Friday, January 19, 2018
Thursday, January 18, 2018
The names of Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg, who risked their own lives and fortunes during World War II to help Europe’s Jews escape death at the hands of the Nazis, have been immortalized.
But what of the Swiss envoy Carl Lutz?
According to a recent investigation into war documents by the BBC, Lutz arrived in Budapest in 1942 to serve as neutral Switzerland’s vice-consul to Hungary. Hungary had already sided with Germany. But when the Germans occupied Hungary in 1944, they expedited efforts to exterminate Hungary’s Jews by deporting them to Auschwitz.
Using his diplomatic resources, Lutz began fudging letters of Swiss diplomatic protection to save them. The Nazis granted Lutz permission to issue only 8,000 letters to individuals with a direct connection to Western powers, but he managed to duplicate the letters to save entire families.
Historians estimate that his efforts saved as many as 62,000 lives.
“It is the largest civilian rescue operation of the Second World War,” said Holocaust expert Charlotte Schallié.
After the war, though, Lutz was reprimanded for overstepping his authority rather than feted for his heroism – primarily due to Switzerland’s strict policy of neutrality.
“Ask most people in Switzerland about Carl Lutz, and the answer will be, ‘Who?'”
Saturday, January 13, 2018
Friday, January 12, 2018
Thursday, January 11, 2018
Learning to Fall
“Learning to fall” is taking on a literal meaning in the Netherlands, where 18.5 percent of the population is now 65 or older.
In 2016, almost 4,000 Dutch seniors died as a result of a fall, a 38-percent increase from 2014, the New York Times reported.
“My main problem is I’m very afraid of falling,” said 85-year-old Hans Kuhn, who lives alone in her two-story house near Amsterdam.
To ease her fears, Kuhn has enrolled in a class for seniors that teaches them how to fall properly.
Virtually unheard of a decade ago, the courses have become so common throughout the country that they’re now government rated and partially covered by health insurance.
Monitored by trained physiotherapists, students spend weeks traversing obstacles and doing exercises to build strength and balance until they’re confident enough to practice falling on foam mats.
The courses also provide comic relief and a social setting for elderly students otherwise isolated in their homes, said Saskia Kloet, a program manager at VeiligeheidNL, an institution that offers falling courses.
“Naturally, they are not interested in courses on falling at first,” she said. “But once they see that they can do it, then it’s fun.”
Click here to see the seniors in action.
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Two Birds, One Stone
Sometimes, a highly sought solution gets its start in an unlikely place, suggests new evidence that a drug for type 2 diabetes can also decrease the effects of Alzheimer’s.
In a study published recently in the journal Brain Research, scientists examined the effects of a new “triple action” medication that combines three different drugs used for type 2 diabetes for its impact on dementia.
Stymied insulin production – the defining factor of type 2 diabetes – has long been known to be linked to brain degeneration, and previous reports on the effects of diabetes drugs on combating dementia have shown positive results.
But this new, multi-action drug showed even more promising results than those previously seen. Mice with genetic mutations that cause Alzheimer’s blazed through maze tests and displayed slower degeneration of nerve cells after being injected with the new drug.
Though some researchers remain skeptical, lead researcher Christian Holscher of Lancaster University in the United Kingdom thinks the drug “holds clear promise” of quickly being used on Alzheimer’s patients since it’s already cleared for human use – a sentiment echoed by British Alzheimer’s societies, the Independent reported.
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Fairy Tale Places
We may be familiar with the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Taj Mahal, and other such famous landmarks. In fact, they are visited by hundreds of people every day. Their iconic photos are all across the internet, all depicting different angles, lighting, and visitors in them. There are over a hundred famous places across the globe that are deemed to be must-sees. But these are just the tip of the iceberg.The world is full of wonderful, spectacular places to be seen and explored. If you're looking for less-known destinationsthat are equally impressive as the famous landmarks, then this list is for you. Not only are these places absolutely incredible to see, but your friends and family probably have not been to these destinations, which makes your stories refreshing and all that much more impressive.
Beautiful flowers hanging off the balconies in Cagnes-sur-Mer, Provence,
After the rain in Bibury, England, United Kingdom.
A quaint little town called Rothenburg ob der Tauber, located in Germany.
A magnificent waterfall in Gásadalur, Faroe Islands.
The breathtaking view in Hallstatt, Austria.
A beautiful, sunny day in Bagnone, Italy.Manarola, one of the five famous Cinque Terre towns in Italy.
A quiet, traditional town called Gokayama in Japan.
Waves crashing against the shore of the small fishing town of Hamnøy in Norway.
Local residents tending to their daily tasks in Eguisheim, France.
Mother nature takes over this abandoned fishing village in the Shengsi Islands, China.
Clouds wrapping themselves around the towering mountain in Renndølsetra, Norway.
The Winter Wonderland in Shirakawa, Japan.
The impressive island that is Monemvasia, Greece.One of the many beautiful mountain villages in China.
Gorgeous roses lining the exterior walls of houses in Penne, France.
The incredible view in this small town in Oia, Greece is simply breathtaking.
The spectacular Foroglio Waterfall can be seen from this quaint little town in Foroglio, Switzerland.
The small town of Bled stands proudly in front of the Julian Alps in Slovenia.
These snow-covered houses in Røros, Norway look just like something out of a Christmas tale.Be sure to SHARE these incredible places with your friends and family.