DIY Therapy For Mental Health Sufferers

Growing up, I’d been told my paranoia was all in my head. Therapy was never an option due to my conservative background. I took mostly to self-help books and meditation, with no plan of action. Now, graduate designer Sara Lopez Ibanez has put together a kit that allows users to assess their mental health.

“The tools are a set of exercises to help understand emotional distress and how to feel better about it,” [Ibanez] said. “They were designed with people who have had experiences of mental health, in order to help others navigate their problems and reach out for help.”

The kit, dubbed Mindnosis, includes several tools. Discover comprises six colored triangles representing different aspects affecting the user’s wellbeing. Users can paste these onto a record journal. Try Out is a collection of activity cards, and Learn is a handful of informative cards.

“I believe it is important to be able to explore your concerns and try to make sense of them, before you feel ready to open up to others. As well as giving you information about wellbeing initiatives happening locally, so you have plenty of free resources while you wait for an appointment.”

Speaking about one’s emotions is never a simple task, but certain tools make it easier to do so. Nowadays, mental illness sufferers are getting the help they need–whether by virtual therapy or other means.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

Woman Goes The Distance To Save Swan

People putting their lives on the line for animals is not unheard of. Owners have made risky moves to save their pets, crossing busy roads and battling venomous snakes. But Coleby woman Pammi Moss pushed boundaries to save a swan trapped in fishing wire by jumping into Brayford Pool.

“At first I thought they were just admiring the swans but then I realised that the cygnet was on its side and it’s head was in the water. It raised its head a couple of times but it kept going under. I yelled that someone needed to do something… but we didn’t have time so I just went through the railings.”

Pammi’s bravado caught the attention of bystanders, who eventually wanted in on the rescue. She eventually gave the cygnet mouth-to-mouth, but to no avail.

“I just wish I’d been able to do more though – maybe if i’d been five minutes earlier?”

The cygnet is thought to be called Solo, who was around two months old.

The Yorkshire Swan Rescue now considers Pammi and unlikely hero. So whether you are delivering baby gorillas or fighting for elephant rights in Africa, consider yourself a champion for animals.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

Potential Cure For Diabetes Involves Mice

Often the guinea pigs of science, mice have surely seen better days. However, in a recent study on treatment options for diabetes, the mice tested experienced no side effects. In fact, they may have led us to a cure.

The discovery, made at The University of Texas Health Science Center… increases the types of pancreatic cells that secrete insulin.

UT Health San Antonio researchers have a goal to reach human clinical trials in three years, but to do so they must first test the strategy in large-animal studies, which will cost an estimated $5 million.

Talk about cash for a cause! To achieve the cure, researchers used a therapy method called gene transferring.

A virus is used as a vector, or carrier, to introduce selected genes into the pancreas. These genes become incorporated and cause digestive enzymes and other cell types to make insulin.

The therapy regulates blood sugar in mice with extreme accuracy, which is something insulin hasn’t quite mastered. Gene transferring, however, replicates the characteristics of lost beta cells in diabetics.

So far, 2017 has been a milestone year for medical advancements. Alongside diabetes, treatments for ALS have also seen some improvements. So whether we’d like to think otherwise, a lot of medical breakthroughs wouldn’t be possible without our good old friend Mickey.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

Solar Farm In China Proves That Sustainability Can Be Fun

Solar power, despite its benefits, doesn’t usually get the attention it deserves. While we don’t normally consider sustainability ‘fun’, China seems to think it can prove otherwise. Datong hosts the Panda Power Plant, which–you guessed it!–is shaped adorably like a panda.

There’s a new contender for the cutest solar farm in the world: the Panda Power Plant, which will have an aggregate installed capacity of 100 MW. The black parts of the panda… will be comprised of monocrystalline silicone solar cells, with the grey and white tummy and face composed of thin film solar cells.

The power plant does not only provide clean energy. Its activity center hopes to educate schoolchildren on the benefits of sustainable development. When I was a kid, it was simply lights off, or else!

The 100 MW Panda Power Plants will be able to offer 3.2 billion kilowatt-hours of green power in 25 years… saving 1.056 million tons of coal and reducing carbon emissions by 2.74 million tons.

Over the past year, China has become a new contender in clean energy, also providing its citizens with air-purifying bikes. Perhaps pandas (and humans) will get the breath of fresh air they so desperately deserve!

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

Color-Changing Food Labels Help Reduce Waste

Ever waste a perfectly good packet of bacon because you forgot how long it had been open? An abundance of meaty landfills will prove you’re not the only one. To reduce the amount of food waste in households, Sainsbury has launched ‘smart labels’ to remind consumers when to use certain packets.

The new label changes colour from yellow to purple the longer the pack has been open. Sainsbury’s says it hopes this will reduce the amount of perfectly good ham being thrown away.

To be honest, as a regular in the kitchen, I could always use a gentle reminder. I don’t always see a packet of ham to its end. But the fun doesn’t stop there. The label is also temperature-sensitive and part of Sainsbury’s “waste less, save more” initiative.

The label is among many new technological initiatives – including mobile apps, scales that calculate the financial cost of food waste, and even smart fridges and cameras – which it is hoped will transform the way consumers shop and control their domestic food waste.

It’s no surprise that the labels hail from the U.K. The average British family tosses £700 worth of food annually. Most of us are probably wishing these labels were hitting our shelves–but not to worry. Other worldwide groups are taking initiatives to improve the environment.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

India Sets World Record For Planting Trees

While we may ascribe India to its dense population, we might not say the same for its trees. At least not until now! On July 3, 2017, 1.5 million volunteers planted a record-breaking 66 million trees in only 12 hours.

The campaign was organized by the Madhya Pradesh government, with 24 distracts of the Narmada river basin chosen as planting sites to increase the saplings’ chances of survival. Volunteers planted more than 20 different species of trees.

India committed to increasing its forests by 5 million hectares before 2030 and it appears to be keeping its word. Volunteers included children and the elderly, who planted 66.3 million saplings from 7 am – 7 pm. If my math is as good as I think it is, that’s around 44 trees planted per person!

“By planting trees we are not only serving Madhya Pradesh but the world at large.”

India is the world’s third largest generator of carbon emissions. Prime Minister Narendra Modi… reaffirmed his country’s commitment to the Paris climate accord after the US withdrew from the deal.

Not only did India break record; it broke its own record of having planted 50 million trees in a single day in 2016. That’s what I call commitment to the cause! If tree-planting isn’t at the top of your list, there are many other ways to combat climate change.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

When You Diet You Lose More Than Just Weight

I am not a heavy set woman. Granted, I am nowhere near a size 2 either. I am a solid in-between, healthy, and yet social media tells me I am plus sized. By no means am I obliged to lose any weight. Yet, time and again, I opt for the occasional diet, whether by means of a detox or regulating my meals. The reason? Simple–I care what I look like, and I am allowed to.

Most my relatives are diet skeptics. “It’s dangerous.” “It’ll make you sick.” I’ve heard every possible concern. But just as my weight shouldn’t be anyone’s problem, neither should be my decision to lose it.

I have often been told that dieting will not make me feel better about myself–perhaps it is the case for some. Dieting is not all about weight, or rather the loss of it. Over the years, it has given me a sense of control. As a person who struggles with anxiety, being in control of something is empowering.

Calorie counters are notoriously pegged obsessive-compulsive. But working with the mathematics of food can be liberating. I am inarguably right-brained, so numbers come as a challenge. Being able to grasp something that is naturally foreign to me is nothing short of a success. Plus, I get to see food in an entirely different light–as something that is also calculated. After all, a lot of thought goes into preparing a meal.

When I am not dieting, I fall victim to overeating. There’s nothing like a hand-tossed pizza drowning in pepperoni and mozzarella, and unfortunately, it’s a trendy household meal. With the current accessibility of deliveries, people no longer turn to their kitchens for dinner. They simply don’t have the time. Being in shape demands effort, and with it, I’ve learned commitment. This isn’t to say I don’t reward myself with a cheat day at the end of every week.

Dieting doesn’t so much revolve around restraint, but also allowing yourself to enjoy when you know you’ve earned it. Knowing I’ve lasted six days without giving in to a single cookie brings just as much a sense of accomplishment as I do in my working and personal life.

I also realize much is lost when you diet–not just weight. I lose my toxicity, not only from grease and oil. I feel internally cleansed. I am ridding myself of parts of me I no longer want to hold on to. I am not always satisfied with how I look, and I think that’s okay.

I have heard whispers: “She could shed a few pounds.” “Her thighs are gigantic.” “She used to be so skinny.” I won’t say it doesn’t affect me. But it isn’t from where my motivation to eat healthy stems.

I am inspired by the fact that I am perfectly content with change. It will come around either way. I don’t diet out of shame, nor for anyone else, but out of love for myself and who I want to become.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

In-Ride Shopping Helps Uber Drivers Make Extra Cash

Rush hour is not anyone’s favorite time of the day, but from time to time, we inevitably find ourselves in the middle of it. However, 15-minute-turned-2-hour drives don’t always leave us prepared for hunger pangs and total boredom. Cargo, a startup that allows Uber drivers to sell a quirky mix of items mid-ride, is not only helping them make an extra buck, but also alleviates our traffic-induced hiccups.

Cargo partners with brands to put candy, protein bars, tampons, and condoms in a case that sits within reach of passengers. The case comes with a code unique to each driver, which passengers use to record what they took during the ride.

Drivers get a bit of extra money from Cargo for the things their passengers take, regardless of whether the riders made a purchase or just took something for free. Passengers can even tip their drivers through Cargo, too.

While the extra income earned from Cargo is nothing hair-raising, drivers are not charged for having a case of goodies in their car.

“Our mission is to help drivers earn more by providing the best ride experience possible,”

“For passengers, you never have to worry about your phone dying, riding hungover, or suffering through that snack-less midnight ride from the airport,”

Cargo is clearly going above and beyond simple customer care, and we couldn’t be more grateful!

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

Plus-Size Model Shuts Down Fat-Shamer On Plane

In a society so diverse, body-shaming should be a thing of the past. Unfortunately it isn’t, and especially not for plus-size model Natalie Hage, who was fat-shamed by her seatmate on a flight to Los Angeles. The man had sent hateful text messages about her figure to a friend. However Natalie, who was clearly over it, refused to allow herself to be belittled and confronted the man.

In a photo she posted on Instagram, you can see a portion of the exchange, which starts with the friend saying, “Hopefully she didn’t have any Mexican food.” The man responds, “I think she ate a Mexican.”

Ouch. Netizens were quick to respond with support for Natalie, who blessed the Internet with a video of her conversation with the man.

Hage begins by introducing herself and calling him out for the text messages. He immediately denies it. Then he apologies, claiming he did it because he was drinking.

Hage responds with absolute bravado before exiting the plane.

“My body is none of your business, and you have no idea what I can or can’t do with it…don’t ever treat anyone like that again,” she says.

You go girl! If this man couldn’t get the picture, we’re at least hoping he learns that there is no correlation between alcohol and how you treat a person.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

Pet Insurance Is Now A Thing

Nowadays, pets are pampered more than ever before. From posh buggies to personalized raincoats, it wouldn’t be surprising if pet insurance soon became a reality. Well, luckily for pet owners in Silicon Valley, it is.

Lately, employee benefits have extended to pet insurance for dogs and cats as businesses look for more ways to attract and retain workers.

Rich Lang, senior vice president of human resources at VMware in Palo Alto, said offering pet insurance as an employee benefit aligns with the company’s core value of building community.

My Pet Protection offers plans from $40 to $66. But what exactly does it cover?

The price covers accidents, illnesses and preventive care such as vaccinations, flea medicine and wellness exams — but not preexisting conditions.

The cost of insurance almost pays for itself because of the coverage for monthly heartworm and flea medicine, and tests or shots.

As an avid animal enthusiast with an accident prone dog, I have definitely hopped on the bandwagon. Will you be signing your pet up for insurance?

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends: