Earth Inspiring Stories

The World is at Your Command with Google’s Earth Creation Tools

If you have lived in different states or countries or just moved from one home to another in your town, you know homes and even apartments come with their own special sights and sounds along with different smells and changes in taste.

Well now, you can get added help from Google’s Earth Creation Tools to help you collect and share your favorite memories.

People have used Google Earth to view our wonderful planet for almost 15 years.  According to Gopal Shah, product manager, their mission is not about showing people the same old pictures of our planet, they want to bring the entire planet to life!

Google Earth’s placemarks are for storing points to access information for now or later and share with others. Be sure to draw your own placemarks, add shapes or anything else you wish. Attach custom text, images, and videos then organize your own very unique story.  By all means, collaborate with others!

When you are done, you will be ready to share it with the world.  Click on the “Present” button to take your chosen audience on a tour of someone’s excellent journey, a forest coming to life, or a fictional road adventure.

Story-telling Maps

It’s been 2 years since Google introduced Voyager which showed guided tours to the world with added stories. With the launch of the next and best step toward taking the power of map-making and story-telling and handing it over to you.

Their new creation tools are now available on the internet for Google Earth. At this time, there is no word when they will be available for mobile devices which currently only support viewing projects.

You can turn your digital world into your very own story and create a map or story about the places that are so important to you. After all, the world is at your command with Google Earth Creation Tools!

If you have lived in different states or countries or just moved from one home to another in your town, you know homes and even apartments come with...

Inspiring Stories Tech News

New Facebook & Instagram Donation Tools to Rival PayPal

Donating to charities and causes is going to become a lot easier for Facebook users after new changes were announced by the social networking site this week.

Facebook is moving into an industry that is dominated by GoFundMe and PayPal and now the company has announced initiatives such as fundraising stickers on Facebook Stories, and the option to add donate buttons to video game streaming accounts and Instagram business.

The big guns, PayPal and GoFundMe are currently charging users 30cents for every donation, and a 2.9% processing fee.  Where PayPal will allow a lower charge of 2.2% on payment processing for nonprofits, Facebook has completely waived the fee for any type of donation.

People Do Donate

It is working well for the charitable causes too – they are seeing a rise in donors through the Facebook initiatives.  In 2018 PayPal was used by over 55 million people who made donations to nonprofits a total of $9.6billion.  In 2010, $5billion was raised through GoFundMe. Since 2015 Facebook has been instrumental in raising $2billion for nonprofits.

Facebook’s influence in digital payments is growing and this is likely to increase alongside its initiatives to help people fund non-profits.  The platform is keen to encourage groups and private messaging and incorporating donations and, while it will not provide a financial gain, it will encourage users to continue engaging with each other through Facebook.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in May that he was looking to encourage more group conversations on the platform and groups would be a more central part of the platform’s app.  The ability of a group to promote a cause and collect funds will assist him in this goal.

Donating to charities and causes is going to become a lot easier for Facebook users after new changes were announced by the social networking site...

Humans Are Awesome Inspiring Stories

Stranded Bride & Bridesmaid Rescued by Firefighters

This is what happened.  In March, there was an accident that involved two vehicles which ended up blocking two lanes of traffic.  Firefighters from Station 69 noticed a woman in a long wedding dress and her bridesmaid trying to walk through traffic.

They were holding up their gowns to prevent them from becoming soiled.  Even though there were no reports of rain, the area was very muddy.

The bride told firefighters she was getting married but she was late because her limo was stuck in traffic and she needed to get to her wedding.  A representative for the LA County Firefighters told Yahoo Lifestyle, as soon as they had cleared the way, they put the two women in the fire truck and drove them to the wedding.

With the bride and bridesmaid safely inside the fire truck, they headed northbound on Topanga Blvd and turned into the wedding event with lights flashing which made her arrival not only unique but really special.

They looked like they were being escorted to the wedding and as soon as they stepped out of the truck, a photo was taken.

Happy Epilogue

A few weeks later, back at the station, the representative noticed a photo of the bride with her four wonderful rescuers hanging on the wall.  He posted it on his Instagram page  The photo had been signed by the bride and sent to the fire station just a few weeks after the wedding.

The photo read: “Thanks for saving our wedding, The Gormans”.  The firefighter who snapped the photo said they still have no idea what the bride’s first name is!

Highlights of the many diverse duties the firefighters do are the main reason for their Instagram account.  It shows the crew doing everything from battling fires to visiting with local school children.  The representative added that’s sort of the point of this Instagram page.

The representative who runs the page requested his name not be used.  He said there are so many cool things we do that never seem to make it out there.  Bravo to Fire Station 69!

This is what happened.  In March, there was an accident that involved two vehicles which ended up blocking two lanes of traffic.  Firefighters from...

Category - Inspiring Stories

Humans Are Awesome Inspiring Stories Nature & Tech

Ribbons of Life: Bio-diverse Bridge Doubles as a Wildlife Crossing

Australia is preparing to offer recreational opportunities as well as safe lake crossing for both people and animals on Lake Griffin.

CX Landscape designed a ribbon-inspired bridge that resembles natural bushland as a part of the Remaking Lost Connections design competition for Canberra.

The bridge will be called “Ribbons of Life” and will create a sort of “forest shell” over an existing road bridge over Lake Griffin.

The bridge, both fluid and organic in shape, connects two parks – one on the north and one on the south – so that animals have a safe way to cross.

The landscape on the bridge reflects indigenous bushland with rocky areas, windbreak forests on both sides, wetlands, and a nectar meadow. In some areas, the bridge dips down to touch the surface without affecting traffic passing below.

For The Birds

In addition, all throughout the park, there are concrete pedestrian paths aside from the wildlife corridor, and the park also includes a plaza with water views, access to the water and water life observation channel, and a bird observation tower.

In the future, they hope to project Aboriginal art projects onto the bridge surfaces, all powered by integrated solar panels which already exist on the bridge to power lights.

“Our wildlife corridor and the linear park have set an example for the future Garden City Plan action,” says CX Landscape.

“It gives a new direction for sustainable city development, which raises the awareness of environmental threats, and correct the misconceptions of ‘Green represents Ecology’ and ‘Parks means Ecology.’

In respect of nature and local history, reflecting the spirit of the place, our design has established the future direction of sustainable urban development.”

Australia is preparing to offer recreational opportunities as well as safe lake crossing for both people and animals on Lake Griffin.
CX Landscape designed a ribbon-inspired bridge that resembles natural bushland as a part of the Remaking Lost Connections...

Celebs Inspiring Stories

Amal Clooney To Defend Duterte-Critic Accused Of Tax Fraud

The online website Rappler covers human rights abuses carried out under President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.

Duerte is a 74-year-old strongman leader who has made hostile movements against drug abuse and addicts; as a result, his actions have received extensive criticism, and Rappler’s co-founder and editor, Maria Ressa, is one of his biggest critics.

Earlier this year, Ressa published an op-ed in the Columbia Journalism Review where she accused Duterte of campaigning against the media in general and her, in particular. Now, she is being attacked with several libel and tax evasion charges.

Ressa wrote: “Legal hassles can take up 90 percent of my time; a day after our May midterm elections, I was arraigned for cyber libel in the morning and appeared for a case of securities fraud in the afternoon.”

Special Envoy for Media Freedom

Amal Clooney, who was appointed Special Envoy for Media Freedom by the British government, plans to defend Ressa. In the past, Clooney defended two Reuters journalists who were jailed for over 16 months in Myanmar before they were freed.

Doughty Street Chambers, her London-based law firm, made this statement: “Maria Ressa is a courageous journalist who is being persecuted for reporting the news and standing up to human rights abuses.

“We will pursue all available legal remedies to vindicate her rights and defend press freedom and the rule of law in the Philippines.”

However, Salvador Panelo, Duterte’s spokesperson and former legal counsel, responded condescendingly when questioned concerning Clooney’s legal team and their defense of Ressa.

According to ABS CBN News, he said, “When Maria and I debate, she’s at a disadvantage because she’s not a lawyer. She needs a lawyer. There, she has a beautiful, sexy lawyer,” referring to Clooney.

“I’m serious, I’m very serious… Ressa is just looking for an ally. They’re welcome to defend Maria.”

“Amal, she is misinformed. Maybe if we meet I can, to use the words of the President, ‘educate her.’”

In February, Ressa was arrested on cyber libel charges and commented afterward in an interview with CNN that the law was being “weaponized” against critics of Duterte, which is “draining … democracy dry.”

The online website Rappler covers human rights abuses carried out under President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.

Duerte is a 74-year-old strongman leader who has made hostile movements against drug abuse and addicts; as a result, his actions have...

Health Humans Are Awesome Inspiring Stories

Social Media Actually Saves a Girl

Ashley Rosenbaum & J.P. Say A Commenter On Social Media Diagnosed Daughter’s Torticollis

Ashley is the mom of a son Fordham, age 4, and a daughter Essex, age 2. Although everyone has an opinion when it comes to online comments but for some reason, the Bachelorette star Ashley Rosenbaum paid close attention to one commenter on social media.

The commenter said that her daughter, Essex should be taken to her doctor.  It seems the commenter’s diagnosis was actually very accurate.

Twisted?

J.P. said this all started when Ashley posted pictures of Essex on social media.  He said someone sent him a message saying that we should get Essex checked out by our doctor because she always looked twisted, leaving the commenter to believe she has torticollis.

The commenter said that getting her checked out was important because their son had the same thing. Torticollis is an issue that involves the muscles of the neck to tilt downward.  Tortus means twisted in Latin and collum means neck.  It is suggested if your baby has suffered from this condition from birth, it’s medically called congenital muscular torticollis.

Wry Neck is another term for this condition which is pointed out by a disproportional, lopsided position of the head or neck.  This condition is caused by a number of reasons.

Ashley Rosenbaum & J.P. Say A Commenter On Social Media Diagnosed Daughter’s Torticollis

Ashley is the mom of a son Fordham, age 4, and a daughter Essex, age 2. Although everyone has an opinion when it comes to online comments but for some reason...

Inspiring Stories Science

Happy Uplifting Music Will Increase Creativity

A study was performed in 2017 and published in PLOS ONE by Simone Ritter from Radboud University in the Netherlands and Sam Ferguson from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. The study showed that listening to happy uplifting music will generate creative innovative solutions in comparison to silence.

Creativity plays a very important role in our world today.  Creativity generates innovative ideas for a wide range of issues that are addressed with new ideas. One question that constantly arises, what promotes creative understanding?

This has been widely debated and studied and even though music has previously shown to benefit cognition, very little is known how listening to music really affects creativity.

Emotional Music

A further study showed that researchers had 155 participants who completed a questionnaire and were then split into different groups.  Each group listened to 4 different styles of music covering calm, sad, anxious, and happy, depending on their positive or negative emotions.  High or low arousal was also taken into consideration and there was one group that just listened to silence.

Once the music started, the participants performed different tasks that would test their different and connecting creative thinking.  Those who scored the highest had come up with the most creative, original solutions. Those who came in with a single possible solution to a given task scored higher in convergent creativity.

Researchers found that those who listened to classical music, or happy music, showed positive demeanor, high arousal, and promoted creativity thinking vs those in silence. The researchers believe that happy music may actually enhance flexibility in thinking.

In turn, additional solutions might not have been taken into consideration if the participants were in silence when trying to create.

The study clearly showed that creativity may be enhanced through music.  Further research could reveal the different ambient sounds that may affect creativity and those participants of diverse cultures, different ages, and levels of musical knowledge.

The authors also believe that further studies may show that music could promote creative thinking for solutions that are inexpensive and efficient for different areas including scientific, educational, and organizational settings.

A study was performed in 2017 and published in PLOS ONE by Simone Ritter from Radboud University in the Netherlands and Sam Ferguson from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. The study showed that listening to happy uplifting music will generate...

Entertainment News Inspiring Stories

Is Elsa Getting Married in Frozen 2?

For any parent, the joy/fury of listening to your kids singing songs from Disney classic Frozen has been a double-edged sword. It’s great that our kids have such awesome content to watch and to get inspired by, but you might find it hard to actually do the job that you intended – you know, raising them.

With them forever bursting into songs from the classic, you might find it hard to actually teach them about life and the wider world. Well, (some) parents will be happy to know that the sequel, Frozen 2, could be doing a bit of teaching to your kids about the modern world.

It could, for example, introduce your kids to the concept of same-sex marriage. Raising such a topic with your kids is often a bit of a challenge, so some parents might enjoy the rumor that Elsa might be getting a female bride. In an interview with the writer and co-director, Jennifer Lee, there was a rather interesting non-denial, non-confirmation answer given about the topic.

#GiveElsaAGirlfriend

Weirdly, the Twitter world was obsessed with the idea of Elsa having a female partner as far back as 2016. Can anyone else remember the #GiveElsaAGirlfriend hashtag that polluted social media for what felt like forever?

Personally, I’m not really too bothered the gender of a love interest of cartoon characters. However, it is definitely interesting that Disney – and other companies – appear to have a desire to make this more of a theme in their work.

When speaking to the Huffington Post about her next movie, A Wrinkle In Time, Lee said: “I love everything people are saying [and] people are thinking about with our film—that it’s creating dialogue, that Elsa is this wonderful character that speaks to so many people,

“It means the world to us that we’re part of these conversations.”

When pushed further on the idea of Elsa being of such a persuasion, Lee said: “For me … Elsa’s every day telling me where she needs to go, and she’ll continue to tell us,

“I always write from character-out, and where Elsa is and what Elsa’s doing in her life, she’s telling me every day. We’ll see where we go.”

So, yeah, not exactly a confirmation or a denial. It is, though, going to be quite an interesting topic of debate as more information comes out about the movie. One thing that shouldn’t happen, though, is that this shouldn’t become the overarching plot of theme of the entire movie.

While it would be cool to see Elsa end up with a female partner – it feels very much fitting to the character – it seems a bit OTT to make it the primary plot device. Thankfully, that does not seem to be happening.

I look forward to the oppressed, furious heteronormative community absolutely losing their minds about this, too. I’m sure that a kid’s movie having an LGBT protagonist is going to really help this kind of individuals see things clearly. Really.

In fact, the only downside of this story is that could end up becoming the primary narrative about what is, remember, a kids movie. That would be tragic. The movie, though, is sure to be as magical as the first: female partner or not.

For any parent, the joy/fury of listening to your kids singing songs from Disney classic Frozen has been a double-edged sword. It’s great that our kids have such awesome content to watch and to get inspired by, but you might find it hard to actually do the...

Humans Are Awesome Inspiring Stories Vacation

Travel Trend That Every Lady Should Try Out

When it comes to traveling around the world, most of us see it as a social activity. Something to do with a friend or a family member. And it makes sense. A lot of us would rather go traveling with someone; it feels safer, and we can find it easier to connect.

When you travel alone, you often worry that you spend your time traveling in isolation. However, many women are taking to the art of traveling on their own instead of traveling with others. So much so that it has become the go-to form of travel for many females the world over!

And you will know why if you have ever been on holiday with your friends or family. Everything from deciding what you want to do that day, to where you want to go, to what food (and what time) you’ll eat, can be a nightmare. It just becomes hard to do what you wanted to do. You are on holiday, so you should be in more or less complete control about the time that you spend doing things.

When that is not the case, it’s time to act and do something about it. what, though, should you do if you wish to make this the case? Easy: you should look to try and go for a trip on your own.

Start somewhere small, maybe. Don’t travel too far on your own until you know that you like it. You could set a local place in your own country – even your own region – and go there for the day. It would give you a chance to see if you like mingling with strangers, walking around on your own, doing your own thing. Some of us like the idea, but not so much the reality.

A growing trend in female travel

This is, though, one of the biggest trends in modern female travel. Many women are getting to enjoy just spending their time going around and seeing the world at a pace they can enjoy and rely upon.

They are never forced into doing things at a pace they feel uncomfortable with. They are also going to be able to enjoy having total control over what you do. If you want to go and see the sights, you can. Want to just sit on the beach instead of tourist traps? Now you can.

For many people, the appeal stems mostly from having nobody telling you what you can and cannot do for the evening. That is an excellent feeling and will often go a very long way to making sure you can enjoy the wider traveling experience.

There’s a reason why a lot of people just enjoy seeing the world on their own terms. If you want your days to be decided what you want to do, then you should look to try traveling alone. As we say, try going small and then slowly building it up: the results can be rather impressive!

When it comes to traveling around the world, most of us see it as a social activity. Something to do with a friend or a family member. And it makes sense. A lot of us would rather go traveling with someone; it feels safer, and we can find it easier to...

Humans Are Awesome Inspiring Stories

Elena Cornaro Piscopia: The First Woman to Receive a Ph.D

Elena Cornaro Piscopia The Philosopher:

Elena was born on June 4, 1646, in Venice.  She was a philosopher of noble birth and was often known as Helen Cornaro, an Italian philosopher and academic.  At the age of 7, she was considered a prodigy.

She was tutored in Latin and Greek and became a brilliant musician, mastering the harpsichord, the clavichord, harp, and violin.  At the age of 11, she took a vow of celibacy but never let on to anyone.  Later in her life, she became a Benedictine oblate, dedicating herself to God and God’s service.  She devoted 7 years of her life to charity and working with poor people.

In 1678, she was a Venetian philosopher who became the first woman to receive an academic degree and the first to receive a doctorate in Philosophy.  Elena was considered the most learned woman in Italy when she was only 19.  Sadly, on July 26, 1684, she tragically died at the very young age of 38 from tuberculosis.

As of June 4, the world celebrated her 373rd birthday!

About Her Google Doodle:

Her Google Doodle shows Elena reading with shelves of books behind her.  It seems the letters G, O, G, L, and E are placed on the shelves with the O on the back of her book cover.  This design is acknowledging her academic life.

What The Heck Is A Google Doodle?

You view Google Doodles every day on Google’s main page with artwork from so many different artists.  Originally, in 1998, their search engine founders Larry and Sergey drew the first stick figures behind the second “O”, sending a message they were away from the office for the Burning Man Festival and Google Doodles were born!

Since that time, Google has used Google Doodles to celebrate various moments and viewers have embraced them ever since. The first year included a Turkey for Thanksgiving and 2 Pumpkins using the “O”s for Halloween the following year.

Today, Google has a team of illustrators, graphic designers, animators, and other highly trained artists who help create what you see on different days.

New Years 2019, kicked off a great animation for New Year’s Eve and on February 5, 2019,  the Chinese New Years was celebrated with a hand animation that transformed into a pig (the year of the pig).

On March 21, Google Doodle used AI, for the first time, to pay tribute to Johann Sebastian Bach.

I can’t possibly imagine Google’s home page without these wonderful, catching, and even comical Google Doodles!

Elena Cornaro Piscopia The Philosopher:

Elena was born on June 4, 1646, in Venice.  She was a philosopher of noble birth and was often known as Helen Cornaro, an Italian philosopher and academic.  At the age of 7, she was considered a prodigy.
She was...

Inspiring Stories Tech News

Nudes Lined Outside Of Facebook’s Headquarters In New York

Protesters gathered outside of Facebook’s Headquarters highlighting the injustice of gender inequality regarding the company’s nudity policies.

On this particular Sunday morning, from Astor Place, you would have gotten an eye-full as the sun slowly rose.  Approximately 125 people decided to pose naked outside the headquarters to challenge the company’s suppression of artistic nudity.

Participants covered their nipples with stickers of photographed male nipples which were provided by different celebrities including Andy Cohen, Andres Serrano, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, Tunick, Adam Goldberg, and Mpagi Sepuya.

The group worked with the National Coalition Against Censorship to point out their rigid and old-fashioned gender inequality that exists within Facebook’s policies.  It’s deemed acceptable that men can go bare-chested but not women.

#WeTheNipple

Both Facebook and Instagram are on the same page regarding their policies. It seems their policies accept images of nipples when a woman is giving birth, breastfeeding, or revealing scars from a mastectomy.

Global policy management, Monika Bickert marked this up to safety and consent. She told Business Insider, that it’s very difficult to determine the age of a person or to determine their consent.  On top of that, even if it’s obvious the person gave their consent to a photo, did they give consent for the image to be shared?

The NCAC argued that various platforms such as Instagram, have global audiences so banning all photographs of nude human bodies is an outdated and old-fashioned position of shame and censorship.  There never seems to be a problem in artwork found in museums or art galleries, just on social media.

Tunick, the leader behind the Sunday Protest said the work he’s allowed to post is essentially different from the work he made.  He said every pixelated nipple only succeeds in sexualizing censored work.  He also added that censorship actually breaks his spirit.

That said, YouTube has allowed for artistic nudity for a long time after changing their policies more than 10 years ago which seems to have taken place after the NCAC and EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation ) stepped in.

Will Facebook and Instagram reverse their standing anytime soon?

NCAC sent a letter to Bicker requesting they change their stance to welcome and respect the arts.  Director Christopher Finan believes there are many solutions and suggested that individual users have the ability to create filters to screen or block images.

As of Monday, the NCAC said that the #WeTheNipple had been blocked on Instagram and over 500 images supporting the art have been removed.  A spokesperson for Facebook said they have been in touch with the NCAC and look forward to keeping an open dialogue with them and other groups for more details and information.

I guess, only time will tell if both sides of the aisle can come to a compromise.  Nudity is a difficult issue for all involved.  Artistic expression should always have a place while censorship in an effort to protect younger people should be heard as well.

Protesters gathered outside of Facebook’s Headquarters highlighting the injustice of gender inequality regarding the company’s nudity policies.

On this particular Sunday morning, from Astor Place, you would have gotten an eye-full as the sun...

Entertainment Inspiring Stories

Field of Light Installation is Like the Super Bloom on Steroids

The Field of Light Installation by artist Bruce Munro is an immersive art piece comprising 50,000 shimmering lights. The sight of these lights is set against the backdrop of Uluru in the Australian Outback and spread over a vast desert landscape.

This pilgrimage-worthy sight is neither easy nor affordable to get to, so the news that the artist opened an exhibit in Paso Robles, California is exciting for all those passionate about his art designed to illuminate and accent natural beauty.

This newest installation is Munro’s largest one yet, covering a 15-acre hillside in California’s wine country, around four hours north of Los Angeles. The art project, entitled Field of Light at Sensorio, has taken several years to finish, but it is meant only to complement the landscape’s natural beauty, not to add to or take away from it.

“We want visitors to be completely immersed in the environment, inclusive of the stars above,” Munro said to Travel + Leisure. “Everything we’ve created here at Sensorio dips below an elevation of 830 feet, so visitors will feel like they’re being cradled in the valley.”

Field of fiber-optics

Munro designed the 58,800 stemmed spheres lit by fiber-optics and LED’s to glow in varying rainbow-colored hues, giving the effect of the super blooms that covered areas of California this past spring by day. At night, however, is when the sight is most stunning. The ground transforms into a galaxy of stars, unlike anything you’ve seen or imagined.

“The amount of light emitted is surprisingly minimal — about the same as what a couple of houses would give off if they were spread over a 12-acre valley,” Munro explained, “so there’s a balance between the stars on the ground and those in the sky.”

Munro’s hope is that his work creates perspective as well as community. He designed it so that visitors could walk meditatively through the valley, considering the play of the nights on the natural wonders surrounding it.

“I work in light, but it’s not about the light, it’s about emotions,” he said. “I feel that we’re in a moment of history when we have to start questioning our values and getting back to basics. I hope that, in a small way, my installation helps guide you toward the clear sky, literally and otherwise.”

The Field of Light Installation by artist Bruce Munro is an immersive art piece comprising 50,000 shimmering lights. The sight of these lights is set against the backdrop of Uluru in the Australian Outback and spread over a vast desert landscape.

This...

Earth Inspiring Stories

‘World’s Smallest McDonald’s’ Restaurant for Bees Is Now Open

It’s always a joy to travel the world, see different sights, and explore foreign cultures. One of the reasons we travel is to see things that are different from what’s familiar to us. However, some things are all over the world, and one of those is the famous fast-food chain McDonald’s.

Now the restaurant has just done something most marvelous – it’s opened up a new restaurant!

“Now, wait a minute,” you may be thinking. “What’s so novel about that?” Well, this isn’t just any McDonald’s. This one is ‘the world’s smallest’ McDonald’s, and was created just for bees.

Though it’s obviously not serving food since it was created to be a beehive, the detail is amazing. McDonald’s cut no corners with their smallest of restaurants, providing it with signage, seating, drive-thru bays, and the famous golden arches.

This tiny restaurant in Sweden is the first of what the company hopes to be many, many – thousands, even – beehive McDonald’s. This first is a tribute to all of the Swedish McDonald’s, many of which have beehives on their roofs as an effort to assuage the effects of global warming.

Earth can’t live without bees

Bees play an absolutely crucial role in our planet’s ecosystem. They pollinate three quarters of our planet, but the bee population has experienced a serious decline as a result of pesticides and climate change. And no bees means no food.

McDonald’s currently has over 37,000 restaurants open all over the world, and if every one of those hosts a beehive, the positive impact could potentially be astronomical. The company hopes, therefore, that the initiative is taken up not just by Sweden but by every McDonald’s restaurant.

Christoffer Rönnblad, marketing director of McDonald’s Sweden, described it as a ‘great idea’.

According to Adweek, he said: “We have a lot of really devoted franchisees who contribute to our sustainability work, and it feels good that we can use our size to amplify such a great idea as beehives on the rooftops.”

The danger of pesticides to bees

Just last year, a ban on pesticides was put into effect by the EU just after the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reported that neonicotinoids were a serious threat to bees, no matter where or how they were used.

Vytenis Andriukaitis, the EU commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “The Commission had proposed these measures months ago, on the basis of the scientific advice from the European Food Safety Authority.

“Bee health remains of paramount importance for me since it concerns biodiversity, food production and the environment.”

It’s always a joy to travel the world, see different sights, and explore foreign cultures. One of the reasons we travel is to see things that are different from what’s familiar to us. However, some things are all over the world, and one of those is the...

Health Inspiring Stories Lifestyle

3 Ways to Avoid Burnout When You’re Trying To ‘Do It All’

There are certain times in life that call for us to be constantly busy, struggling to balance all the things on our plate all at once. While it cannot be avoided, burnout can! It’s the times that you feel you haven’t a minute to spare to take care of yourself that it’s more important than ever that you do.

Maybe you’re running your kids around while simultaneously juggling everything at home in addition to working a part-time job. The only rest is when your head hits the pillow for those few sweet hours late at night before you’re back at it early the next morning. Your kids and loved ones need you, so what can you do?

Phases like these are what I like to call “soldiering.” Let me be clear, however, that soldiering is not a negative thing. It shows strength and momentum, self-discipline to get done what needs to be done and love for those you do it for. Sometimes, it’s sacrificing what you want for the sake of others, putting yourself second. All this is okay.

Soldiering isn’t a phase that’s meant to last forever. You can only press on with such energy for so long, so know that an end is in sight and that you can carry on until then. And at the end, you can pause to look back at all your hard work has accomplished.

If this is a stage you’ve found yourself in before or are in right now, here are three things to keep in mind to keep from burning out.

  1. Acknowledge that you are soldiering.

Soldiering becomes much more manageable when you acknowledge that’s the state you are in. When you have life on autopilot, you miss out on what goes on day-to-day; you’re not fully present to those around you. But when you’re able to acknowledge to yourself and those around you that you are doing what needs to be done, clarity comes, and you’re able to think through the outcome – the reason you’re in this phase of soldiering to begin with.

  1. Practice self-awareness.

We often avoid self-awareness more than we practice it; sometimes, taking a close look at yourself is just plain scary – we’d rather go on, blissful and ignorant to what is really going on within us. So, self-awareness rarely comes naturally.

But when you habitually make yourself do it, you notice more your behaviours, your reactions, why you feel the way you do. You have insight to see why your environment or your hectic schedule affects you the way it does, both physically and emotionally.

As you look within and understand yourself better, you can make more informed and conscious decisions and impact the quality of your life and relationships positively – both during your soldiering phase as well as when your pace slows.

  1. Take time for self-care.

Yes, it’s appropriate to put others first, to be selfless, but if we don’t take time to care for ourselves, we end up having little to give others. We often feel guilty doing things for ourselves or feel that it shouldn’t be a priority during busy times, but self-care is crucial.

During times like these, you become so energy-depleted and so emotionally drained. There’s no way to continue on if you don’t intentionally replenish and restore these! Take time to grab your favorite meal, read a novel, take a nature walk, or whatever it is that allows your mind and body to rest and recuperate. Just a few moments doing something restorative gives you the energy to tackle each new day afresh!

This season of soldiering won’t last forever, but while it does, utilize these tips to give you strength and help you cope!

There are certain times in life that call for us to be constantly busy, struggling to balance all the things on our plate all at once. While it cannot be avoided, burnout can! It’s the times that you feel you haven’t a minute to spare to take care of...

Fashion Inspiring Stories

High School Junior Makes Dream Prom Dress for Date

When it comes to our High School prom, we all know how big and important it makes us feel. For a lot of kids, it’s one of those nights that they look back on with lifelong affection. Sadly, like most events we go to as teens and kids, our proms are often places where a lot of judgments about people are made.

How expensive your suit/dress is becoming a major part of the argument for a lot of people. Sadly, we live in a society where we rate how ‘cool’ someone is based on how much their parents can afford to spend on a dress.

However, Parker Smith wasn’t one for putting up with such nonsense. This kid, who must go down as one of the most awesome kids in his generation, decided that he wanted to do something special.

Despite having no sewing skills whatsoever, he learned the art and created the dream prom dress for his prom date. She and her family couldn’t afford to buy her the dream gown she wanted, and so Mr. Smith stepped up to the plate – and then some.

His partner for the evening, Addi Rust, couldn’t afford the dream gown that she wanted. So when she asked Parker to make the dress for her – mostly as a joke – he decided to set about doing so. Judging by the photos, he has done an absolutely amazing job on the sewing job.

He would make parts of the dress more than once in a bid to perfect the style and shape of the design. Of course, Mr. Smith didn’t do this all on his own: like any smart boy, he got help from his beloved grandmother to help him make sure it was just right!

A prom dream come true

A beautiful blue ball gown came into being, then, and Addi was able to head off to prom looking absolutely fantastic – while being at prom date with one of the best up-and-coming young sewers in the community, from the looks of things!

He kept adding more and more to it, eventually creating an endearing and creative dress that perfectly achieved the aim: making Addi very happy on her big evening. Addi knew what it was going to look like throughout the process, as Parker kept her up-to-date on the entire process.

She even praised him on social media for his amazing attention to detail, and for creating a wonderful prom dress that, clearly, made her very happy indeed. Remember girls, if you’re going to get a prom date, make sure it’s a guy who has the skills and the self-belief to create an outfit for you!

Playing right up to his role as Prince Charing, he even played the role of slipping on a white heel onto her fool – a proper Cinderella story that we can all enjoy!

When it comes to our High School prom, we all know how big and important it makes us feel. For a lot of kids, it’s one of those nights that they look back on with lifelong affection. Sadly, like most events we go to as teens and kids, our proms are often...