Blog Posts by Ali Swank

  • Photographer Captures Spectacular Images of Shattering Flowers

    With his high-speed camera, German photographer Martin Klimas often combines art and science. He's photographed vegetables bursting, flower vases cracking, and porcelain figurines breaking apart at impact. This time, Klimas captured colorful, exploding flowers in a series titled, "Rapid Bloom." "I wanted to bring the inside of the blossom outside," Klimas told Yahoo Shine. Check out these spectacular photos featuring delicate flowers shattering and forming amazing abstract art with pieces of vibrant pink, red, and yellow petals filling the images. -- Ali Swank

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  • National Grandparents Day: Honoring Grandma and Grandpa with Special Memories

    When I was growing up, my grandma Shirley baked me Biscochitos, New Mexico's official state cookie, carefully packaging them in an empty Folgers coffee can and sending them up to Idaho every Christmas; and my grandpa Mackie took every opportunity to "pull my hair" if I didn't present him with at least one precious package of peanut M&Ms from my Halloween candy collection. My grandpa Bill patiently tried to teach me how to play tennis, but I would have rather hunted for "treasures," like unique rocks and lost pennies, in the high school parking lot with my grandma Fran. These memories of love, stability, and friendship are not unlike many others' memories of their own "Pop" and "Gramma."

    September 8 marks National Grandparents Day, a day to celebrate the homemade cookies, hugs, lessons, and stories from grandmas and grandpas everywhere. We asked Shine readers to share memories of time spent with their grandparents, whether they helped raise you, sparked your creativity, or spoiled you

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  • Artist Mica Angela Hendricks didn't intend to share her new, special-ordered sketchbook with her 4-year-old daughter, Myla. In a post on Hendricks's blog, she wrote that she thought her daughter would be too engrossed with her own markers to see the sketchbook with dark paper. But, of course, Myla did notice and said very seriously, "If you can't share, we might have to take it away if you can't share."

    Surprised, Hendricks gave in and allowed her young daughter to draw bodies onto heads she sketched from vintage black and white movie stills. Then, Hendricks revisited the drawings, adding color, texture, and highlights.

    Hendricks told Yahoo Shine that Myla can be critical of the finished artwork. "But the best times are when she gasps in excitement and says, 'We made such a beautiful thing!'" she said. Take a look at the very cool and very imaginative results of their collaboration. -- Ali Swank

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  • Couple Looking to Adopt a Baby Advertise on New Jersey Billboard

    Advertising on a billboard is a simple idea: Connect with consumers using a large, prominent design on a busy road or the side of a building. But one Maryland couple bought space on a very visible billboard, hoping the outcome will bring an enormous change to their family. They hope their ad will help them adopt a child.

    Orna, a doctor, and Jay, a marketing executive, who asked Yahoo! Shine to not reveal their real names, are desperate for their adopted 2-year-old son, Ben, to have a sibling. Since they've been having a difficult time grabbing the attention of birth parents, they took out a billboard on the busy New Jersey Turnpike, hoping their campaign will catch the eye of someone looking to find a good home for a child.

    More on Yahoo! Shine: It All Adds Up: Why Adoption Posts on Craigslist Are a Good Idea

    The neon yellow billboard features the words "Loving Couple Looking to Adopt," a picture of Orna and Jay, their phone number, and website, Their ad, which costs $2,000 Read More »from Couple Looking to Adopt a Baby Advertise on New Jersey Billboard
  • Kim Cattrall Says 'Fizzy Yoga' Saved Her Life. So What Is It?

    Kim Cattrall in April. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)What does Kim Cattrall, of "Sex and the City" fame, credit with "saving [her] life"? Something you've probably never heard of: "fizzy yoga."

    Properly known as physio-yoga or physiyoga, the regime combines yoga with physiotherapy in a one-on-one session that includes massage, yoga poses, physiotherapy adjustments, and meditative breathing. The 56-year-old actress told The Times of London that she was suffering from a sore right knee and "bruises bigger than a professional snowboarder" until the new yoga hybrid helped her to heal during her three-month stint performing in Tennessee Williams's "Sweet Bird of Youth" on the London stage.

    "As I get older, I find that cardio is less important to me," Cattrall said in the interview. "What I want to do more of is intense stretching."

    More on Yahoo! Shine: Strike a Pose! 7 Yoga Styles to Fit Every Body and Mood

    With a background in physical therapy yoga instruction, Diana Zotos is one of Cattrall's physiyoga instructors based in New York City. She Read More »from Kim Cattrall Says 'Fizzy Yoga' Saved Her Life. So What Is It?
  • Young Daughters Save Mother's Life During Hike in Oregon

    Mom Heather Conrad-Smith with her daughters, Kelianne and Ashleigh (Photo: KEPR)It was a race two little girls will never forget a race to save their mom’s life. When a Washington mother went into respiratory failure after an asthma attack on a hike in Oregon, her 5- and 7-year-old daughters ran over 2 miles to find help, navigating a lakeside cliff and downed trees until they reached a ranger.

    More on Yahoo! Shine: Good Samaritan Saves Injured Teen, Thanks "Shark Week" for Guidance

    Heather Conrad-Smith is now recovering and credits her daughters for saving her life. "It still blows me away my two girls saved my life," Conrad-Smith told KEPR of the harrowing rescue. "If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here today."

    It was supposed to be an effortless nature hike while on a family vacation, so the former nurse, who has asthma, decided not to bring her inhaler. She thought the pace of the hike would be easy, especially with her two young daughters, Ashleigh and Kelianne, in tow. 

    But on the way back from their 10-mile loop, Conrad-Smith found herself short of

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  • Dramatic Delivery: Woman Gives Birth in Hospital Lobby

    Talk about speedy delivery: Impatient baby Dayana made quite the entrance into the world, and it wasn’t in a delivery room. Her mom, Susana Privada, didn’t even get past the hospital's front desk before giving birth to the baby girl on the lobby floor just before 7 a.m. on Wednesday at Miami’s Jackson South Community Hospital. And the dramatic delivery was all captured on a hospital surveillance camera.

    More on Yahoo! Shine: Baby Born at Penn Station: Express Delivery

    Privada, who had arrived at the hospital after feeling some pain earlier that morning, can be seen in the video slumping over the desk, saying that she’s in labor. At a hospital press conference on Thursday, she said, “I just asked for the wheelchair, but I said at the same time, ‘It’s out, it’s out.’” The South Florida mom was lying on the floor with her husband, Carlos Saravia, at her feet when nurse Libardo Lozano arrived for work at just the right time.

    At the press conference, Lozano told reporters, “I was actually Read More »from Dramatic Delivery: Woman Gives Birth in Hospital Lobby
  • Bride Gets Wedding Cake Revenge on eBay

    Left: The cake the bride wanted. Right: The cake she got instead. (Photo: eBay)

    All she wanted was to have her cake and eat it, too. Instead, a U.K. bride named Celia got an unappetizing wedding cake and some eBay revenge.  The woman, whose full name has not been made public, claims she ordered a three-tier, black tire cake for her big day. What she got — a disastrous, lopsided gray blob —  looked nothing like the original cake-maker's photo. What's a bride to do?

    Sell it on eBay, of course.

    More on Yahoo! Shine: Fairy Tales Do Come True With Castle Wedding Cakes

    Celia was so annoyed by the monstrosity that was supposed to be a unique, decadent treat on her wedding day that she listed the cake in jest on eBay and, as one commenter put it, "cake-shaming" the unspecified baker.

    Under the specifics of the listing, she described the cake as "used" and noted: "A few defects due to maker being unskilled. Uncut, along with large amount of awful cupcakes for free. No topper or decoration. Unusual design. Very heavy."

    Celia also wrote that she had "roses which fell off this

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  • Good Samaritan Saves Injured Teen, Thanks "Shark Week" for Guidance

    Robert Nicholas may be the best advertisement for Discovery Channel's annual "Shark Week" yet. Without any formal medical training, Nicholas applied knowledge he gained from watching one of the network's shows to come to the aid of an injured 16-year-old.

    Bailey Mcgroarty and three other teens suffered injuries after their Jeep overturned in the town of Boston, New York, last Thursday. According to a New York State Police report, Mcgroarty's friend lost control of the Jeep when he drove off onto the unpaved shoulder and overcorrected, causing the vehicle to overturn. Mcgroarty sustained an arm laceration with arterial bleeding.

    More on Yahoo! Shine: Heart Attack Survivor Meets Mystery Hero Who Saved His Life

    "I remember screaming for help as a car drove by," Mcgroarty told WGRZ. When Nicholas saw the teens, he immediately pulled over.

    Nicholas is not a doctor, and he said he doubted that he would be able to help, as "there was a lot of blood." Another passenger in the Jeep had reportedly

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  • The Surprising Benefit of Having Siblings

    A new study suggest that growing up with siblings decreases the likelihood of divorce later in life.You might want to thank your younger sister for being a copycat and your brother for being a tattletale. Turns out all that annoying childhood behavior was arming you for a healthy marriage. A new study by researchers from Ohio State University suggests that growing up with siblings lays the foundation for healthy relationships later in life and may even reduce the likelihood of divorce.

    More on Yahoo! Shine: Out of Birth Order: 7 Ways You Know You're a Middle Child

    The more siblings you have, the better you chance of a long-lasting marriage. With each sibling (up to about seven), your probability of getting divorced is reduced by 2 percent, according to research published Tuesday by the American Sociological Association. “This study suggests one positive benefit of having siblings,” Donna Bobbitt-Zeher, co-author of the study and assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State University, told Yahoo! Shine. “This is significant because it shows a long-term consequence of growing up withRead More »from The Surprising Benefit of Having Siblings


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