Daily Archives: July 8, 2015

Teen Dies of Leukemia, His 7 Friends Look After His Lonely Mother for 11 Years

This heartwarming tale from Hefei, in East China, proves that true friendship has the power to transcend death. For the past 11 years, Sheng Ru-zhi, a lonely mother who lost her son to leukemia, has been looked after by seven of his friends!

It all started in 2001, when Zhang Kai, a teenager, was diagnosed with the deadly disease. Seven of his closest friends from school constantly visited Zhang at his home, taking care of both mother and son. When Zhang passed away in 2004, the devastated Sheng thought she’d have to spend the rest of her life in solitude. But the seven friends had other plans. They continued to visit her as usual, caring for her as Zhang would have.

Sheng still remembers the moment she realised she wasn’t going to spend her life alone after all. “I was alone at the time,” she recalled. “They came into my house and filled it with life again.”

true-friends

Even then, Sheng never imagined that her son’s childhood friends would continue to visit for so long. They’re all grown up now – some have graduated from college and are working, while others are married with children. But they still manage to make time for Sheng, no matter how far or how busy they are. “They’re like my own children,” Sheng said, proudly.

One of her fondest memories is from 2008, when a friend named Li Fei brought Sheng groceries during a raging snowstorm. “It’s very slippery outside so stay indoors,” he had told her. “If these groceries aren’t enough, call me and I’ll deliver some more.”

During an earthquake in the same year, it was Fu Xiao-zheng who came to her assistance. Most of her neighbors had abandoned the building, but she remained inside, unsure of what to do. “It was so loud outside and I was in bed,” Sheng recounted. But Fu showed up at her door in no time. “Mom, I’m here,” he told her. Sheng ended up spending the night with Fu’s family, in their car.

true-friends2

In 2010, Fu, Li, and the five other friends officially became Sheng’s godchildren. In 2012, when she lost her apartment to the government, all seven of them contributed 40,000 yuan to help her settle in a new home. And as her new house was getting ready, she spent three months under Fu’s roof.

Fu, who lives around the corner from Sheng, continues to visit her weekly. When asked what motivates him, he simply replied: “It’s because I live nearby and have time.” He also refused to speak much with the media, insisting that they weren’t doing anything special at all. “Taking care of Sheng is everyone’s responsibility,” he said. “Even after 10, or 20 years, we will still continue to take care of her.”

english translated from http://ah.anhuinews.com/system/2015/06/26/006850562.shtml

source http://www.odditycentral.com/news/teen-dies-of-leukemia-his-7-friends-look-after-his-lonely-mother-for-11-years.html

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The why and how of effective altruism

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Brain-Inspired ‘Memcomputer’ Constructed

Inspired by the human brain, UC San Diego scientists have constructed a new kind of computer that stores information and processes it in the same place. This prototype “memcomputer” solves a problem involving a large dataset more quickly than conventional computers, while using far less energy, the scientists say in a study.

The memcomputer prototype is a specialized proof of concept, but can be improved into a general-purpose computer, say researchers led by Massimiliano Di Ventra, a UCSD professor of physics. Such memcomputers could equal or surpass the potential of quantum computers, they say, but because they don’t rely on exotic quantum effects are far more easily constructed.

Besides solving extremely complex problems involving huge amounts of data, memcomputers can potentially teach us more about how the brain operates, Di Ventra said. While the brain is often compared to a computer, the two are organized and operate much differently.

The study was published Friday in the journal Science Advances. Di Ventra was senior author; first author was Fabio Lorenzo Traversa, also of UCSD.

continue http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/jul/03/memcomputing-diventra-traversa

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Vinyl records are still riding that big comeback wave, sales up 38% in a year

On Thursday, Nielsen Music released its 2015 US mid-year report, finding that overall music consumption had increased by 14 percent in the first half of the year. What’s driving that boom? Well, certainly a growth in streaming—on-demand streaming increased year-over-year by 92.4 percent, with more than 135 billion songs streamed, and overall sales of digital streaming increased by 23 percent.

But what may be more fascinating is the continued resurgence of the old licorice pizza—that is, vinyl LPs. Nielsen reports that vinyl LP sales are up 38 percent year-to-date. “Vinyl sales now comprise nearly 9 percent of physical album sales,” Nielsen stated.Who’s leading the charge on all that vinyl? None other than the music industry’s favorite singer-songwriter Taylor Swift with her album 1989, which sold 33,500 LPs. Swift recently flexed her professional muscle when she wrote an open letter to Apple, criticizing the company for failing to pay artists during the free three-month trial of Apple Music. Apple quickly kowtowed to the pop star and reversed its position.

continue http://arstechnica.com/business/2015/07/vinyl-records-are-still-riding-that-big-comeback-wave-sales-up-38-in-a-year/

Categories: music, technology | Tags: ,

Jackass arrested for flying balloon-equipped lawn chair

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7 Things The Buddha Taught Us About Overcoming Suffering

meditating_buddha_by_zigzag097-d4cryvtby Luke Miller

There are very few certainties in life & there are no guarantees that the life we are living today will be the same for us tomorrow.

But one thing that will remain consistent through your life is, you will continually have challenges & problems to overcome & while these challenges will differ from person to person, the solution for any problems can be broken down into 7 key areas for development.

In a sacred text called the Sabbāsava Sutta the Buddha outlines these 7 areas & my interpretation of this text is below. The original text is available to read here in Pāḷi & English 

Knowledge/Insight-

We currently live in an age of information & while this stockpile of knowledge can at times be overwhelming it is very useful for overcoming challenges in your life.

When you have a challenge there is always a solution out there, it’s your job to gather the info, syphon the good from the bad & work out a plan for getting there.

It’s not always easy; in fact it’s usually very difficult & depending on the problem you are facing could take some real trial & error.

But if you are determined to overcome a problem you are facing there will always be a solution out there, you just have to find it!

continue http://truththeory.com/2015/07/02/7-things-the-buddha-taught-us-about-overcoming-suffering/

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Facebook Messenger now lets users send money to friends

Facebook Messenger now lets US users send money to friendsAs of Tuesday, Facebook has switched on person-to-person (P2P) payments for users in the US to instantly message money to friends.

David Marcus, former president of PayPal and currently Facebook’s Vice President of Messaging Products, said on his Facebook page that it’s easy and safe:

We're happy to announce that Messenger person-to-person payments are now available to everyone in the U.S.! Add your Debit Card and pay anyone on Messenger in a few taps. Money goes straight from your checking account to the recipient's checking account. Easy and safe. As always, give it a try and let us know how we can make even better for you!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Start a message with a friend
  2. Tap the $ icon and enter the amount you want to send
  3. Tap Pay in the top right and add your debit card to send money

To receive money:

  1. Open the conversation from your friend
  2. Tap Add Card in the message and add your debit card to accept money for the first time
  3. continue https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2015/07/02/facebook-messenger-now-lets-users-send-money-to-friends/
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Pope Francis: God Has Instructed Me to Revise the Ten Commandments

cropped-cropped-img_ab07382Pope Francis kicked off the start of a three-nation trip across South America today with his first mass, with over a million Ecuadorians in attendance, in the coastal city of Guayaquil. Delivering the mass in Spanish, the Pope spoke about the importance of family in modern society, saying, “It needs to be helped and strengthened, lest we lose our proper sense of the services which society as a whole provides.”

During his sermon, Pope Francis announced to Christians around the world that God had called upon him, instructing him “to revise the most sacred of texts, the Ten Commandments.” Given to the Israelites by God himself at Mount Sinai, the Commandments include instructions for worship and list several prohibited practices.

Pope Francis said Christians around the world are “faced with ever-increasing temptations brought on by the evils of modern society.” The Pope said the updated Commandments reflect the changing times and include some minor rewording of the existing rules as well as the addition of two new Commandments.

The Fourth Commandment, which advocates that proper respect be shown towards one’s parents, has been reworded in order to include children raised by same-sex parents. Pope Francis said the Seventh Commandment, prohibiting adultery and, among other things, homosexuality, has been removed entirely, as instructed by God, in order to extend “God’s grace to all His children.”

continue http://worldtruth.tv/pope-francis-god-has-instructed-me-to-revise-the-ten-commandments/

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More Americans Want States to Ignore Federal Courts

While dissenting from the recent Supreme Court decision rubber-stamping same-sex “marriage,” Justice Antonin Scalia warned his colleagues that with “each decision … unabashedly based not on law” the Court moves “one step closer to being reminded of [its] impotence.” And a new poll shows that another such step has in fact been taken, with more Americans supporting the idea that states should have the right to ignore federal court rulings. Writes Rasmussen Reports, “A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 33% of Likely U.S. Voters now believe that states should have the right to ignore federal court rulings if their elected officials [dis]agree with them. That’s up nine points from 24% when we first asked this question in February. Just over half (52%) disagree, down from 58% in the earlier survey. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided.”

This shift is clearly influenced not just by Obergefell v. Hodges (the marriage ruling), but also a late June ObamaCare decision so contrary to the “Affordable Care Act’s” text that Justice Scalia lamented to the Court, “Words no longer have meaning.” Not surprisingly, there was an ideological divide among poll respondents. As Rasmussen also tells us, “Fifty percent (50%) of GOP voters now believe states should have the right to ignore federal court rulings, compared to just 22% of Democrats and 30% of voters not affiliated with either major party. Interestingly, this represents a noticeable rise in support among all three groups. Fifty percent (50%) of conservative voters share this view, but just 27% of moderates and 15% of liberals agree.”

 Also not surprisingly, this pattern basically reverses itself when voters are asked if Barack Obama should be able to ignore the courts when he wants to. As Rasmussen wrote in February after surveying voters on that question, “43% of Democrats believe the president should have the right to ignore the courts. Only 35% of voters in President Obama’s party disagree, compared to 81% of Republicans and 67% of voters not affiliated with either major party.”
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Shaun Ryder Spooked By Close Encounter After Ufo Tv Show

The Happy Mondays frontman travelled to Chile in 2012 to shoot a show about extraterrestrials, and shortly after returning to the U.K. he was stunned to see a mystery craft outside his home.

The reformed wildman initially thought producers of the programme were pranking him, but then feared he was hallucinating so he pinched himself and slapped his face to check the close encounter was real.

Ryder, who has previously recalled two UFO sightings he experienced in his native Manchester, England as a teenager, tells British TV show This Morning, “I’m either telling lies or I was hallucinating. I don’t think I was hallucinating and I know I’m not lying.

continue http://www.contactmusic.com/shaun-ryder/news/shaun-ryder-spooked-by-close-encounter-after-ufo-tv-show_4810509

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