Fin-footed combat: Navy seal undergoes training for future service (VIDEO)

Once their skills have been honed, the animals can carry out tasks ranging from detecting objects at sea to patrolling facilities from below. As seen in footage from the Murmansk Marine Biological Institute in Russia’s Arctic, the seal grabs cables and swims around on command, preparing for its future missions. At one point, the round-eyed animal emerges briefly from the dark waters before plunging back in, apparently searching for a specific target.

With coaches both on the boat and underwater, the trainee seal is rewarded with treats once it completes the exercises. The seal is on the leash, attached to a boat, so the animal doesn’t head out into the open sea.  

Using seals, dolphins or even whales, for military and civil purposes is nothing new. Located in the Arctic Circle, the institute founded a special department to train animals in a series of skills back in 1984.

There are currently nine seals living on the training base, according to Kommersant. It takes nearly a year and a half to train one mammal. First, the seals learn to let humans come close to them and allow people to attach equipment, as well as to get inside transfer boxes.

Then the animals are trained to perform specific tasks, such as examining targets at depth with a camera, or detecting objects in murky waters. They are also taught to pass instruments to divers who are working underwater.

The history of training marine mammals in Russia dates back to the 1960s, when the USSR started preparing combat dolphins and seals at the Crimean peninsula. The Soviet Navy used the animals to patrol the area, rescue lost naval swimmers or locate underwater mines. Suspended for more than two decades, the program was resumed in 2012.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/419002-cute-navy-seal-training/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Synthetic Opioids Flooding Into US Via Postal Service

By Dr. Mercola

According to U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans under the age of 50.1 Preliminary data for 2016 reveals the death toll from drug overdoses may be as high as 65,000,2 a 19 percent increase since the year before, and the largest annual increase of drug overdose deaths in U.S. history. Data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests over 202,600 Americans died from opioids between 2002 and 2015.3

Opioid abuse has also been identified as a significant factor in rising unemployment among men. A 2016 paper4 found nearly half of all unemployed men between the ages of 25 and 54 are using opioids on a daily basis. Two-thirds of them, about 2 million, are on prescription opioids. A follow-up study5 looking at the opioid epidemic’s impact on the American labor force suggests chronic opioid use accounted for 20 percent of the increase in male unemployment between 1999 and 2015.

Synthetic Opioid Use Is on the Rise

The most common drugs involved in prescription opioid overdose deaths include6 methadone, oxycodone (such as OxyContin®) and hydrocodone (such as Vicodin®). Tragically, synthetic opioids like fentanyl are also being abused by a rising number of people. Deadly overdoses involving fentanyl rose by 50 percent between 2013 and 2014, and another 72 percent between 2014 and 2015. Over 20,000 of the drug overdose deaths in 2016 were attributed to fentanyl and/or other synthetic opioids.7

With a potency nearly 1,000 percent greater than morphine, synthetic opioids like fentanyl are very easy to distribute via mail. A single standard envelope can hold enough fentanyl to get 50,000 people high. Last summer, The New York Times8 reported the deaths of two 13-year-old boys who died after taking the synthetic opioid U-47700, also known as “pinky.” They got the drug from a friend who bought it on the dark web using bitcoin.

Fentanyl Flooding Into US Via Regular Mail 

As recently reported by STAT News9 and ABC News,10 Chinese drug sellers are exploiting the federal government’s inability to track and identify shipments of illicit drugs sent via international mail.

They’re simply shipping fentanyl to the U.S. via the U.S. Postal Service, as this is a “virtually guaranteed route to not get caught” — this despite a 375 percent increase in international mail seizures between 2016 and 2017. (Interception and seizure of domestic packages containing opioids increased by 880 percent.) As explained by STAT News:11

“Part of the reason for this confidence has to do with differences in how well Customs and Border Protection [CBP] can track packages from the various carriers … Much of CBP’s tracking is done using advanced electronic data — basic shipping information required on FedEx and other delivery services packages, but not required for USPS shipments. Only about 36 percent of USPS shipments have the advanced data, a fact which complicates CBP’s tracking efforts.


CBP flags potentially problematic shipments to the carriers, which find and turn over the packages for inspection. CBP can also ask USPS to monitor all packages from a specific country, but has struggled to address the large volume of shipments from China. Some sellers also routed their packages through other countries to avoid that detection.”

Federal Report Calls for Improvements to Identify and Track Illicit Drug Shipments

The potency of fentanyl makes exposure to even minuscule amounts an extreme hazard. As reported by CBS News in May 2017,12 a police officer nearly died after being exposed to fentanyl dust during a routine traffic stop. Fortunately, he survived, but needed no less than four doses of naloxone. Drug-sniffing dogs are also at risk, as inhaling just a few flakes of the drug can be lethal. It stands to reason the drug may also pose a risk to mail and customs workers, should the package rupture during transit or handling.

Disturbingly, a report by the Senate subcommittee on investigations suggests hundreds of millions of dollars of fentanyl are entering the U.S. via the Postal Service, as the federal government is simply not equipped to track or prevent it. A majority of these drugs are coming from China. Of six online sellers offering fentanyl, five are located in China while the location of the sixth is as yet unknown.

According to the report, more than 300 individuals based in the U.S. have received shipments from these vendors, and more than 500 Western Union transactions totaling $230,000 have been identified. While buyers were found in 43 states, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania received the greatest number of shipments.

The street value of these orders is estimated to be around $766 million. The investigation also concluded that at least seven individuals have died from overdosing after receiving a shipment of fentanyl from these vendors.

The bipartisan report is now calling for a number of improvements within the federal government, including advanced electronic data for all international mail. It also urges CBP to increase inspections of packages to identify shipments of illicit drugs, and to automate processing of packages from targeted locations.

Doctors Receive Kickbacks for Prescribing Opioids, Including Fentanyl

Another factor that contributes to rising opioid addiction is kickbacks to doctors for prescribing them. According to a study13 published in August 2017, between August 2013 and December 2015, more than 375,000 non-research opioid-related payments were made to more than 68,000 physicians, totaling more than $46 million. This means 1 in 12 U.S. physicians is collecting kickbacks from drug companies producing prescription opioids.

The top 1 percent of physicians received nearly 83 percent of the payments, and fentanyl prescriptions was associated with the highest payments. Many of the states struggling with the highest rates of overdose deaths, such as Indiana, Ohio and New Jersey, were also those showing the most opioid-related payments to physicians. In other words, there’s a direct link between doctors’ kickbacks and patient addiction rates and deaths.

While back pain has been cited as one of the most common reasons for opioid use, a significant number of people get their first opioid prescription from their dentist.14 This is particularly true for teenagers and young adults.15 Half of all opioids are also prescribed to people with mental health problems such as anxiety.16

What these statistics are telling us is that doctors really need to take greater responsibility for their prescribing habits, and be far more prudent when it comes to handing out prescriptions for opioids. In many cases, an over-the-counter pain reliever may be just as effective, and far safer.

Opioids, Not Cannabis, Are a Priority, Federal Prosecutor Says

While many U.S. states have legalized marijuana either for medicinal and/or recreational use, on January 4, the White House administration rescinded the federal government’s policy to limit enforcement against marijuana sale in states where it is legal under state law.

This creates a convoluted and complex situation for vendors, as they may still face federal prosecution. U.S. federal prosecutor for Massachusetts, Andrew Lelling, recently clarified his stance on marijuana prosecutions in the state, saying “The No. 1 enforcement priority for my office is the opioid crisis … 2,100 people in Massachusetts were killed by opioid overdoses last year, not marijuana overdoses.” As noted by Reuters:17

“The new policy gave U.S. attorney’s offices discretion in how they enforced the law. Lelling, a Trump nominee who took office in December, said on Jan. 8 he would not promise to refrain from prosecuting state-sanctioned marijuana businesses.


Those remarks worried advocates for Massachusetts’ nascent marijuana industry. Lelling said on Wednesday people ‘have lost sight a little bit of the prior statements of the office.’ He said the 14 prosecutors he oversees devoted to drug cases were focused on fentanyl and heroin traffickers. ‘That is where my resources are going right now,’ Lelling said. He also said he was open to pursuing cases over corporations’ roles in the opioid epidemic.”


Indeed, it is virtually impossible to die from an overdose of marijuana, and the idea that legal vendors of medical marijuana (meaning those operating in states where the sale of marijuana has been legalized) can still be prosecuted under federal law seems like an incredible overreach of power. Medical marijuana, if anything, may actually be part of the answer to the opioid crisis, as it can effectively treat many different kinds of pain, but without the lethal side effects associated with opioids.

Feds Cracking Down on Supplements Claiming to Treat Opioid Addiction

Federal regulators are also cracking down on “illegal and unapproved” products claiming to treat or cure opioid addiction and withdrawal, The Washington Post reports.18 So far, about a dozen products, mostly dietary supplements, along with two homeopathic remedies, have been targeted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Eleven companies19 have received warning letters stating that claiming to ease or cure a disease (in this case drug addiction) makes the product subject to FDA authority, and failing to obtain FDA approval means they’re marketing an unapproved drug.

While FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has called for increased availability and use of medication designed to treat drug addiction,20 he warns that “phony remedies could divert people from getting the right treatment.” In a statement, the FTC echoed Gottlieb’s sentiments, saying “Health fraud scams like these can pose serious health risks. These products have not been demonstrated to be safe or effective and may keep some patients from seeking appropriate, FDA-approved therapies.”

Opioids Have Never Been Proven Safe or Effective Beyond Six Weeks of Treatment


It’s rather ironic, but not unexpected, that the opioid crisis has led to the proliferation of costly drugs to treat opioid addiction. NPR recently reported how Alkermes, a company that makes the anti-addiction medication Vivitrol — a monthly injection that costs about $1,000 per shot — is trying to weasel its drug into state laws, making it the sole treatment recommended for opioid addiction.21

What really needs to happen is for the drug industry to be held responsible for creating this situation in the first place, rather than allowing it to profit handsomely a second time. As discussed in several previous articles, the opioid addiction epidemic was no fluke.

Evidence suggests opioid makers such as Purdue Pharma, owned by the Sackler family, knew exactly what they were doing when they claimed opioids — which are chemically very similar to heroin — have an exceptionally low addiction rate when taken by people with pain. In fact, the massive increase in opioid sales has been traced back to an orchestrated marketing plan aimed at misinforming doctors about the drug’s addictive potential.

The drugs’ general effectiveness against pain has also been vastly exaggerated. In April 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a paper in which it noted that:22

“Most placebo-controlled, randomized trials of opioids have lasted six weeks or less, and we are aware of no study that has compared opioid therapy with other treatments in terms of long-term (more than 1 year) outcomes related to pain, function, or quality of life.

The few randomized trials to evaluate opioid efficacy for longer than six weeks had consistently poor results. In fact, several studies have showed that use of opioids for chronic pain may actually worsen pain and functioning, possibly by potentiating pain perception …”

Addicted? Seek Help!

Some marketing materials for opioids still claim the drug will not cause addiction “except in very rare cases,” describing the adverse effects patients experience when quitting the drug as a “benign state” and not a sign of addiction. This simply isn’t true. Panic is one psychological side effect commonly experienced when quitting these drugs, and this can easily fuel a psychological as well as physical dependence on the drug.


It’s important to recognize the signs of addiction, and to seek help. If you’ve been on an opioid for more than two months, or if you find yourself taking higher dosages, or taking the drug more often, you’re likely already addicted and are advised to seek help from someone other than your prescribing doctor. Resources where you can find help include:

Treating Your Pain Without Drugs

With all the health risks associated with opioid painkillers, I strongly urge you to exhaust other options before resorting to these drugs. The good news is there are many natural alternatives to treating pain. Following is information about nondrug remedies, dietary changes and bodywork interventions that can help you safely manage your pain.














Medical cannabis

Medical marijuana has a long history as a natural analgesic and is now legal in 28 states. You can learn more about the laws in your state on medicalmarijuana.procon.org.24

Kratom

Kratom (Mitragyna speciose) is a plant remedy that has become a popular opioid substitute.25 In August 2016, the DEA issued a notice saying it was planning to ban kratom, listing it as Schedule 1 controlled substance. However, following massive outrage from kratom users who say opioids are their only alternative, the agency reversed its decision.26

Kratom is safer than an opioid for someone in serious and chronic pain. However, it’s important to recognize that it is a psychoactive substance and should be used with great care. There’s very little research showing how to use it safely and effectively, and it may have a very different effect from one person to the next. The other issue to address is that there are a number of different strains available with different effects.

Also, while it may be useful for weaning people off opioids, kratom is in itself addictive. So, while it appears to be a far safer alternative to opioids, it’s still a powerful and potentially addictive substance. So please, do your own research before trying it.

Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN)

Naltrexone is an opiate antagonist, originally developed in the early 1960s for the treatment of opioid addiction. When taken at very low doses (LDN, available only by prescription), it triggers endorphin production, which can boost your immune function and ease pain.

Curcumin

A primary therapeutic compound identified in the spice turmeric, curcumin has been shown in more than 50 clinical studies to have potent anti-inflammatory activity. Curcumin is hard to absorb, so best results are achieved with preparations designed to improve absorption. It is very safe and you can take two to three every hour if you need to.

Astaxanthin

One of the most effective oil-soluble antioxidants known, astaxanthin has very potent anti-inflammatory properties. Higher doses are typically required for pain relief, and you may need 8 milligrams or more per day to achieve results.

Boswellia

Also known as boswellin or “Indian frankincense,” this herb contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which have been prized for thousands of years. This is one of my personal favorites, as it worked well for many of my former rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Bromelain

This protein-digesting enzyme, found in pineapples, is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can be taken in supplement form, but eating fresh pineapple may also be helpful. Keep in mind most of the bromelain is found within the core of the pineapple, so consider eating some of the pulpy core when you consume the fruit.

Cayenne cream

Also called capsaicin cream, this spice comes from dried hot peppers. It alleviates pain by depleting your body’s supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that transmit pain signals to your brain.

Cetyl myristoleate (CMO)

This oil, found in dairy butter and fish, acts as a joint lubricant and anti-inflammatory. I have used a topical preparation of CMO to relieve ganglion cysts and a mild case of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Evening primrose, black currant and borage oils

These oils contain the fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid, which is useful for treating arthritic pain.

Ginger

This herb is anti-inflammatory and offers pain relief and stomach-settling properties. Fresh ginger works well steeped in boiling water as a tea, or incorporated into fresh vegetable juice.

Dietary Changes to Fight Inflammation and Manage Your Pain

Unfortunately, physicians often fall short when attempting to effectively treat chronic pain, resorting to the only treatment they know: prescription drugs. While these drugs may bring some temporary relief, they will do nothing to resolve the underlying causes of your pain. If you suffer from chronic pain, making the following changes to your diet may bring you some relief.







Consume more animal-based omega-3 fats. Similar to the effects of anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical drugs, omega-3 fats from fish and fish oils work to directly or indirectly modulate a number of cellular activities associated with inflammation. While drugs have a powerful ability to inhibit your body’s pain signals, omega-3s cause a gentle shift in cell signaling to bring about a lessened reactivity to pain.

Eating healthy seafood like anchovies or sardines, which are low in environmental toxins, or taking a high-quality supplement such as krill oil are your best options for obtaining omega-3s. DHA and EPA, the omega-3 oils contained in krill oil, have been found in many animal and clinical studies to have anti-inflammatory properties, which are beneficial for pain relief.

Radically reduce your intake of processed foods. Processed foods not only contain chemical additives and excessive amounts of sugar, but also are loaded with damaging omega-6 fats. By eating these foods, especially fried foods, you upset your body’s ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty-acids, which triggers inflammation. Inflammation is a key factor in most pain.

Eliminate or radically reduce your consumption of grains and sugars. Avoiding grains and sugars, especially fructose, will lower your insulin and leptin levels. Elevated insulin and leptin levels are one of the most profound stimulators of inflammatory prostaglandin production, which contributes to pain.

While healthy individuals are advised to keep their daily fructose consumption below 25 grams from all sources, you’ll want to limit your intake to 15 grams per day until your pain is reduced. Eating sugar increases your uric acid levels, which leads to chronic, low-level inflammation.

Optimize your production of vitamin D. As much as possible, regulate your vitamin D levels by regularly exposing large amounts of your skin to sunshine. If you cannot get sufficient sun exposure, taking an oral vitamin D3 supplement, along with vitamin K2 and magnesium, is highly advisable. Get your blood level tested to be sure you’re within the therapeutic range of 60 to 80 ng/mL year-round.

Bodywork Methods That Reduce Pain

The following bodywork methods have also demonstrated effectiveness for pain relief and pain management.

Acupuncture: According to The New York Times,27 an estimated 3 million American adults receive acupuncture annually, most often for the treatment of chronic pain. A study28 published in the Archives of Internal Medicine concluded acupuncture has a definite effect in reducing back and neck pain, chronic headache, osteoarthritis and shoulder pain — more so than standard pain treatment.

Chiropractic adjustments: While previously used most often to treat back pain, chiropractic treatment addresses many other problems — including asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, headaches, migraines, musculoskeletal pain, neck pain and whiplash. According to a study29 published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, patients with neck pain who used a chiropractor and/or exercise were more than twice as likely to be pain-free in 12 weeks compared to those who took medication.

Massage therapy: Massage releases endorphins, which help induce relaxation, relieve pain and reduce levels of stress chemicals such as cortisol and noradrenaline. A systematic review and meta-analysis30 published in the journal Pain Medicine, included 60 high-quality and seven low-quality studies that looked into the use of massage for various types of pain, including bone and muscle, fibromyalgia, headache and spinal-cord pain.


The study revealed massage therapy relieves pain better than getting no treatment at all. When compared to other pain treatments like acupuncture and physical therapy, massage therapy still proved beneficial and had few side effects. In addition to relieving pain, massage therapy also improved anxiety and health-related quality of life.

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT): EFT continues to be one of the easiest and most effective ways to deal with acute and chronic pain. The technique is simple and can be applied in mere minutes. A study31 published in Energy Psychology examined the levels of pain in a group of 50 people attending a three-day EFT workshop, and found their pain dropped by 43 percent during the workshop.

Six weeks later, their pain levels were reported to be 42 percent lower than before the workshop. As a result of applying EFT, participants felt they had an improved sense of control and ability to cope with their chronic pain. In the video below, EFT expert Julie Schiffman, teaches you how to use EFT to address chronic pain.


Source Article from https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/02/07/rising-synthetic-opioid-use.aspx

At This Hotel, There Is A Canine Concierge Service That Delivers A Puppy To Your Room

By  Amanda Froelich Truth Theory

At Hotel Nikko in San Francisco, California, everyone has puppy fever. This is because the establishment has a “Chief Canine Officer” named Buster Posey, who will happily snuggle with visitors.

News of the canine concierge room service went viral after a Twitter user uploaded photographs and a caption of the neat experience. @EvansPosts wrote: “The hotel I’m staying at puts a stuffed puppy on the bed. They allow their guests to dial the operator and they will bring the REAL pup to your room.”

All one needs to do to take advantage of the service is to pick up the phone and dial ‘0’. An employee will then check Buster’s schedule and set up a time for him to visit your room. After a proper cuddling session, the popular dog will head back to his home.

The service is great for those who travel for long periods of time. Whether venturing to new locations for work or because one lives on the road, it isn’t easy being away from family and fur babies for long. This acknowledged, it makes sense why Buster is such a celebrity at Hotel Nikko.

Being able to cuddle with Buster isn’t just fun, it’s medicinal. Studies have shown that spending time around pets benefits a human health in more ways than one.

1) Cuddling with a pet helps ward off allergies

After conducting a number of studies on the subject, University of Wisconsin-Madison pediatrician James E. Gern concluded that having a pet in the home actually lowers a child’s likelihood of developing related allergies by as much as 33 percent! In fact, his research (published in the journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology) shows that kids who are exposed to animals early on in their lives tend to develop stronger immune systems as a result.

2) Animals make you more social

Everyone needs social interactions. Striking up conversation with someone you don’t know can be hard, however, which is why having a dog is beneficial. As Animal Planet reports, being responsible for a pet means you can easily use them as an “icebreaker” when meeting new people. After all, who can resist puppy eyes and playful antics?

3) Owning a pet improves overall health

Based on studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH), pet owners exhibit decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. All of these can minimize one’s risk for a heart attack down the road.

Pet lovers are believed to experience these benefits because pets lower overall stress, as well as need regular exercise.

For these reasons, we think it is great that Hotel Nikko has Buster as their mascot. Follow the pup’s antics on Instagram and Twitter.

Read more: This Dog Was So Neglected, His Leg Fell Off During Grooming

Source Article from https://truththeory.com/2018/01/03/hotel-canine-concierge-service-delivers-puppy-room/

Russian Security Service Detains Suspect in St Petersburg Supermarket Explosion



 


The explosive device detonated at a branch of the Perekrestok supermarket chain in Russia’s second largest city on December 27, leaving at least 13 people wounded.

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Saturday it had detained the organizer of the blast. The suspect has been handed over to the Investigative Committee for the interrogation.

This development comes in the wake of reports that the terrorist group Daesh claimed the responsibility for the incident. The terrorists, however, failed to support the claims with any kind of evidence.

Prior to that, Russian President Vladimir Putin described the incident as a terrorist attack, saying that the FSB should deal with terrorists within the law. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said later that the blast wasn’t considered by authorities as a failure of the intelligence services.

Meanwhile, the Russian Investigative Committee has said that “all possible versions of what took place” would be scrutinized.

By Thursday morning, six of 13 people injured by the explosion were released from a hospital. St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko said that every victim of the incident will get 300,000 rubles in compensation.

Also in December, the FSB detained a group of Daesh supporters who planned to carry out a series of explosions in the city, targeting such sites as the Kazan Cathedral.

Source






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This Man Left Wall Street to Start a Ride Service for Chemotherapy Patients

By  Amanda Froelich Truth Theory

Rarely do people change unless situations force them to. One example of this might be a person with Arthritis who learns nightshade plants (tomatoes, eggplant and bell peppers) exacerbate their condition, so they omit them from their diet. Or, an obese person learns they have Type II diabetes; as a result, they begin exercising and eat only whole, plant-based foods.

Though waiting until one is forced to change isn’t the most intelligent way to live life, it’s part of the human condition. In effect, we can all empathize with it. Not long ago, 35-year-old Zach Bolster was forced to change his life, as well. However, the way he transformed — and what he created as a result — is quite unconventional.

In a matter of months, Bolster went from living the good life in New York City, working as the vice president of a Wall Street hedge fund, to creating and running a non-profit in a small town near Charlotte, North Carolina. His then fiancé, Patricia, had a successful career in real-estate.

People reports that the change was inspired by his mom, Gloria, who had recently been diagnosed with cancer. Bolster explained, “I was in New York living my life and we were both intensely focused on our careers, but we were really happy. But then my mom got diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer and we dropped everything and moved in with my mom. We were all focusing on getting my mom better.”

Initially, Gloria thought in her shoulder was a pulled muscle. However, it was later learned that the cancer had returned. Understandably, the family was devastated. After all, Gloria beat breast cancer in 2001, only to have it return.

Sadly, it was only six weeks before she passed. “It was really quick,” said Bolster. “My first week in town with her we went on a two-mile walk – went for a kayak ride – that was the last good day that she had.”

Bolster says his mom was the “glue” that kept their family together. “She spent her life helping everyone. She had an important career, she was an athlete… but she was always the one helping all of us,” he said

When Gloria was alive, Zach, Patricia and other family members went with her to every chemotherapy treatment. That’s how they they learned other patients often have a tough time getting to their appointments.

My family was shocked by how many cancer patients had difficulty getting to their chemotherapy treatments,” said Bolster. “We soon realized what a huge financial and family burden transportation during cancer treatments can be. Some patients resorted to riding the bus, others, unfortunately, missed their treatment altogether.”

Wanting to help, Bolster started volunteering to drive patients to their treatments. He soon learned this wasn’t the best system, however. Patients had to request their rides days in advance, and a lot of time was wasted. To remedy the shortcomings of his ambitions to be helpful, he decided to found a non-profit that could meet the needs of chemotherapy patients.

Using their own money, Zach and his now wife, Patricia, started ChemoCars. The non-profit uses software that integrates with Uber and Lyft to get cancer patients safe, on-demand rides to and from their treatments. People reports that they work with treatment centers to identify patients that might need transportation. Additionally, ChemoCars monitors all of the rides to ensure people get there and back safely. In the eight months since ChemoCars was founded, the good Samaritans have given away more than 2,000 free rides.

As you might expect, patients are extraordinary grateful for the service. Said Patricia Curry, 58, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year: “He is such an extraordinary man, such a sweet guy. There have been a couple of times where I haven’t been feeling well and I forget to call for a ride and he’ll check in and call to see if I need a car.”

Having worked on Wall Street, Bolster has a mind for business. This is why he plans to expand the non-profit nationwide to help more people. We at Truth Theory applaud the initiative.

What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!

Read more: Leading Researchers Find A Direct Link Between Cancer And Alcohol Consumption

Image Credit: Kate Kmetzsc

Source Article from https://truththeory.com/2017/12/26/man-left-wall-street-start-ride-service-chemotherapy-patients/

How to operate a one-man customer service department and still have time to run your business









 






In order for your small company to succeed, you need to have a firm grasp over all aspects of running a business – from accounting and marketing, all the way to manufacturing and distribution.

And while it’s definitely possible for you to handle all of those tasks on your own, there seems to be that one thing all business owners struggle with – customer service. It’s in your best interest to keep your customers happy and coming back, but the sheer number of requests, inquiries and questions is often overwhelming even for a team counting five or more members.

So, how do you approach this seemingly unsolvable problem? Easy. Hear us out.

1. Create a website for your business

You’re probably aware of how important having a website is, but you probably didn’t give much thought to how important having a responsive and reliable website is.

SITE123 is amazing website builder that allows its clients to create beautifully designed, fully responsive websites in minutes. As beautiful and easy to make they are, it’s not even their best feature. What we love about SITE123 is how safe and reliable it is. It also doesn’t hurt that it seamlessly integrates with dozens of third party apps that make your life much easier.

2. Add a custom contact form

Enabling your clients a fuss free way to contact you will, contrary to popular belief, make managing all of your customer service inquires much easier.

123ContactForm and JotForm are both incredibly easy to use online form builders you can find in SITE123’s App Market. They fit perfectly into any design you choose for your website, and you can customize it as much as you’d like.

That way, all of the requests and questions you receive will be stored in one place and easily accessible. Answering those inquires won’t take any longer than answering any of the emails you get, but having it all centralized will make all the difference.

3. Add a live chat

As great as contact forms are, sometimes people just need a super quick answer to a very specific question. When filling out a contact form and waiting for an answer just won’t do, that’s where live chats step in.

Live chat apps such as Intercom Live Chat make answering those kinds of customer inquires a breeze. Find them in SITE123’s App Market and add them to your website with a single click. You can create a custom greeting message and an automated response for when your customers reach out to you. Answering questions is as easy as texting, and the responsiveness and dedication will make your customers love you more.

Just by using these two simple tools and adding them to your website will enable you to manage your customer service department – on your own. Having everything centralized on your website means you won’t be spending hours on end answering customer messages, and you’ll be left with more time to focus on what’s important – growing your business.




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World’s first solar train will begin service soon in Byron Bay, Australia

The train, which features restored vintage carriages with flexible solar panels on their roofs, will travel between its solar-charging train station and a resort property in Byron Bay.

The Byron Bay Railroad Company is putting a disused track to work again with a restored “derelict heritage train” that has been converted to be 100% solar powered. The not-for-profit company refurbished a 3-kilometer stretch of tracks, as well as a bridge, between the town of Byron Bay, where a 30kW solar array, battery storage system, and charging station has also been installed, and the nearby Elements of Byron Bay resort.

The solar train features a 6.5kW solar array comprised of flexible solar panels on the roofs of the carriages, which can together carry up to 100 passengers at a time. The rooftop solar array will feed into the onboard 77kWh battery, which also gets partially charged between trips by the station’s solar array. According to RenewEconomy, the battery is about the same capacity as that in a Tesla Model S, but the solar train only requires about 4kWh to travel each leg of the trip, so there is plenty of juice for it to make “12-15 runs off a single charge,” and the regenerative braking feature will allow the train to recoup “around 25% of the spent energy each time the brakes are applied.”

The train was originally intended to be put into service as a diesel unit, but after “a fair bit of community resistance” to the idea of having a diesel train running there, the company explored the option of using an electric drive system coupled with a solar charging station, and found it to be a feasible alternative. The original carriages, which were built in 1949 at Chullora Railway Workshops in Sydney using lightweight aluminum aircraft technology (the facility was used from 1942-1945 to build bombers) were restored by Lithgow Railway Workshop.

All of the train’s systems, including traction power, lighting, control circuits, and air compressors, are powered by solar (via the battery), which the company believes qualifies it “as a world first.” The Byron Bay solar train also includes one of the original two diesel engines as an emergency backup in the event of a fault in the electric drive system. More information about the service, which is set to begin December 16th, is available at the website.

And if you needed another reason to go to Byron Bay other than just to ride a solar train, remember that it’s also the most spiritual place on Earth.

h/t RenewEconomy

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/solar-technology/worlds-first-solar-train-will-begin-service-soon-byron-bay-australia.html

This Cat Named D-O-G Helps Train Pups To Be Service Dogs

Not many cats get to have a career as a dog trainer, but one Missouri feline is doing just that.

The Associated Press reported Thursday on D-O-G (pronounced “dee-OH-jee”), a fluffy black and white cat who plays an important role at Support Dogs, Inc. in St. Louis. The group trains dogs for a variety of purposes, including assisting people with mobility-related issues and people with hearing loss.

Dogs aiding people with disabilities need to be comfortable around other types of animals and remain calm in the face of distraction. D-O-G is apparently the perfect candidate for testing their patience and can be seen in the video below batting at a dog’s tail and playing with a dog’s leash.

“He rules the roost,” CEO Anne Klein told ABC News last month. “He is the boss.”

Now a certified internet star, D-O-G has come a long way from his former life as a barn kitten. Nadine Wenig, director of canine services at Support Dogs, Inc., met the friendly kitten over the summer at a bed and breakfast and was “instantly smitten,” according to This Dog’s Life. The owners of the business ended up giving her the kitten, and she brought him back to the nonprofit’s center, where staff cautiously introduced him to the resident dogs.

“We saw that he was completely fearless despite his size and had no issue being around and close to the dogs,” volunteer manager Stephanie McCreary told This Dog’s Life. 

Support Dogs, Inc. CEO Anne Klein told People Pets back in September that the office is pretty cushy for D-O-G, who has a multi-level cat condo to himself and is doted on by staff.

“There are a few staff members who like to pretend they’re exclusively dog lovers, but everyone secretly adores D-O-G,” she said. “He’s spoiled rotten.”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/cat-named-d-o-g-231222586.html

World’s first solar train will begin service soon in Byron Bay, Australia

The train, which features restored vintage carriages with flexible solar panels on their roofs, will travel between its solar-charging train station and a resort property in Byron Bay.

The Byron Bay Railroad Company is putting a disused track to work again with a restored “derelict heritage train” that has been converted to be 100% solar powered. The not-for-profit company refurbished a 3-kilometer stretch of tracks, as well as a bridge, between the town of Byron Bay, where a 30kW solar array, battery storage system, and charging station has also been installed, and the nearby Elements of Byron Bay resort.

The solar train features a 6.5kW solar array comprised of flexible solar panels on the roofs of the carriages, which can together carry up to 100 passengers at a time. The rooftop solar array will feed into the onboard 77kWh battery, which also gets partially charged between trips by the station’s solar array. According to RenewEconomy, the battery is about the same capacity as that in a Tesla Model S, but the solar train only requires about 4kWh to travel each leg of the trip, so there is plenty of juice for it to make “12-15 runs off a single charge,” and the regenerative braking feature will allow the train to recoup “around 25% of the spent energy each time the brakes are applied.”

The train was originally intended to be put into service as a diesel unit, but after “a fair bit of community resistance” to the idea of having a diesel train running there, the company explored the option of using an electric drive system coupled with a solar charging station, and found it to be a feasible alternative. The original carriages, which were built in 1949 at Chullora Railway Workshops in Sydney using lightweight aluminum aircraft technology (the facility was used from 1942-1945 to build bombers) were restored by Lithgow Railway Workshop.

All of the train’s systems, including traction power, lighting, control circuits, and air compressors, are powered by solar (via the battery), which the company believes qualifies it “as a world first.” The Byron Bay solar train also includes one of the original two diesel engines as an emergency backup in the event of a fault in the electric drive system. More information about the service, which is set to begin December 16th, is available at the website.

And if you needed another reason to go to Byron Bay other than just to ride a solar train, remember that it’s also the most spiritual place on Earth.

h/t RenewEconomy

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/solar-technology/worlds-first-solar-train-will-begin-service-soon-byron-bay-australia.html