actually has many healthful benefits. You'll probably be surprised by how many, I know I was. Used as aromatherapy, a tea, and with dried or fresh buds it can help with a myriad of health issues. Lavender is a calmative, and has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal  and disinfectant properties. It contains antioxidants (polyphenols) and is chock full of phytonutrients for good health.

Lavender oil should always be diluted and used sparingly.  It is very potent.

ANXIETY, STRESS, TENSION, DEPRESSION-  Rub some essential oil into your temples and/or under your nose. Or soak in a hot bath that you've added flower buds or oil.

APPETITE LOSS- Breathing lavender aromatherapy for 15 minutes can stimulate the appetite.

DEMENTIA-  Lavender oil has been found to lower aggressiveness and 'agitated behavior' in dementia patients when used as part of massage therapy.


    a. Alopecia (hair loss): When rubbed into the scalp. Combine with oils of cedarwood, thyme, and rosemary. Could increase hair growth by 44% in 7 months. The WebMD recipe is as follows:

For bald spots (alopecia areata): one study used a combination of essential oils including 3 drops (108 mg) of lavender, 3 drops (114 mg) of rosemary, 2 drops (88 mg) of thyme, and 2 drops (94 mg) of cedarwood, all mixed with 3 mL jojoba oil and 20 mL grapeseed oil. Each night, the mixture is massaged into the scalp for 2 minutes with a warm towel placed around the head to increase absorption.

  b. Dandruff: Steep flowers in hot water, cool, and use as a rinse until the flakes disappear.  You can also add 15 drops of lavender essential oil to 2 tablespoons of almond, olive or white sesame seed oil,  microwave until warm (about 10 seconds or so), massage scalp with the concoction, put on a disposable shower cap, let sit for an hour, then shampoo out.  This also might take a few goes to notice a difference.  You could also add some essential oil to your shampoo or conditioner.

  c. Lice and Nits: Apply oil to a comb and comb through hair. It supposedly kills the nits.

INSOMNIA-  Inhale some lavender essential oil before bed time, or put some on your pillow. You can also steep some lavender flowers in hot water to help relax and promote sleep, drink before bed. Adding some chamomile to the lavender could double the effect. Turn on a diffuser with lavender oil at night. Place a vase of dried lavender next to your bed.

PAIN- When inhaled, it can also help reduce pain, probably by reducing anxiety. Massaged, it can  help with joint pain, and headaches.


   a. Mosquito Bites: Get rid of the itch with essential oil. Dab a few drops of essential oil on the bite, wait 15 minutes.  Then reapply every 6 to 8 hours for 24 hours.  If the skin gets irritated within the first 15 minutes, stop using.

  b. Burns or Irritations: Add some oil to moisturizer or hand lotion, or to some water in a spray bottle.

TUMMY TROUBLES- Add food-grade dried lavender to some yogurt to help with bloating and poor digestion, especially from antibiotic use. The polyphenols help with the bad bacteria in the gut.

Besides the above, it has been known to help with many other ailments including acne, asthma, colic, cuts, flatulence, hay fever,  nausea, vomiting,

SIDE EFFECTS AND INTERACTIONS: Although lavender is generally safe, there are some potential issues you should consider before using.  If you are trying to lose weight, you should probably stay away from lavender since it can stimulate the appetite. It can also cause constipation, headache, and skin irritations. Stop using lavender in any form at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery since it can slow down the central nervous system too much when used in conjunction with general anesthesia.  Apparently, it's also not a good idea to use on  pre-pubescent boys because of hormonal issues: it can cause gynecomastia (abnormal breast growth). It's probably best to not use on any young children. Diabetics should also stay away from lavender use. And as always, pregnant and lactating women should stay away. And here is some important information on interactions.

Unless you know for sure the lavender is safe to ingest, do not take orally.

Please remember always check with your doctor or health practitioner before you use any herbal remedy.

Sources: HuffPo, Marks Daily Apple, Health Cave, WebMD,

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Giving From A Pure Place- Tyler Perry

I was perusing my Facebook news feed and noticed a friend had liked a post on Tyler Perry's fan page, and just had to share.

Prolific entertainer, actor, director, producer Tyler Perry of "Madea" fame, is also a man of faith.  Take note of the last paragraph- he's absolutely spot on. Call it what you will- karma or reaping what you sow- however you look at it, giving (like loving) unconditionally, and from a pure heart, will reap many benefits, if nothing else creating peace and joy within your heart. Everything else is icing on the cake.


It's funny how a song, a taste, a scent, or something as simple as a change in weather can trigger a memory. Certain times of year make me think about when I was homeless. Especially the winter. I started thinking about this one lady in particular who helped me out during that time. She was a good soul who saw me in need and gave me money and food. She didn't have much but what she had she shared out of the kindness of her heart. I told her that when I got successful I would pay her back. She smiled and said, "You don't have to pay me anything. I just felt led to help you."

I couldn't stop thinking about her the other day so I did some research and found her. Imagine her shock when I called her. She didn't even think that I remembered her. It's funny how something that was a small gesture to her was a huge blessing to me. As we went on talking, she reluctantly told me that she had just lost her job and was facing foreclosure. Of course, I did some things to help her out.

Why am I telling you this? I'm glad you asked. She gave to me out of the kindness of her heart. She gave to me from a pure place and expected nothing in return. The thing that brought tears to my eyes and blessed me so about this situation was this: this woman planted a seed in my life almost twenty years ago. But what she didn't know at the time was that the seed she planted would one day come back and bless her life just when she needed it most.

So what am I saying? I'm saying that if you are a giver of whatever you have... time, money, love, help, whatever it is... if you plant it in pureness it has got to come back to you. It may take a while but you will reap a harvest from that seed. Don't be weary in well-doing. It will come back to you. I know sometimes it may seem that all the good you do goes unnoticed by people, but if they don't notice, it doesn't matter. If they don't acknowledge your kindness, it does not matter. You know why? Because I promise you God sees it all and He is the only one that matters. And He is bound by His word, and that word says you will reap what you sow. So sow on, sow good seeds. They will grow and come back to you when you least expect it.

God bless you today.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Give A Little Love, Get A Little Love- Viral Pay It Forward Video

This has apparently been around for several years, but seems to only have gotten traction recently, especially on Facebook. Another lovely pay-it-forward-type ad that seems to have gone viral. It's a lovely reminder that it doesn't take much to be kind or loving. And we  reap what we sow when it comes to love.

The credits at the end include the following in both English and Czech:

"If you give a little love, you can get a little love of your own."

and a biblical reference to Matthew 22:39 "Love your neighbour as yourself"

and Křižovatka which appears to be a Christian organization based in the Czech Republic. But no-one quite knows who created it.

Music is by Noah and The Whales "Give A Little Love"

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Food Fraud- Buyer Beware - Diluting Foods With Cheaper Ingredients

One of the major reasons to buy whole foods and bulk spices is that you are guaranteed to be getting what you buy, for the most part. Otherwise, you might not be getting what you paid for, or more importantly what you expected.

Food fraud is up 60%- everything from diluted pomegranate juice and olive oil, to lawn grass in tea bags, to escolar replacing white tuna fish, which can cause stomach issues in some. Apparently, 7% of the food we buy in stores is fraud food.

The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) has been conducting research and it isn't pretty.

In a new database to be released Wednesday, and obtained exclusively by ABC News today, USP warns consumers, the FDA and manufacturers that the amount of food fraud they found is up by 60 percent this year.

USP, a scientific nonprofit that according to their website "sets standards for the identity, strength, quality, and purity of medicines, food ingredients, and dietary supplements manufactured, distributed and consumed worldwide" first released the Food Fraud Database in April 2012.

The organization examined more than 1,300 published studies and media reports from 1980-2010. The update to the database includes nearly 800 new records, nearly all published in 2011 and 2012.

The worst offenders:

100% lemon juice is rarely over 35% of actual juice. Some were found to contain less than 10%. The rest is water and sugar.
Olive oil is not always pure. That expensive Extra Virgin Olive oil is oftentimes mixed with cheaper  oils.
Pomegranate juice was found to be be diluted with pear or grape juice, and in some cases no pomegranate juice at all.

Tea can contain fern leaves or lawn grass. No wonder some are so tasteless.
Coffee, honey, milk and maple syrup can also be easily diluted with other ingredients.

Be warned that if the cost of something that is usually expensive is cheap, walk away. It's more than likely adulterated in some way. Not that buying something expensive will guarantee you are getting the pure product.

Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to tell if something is mislabeled, so if you want lemon juice, buy a bag and juice them yourself. That's what we do.

In case you want to check a particular food, USP has a searchable database.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Martin Luther King, Jr Day 2013 - memorable quotes

It's Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday. He had an amazing way with words, and an incredible gift to inspire with those words.

Here are some of the most memorable.

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

"History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

"A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan."

I say to you that our goal is freedom, and I believe we are going to get there because however much she strays away from it, the goal of America is freedom.

Cowardice asks the question, "Is it safe?" Expediency asks the question, "Is it politic?" And Vanity comes along and asks the question, "Is it popular?" But Conscience asks the question "Is it right?" And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.

"Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better."

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

"Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think."

"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness."

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."

"Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed."

"Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation."

"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"

"Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal."

"The time is always right to do what is right."

and last but not least:

"From every mountainside, let freedom ring. When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"


Crossposted on my other blog.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Runner Ivan Fernandez Anaya's Good Deed Inspires Many

It often takes Facebook and/or Twitter to bring recognition to worthy stories. Like the generous gesture of 24-year-old Basque cross-country racer Iván Fernández Anaya.

In the lead during a race last December, Kenyan Abel Mutai- the London Olympics winner of the bronze medal for the 3,000 meter steeplechase- made a huge mistake as he approached the finishing line. Anaya was coming in second when Mutai thought he had crossed the finish line about 10 meters before he had. As Anaya caught up he lagged behind Mutai gesturing him on to win. Anaya could easily have taken advantage of Mutai's mistake, but made the conscious choice not to.

"But even if they had told me that winning would have earned me a place in the Spanish team for the European championships, I wouldn't have done it either. I also think that I have earned more of a name having done what I did than if I had won. And that is very important, because today, with the way things are in all circles, in soccer, in society, in politics, where it seems anything goes, a gesture of honesty goes down well."

The story took a month to gain traction:

"..unfortunately, very little has been said of the gesture. And it's a shame. In my opinion, it would be nice to explain to children, so they do not think that sport is only what they see on TV: violent kicks in abundance, posh statements, fingers in the eyes of the enemy ..."

Of his actions, Anaya said:

“I didn’t deserve to win it." “I did what I had to do. He was the rightful winner. He created a gap that I couldn’t have closed if he hadn’t made a mistake.”

As for what Mutai thought of Anaya's kindness:

“We talked a little bit but we didn’t understand each other much,” the Spaniard told Catholic News Agency. “He thanked me for allowing him to win.”

Anaya has had a ton of positive response for what he did, his coach on the other hand wasn't too thrilled.

“The gesture has made him a better person, but not a better athlete,” Martin Fiz told El Pais. “He has wasted an occasion. Winning always makes you more of an athlete. You have to go out to win.”

He's wrong, it was the right thing to do and just proves that sometimes it's far more important for humanity to trump competitiveness. This is how we win the hearts and souls of the people we share this planet with. He did a good deed, and that will go much further when he meets his maker than any amount of medals or trophies would. What he did will not only have a positive impact on Mutai, but everyone who watched it first hand, and those of us who are reading about it now.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ten Ways To Love- From the Bible

From Words To Inspire The Soul on Facebook.

But I think the most inspiring of them all is 1 Corinthians 4-8:

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
Love freely and unconditionally. It truly is the source of all good.

Source: Bible Gateway

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Gratitude Jar For 2013

Happy Belated New Year!  

Usually we start the New Year off with resolutions, which is a good thing.  Make them working goals to reach by year's end. That takes a little pressure off and gives you a whole year to work on those things that need to be worked on.

Another thing you might consider is a gratitude jar.  The above floated around on Facebook prior to year end and it looked like a wonderful idea. I happen to have one, so decided to start one of my own.

It doesn't have to be a jar, you could get a nice decorative box and place your pieces of paper in there.

Before bed just remember to write down everything wonderful that happens during your days, fold the  paper and put it in your jar or box.

Here's to many blessings throughout the year!

Happy 2013!