15 Volunteer Firefighters Rescue ‘Precious’ The Wiener Dog (VIDEO)

Green – The Huffington Post
15 Volunteer Firefighters Rescue ‘Precious’ The Wiener Dog (VIDEO)
‘Precious’ never knew her Monday night trip to the bathroom would turn into such an ordeal.

After the 4-year-old dachshund fell into a groundhog hole outside her home in Penn Hills, Pa., she got stuck behind a retaining wall. But 15 volunteer firefighters dedicated more than two hours to safely getting her out, WTAE4 reported.

The firefighters dug the pup out from the side of a small hill, and owner Abby Hile was there to pull Precious free when they finally reached her pet. The tiny wiener dog was frightened and a little dirty but otherwise safe and sound.

The remarkable rescue is one of many to happen in the past month. Just two weeks ago, a stray dog in Los Angeles was rescued with the help of Google Maps. And last month, a group of windsurfers saved a stranded puppy who was found paddling in the middle of the San Francisco Bay.

H/T: NY Daily News

The Ethical Burrito
Rarely do advertisements have a particularly immediate or visceral impact. They tend to whiz by muted and unnoticed. Why would we pay attention to something we’ve seen (in one form or another) a million times before? How many different types of animal will it take to sell me car insurance?

There are exceptions to the rule. Such exceptions tend to debut in one loud, Technicolor chunk during the first week of February in front of what is often considered to be the world’s largest consistent television audience. But occasionally an advertisement bucks both these trends, grabbing our attention without the aid of the biggest football game of the year. Against all odds Chipotle seems to have done just that. Their animated short, which sketches out the evils of factory farming, is compelling and intensely watchable.

That is not to say that Chipotle didn’t have help achieving this miracle of modern marketing (they are trading on familiar tropes, and the Willy Wonka song sung by Fiona Apple certainly doesn’t hurt). Nor is it to say that Chipotle’s ethically-informed stand against factory farmed meat grants the company the ethical high ground in all cases. They haven’t received a free pass for dubious hiring practices. However, at least some credit should be given for bringing attention to an issue that needs brought closer to the public eye.

Factory farming in the United States is more or less a product of the last century. As the technologies of the industrial revolution made large-scale farming a profitable business model, corporations began to gobble up the smaller, traditional family farms of yesteryear and turn them into the vast agricultural depots that we know today. First came supplements for chickens that allowed them to be raised exclusively indoors, and then (perhaps inevitably) followed the industrialization of all large-scale livestock production. This, coupled with a drastic spike in urbanization, meant that small-scale farming was no longer economically feasible, and agro-business quickly became the hulking behemoth it is today.

Factory farming — and in particular animal husbandry and meat production — is an issue that is worth discussing and one that has been gathering grassroots attention for several decades. Recently, Americans seem to be getting more conscious about the food they put into their bodies. Regrettably this awareness does not seem to translate into action. More Americans are more obese then ever before (currently just over 35 percent of the population qualifies). This alarming weight gain has been caused in large part by the proliferation of cheap, grossly unhealthy foods that are found in many supermarkets and stores. Unfortunately Chipotle has it right. A great deal of the foods we consume are grown, harvested and processed in ways that are far from healthy either for the environment, or for us.

It would be easy to simply say that heightened awareness should result in dietary change. If we are aware of the junk we are shoveling into our systems then we should effect a change. In some sense this is right — it would be much harder to change without some type of awareness (even if the change was externally mandated). We can see reflections of this awareness in the rise of local farmer’s markets, farm-to-table restaurants, and locally raised, organic, hormone free, food.

While all of this is lovely it is to some extent beside the point. Organic meat, farmer’s markets, and farm-to-table can be prohibitively expensive. Eating healthily isn’t always easy, or even an option. The biggest driving-force behind factory farming is reduced production costs. As a result, factory-farmed foods can be profitably sold at remarkably low prices. Farmer’s markets and farm-to-table are simply unable to compete. That is to say nothing of the fact that many Americans live in ‘food deserts’ where it is almost impossible to find healthy food for sale, let alone pay for it. Just as the introduction of, and subsequent domination by, factory farming models are rooted firmly in economics, so too are many of the issues that must be addressed in order to change the status quo.

Not all hope is lost. There are groups around the country (and the world) that are making concerted efforts to revolutionize our current state of affairs. One such group is Healthy Planet USA, a non-profit that originated in the UK. Healthy Planet partners with businesses in Northern California ( Whole Foods among others) concentrating on educating children on the ways in which they can begin to make more healthy dietary choices, and also on activities that will help support those choices. Specifically they link their business partners with schools to build sustainable, seasonal school gardens, planted and maintained by the children. Healthy Planet also provides a curriculum that combines education on sustainable agricultural practices, the merits of healthy eating along with lessons on entrepreneurship. So far they have 10 school gardens and are planning for many more.

With the efforts of organizations like Healthy Planet we can begin to see light at the end of the tunnel. However, that is not to say that these problems will be easily, or quickly overcome. It seems right to think that once we are able to not only recognize the value, but also grow our own produce we will begin to develop the tools and the economic power to combat the factory farming epidemic.

Patricia Ritz, Convicted Animal Abuser, Eaten By Own Dogs
A Kentucky woman previously convicted of animal cruelty is believed to have been eaten by her dozens of hybrid wolf-dogs after she died.

The remains of 67-year-old Patricia Ritz were discovered in her Fordsville home by deputies after neighbors reported they hadn’t seen her in more than a week, NBC News reported.

Authorities who searched the home found only a human skull and jawbone, which they believe to be Ritz’s, according to WHAS 11. Investigators believe Ritz died from an illness and her pets, left without food after her death, consumed her for survival.

Ritz has animal cruelty convictions dating back to 1986, WFIE reports.

Adopt-A-Husky told the station that her first offense involved 50 dogs, though it is unclear exactly what the charges were. The next year, while living in Evansville, Ind., she was found guilty of five counts of animal abuse and ordered not to transport dogs into the state.

She was charged with animal cruelty at least five more times between then and 2003. On one occasion in 1999, authorities found 184 dogs on her property and had to euthanize 159 of them. They allowed her to keep the remaining dogs on the promise that she would spay and neuter them, but the number of dogs on her property continued to grow as the years went on.

“I cannot understand why someone would live like this and put animals through this,” Mary Beth Kolb of Adopt-A-Husky told WFIE.

County animal control worker Tracey Ward told NBC News that Ritz likely meant well, but “when you don’t spay and neuter, they’re going to breed. It’s not going to be just one or two puppies — it’s going to be seven, nine, 12.”

Currently, 27 of Ritz’s dogs are at a veterinary hospital, while another 12 are at the Ohio Counthy Animal Shelter. Rescue workers say they are not planning to put the dogs up for adoption, but instead are attempting to place the wolf-dog hybrids at rescue facilities and sanctuaries. They are, however, accepting donations for the animals’ rehabilitation.

Those interested in donating are asked to call Wills Animal Hospital at (270)-684-3201.

Instagram Accounts To Follow For Hawaii’s Massive Winter Waves
While the rest of the country settles comfortably into the crisp fall season, surfers from all over the world are flocking to Hawaii to prepare for the islands’ infamous winter waves.

Over the next few months, the power of the Pacific Ocean will hit the Hawaiian Islands in a very special way, sometimes bringing swells of 20 or 30 feet. Oahu’s North Shore has already seen some early action, giving us a taste of what the winter will bring. Follow the below 13 wave-chasing Instagram accounts for some dangerously close encounters.

Afterall, winter is coming.

1. Clark Little is a surf photographer, famous for his stunning images of Hawaii’s shore breaks.

2. Kelly Slater — professional surfer and 11-time ASP World Champion — is a fan favorite on the North Shore of Oahu during the winter contest season.

3. Jamie O’ Brien, who was born and raised on Oahu’s North Shore, is a natural at conquering the world-famous Pipeline.

4. John John Florence is the youngest pro surfer ever to win a Van’s Triple Crown title and was also born and raised on the North Shore of Oahu.

5. & 6. Coco and Mason Ho are both pro surfers and the offspring of legendary Hawaii surfer, Michael Ho.

(See Mason Ho surf a contest naked.)

7. Zak Noyle is a Hawaii-based surf photographer for Surfer Magazine. He has mastered the art of capturing surfers from every angle.

8. Kalani Chapman is another North Shore local and pro surfer who is never too far from a camera.

9. Alison Teal, from the Island of Hawaii, has just launched her web series Alison’s Adventures and was featured on Discovery Channel’s “Naked and Afraid”.

10. Jaws Gallery features images from one of Maui’s most dangerous big wave surfing spots: “Jaws.”

11. Makani Adric may only be 17 years old, but this North Shore pro surfer charges massive waves like a seasoned veteran.

12. Laserwolf Photo knows all the sweet spots of a wave and captures images of local surfers all around Oahu.

13. Mark Healey is another North Shore pro surfer who dares to challenge the world’s biggest waves.

What other Instagram accounts would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments section below.

Good News – The Huffington Post
‘Teachers Village’ Developers Have Big Dreams For Downtown Newark
NEWARK, N.J. — If Ron Beit has his way, the next big thing in urban renewal won’t come from any of the political elite or the CEOs in cocktail attire who gathered in a parking lot here Wednesday morning for the ribbon-cutting on his latest project.

It will come from teachers.

A founding partner and CEO of the Manhattan-based developer RBH Group, Beit said his shift in vision came from walking into THRIVE Academy, a charter school in Newark’s central ward.

“I was blown away by the work they were doing,” he recalled. “The teachers were really energizing, they were focusing on education — I want to harness that energy. These people were top of the class, they could go anywhere for jobs, but chose to go into Newark and teach.”

So Beit joined Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s effort to rebuild the city’s distressed, crime-ridden downtown with a new development called the “Teachers Village.”

When it’s complete in 2015, the development will boast three new charter schools and 213 inexpensive residential apartments, all marketed to teachers. The project also includes a retail element with 28 shops, many of which will be storefronts for Newark-based businesses.

The idea is to create a community of teachers who will live in the apartments, shop at the stores, teach at nearby schools and meet with other teachers and their families in plazas designed for collaboration. Their presence will bring energy — and disposable income — to the now run-down area.

Designed by star architect Richard Meier, famous for the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Barcelona Museum of Art, the Teachers Village looks somewhat out of place rising clean and new from Newark’s streets.

But Beit believes the development will “catalyze” the neighborhood; his logic goes that bringing middle-class residents to the city’s depressed downtown en masse is a recipe for a mixed-income, and more vibrant, city.

For Booker, the Teachers Village is emblematic of Newark’s expanding urban renewal — and an opportunity to boast about the progress the city has made under his leadership.

“We’re 3 percent of the state’s population, but one-third of the state’s development is in Newark,” he said at Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting.

According to Booker, the Teachers Village alone is bringing “four to five hundred construction jobs” to the city, and its retail outlets, once completed, will add hundreds more jobs.

Wooing investors, the mayor and the developers were able to get the Village constructed for just shy of $150 million — a bargain price given Meier’s big name and the sheer scale of the project. Eventually, the development will consist of six large buildings and will take up almost a full city block.

Billionare Nicolas Berggruen, a quiet celebrity in the investment world known for building infrastructure in troubled areas, is the project’s largest single investor. It was because of his pull that Meier became the Village’s architect.

“He and I have a very close relationship,” Berggruen said of Meier. “So because of the relationship I think he agreed to do something that was maybe not the most economical.”

Beit said Meier, a Newark native, was in fact the perfect choice. “We want Newark to become a global city. We want the Teacher’s Village to be a destination, and we want to set the bar high for the neighborhood,” he said.

Not all Newark residents are pleased with the project. Outside Wednesday’s invitation-only ceremony, police officers held back chanting protesters who attempted to drown out Beit’s and Booker’s speeches.

Some, like Sharif Amerhotep, think the mayor should prioritize money for district schools over building new charters. (Booker, an advocate of school reform, has butted heads with traditional public school teachers’ unions while encouraging the growth of charter schools in the city.)

“I don’t understand why we’re letting these corporate schools in while cutting funding for the district teachers and closing public schools,” Amerhotep said.

Cassandra Dock considers the Teachers Village to represent selfish, showy spending at a time when Newark needs government money for public services. Nearly $100 million in public dollars went to the project in the form of tax credits and school construction bonds.

To her mind, the development was thought up by outsiders, invested in by outsiders and built mostly by workers from outside the city. “Why wasn’t the community included in this?” she said.

Beit was candid when confronted with these criticisms. He said the project’s planners looked into leasing district schools for the Teacher’s Village, but most buildings were too big or couldn’t offer the appropriate space.

He noted the Teachers Village apartments, set to begin leasing next year, will be open to district and charter school teachers alike, and the coming retailers will give priority to hiring Newark residents. Eleven of the 28 retail outlets will open their doors in the next several months, with the remainder ready in 2014 and 2015.

While the storefronts are still empty, the Teachers Village classrooms are spiffy and already fully attended. The development’s three charter schools, together serving 815 students through the eighth grade, opened this month.

For Beit, getting those schools open was just the first, if most important, step.

“When we really know we’ve succeeded,” he said, “is when one of the kids comes out of those schools and does something great — for this city, for this neighborhood, for this country.”

15 Volunteer Firefighters Rescue ‘Precious’ The Wiener Dog (VIDEO)
‘Precious’ never knew her Monday night trip to the bathroom would turn into such an ordeal.

After the 4-year-old dachshund fell into a groundhog hole outside her home in Penn Hills, Pa., she got stuck behind a retaining wall. But 15 volunteer firefighters dedicated more than two hours to safely getting her out, WTAE4 reported.

The firefighters dug the pup out from the side of a small hill, and owner Abby Hile was there to pull Precious free when they finally reached her pet. The tiny wiener dog was frightened and a little dirty but otherwise safe and sound.

The remarkable rescue is one of many to happen in the past month. Just two weeks ago, a stray dog in Los Angeles was rescued with the help of Google Maps. And last month, a group of windsurfers saved a stranded puppy who was found paddling in the middle of the San Francisco Bay.

H/T: NY Daily News

NYPD Talks Down Man From Bridge In Inspiring Video
A 62-year-old Brooklyn resident who was preparing to jump off a ledge on the Verrazano-Narrows bridge on Tuesday told police officers that “nobody could help him.” Fortunately, the officers refused to listen to him. And, after more than an hour of talking, the man finally stepped back and officers were able to attach a harness and get him down to safety.

A maintenance crew had already started talking to the man when Bridge and Tunnel Officer Eric Suky arrived on the scene Tuesday morning, CBS New York reports.

“You just kind of had to try and empathize with his state of despair,” Suky told the Staten Island Advance. “In my experience, it’s just finding the common ground.”

The NY Daily News credits the commanding officer of NYPD’s Hostage Negotiation Team, Lt. Jack Cambria, for saving the man — who is a musical instrument repairman. Cambria managed to forge a personal connection with him.

The man’s deep financial trouble and lack of family had driven him to the bridge’s edge.

“Well, we just became your family,” Cambria told him, according to the Daily News. “Look around you. We have at least 250 people here for you.”

“This is a permanent solution to a temporary problem,” Cambria said, in what eventually was the pivotal moment that helped change the man’s mind.

After surrendering to authorities, the man was taken to Lutheran Medical Center for a psychiatric evaluation.

“If he jumps, that’s it,” Cambria told the Daily News, “I just wanted to buy him 24 more hours.”

H/T: HNGN

Healthy Living – The Huffington Post
Walnut Benefits: Nuts Can Protect You From Diabetes And Heart Disease
Overweight adults can help protect themselves from diabetes and heart disease by adding walnuts to their diet.

That’s the conclusion of a new Yale University study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition which put a small group of adults on a walnut-enriched diet for two eight-week sessions.

For their research, scientists chose 46 adults between the ages of 30 and 75 who had a body mass index larger than 25 and a waist circumference exceeding 40 inches (102 cm) for men and 35 inches (89 cm) for women.

All exhibited risk factors for metabolic syndrome, a precursor of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and none were smokers.

Participants were assigned to either a walnut-enriched ad libitum diet or an ad libitum diet without walnuts.

Those who followed the walnut diet were instructed to eat 56 g of shelled, unroasted walnuts a day as a snack or with a meal.

At the end of the experiments, scientists observed improved endothelial function in overweight adults who consumed walnuts.

Endothelial cells make up the inner lining of blood vessels and help with blood clotting and the formation of new blood cells, regulate inflammation and control blood pressure.

No participants in the walnut-eating group gained weight.

“We know that improving diets tends to be hard, but adding a single food is easy,” explained lead author Dr. David Katz.

“Our theory is that if a highly nutritious, satiating food like walnuts is added to the diet, there are dual benefits: the benefits of that nutrient rich addition and removal of the less nutritious foods.”

The Yale study is the latest research to vaunt the health benefits of walnuts. A longitudinal study out of Spain published this summer found that people who ate nuts, particularly walnuts, tended to have a lower body mass index and a smaller waist, were less likely to smoke and were more likely to be physically active compared to those who never included nuts in their diets.

Overall, nut eaters had a 39 percent lower mortality risk and walnut eaters had a 45 percent lower risk.

#alkalinity #alkalinitymovement #7.2 #sevenpointtwo

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