"The time is always right to do what is right."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Ihsanullah Khan is long-shot rescuer. A Pakistani immigrant, Khan drove a cab in Washington and pinned his dreams on winning the lottery. Khan always played the same numbers--2, 4, 6, 17, 25 and 31--because they had once appeared in a dream. Every week for 15 years, he bet religiously on the numbers and lost. Then in November 2001, when the jackpot rose to $55.2 million, Khan's lucky numbers finally came through. He pulled his taxi over to the curb, took a deep breath and thought of his mother, whose dying words to him were, "One day, son, you're going to be somebody--like a king."
Khan, now 47, didn't necessarily want to be a king. But with after-tax winnings of $32,499,939.24 in his pocket, he decided to return to his native town of Batagram in the Himalayas and run for nazim, or mayor. "I wanted to make changes," he says. "Bring back the good things I saw in America." Khan got his chance.
This year, on Oct. 8, three days after Khan took office as mayor, an earthquake of 7.6 magnitude on the Richter scale slammed into the Himalayas, killing more than 73,000 people in Pakistan. Batagram was one of the worst-hit towns. That morning, Khan had strolled up a dirt path to visit his mother's grave when the force of the quake hurled him to his knees. "I thought it was doomsday, that the earth would open and swallow me up," he says. "The houses on the ridge--they were exploding, one by one."
Read about the other everyday heroes in 6 Tales of Courage at Time.com
The result? "Integrity" was the most looked-up word of 2005, according to Merriam-Webster's online dictionary.
That comes as no surprise to many. The reflex to type a word into www.m-w.com is often prompted by the desire to understand an event and its context. That is one reason "tsunami" and "filibuster" also made the top 10 list.
You can read the full story, along with the Top 10 list, at The Christian Science Monitor. The following is an interesting editorial that likewise delves on buzzwords of 2005:
Portrait of a year in buzzwords
First, the editors of the New Oxford American Dictionary came up with a tech-heavy shortlist and ultimately pronounced "podcast" their Word of the Year. For those of you who think a podcast might have something to do with peas, the word is a combination of iPod and broadcast, and denotes "a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio player" (such as an iPod). If you find that arcane, wait till you read the rest of the Oxford list.
A few days later, the people at Merriam-Webster put "integrity" at the top of a news-dominated word list that included such 2005 headline staples as "tsunami" and "conclave."
Full story at The Japan Times
Plan calls for welfare savings to go toward marriage programs.
The president's healthy marriage initiative gained support this week from Concerned Women for America (CWA) and the Fatherhood and Marriage Leadership Institute. The groups are calling for welfare funds to be moved into marriage-strengthening programs.
Janice Crouse, a senior fellow with CWA, said welfare reform worked and she has an idea of what to do with the savings. "Welfare roles are down 60 percent so we have all this money left over that has been designated for welfare payments," she said. "One of the things that we would like to do with that money is bring it over and strengthen marriage."
Janice Crouse, a senior fellow with CWA, said welfare reform worked and she has an idea of what to do with the savings.
"Welfare roles are down 60 percent so we have all this money left over that has been designated for welfare payments," she said. "One of the things that we would like to do with that money is bring it over and strengthen marriage."
Full story at Citizen Link
Parents, you need to ask questions of your school administration, this includes teachers, the principal, director of education, director of health, superintendent, and call your school committee members.
Realize that a discussion on transgenderism and “gay”-headed relationships, while claiming to only present reality to children, usually morphs into approval and acceptance. This occurs in a conversation seamlessly and without your notification.
It would turn out to be a fortuitous move. When he returned more than 12 hours later, shuffling to his car with the other frost- breathing commuters, he noticed a box, with a white ribbon, sitting on the front seat.
"Merry Christmas," a note said. "Thank you for leaving your car door unlocked. Instead of stealing your car I gave you a present. Hopefully this will land in the hands of someone you love, for my love is gone now. Merry Christmas to you." Inside was a three-diamond ring set on a white-gold band. Its value: $15,000. It took days for the commuter to tell police, but once he did and a local newspaper reporter noticed it going through the weekly police blotter, the story ricocheted from London to Los Angeles to Oprah. It has become Westborough's own Lord of the Rings saga. Full story at The Christian Science Monitor
"Merry Christmas," a note said. "Thank you for leaving your car door unlocked. Instead of stealing your car I gave you a present. Hopefully this will land in the hands of someone you love, for my love is gone now. Merry Christmas to you."
Inside was a three-diamond ring set on a white-gold band. Its value: $15,000.
It took days for the commuter to tell police, but once he did and a local newspaper reporter noticed it going through the weekly police blotter, the story ricocheted from London to Los Angeles to Oprah. It has become Westborough's own Lord of the Rings saga.
Full story at The Christian Science Monitor
The Stricklands and their three young children had just moved to north Everett from Marysville, where they hadn't even known their neighbors.
"They all had garage door openers. They'd drive in, close the door, and we'd never see them," said Jim Strickland, a teacher at Marysville Junior High School.
What began with pecan pie - "my mom's recipe," Jim Strickland said - is now a year-round meal exchange, with four households trading off cooking duties. The arrangement covers dinners Monday through Thursday nights.
"When somebody makes the effort to reach out, especially in a new neighborhood, the response is going to be open arms," Jim Strickland said.
He ran away from home at 14 hoping to earn a living playing the guitar on the streets. But he soon tired of it. He next apprenticed with a blacksmith. Then he heard of the famine in Africa ... and life changed. Lorraine Chandler comes face-to-face with the rebellious spirit of Fredéric Vigneau, MSF's UAE executive director.
It is said everyone wants to be a hero. But this is not true of Fredéric Vigneau, the newly-appointed UAE executive director of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) - 'Doctors without Borders'.
Full story at Gulf News
Edward Green, with the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, became convinced of the effectiveness of abstinence and faithfulness after witnessing the impact of Uganda’s ABC program on the country’s infection rates. The ABC method, which stands for Abstain, Be faithful, or use a Condom, is credited with dramatically reducing the rate of HIV infection in Uganda since it was first implemented in 1986.
Appearing before the African subcommittee of the U.S. Senate on May 19, 2003, Green stated: “Infection rates [in Uganda] have declined from 21% to 6 % since 1991. Many of us in the AIDS and public health communities didn’t believe that abstinence and faithfulness were realistic goals. It now seems we were wrong.”
Full story at LifeSite
These are essentially the 'invisible people' - people who rarely have grandiose plans for the future.
They just want to grasp the simple pleasures and small attainable goals in life, such as saving enough to send a regular remittance back home, putting a sibling through school/college, trying to finish building a little home for themselves.
Gulf News met with some 'invisible people.'
By Suchitra Bajpai Chaudhary
One "decision" is, of course, whether to terminate the pregnancy — the "A" word (abortion, for those not into subtlety). The less-nuanced, terribly un-P.C., and perhaps you'll consider downright mean among us might use a k-word. The decision being over whether to kill an innocent child, who is completely dependent on his mother's choices. Doctors estimate that between 80 and 90 percent of Down children are now aborted once pre-natal tests issue "warnings."
* * * * *
I know abortion is one of our most contentious issues. People don't want to judge. They don't want to put their rosaries on your ovaries. People often just don't want to talk about it. But we have to talk about it. And we have to especially talk about Down Syndrome and abortion — and this class of people "sophisticated" types seem to think can (and should?) be eliminated. A civilized society cannot tolerate this reality.
As Patricia Bauer put it: "What I don't understand is how we as a society can tacitly write off a whole group of people as having no value. I'd like to think that it's time to put that particular piece of baggage on the table and talk about it, but I'm not optimistic. People want what they want: a perfect baby, a perfect life. To which I say: Good luck. Or maybe, dream on."
Defining Life Down: Are we okay with eliminating a class of humans?
Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review Online
Thursday, November 10, 2005By Mary Niederberger, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Special education teacher David Breier had been looking for quite some time for a program that would integrate his students with the rest of the student population at Mt. Lebanon High School.
This fall, with the help of junior Elizabeth Lisowksi, 16, a cheerleader and student council member, a local chapter of Best Buddies International, a group that pairs special needs students with able-bodied students, was founded at the high school.
It didn't take long for Mr. Breier to see the program was just what he had been looking for.
At the homecoming dance last month, cheerleaders, football players and other student leaders invited the special education students, who traditionally congregated in their classroom, onto the dance floor with the rest of the student body.
Both groups of students danced so hard that, Mr. Breier said, he started to worry that some would dehydrate. But that, he said, was a good problem.
Full story at Post-Gazette.com
Since then the clinic, North America's only such operation, has run at capacity, with some 800 heroin injections daily.
"It's all-round positive, with no downsides," said Perry Kendall, British Columbia province's chief medical officer.
Addicts bring in drugs purchased illegally on the street, and self-inject them under medical supervision. There are onsite emergency services in case of overdose and staff nurses and counselors to provide health care and referrals to rehabilitation facilities.
Full story at Breitbart.com
Among the most provocative findings: New research suggests that once Alzheimer's disease robs someone of the ability to expect that a proven painkiller will help them, it doesn't work nearly as well.
Research is showing the power of expectations, that they have physical -- not just psychological -- effects on your health. Scientists can measure the resulting changes in the brain, from the release of natural painkilling chemicals to alterations in how neurons fire.