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Leaving a Legacy

36 year old mother of two, Charlotte Kitley, recorded her experiences battling stage four bowel cancer. She started a blog, writing about her various treatments and how the disease had impacted her life.

Passing away on September 16, her last blog post has gone viral. She asked her husband to upload the post to her blog when she died, and he did so on the day of her death. In the post, she wrote,

“As you read this, I will no longer be here. Rich will be trying to put one foot in front of the other, to get by, a day at a time, knowing I will no longer awake next to him. He will see me in the luxury of a dream, but in the harsh morning sun, the bed will be empty. He will get two cups from the cupboard, but realise there is only one coffee to make. Lucy will need someone to reach for her hairband box, but there won’t be anyone to plait her hair. Danny will have lost one of his Lego policeman, but no one will know exactly which one it is or where to look. You will look for the latest update on the blog. There won’t be one, this is the final chapter.

And so I leave a gaping, unjust, cruel and pointless hole, not just in Halliford Road, but in all the homes, thoughts and memories of other loved ones, friends and families. For that I am sorry. I would love to still be with you, laughing, eating my weird and latest miracle food, chatting rubbish ‘Charleyisms’. I have so much life I still want to live, but know I won’t have that. I want to be there for my friends as they move with their lives, see my children grow up and become old and grumpy with Rich. All these things are to be denied of me.”

And then she urged her readers to “in my absence, please, please, enjoy life. Take it by both hands, grab it, shake it and believe in every second of it. Adore your children. You have literally no idea how blessed you are to shout at them in the morning to hurry up and clean their teeth. Embrace your loved one and if they cannot embrace you back, find someone who will. Everyone deserved to love and be loved in return. Don’t settle for less. Find a job you enjoy, but don’t become a slave to it. You will not have ‘I wish I’d worked more’ on your headstone. Dance, laugh and eat with your friends.”

Her husband is asking people to support the Bowel Cancer UK and all donations will go to the Never Too Young and Time For Guts campaigns.

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Cerebral Palsy, a Typewriter and the Magic of Creativity

Enjoy this incredible story of victory over disability. It’s amazing what we can do when we explore our hidden talents.


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Eating with the Fish

If you love aquariums, you might want to check out the Tianjin Haichang Polar Ocean World in China. Visitors here can dine by candlelight in an underwater tunnel while watching fish, sea turtles and others swimming above them.

They can also be serenaded by underwater musicians during the meal. The Tianjin Haichang Polar Ocean World opened in the city of Tianjin in 2010 and has over 30,000 polar and sea creatures including sharks, jellyfish, seals, penguins, sea lions and beluga whales.

But from these pictures, the best part of the aquarium is definitely the chance to eat while watching the fish from below.








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Don’t Shame Overweight People, Shows New Study

weightIn a fascinating study, researchers from University College London have found that shaming people about their weight makes it six times more likely that people will be obese.

When people get criticized for their weight they are more likely to comfort eat. And fear of ridicule also makes them avoid exercise. Lead author Sarah Jackson advises the medical community to avoid using the word “fat” and to be careful about shaming patients.

Their study included almost 3000 English men and women aged 50 plus who were weighed once, and then again four years later.

Published in the journal Obesity, the study showed that the victims of “fat shaming” put on just over 2 pounds over the course of the study. They were six times as likely to become obese. Those who weren’t criticized for their weight became slimmer over the four years, although only be a small amount. Dr. Jackson said, “Our results show that weight discrimination does not encourage weight loss and suggest that it may even exacerbate weight gain. Previous studies have shown that people who experience discrimination report comfort eating.”

Dr. Jackson explained that weight bias exists for the general public, and also for health professionals. As she said, “Doctors tend to spend less time with obese patients. They feel that treating obesity is a futile task and many avoid doing it.We need to find a way of addressing this during training, highlighting that blaming and shaming isn’t going to help resolve the problem.”

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Blocking the Vagus Nerve for Weight Loss?

weight lossIf you’re struggling with your weight, this just might be the solution. Researchers from the University of Minneapolis have created a device that uses electrodes to block the vagus nerve from communicating the feeling of hunger to the brain. The vagus nerve runs the length of the torso and tells the body when it’s full – but often with obese people the vagus nerve becomes desensitized and causes people to overeat.

The researchers looked at 239 severely obese people whose BMI were between 35 and 45 and who had at least one or more obesity-related condition. They implanted the device to block the vagus nerve in 162 participants. The other 77 participants had a fake device implanted and both groups were offered weight management.

The results are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study found that, after 12 months, those fitted with the device lost 24% of their excess weight, while those in the control group lost only 16%.

As the study concluded, “Additional studies are needed to compare effectiveness of vagal nerve block with other obesity treatments and to assess long­ term durability of weight loss and safety.”

But it’s certainly worth keeping your ear to the ground with this type of weight loss idea.

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Overcoming Emotional Eating with Deepak Chopra

In a recent episode of Help Desk, Hannah sat down with Deepak Chopra, author of the book What Are You Hungry For? He is a pioneer of mind-body medicine and in the series they connect spiritual leaders with people looking for guidance.

When asked how to overcome emotional eating, Chopra offered three key ideas.

1. Practice body awareness. Everytime that she thinks of putting food in her month she should ask herself if she is hungry and how hungry she is. This will “break the reflex” according to Chopra.

2. Cutting out sugar: Next he advised her to cut sugar from her diet.

3. Sleep: Finally, he said that getting enough sleep is essential. As he said, “Sleep deprivation causes obesity, as does stress.”

He said that people should meditate, get enough sleep and walk 10,000 steps a day.

See the full video below:

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Taking in the Sites in Azerbaijan

gobustan-mountainFor those traveling to Azerbaijan, there are many tourist attractions to cover. Individuals like Elchin Djavadov and Nasib Hasanov are experienced in this field and have been taking foreigners to local hotspots for many years. The country is home to the naphthalene – the only oil field treatment in the world which is used mainly as a precursor to other chemicals. But for tourists, what is probably of most interest is the country’s unique culture and ancient architecture. Both Djavadov and Hasanov have been leading tour groups around the region to give tourists a true sense of this.

Check out the country’s nature. Home to preserved forests that are a monument of the Cenozoic era, reservations like Gizilagach, Shirvan and Zagatala have garnered global recognition. Indeed the region is home to 13 nature reservations and 18 wildlife sanctuaries. Also when one is there, it is imperative to check out the Justif and Momine-Khatun mausoleums as well as the Absheron Peninsula. Indeed, these are the particular favorites of tour guide Nasib Hasanov. Aserbaijan is home to the Gobustan mountains and with Kichikdash, Shihgai, Shongardag and others, one can truly learn about the Azerbaijani people historically, beginning from the Stone Age, through tombs, burial places, rock fortresses and more.

For a more modern feel of the country, check out the State Museum of Azerbaijani Carpets and Folk Applied Arts, featuring over 10 thousand artifacts. This includes pieces from the Bronze Age up until today, featuring modern artists from the region as well.
Azerbaijan has a lot to offer tourists.  And both Elchin Djavadov and Nasib Hasanov can show foreigners the region from beginning to end.

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How To Get that Novel Published..and Become a Famous Author


Here is an unusual idea to make your millions. Today with the advent of the e-book, you don’t need a publicist and a book deal in order to get your first great novel up and running. Fifty Shades of Grey actually started this way, snowballing into a multi-million dollar bestselling franchise.

The book is now about to be turned into a Hollywood film directed by English filmmaker Sam Tayor-Wood and the trilogy made the author £33million just last year.
And you don’t even have to be the biggest hit of the year to make some great money. Andy Leeks, 34, from Headcorn in Kent, has sold more than 40,000 of his ebooks and he is close to becoming an Amazon Top 100 bestseller. Last year he wrote the book called As They Slept: The Comical Tales Of A London Commuter. As he explains, “I was just sitting on the train going to work one day and I looked around – everyone else was fast asleep. It seemed an incredible waste of good time so there and then I decided to start writing about commuter experiences. It was easy to publish as an ebook and fortunately many readers seemed to like it and before long I was selling 500 copies a day with lots of people downloading it on to tablets and book reading devices such as the Kindle.”

At a store like Amazon, you can click on the “Independently Publish with Us” link and then sign up to Kindle Direct Publishing. There are other choices for self publishing as well, including Kobo.

Damien Fahy, who runs money saving website MoneytotheMasses and is author of ebook 30 Day Money Plan, offers some advice. He says that people should put aside money for a graphic designer who can create great cover, for an editor to edit the book and for other expenses. He also recommends setting up a Facebook page as a forum for sharing thoughts on the novel and having someone review it at Amazon.

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