Archive for July, 2008

WE’VE MOVED — AWWWWW.WORDPRESS.COM IS NOW AWWWWW.ORG

July 11, 2008

We’ve officially left the free blog world and ventured out on our own. awwwww.cc AKA awwwww.wordpress.com is now AWWWWW.ORG

Top 20 Tips to Great Motivation – An Overview

July 9, 2008

For the last two weeks I’ve been posting the Top 20 Motivation Hacks, one by one. These are the tips and tricks that, if used in combination, are a nearly sure way to achieve your goals.

Achieving goals is not a matter of having “discipline”. It’s a matter of motivating yourself, and keeping your focus on your goal. Follow these hacks, or any combination of them that works for you, and you should have the motivation and focus you need.

Here they are, in reverse order (links take you to more on each):

#20: Chart Your Progress. Recently I posted about how I created a chart to track my progress with each of my goals. This chart is not just for information purposes, for me to look back and see how I’m doing. It’s to motivate me to keep up with my goals. If I’m diligent about checking my chart every day, and marking dots or “x”s, then I will want to make sure I fill it with dots. I will think to myself, “I better do this today if I want to mark a dot.” Well, that’s a small motivation, but it helps, trust me. Some people prefer to use gold stars. Others have a training log, which works just as well. Or try Joe’s Goals. However you do it, track your progress, and allow yourself a bit of pride each time you give yourself a good mark.

Now, you will have some bad marks on your chart. That’s OK. Don’t let a few bad marks stop you from continuing. Strive instead to get the good marks next time. (more…)

The Golden Money List: Hundreds of Tips for Turning Your Financial Life Around

July 9, 2008

Ever since I got out of debt, I haven’t written much about personal finances, simply because it’s not one of the main focuses in my life. Still, I’ve written a lot about finances in the past — frugality, debt reduction, budgeting, and more — and I think there are a lot of useful articles that newer readers might have missed.

I’ve learned a lot about personal finances in recent years, and I hope my lessons will prove valuable to you, or at least stir up some thoughts that help you in your journey.

I’m not a financial expert, of course, and all of this is simply from my personal experience, with my odd personal take on finances — don’t get into debt, be frugal, eschew credit cards. Please, please don’t start the old credit card arguments again — we’ve gone over them many times on this blog.

So here it is — a list of the best money articles on Zen Habits, as a resource for anyone trying to live more frugally, get out of debt, save money, or simply create a better financial system in their lives. Bookmark it for future reference if you like. Enjoy! (more…)

12,000 Ottawa students smother record in hugs

July 9, 2008

Thousands of students from 10 Ottawa high schools think they may have squeezed into the Guinness Book of World Records with the world’s biggest bear hug.

Organizer Peter Lamothe, who works at St. Matthew Catholic High School, estimated that 12,000 students, teachers and parent volunteers took part in a gargantuan group embrace Friday as part of an effort to raise more than $150,000 for the Ottawa Hospital Foundation, the CHEO Foundation and the Ottawa Senators Foundation.

Byron Shaw, a student at St. Matthew who raised $1,500 said students won’t know until later whether they actually broke the record, but are hoping they succeeded and had fun in the meantime.

“We felt like connected with everyone else and I was in between two Canadian Mounties — it was pretty cool,” said Shaw, who joined thousands of others to encircle the Rideau Canal from the Pretoria Bridge to the Laurier Bridge. (more…)

Baby’s first smiles give mom’s brain a buzz

July 9, 2008

Tiny grins light up reward centers that lead to quality care, study says. Any mother who’s ever felt a jolt of joy at her baby’s first grin knows how intoxicating that can be.

Now, scientists at the Baylor College of Medicine say there’s more to the baby buzz than just a rush of happy feelings. Turns out that seeing your own child smile actually activates the pleasure receptors in the brain typically associated with food, sex — and drug addiction.

“It may be that seeing your own baby’s face is like a ‘natural high,’ said Lane Strathearn, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor and and Texas Children’s Hospital who studied the brain reactions of 28 first-time moms.

“We know similar brain circuits are activated,” he added. “Whether that feels the same as a shot of cocaine, I’m not sure.” (more…)

A Daughter’s True Love

July 9, 2008

Seven-Year-Old Alexis Goggins Takes Six Bullets to Protect Her Mother. Seliethia Parker always saw her role as protector for her 7-year-old daughter, Alexis Goggins. But it was Alexis who ended up saving her mother’s life by using her little body to shield her mom from a fusillade of bullets.

Doctors told Parker that her heroic little daughter, who was shot six times, would never walk or talk again.

But Alexis has surprised people with her gritty toughness. She’s not only walking and talking, she’s expected to have a full recovery.

“Everybody’s still kind of shocked. This is progressing a little bit more than everybody expected,” Parker said on “Good Morning America” today. “They said she should fully recover.”

Alexis was shot last December when she and her mother were about to get into a car driven by Parker’s female friend. Parker’s former boyfriend, 29-year-old Calvin Tillie, jumped out of nearby bushes and forced his way into the car. (more…)

‘Breathe’ concert to praise smokeless air

July 9, 2008

HONOLULU, HI – The American Lung Association of Hawaii (ALAH) therefore is resolved to begin 2008 by rallying support in the community to advance the cause of lung health.

The first annual “Breathe Concert—Clean Air for Everyone” featuring a top lineup of Hawaii entertainers will begin at 7 p.m. on January 12th at the Hawaii Theater. Among more than 20 entertainers are numerous Hoku and Po`Okela award winners. ALAH Executive Director Jean Evans said Hawaii’s finest entertainers will lend their support to retaining existing laws that protect the quality of the indoor air in which they perform. The concert will be held four days before the State Legislature convenes.

“Our timing is no coincidence,” Evans said. “Passage of the law that prohibits smoking in bars, restaurants, airports, offices and all other public spaces was a milestone in public health. We must protect this pro-health law and focus attention on the necessity to retain and strengthen it during the 2008 legislative session. In addition, we must continue our funding to support adults and children who suffer from asthma and other chronic pulmonary diseases. This fabulous concert will help us do that.” (more…)

Man Saves Black Bear From Drowning

July 9, 2008

Animal Had Wandered Into Fla. Neighborhood; Bolted Into Gulf Of Mexico After Being Hit With Tranquilizer Dart. A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) biologist pulled off a daring rescue off the Panhandle — that of a bear.

Officials say a 375-pound male black bear was seen roaming a residential neighborhood, evidently in search of food, near Alligator Point, some 40 miles south of Tallahassee.

The bear was hit with a tranquilizer dart, but he managed to bolt into the Gulf of Mexico before the drugs took effect.

At that point, FWC biologist Adam Warwick jumped in to keep the bear, who was some 25 yards offshore, from drowning. (more…)

Filipina With Upside-down Feet Walks For 1st Time

July 9, 2008

A Filipino teenager who came to New York so doctors could perform surgery to untwist her severely clubbed feet took her first unaided steps Wednesday in pink-and-white sneakers _ the first shoes she’s ever worn.

“I’m very happy,” Jingle Luis said with a smile. “It was exciting.”

The 15-year-old girl arrived at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx in May with her mother for surgery and follow-up treatment.

She had never been able to walk on her own because she was born with feet so clubbed they twisted backward and upside down, forcing her to hobble on the tops of her feet with the help of crutches.

On Wednesday, doctors took off her post-surgical casts and replaced them with special support braces. (more…)

French Senators Give Ovation to Freed Hostage

July 9, 2008

Paris, France – Freed hostage Ingrid Betancourt has been welcomed by French lawmakers with a rousing standing ovation.

With tears in her eyes, Betancourt gently shook her head in disbelief as senators rose to their feet to applaud her on Tuesday. Christian Poncelet, president of the French Senate, encouraged those in the auditorium to stand, crying ”Debout! Debout! (Stand up!)”

Poncelet praised Betancourt’s courage and tenacity, saying she had always been in senators’ thoughts during her more than six years as a hostage of leftist rebels in Colombia.

Betancourt is French-Colombian. Colombia’s army freed her and 14 other hostages from the FARC rebels in a daring rescue last week.

The Associated Press

Kyle Taylor’s ‘Dream it. Do it.’ World Tour

July 9, 2008

A year ago, Kyle Taylor approached Ashoka with the idea of travelling the globe to meet up with and document the stories of thousands of youngsters who are creating social change – just like him. “All these young people are having an incredible impact on their communities and it was my hope that by telling their stories I would inspire others to action as well,” Kyle explained.

Working to build a powerful network of young changemakers from around the world, Ashoka’s Youth Venture programme provides coaching, resources and seed funding for young people to launch and run sustainable community-benefitting ventures. “We believe it will catalyse a cultural sea of change, trans-forming a generation of young people into capable leaders,” say Ashoka. (more…)

Prince Harry: Diana Would be Proud of Charity

July 8, 2008

BUTHA-BUTHE, Lesotho – Prince Harry says his mother would be proud of the work he and his regiment are doing to revamp a school for disabled children in the impoverished African kingdom of Lesotho.

Prince Harry was speaking Tuesday at the Thuso Center in a village outside the Lesotho capital, Maseru.

Prince Harry says he pushed wheelbarrows, filled trenches and worked up a sweat, saying: ”It would be wrong for a patron of a charity to not get involved.”

He is in the country with his regiment, the Household Cavalry, assisting with projects run by Sentebale, the charity the prince set up in his mother’s memory with Prince Sessio of Lesotho.

By Associated Press

Colorful insects help search for anti-cancer drugs

July 8, 2008

Brightly-colored beetles or caterpillars feeding on a tropical plant may signal the presence of chemical compounds active against cancer and parasitic diseases, report researchers writing in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. The discovery could help speed drug discovery.

Scientists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) and other organizations collected beetles and caterpillars on plants that produce compounds with and without activity against various cancers and parasites. They found that insects showing warning coloration — bright colors and bold patterns — were significantly more common on plants that contained anti-cancer and anti-parasite compounds. There was no difference in abundance of plain-colored insects between plants with and without bioactivity. (more…)

Some Accomplishments of Athletes Over 40

July 8, 2008

A look at a few of the major accomplishments over the past quarter-century by athletes who were past the age of 40:

Dara Torres: At age 41, the swimmer wins two events at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, the 50- and 100-meter freestyles, setting an American record in the 50 free. She has opted not to compete in the 100 free at the Beijing Games.

Eamonn Coghlan: In 1994, the 41-year-old Irish miler and former world champion at 5,000 meters becomes the first person over 40 to run a sub-4 minute mile. Coghlan clocks a 3:58.15 at a race in Cambridge, Mass.

George Foreman: In 1994, at age 45, the boxer regains part of the heavyweight title he lost to Muhammad Ali 20 years earlier, stopping Michael Moorer with a two-punch combination in the 10th round. Foreman captures the IBF and WBA championships to become the oldest champion in any weight class.

Jack Nicklaus: In 1986, the golfing great wins his last major championship, the Masters, at age 46.

Nolan Ryan: In 1990, at age 43, threw the sixth no-hitter of his career, blanking Oakland 5-0 while pitching for the Texas Rangers. The next season, at age 44, Ryan tossed his seventh no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Darrell Green: Elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in February in his first year of eligibility, the Washington Redskins cornerback was 42 when he retired after the 2002 season. He had at least one interception in 19 consecutive seasons.

Martina Navratilova: A month before her 50th birthday, in 2006, the tennis champion finished her career by winning her 59th Grand Slam title, teaming with Bob Bryan to take the mixed doubles championship at the U.S. Open.

The Associated Press

HELP founder awarded for commitment to orphaned chimpanzees

July 8, 2008

Aliette Jamart’s untiring commitment to return orphaned chimpanzees back to the wild in Africa, has led to one of the most successful reintroduction programs in conservation history. As a result, she has been awarded the Legion of Honour and ranked as a Chevalier – or Knight – by the Government of France.

Aliette is the founder of HELP-Congo, the Habitat Ecologique et Liberte des Primates sanctuary in the Republic of Congo, which began rescuing orphaned chimpanzees in 1989.

“We are extremely proud of Madame Jamart,” said Doug Cress of PASA, the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance. “Not only did she create a sanctuary in Congo at a time when few existed, she also took the work one step further and proved that chimpanzee reintroductions could work. Today, more than half of our sanctuaries are committed to these programmes and HELP-Congo is still the model we use.” (more…)