Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant bunny rabbit
An earless bunny rabbit born near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan in May 2011.
Blog Posts by Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Work + Money – Wed, Dec 28, 2011 3:17 PM EST
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant bunny rabbit
The news stories that gripped Shine readers in 2011.2011 was a big news year. Protest movements galvanized nations and birthed change. Osama bin Laden was captured and killed, Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi was eliminated, and North Korea's Kim Jong-Il died. There was an increased focus on women's health issues, the fight against childhood obesity, and support for military families. Here's a look at some of the news stories that hit home with readers on Yahoo! Shine this year:Read More »from Shine 2011: The Year in News
In January, the shooting of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shooting sparked discussions about the language of violence and the nature of courage. Her remarkable recovery and dedication to her work made her Shine's 2011 Woman of the Year; when she returned to the House of Representative to vote on the debt-ceiling compromise in August, she earned a standing ovation and applause from both sides of the aisle. Also in January, the autism-vaccine link was definitively debunked when an independent investigation found that Dr. Andrew Wakefield had based the
taupe twin-set you picked out for her? Think again. Clothes and shoes are the gifts that are returned to stores most often after the holiday season.Think that your aunt will adore the
According to a recent MarketTools study, apparel accounted for 62 percent of returned gifts last Christmas. Other presents that customers also brought back (but far less frequently) were:
Toys and games (16 percent)
Electronics (14 percent)
Kitchen and bath products (13 percent)
Cosmetics and beauty products (10 percent)
Jewelry and watches (10 percent)
All of those returns wreak havoc on retailers' bottom lines. Data from the National Retail Federation shows that, thanks to returned merchandise, stores will lose about 9.9 cents for every dollar's worth of stuff they sell -- up from about 7 cents per dollar in years past. Stores are expected to take in about $469 billion during the holiday season, which means that they'll be losing about $46.4Read More »from The Most-Returned Holiday Gifts
After the winter solstice, days start getting longer for those who live in the northern hemisphere. The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, and the longest day of the year for those who live in the southern half of the world. This year, it arrived at 5:30 p.m. Universal Time on December 22 (which was 12:30 a.m. Eastern Time).Read More »from What is the Winter Solstice?
For centuries, people have celebrated the Solstice. Scientifically speaking, it takes place at exactly the moment when the Earth is tilted on its axis by 23.5 degrees, placing the northern hemisphere at its farthest point away from the sun. But what ancient cultures noticed was that the sun seemed to reverse course at a certain point each winter, and the brutally short days started getting longer again.
Ancient Kelts held massive bonfires to celebrate midwinter. The Ancient Japanese had elaborate rituals involving the return of the sun goddess, Amaterasu. The ancient Romans celebrated Saturnalia, which was originally celebrated by the Greeks as Kronia and marked by the giving of gifts, and they also dedicated an
What does it take to make your kitchen kosher?To those who aren't Jewish, making one's kitchen kosher looks a bit like giving it a thorough deep-cleaning. Countertops, sinks, and cooking surfaces are scrubbed, dried off, and then scalded with boiling water. Refrigerators are cleaned out and wiped down. Pots, plates, platters, and utensils are dipped in boiling water. The grates on top of burners are covered in heavy-duty aluminum foil in order to trap heat and burn off impurities; and ovens are cleaned, left unused for 24 hours, and then turned up to the highest heat for at least an hour before being considered clean enough to cook in again.Read More »from How to Kosher Your Kitchen
The reason for the ritual stems from the Jewish laws of Kashrut which, among other things, dictates that dairy and meat products must be stored, prepared, and consumed separately, and that certain types of food should not be eaten at all. Kosher isn't a style of cooking; it's a term that means that the food has been handled in accordance with the Jewish laws.
Even though the first night of
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | At Home – Tue, Dec 20, 2011 6:21 PM EST
Some churches are cutting services or staying closed on Christmas Day.Amid all of the "Happy Holidays" vs. "Merry Christmas" controversy, some churches are cancelling services on Sunday, December 25, because pastors and parishioners would prefer to stay home with their families.Read More »from No Church on Christmas Day? Some Churches Cutting or Cancelling Christmas Services
"We felt like let's get together Christmas Eve with our church family and then have Christmas Day with our families," lead pastor Tommy Kyllonen of the Grace Family and Crossover Church told The St. Petersburg Times. The church near Tampa, Florida, is having services on December 23 and 24 instead.
It's a growing trend. Though most Catholics and Episcopalians go to services on Christmas Day no matter which day of the week it falls on, many Protestants are more likely to see that day as one reserved for family, and to worship on Christmas Eve instead. According to a survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors conducted recently by the Christian research group LifeWay, 63 percent of Protestant pastors will offer services on Christmas Eve, and many are planning to scale back services on
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Work + Money – Mon, Dec 19, 2011 3:37 PM EST
Should there be a law against all cell phone use while driving?Note to road warriors who try to work during their commute: You may have to find another time for that conference call. Last week, the National Transportation and Safety Board recommended that states should ban all cell phone use by drivers -- including talking on speakerphone, using a hands-free device, and texting -- in order to minimize distractions. And it turns out that plenty of people agree with them.Read More »from Ban All Cell Phones While Driving? Many People Say Yes
According to a new poll by Sodahead.com, 58 percent of respondents would support such a ban.
The board started considering the ban after a deadly accident near Gray Summit, Missouri, in August 2010. A 19-year-old was driving his pickup truck while texting, and rammed into the back of a tractor-trailer at 55 miles per hour. A school bus then rear-ended the pickup and crushed it, and a second school bus slammed into the first. The 19-year-old driver had received five text messages and sent six, CNN reported; he and a 15-year-old student on one of the school busses were killed and
- Read More »from Videos of Soldiers Coming Home from Iraq
"For nearly nine years, our nation has been at war in Iraq," President Barack Obama told soldiers at Fort Bragg in North Carolina this week. "And you, the incredible men and women of Ft. Bragg, have been there every step of the way, serving with honor, sacrificing greatly, from the first waves of the invasion to some of the last troops to come home. So as your commander-in-chief, and on behalf of a grateful nation, I'm proud to finally say these two words, and I know your families agree: Welcome home."-->
On Wednesday in Baghdad, General Lloyd Austin ordered the colors to be cased -- the US Forces-Iraq flag lowered and wrapped in camouflage -- formally shutting down operations in Iraq.
More than 150 contestants from around the country gathered at the Grove Park Inn in Ashville, North Carolina, last month for the National Gingerbread House Competition. Their houses -- some of which aren't houses at all, but complicated dioramas or elegant sculptures -- can take hundreds of hours to create and must be made entirely out of edible ingredients and contain at least 75 percent gingerbread. (The judges even drill into them with power tools to make sure nothing non-edible is hiding inside, a step that we're sure must leave some bakers in tears.)
Winter Springs, Florida, took home the grand prize this year for her "There Was An Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe" gingerbread house, which featured fully furnished rooms, a gum-paste railing, and a tiny claw-footed bathtub filled with candy bubbles. Her biggest challenge? "The shoe has no seams -- it's all one solid piece," she told Allison Fishman of Yahoo!'s "Blue Ribbon Hunters." Usually, gingerbreadAshley Howard of Read More »from National Gingerbread House Competition Showcases Amazing, Edible Works of Art
Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen is hoping to have a ripple effect on the world at large. "My personal passion is inspiring, educating, and empowering others to make the most of their giving," she said in an interview with Yahoo! Shine. "As philanthropists, the most powerful legacy we can create is one that keeps on giving."
The author of the New York Times bestselling book "Giving 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World," Arrillaga-Andreessen grew up in a family of philanthropists. "My own first inspiration came from my family, and in particular my mother," she writes in her book. "Frances Arrillaga was my best friend, my mentor, my soul mate."
Her mother sat on several non-profit boards, co-founded two nonprofits and ran the family foundation she and Arrillaga-Andreessen's father created, all while raising a family of her own, and her illness and death in 1995 gave Arrillaga-Andreessen a new sense of purpose in life. "I saw her purpose, her passion, and her peace," Arrillaga-Andreessen