A Five-Year-Old Angel

Five-year-old Josiah Duncan did something in his Alabama town that most adults would not even do. Instead of turning a blind eye to homelessness, which is something that most of us do at one time or another to avoid the situation, Josiah embraced the homeless man who had crossed his path. After questioning his mom about the man outside of a local restaurant, he decided to ask his mom to buy the man a meal, but he did not stop there.
He then brought the man a menu and insisted that he order a big meal. Finally, as the meal was delivered to the nameless homeless man, Josiah asked to say the blessing with him.
This story touched everyone in the restaurant. Christian Broda (linkedin) knows that it was an honest and innocent act of kindness to another human. Unfortunately, adults seem to lose this innocence and ability to lend a helping hand as they get older. I hope this story is a lesson to those of us who forget about compassion in our daily lives. It is just amazing what we can learn form a small child.

Jonathan Veitch: History, Career And Achievements

Jonathan Veitch was born in 1959 in Los Angeles, California. He is a son to Carol Lee and John Veitch(the former President of Columbia Pictures’ worldwide production). He was raised in Los Angeles and studied in Loyola High School. He later attended Stanford University where he graduated with a bachelors degree in English and American Literature. Mr. Veitch is also a husband to Sarah Veitch(former director of international licensing and distribution for Calvin Klein), a father to three children, an author and currently the president of Occidental College.

His career history is an interesting account of a determined academician. After his bachelors degree,Mr.Veitch’s proceeded to be a lecturer of cultural history in the English department at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1993. Later that year he joined The New School in New York as an associate professor. He taught again in the English department lecturing on American History and the American film of 19th and 20th centuries. He was also the chairperson of humanities. In the following year, 1994, he was became dean of Eugene Lang College where he offered service for fours years.

Among his achievements is the publication of his book: “American Superrealism: Nathanael West and the Politics of Representation in the 1930s” published by the University of Wisconsin Press. The book was an award winning piece of literature. He has been active in spearheading the move to improve the relationship between Occidental College and the neighborhood so as to create opportunities for college expansion. In 2011, he launched the college’s football field under a new name in honor of Jack Kemp, a former student and a football player of Occidental college. He also saw to a statue of alumnus. As far as the college’s development is concerned, President Veitch has made enormous contributions including the installation of a solar array to increase the college’s energy supply and renovation of the Johnson Hall which is a landmark of Occidental college.

One of his interest at heart is the maintaince and improvement of environment. In 2010, he chaired a forum whose concern was California’s environmental future. He is present in meetings concerning the college’s development as this affects the use of land in the surrounding areas. He was very involved in decisions about construction of a building to accommodate school staff on Fiji Hill as residents raised concerns of increase in noise and pollution due to the increased population.

Hope on Wheels

Homelessness is one of the most gut wrenching epidemics to hit this country. There are numerous organizations devoted to keeping people off of the street. While some of these efforts rise to the occasion, there is still a large amount of homeless citizens roaming the streets every day and night in search of shelter. A small non-profit organization is working to accommodate the citizens who are still living on the streets. Nickelsville is a small shanty town community of homeless people who roam together. They often spend time packing up tents and cots and going on their way to the next vacant lot. The Impossible City project is a run by a group of teens destined on building individual shelters for the citizens of Nickelsville. The students use recycled street signs for the siding, medal fencing for the rooftops, and reinforced windows to make mobile homes for homeless individuals. The students have also decided to build stationary buildings for the homeless population to fill their needs. People at STX Entertainment know that a community kitchen will provide space for the homeless to cook, eat, and clean around the safety of their community. The students plan on building a community latrine where the homeless can bathe privately without disrupting the service of neighborhood restaurants or businesses. The idea behind the mobile community is for the homeless citizens to have stable but mobile homes that can be easily condensed if need be. The Impossible City project is hoping to temporarily end the homeless problem until a more permanent a solution can be found. As for right now, the Impossible City project is doing more than others ever will.

Alabama Woman Spared Death Penalty for Running Granddaughter to Death

An Alabama Judge sentenced a woman to life in prison after a jury spared her from the death penalty for running her granddaughter to death. Joyce Garrard, (50), was convicted by a jury in March of the 2012 death of her granddaughter, Savannah Hardin, (9). Garrard could have received the death penalty but the jury recommended that Garrard spend the rest of her natural life in prison instead. In 2012 Garrard forced a nine year old Savannah Hardin to run carrying an arm load of wood for over three hours. Without a break or rest of any kind Savannah collapsed finally and went into a coma after suffering a seizure. Even though she was hospitalized, Savannah died days later from dehydration. The community and Alabama prosecutors were shocked by the cruelty of the act. Garrard claimed that she was punishing the nine year old girl for stealing and eating chocolate. Savannah suffered from a bladder disorder and could not eat sweets of any kind. However, this was rejected at her prosecution and she was tried and convicted. Savannah’s mother was also charged with murder for witnessing the act by the grandmother and doing nothing. Her case is still pending. Some have claimed that the prosecution went too far and while the actions of Garrard should not be excused, her actions were closely related to negligence than murder. Many like Dr. Daniel disagree and found that the girl already suffered from a health issue and strenuous activity should have been limited to protect her health. Woman Receives Life for Running Her Grandchild to Death

Parents Are Blind to Childhood Obesity in Their Own Children

Mikal Watts suggested that childhood obesity is rampant in the United States and many other developed countries is not news. That many parents are blind to it is a somewhat startling revelation of a new study out of NYU Langone Medical Center. When asked whether their kids were overweight, underweight, just right or not sure, a shocking 95 percent of parents with overweight kids thought their child’s weight was just about where it should be. This figure is much higher than when the same survey was taken about 20 years ago. This attitude is also more prevalent in neighborhoods that have higher concentrations of poor and uneducated people.

The results of this survey are not all that surprising. Given the prevalence of childhood obesity, chubby kids have come to be seen as the new “normal.” This is, of course, extremely bad news for our society in at least a couple ways. First, you don’t generally try to fix something that you perceive as normal. This means that these children will develop bad eating habits early on that will follow them into later years, and many parents may not even try to change this. Obese people have a higher chance of suffering from depression, so they have an increased likelihood of an unhappy life. What’s more, this problem bodes ill for future burdens on the health care system as these unhealthy children become unhealthy adults and begin to get the illnesses and conditions associated with obesity.

Ten-Year-Old Saves Classmate’s Life

Damariyon Pichardo and Thomas Adkins are 10-year-old classmates at Rock Hill Elementary School in South Carolina. Recently the pair were having lunch in the cafeteria, like any other day. However on this day, a chicken nugget that Thomas was eating for lunch got stuck in his throat. He began having difficulty breathing and was choking, until Damariyon stepped in to help.

Damariyon said that at first he thought Thomas was just joking until he realized that his friend was having trouble breathing. Damariyon’s mother had gone to nursing school and had taught her children some basic first aid techniques. That enabled Damariyon to help out Thomas. He got behind his friend and began doing abdominal thrusts to force out the food that was lodged in Thomas’s throat. Thomas was taken to the school nurse after the incident but was found to be in good condition after the scare he had.

Damariyon’s life saving technique has sparked interest in the other students to learn life saving techniques. Thomas is very grateful that his friend knew what to do. However, when Christian Broda asked, the 10-year-old said that this incident will not stop him from eating more chicken nuggets in his future!

For a video interview with the friends, follow the link to WBTV.com.

Changes in Definition Inflate Autism Diagnosis Trends

Recent reports heralding the rise in Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, rates could be more influenced by a family’s need to obtain services than an actual increase in case numbers of Autism. Some outlets report that while steps have been taken to reduce the number of irrelevant or inaccurate diagnosis in the past, new issues are beginning to crop up.
This includes the potential for an ASD to be diagnosed to allow the family easier access to benefits that might not be as readily available for a family member with a diagnosis outside the Autism Spectrum.

Over a ten year span, the rate of parents that self-reported a child as having an Autism Spectrum Disorder remained constant while the rate of ASDs reported by regional doctors showed an increase in the same time period. The team at Anastasia Date hypothesizes his discrepancy has been used to show evidence of the system being manipulated to provide for patients and families that might otherwise find it difficult, if not impossible, to find ongoing treatment for behavioral and mental disorders.

Occupation: Princess

There is a new Princess, and there are also questions as to what is listed on her birth certificate. The baby now has a name. William and Kate have decided on the name Charlotte. The parents have filed the certificate with the courts, but there were some things listed for the occupation that have some asking questions. Under the occupation listed for William and Kate, it is listed as Prince and Princess of the United Kingdom. Some people aren’t sure if there are any benefits of listing this as a job. There might not be regular hours, and there aren’t really any special tasks to be done. This is a job that seems to be something they filled in just so that there was something listed on the birth certificate. Fans at AnastasiaDate understand well that being listed as a Prince or Princess does have its benefits for the child. The children can see the privileges that are extended to their parents, and they will some day get those same benefits.

Dreams Do Come True

Most little boys, at some point during childhood, dream of becoming a police officer, fire fighter, or a soldier. Ten-year-old, Girish Sharma of India, dreams of becoming a police officer. Unfortunately, he suffers from chronic kidney disease which is threatening his life. Girish has spent the past several months in a hospital where he is receiving care. Little did he know he would also receive his wish. Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Jaipur Police Commissioner, Janga Srinivas Rao, Girish saw his dream become a reality. Girish was able to be a police commissioner for a day. He received a uniform, salutes for Jaipur police, and sang ‘Nanha Munna Rahee Hoon’, his favorite song from a 1962 film Son of India. While Girish lived his dream for a day he left an everlasting mark on the hearts of the Jaipur Police Department. Police Commissioner, Srinivas Janga Rao, tells FocusNews, “It is a morale booster to know that children in society want to be part of the police, and find us so Handy.”