December 2012

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Global Briefs

Green Christmas

Try these fresh ways to tweak family traditions for a greener holiday this and every year.

Smog Begone

In the past 50 years, California’s Los Angeles Basin has shown a 98 percent decrease in levels of some vehicle-related air pollutants even as area denizens now burn three times as much gasoline and diesel fuel. How is that possible?

Leaf Relief

Recent urban studies have discovered that an increase in trees in a given area leads to a corresponding decrease in crime.

Many Tongues

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948, has been translated into more than 380 languages and dialects, making it the world’s most universal communication.

Good News

The 46th annual Kwanzaa, an African-American holiday celebrated from December 26 to January 1 that honors the values of ancient African cultures, may be observed by as many as 18 million people this year.

Bird Brains

The National Audubon Society has found that bird species have taken decades to adjust their ranges northward in response to warming winters.

Coming Clean

The consumer watchdog Environmental Working Group has released a new Cleaners Hall of Shame database that ranks more than 2,000 household cleaners by how hazardous their ingredients are and how much information is on their labels.

Smiley Face

DonorsChoose.org has provided a record $40 million in funding for 300,000 U.S. classroom projects, by personalizing public appeals for charitable giving.

Tech Revolution

The U.S. Secretary of Energy is spearheading a new wave of renewable energy research by recruiting top scientists to staff a new agency called ARPAE, modeled after DARPA, the research and development wing of the Pentagon that invented the Internet.
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Health Briefs

Giving Begets Happiness at Every Age

Being Generous Makes Everyone Feel Good

Citrus Fruits Lower Risk of Stroke

These Juicy Delights Pack Health Benefits

One-Size Meditation Does Not Fit All

Go with Comfort over Popularity

A Wise Man’s Gift for Arthritis Sufferers

An Age-old Herbal Remedy

Raisins Yield Pressure Relief

A Natural Way to Stay In Check

Stop Wasting Food

Put an End to the Unused Leftovers

Nutty Way to Help Preserve Cognition

Walnuts Help Protect Brain Cells

Pitfalls of No-Fat Salad Dressings

A Welcome Surprise
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Health

Unexpected Upside

Cell phones and social media can benefit all ages. The key to making any technology a positive for family dynamics is to set rules at the outset and know when to unplug.
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Fit Body

Breathe Easier

Acknowledged experts offer advice on how to get the most out of every breath taken for yoga, cardio routines and strength training.
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Conscious Eating

Healthy Holiday Baking

Yum! What could be more comforting than the scent and taste of homebaked treats? These healthy options are perfect for festive celebrations, hostess gifts or exchanges.
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Green Living

Homemade and Heartfelt

This year, celebrate the true spirit of the season by creating useful homemade, sustainable gifts.
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Inspiration

The Luminous Web

Inspirational author Barbara Brown Taylor believes we are all part of a web that is pure relationship, with energy available to us that has been here since the universe was born.
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Wise Words

How Unconditional Love Harmonizes Our World

The transformational leader, speaker and author says we can use any life challenges to help us grow and find fresh avenues of lasting fulfillment. Best of all, the more we experience love, the more we spread love to others. Our feelings are contagious.
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Healthy Kids

Mindful Holiday Traditions

Simple Ways to Add Meaning and Family-Centered Fun
By slowing down and refocusing on what makes this time of year so special, we can help our children—and ourselves—create fresh, meaningful traditions and experience genuine joy.
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Natural Pet

Critter Companions

Dogs, cats, fish and birds may be the most popular pet choices, but others abound. It’s just a matter of thinking outside the litter box.