Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That You’ll Still Want To Know Today (PHOTO)

#boise #idaho #spirit #mindfulness

Healthy Living – The Huffington Post
Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That You’ll Still Want To Know Today (PHOTO)
You know… everyone thinks the thought of a life hack is just some new thing created by folks on the internet. But as this Reddit post is showing, people have been thinking of clever ways to create easy solutions for over a hundred years.

User MakeMeASteak uploaded these photos of life hacks from Gallaher Cigarette cards. Take for example, how to stop a mad dog… or how to rescue someone from electric shock. Pretty interesting stuff, right? Of course, the chances of you needing to do these things are slim, but so is the possibility of having to iron your ribbons on a light bulb and there’s a hack for that.

Scroll down to see some more hacks, and be sure to head over to Reddit for more information.

More life hacks!

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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
The Ultimate Guide to Personal Productivity

Some people are naturals at personal productivity, others have to learn it. I’m definitely the latter. My first year teaching, I was so awful at managing my time that I would go days in a row without sleeping more than five hours a night. One day, it got so bad that I fell asleep at the wheel driving back from work and crashed into the car in front of me. I’m thankful that both the driver of that car and I walked away with no injuries but clearly, I needed to solve the problem of doing too many things too inefficiently. In short, I needed to learn how to become more productive.

The following post contains the knowledge and skills I’ve amassed over three years of constantly working on becoming more productive and therefore becoming happier and healthier as well. This is meant to be an ultimate guide to personal productivity, in that it captures not just my top productivity tips, but also a favorite resource that you can read to learn more about how to implement that tip in your own life, a favorite tool I personally use every day related to that tip, and a concrete example of how using that tip in my daily life makes me better. I encourage you to try just one tip at a time, working hard to implement it effectively, before choosing another.

Manage Your Energy to Manage Your Time

Tip #1: Figure out when you have the most energy and block that off for solving Big problems with a capital “B.”

Favorite resource: Read Adam Swartz, “HOWTO: Be More Productive.” If there’s just one resource you read in this whole post, read this one.
Favorite tool: Google Calendar, where I block off work time so that no one can schedule meetings during that time
How this works for me: I rarely schedule a meeting before 11 a.m. That’s my writing, creating, brainstorming, building time.

Tip #2: Figure out what energizes you and schedule it into your calendar as a recurring event.

Favorite resource: Take The Energy Audit and figure out where you can increase your energy.
Favorite tool: Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook where I schedule recurring events.
How this works for me: I schedule rock climbing every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, sleep every work night from midnight to 7:30 AM, a date with my boyfriend every Friday evening, and reading time twice a week. I schedule in things that make me happy.

Tip #3: Take regular breaks.

Favorite resource: Read “To Stay on Schedule, Take a Break.”
Favorite tool: My computer, which tells you the time every hour on the hour.
How this works for me: Every time my computer tells me the time, I stand up and stretch. This helps me stay alert and energized throughout the day.

Plan Your Time Purposefully

Tip #4: Keep a master calendar where you keep track of every appointment, meeting, and social event that you commit to along with who’s attending and where it is.

Favorite resource: Follow the “How to Keep a Calendar” how-to guide in order to set up your personal master calendar.
Favorite tool: Google Calendar, it’s easy to use, syncs everywhere, and can be shared with friends and colleagues to minimize back and forth.
How this works for me: I sync Google Calendar to my Mac through BusyCal and iPhone through Sunrise so that I always have my calendar ready to go. I never have that, “Shoot, am I supposed to be somewhere?” feeling.

Tip #5: Limit the number of projects you are working on at any one time and pull in new projects to work on only when you’ve moved another project off your plate.

Favorite resource: Read Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life by Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry.
Favorite tool: Trello, an online Kanban management tool that syncs everywhere.
How this works for me: I have a Trello board for every one of my roles, such as Blogger, Climber, Reader and Socratic Labs Chief of Staff and a rule for how many projects I can work on at a time for each. For example, I am only allowed to be reading one personal and one professional book at a time. This keeps me focused, removes the pressure and coordinating costs of artificial deadlines and allows me to identify and say no to lower priority projects.

Tip #6: Capture all your tasks in one comprehensive task manager that’s with you at all times. Never write your todos on sticky notes, napkins, in your email, or on your hand again.

Favorite resource: Read Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen.
Favorite tool: Wunderlist, a beautiful online task management tool that is both simple to use and powerful under the hood.
How this works for me: As soon as I have a task, I write it in Wunderlist on my iPhone, on my computer, or online. As a result, I very rarely drop balls and have a reputation for being reliable and keeping my promises.

Tip #7: At the end of each week, reflect on your past events and tasks, then look forward to make sure you’ve captured everything you need for the upcoming week.

Favorite resource: Read “The Weekly Review: How One Hour Can Save You a Week’s Worth of Hassle and Headache.”
Favorite tool: Trigger List by 43Folders reminds you of anything you could be forgetting to do.
How this works for me: I have my weekly review as a recurring task in Wunderlist so I can hold myself accountable to doing it every week. Every time I do my weekly review, I always manage to catch tasks that I need to complete in order to make my next week run smoothly, from needing to write an agenda for an upcoming meeting to buying a gift for an upcoming birthday.

Single Task Your Way to Success

Tip #8: Turn off all but the most important notifications.

Favorite Resource: Read “Single-Tasking and Productivity,” a manifesto.
Favorite Tool: My computer and smartphone’s notification centers where I make sure only the most important notifications come through. No badges, alerts, or pop-ups for me!
How this works for me: The only way to get in contact with me quickly is by texting or calling me. Everything else, Twitter, email and Facebook Messages included stay hidden until I feel like checking them.

Tip #9: Just start.

Favorite resource: Read up on the best article I’ve read on overcoming procrastination.
Favorite tool: Vitamin-R for Mac to set sprints of time where you focus on only one thing at a time.
How this works for me: When I don’t want to do something, I set Vitamin-R for just five minutes at a time. Usually, at the end of each time slice, I’m so caught up in what I’m doing that I say to myself, just five more minutes. Before I know it, I’m done.

Give Everything Its Proper Place and Keep It There

Tip #10: Capture all notes/reference material in one place.

Favorite resource: None.
Favorite tool: Evernote, which captures texts, audio, pictures and web pages
How this works for me: If I write notes on paper, I snap a picture and add it to Evernote. If I’m doing research online, I clip relevant articles into Evernote. If I see an email with important information that I’ll refer to later, I email it into Evernote… You get the picture. I never have to wonder where my notes are, because they’re always in Evernote, regardless of where they come from.

Tip #11: Keep everything you might want to read in one place.

Favorite resource: Previously recommended book, Getting Things Done, explains why having a Read/Review system makes you more productive.
Favorite tool: Pocket syncs to your computer, online and to your smartphone, making it easy to read anything anywhere.
How this works for me: When I see an article I want to read in my email, online, on Facebook or on Twitter, I send it to Pocket and then forget about it. Later, when I’m on the subway, or waiting in line, or waiting for a friend, I can whip out Pocket and use those five, ten minutes, to read productively.

Tip #12: Practice Inbox Zero, meaning no emails in your inbox at the end of the day, every day

Favorite resource: Read the material on Inbox Zero
Favorite tool: Gmail, the best web-based email client around
How this works for me: I always read an email only once before deciding to: 1) Reply and archive, 2) Do nothing and archive, 3) Save in a different service (e.g. Pocket,Evernote, or Wunderlist) and archive, or 4) Star to reply later that day (and nothing stays starred longer than a day) and archive. As a result, my inbox is a happy, relaxing place. How many people can say that?

Be the CEO of Your Own Life

Tip #13: Write a personal mission statement to guide the decisions you make about your life, priorities, time and energy.

Favorite resource: Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey.
Favorite tool: Add “Review last month’s progress towards fulfilling my roles as outlined in my personal mission statement and reflect on what priorities I need to focus on moving forward to better fulfill those roles” to your comprehensive task list as a recurring monthly task
How this works for me: I constantly reflect on my personal mission statement to check that how I live my life is aligned with how I want to live my life and adjust when there’s something I could improve. I also update my personal mission statement once a month by adding what I’ve learned about myself and taking away things that I’ve realized aren’t actually core to who I am.

Tip #14: Say “No” to anything that doesn’t contribute directly to your top priorities.

Favorite resource: Read “Yes to the Person, No to the Task“.
Favorite tool: Constantly ask the question, “Does this task fit my priorities?” If not, chuck it.
How this works for me: When I am asked to do something that doesn’t fit into my priorities, I come back with options that include how I could do it later, how I could put off something else they asked for in order to complete their request now, or how they could accomplish that request without me. This way I strengthen relationships by being that trustworthy person who always promises only what she delivers.

Tip #15: Discover and implement your own productivity enhancements, one new habit at a time.

Favorite resource: Subscribe to Zenhabits and get a consistent dose of life hacks that will change your life for the better
Favorite tool: Feedly, so I can subscribe to great blogs like Zenhabits and Lifehacker.
How this works for me: I have a Trello board called “Personal Developer” where I capture any new ideas and where I commit to the one habit I am trying to change at a time. Currently, I’m trying to design something everyday.

And there you have it. The Ultimate Guide to Personal Productivity that will make you happier, healthier and more productive. Please add your own personal productivity tips in the comments below.

This post was originally published on DesignED, Deborah Chang’s personal blog.

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Artist Tackles Beijing’s Smog Problem With A Giant Vacuum Cleaner

#boise #idaho #spirit #mindfulness

Green – The Huffington Post
Artist Tackles Beijing’s Smog Problem With A Giant Vacuum Cleaner
Beijing has a smog problem. And one artist is out to solve it.

The extreme dangers caused by the blanket of pollution that veils the city recently led the Beijing Environmental Monitoring Center to warn children, the elderly and those with heart and breathing problems to stay indoors. In the past week authorities have grounded flights and closed 2,000 schools as a result of the noxious fumes.

How does one tackle such a monumental environmental mess? According to Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde, the same way you’d handle a smaller mess– with a vacuum cleaner. Just a way, way bigger vacuum cleaner.

Smog by Studio Roosgaarde from Dezeen on Vimeo.

Artist, environmentalist and dreamer par excellence Roosegaarde aptly titled his fantastical system “Smog.” Smog will employ underground copper coils to suck up airborne particles using an electrostatic field; the collected particles can then be cleaned and repurposed, leaving a hole in the sky where the pollutants once lurked.

It’s a similar principle to if you have a statically charged balloon that attracts your hair,” Roosegaarde explained to Dezeen. “If you apply that to smog, to create fields of static electricity of ions, which literally attract or magnetize the smog so it drops down so you can clean it, like an electronic vacuum cleaner.” This whimsical and potentially world-changing vision is in line with Roosegaarde’s past ideas, which include glow-in-the-dark roads and clothing that becomes transparent when you lie.

Roosegaarde first ran a successful trial of Smog inside the closed confines of a 269 square foot room, and he’s now planning to test the vision in a public park. “We always had this notion of merging nature with technology,” Roosegaarde told The Guardian. “It’s hacking the landscape, in a poetic way.” the project should launch within nine months.

You heard it here, folks — art can save the world.

In Praise of Shutting Up When You Have Nothing to Say

#boise #idaho #spirit #mindfulness

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
In Praise of Shutting Up When You Have Nothing to Say
This post is a contradiction in terms. If my intent is to inspire fewer unnecessary words, why wouldn’t I start here? That’s a good point. I hope! But I also hope you can relate to what most of us are subjected to every day, all day long. The endless — and often loud — cell phone conversations that make you wonder why the cell phone was invented at all. “I just got to Home Depot. Yeah. Home Depot. No, not that one. The one just off the highway…”

My personal favorite? Or rather, least favorite? ‘Well, I suppose I should get going… ” I’ve heard exchanges that begin with it go another half hour, 45 minutes. And I think, “Weren’t we all better off with just a little more mystery to our lives?” You can decide. Meanwhile I have a couple of stories that might help you do that.

When I was a cocktail waitress, I was patient with people I worked with when they wondered if the restaurant would be busy that night. The first few hundred times it happened, anyway. I’d wonder right along with them, and toss off some remark about the weather or homecoming or whatever might have an impact on the evening’s business. After a while, though, I ran out of responses.

It took me a while to lose patience — but I did, eventually. “This table didn’t tip me, I wonder if I’ll get cut, I thought it would be busier tonight.” Shut up already! One night a server stood at the bar, wondering if we needed “better table tents in here.” Like that would attract customers. I just looked at him, and then I walked away. Which the bartender thought was hilarious — because he’d set that up, knowing how bored I was by the whole routine.

Darrell and I have lived together in the same small town for almost 20 years, and for most of that time we’ve gone running on weekdays. For 20 years I’ve fielded the same comment from people who are eager to tell me they’ve noticed. “I saw you out running!” they’ll say, every time we meet. I’ve always responded with something friendly enough to congratulate them on the attempt at small talk, not so friendly they feel obligated to come up with more of it.

Until the other day, that is. I was getting my hair trimmed when a neighbor sat down in the next chair for the same. I knew it was coming, and I dreaded it this time. This gentleman lets his dog run wild despite the leash laws — and lets him, as The Onion once put it, find the absolutely perfect place to take a dump. But he doesn’t follow along with a plastic bag to clean up the evidence. So what used to be a sweet little street becomes more of an obstacle course unless that family’s on vacation.

As predicted, the man jumped in during a — what? — two-second pause in the conversation I was having with my stylist to say it. “I saw you out running!” I paused. And then I just did one of those, “Mmm… ” like your dad used to when he was reading about his beloved football team in the newspaper and you wanted to use the garage door as a chalkboard.

I thought that would be a conversation stopper, but it wasn’t. My neighbor was ready: “Do you run every day?” I paused again, as if I had to think about it. I waited just long enough for my stylist to wonder if I’d even heard the guy. “No,” I finally said. Just “No.”

I made the next move. I tossed another question at my stylist on the subject we’d been talking about before we were so eagerly interrupted. And I kept firing questions at her with so much gusto she looked a little exhausted by the time she brushed me off and took my check.

I have nothing against this man. Well except for the whole dogs terrorizing runners thing. But he’s a nice guy, and… whatever. It just strikes me it took 20 years to realize how bored I am with being told someone saw us running.

Isn’t that awful to admit?

And yet, and yet… If I wasn’t so easily bored my talk show would put you to sleep. I select guests based on their ability to keep me interested for an hour. If they can, chances are you’ll also be interested — and we’ll both learn something.

The other day, as Darrell and I dug into lunch at our favorite little table next to the produce section in a favorite grocery store, he asked what my little cube of orange sandpaper was.

“That’s a nail file,” I told him.

“That’s a nail file?”

“Yeah,” I said. “I hate the boring ones.”

“Nail files can be boring?” he asked.

I looked at him.

“You really don’t know me very well, do you?”

Days later I’m still wondering what was going through the mind of the woman at the table next to us. I’d like to think something good.

There are a lot of ways to make the world a better place.

Keeping your mouth shut unless you have something interesting to say is one of them.

For more by Maureen Anderson, click here.

For more on conscious relationships, click here.

Healthy Living – The Huffington Post
These Are The Worst Sick Day Excuses We Have Ever Heard
Roughly one-third of American workers have called in sick when they weren’t actually ill, according to a recent survey.

But what’s even more striking is how bad some employees are at lying to their boss.

The survey, conducted by employment website CareerBuilder.com, asked employers to recount the most memorable excuses for missing work they ever heard.

Here are just 9 of the most ridiculous examples:

1. I got lost and ended up in a different state.
lost

2. A swarm of bees surrounded my car and I couldn’t make it to the office.
swarm of bees

3. My false teeth flew out the window while I was driving down the highway.
false teeth

4. My favorite football team lost on Sunday and I need Monday to get over it.
football loss

5. Someone glued my doors and windows shut so I can’t leave the house to come to work.
glue

6. I need to finish Christmas shopping.
christmas shopping

7. I quit smoking and now I’m too grouchy to work.
quit smoking

8. I ate too much turkey and fell asleep for my shift.
too much turkey

9. I bit my tongue and now I can’t talk.
sore mouth

Extreme Weather Photos Of The Week

#boise #idaho #spirit #mindfulness

Green – The Huffington Post
Extreme Weather Photos Of The Week
This week brought several big headlines in extreme weather news:

Hurricane Raymond forced hundreds in Mexico to evacuate.
Don’t count on your cell phone the next time a major hurricane hits.
Some researchers say dust from the Sahara Desert could be affecting the 2013 hurricane season.
Australia’s raging bush fires intensified, worrying authorities.
Exhausted firefighters have been sleeping wherever they can, even next to fires.

Check out photos of the week’s extreme weather from around the world:

Good News – The Huffington Post
Animal Photos Of The Week: Time For Animal Halloween
Some of the most popular animal stories from the last week include:

Indonesia’s capital banned monkey street performances.
The University of Hawaii has begun research to analyze the growing number of shark attacks around Maui.
The FDA proposed new pet food safety rules after a series of animal deaths.
Stellar sea lions were removed from NOAA’s “threatened” species list.
Hundreds of new species were found in the Amazon rain forest.

Click here to read more about what’s happening in the animal kingdom, and check out the newest and best animal photos below:

An Escape Goat Makes A Grand Getaway

#boise #idaho #spirit #mindfulness

Good News – The Huffington Post
An Escape Goat Makes A Grand Getaway
There’s a whole wide-world out there, and this little goat cannot be contained. Watch him take a leap of faith out of his pen in an unexpected way!

Keep in mind that goats require special care, a particular environment, and lots of love!

According to the Farm Sanctuary, for every goat, a farmer should have one acre of land, “although the amount of pasture necessary varies according to the quantity of hay the goats are fed.”

Even though this farmer is using the recommended four-foot high, woven wire, no-climb horse fence, there’s no stopping this clever escape artist!

Debbi Fields Talks The Importance Of Persistence And Staying Present In ORIGIN Magazine

#boise #idaho #spirit #mindfulness

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Debbi Fields Talks The Importance Of Persistence And Staying Present In ORIGIN Magazine
The following is an excerpt from ORIGIN Magazine.

Interviewer: Maranda Pleasant

Maranda Pleasant: What is it that makes you feel fully alive?

Debbi Fields: I get very excited when I wake up in the morning and I am just full of oxygen. I say that purposefully. I try not to take for granted how lucky we are to have life and breath and opportunity. Once we’ve got that, we can conquer anything. Truly, I get high on oxygen, and once I graduate from that, what really fulfills me is doing what I love. That, to me, is absolutely priceless.

MP: What are the things that you love?

DF: I love being in the moment. I love my family. I love chocolate. I love baking. I love making people smile. I get so much energy through interacting and feeling like I’ve made a difference, a small difference. My favorite movie of all times is “Pay It Forward.” I feel like any time I’m doing what I love, my big pay-off is watching somebody else be the receiver. All I need as payment is a smile. That just really pushes me forward so that I’m always capturing the next opportunity to develop myself.

Working on “Supermarket Superstar” has fueled me. It’s given me new oxygen, new energy. It’s made me more innovative, creative. It tapped into what I love to do. I love to nurture, I love to help people. I love to brainstorm. I like to mentor. When you’re starting out, especially as an entrepreneur, you really don’t know what you’re doing. You go out there and you try so many things. The key in the process, to me, is that you keep trying and you never give up. The opportunity that the show presents is, I use my experience, my failures, my successes, and help people stay focused.

MP: Is “Supermarket Superstar” the thing that you’re focusing your energy on right now?

DF: One hundred percent of it. I got involved in this show because it fits what I believe. Number one, my role is to be a mentor. My role is to coach, encourage, inspire, motivate, and help people. This show will appeal to anybody who, in your lifetime, said, “I make the best ________” or “My family has this recipe that’s been passed down and everyone says I need to market it.” Well, if you believe in those two things, this is the show for you. This is the vehicle that helps people take their home food product and get it onto supermarket shelves. It goes from the kitchen to mass production to portioning, nutrition, and packaging, and then branding and then marketing. It’s the most exciting developmental show.

Small business in America is what fuels the American economy. We need more small business to assist us in creating a great nation and in creating more jobs. It’s this frontier that is endless in terms of opportunity and potential. I see how this show can do so much. It can motivate people who are watching TV, saying, “Oh, I don’t know if I can do it.” This is the show that will show them how.

I’m having so much fun. I’m also working on a new cookbook, which is called “Debbi Fields: More Than Just Cookies.” I’m having a lot of fun doing it.

MP: You have a part in all of our childhoods and lives. What was it like being a woman in business?

DF: When I started out at 20, I had a dream, I had a recipe, and I wanted to market my cookies. My very first challenge was when I told my family and my friends that I was going to go into the cookie business. Their first response was, “Debbi, what are you thinking? You will absolutely fail. Nobody will buy your cookies. Everybody makes cookies at home. It will be a fad.” I can give you an endless list of all the reasons why you’re told you can’t do something. The bottom line is that I knew all the reasons why I couldn’t. I did not have a pedigree of any kind. I was two years into junior college. I had no money. I had no business experience. I wasn’t bankable. I thought the greatest failure for me was to never pursue my dream, and to always think, what could it have been like? I’m not a “what if.” I want to just do it, try it, give it my all, and if it’s not meant to be, I can accept that. But I had to do it.

What really fueled me, and maybe infuriated me, is that nobody believed in me. Nobody. I don’t even think I believe in myself. Part of what I was trying to do was to make the decision to go into business and find the guts to see it through. I was told that when I went in to see the bankers that I was supposed to be very muted, that I was supposed to blend in, that I was supposed to have the typical drab suit on. I thought, you know what? If that’s what everybody else is doing, that is not what I’m going to do! I already knew I was up against so much. Why do I want to look like everybody else? Yes, everybody can bring their business plan — I’m going to bring my product. My product will sell more than my business plan. They’re going to make a decision based on numbers, and my vision, my business, is more than numbers. It’s an experience. I would take my business plan, I would make fresh-baked cookies, and I would go in with the brightest possible dress that you can imagine.

MP: You defied a woman having to look like a man to succeed.

DF: It’s true! If I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this. My great plan did not produce results; I did get wonderful feedback through all my rejections. The one thing that was always obvious, besides the answer no, was that they ate my cookies! As bad as it was that I didn’t get the money, I didn’t get the financing, I got the answer no — what I saw is that they would eat all the cookies during the course of my meeting, and they would be gone.

My mom, who is just truly my mentor, really gave me the breakthrough, and said, “Debbi. It is so obvious that this is not working. Everybody is telling you no. Just give up! Your dream is not going to happen.” She had to say those magic words, “Just give up,” and that motivated me further and farther than I ever imagined.

The easiest thing any of us can do is give up. It doesn’t matter how many no’s you go through. I set up a whole new mantra, “No is an unacceptable answer. I’m allergic to no.” Frankly, I just said, there are people out there who want to say yes. That gave me confidence to keep asking.

I believe the only limitations are the ones that we accept. I know that there is, in theory, a glass ceiling. But I don’t believe that it’s a solid wall. I’m going through it. Nothing’s stopping me. Yes, there are these preconceived notions; yes, we have challenges. Let’s accept them, let’s not be afraid of them, let’s break through them. We will show the world that we are more than capable. When somebody says, “You can’t,” I say, “Why not?”

MP: I am so inspired. If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would that be?

DF: We are here for a reason. We all have a gift or gifts to share. You want to look inside your heart and your soul, and you want to tap into the one thing you love to do. Develop it. Share it. Nurture it. You were meant to have that gift.

origin ORIGIN is the conscious culture national print magazine bringing together art, yoga, music, humanitarianism, and sustainability to shift the planet for good. Twenty percent of our editorial is donated to nonprofits impacting the planet. You can find ORIGIN in Whole Foods, Barnes and Noble, Pharmacas, Central Markets and 15+ other National retailers.

When RobotBoys Do A Robot Dance, They Get A Little Too Into Character (VIDEO)
Hopefully, if robots do take over the world, they’ll be as good at dancing as these guys.

Watch Jeppe Long and Nick Nitro of the RobotBoys get mechanical with Poppin’ John in this ridiculously mesmerizing performance.

The popper/locker duo met in Copenhagen, where they became enamored with the city’s proud street-dancing tradition.

The duo’s bio says they joined forces to realize their vision of “combining old classic mime techniques and commedia del arte with impressions from movies, video games, cartoons, and all the other stuff from the international entertainment industry.”

Their perfected technique earned them some extreme Internet fame, and now the two travel the world to bring on the pop!

How I Save Lives (And Still Make a Living)

#boise #idaho #spirit #mindfulness

Good News – The Huffington Post
How I Save Lives (And Still Make a Living)
Approximately 3.4 million discarded dogs and cats will be euthanized in the United States in 2013. Imagine being the person that shows up for work each day to put these poor, unsuspecting animals down. I personally would much prefer to have a job saving these animals instead. Here’s how I went about doing just that:

For many years, I’ve had a successful career in the technology industry. Although I have always felt fortunate to have such a secure job in such unstable times, something was still missing. My perceived lack of purpose lead me to a premature mid-life crisis about nine years ago. So I packed my things, grabbed my two Dobermans and moved across the country to “find myself” in Sedona, AZ.

During my soul-searching quest, I went on hikes, visited vortexes and healers and took up skydiving. But even free-falling at 100 mph didn’t make me feel grounded. It wasn’t until I started spending time behind a camera that I felt a little spark. The creative side that I never knew existed began to come alive. I quickly developed thirst for knowledge. I watched countless webinars and bought every how-to book that I could find. I networked with photographers and took many workshops. My passion was found.

I started off by photographing families, but I found myself having much more fun photographing their pets. I’ve always had a love and respect for animals. I seem to just connect with them and they feel at ease with me. Pet photography seemed to be a better fit, so I started A Dog’s Life Photography.

To build my portfolio, I volunteered my time taking photos for rescue groups for use in animal adoption ads and on fundraising items. Soon, I was getting so many requests for photos that I decided to create a formal rescue group program to provide complimentary images of adoptable animals. My business grew to the point where I needed to move the operations out of my house and into a studio. I then developed a photographer’s cooperative in Scottsdale, AZ called Photo Fusion Studio.

I have photographed well over 300 homeless animals in the past few years; almost all of which have been adopted into their fur-ever homes. The groups I’ve worked with have raised tens of thousands of dollars through their fundraising efforts using my photos. These funds have helped to save the lives of many more animals that I have never even had the pleasure to meet.

Although this program has been very rewarding, it can also be difficult. Too often, I hear stories of abuse and neglect so extreme that it brings me to tears. One such instance surrounded a dog named Destiny who came to me through Mayday Pit Bull Rescue. She had been nursed back to health after being found emaciated and frail with life threatening pneumonia and malnutrition. Destiny is now healthy and happy in her new home with a family that loves her very much. She is also very famous as the images I have taken of her are in use on pet products and publications around the word.

Destiny before:
2013-10-26-DestinyBefore.jpg

Destiny after:
2013-10-26-DestinyAfter.jpg

Then there was Shy-Low Bleu who came to me from Arizona Sheltie Rescue after he was rescued from a horrific hoarding situation along with over 180 other animals that were all covered with urine and feces, lacking medical care and basic nutrition, packed into crates stacked one atop of another in a dark garage. Shy-Low has since been adopted by a loving volunteer from the rescue group that helped him through his physical and mental healing.

Shy-Low before:
2013-10-26-ShyLowBefore.jpg

Shy-Low after:
2013-10-26-ShyLowAfter.jpg

Destiny and Shy-Low Bleu have both been featured in my book, “Tails of Rescue, A Guide to Finding the Not-So-Perfect Dog That is Perfect for You,” which raises funds for the Phoenix Animal Care and Coalition’s emergency medical fund. This fund helps over 125 Arizona rescue groups to offset veterinary bills for critically ill and injured animals.

Although helping the rescue community has fulfilled my heart, it unfortunately does not pay the bills. Since charging the rescue groups for my work is out of the question, I had to find other ways to keep the studio lights on. I began contributing my animal images to Shutterstock. The image usage licensing royalties that I receive from them have helped to keep my rescue group photo program running.

In June, I heard about a grant program that Shutterstock was conducting called Shutterstock Stories. Participants had to submit a video that told the story behind their images and work. I entered in hopes that they would throw my little program “a bone.”

While shooting the behind-the-scenes footage for the Shutterstock Stories contest video, I had Mavyn Animal Rescue bring in some puppies and kittens for me to photograph. In walked Oliver, who had me at “hello.”

I try not to fall in love with the male models that come through my studio but I just couldn’t resist this shy, scruffy, cuddly misfit. We have since adopted Oliver and he has become a very welcome addition to our family.

On September 19th, I discovered that I was selected as one of the 26 finalists from entries
received from 39 countries and 5 continents. I was stunned. Here I was, from all these amazing artists, selected for this program! I found out on October 8th that I won a $5000 Creative Grant Award. These funds will allow me to expand my rescue program from one day a week to three.

I encourage other photographers to start a similar rescue photo program of their own. HeartSpeak is a wonderful organization that can help to get you started. Resources such as Shutterstock can help to fund your efforts.

No matter what your occupation is, please consider volunteering your services to a local rescue group a few hours a week. Together we can help to put an end to our nation’s animal over-population crisis.

ScienceDaily: Dieting and Weight Control News
Physical inactivity, poor diet and smoking linked to disability in older population
An unhealthy lifestyle is associated with a greater likelihood of developing disability over the age of 65, with the risk increasing progressively with the number of unhealthy behaviors, suggests a new article.