first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreI had to call Betty. I hadn’t talked to her in a while. I had met Betty a few years ago when I toured her factory in Hollidaysburg, Pa., a blip of a town tucked into the folds of the Allegheny Mountains. Betty’s factory, James Industries, is where the world-famous Slinky is made. Betty’s husband, Richard, invented the Slinky 51 years ago. Betty came up with the name. At 77, she’s still running the company.As soon as I met Betty I wanted to adopt her as a hero. So I did.Anyway, I needed to call her because I was worried. I had just read an Associated Press news story about Betty and her Slinky family. Particularly the Slinky dog, which made it to the big screen in “Toy Story.” Good Movie. Great movie, in fact. People went nuts. People rushed right out and bought talking Buzz Lightyears, stuffed Woody the Cowboys, special edition Mr. Potato Heads. All the toys from the movie sold like crazy over Christmas. Except the Slinky dog. Why not the Slinky dog? Because it wasn’t available.Shame on the company. That was the tone of the Associated Press news story.As if Betty James had committed a mortal sin against merchandising. How could any self- respecting business miss out on its one chance to profit from a trend handed down by Hollywood itself? A toy industry analyst was quoted as saying, “When Disney is ready to roll, you’d better be ready too.”I thought, Poor Betty. I wondered if she was all curled up in a ball of public embarrassment. So I called her, feeling the way you do when offering condolences to a friend.What happened? I asked.“Mold Troubles,” she said. The original Slinky dog had been out of production for about five years, and she wanted the new one to look exactly like the one in the movie. “And oh, it is cute,” she said. “Wait till you see it. It’s tan with a yellow snout.” She said the dog should hit stores by the end of this month.Wasn’t she upset about missing out on the zillions of dollars that the dog could have brought in?Was she upset she didn’t get it out for Christmas?“I feel bad for the children,” she said. “But they’ll get it in time.”I thought: children? I said: “I mean aren’t you upset that you missed out on the buying hysteria associated with the movie?”“Oh, these people are working very hard,” she said. “I can’t get upset with them.”I thought: people? I’m talking profits here. Wasn’t she upset about missing out on the zillions of dollars that the dog could have brought in?“Oh that.” She laughed. “I can’t get upset about those things. Really, dear. Life is much too short.”I thought: Duh. And I remembered what it was about Betty James that had so captivated me in the first place.Growing up, all she ever wanted was a family. She fell in love with Richard, got married and had six kids. Richard, an engineer, invented the Slinky, made a lot of money. Life was good.She could have caved in. But she didn’t.But then Richard met some strange people. One day in 1960, he announced he was up and moving to Bolivia. He had joined a religious cult, had handed over a lot of money to it. He left Betty with a bankrupt company, six kids and a shattered heart.She could have caved in. But she didn’t. She paid off the bills within four years, sending along thank you notes to people for waiting so long. And more than that, she ran a business with a heart.James Industries became quite profitable. Toy conglomerates offered to buy the Slinky from Betty. “Oh, I was wooed by some of the best,” she would say. “And if I sold, I’d be much better off now. Much better.” But she didn’t. She refused to close the factory. “How could I turn my back on the people who had helped me survive?”Even now, she could do a lot of things to increase profits. She could downsize. She could outsource to some country with cheap labor. She could make the Slinky smaller, or out of cheaper steel. But she doesn’t. “Slinky is like your child, and you don’t exploit your child.”In 1945, a Slinky cost $1. You can still get one for less than $2. “My theory is, if it’s a child’s toy, make it affordable.”I asked her if she’d read the AP news story about the Slinky dog. “It was silly, wasn’t it?” she said. “Honestly, if it was good news they wouldn’t have taken the time.”Then we drifted off the subject. We caught up. She told me that her two old Yorkies, Mork and Mindy, finally died.I told her I got a new dog, too. My dog’s name is Betty. I wasn’t aware I was naming her after anybody. It’s funny the way heroes just get into your system.(Used with kind permission of Jeanne Marie Laskas – January 28, 1996, the Washington Post Magazine)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Posted in fofabvlic

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA premature infant, Kaylin Baker’s heart, no larger than a quarter, would have failed or had to endure invasive open heart surgery and lengthy recovery, if not for a gentler life-saving procedure newly practiced at Texas Children’s Hospital. The Houston Chronicle shows — and tells — how the new approach can “fix even the smallest aortas.”AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Posted in gntmurcj

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore120,000 letters arrive yearly from dozens of countries having made their way to the small town of North Pole, Alaska. “They usually get a reply and a North Pole postmark in a holiday effort that has delighted children all over the world for decades.” (AP) …And, here are a few excerpts from Santa’s letters from children… curious about the facts and eager to show they’ve been good. (AP)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Posted in taxswawl

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore”A father was still emotional yesterday after diving into the Waikato River to save his baby daughter. Jared Bruning, 26, said he thought five-month-old Holli was dead as he dived into the water after her pram rolled off a river path and plunged down a 10-metre cliff into the water.” (photo with story- Waikato Times, New Zealand)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Posted in kbqjkvwa

first_img Psychologist Barbara Frederickson at the University of North Carolina observed how inducing positive emotions in people following a negative experience loosens the vice grip that the negative event holds psychologically. She also found that people bounced back faster physiologically — their cardiovascular activity slowed. When we landed in Chicago I stood up and turned to look at the mother and her child. She smiled a little nervously at me and started to apologize for her daughter’s crying. I stopped her. I pulled my wallet out of my pocket, opened it, and handed it to her. I pointed to the picture of my two little red-headed daughters. I said, “These are my little girls. They’re wonderful. And they cry too. Your daughter is beautiful. Congratulations.” She smiled and said thank you. I smiled and left the plane feeling good (something I wouldn’t have thought possible after the crying began). So the next time a situation seems to be a frustrating dead-end, ask yourself, “What’s my fork?” There’s almost always another road you can take. ______________________ AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreDavid Pollay has advice for anyone in need of rescue from a situation that is so distracting or irritating that you can’t think of anything else. Try this, and see if it works… The plane was full. My seat was 22C. To my surprise there was no one beside me and no one behind me. I felt like I had won the lottery of seating charts. You know the feeling. You can spread out. You can recline without bothering anyone. You can even use two tray tables! I was flying to Chicago to run a workshop. I needed to concentrate on editing my presentation. The peace and quiet would be great. The flight attendants were getting ready to close the doors when I started working. And then it happened. I heard a flight attendant say, “You’re in 23C.” And just as I looked up I heard the increasingly loud sound of a baby crying. An upset baby girl and her mother were coming my way. Right behind me was the seat 23C. Five minutes later the baby’s cry turned into a wail and her little legs were kicking my seat. I couldn’t work with such distraction. There were no answers to my questions: “Why does the little girl have to kick my seat? Isn’t there a way to stop the baby from crying? And why of all places on the plane do they have to sit right behind me!?” I started searching for what I could say, or what I should do. There was nowhere for me to go. When Your Road Turns Negative Create a Fork in the Path Then I smiled. I realized I actually had a choice. I could either see the situation as a dead-end negative, or I could see the situation in another way. I could find another road out and take it. And I did. In that moment I found another way to look at the situation. I now call it “my fork.” I thought of my own children. I started laughing thinking that Eliana, 4, and Ariela, 3, had done their share of crying and seat kicking in airplanes, as hard as we tried to stop it! So I turned the baby’s crying and seat-kicking into a reminder that I have two wonderful little girls of my own. Each time the little girl cried or kicked my seat, I felt grateful for my two girls. Sure I would have preferred the flight to be quieter, but guess what? I was able to work because I became quieter inside. I replaced the negative emotion I was feeling with gratitude for my own children. David J. Pollay is an internationally sought-after speaker and teacher, a syndicated columnist, and is the founder and president of The Momentum Project. Mr. Pollay holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, and an Economics Degree from Yale University. E-mail him your thoughts and stories at [email protected] AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Posted in icxggaqr

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreThe current economic crisis is offering many people the “opportunity” to change jobs and career fields. The American Association of Community Colleges has joined with organizations across the country to provide new directions in employment specifically for people over 50. (Listen to the story at Nat’l Public Radio) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Posted in ihodgrjg

first_img(READ the story in the Washington Post)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 MoreAddThisMoreAs China’s Li Na tossed the ball while serving at match point in the French Open final, a cry from a fan in the stands pierced the silence at Court Philippe Chatrier.Distracted, Li stopped and let the ball drop. The words of support were in Mandarin: “Jia you!” — which loosely translates to “Let’s go!” After so many years of “Come on” and “Allez” and “Vamos,” there’s a new language on the tennis landscape.Li became the first Chinese player, man or woman, to win a Grand Slam singles title.last_img read more

Posted in awzhpora

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreIf you’ve run out of drinking water during a lakeside camping trip, there’s a simple solution: Break off a branch from the nearest pine tree, peel away the bark, and slowly pour lake water through the stick. The improvised filter should trap any bacteria, producing fresh, uncontaminated water.In fact, an MIT team has discovered that this low-tech filtration system can produce up to four liters of drinking water a day — enough to quench the thirst of a typical person. In a paper published this week in the journal PLoS ONE, the researchers demonstrate that a small piece of sapwood (the youngest wood of a tree which serves to move water up from the roots) can filter out more than 99 percent of the bacteria E. coli from water. They say the size of the pores in sapwood — which contains xylem tissue evolved to transport sap up the length of a tree — also allows water through while blocking most types of bacteria.Co-author Rohit Karnik, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, says sapwood is a promising, low-cost, and efficient material for water filtration, particularly for rural communities where more advanced filtration systems are not readily accessible. “Today’s filtration membranes have nanoscale pores that are not something you can manufacture in a garage very easily,” Karnik says. “The idea here is that we don’t need to fabricate a membrane, because it’s easily available. You can just take a piece of wood and make a filter out of it.”Tapping the flow of sapThere are a number of water-purification technologies on the market today, although many come with drawbacks: Systems that rely on chlorine treatment work well at large scales, but are expensive. Boiling water to remove contaminants requires a great deal of fuel to heat the water. Membrane-based filters, while able to remove microbes, are expensive, require a pump, and can become easily clogged.Sapwood may offer a low-cost, small-scale alternative. The wood is comprised of xylem, the porous tissue that conducts sap from a tree’s roots to its crown through a system of vessels and pores. Each vessel wall is pockmarked with tiny pores called pit membranes, through which sap can essentially hopscotch, flowing from one vessel to another as it feeds structures along a tree’s length. The pores also limit cavitation, a process by which air bubbles can grow and spread in xylem, eventually killing a tree. The xylem’s tiny pores can trap bubbles, preventing them from spreading in the wood.“Plants have had to figure out how to filter out bubbles but allow easy flow of sap,” Karnik observes. “It’s the same problem with water filtration where we want to filter out microbes but maintain a high flow rate. So it’s a nice coincidence that the problems are similar.”Seeing redTo study sapwood’s water-filtering potential, the researchers collected branches of white pine and stripped off the outer bark. They cut small sections of sapwood measuring about an inch long and half an inch wide, and mounted each in plastic tubing, sealed with epoxy and secured with clamps.Before experimenting with contaminated water, the group used water mixed with red ink particles ranging from 70 to 500 nanometers in size. After all the liquid passed through, the researchers sliced the sapwood in half lengthwise, and observed that much of the red dye was contained within the very top layers of the wood, while the filtrate, or filtered water, was clear. This experiment showed that sapwood is naturally able to filter out particles bigger than about 70 nanometers.However, in another experiment, the team found that sapwood was unable to separate out 20-nanometer particles from water, suggesting that there is a limit to the size of particles coniferous sapwood can filter.Picking the right plantFinally, the team flowed inactivated, E. coli-contaminated water through the wood filter. When they examined the xylem under a fluorescent microscope, they saw that bacteria had accumulated around pit membranes in the first few millimeters of the wood. Counting the bacterial cells in the filtered water, the researchers found that the sapwood was able to filter out more than 99 percent of E. coli from water.Karnik says sapwood likely can filter most types of bacteria, the smallest of which measure about 200 nanometers. However, the filter probably cannot trap most viruses, which are much smaller in size.Karnik says his group now plans to evaluate the filtering potential of other types of sapwood. In general, flowering trees have smaller pores than coniferous trees, suggesting that they may be able to filter out even smaller particles. However, vessels in flowering trees tend to be much longer, which may be less practical for designing a compact water filter. Designers interested in using sapwood as a filtering material will also have to find ways to keep the wood damp, or to dry it while retaining the xylem function. In other experiments with dried sapwood, Karnik found that water either did not flow through well, or flowed through cracks, but did not filter out contaminants.“There’s huge variation between plants,” Karnik says. “There could be much better plants out there that are suitable for this process. Ideally, a filter would be a thin slice of wood you could use for a few days, then throw it away and replace at almost no cost. It’s orders of magnitude cheaper than the high-end membranes on the market today.”(Originally Published by MIT – Top photo by Sun Star; other photos courtesy of researchers)Thanks to Harley Hahn for submitting the link!AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Posted in fmdcodne

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreRobert Downey Jr. took time last weekend to present Alex Pring with a new hi-tech prosthetic arm designed to look like the red metallic one worn by “Tony Stark” whenever he turns into Iron Man.The superstar celebrity said on Facebook it was an “absolute privilege” to give the custom 3D-printed bionic arm to Alex, whom he called “the most dapper 7-year-old I’ve ever met.” (Watch the video below) Alex’s mom said the change in her son’s confidence after receiving the arm, was instant. “There are no words.”The arm — destined to be the envy of every kid on the playground — was made possible thanks to the combined efforts of Microsoft, the Collective Project, and Limbitless Solutions, a nonprofit group of engineering enthusiasts.Albert Manero, a doctoral engineering student at the University of Central Florida, leads the team of volunteers at Limbitless Solutions. The group uses 3D printing to make inexpensive electronic prosthetics for kids. Normally, a prosthetic arm like Alex’s would cost thousands of dollars, but with 3D printing, the cost to build is cut to just $350. Children get their prosthetics from Limbitless Solutions at no cost to the family.Alex is not the first to receive a superhero inspired limb replacement. In January, “Darth Vader” delivered a Storm Trooper arm to 7-year-old Liam Porter, through the global eNable organization, of which Limbitless Solutions is a part.Tony Stark Wants You to SHARE the Story…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Posted in jycywmjo

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreIn case you haven’t heard by now, a Babson College student from Massachusetts—and ex-Google employee—recently managed to buy the Google.com domain name for $12.On September 29, Sanmay Ved was searching for available domain names online when he came across “Google.com” available for purchase. He had been keeping an eye on the company’s internal domains and so, simply clicked ”add to cart”, and poof, there it was. He was the proud owner of the web address, Google.com.Sanmay Ved, LinkedInShortly afterward, he reported the incident to Google security, who began investigating the purchase.Google has a program to reward people who find “hiccups” or bugs in their system, and Ved asked that the money be donated to charity.“I don’t care about the money. It was never about the money. I also want to set an example that it’s people who want to find bugs– not always about the money,” he told Business Insider.After learning he would be donating the reward, Google offered to double his prize.The company, on Ved’s behalf, will donate over $10,000 to Art of Living India, a program that helps bring educational and humanitarian programs to 154 countries around the world.(Image by Carlos Luna, CC)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Posted in gtzriikh