Blog Posts by Sarah Beston, Shine Staff

  • 'Writing saved my life’: Juvenile offenders find redemption in unlikely place

    “Dear Odd One, You were only 12 years old when you first saw the world behind cold steel bars, Those lonely nights & Terrified days, You kept it tough, Showed no fear at any space" 

                                                                                                                                           -Gloria Basulto
    Gloria Basulto was facing a harsh reality.

    Raised by a single dad in Hollywood, California, Gloria’s mom was a heroin addict who left when she was just 8. “I don’t doubt that she tried to care for me, I just don’t think she knew how to. She was very young when she had me. She was 19,” says Basulto. “I don’t blame her. I don’t have any anger towards her. I used to.”

    Gloria was 12 when she was first sent to a juvenile detention center. Angry at everything and everyone, her teenage years were spent fighting students, teachers, and anyone else who didn’t move fast enough off her path of self-destruction.  The result was six years spent in and out of juvenile

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  • Are the Snacks We're Eating Killing Orangutans?

    Orangutans are hanging on, but just barely. It’s in your peanut butter, your chocolate, your cereal, and more than half of all packaged goods found at your local supermarket.  It’s called palm oil and it's killing orangutans.

    A new campaign by Rainforest Action Network (RAN), an environmental protection organization that campaigns for the world's rainforests, is shedding light on the extreme consequences caused by the production of Conflict Palm Oil, one of the leading causes of tropical deforestation in Southeast Asia.

    The use of palm oil in the United States has grown nearly 500 percent over the past decade due largely in part to the fact that it lacks trans fat —an unhealthy fat which the FDA now requires companies to list on nutritional labels. Now that the FDA has proposed banning artificial trans fats in processed food due to heart disease risks, palm oil use may increase even more.

    Thanks to the rise in use, palm oil plantations, mostly located in Malaysia and Indonesia, are rapidly replacing the rainforest habitat of the

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  • Exclusive: Kate Bosworth Reveals Wedding Gown

    And the bride wore ivory. A lot of ivory. Keeping with her minimalist, yet totally fashion-forward style, actress Kate Bosworth chose a stunningly simple strapless ball gown by designer Oscar de la Renta for her Labor Day weekend wedding to director Michael Polish. The clean-lined design featured a dramatic, romantic twist: an 8-foot-long, 16-foot-wide train that cascaded over the Montana mountaintop where the couple was married at sunset. "It's a dress that reflects the love I have for my partner, it's a reflection on my life, it's a reflection on the woman I've become," Bosworth said in an exclusive interview with Vogue Weddings. "There is just so much poetry and elegance to it."

    Related:Kate Bosworth marries Michael Polish in Montana

    Bosworth also appreciated the fact that her gown is full of contrasts. "I love the dress because when you see the front it feels so minimal and then you turn around and there's this dramatic, sort of glorious fall of the fabric," she shared. "It looks

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  • 4-time cancer survivor goes from heart transplant to Ironman

    "You have lymphoma." On September 26,1989, these three dreadful words changed then-18-year-old Kyle Garlett's world forever. Now, more than 20 years later, four-time survivor of two different kinds of cancer (Hodgkin's disease and leukemia) and a recipient of a new heart, Kyle considers himself "one of the lucky ones" living a full, healthy, and inspired life. Shine talked to Kyle about his journey, his struggles, the power and strength of the human spirit, and his ultimate goal.

    Diagnosis One: Kyle was first diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease five weeks after his 18th birthday.

    "You kind of step outside of yourself for a bit. You are eighteen and you think are indestructible - planning the next seventy years of your life - then all of a sudden you hear a cancer diagnosis and it doesn't feel real. It feels like you are living in an after-school special. You are stunned. It is a shot to the gut. It knocks the wind out of you. I went and spent the afternoon with friends just kind of laughing

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  • Who's Finding Love at Work? (Survey)

    Despite the common notion that mixing business and pleasure is bad news bears, office romances are alive and well. If your coworkers are dipping out of the office together to take an extra long "lunch" or are showing up in yesterday's pinstripes, it's likely they are more than just colleagues. Especially if they work in one of the following industries or cities. Online salary database looked at its data to find out who is finding love at work and who is on the prowl for an office fling. Here's what they found.

    Workers in the food service industry are the most likely to date a coworker. Cooks made the list three times--they are most likely to fall in love at work, hook up with a coworker for a fling, and also be on the hunt for a relationship with an office mate.

    If you happen to live in Chattanooga, TN and are looking for long-term love, you are in luck. Chattanooga is the top city for meeting a spouse at work. The same goes for folks in Tucson, Tulsa, and San Antonio.

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  • The Titanic: Your Next Vacation Destination?

    James Cameron directing Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in ‘Titanic’

    Titanic Belfast Museum. Photo credit: Dominic MarleyA century after 1,502 people drowned in the sinking of the SMS Titanic, the world's most famous shipwreck has become a popular vacation destination. There are at least four different ways to relive the tragedy of the Titanic, if you're the type of traveler drawn to morbid historical sites (I certainly am.) Last week, I traveled to the Titanic Belfast museum in Northern Ireland to celebrate the Blu-ray 3D release of James Cameron's 1997 film of the same name. Cameron and film's producer, Jon Landau, dedicated an original exhibit to the newly opened museum. It's expected to be a tourist destination for both Irish locals and international Titanic followers. Cameron knows better than anyone, the Titanic has an audience.

    "There have certainly been disasters since that have claimed many more lives than this event in 1912," Cameron said in an interview at the event. "But somehow it still captures our imagination because of the human stories that played out. The stories of people separated,

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  • Shine Tries It: Dave's Hot Sauce and Garden Spray

    Every Friday Shine editors road-test unusual products and unbelievable promises to find out what lives up to the hype and what doesn't. Warning: don't try any of this at home until we do.

    Dave's Hot Sauce and Garden SprayThis week (in all of its randomness): Dave's Gourmet Hot Sauce and Garden Spray. It's a hot sauce, it's a garden spray-it's…both! As appetizing as that (doesn't) sound and as (not so) thrilled as I was with the idea of sharing my food with my plants, I had to find out if it lived up to the hype.

    This multipurpose spray supposedly keeps unwanted intruders off your plants without using pesticides. Just spray it on anything in your garden that you don't want eaten or spray it on a dish that could use a little spice and you have yourself a first-of-its-kind food/ repellent product.

    Imagine you're in your backyard on a hot summer day cooking up some dogs and burgers and a deer just so happens to your yard, eyeing your beautiful rose bushes. BAM! A spray for the burger, a spray for the bush, and there

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  • Yahoo! Kids to Exclusively Premiere Episodes of “Recess Stories”

    Our favorite Managing Editor at Yahoo! Kids, Dave Rogers, passes along some fun news for you and your children...

    Families have more entertainment choices than ever before, yet it sometimes seems that something is awry. Animated kids' programs feature superhero children facing galactic-level dangers. Live-action shows are heavily produced, over-acted and offer a slick and sassy version of childhood. Eight-year-olds sound 18, tweens have successful solo music careers and parents are remarkably absent.

    Into this void steps "Recess Stories" - a Beeswax Production that features real kids acting in real stories about life on the playground. The girls have messy hair and mismatched socks, the boys are good with a ball but confused by everything else, and nobody can agree on the rules for anything.

    The short episodes - all based on true stories - show kids as they really are: smart, funny, imaginative, caring, resourceful and engaging. This positive approach to children's

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  • Shine’s Earth Day Contest: Submit Your Kid’s Artwork, Win Fun Stuff!

    ThinkstockHere at Shine, we love celebrating the Earth--after all it is our only home and it is up to us to protect it. In honor of our beautiful planet, Shine has partnered with BBC Home Entertainment to help raise awareness this Earth Day and have some fun while doing it! Send us photos of your child's most creative, original, and eco-friendly Earth Day art projects and, in turn, we have some exciting prizes to give to you. You and your family could win earth-lover loot like BBC's newest hit series Frozen Planet, a Planet Earth Limited Edition Globe, as well some DVDs of BBC's best-selling nature programs. (See full prize descriptions below.)

    Here's what you need to do: Get out your art supplies and recyclables and have your child create an impressive art project (this can be a home or school project), then upload a photo of your kid's completed work of art to the Shine Earth Day Contest Flickr group or post it to your blog on Shine with "Shine Earth Day" in the title by midnight EST,

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  • Catching up with Nadia Comaneci

    Getty Images. May, 2011Getty Images. May, 2011I had the amazing opportunity to speak with one of my childhood heroes: Nadia Comăneci. One of my earliest memories is sitting in the attic at my mother's house and sifting through my older sister's "Nadia" scrapbook. One newspaper clipping read: "Queen of the 10." At just 14 years old she graced the cover of Time magazine with the headline "She's Perfect." Nadia made Olympic history at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal when, as a member of the Romanian team, she became the first gymnast ever to score a perfect 10. She went on to become the Olympic All-Around Gold Medalist at the Games, set all sorts of crazy records, and inspire young girls everywhere to attempt flips off the side of their sofas. Today, when she isn't playing the role of mom, she stays involved with the sport as a commentator and coach. She also works with the Special Olympics, where she serves as vice chair for the Special Olympics Board of Directors.

    Nadia spoke with us from her kitchen in Norman, Okla.

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