Autism Eases, Given Body’s Own Oxytocin

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreHug The Monkey is a Web site about oxytocin, the hormone of love and enjoyment: Lewis Mehl-Madrona is an M.D. who doesn’t see autism as an incurable disease. He’s found that these kids have rich social and communicative lives, and that parents can learn the “secret language of their autistic children.” AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ One thing that sometimes works is oxytocin — and in some kids, he says, it works really well… Mehl-Madrona has used the oxytocin inhaler treatment for a couple of years, in preparation for a true, randomized controlled trial. So far, he says, “I’m encouraged. Mostly what I’m seeing — and it will take some more time to feel sure about this — is a decrease in repetitive, compulsive behaviors, including self-injurious ones, and better social interaction. I have one kid who is actually making empathetic statements. His mother was blown away.” (Full story at Hug the Monkey) Thanks to GNN supporter VioletFlame11 for the link last_img read more

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Youth Worldwide Raise $40,000 to Help Orphaned Chimps

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreOrphaned chimpanzees in Africa will get a new place to rest their heads thanks to the remarkable efforts of hundreds of young people. Members of the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots and Shoots program raised $40,000 in 2006 for a new care facility at the Institute’s Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center, a refuge for more than 120 orphaned chimps whose mothers and families have been killed by illegal poaching…Third graders in Los Angeles raised $430 selling hand-crafted necklaces. Youth at a zoo in Sweden raised $1,500. Eight-year-old Brandon collected jars of “chimp change” totaling $319.26 from local students at Eastern Illinois University.The Jane Goodall Institute Roots and Shoots program is a global network of more than 8,000 groups in 96 countries that plan and implement community service projects on behalf of animals, the environment and the human community.In early 2006, Roots and Shoots youth leaders recognized that the Tchimpounga sanctuary in the Republic of Congo was in desperate need of a new dormitory to care for a burgeoning population of infant chimpanzees. The group’s Leadership Council launched a Tchimpounga Youth Campaign to raise the needed $50,000.Salt Lake City, Utah, girls hosted a pet show at a local park inviting people to bring their pets and enter them to win prizes. They raised over $450 for the chimpanzees.A Dutch insurance company contributed $1330 after solicitation from Roots and Shoots members in their country. Members at the Furuvik Zoo in Sweden raised $1672, and the Sweden Chimpanzee trust contributed $1352.Other groups held raffles, designed and sold t-shirts and went trick-or-treating for chimpanzees.Recognizing these outstanding youthful efforts to help the infant chimpanzees at Tchimpounga, an anonymous donor stepped in to match every dollar raised up to $17,000. To date, the Roots and Shoots campaign has raised $40,000, making their original goal of $50,000 attainable. The new orphan chimpanzee dormitory in Africa will soon become a reality thanks to these dedicated young people.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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Opium Cultivation in Afghanistan Drops by a Fifth

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreOpium cultivation in Afghanistan has gone down by a fifth as compared to last year, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported last month. Thanks in part to good local leadership coupled with a drought, the Afghanistan Opium Survey 2008 showed a 19 percent decrease in opium cultivation to 157,000 hectares, down from a record harvest of 193,000 in 2007.“Last year the world got hit by a heroin tsunami, almost 700 tons,” noted UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa. “This year the opium flood waters have started to recede.”  The survey also found that 18 of the country’s 34 provinces are now opium-free – up from 13 last year. In addition, cultivation now takes place “almost exclusively” in provinces affected by insurgency. Some 98 per cent of Afghanistan’s opium is grown in seven provinces in the southwest of the country – Helmand, Kandahar, Uruzgan, Farah, Nimroz, Daykundi and Zabul.Helmand alone accounted for two thirds of the national total. “If Helmand were a country, it would once again be the world’s biggest producer of illicit drugs,” stated Mr. Costa.“There is now a perfect overlap between zones of high risk and regions of high opium cultivation,” said Mr. Costa. “Since drugs are funding insurgency, and insurgency enables drug cultivation, insurgency and narcotics must be fought together,” he said.At the other end of the spectrum is Nangarhar, which in 2007 was the country’s second highest opium-producing province and this year is opium-free.UNODC attributed the drop in cultivation to good local leadership and the drought which has affected the north and northwest of the country. It said that strong leadership by some governors discouraged farmers from planting opium through campaigns against its cultivation, peer pressure and the promotion of alternative development.While lauding the recent gains, UNODC is urging that everything be done to help the country continue to reduce opium cultivation, from providing farmers with viable alternatives to opium and closing heroin labs to going after drug traffickers and cracking down on corruption.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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Trucker Convoy Brings Donated Hay to Oregon Ranches Devastated by Fires

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreMassive wildfires have blackened about a million acres in southeast Oregon, killing countless cattle and horses and leaving no grazing land for struggling ranches that remain.But help is on the way to struggling ranchers from the business community and fellow cattlemen. A convoy of 17 donated tractor-trailer trucks loaded with 500 tons of hay left Burns, Oregon yesterday morning in route to fire-affected families and businesses.The donated hay, worth $75,000 is enough to feed about 1,000 cattle for 30 days and was donated by a local business that wished to remain anonymous.The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) organized the convoy when its fire relief fund received the generous donation.The current market rate for hauling hay is $30 per ton, making the per truck donation about $900.  For this one day effort the trucking community’s gift will exceed $15,000, 204 hours of volunteer work, and 5150 miles of driving.Lightning caused the range fires, which started in early July and are still only 25 percent contained.Charitable donations of cash or in-kind contributions (including hay, supplies, transportation, and livestock relocation options) are being accepted online, via phone, or in person at the OCA office. Contact Kay Teisl at 503-361-8941 or [email protected] or visit www.orcattle.com/make-a-donation.Photo credit: Stephanie Falck  – Thanks to Jeri Hauth for submitting the story!AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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Swipe Right For Unconditional Love: App Pairs You With Adoptable Pets

first_imgAdopt-A-Pet and PetFinder are currently the most popular national online search engines, but AllPaws, says Lerner, uses a more modern perspective by utilizing more visible profile characteristics, and a deeper social integration.They also take a more mobile direction—half of their traffic comes from iPhones and iPads.While it’s difficult to track adoption rates because they happen “offline,” Lerner can verify that thousands of matches have already been made since the app’s hard launch last October.The website has topped 500,000 visits per month, 335,000 registered users and displays 204,957 available pets.“We’ve heard from a number of shelters and rescues that we drive a lot of adoptions to them. They love that we offer a custom Facebook tab which they can run for free to display adoptable pets. So far 500 shelters have installed it.”Photos: All Paws FacebookHelp Your Friends Find True Love By Sharing This Story: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 MoreAddThisMoreWouldn’t it be nice if you knew that whoever you “swiped right” for would love you back, unconditionally? With the new AllPaws app, that nicety is a reality.The app, available for iPhone and iPad, helps prospective pet owners filter through adoptable pups and kittens in shelters across the U.S. and Canada to help find their perfect match. For those who don’t use Apple, the main website serves the same purpose.Darrell Lerner, the app’s founder, describes it as “Very Tinder-like in its interface,” allowing people to swipe easily and quickly through photos and profile details and to easily share the profile on Facebook. They can also contact the shelter directly to inquire about a possible match.The idea to create AllPaws came after Lerner and his brother founded the development firm Snap Interactive, the parent company of human dating app AreYouInterested. A coworker was trying to find an adoptable dog of her own.“I said, ‘We can rebuild the same product we’ve spent two years working on–and build a much better version,’” Lerner said. A Whopping 5,200 Shelter Pets Were Adopted in One Weekend Eventlast_img read more

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Doing Yoga On A Rooftop Cleansed My Chakras (Learn To Do It At Home)

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreFive of us gathered after dark on the rooftop of a Wall Street high-rise in New York City’s financial district.Armed with nothing but a Bluetooth speaker and a smile, Fern Olivia instructs us all to lay down our mats. The night is slightly breezy, but warm enough to practice without discomfort.The first poses we do are unique, centered around cleansing our chakras, the seven subtle energy points in the non-physical body, according to Indian teachings. We needed to “clear ourselves” of the energy picked up from people on the street by “shaking them off.” On one side of me is a shirtless guy wearing lots of beads, on the left is a 13-year-old girl making me feel ridiculous for not being able to land a handstand.I lower my arms to create “an aura of grace” and build a protective white light around me and look up and see the lights symbolic of the Twin Towers shooting into the clouds.It’s an experience of yoga that likely can’t be replicated anywhere but in New York City, but the chakra cleansing exercises are easy to do at home.8 Ways to Love Yoga Even If You Have No Flexibility or BalanceUsing a Kundalini breathing exercise, which is supposed to “rinse out” the digestive organs, you can nourish and flush your kidneys, cleanse your blood, and expand lung capacity, which will in turn support your thyroid.“All our glandular systems work in synergy, so when we support our liver, spleen, kidneys, and lymphatic system, we support our thyroid,” Fern explains.Set a timer for three minutes, and begin.1. Find a cross-legged seat (or sit upright in a chair with feet planted on the floor), close your eyes gently and gaze at the space in between your eyebrows and slightly up. This is your third eye, where your intuition is located in the energetic body. We will focus on strengthening your intuitive awareness as you acknowledge and strengthen your inner healer.2. Lengthen your spine as you sit up tall, feeling a long line of energy from the base of your spine up and out the crown of your head.3. Open your left arm out to the side like a wing, parallel to the earth, with the palm of your hand facing outward. Bend your elbow so your left palm faces in towards your heart. Place your right palm facing your left palm and clasp your fingers together as you create a tension on the palms almost as if you were pulling them apart.4. As you inhale, twist your torso to the left. Every time you twist to the left, you send circulation and blood flowing to your heart.5. As you exhale, twist your torso to the right. Every time you twist to the right, you are detoxifying your liver.6. As you move your torso, be sure to keep your sit bones grounded and your spine tall, so the containers around your internal organs broaden and you have room to rinse and flush your glandular system.7. Keep your palms at the height of your throat to send energy to your thyroid as you release stagnation in your lower organs with each twist.8. Once you hear your timer for three minutes, reach your arms straight up alongside your ears with your fingertips reaching toward the sky. Invite a deep breath to fill you up on your inhalation and before you exhale, hold and retain the breath, as you squeeze your pelvic floor muscles in and up, hug your navel to your spine, and press your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Check Out This Yoga Studio Made Entirely of Salt9. Hold and retain this breath as long as you can, then open your mouth and exhale deeply, releasing any stagnation out of your body.. Repeat this two more times, then lower your arms and place your palms face down onto your thighs.Keep your eyes closed and breathe deeply, noticing the effect of this breathwork on your physical and energetic state. Notice how you feel, notice what has shifted, what has been released.To follow Fern, keep up with her on Facebook and at Bliss Out Wellness.Click to Share Some “Om” With Your Friends…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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Alan Rickman’s Final Roles Include Lifesaving Video of Tortoise Eating a Strawberry

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreOne of actor Alan Rickman’s final roles was a voice-over for a video of a tortoise eating a strawberry.True to the adage, “there are no small roles,” his brief performance in the video above may help save the lives of refugees.CAST OUR GOOD NEWS APP IN YOUR DAILY LIFE…  Download FREE for Android and iOSOxford University students created the ad which will generate ad revenue each time it’s played. The proceeds will be donated to refugee relief groups Save the Children and Refugee Council.Rickman agreed to voice it with the idea that his star-power could help it go viral and raise even more money. It has more than three million views on YouTube currently.The beloved actor who played Professor Snape in the blockbuster Harry Potter series, among other notable roles, will also appear in at least two movies that finished filming before his death January 14 at the age of 69.CHECK OUT:  Why Is Severus Snape Checking Tickets for American Airlines?“Eye in the Sky,” a thriller that also stars Helen Mirren and “Breaking Bad’s” Aaron Paul, hits theaters in March. He will also be the voice of the Caterpillar in Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass” coming in May.(WATCH “This Tortoise Could Save a Life” above, and the two other trailers below)Eye in the Sky Alice Through the Looking GlassMULTIPLY the Good… Share the Video.[icopyright_one_button_toolbar]AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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Solar Power in US Sets New Records, Beats Natural Gas for the First Time

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreFor the first time in history, solar beat out natural gas in new additions to generating capacity on the American electrical grid last year.More than 29% of all new power capacity in the U.S. came from solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in 2015 – offering 7.3 gigawatts (GW) in additional renewable energy, a 17% increase over 2014.Graph by Solar Market InsightOverall, solar now accounts for 25 GW of the U.S. power supply, up from just 2 GW in 2010.Electrical utilities accounted for more than half the new installations, but residential installations accounted for a record breaking 2 GW of the total.WANT MORE SUNNY DAYS? …GET OUR GOOD NEWS APP—>  Download FREE for Android and iOSSunny states in the west and south led the way with California, North Carolina, and Nevada topping the list for the most solar installations, but the fourth and fifth place slots went to Massachusetts and New York in the northeast.Solar outperformed U.S. Energy Department forecasts for the year, and is part of a mix of renewable energy sources — including wind, water, and biomass — supplying more than 17% of U.S. electrical needs.WATCH: Solar-Powered Pod Allows You to Live Anywhere Off the Grid, Now For SaleThe findings were announced Monday by the Solar Energy Industries Association ahead of it’s U.S. Solar Market Insight report to be released on March 9.Share The Sunny News…  (Photo: Oregon DOT) How much money can a solar roof save you in California? Profit from your roof space: find local deals on solar in your area, eliminate your power bill, and join the solar revolution. Calculate My Savings! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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These Formerly Homeless Men Look Like Models on Fashion Runway for Charity

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreSix formerly homeless men in custom-tailored suits were given the chance to strut their stuff on the the catwalk as a way of raising money for the local homeless shelter that used to take care of them. The Runway to Change fashion show fundraiser, created by two creative communications students from Red River College, not only raised thousands of dollars for the Main Street Project shelter in Winnipeg; it served as a huge self-esteem boost for its rehabilitated models.RELATED: Family Fights Anti-homeless Spikes with Cushions and ChocolateThe men, who used to live at the shelter before being helped to turn their lives around, are now in transitional housing programs – but they never forget where they came from.“Behind the curtain there, I was very nervous when I started hearing the hooting and hollering, [thinking] ‘Oh my god, I don’t know if I can do this,’” one of the formerly homeless models told CBC. “I kind of loosened up.… It was a lot of fun.”(WATCH the video below) Click To Share This Hot Story With Your Friends – Photo by CBCAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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Afraid for His Life, Afghan Musician Studies in US Thanks to Teacher Who Secretly Taught Him Via Skype

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreThis 17-year-old trumpet player may have never been able to pursue his passion if it weren’t for the kindness of an American musician living thousands of miles away from him.Ahmed “Baset” Azizi grew up in Afghanistan, living in constant fear of the Taliban finding out about his love of music. He spent his childhood hiding under desks while his city was bombed, witnessing atrocities that most children should never have to witness. When he wanted to formally study music, his father sent him to the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul. Unfortunately, Baset’s trumpet teacher soon left the school, leaving the youth without an instructor. He then turned to YouTube videos.“I could not play in the house because playing some Western musical instruments is forbidden by the Taliban and other people,” says Baset. “If a neighbor heard my playing and reported it to those groups, my family and myself were in danger: first because I was playing music and also because my dad works for the Army.”WATCH: Afghan Girls Fight Prejudice by Practicing Martial Arts Baset persisted with his learning until he came across a clip of David Bilger, Principal Trumpet of The Philadelphia Orchestra – and he was mesmerized by the sound the American was able to make.Baset then sent a message to Bilger over Facebook with a special request.“Baset introduced himself as ‘the best trumpeter in Afghanistan – because there are only 2!’” Bilger told Good News Network. “Once I learned a bit about his early musical experiences at the Afghan National Institute of Music, and the fact that he was now without a teacher, I offered to give him some advice and coaching over the Internet.”For several months, the two musicians would connect at 11PM EST every week for one hour of coaching – despite there being an 8.5 hour time difference. Eventually, the Afghani teen expressed his wish to study at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan – and Bilger was more than happy to make that wish come true.CHECK OUT: Afghan Girls, Not Allowed On Bikes, Shred On Skateboards InsteadBilger – along with the help of Robin Korevaar, a Texas clarinetist who Baset met during his school term in Kabul – started working on how they would bring their young prodigy to the United States. While Baset trained for the school’s audition with the hope that he would receive an academic scholarship, the two American musicians began a crowdfunding page to raise the money for travel expenses, food, and lodging.Then, after four months of tireless work, Baset was accepted to Interlochen on full scholarship for one year. Additionally, $30,000 was donated to the crowdfunding page, covering all of his expenses.Since he started studying at Interlochen in the fall, Baset says that he has not taken his education for granted.RELATED: 14 Yrs After Receiving Shoebox Gift, Filipino Girl Marries Boy Who Sent it“Playing the trumpet is not just a casual activity for me,” says Baset. “My family has sacrificed and I have lived in fear while in Afghanistan so that I could play. And I am totally committed to becoming the best musician I can be.”Since Baset was recently accepted into the University of Kansas’s music program on a full-ride four year scholarship, Robin and Bilger – with the help of Baset’s current teacher and “Interlochen mom”, Leann Burger– have since set up a second crowdfunding page to pay for their student’s living arrangements. The page only requires $5,000 more to fulfill their $65,000 goal.“Baset is a wonderful young man,” Bilger told Good News Network. “He has an amazing work ethic, especially for everything trumpet. And he has expressed to me his desire to make the most of the opportunities that are now available to him through the generosity of so many people. The miraculous reality of his current situation is not lost on him.”In recognition of their compassionate efforts, Burger, Bilger, and Korevaar have all been named GoFundMe heroes of the month.(WATCH the video below)Multiply The Good: Click To Share With Your Friends (Photo by Beth Price Photography)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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