80 form human chain to rescue family of 9 in riptide at Panama City Beach, Florida

An obvious addition to the PositiveNewsOnline treasure trove, CNN and others report that strangers on a beach formed an 80-person human chain to successfully rescue nine members of a family who had been caught in a riptide.

This is amazing and emblematic of the human spirit and human ingenuity.

Photo credit to theguardian.com.

The Language Barrier Will Soon Be a Thing of the Past

Forget the days of trying to talk to someone of another language and flipping through a pocket dictionary to find the right word, struggling through an awkward guessing game of various nouns, verbs and non-word sounds to try to communicate with the person. Today’s translation tools can provide real-time translation that you can carry with you in your pocket.

According to the Wall Street Journal,  translation tools of the modern age were developed by computing more than a billion translations a day for over 200 million people. With the exponential growth in data, that number is growing and the ever-evolving software is filling in the communication gaps in pronunciation and interpretation.

A pocket translator seems like fun in and of itself, but think of the possibilities in medical care, education, scientific collaboration, etc… when the communication barrier is removed, and we can communicate easily with people we would otherwise be cut off from. We will be more connected as a species. It’s almost biblical in proportions, isn’t it? Sayonara, language barrier!

Photo courtesy of wearbleo.com.

Eagle Scout Project Creates a Sensory Education Room to Help Kids With Autism to Learn

Responding to the needs he saw in his own brother and other autistic students, this Eagle Scout created a Sensory Education Room at his local middle school to help autistic students learn in a specially tailored environment.

He raised $30,000 and was able to develop and build two such rooms. The teachers are overjoyed at the new learning opportunities they are able to offer their students and the ways this room is developing them. This is awesome!

To learn more, watch the video here.

Girls on the Run is building the next generation of female community service leaders in inner cities and around the country

 

You may have already known that Girls on the Run encourages young girls- especially in the inner cities- to take charge of their lives and cultivate healthy relationships.

You might not have realized, however, that each Girls on the Run team creates and executes a local community service project.

For example, one group has raised more than $10,000 to help their school crossing guard – an Ethiopian native who fled his home country where he was enslaved as a child soldier- to cover medical costs associated with his prosthetic leg to help him walk without pain. Other groups are raising money for MS, collecting money and supplies for local hospitals, donating to homeless shelters, and countless other projects. Here’s to the next generation of girls and women leading and supporting their communities!

Dementia Sufferers Find Joy and Purpose in Community Chorus

According to scientific studies reported at livescience.com, Alzheimers sufferers often retain their love and appreciation for music even other parts of their brain are failing.  In fact, experts say, music can “awaken” Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, triggering emotional memories and words that have been forgotten.

Taking advantage of this phenomenon, the Giving Voice Chorus of Minneapolis, MN is a chorus that brings joy, well-being, purpose and community understanding to people with Alzheimer’s and their care partners.  Its goal is to “celebrate the full potential of people living with dementia.”

Check out this heartwarming video of the chorus and some profiles of its participants.

The group has expanded to 3 separate independent choruses and is reportedly being “inundated” with inquiries from around the nation from people who want to start similar programs in their communities. The group provides resources and a toolkit on its website for those who are interested in starting one.

Even as humanity continues to uncover more information and preventative approaches to Alzheimers and dementia, it is comforting to know that fun and fulfillment is still possible even for people with dementia, and for their hard-working and loving care partners.

Anyone can be someone’s hero. :-)

Man rescues cat from London Docks

Cat-astrophe avoided — the moment a passer-by saved Felix the cat after she fell into the Thames. ?

Posted by BBC News on Monday, May 1, 2017

Transparent solar cell technology will turn windows into power sources!

This fully transparent solar cell could make every window and screen a power source


Photo credit: ExtremeTech.com

As reported by ExtremeTech.com, Michigan State researchers have invented transparent luminescent solar concentrator (TLSC), which are fully transparent solar cells that can turn every window and screen into a power source.

“The researchers — and Ubiquitous Energy — are confident that the technology can be scaled all the way from large industrial and commercial applications, down to consumer devices, while remaining affordable. So far, one of the larger barriers to large-scale adoption of solar power is the intrusive and ugly nature of solar panels — obviously, if we can produce large amounts of solar power from sheets of glass and plastic that look like normal sheets of glass and plastic, then that would be incredible.”

The Economist: “A global attack on long-neglected tropical diseases is succeeding”

Through the persistent joint efforts of private entities, international institutions, donor governments and charities, humans are winning the fight against some debilitating, long-neglected tropical diseases!

“International institutions such as the World Bank and World Health Organisation (WHO) teamed up with donor governments and charities. By 1999 the Gates Foundation, a charity set up by Bill and Melinda Gates, was funding work in lymphatic filariasis and schistosomiasis, a debilitating ailment caused by a parasitic worm transmitted by freshwater snails.

By then the long-running effort to eradicate guinea worm led by the Carter Centre, a foundation set up by Jimmy Carter in 1982, had gained pace. The worm’s larvae are ingested in dirty water and grow internally to as long as a metre; they emerge, agonisingly, through the skin over several weeks. The only treatment for an established case, even now, is to speed up this expulsion by gradually winding the worm’s emerging body on a stick. But public-information campaigns about the need to filter drinking water and keep sufferers away from water sources, where they might pass on the infection, have brought new cases down from an estimated 3.5m a year globally in 1986, when eradication efforts started, to 25 last year.”

 

Flying Cars! Anything is possible! Truly!

Guys, this two-seater flying car can transform from a car into an airplane in just 3 minutes! It can reach land speeds of 99 mph and fly a distance of 466 miles. As a parent, I’m so happy to be able to show my free-thinking, big-dreaming kid this additional proof of the limitless capabilities of human ingenuity. I could see her eyes light up with the sparkle of possibility!

To my pilot friends and family members (Mom, Kirk, Dan, Madisson)- interested in flying one of these someday??

Free Bookshares Go Global and Dolly Parton’s Gift Fosters a Love of Reading in Future Generations

 

 

As I have traveled frequently around the country over the last few weeks,  I am seeing more and more of the little free bookshares where neighbors can share and receive used books.  These little bookshares are a free and easy way to

1) Share knowledge and enjoyment,

2) Recycle!

and

3) Build community.

According to the nonprofit Little Free Library, there are now more than 50,000 of these little libraries in more than 70 countries. (And that is just the ones that have registered.)

If you don’t see one near you, why not start one in your own neighborhood today? After all, it would give you something to do with the old books you have lying around, and (bonus!) you and your family would get to enjoy new literary surprises every day!!

And while I’m on the subject of free books, don’t even get me started on how wonderful the Dolly Parton Imagination Library is! This project sends specially selected books for free to children ages 0 to 4 all over the country. Dolly’s website says it best

“Dolly’s vision was to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month. By mailing high quality, age-appropriate books directly to their homes, she wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could ensure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.”

So much love to you, Dolly! And thanks for our books. We’re so excited to receive them each month and, as parents, we so appreciate the support in cultivating a love for reading in future generations.