Gay Couples Parent Just Like Everybody Else

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreHearing the voices recently insisting that it is best for a child to grow up with one father and one mother reminds me of a powerful documentary that aired this January on MTV called, I Have Gay Parents. Part of the ThinkMTV series entitled True Life, I Have Gay Parents follows three teens through their every day lives in a riveting look at what it means to have gay parents.REVIEW Hope is an adopted dark-skinned girl growing up on Staten Island with two white dads. She is preparing to leave for Wellesley College and her dads are shown fussing and worrying about her needs and desires (in one case, her yen for a tattoo — about which they are not happy). They obviously care deeply about her and are having a difficult time letting their chick leave the nest.Aidan’s story was more suspenseful as she was trying out for the position of drum major at her conservative high school in Richmond, VA. . .(photo- Aidan with two moms, from MTV’s True Life: I Have Gay Parents)Aidan lives with her birth mom, but, instead of the father, who ran off as soon as he heard the news of the pregnancy, her other parent is a second mom, who has raised Aiden as her own. We see the two moms encouraging their daughter to visualize becoming the drum major, helping her to practice, reminding her to smile. We also meet the band’s director who admires Aidan’s talent, and dedication to the band but openly worries of what other parents would say or do if he were to bestow leadership on the “token” gay-rights student advocate in school. It didn’t seem very likely for Aidan to win the competion in such an ultra-conservative Christian community. But, undaunted by the odds, determined and self-confident, Aidan won the coveted role as drum major. And, checking back with the school several weeks later, the film’s producers found that although the director feared parents would pull their kids out of the band in protest, none of the students had withdrawn.The third teen was Cooper, a young man who grew up in Berkeley, Calif., and is now a freshman in Iowa. “His ‘two moms’ are life partners who made a decision 19 years ago that one of them would become pregnant by a sperm donor.”Linda Stasi wrote in the New York Post:“Following these very nice, very well-balanced kids through the struggles of life is great TV. For one thing, it points out that it’s not your parents’ sexuality that matters as much as how they treat you. A child who is loved unconditionally, who is given boundaries within reason and whose parents are courageous in their beliefs — whatever those beliefs are — without drumming it into their kid’s head, turns out to be the kind of kid we all would like to call our own.”The Web site AfterEllen.com agrees that the teens in the documentary are all “thoughtful, insightful, and — dare we say — well adjusted.”These portrayals are supported by positive statistics about kids with gay families. For example, a recent Tufts University study found that children who are raised in same-sex families have no difference in gender identity, sexual orientation, or emotional issues than their peers from heterosexual households. Another study with similar results is the 2004 National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.____________________________________________________________________________________________Interestingly, the Tufts study also found that children from gay families might be better off developmentally, exhibiting higher self-esteem, better behavior, and fewer incidences of mental illness and emotional disturbances. Experts suggest that this trend is due to the open-mindedness and stoic attitudes that many gay people must adopt in order to survive in a discriminatory world. “I think that my parents being gay has given me a lot of freedom to be who I am and to explore further who I’m going to become,” says Hope. If more people could see this sort of portrayal of gay families on television, it would be more difficult for Conservatives to pass muster in today’s debate on a marriage ammendment to the Constitution. They couldn’t use the old “protect the families” argument. The gay moms and dads in this show aren’t raising dysfunctional children. “They are simply doing laundry, making dinner, and driving their kids to school like everyone else.”AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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Ex-rebel Becomes Aceh Governor

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore”A former separatist rebel has been sworn in as the first directly elected governor of Indonesia’s Aceh province,” reports the BBC. He won last December’s elections after a peace deal between the government and rebels from the Free Aceh Movement ended nearly 30 years of civil conflict that had killed 15,000 people. This cooperation between former foes blossomed as a direct result of the disasterous tsunami of 2004… Aceh was the closest point of land to the epicenter of the massive 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, which triggered a tsunami that devastated much of the western coast of the region, including part of the capital of Banda Aceh. From 130,000 – 238,000 persons were dead or missing, with a further 500,000 plus being made homeless. This led to the signing of a peace agreement on August 15, 2005 between the government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM). ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ GAM was a separatist group seeking independence for the Aceh region of Sumatra from Indonesia. GAM declared a ceasefire of hostilities to allow for aid to reach within the disputed area. In turn, the Indonesian government temporarily removed restrictions of northern Sumatra to allow for rescue efforts in that area. Following the 2005 peace agreement with the Indonesian Government, the organisation surrendered its separatist intentions, dissolved its armed wing, and agreed to disarm. In return, a presidential decree granted amnesty to about five hundred former GAM members who were in exile in other countries, including the leadership, and unconditionally released about 1,400 members who had been jailed by the Government. Indonesia agreed to facilitate the establishment of Aceh-based political parties; this had been one of the most contentious issues in previous negotiations. A “truth and reconciliation commission” will be organized. On the question of the uneven distribution of income, it was settled that 70 percent of the income from local natural resources will stay within Aceh. (Source: Wikipedia) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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200 Converge on Grand Central Station in Guerilla Comedy Mission (Video)

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreOn a recent Saturday two hundred New Yorkers sycronized their watches, converged on the grand concourse of the world’s largest train station and froze in place like statues while hundreds of travelers gawked in awe at the Grand Central Station spectacle.The “flash mob,” as such groups are known, was organized by Charlie Todd whose website ImprovEverywhere.com is dedicated to causing “scenes of chaos and joy in public places.” Check out more about Imrove Everywhere in this special report by ABC News: AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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Gateses Give $290 Million for Innovative Education

first_img(Continue reading in New York Times)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreThe Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Thursday announced its biggest education donation in a decade, $290 million, in support of three school districts and five charter groups working to transform how teachers are evaluated and how they get tenure. A separate $45 million research initiative will study 3,700 classroom teachers in six cities, including New York, seeking to answer the question that has puzzled investigators for decades: What, exactly, makes a good teacher effective?last_img read more

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New Mothers Grow Bigger Brains Within Months of Giving Birth

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreMotherhood may actually cause the brain to grow, not turn it into mush, as some have claimed.Exploratory research published by the American Psychological Association found that the brains of new mothers bulked up in areas linked to motivation and behavior, and that mothers who gushed the most about their babies showed the greatest growth in key parts of the mid-brain.(READ the full story in Science Daily)Photo by Kahle via morguefileAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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Ford Auto Parts Made of Mushrooms, Rather Than Plastic

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreEben Bayer of Ecovative announced a new partnership with Ford to create compostable car parts from mushrooms.Instead of wasting an enormous amount of energy and oil to make plastic or styrofoam, the New York-based start-up uses agricultural waste to create biodegradable parts and packing materials.The fungus-based parts for Ford — automotive bumpers, side doors and dashboards — will be fireproof and waterproof. Best of all, if buried in soil they would decompose within one month. His 26-year-old co-founder and chief scientist, Gavin McIntyre, says, “You would be able to compost your car.”CHECK Out: Biodegradable Urns Will Turn You Into A Tree After You DieFord, which already uses soy-based foam for seat cushions, wants to replace about 30 pounds of petroleum-based foam per car with eco-friendly alternatives.The positive effects of biodegradable materials on our environment would be huge. Every time a consumer discards the white packing material cushioning their new TVs and computers, 1.5 liters of petroleum are wasted (per cubic foot of styrofoam.) This white stuff is filling our landfills, comprising fully 25 percent of materials dumped there, according to the EPA.SEE Positive Stories Every Day: GET OUR GOOD NEWS APP–> Download FREE for Android and iOSComputer-maker Dell, with its goal of eliminating 20 million pounds of packaging material from its shipments by the end of 2012, announced this week that it will use Ecovative’s mushroom-based packaging to ship a line of its computer servers. In 2009, the company began using bamboo to cushion some of their electronics.The eco-friendly packing material is just as sturdy as traditional foam, says Dell — and just as economical, according to Ecovative. Visit their website for more information: www.EcovativeDesign.com.READ more in CNN-Money and WATCH the Planet Forward video to see how mushroom parts are made.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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Haiti Planning Solar Energy Rollout

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreHaiti is planning the rollout of more than 7,000 new solar street lamps for the country, according to Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe. It’s part of an infrastructure push Lamothe’s office said included an emphasis on the construction of new schools.The Solar Electric Light Fund has been installing solar electric systems at healthcare facilities across Haiti, a project that could bring power to 170,000 Haitians. (READ the story in Caribbean Journal)Solar panels at Mirebalais’ new hospital (Photo: PIH)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore read more

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Disabled Boy Pulled by Brother in Heartwarming Triathalons

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreSports Illustrated has named Conner and Cayden Long the 2012 SportsKids of the Year for their inspiring triathlon performances. Seven-year-old Cayden is unable to walk or talk on his own, but his nine-year-old brother Conner had an idea that would allow the two to participate in sports together.Conner pulls his brother with amazing determination letting him ride in a raft or cart, as the experience bringing them closer together with every race. (WATCH the video below, or READ the story from Sports Illustrated)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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Helicopter Blows Deer Trapped On Ice To Safety

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreLongtime Good News Network viewers will not be overly-amazed by the dramatic helicopter rescue of a deer trapped on thin ice in the middle of a frozen Canadian harbor.Ian Waugh spotted the doe and fawn struggling out on the ice and notified the Department of Natural Resources. He said the doe struggled for hours, trying to stand up on the slippery ice but she kept falling.A few hours later, Waugh spotted a DNR helicopter near the mother and the alarmed fawn ran to shore as the chopper descended. He was amazed by what happened next and captured it on camera.The solution described as “brilliant” in the CTV report was identical to the one used in two other ice rescues — in 2007 and in 2010 when an Oklahoma TV news chopper pilot saved a doe and a calf from icy peril three years apart.Watch those here.(WATCH the latest video below)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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Guy Wins $45K On Game Show With World’s Best Guess

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreAll the Wheel of Fortune player knew was that the answer was a ‘thing’, it was three words of varying length and started with an “NE”.Incredibly, Emil, who the host Pat Sajak called a very good puzzle solver, pulled the answer out of nowhere.Sajak was so amazed, he became suspicious and playfully pretended to search him for hidden devices. (WATCH the video below from AOL) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore Thanks to Andrew N. for submitting the link!last_img read more

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