Monday, October 26, 2015

'Napalm girl' documented second time; begins laser treatment for burn scars

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Is the pro law enforcement 'Black Rifles Matter' slogan racist?

Friday, October 23, 2015

I Don’t Know Who I Am, Until I’ve Found My Joy.

To find out who we are—especially to find our joy—we’ll try just about anything.

I have been thinking a lot over the last decade or so about who I am, who I want to be and where my joy is. I’ve been proactive about it, too. I’ve seen multiple practitioners, gone to therapy, read books, taken classes, visited healers, prayed, cried, beat my pillows and screamed for the answers.

I imagine many people are in similar situations.

We search for the answer through long-term meditation groups, journaling retreats, oracles and special spiritual processes to become more ourselves (or at least to touch upon the Divine).

We make dietary changes, fast, draw yantras and special symbols during certain phases of the moon.

We might even burn wishes as we spray our homes with strange oils or burn candles and smelly herbs while chanting ancient spells or mantras whose meaning we’re not even sure about.

For me, these practices always seemed to miss the mark, but I could never pinpoint why. I thought that surely I was doing something wrong. I could feel that I was changing for the better, but the answers hadn’t come and I certainly didn’t feel joyful.

There was always another level, another mantra, a certain crystal to buy, another process or retreat. I tried many of these things and I asked a lot of questions of many teachers. I even begged for healing from charlatans who made lofty promises. I read more books and—finally—I gave up. I put all of these things away, because through it all, there was only silence.

I didn’t understand right away that the silence was the most important clue to finding my joy.

I used to think that joy was an exuberance. I thought that it was that high energy we feel when we are elated. I thought joy was loud. Of course, elation is an ephemeral height. It changes like the seasons and cannot be eternally sustained. 

The calmness found in silence is sustainable, and it can be carried through every emotion, with practice, by way of the breath.

When I began to take time to focus on my breathing, I realized that the silence was the answer.

Focusing inward and just listening to the breath helped me to find a certain calm I didn’t know I was capable of. I no longer had to search for my joy.

There it was, inside me.

All I needed was to remember to breathe.

***originally published at elephant journal.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Boise man loses everything; goes from drug addict to Paralympic athlete

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Zoos across America are giving pumpkins to their animal residents

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Want to help make the next newsbreaking science find? Become a citizen scientist

Monday, October 12, 2015

Fist bumps and other preventative measures during flu season

Fist bumps can help you stave off the flu this season. If that doesn't fly, try these other tips.Handshakes can be dangerous during flu season. They serve as the main way flu-causing germs are spread, especially in places such as conventions, classes, and other large gatherings. Luckily, alternatives exist to the traditional greeting. Fist bumps and even high fives have been proven to significantly lower chances of catching the flu.

Lifehacker suggests on Oct. 12 that before greeting someone, explaining the following can help stave the circulation of the influenza virus: Handshakes are being traded for fist bumps as a way to prevent others from getting sick. It’s to the point and diplomatic. Even so, many will inevitably protest. The fist bump isn’t exactly a professional greeting. In most cases, fist bumping the boss, professor, or a new client is far from appropriate.

This might help: A recent study published in the American Journal of Infection Control showed that fist bumps and high fives decreased participants’ frequency of passing along bacteria. They reported that nearly twice as many bacteria were transferred during handshakes in comparison with their alternatives.

In the case that fist bumps and high fives still do not fly, there are many other preventative measures available. Below follow five that will help keep the flu at bay.

Get the flu shot
Get the flu shot Freestock Photos

Get the flu shot

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests getting the flu shot each season. Flu season can start as early as October and continue on into May. According to the CDC, the flu shot can protect recipients from catching the flu (while preventing others from catching it from said recipient). It can also, if nothing else, make the symptoms of the flu virus less taxing. One 2011-2012 study noted by the CDC reported a 71 to 77 percent reduction in flu-related hospitalizations when flu shots were used.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouthWikimedia Commons

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Often, germs are spread at the office via keyboards, doorknobs and in communal areas such as break rooms. Microbiology professor and researcher Charles Gerba reminds that “The hand is quicker than the sneeze in the spread of disease.” Viruses travel quickly and can inhabit 40 to 60 percent of building surfaces in the matter of a few hours. In other words, avoid giving them a lift to your respiratory system.

Handwashing: It's good for you and those around you
Handwashing: It's good for you and those around you Wikimedia Commons

Handwashing: It's good for you and those around you

Wash your hands: This should go without saying, but many shirk a preventative and hygienic measure that takes all of 20 seconds. According to the CDC, handwashing removes germs that could cause sickness. It also significantly decreases the chances of catching the flu and spreading bacteria to food and drinks.

Stay at home if you become sick

Stay at home if you become sick Eneas De Troya from Mexico City, México - Epidemia de Pánico Uploaded by Hello32020 -- Wikimedia Commons CC by 2.0

Stay at home if you become sick

Toughing it out by heading to work or school will only make those around you sick, as well. In most cases, the flu is contagious starting from one day before symptoms develop and up to a week after getting sick. It is wise to stay home if someone is suffering from flu-like symptoms such as fever, the chills, fatigue, body aches, sore throat, and headache.

Don't just blow your boogers all over everyone else
Don't just blow your boogers all over everyone else "Coughs and Sneezes Spread Diseases" by Herbert Mayo Bateman, October 1942 Catalogue ref: INF 3/407J -- The National Archives

Don't just blow your boogers all over everyone else

Do the vampire sneeze: Don’t use hands to cover the mouth when coughing or sneezing. Doing so will increase the risk of getting others sick. Make it a habit to cough into the crook of an elbow as a way to prevent the spread of germs.

*originally published on the now defunct

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Brooklyn-based Lynn Gentry types his last busked poems in ambitious campaign