There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people. Howard Zinn

Resistance, Liberation Technology and Human Rights in the Digital Age

Via: Cryptome

1.1 Using Computers for the Pursuit of Political and Social
Changes and for the Benefit of All Mankind

The concrete possibility of using all the various types of technologies available to
mankind for the specific purposes of networking, of contributing to political and
social changes and of contrasting oppressive dictatorships, and even authority in
general, has always been, since the very first activities of university hackers in
California during the 1960s, a singularly fascinating and often inspiring issue.

Chapter 1
Opening Remarks: Hacking and Digital Dissidence

Read more: here

The Greatest Reaction To White Smoke…Ever.

Via: Creative Minority Report

The reaction of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist to the white smoke is pure unbridled joy. It’s your must watch video of the day.

In the middle of recording their debut album for DeMontfort Music, the sisters heard the news that resounded in heaven and earth.

See more: here

Billy Joel Performs With College Student

Via: MSN Entertainment

March 14, 2013

Billy Joel made a college student’s dream come true by performing onstage with him in Nashville, Tenn.

In January, the singer held a question-and-answer session with students at Vanderbilt University when Michael Pollack asked if he could play “New York State of Mind” with the singer.

Joel sang the tune as He told the audience, “Remember that name. … Guy’s got chops.” 

Speaking about the impromptu performance, Pollack told the university’s student paper, The Vanderbilt Hustler, “It was probably the greatest moment of my life, up to date.”

See Video: here

How to Turn Your Child into a Lifelong Bookworm

Via: Gimundo

Want your kids to read more books? Here are a few proven ways to help them catch the bookworm bug.

By Gimundo Staff. Posted on February 08 2013
Literacy is one of the most important skills we will ever develop over our lifetimes. Imagine a world where you were not able to read things like warning signs or restaurant menus, or were unable to write a birthday card or letter for a job application. Most small children love books, looking at the pictures and hearing the story, but as they get older they often move away from books and prefer gaming on consoles or kicking a football around at the park. So how do you keep your kids interested in books?
Join the Library

Libraries have changed a lot in recent years and are no longer the stuffy, unwelcoming places that they used to be. Libraries will have a great range of books for children of all ages and are free to join. Take your child regularly and encourage them to take out books on whatever subject interests them. Ask librarians for recommendations and they can point you in the right direction to discover new authors or types of books which your child had not previously considered.

Read more: here

How to Trick Your Brain for Happiness

Via: Dailygood

–by Rick Hanson, Greater Good, Sep 15, 2012
There’s this great line by Ani Tenzin Palmo, an English woman who spent 12 years in a cave in Tibet: “We do not know what a thought is, yet we’re thinking them all the time.”

It’s true. The amount of knowledge we have about the brain has doubled in the last 20 years. Yet there’s still a lot we don’t know.
In recent years, though, we have started to better understand the neural bases of states like happiness, gratitude, resilience, love, compassion, and so forth. And better understanding them means we can skillfully stimulate the neural substrates of those states—which, in turn, means we can strengthen them. Because as the famous saying by the Canadian scientist Donald Hebb goes, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.”
Ultimately, what this can mean is that with proper practice, we can increasingly trick our neural machinery to cultivate positive states of mind.
But in order to understand how, you need to understand three important facts about the brain.

Read more: here

The Neuroscience of Why Gratitude Makes Us Healthier

Via: Huffingtonpost

Posted: 11/04/11 09:32 AM ET

Our world is pretty messed up. With all the violence, pollution and crazy things people do, it would be easy to turn into a grouchy old man without being either elderly or male. There’s certainly no shortage of justification for disappointment and cynicism.

But consider this: Negative attitudes are bad for you. And gratitude, it turns out, makes you happier and healthier. If you invest in a way of seeing the world that is mean and frustrated, you’re going to get a world that is, well, more mean and frustrating. But if you can find any authentic reason to give thanks, anything that is going right with the world or your life, and put your attention there, then statistics say you’re going to be better off.

Read more: here

The Wisdom of Babies

Via: The Daily Good

-by Mary Gordon, Greater Good, Jan 26, 2013

For years I worked with families who were very abusive to their children. Over time, I came to realize that all of the suffering that the children collected—whether it was domestic violence or child abuse or neglect—was a result of the absence of empathy in the parent.

There wasn’t one of those parents who woke up and decided, “Today is the day I’m going to hurt my child.” These were not monsters; these were people who I loved, actually.

I remember working with a group of teenage mothers who had all lived through sexual or physical abuse as children and were now struggling with addiction. They had great difficulty empathizing with their children. When the children would fall down, the mothers would say, “No pain, no gain.” And this could be a little toddler learning how to walk.

I saw that if you haven’t experienced love, it’s very difficult to know how to love.
So what can we do to break this cycle of abuse and neglect?
My idea was to focus on the attachment relationship between parent and child. I believe that we inherit the capacity for empathy—that we are all intuitively empathic—but this capacity can wither on the vine if a child never experiences empathy in the attachment relationship with his or her parents. So why not learn from the attachment relationship?

That idea motivated me to launch Roots of Empathy in 1996. Roots of Empathy is a classroom-based program for children in kindergarten through grade eight. Our mission is to build more caring, peaceful, and civil societies by raising levels of empathy in children.

Read more: here

February Popsicles…

Via: Parenting and Stuff

Although I may seem as a crafty mom to some of you, this is how it usually goes:

1. I see a beautiful idea (that someone else thought of).

2. I show it to everybody around.

3. I start collecting the art supplies required, and promise my children that we are going to do it next Saturday.

4. Saturday comes and goes, nothing happens.

Read more: here

Doctors Say Infant Cured of HIV at UMC Researchers Trying to Replicate Results


JACKSON, Miss. —Doctors at the University of Mississippi Medical Center said they have cured a baby suffering from HIV and the breakthrough is reverberating worldwide.

“There is excitement around this,” said Dr. Deborah Persaud of John’s Hopkins Children’s Center.
Doctors across the country are heralding the medical breakthrough in Jackson.

“We have, perhaps inadvertently, but in fact, cured the child,” said Dr. Hannah Gay, associate professor of pediatrics. “We don’t know yet what to expect with this patient because she’s the first of her kind.”

Read more: here

The Benefits of Optimism Are Real

Via: The Atlantic

Mar 1 2013, 8:38 AM ET
A positive outlook is the most important predictor of resilience. It’s not just Hollywood magic.

One of the most memorable scenes of the Oscar-nominated film Silver Linings Playbook revolves around Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, a novel that does not end well, to put it mildly.

Patrizio Solitano Jr. (Bradley Cooper) has come home after an eight-month stint being treated for bipolar disorder at a psychiatric hospital, where he was sentenced to go after he nearly beat his wife’s lover to death. Home from the hospital, living under his parents’ charge, Pat has lost his wife, his job, and his house. But he tries to put the pieces of his life back together. He exercises, maintains an upbeat lifestyle, and tries to better his mind by reading through the novels that his estranged wife Nikki, a high school English teacher, assigns her students. 

Pat takes up a personal motto, excelsior — Latin for “ever upward.” He tells his state-appointed therapist, “I hate my illness and I want to control it. This is what I believe to be true: You have to do everything you can and if you stay positive you have a shot at a silver lining.”

Read more: here

How a Family of Four Manages to Live Well on Just $14,000 Per Year

Via: Yahoo News

In the years since the recession, the median household income in the U.S. has dropped to just over $50,000, while fixed costs like health care, higher education, and housing have only soared. Now imagine trying to support a family of four on a fraction of that income.

It’s a reality that stay-at-home wife and mother of two Danielle Wagasky has lived for the last four years. And, perhaps a little surprisingly, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Wagasky, 28, lives with her her husband, Jason, 31, and their two young children in a three-bedroom family home in Las Vegas, Nevada. While Jason, a member of the U.S. Army, completes his undergraduate studies, the family’s only source of income is the $14,000 annual cost of living allowance he receives under the G.I. Bill. Despite all odds, the family has barely any credit card debt, no car payment, and no mortgage to speak of.

Wagasky has been sharing her journey to living meaningfully and frugally on her blog, Blissful and Domestic, since 2009.

Read more: here

Want to Find His Hidden Treasure Worth Millions? Head Outdoors

Via: Today

By Erika Angulo, TODAY

A New Mexico multimillionaire wants you to get off the couch and go searching for hidden treasure.

Forrest Fenn, 82, believes too many Americans spend their free time watching TV or playing video games. He hopes the bounty he hid — a chest filled with millions of dollars in gold coins, diamonds and emeralds, among other gems — will prompt some to explore the outdoors.

 “Get your kids out in the countryside, take them fishing and get them away from their little hand-held machines,” he told TODAY.

Read more: here

EC Proposes Pesticide Ban to Protect Honeybees

Via: Positive News

15 Feb 2013

Following a citizens’ campaign, a Europe-wide ban on pesticides posing a danger to bees is being considered, as B&Q and other retailers remove products from sale that contain the chemicals

The European Commission has proposed a ban on three widely used pesticides after a report concluded they are a serious threat to bees.

According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the neonicotinoid pesticides pose “high acute risks” to bees encountering residue in the pollen and nectar of crops.

Tonio Borg, the European commissioner for health and consumer policy, responded by demanding “swift and decisive action” to counter the risk from clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. He issued a discussion paper proposing member states stop using the pesticides on crops attractive to bees, such as sunflower, maize, oilseed rape and cotton for a two-year period.

The sale and use of seeds treated with products containing the active substances would also be prohibited, with the suspension applying EU-wide from 1 July 2013. A spokesman for Borg said the suspension would allow for a period of assessment before any decisions on changing legislation.

The move followed more than two million people signing an online petition run by global campaign group Avaaz, calling for an immediate ban on neonicotinoids.

Rea more: here

On a Hunch, Fishermen Find Crash Site, 2 Sisters

Via: The San Francisco Chronicle

By STEVEN DUBOIS, Associated Press
Updated 4:32 pm, Thursday, February 21, 2013

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — As their mother lay dead in the middle of the night, a 4-year-old Oregon girl dragged her seriously injured younger sister from a crashed car and the two huddled under a blanket — and waited.

With the mangled car stuck deep in the woods, and no skid marks on the highway, the crash site was nearly impossible to detect.

In fact, authorities estimate the sisters were alone in the frigid woods for several hours early Wednesday as many motorists drove past it.

The girls finally got help after two commercial fishermen spotted what appeared from a distance to be a basketball-sized gash in an alder tree along State Highway 401 between Astoria, Ore., and Naselle, Wash. Kraai McClure and Scott Beutler travel the two-lane road frequently, and had a gut feeling something was wrong.

The men slowed down, discussed the situation and decided to turn around and go take a look. McClure said he called 911 to see if there had been any reports of a wreck during the night. There weren’t.

Beutler, who was a first responder when he lived in Mississippi, went into the brush and signaled McClure to alert authorities.

“I don’t know exactly what told us to turn around, but I’m just really thankful we did,” McClure said Thursday.

Read more: here

Nice Girls

Via: The New York Times

Published: February 25, 2011

My daughter Kate loves horses, her violin and, above all else, her friends. She also happens to have been born with dwarfism, a condition that makes her smaller than other kids. She will always be smaller. Kate’s fine with that. She doesn’t give it much thought, really. But I’ve become increasingly full of dread that her generation of mean girls will eventually stop accepting her for who she is, seize upon her obvious difference and just destroy her.

Read more: here

Bill Gates vs. Mother Teresa

Via: Daily Good

–by Nipun Mehta, Jan 07, 2013
Two days ago, I was in China, speaking to a bunch of influential business leaders. One of them posed a challenge: “You speak about Vinoba Bhave, the spiritual heir of Gandhi, and how he walked 80K kilometers across India and inspired people to donate 5 million acres to their neighbors. Yes, it might’ve been an unprecedented feat in the history of mankind, but really, how many people remember Vinoba today? Instead, think of how many people remember Steve Jobs and the legacy he left behind.” From a short-term impact point of view, it’s a thoughtful dilemma.

In fact, Forbes magazine did a piece which reflected similarly, asking the question: “Who has changed the world more: Bill Gates or Mother Teresa?” And they concluded Bill Gates. My response to this industrialist, though, was a true story that happened a few weeks ago at a school near Pune. I asked the same question to them: who do you want to be when you grow up — Bill Gates or Mother Teresa? Usually about 60-80% of them will vote for Bill Gates, but here, a majority of them said Mother Teresa. So I probed further. Why? As people started raising their hands, a shy young girl — maybe 11 years old — raised her hand, hesitated, and then put it down. Seeing that, I encouraged her to speak, and her response completely floored me.

“Sir, Bill Gates used the power of money to change the world, and Mother Teresa used the power of love to change the world. And I think love is more powerful than money.”

Read more: here

Quinn: Proposed ‘Fracking’ Rules Good for State

Via: The San Francisco Chronicle

Thursday, February 21, 2013

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn is praising a bill that would regulate high-volume oil and gas drilling in Illinois, saying it’ll help the economy.

Quinn released a statement Thursday after two downstate lawmakers introduced the bill to establish ground rules for hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

The method uses high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals to crack open rock formations and release oil and gas. The industry is eyeing southern Illinois’ New Albany shale.

Quinn says he’s committed to protecting the environment and creating jobs.

Read more: here

Zuckerberg, Brin Join Forces to Extend Life


AFP – Famed founders of Internet rivals Google and Facebook joined forces on Wednesday to back big-money prizes for research aimed at extending human life.

Sergey Brin and Mark Zuckerberg, along with their spouses, joined Russian venture capitalist Yuri Milner to award 11 scientists $3 million each to launch the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.
“Priscilla and I are honored to be part of this,” Zuckerberg said.

“We believe the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences has the potential to provide a platform for other models of philanthropy, so people everywhere have an opportunity at a better future.”

Read more: here

For the Ones that can afford it, I’m sure…

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