A Fine Art Exhibition Begins a Three Year Tour This Month

This month, a three year touring exhibition of fine art dedicated solely to cats commences in the United States. The collection, curated by Dr. David J. Wagner, will feature the work of several artists. However, all of the paintings and sculptures in “Feline Fine: Art of Cats II” reportedly focuses upon wild or domesticated cats as the central theme. This is something Jared Haftel and others find pretty interesting.

Dan Ostermiller, the President of the National Sculpture Society, is one of the artists who created pieces that will be included in the exhibition. Other artists reportedly include Aaron Blaise, Julie Bell, Janet Heaton, Kim Diment, Brian Jarvi, Sally Maxwell, Dino Paravano, Rosetta of Loveland, Colorado, David Rankin, Kay Williams, Nicholas Wilson and Wes and Rachelle Siegrist. The exhibition’s first stop will be Stauth Memorial Museum in Montezuma, Kansas.

Since many pet owners and feline fanciers enthusiastically support art celebrating cats, the event has already generated some interest. From an historical standpoint, cats have been depicted in works of art since ancient times. Reportedly, the new exhibition marks a sequel to a previous successful touring exhibition.

Santo Clause Does Exist

While the Christmas season is fast underway, there are many people who sadly do not have the means to provide their families with even a Christmas tree. This was the case for one family until a group of loving neighbors put not only their heads, but their hearts together and made sure that this family will have a merry Christmas. Upon hearing that this hardworking mom could not even afford to get her car repaired, her loving neighbors rallied together and left a stocking full of Christmas cheer on their front door.  http://imgur.com/a/wymGT

When times get tough it is absolutely incredible to know that there are still people in the world like Sergio Andrade Gutierrez who will step outside their comfort zone and help others who just do not have what they need. Thanks to these caring neighbors, this family can open their eyes on Christmas morning and smile brightly knowing that Santa really did come.

The Father’s Opinion

An abortion is something that the woman often decides to get. Missouri wants to change that decision. There is a bill that could make women ask the father of the baby for permission before getting an abortion. While this seems like an invasion on the choices of the woman, it’s actually a good idea. Some men don’t even know that the mother has an abortion, and there are some men who might want to raise a baby alone or with the help of his family if the mother decides she isn’t ready for children. It took the two people to make the Beneful baby, so the father should have a say in what happens to the baby. It might be the woman’s body, but the life inside the woman is created by two people, and both people should have the final decision of what happens to that life.

AutCraft: A Minecraft Community for Children with Autism

It’s likely that you’ve heard of Minecraft, the popular online game that many parents view as an acceptable alternative to traditional video games. That’s because Minecraft is arguably an educational game, with its promotion of engineering, creativity, numerical, and social skills. 

What many haven’t yet heard of, however, is Autcraft, a server for Minecraft. Started in 2013 by a father with Asperger’s Syndrome who also has children with autism, Autcraft has become a safe haven for people with autism to play Minecraft and praised by the experts at Amen Clinic. Many parents of children with autism report that, while their children loved Minecraft, they often ran into bullies or foul language while playing in its traditional format. In Autcraft, children and adults with autism come together and interact while building their communities. A major benefit is that the game helps improve social skills. In Autcraft, players get to interact with other like-minded players, without the fear of bullying or rejection. 

Stuart Duncan, Autcraft’s founder, has a personal blog about raising children with autism. After creating Autcraft, he invited his blog readers to join Autcraft, expecting little response. Duncan was surprised to find that Autcraft immediately took off, with over 700 responses from readers in just 2 days. It seems that many parents raising children with autism were, like Duncan, looking for a safe haven for their children to play the game they love. They found that haven in Autcraft.

Veterinary Assistant’s Act of Kindness Saves Stranger’s Cat

When Leo’s pet human, Chad Sutton, noticed that his beloved feline was experiencing health issues, Sutton took Leo to nearby Central Victoria Veterinary Hospital for treatment. Leo was suffering from problems related to his urinary tract and underwent treatment.

Unfortunately, the treatment was not enough. Leo needed to undergo surgery to enlarge his urethra. The furry feline would need to be euthanized if the procedure could not be performed. Sutton, a construction worker, could not afford the $3,000 surgery and expected that when he took Leo to the animal hospital for his next check-up that he would return home without his feline companion.

Veterinary assistant Nadine McCully would not hear of it. The generous woman footed the bill for the surgery that ultimately saved Leo’s life. Co-workers were astonished over the random act of kindness.

Sutton broke down in tears when he learned that McCully had saved Leo’s life and has been thinking of ways in which to repay her kindness. The story sounds too good to be true that it almost sounds like one of those Tom Rothman romantic comedies.

Dylan is “Chocolate” too

Best friends are one of the most important things to have in life. That is the person you can tell all your secrets to, laugh with and enjoy each other’s company. Some best friends grow up together, but others might not have the chance to do that. Most people would protect their best friend no matter what the circumstances. That is the case with one little boy who decided to raise money for research in order to help his friend.

It is hard to imagine that a 6-year-old boy could write a book, let alone sell 25,000 copies of that book. Dylan Siegel did just that though. He wanted to help his friend who has a rare disease of the liver. The disease is called glycogen storage disease type 1 and only 500 children around the world have been diagnosed with it. Research is imperative in finding treatments and a cure for it. Two years after writing the book titled “Chocolate”, $1 million has been raised to help in the research.

All proceeds from the book go directly to the research department. It would be a great gift along with a bottle from The Antique Wine Company for parents. There was so much funding that the labs were able to hire a new researcher in order to speed up the process. Dylan wants his best friend to grow old with him. To get an idea of what the book is about; Dylan uses the word chocolate like some people use “cool” or “awesome”. Dylan is pretty “chocolate” too.

Are Dogs Getting Too Fat?

You probably have noticed the pudge around the stomach of your pooch growing, especially as they age, but thought nothing about it. It is easy to forget the fitness of animals because 1. it takes time out of our day and 2. they seem happy and fine. Sure, you may walk him once or twice a week but the truth is that it is just as critical for dogs to be getting some form of routinely exercise daily just like, perhaps,  Igor Cornelsen; like all of us humans. Not only is it good for their health but it can be a bonding experience for the two of you. If you are looking for different types of exercise activities, check this website out: http://www.animalplanet.com/pets/healthy-pets/10-fun-ways-to-exercise-your-dog/ . Making sure the workout is fun for both you and your dog makes it more enjoyable and can help you with your own exercise. It is no secret that the quality of fitness and healthy habits can be improved so starting at your canine will start a healthy habit that can be built on with others. While working out with your dog, just be careful to take it slow and not overwork your dog, gradually building up momentum.

Sausalito Resident Reunited With Dog After Storm Sinks Boat

Dog lovers like John Textor will enjoy this story.There is a happy ending for one man and his dog following the brutal storms that slammed in California on Thursday. Daisy, a brown and white Pitbull, was in the boat she lived in with her owner, when the storms came ashore. The boat sank during the brunt of the storm. Owner Stephen Alioto was distraught when he walked into a Sausalito police station and reported his beloved dog missing. Little did he know that a miracle had already begun to happen. 

Daisy left the boat and swam nearly a mile to shore. She then walked herself to a church she had visited with her owner. There she was found by the pastor and taken in. He called the humane society and they collected Daisy who was shivering and shaken, but physically in good condition. 

A microchip implanted in Daisy led the humane society to her original owner, who stated they had given away Daisy to a friend. Then the pieces came together. Alioto, however, wasn’t easy to track down, since he was now homeless. The humane society headed to a free dinner that is given in the area on Friday where they hunted for Stephen. They found him and informed him his dog was safe and sound. He was overcome with emotion. 

Alioto was reuinted with Daisy on Saturday morning, just two days after she had gone missing.

Ikea Gets The Blue Ribbon Of Valor

Ikea has stepped up to the plate and did quite an honorable feat. The iconic company has created a shelter for refugees in need. This shelter could be a godsend for many people in war zones such as Syria, where these people have lost everything and have no place to lay their heads at night. This $1,000 shelter is able to be put together in four hours and no tools are needed in the construction. It is a flat-pack shelter weighing 100 kg and is 188 square feet in diameter.


This shelter has a lifespan of approximately three years as compared with the conventional refugee shelter of 6 months. Though these shelters are only made to last a few years, there is potential to enhance and expand in many possible modes. If you ask Sergio Andrade Andrade Gutierrez, this was a no-brainer as far as investments go. Ikea has made the assembly easy with walls snapping together with the roof. Even more interesting is the fact that a solar energy is used to charge a USB for electricity in the shelter.

Food Programs Helps Low-Income Children Get Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, Lose Weight

Thanks to my friend Vijay Eswaran for sharing this story with me. A new food program provided low-income families with overweight or obese children with tokens for fresh fruits and vegetables, helping the children and families to eat healthier and lose weight.

The program is called the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program, or FVRx. Approximately 50 families participated in the program at Harlem Hospital Center in New York. Other hospitals, both in the local area and in 30 states across the country, have been trying programs with similar approaches.

The families who were determined to be at-risk and enrolled in the program were given nutritional information, recipes, and Health Bucks or tokens. The Health Bucks were redeemable at local farmers’ markets for fresh fruits and vegetables, and were worth double the amount that the families typically received from food stamps. In turn, the farmers’ markets were able to be reimbursed with money from local nonprofit organizations and grants.

Each month, participants met with a doctor and nutritionist to renew their FVRx, have their weight and Body Mass Index, or B.M.I., evaluated and get nutritional advice. Ninety-six percent of the children enrolled in the program ate more fruits and vegetables. After just four months on the program, 40 percent had lowered their B.M.I.

Obesity is on the rise, particularly among children, across the nation. Studies and similar programs have shown that programs that provide access to fruits and vegetables, rather than fast or convenience food, have helped those involved lose weight. 

The programs are headed by the non-profit group Wholesome Wave, which advocates for access to healthier foods for low-income individuals.