Thursday, May 22, 2014

American John All Survives Fall In Mountain Crevasse In Nepal's Himalayas (VIDEO)

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Good News - The Huffington Post

American John All Survives Fall In Mountain Crevasse In Nepal's Himalayas (VIDEO)

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — An American climber said he fell into a crevasse on a Himalayan mountain in Nepal but managed to crawl to his tent despite broken ribs and an arm before being rescued the next morning.



John All of Western Kentucky University said Thursday he thought he was going to die after falling some 22 meters (70 feet) into the crevasse with no hope of rescue. It took him six hours to crawl out of the hole and another three hours to reach his tent and spent the night in pain before rescuers reached him the next morning, he said in an interview in a Katmandu hotel where he is recovering.



All and his research team had moved to Mount Himlung in north central Nepal because the Mount Everest area was closed last month after the death of 16 Sherpa guides in an avalanche. One of those Sherpa guides was from All's team. They were planning to climb Mount Lhotse, a sister peak of Everest. Climbers attempting to scale both the peaks share much of the route.



"I thought I was going to die, there was no way out. I was alone," All said describing his first thoughts after falling into the crevasse on Monday. "I landed on an ice ledge probably 3 feet wide which saved me from falling further into the crevasse."



He broke five ribs and an arm, dislocated his shoulders, suffered internal bleeding and bruised his face and knees.



He crawled out of the hole using his ice axe but because of his broken ribs and right arm he could only move very slowly. His teammates were in lower camps and would take two days to get to him.



Once he got out of the crevasse, he did not have a radio to call for help so he struggled his way back to the tent and barely made it inside. He texted for help on his satellite messenger. His friends responded and arranged for a helicopter rescue.



"Because of bad weather the helicopter could not reach me on that day, so I knew I had to spend the night by myself," he said adding the he spent hours bleeding and shivering. He suffered from frostbitten fingers.



The rescue helicopter landed in a flat area near the camp at the altitude of some 6,000 meters (19,600 feet) Tuesday. The pilot and another rescuer dragged the 110-kilogram (240-pounds), 6-feet 5-inches-tall All to the helicopter on a sleeping pad and flew him to a hospital in Katmandu where he spent the night in intensive care. He said he checked out the next day despite protest from doctors who wanted to keep him for a week.



All, 44, from Bowling Green, Kentucky, plans to stay at his hotel in Katmandu for a couple of weeks to recover before heading to Peru next month for another climbing trip. He is an experienced climber who scaled Mount Everest in 2010. An associate professor of geography at WKU, All and his team were collecting ice and snow samples to study the level of pollution and rate of glaciers melting.



Health and Fitness - The Huffington Post

Happiness Researcher Shawn Achor Says Sending This Email Could Help You Live Longer (VIDEO)

Harvard-trained researcher and Before Happiness author Shawn Achor says that sending one simple email a day, for 21 days, will immediately increase your happiness -- and may even extend your life.



"Write a two-minute email, or tweet, or Facebook message, or text message praising or thanking one person you know," Achor says. "It's so simple. Two minutes. It's usually two or three sentences, and you do a different person for 21 days."



In experiments with such an approach, which Achor details in Before Happiness, test senders immediately felt happier. More importantly, after 21 days, the senders felt an incredibly deep social support. "And social support, as I was mentioning, is as predictive of how long we'll live as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking," he shares on his upcoming "Super Soul Sunday" appearance.



"We fight so hard against the negative and we forget to tell people how powerful a two-minute positive e-mail could be," Achor says.



Giving a compliment the old fashioned way works, too. "Phone calls are even better," Achor says. "Even better is face to face, that eye contact."



"Super Soul Sunday" airs Sundays at 11 a.m. ET on OWN.



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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

James Grage's Rewired 9-Week Fitness Trainer - Day 24 Chest

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Bodybuilding.com Training Articles

James Grage's Rewired 9-Week Fitness Trainer - Day 24 Chest

International chest day is no longer reserved for Monday! Use today to carve out a We 'Mirin-worthy chest.




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The Guy at the Bar

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GPS for the Soul - The Huffington Post

The Guy at the Bar

He's sitting there, drinking his beer, passing the time. He isn't really talking to anyone. Mostly just letting his eyes drift from the televisions to the patrons to the bartenders and finally back to his beer. Walk into any bar in the world and you will see this guy. He is no one special. He is simply The Guy At the Bar.



I've been The Guy At the Bar 100s of times in my life before, and I've never thought anything of it. But that all changed about a month ago. My handful of minutes spent waiting for my to-go pizza order forever changed how I will look at The Guy At the Bar. I was sitting there passing the time, letting my eyes drift from the televisions to the patrons to the bartenders, and thinking...



"Not a single one of these people knows that I have to go back to the hospital after this and say goodbye to my first-born son."



It was not a Woe Is Me moment. It was Woe Is We moment. How many times had I been sitting at the bar not realizing the guy next to me was fighting his own battle? Or how about across the bar? Or the bartender? Or the guy making my pizza? It was in that moment that I realized a happy place does not always equate to happy people within it. It's easy to look around at everyone having a great time and think how there isn't a care in the world. But the reality is this. There is always A Guy At the Bar. In nearly every situation in our life, there is A Guy At the Bar.



The Guy that cut you off on the highway after work. He's exhausted from spending the past week sleeping next to wife's hospital bed as she fights her own battle with cancer.



The Guy that just brought you a cheeseburger, when you explicitly said no cheese. He's $100,000 in debt from college, and can't find another job as the bills and stress pile.



The Guy that's giving you phone support for your overcharged cable bill. His wife just left him for someone else, and took their 2 kids with her.



The Guy at the airline counter who just told you they oversold the flight and you don't have a seat. He was just diagnosed with ALS, and is planning how to break the news to his family.



The Guy in the express checkout line who clearly has more than 10 items. He is 30 days sober wondering when his next relapse is going to be, and if it will be the final one.



Every single day of our life is just a collection of moments. Moments where we get to choose the person we're going to be. I can flip the guy on the highway off. I can leave the waiter no tip. I can cuss out the cable rep. I can threaten to get the airline attendant fired. I can roll my eyes at the guy in the front of me in the checkout line.



Or I can realize that I don't know their story. I can realize that I don't know what fight they're fighting. I can realize I haven't walked in their shoes. I can realize that at this very moment in time, there's a chance that they're The Guy At the Bar.



Health News Headlines - Yahoo News

My Cancer Brings All the Crazies to the Yard

My Cancer Brings All the Crazies to the YardReal treatments are published, peer-reviewed, and independently verified over a number of years in order to ensure their safety and effectiveness. Cancer is tricky, because we can't at this point cure it, and that scares many people into thinking that's because traditional treatments don't work, when really it's just the best we can do at this point.




'Aliens of sea' provide new insight into evolution

FILE - This March 29, 2014 file photo shows University of Florida neurobiologist Leonid Moroz pulling a net from the Gulf Stream off the coast of Florida, to examine invertebrate species headed for his unique floating laboratory. New research with mysterious sea creatures called comb jellies suggests nature created more than one way to a nervous system. (AP Photo/Lauran Neergaard, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — Exotic sea creatures called comb jellies may reshape how scientists view early evolution — as their genes suggest nature created more than one way to make a nervous system.





Good News - The Huffington Post

21 Innovative Ways To Open A Beer Bottle That Dosen't Involve A Bottle Opener (VIDEO)

You just bought a choice bottle of beer, but forgot your bottle opener. Do you:



A. Go home and cry a lil' bit, while your favorite unopened beer rests quietly on the pillow beside you?

B. Walk the streets desperately looking for a person with a bottle opener?

C. Suck it up and just buy an opener?

D. Open the sucker with a nice pair of heels, a dollar bill or a laptop like it's no big deal?



If you watched the video above, which shows 21 ingenious ways to pop a top without an opener, then you probably chose D.



Thanks to this video, you will never have to cry over an unopened bottle of beer again. You're welcome.






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7 Awesome Life Lessons My Son With Down Syndrome Taught Me

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Good News - The Huffington Post

7 Awesome Life Lessons My Son With Down Syndrome Taught Me

Amy and I had three biological sons when we adopted a 1-month-old little boy with Down syndrome and started taking lessons from him. Jack was fragile. He would require open heart surgery by the time he was 6-months-old.



Jack contracted postoperative pneumonia and it was looking like he might become a part of the 15 percent of children at that time, who didn't make it home after surgeries like his. I still remember his older brothers, aged 6 to 2, standing around that enormous hospital bed looking longingly at a tiny sibling with more wires and tubes than they could count going from his body to the intimidating flashing, beeping and humming medical equipment. Any of us would have done anything to make him well, but there was nothing we could do. As I recalled our five months together, I realized that there were no regrets. That was the first lesson Jack taught me. When death causes a separation between me and anyone I love, I want to have that same feeling. I want to have nothing amiss. If anything has been out of order, I want to have repaired it to the best of my ability.



The next time my son took me to school, he wasn't even in school, yet. Jack didn't walk until he was 3. He potty trained when he was 4. My son didn't progress quickly, but he did progress. If I tried to measure him against his siblings and the rate that they learned, there could only be disappointment. But when we celebrated Jack's accomplishments for what they were to him, and measured them against his own challenges, advancement for him was at least as impressive as it was for any of our other children. I had no idea how important this lesson was until we adopted several more children and eventually learned that some of them suffered from attachment disorders. Jack 101 taught me to allow my children with attachment difficulties the time that they needed to progress. That course also gave me the understanding, that for these children, accomplishments which might have seemed slight to others, could be celebrated by my family as the monuments they truly were.



People like Jack add a happiness and spirit to groups that is every bit as important as physical or intellectual superiority.



The third lesson I learned from Jack happened over time. I guess it was apparent early on, but the more time I spent with him, the more I came to understand how little intellectual prowess means when it comes to how much someone can add to a family, or for that matter, to any other group of people. Jack was often among first players picked for teams, and many times, the opposition would counter by choosing someone with similar challenges. There is no doubt that such actions were acts of friendship and compassion, but there is more to it than that. People like Jack add a happiness and spirit to groups that is every bit as important as physical or intellectual superiority.



It's counter intuitive to believe that words like "favorite" and "best" can be used for a plethora of similar things. That's the fourth life lesson Jack taught me, though. About half of the meals my wife fixes are Jack's favorite, as are dozens and dozens of songs. He has many "favorite" football teams and "favorite" movies. In the beginning, I thought Jack's over-use of words like best and favorite were just a lack of language understanding. It turns out it is I who have a comprehension deficit. Jack is simply saying that these things bring him a maximum amount of happiness and joy. Life would be better for all of us if we could find so much fulfilment and satisfaction from so many competing people and things.



Jack has never noticed skin color, clothing condition, cleanliness and hygiene, or physical/mental handicaps as identifiers.



Jack is happy with Jack. Sometimes he gets discouraged about not being able to have a driver's license, or when a sweet girl, an awesome friend, chooses someone else for a boyfriend. But Jack takes it in stride. The fifth life lesson I learned from him was acceptance. One day, when he seemed particularly clear of thought, he asked his mother what was wrong with him. Her explanation of his condition and clarification that nothing was "wrong" was brilliant. Jack's acceptance of a condition he wasn't pleased with, but couldn't change, was life-changing for me. And to watch him move forward, unhindered, to be the best he could be at what he was best at doing, would be an inspiration to anyone.



The sixth life lesson Jack taught me was about unconditional love. My son is quick to forgive. Even the meanest of taunts or bully behavior are forgotten with a simple apology. Such an offender is immediately re-classified as one of his "best" friends. Jack would give you the shirt off his back, or someone else's back, for that matter. (Hey, if you need it, you need it.) Jack has never noticed skin color, clothing condition, cleanliness and hygiene, or physical/mental handicaps as identifiers. He loves people as much as he can love them no matter what they can or can't do for him and no matter what they look like. I have learned by watching Jack that when you love people unconditionally, they love you back.



Recently, I walked into the house and Jack asked me how my day was. When I responded that it was horrible, my son simply shrugged and said: "Oh well. Try again tomorrow, huh, Dad?" That number seven is my favorite life lesson I learned from that son. No matter how bad my day is, I can always try again tomorrow.



Follow John M Simmons on his blog.



Weird News - The Huffington Post

Teacher Says 'Higher Power' Told Him To Attack Kid On Skateboard

An elementary school teacher in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, who was caught on tape attacking skateboarders last June, says his bizarre actions were guided by a higher power.



Last June, Thomas Hammer, 58, was filmed in San Clemente allegedly pushing a skateboarder and dashing off with the boy’s board.



A YouTube video of the incident appears to shows the boy screaming obscenities while Hammer swings the skateboard and tries to throw it over a hedge.



Hammer said the video snippet doesn't tell the whole story, and that he was trying to prevent the boys from what he considered to be serious danger.



“When I stepped in, I felt compelled by a higher power,” Hammer told the Orange County Register. “Honestly, have you ever been grabbed by the Lord in a way you never thought you would or you could? That’s exactly what I’m testifying to, and I’m not speaking in hyperbole. I’m speaking right from the heart.”







Hammer was arrested and charged with felony grand theft and felony assault.



He was also placed on leave from Cielo Vista Elementary, where he taught second grade, until his legal situation was resolved.



Records show he has been employed by the Saddleback Unified School District since 1998.



School principal Beth Ewing told KTLA that school district staff found the video "disturbing." However, when the felony counts were reduced to misdemeanors, Ewing was reinstated to a support role away from interaction with children.



Hammer was back at work on Monday after serving a two-month suspension, but was suspended a second time after parents like Karly Foster complained.



"It's shameful and unacceptable that the district has even gotten to this point, and that he's on our campus in the first place," Foster, a vice president of the school PTA, told KABC-TV. "As parents, we should feel comfortable to send our students to a safe environment."



To protest Hammer's return, 20-25 students didn't come to school on Tuesday. Their parents said they feared he has anger management issue that haven't been addressed.



One parent did suggest giving Hammer a second chance, but the district chose to place him on administrative leave again. Officials weren't specific about the length of the suspension or whether he would be paid, OCWeekly.com reports.



(h/t: RawStory.com)



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New Review on Dumbbell Shoulder Press

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Bodybuilding.com - 20 Latest Exercise Reviews and Tips

New Review on Dumbbell Shoulder Press


Exercise: Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Review: n/c
Author: Jandf


Date: May 20, 2014 3:33 PM






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New Review on Dumbbell Shoulder Press

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Bodybuilding.com - 20 Latest Exercise Reviews and Tips

New Review on Dumbbell Shoulder Press


Exercise: Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Review: n/c
Author: Jandf


Date: May 20, 2014 3:33 PM






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Mysterious Zigzagging Lights Spotted Over Hawaii

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Weird News - The Huffington Post

Mysterious Zigzagging Lights Spotted Over Hawaii

If this was a UFO, then whoever/whatever was driving it should be arrested for a DUI.



Zigzagging chemtrails and weird lights were seen over most of Hawaii last night, prompting concerned citizens to send emergency picture texts to local newsrooms.



“I just started yelling because I saw like three points in the sky and this line just connected through it," Lori Tungplan told KHON. "And it is like glowing, too. It started intersecting. It started going everywhere. It started spreading.”



The lights were first spotted as the sun set across Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island, and stayed for about 10 minutes, according to witnesses.



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Although an Army spokesperson initially said it was not a military-related event, the Missile Defense Agency and the Navy now say there was a flight test at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai of a new missile defense system. The strange lights, according to the Department of Defense, were most likely caused by the sunset reflecting off of missile trails.



Taken together with whatever fell onto China this week, strange things are happening in the Pacific.



What do you think?


21 Innovative Ways To Open A Beer Bottle That Dosen't Involve A Bottle Opener (VIDEO)

You just bought a choice bottle of beer, but forgot your bottle opener. Do you:



A. Go home and cry a lil' bit, while your favorite unopened beer rests quietly on the pillow beside you?

B. Walk the streets desperately looking for a person with a bottle opener?

C. Suck it up and just buy an opener?

D. Open the sucker with a nice pair of heels, a dollar bill or a laptop like it's no big deal?



If you watched the video above, which shows 21 ingenious ways to pop a top without an opener, then you probably chose D.



Thanks to this video, you will never have to cry over an unopened bottle of beer again. You're welcome.




Plane Passenger Caught With Eggs Down Pants: Officials

SYDNEY (AP) — Australians call tiny swimming trunks "budgie smugglers," but the term might have new meaning after customs officials at Sydney's airport said Wednesday that they found 16 wild-bird eggs in the crotch of a passenger's pants.



The 39-year-old Czech man arrived Tuesday on a flight from Dubai when customs officials selected him for a baggage examination, Australian Customs and Border Protection Service said in a statement. "Officers conducted a frisk search of the man and allegedly found 16 small eggs concealed in his groin area," the statement said.



There was no word on whether it was budgies — small parrots also known as budgerigars — that were allegedly smuggled. The species has yet to be identified.



The man, whose name has not been released, was to appear in a Sydney court on Wednesday charged under environmental protection laws with attempting to import regulated live specimens without a permit. The charge carries maximum penalties of 10 years in prison and a fine of 170,000 Australian dollars ($157,000).


This Is The Correct Way To Check In With Your Sheep Bro (VINE)

Remember the good old days when you could just shout from your window to friends playing outside?



Shaun Murphy remembers. He submitted a Vine to remind us all that personal connections outside of texting still exist between friends, even when that friend is a sheep.



Murphy, who told Reddit he was at his home in Ireland, shared his brief catch up.







"Baaaa" Murphy says in the Vine.



"Baaaaaa" the sheep replies.



Our analysis of the baas has revealed that Murphy was asking the sheep about the weather today.



"Meh, it's ok," we're pretty sure the sheep replied. "A bit cloudy, a bit drizzly, but I got plenty of grass to eat and my best friend -- that's you, Shaun -- to keep me company."



Friendship is so beautiful, you guys.



CORRECTION: A previous version of this story suggested the sheep was a goat. This was wrong. It's not our fault, ok? All we ever do is cover goats. This is literally the first cool sheep we've ever seen. Please forgive us.



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Health and Fitness - The Huffington Post

Working Out Post-Baby, From Jenna Wolfe (VIDEO)

After recently giving birth to a healthy baby girl, Weekend Today Show News Anchor and Personal Trainer Jenna Wolfe had some valuable first-hand wisdom to share with us about getting back in shape after childbirth.



When it comes to how long a woman should wait to work out after giving birth, Jenna feels very strongly that the answer is entirely unique to each woman based on how she feels post-pregnancy.



“What you don’t want to do is go too far too fast,” she warned, adding, “you should 100% get the green light from your doctor before you start working out again.”



Jenna, who started working out three weeks post-delivery, said she waited until her body told her it was okay to push herself again. She started very slowly, walking on the treadmill using light water bottles as weights and eventually moving back into more physical workouts involving squatting and jumping.



Some doctors might advise women to wait at least six weeks before working out post-childbirth, especially if there was a C-section.



“Your body has muscle memory, so once your body is ready to bounce back, you have to slowly re-teach the muscles how to work,” she explained.



In Jenna’s pregnancy, she gained 27 pounds total over the course of nine months, and it took her a little over a month to lose that excess weight. She’s still working on her own personal goals of tightening her stomach again, as well as rebuilding her endurance.



Jenna’s closing advice for new mothers who want to get back in shape: “It took nine months to get your belly that big,” she laughed, “so give yourself at least nine more months to get back in shape. Give your body a break!”



For more of Jenna's exercise tips, view the slideshow below:





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17,000 Sober Hours

2014-05-21-present.jpg

I see joy in my nephews from nothing more than me just being present for the moments that are special to them. (Photo: Cassandra Bradley, BlueSky Studios, Inc).



When I was in rehab, we had a very structured routine. We had to be up and ready at 7 a.m. for breakfast and the morning devotion. After breakfast, we would sit around the kitchen table and each one of us would read out of a recovery daily devotion book. I kind of hated this at the time, because some of the devotions were beyond my limited spiritual mind, but I was always able to hold on to something someone said. I've never heard of a case where a spiritual devotion actually hurt someone's day, so I was patient with the process.



Sure enough, life got better in rehab with each passing day, so it was suggested we stay on the same routine once we were released into the wild (aka society).



Once I got home, I set up a spot in my house where I keep all my devotions and books on recovery that I read daily. It's right outside of my bedroom. Choosing this place was intentional, because it's the first thing I see once I open my bedroom door. So, each morning, I wake up, let my dog out in the back yard, make coffee and sit down for my daily readings.



This morning, for no reason, I checked my sobriety calculator. Not something I do on the regular, but I opened it up and there it was: "You've been sober for 17,000 hours." What? 17,000 hours! For some reason, this really shocked me a little. Maybe because I am used to milestones of sobriety being in days, months and now years for me -- to see it in hours was eye-opening.



So, I paused for a moment and just thought about what that meant to me. 17,000 sober hours.



Not one of those hours was spent wasted drinking at a bar, being drunk, or hung over. I didn't make any trips to the emergency room. I didn't spend any nights in jail. I didn't waste one hour in court. I haven't wasted an entire day sleeping it off and feeling miserable because of drinking the night before. And most importantly, I can account for every single one of those 17,000 hours.



Now, this may not sound like anything special if you're not an alcoholic, but I spent many, many hours of my life in a blackout state. Not recalling what I did or said the night before. Passing out at bars. Waking up in strange places. Most of my hours were spent in a blur or a blackout.



I was usually able to tell what kind of night it was by looking through my phone the next morning. Text messages, recent phone call records, and my picture gallery were often a good measure of what happened -- my mind was not. But still, those were only pieces of the puzzle. Next, I would go down the list calling the friends that I was out with to fill in the missing pieces.



2014-05-21-barstool.jpg

Passed out at a bar with a chair stacked on top of me. No recollection of this until someone text me this picture the next day. (2010)



I guess it was a blessing that I didn't remember some of the more embarrassing things I did while drunk, but I also missed out on what I heard were great nights with friends and precious time with my family.



I wasn't present for anything. Life was just a blur. The number of music concerts and theatre performances that I don't remember is sad. I had to drink for family dinners, nephew's ballgames and birthday parties, sibling's weddings, and even my little brother's funeral.



Putting excessive amounts of alcohol into your body doesn't allow you to be present for life.



So, I guess that is why the 17,000 sober hours really made me think. I am so grateful that I have been present for every single one of them. My senses are alive. Guess what? Feeling won't kill you! I know -- I had no idea either! I know my emotions and I listen to them. I see joy in my nephews from nothing more than me just being present for the moments that are special to them. I remember conversations and promises I make. I show up for commitments.



And really -- it's just called living. Living life on life's terms. Being present. There is no price I can put on the serenity and contentment that the past 17,000 hours have brought me. Knowing that I am not wreaking havoc on the world and those around me is priceless.



You don't have to be an alcoholic to not be present for life. Many things in our lives cloud our mind. But for me, it was alcohol. Realizing it, accepting it and changing it has allowed me to live life on life's terms one day at a time -- or hour, if you will.



Need help with substance abuse or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.



Health News Headlines - Yahoo News

Will the Real 'Best Diet' Please Stand Up

Will the Real 'Best Diet' Please Stand UpIt was completely reasonable for this woman to inquire about ingredients, particularly if she has a gluten intolerance or celiac disease. The problem was the air of judgement, as if only a crazy person would eat a slice of bread.




For a Friend Who, Like Me, Has Thought About Suicide

For a Friend Who, Like Me, Has Thought About SuicideI think about suicide a lot. If you do too, I want to run an idea by you. See what you think.





GPS for the Soul - The Huffington Post

What to Do About the Cranky, Miserable People Around You

So, it's officially here. After much build up and prep, our six-month overseas adventure began about two weeks ago when our plane touched down in Paris.



And it turns out my first life lesson based on this little adventure followed that very morning. We'd gone to a store to stock up on some known culinary entities to ease us gently into our new world of butter, cream and glorious carbs.



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But we didn't just go to any store. We went to the Monoprix.



For those of us who love our big boxed department stores, the Monoprix is a welcome place. It's like the Target of France. And it's beloved by many.



Because as beautiful as the food is in those little, specific, unique shops Parisians seem to love so much...



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... sometimes it's just easier to do it the way many of us are a bit more used to.



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Now, despite its grandeur, the store and its products are still -- as the French would say -- petit compared to what we're used to.



As I commented to Hubbie about the teensie size of a package of toilet paper, the guy next to me -- an American -- said, "It's all like that. Small and overpriced. Get out now."



I laughed at first. "Not a fan of Paris?"



He didn't. "Not at all. I hate it. And I've been here for 30 years."



He then began telling me how miserable his life was, and why he was stuck in it. He tried to convince me that everyone was out to get him, including the cashier at that very store.



He then asked me how long I'd be in Paris, and when I responded his eyes grew wide.



"Three months?!" he said, "Uh-oh..."



And just as he was about to inevitably tell me how horrible my life was about to become, I decided I'd had enough.



"Yes, three months, and I'm pretty excited about it," I said with a smile, a firm tone, and a finger lightly pointed his way, "So don't bring me down. I mean it."



And then, still smiling, I walked away.



We all have people in our lives who aren't exactly, shall we say, optimistic. Many can be pretty cranky, miserable, irritable... all the time.



Chances are you know who I'm talking about:



The co-worker who always stops at your desk to tell you how unappreciated he is by his boss, his colleagues, and everyone else in the entire world

The sister who calls your cell phone relentlessly so she can tell you all about the ongoing, tedious feud with her neighbor

The friend who arrives at your lunch with a heavy sigh as she launches into her gossipy tirade about all of your other, mutual friends

The dangerous thing is that many of them like a whole lot of company with their misery. So they target other people to join them. People like you.



Even when you don't do it, when you sit there quietly, they drain your energy. They create a cloud that surrounds you for hours.



The good news? There's something you can do about it.



You can walk away.



No, really. Whether literally or metaphorically, you can extract yourself from these situations.



You can set boundaries with these folks. You can see them less. You can tell them you can't talk on the phone at your usual time anymore. You can tell them you really need to focus on your work, your kids, your life right now, that you need to stay positive.



Yes, I know. There are some people -- family members and co-workers in the office next door and longtime friends who are part of a bigger circle -- that you can't just walk away from. It just isn't that easy.



I didn't say it was easy. And I didn't say it would bring on the warm and fuzzy for everyone involved.



But this is your life we're talking about. And you can do something to help yourself. You can ease yourself away from these cloud-makers. You can pay attention to who they are. You can recognize who you allow yourself to join.



If you don't want to be cranky and miserable too, then make the choice to walk away. You can do it gently. You can do it with a smile. But you must do it firmly.



Of course, these people may not understand. They might be hurt. They'll probably talk all about you to the next guy they encounter.



But at least that guy won't be you.



That's' why I walked away from the American.



Sure, in the end I might hate Paris as much as he does, but I'm not about to let him decide that for me. And I'm not going to bother talking to him next time I'm in the glorious Monoprix...



... which, by the way, will probably be soon. Because, as much as we love it, stuff from this beloved store won't last forever.



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(Note: actual photo from our bathroom... perhaps our Monoprix loyalty is a bit over the top?)



This week...



Think about the constantly miserable people in your life. Recognize how you allow yourself to be impacted by them... perhaps how you join them.



Then make a decision to walk away, even if you begin with a baby step.



And know how good it feels to have that cloud around you disappear.


18 Things You Miss By Constantly Staring At Your Smartphone

If any doubt remains in your mind that we are, in fact, a society addicted our smartphones, stop what you’re doing and simply take a look around. There's a pretty good chance that the majority of the people around you staring down at their palms, scrolling Twitter feeds or engrossed in texting conversations -- headphones optional. And when you think of the last time you were in the same position, it may be just a few seconds ago.



From strolling down city streets to catching up with friends over the dinner table, we miss out on some of life’s simple joys when our gaze (and our attention) is perpetually turned south to the glowing screen in our hands. We pretend to be still paying attention, still engaging in the conversation, still staying in touch with our surroundings -- but the truth is we don’t multitask the way we think we do. Rather, we just switch our attention from one thing to another very quickly. This constant starting and stopping can actually decrease our productivity by up to 40 percent and increase our stress levels.



What would happen if one day, instead of succumbing to this sensory overload by default, we chose to unplug for several brief moments during the day? If we cut the cord tethering our hands to our smartphones and looked up, what would we see?



Here are 18 things you miss by constantly starting down at your smartphone.



What silence sounds like.



peace and quiet



Relish in the lack of notifications at your fingertips by stopping and listening to the sounds of your natural environment. The only chirping and buzzing you'll hear will come from the birds, the bees and the sounds of the city -- and it could be pretty blissful.



Just how good that morning coffee really tastes.



best coffee



You might be surprised how much more your taste buds react to that first sip of Joe as you head off to the office when you're fully focused on the taste rather than checking your emails simultaneously. A deep inhale of the aroma alone could be enough to help you really wake up and smell the coffee.



The smile of the happiest dog out for a walk.







Who would want to miss a face like that?



Your own thoughts, right now, in the present moment.



woman success



When you stop answering emails, texting your best friend and seeing how many likes your latest status received on Facebook, you'll find yourself alone with your own thoughts. Take this time to let your thoughts wander and pay attention to the activity of your own mind, without judging or controlling. Practicing a little mindfulness (phone-free!) each day can help keep you calm, centered and connected to yourself and others.



The “don’t walk” pedestrian sign.



walking and texting



Walking while texting could have consequences far more severe than tripping on the sidewalk. A recent Ohio State University study revealed that pedestrian cell phone-related injuries have more than doubled since 2005. And it comes as no surprise that adults under 30 are at the highest risk of walking into traffic due to the ever-present distraction. Accidents caused by texting and walking now outnumber those from texting and driving.



A glance and smile from a cute stranger.







From the supermarket produce aisle to the line at the café, there are countless opportunities to meet new people -- but we have to be looking up in order to notice and take advantage of them.



The joy of a nice meal.



fancy restaurant



Instead of consuming your food through an Instagram filter, keep your smartphone away from the table. Without that distraction, you'll be able to appreciate the venue's aesthetic, your meal's mouthwatering aroma, and how your food actually tastes. Savoring the moment will likely prove a whole lot more satisfying than reliving the experience through social media.



The hopelessly-in-love couple in the park.



love in park



Whether you find it adorable or mildly nauseating, people-watching is far more entertaining than staring at your news feed before new updates roll in. Spend your lunch break sitting on a park bench, and observe life unfolding in real time.



The punch line of a hilarious joke.







It's never as funny the second time around, and no one wants to repeat it for you.



The ever-changing beauty of the seasons.



springtime



If there was ever a time to appreciate Mother Nature, it's when the chill of Winter is fading into the beautiful blooms and glowing greenery of Spring. Stop and smell the roses.



The company of loved ones.



happy family



Whether you're on vacation, spending a sunny Saturday afternoon outside or simply watching television at home together, leave your phone out of the mix. Even if you're not engaged in a deep conversation, signaling that you're available and approachable is likely to inspire more memorable moments than when you're zoning out with a game of Candy Crush.



An unexpectedly talented street performer.







The next time you hear music blasting in the train terminal, on the beach boardwalk or beneath the park bridge, look to see where it’s coming from and enjoy the spontaneity of the show -- and maybe even have a good laugh!



The pure joy of small children.



childcare



Take a pause to watch children playing, listen to their laughter and appreciate how their creative, uninhibited minds work. Who knows, maybe you'll be tempted to make time for a little more play in your own life.



The latest installation of graffiti art on your block.



graffiti



Street art can be a rich source of everyday inspiration, so make sure you take the time to stop and appreciate it. It could inspire a creative idea, spark an emotional reaction or simply make your walk that much more interesting. Plus, the daily transformations will never cease to amaze you.



The closed door in front of you.







Enough said.



Someone telling you that they care.



distracted lovers



It's likely that you've been caught staring at your phone while someone is speaking to you at some point or another. Guilty as charged. But next time, consider the importance of what they might be telling you, how much you actually want to hear it, and how badly they want to be heard. That unread text message can wait.



The story your child has been dying to share with you all day long.



on phone ignoring child



Be just as diligent about scheduling in downtime as you are with prioritizing work time. It may be challenging to unplug, even if just for a few hours at the end of the day, but your loved ones (especially your kids) will appreciate your undivided attention when they're telling you about their day.



The beauty of natural light -- not what’s emitted from your smartphone.







A whole new world exists beyond that little screen. It's about time you look up and experience all that it has to offer.




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