Month: December 2015

This Is Truly a Heartbreaking Story– #StopBullying

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Daniel Briggs was a typical high school boy — but he was bullied, relentlessly. So much so that after receiving a text at 2:18, he killed himself. His mom tells the heartbreaking story…

Inside The Mind of Jaxon Cota: An 11 Year Old Genius

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11 year-old Jaxon Cota looks like a normal boy, but he has something hiding within. That is, he is probably smarter than you, and most of us.

Cota was admitted to MENSA two years ago at the age of 9 after scoring 148 on an IQ test. That score was good enough to put him in the top 2nd percentile of all people on the planet.

Jaxon has a special affinity for numbers. He was able to read numbers up to 15 digits by the age of two, into the quadrillions. Now, he does high school level math to challenge himself when he’s bored.

He also is adept at math competitions. He was nearly perfect at MathCON, a national math competition for students in grades 5-12, where he placed 7th out of about 45,000 students.

image“Numbers have always just kinda stuck out to me,” the boy told NBC in a recent interview. “There are just so many things about numbers that are fascinating and so many things to learn.”

“There’s a rhythm to numbers,” said Jaxon’s father, Matthew Cota. “And just something about that is, in a weird way, very simple for him.”

imageOn the surface, he is a boy who loves to play baseball. Below the surface is the science. ”There is just naturally a lot of thinking that’s involved with it,” he said. “There’s statistics and where you have to be on each play.”

The boy is talented enough to skip grades, but both he and his parents choose to stick with his age-assigned grade levels. Regarding skipping grades, he says: ”It’s not something that I’d want to do, because I wouldn’t be able to do the things I love like play baseball or hang out with my friends.”

He is now in sixth grade, where he receives advanced instruction to keep him challenged. His parents believe that it is important that he grows up with his peers.

“Kids that are profoundly gifted are pigeonholed to be one way,” said Lori Cota, Jaxon’s mom. “He’s four years old and he can read, he can do all these things, but he can’t tie his shoes. There are things in every grade level that you need to learn.”

Check out the in-depth coverage of Jaxon Cota in the video below!

Three German Students Surprise a Homeless Man

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I absolutely love the song these guys sing! What a great way to help the world one person at a time.

Music Can Make You Smarter, Happier, and More Productive at All Stages of Life

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Music has played an important part of every human culture, both past and present. People around the world experience universal responses to music.  We’re all familiar with how certain pieces of music can change your mood, get you motivated, or help you concentrate. And now, advances in neuroscience enable researchers to quantitatively measure how music affects the brain.

Their discoveries are exciting — and good news for music lovers.

Music is a fantastic brain exercise that activates every known part of the brain. Music can make you smarter, happier and more productive at all stages of life. Let’s take a closer look at some of the latest findings on the many ways both playing and listening to music can enhance your brain.

Musicians Have Better Brains
If you want evidence of how music affects the brain, it makes sense to look at the brains of people who play a lot of music — professional musicians. Brain scans show that their brains are different than the those of the rest of us. Their brains are noticeably more symmetrical. Areas of the brain responsible for motor control, auditory processing, and spatial coordination are larger. They also have a larger corpus callosum, which is the band of nerve fibers that enables the two hemispheres of the brain to communicate with each other.

Change Your Mood with Music
Science has now proven what music lovers already know, that listening to upbeat music can improve your mood. Listening and playing music reduces chronic stress by lowering the stress hormone cortisol. Music can make you feel more hopeful, powerful, and in control of your life. And listening to sad music has its benefits, too.  If you are going through a tough time, listening to sad music is cathartic; it can help you get in touch with those emotions to help heal them.

Even if you aren’t a professional musician, listening to music can still enhance your work performance. Listening to music at work can make you a happier, more productive employee — especially if it’s music you’ve chosen. Office workers allowed to listen to the kind of music they like complete tasks more quickly and come up with better ideas than those who have no control over their musical choices.

Music Boosts Brain Chemicals
One of the ways music enhances brain function is by stimulating the formation of certain brain chemicals. Listening to music increases the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is the brain’s “motivation molecule” and an integral part of the pleasure-reward system. It’s the same brain chemical responsible for the “feel good” states obtained from eating chocolate, orgasm, and runner’s high.

The World’s Poorest President Is Here To Explain Why We Need To Kick Rich People Out Of Politics

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Do you love money and want to control the world? Then you’re not going to like what former Uruguayan President José Alberto “Pepe” Mujica Cordano has to say about the wealthy in politics.

“We invented this thing called representative democracy, where we say the majority is who decides,” President Mujica said in the interview. “So it seems to me that we [heads of state] should live like the majority and not like the minority.”
President Mujica became popular worldwide after the BBC circulated a piece dubbing him the “World’s Poorest President.” The story reported that he donated 90% of his salary to charity during his time as president and, instead of living in a presidential palace, he opted instead to live on his modest farm with his wife and drive his two-door beater of a car.

Now, he’s lashing out at politicians who only care about themselves and their wealthy donors. And he may have a point. Today, the average member of congress has a net worth of a million dollars and corporations give huge amounts of money to Super PACs without having to disclose their donations.

“The red carpet, people who play — those things,” Mujica said, mimicking a person playing a cornet. “All those things are feudal leftovers. And the staff that surrounds the president are like the old court.”

I can hear the cries of “socialist” already, but Mujica denies that he has any problems with rich people. He just doesn’t think they do an especially good job of doing the business of a nation.

“I’m not against people who have money, who like money, who go crazy for money,” Mujica said. “But in politics we have to separate them. We have to run people who love money too much out of politics, they’re a danger in politics… People who love money should dedicate themselves to industry, to commerce, to multiply wealth. But politics is the struggle for the happiness of all.”

When asked why rich people make bad representatives for poor people, Mujica pulled no punches.

“They tend to view the world through their perspective, which is the perspective of money. Even when operating with good intentions, the perspective they have of the world, of life, of their decisions, is informed by wealth. If we live in a world where the majority is supposed to govern, we have to try to root our perspective in that of the majority, not the minority.”

“The tie is a useless rag that constrains your neck,” Mujica said during the interview. “I’m an enemy of consumerism. Because of this hyperconsumerism, we’re forgetting about fundamental things and wasting human strength on frivolities that have little to do with human happiness.”

Today, he continues to live on a farm on the outskirts of Montevideo with his wife, Senator Lucia Topolansky.

A Good Morning Thought to Start Off Your Week

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Good morning! To start the new week off let’s think about the three C’s- Choices, Chances, Changes. You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change.

Everyday there’s always a few things on our minds that we want to change. We all have something we worry about. Let’s stop putting it off until “tomorrow” and decide that enough is enough. Let’s make the choice, take the chance, so we can make the change!