Providing Foster Care for Deployed Troops’ Cats

first_imgAfter learning of Dizicksa’s dilemma, Susan Hagrelius of Cary, Ill., provided a happy home for Sweet Magnolia, one of Dizicksa’s cats.Linda Mercer, the founder of Operation Noble Foster, said she created the program to avoid a repeat of the situation that existed 15 years ago when many servicemembers deployed for operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm had no choice but to place their cats in shelters, many of which were overcrowded.“The response was amazing,” said Mercer. “It still is.”Using a database that military personnel can search online, the group coordinates foster care with volunteers who are willing to serve as temporary caregivers for the cats until their owners return.The foster care program is a win-win situation for servicemembers and foster volunteers. “(Servicemembers) get to keep their family together and the foster families really feel like they are helping, explained Mercer. They say, ‘I want to foster again, it was a great experience.’”____________________________________________________________________________________________“The best part is knowing that I’m able to take care of somebody’s pet while they are serving our country,” Hagrelius said.While she’s been activated, Dizicksa said, her pets have served as a symbol of what her normal life was and will be again and the good things she can return to.Before becoming a foster care provider for the program, Hagrelius and Mercer volunteered with the Cat Fancier’s Association Purebred Rescue Committee, an organization that promotes purebred cats and rescues cats from unsafe living conditions by placing them up for adoption.Since Operation Noble Foster was introduced almost five years ago, more than 5,000 people have volunteered to foster cats. Mercer said she expects that number to increase as the public discovers the need for this resource and servicemembers realize that it exists to support them while they are away serving our country.“I want every single military person to know it’s there … that’s our goal,” Mercer said. “We need to get the word out.”Operation Noble Foster does not screen the volunteers, but it does provide advice regarding screening and other services such as spaying and neutering, which make it easier for interested military personnel to locate homes for their cats. – American Forces Press ServiceAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreArmy Staff Sgt. Aeyne Anne M. Dizicksa’s cats are her family, so their welfare was her top priority when she faced deployment:“I knew that if I had them to return to, everything else was irrelevant — just another passing episode in my life.”She was given only a few days’ notice before her activation in January 2005. Luckily she discovered Operation Noble Foster, which has provided more than 3,000 deployed servicemembers with individual foster homes for their cats until they return. . . (Sweet Magnolia rests on the dryer in the home of Susan Hagrelius, her foster owner of more than a year. The 8-year-old cat will soon reunite with her owner, Staff Sgt. Aeyne Anne M. Dizicksa, a deployed Army reservist in the 719th Veterinary Medical Detachment who will return later this month.)last_img read more

This Bicycle Can Charge a Cellphone

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreMotorola Inc. will release a new, bicycle-powered cellphone charger aimed at Third World residents who lack regular household power supplies. (Canada.com)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img

Happiness on Your License Plate

first_img Sport psychologists are also aware of the power of words in training environments, such as “succeed,” “win,” and “excellence,” which have been found to boost persistence in goal accomplishment. Dr. Andrew Weil, author of many medical books on alternative health, also recommends that we take a “news fast” for a week in which we don’t read newspapers or watch any disturbing stories on television to gauge the impact on our moods and optimism. Priming our moods in a negative way can have negative consequences.* For that reason, I encourage all of my clients to pay attention to the words — and images — they see and hear in their daily environments. The priming technique can be used to their advantage leading to behaviors that are pro-social and positive. If you’re not convinced yet that seeing pictures or words can have an impact on your behavior and mood yet, consider the following: Princeton students who wrote about the qualities of “superheros” in one research study were more likely to behave like superheros and be prosocial — such as through giving blood – in the weeks after this writing exercise than those who had a different writing topic.Individuals who were primed with words pertaining to academic achievement later said they felt emotionally “closer” to significant others who would want them to have those types of achievements, and said that they intended to spend more time with those people in the near future.If people observed others doing a task or job while smiling or clearly having a good time, they later said that they had a favorable impression of that job/task, and might consider it for themselves, as well. Is it any wonder that every single commercial on television or in the media shows people having a wonderful time while eating/sleeping/running/engaging in that activity? Or, even, that every single watch ad ever printed has the watch set to ten minutes after ten, which looks suspiciously like a smile to me? 🙂 This brings me back to the importance of license plates. The research is clear that both unconscious and conscious behaviors are changed through primes, so why not fill your life volitionally with words, sounds and people that make you smile, or elicit happy memories, or push you forward to goal accomplishment? If you sympathize with my ideas, then ordering a unique license plate that makes you smile is a no-brainer. For example, my license plate says, “WEHVFUN,” and I’ve lost count of how many people have smiled when they saw it, or even when I get into my car every day! Is there any price I could put on the tonnage of joy I’ve created simply by telling the world I have fun, and then following through? I now have a bulging folder of license plate photos that I use when I give presentations on priming. Consider the following license plates I’ve captured on film or that have been sent to me, and imagine how you’d feel if you saw the license plate. HappyBudsgr8mgnatef-iracfeisty IserveImchznBlessed And if you want to take priming with positive words one step further, consider changing your email address to reflect a goal, emotion or activity that is important to you. When I was getting my black belt in Hapkido a few years ago (and breaking bones and getting my butt kicked by teenagers), I changed one of my email addresses to read: LuvHapkido, because I hated Hapkido and wanted to quit every day (I ended up loving it and being the only adult who got a black belt that year — do you think it worked?). Other clever email addresses I’ve seen are: GrittyTurtle, Comeback2004 (an Olympian), BestsellerNextYear, workinprogress, and CloserToJoy. Use priming words strategically all around you – in your environment, car, license plate, cell phone banner, email address, etc. – and watch what happens in your subconscious and conscious mind. Since it’s been shown that negative words and images can fuel negativity, it’s up to us to flip that equation on its head and do the opposite for our maximum well-being. In one famous study children avoided eating a cookie so that they could earn another cookie — they closed their eyes or turned their backs! If you don’t see it, it won’t have an impact on you. If there’s something you’re going to see or hear on a regular basis, at least use priming techniques to elicit the best for yourself. I’ll get you started. Here’s my final thought: SMILE. _________________________ *For sources and summaries of studies, refer to the author’s original article here. Caroline Adams Miller, MAPP, ACC is a performance coach, author and motivational speaker who specializes in helping people design and achieve their life goals. Original article first published in Positive Psychology News Daily, the daily news source for positive psychology.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreCaroline Miller, besides being a coach and motivational speaker, is also known as “the license plate lady” to her children’s friends who have become accustomed to riding in a car with the mom who suddenly yelps at the sight of a unique vanity plate. Sometimes a camera is thrust into their hands with instructions to zoom in and snap a picture. Caroline uses license plates as a teaching tool about the power of words in shaping our moods… It’s been studied in many settings how important our environment is to our well-being, and part of that is what we happen to read in signs, books, newspapers, or even on television. One interesting study showed that test subjects who unscrambled anagrams with words like “wisdom,” “retired” and “Florida” walked more slowly out of testing rooms than people who unscrambled anagrams with neutral words, for example. And students at the University of Wisconsin who subliminally viewed words like “decision” were more likely to have formed opinions about a subject than people who were subliminally exposed to neutral words, and then presented with a scenario that required a judgment. last_img read more

US Holiday Sales Make Solid Start Amidst Biggest Wall Street Rally in 75 Years

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreThe US holiday shopping season got off to an encouraging start, with sales on the day after Thanksgiving up 3% from last year. “Under these circumstances, to start off the season in this fashion is truly amazing and is a testament to the resiliency of the American consumer, and undeniably proves a willingness to spend,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak. (Read details in BBC News) In other economic news, Wall Street climbed again Friday, wrapping up its biggest five-day rally in more than 75 years. It was the first time the Dow rose for five consecutive sessions since July 2007, and the biggest five-day percentage gain over five sessions since 8 August 1932. (AP story at KansasCityStar) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Doctors List 14 Ways to Show Children Love

first_imgAdd family game nights on your calendar so the entire family can be together. Put a different family member’s name under each date, and have that person choose which game will be played that evening. One of your most important gifts as a parent is to help your child develop self-esteem. Your child needs your steady support and encouragement to discover his strengths. He needs you to believe in him as he learns to believe in himself. Loving him, spending time with him, listening to him and praising his accomplishments are all part of this process. One of the best ways to familiarize your child with good food choices is to encourage him to cook with you. Let him get involved in the entire process, from planning the menus to shopping for ingredients to the actual food preparation and its serving. It is wonderful when families eat together as much as possible. Good food, good conversations. When your child is angry, argumentative or in a bad mood, give him a hug, cuddle, pat, secret sign or other gesture of affection he favors and then talk with him about it when he’s feeling better. Owning a pet can make children, especially those with chronic illnesses and disabilities, feel better by stimulating physical activity, enhancing their overall attitude, and offering constant companionship. Make an extra effort to set a good example at home and in public. Use words like “I’m sorry,” “please,” and “thank you.” AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreFrom the American Academy of Pediatrics comes this list of 14 ways to show your love to your children:Use plenty of positive words with your child. Try to avoid using sarcasm. Children often don’t understand it, and if they do, it creates a negative interaction. Use non-violent forms of discipline. Parents should institute both rewards and restrictions many years before adolescence to help prevent trouble during the teenage years. Allowing children of any age to constantly break important rules without being disciplined only encourages more rule violations.center_img Make plans to spend time alone with your young child or teen doing something she enjoys. Send a note to your older child or teen. Make artwork together with your preschool or younger school age child. Your child’s health depends significantly on the care and guidance you offer during his early years. By taking your child to the doctor regularly for preventive health care visits, keeping him safe from accidents, providing a nutritious diet, and encouraging exercise throughout childhood, you help protect and strengthen his body. Respond promptly and lovingly to your child’s physical and emotional needs and banish put-downs from your parenting vocabulary. Be available to listen to your child when he/she want to talk with you even if it’s an inconvenient time. As your child grows up, she’ll spend most of her time developing and refining a variety of skills and abilities in all areas of her life. You should help her as much as possible by encouraging her and providing the equipment and instruction she needs. Start reading to your child beginning at six months. Avoid TV in the first two years, monitor and watch TV with your older children and use TV time as conversation time with your children. Limit computer and video games. Help your child foster positive relationships with friends, siblings and members of the community. Don’t forget to say, “I love you” to children of all ages!AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Positive, Optimistic Outlook Cuts Heart Attack Risk

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore“Scientists have long known that people who are chronically angry, anxious or depressed have a higher risk of heart attacks,” says an AP report. Now, more studies are confirming positive psychology as a way to cut those risks.A recent Harvard review of dozens of studies concludes that being upbeat and optimistic does seem to help to protect against heart disease.Rather than focusing only on how to lessen heart risks, “it might also be useful to focus on how we might bolster the positive side of things,” said lead researcher Julia Boehm of the Harvard School of Public Health.Optimism, in particular, seems to be key. It may cut the risk of a first heart attack in half.(READ the AP story in Columbia Tribune)[Editor’s Note: What a great benefit of reading the Good News Network!]AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Peace Pact With Muslim Insurgents Brings Hope in the Philippines

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA recently announced agreement between the Philippine government and Muslim rebels waging a decades-old insurgency in the southern island of Mindanao paves the way for the establishment of a new autonomous region, more access for humanitarians to conflict-affected areas and an end to the cycle of failed peace deals and displacements.About 150,000 people have died in one of the region’s longest-running insurgencies, which has left the mineral-rich island mired in poverty. “This means there will be stability… with the people now able to dream and build communities without fear of evacuating again,” Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman told IRIN.“The people, as well as humanitarian actors on the ground, can now invest in long-term development.”After almost ten years of sporadic failed peace talks, the creation of the “Bangsamoro new autonomous political entity” was announced by President Benigno Aquino in Manila last week after five days of negotiation in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. It is expected to be formally signed Monday. “While food insecurity and other humanitarian needs may continue in the near term,” said the World Food Programme’s representative in the Philippines, Stephen Anderson, “the peace process… gives real hope of achieving sustainable peace and development for the people of Mindanao.”“This framework agreement paves the way for a final, enduring peace in Mindanao,” Aquino said, adding that the 12,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front  has dropped its bid for independence and opted for autonomy.The rebels’ chief political officer, said that following the most recent announcement, rebel commanders will be told to follow strictly an existing ceasefire, noting there has been zero fighting this year.(READ the the full story from IRIN)IRIN is a humanitarian news and information service of the United NationsPhoto: Young Muslim in the Philippines near rebel camp – by Jason Gutierrez, IRINAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Court Victory for Opponents of Fracking in California

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA federal judge has ruled that the Obama Administration violated the law when it issued oil leases in Monterey County, Calif., without considering the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. The ruling came in response to a suit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club, challenging a September 2011 decision by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to auction off about 2,500 acres of land in southern Monterey County to oil companies.“This is a watershed moment — the first court opinion to find a federal lease sale invalid for failing to address the dangers of fracking,” said Brendan Cummings, senior counsel at the Center, who argued the case for the plaintiffs.Fracking employs huge volumes of water mixed with sand and chemicals to blast open rock formations and extract oil and gas. The controversial technique is already being used in hundreds — perhaps thousands — of California oil and gas wells. Oil companies are aggressively trying to frack the Monterey Shale, which stretches from the northern San Joaquin Valley into Los Angeles County, and west to the coast. Fracking, whether for oil or natural gas, has been tied to water and air pollution in other states, and releases huge quantities of methane, a dangerously potent greenhouse gas. The process also routinely employs numerous toxic chemicals, including methanol, benzene and trimenthylbenzene. A recent study from the Colorado School of Public Health found that fracking contributes to neurological and respiratory problems in people living near fracked wells, while putting them at higher risk of cancer at the same time.“We hope this court ruling acts as a wake-up call that steers the federal government away from sacrificing California’s public lands for dangerous oil development,” added Cummings.The court has asked for a joint recommendation on next steps in the case. The Center and the Sierra Club believe the lease sale should be set aside. At a minimum, no drilling or fracking on the leases will be allowed before the completion of thorough analysis of the environmental risks.(Source: Center for Biologic Diversity)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Anti-Terror Cops Rescue Hidden Kitty That Stopped Traffic in NYC

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorePolice officers trained to take down terrorists came to the rescue of a frightened kitten blocking traffic in New York City.The kitten ran into traffic and jumped into the wheel well of Geraldine Cassone’s car as she was stopped at a red light. When the light changed, she was afraid to move the car for fear of hurting the cat.WANT MORE KINDNESS IN YOUR LIFE? GET OUR GOOD NEWS APP—>  Download FREE for Android and iOSCassone got out of the car and tried to find the kitten. At least eight other people nearby joined her, but couldn’t figure out where it was hiding under her car.She finally flagged down a police car for help. The officers, with NYPD’s Strategic Response Group, put their training on hunting terrorists to work.Officers Christopher Rinelli and Kenia Marte carefully moved the car into a driveway and began a strategic search, listening for the cat’s meowing.WATCH:  Little Girl Who Lost Arm to Cancer Adopts 3-Legged Kitten When they found the kitten, balled up and hiding above the gas tank, it was still out of reach. The officers and a neighbor had to finally remove the wheel before they could get to the little cat.“This is exactly what I signed up for in the department,” Officer Rinelli told the New York Times. “To help people that need help. And animals, of course.”LOOK: Officer Saves Choking Pelican, Can’t Believe What Was Stuck in its ThroatThe kitten is being fostered by an animal shelter, but Cassone plans to adopt the two-month-old cat she named Midnight, when she returns from vacation.Photo: NYPDHelp Your Friends Find This Story, Share It… AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Great News: New Android and iPhone App Available Now

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreWe are happy to report that our APP for Android devices has just been updated.The new version, which you can download here, is meant to fix the crash problem for users of Pixel phones and any Android device that has been upgraded with the latest OS.We have hundreds of 5-star reviews for both our apps— including one for iPhones and iPads available for free at the iTunes App Store.This update will restore faith in our app for readers to get their seamless daily good news fix.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more