OneRepublic Helps Raise Awareness for Child Mortality with Hit Song

Never underestimate the power of music; Grammy Award-nominated band OneRepublic has proven that a simple song can have the power to save millions of children’s lives.

On March 31st, a special edition music video, created by the ad agency BBDO, of the band’s hit song “Feel Again” was released in an effort to raise awareness of newborn and child mortality.

“Feel Again” was initially part of the PSA campaign by Save the Children and the AD Council entitled “Every Beat Matters”. The song was created using the heartbeat of children who were suffering from deadly illness or poverty in villages of Guatemala and Malawi.

According to The World Health Organization, 6.9 million children died before the age of 5 in 2011. Children in sub-Saharian Africa are 16.5 times more likely to die before the age of five. The leading causes of deaths for children under the age of five are:



Preterm birth complications




Birth asphyxia




Other Causes


Child mortality is a serious issue affecting many outside the American borders and action is needed. Much of the deaths are caused either due to a lack of knowledge or medicine to treat diseases.

You help reduce these numbers by donating. A simple $50 donation can supply a respiration timer and antibiotics to diagnose and treat pneumonia, a bed net and treatment for malaria, and counseling for parents on preventing HIV/AIDS in a newborn child. Join OneRepublic, in their quest to save the children by donating today.


The SmartPhone App That Helps You Overcome Addiction


What if I told you that the cure to some of the most detrimental addictions could be in the palm of your hand? Your SmartPhone, that was thought to just improve the quality of your life, now has the potential to save it thanks to the new application, DTOX.

Created by well-known interventionist, Rae Dylan, DTOX is designed to help individuals struggling with dependencies  such as smoking, drugs, binge eating, and much more. The application not only tracks your progress, but allows you to connect with others for support.

How exactly does it work? The key features to the program include: a day counter, daily alerts and e-mails, and a log of cravings to record mood changes over time. The app also has a social network option to help build a support community. There is a Facebook and Twitter option for sharing accomplishments and Fan Club members receive alerts on their friend’s progress.

DTOX lets the individual witness change. For the first year, DTOX takes a picture every 30 days to create a photojournalistic log. With this you will be able to see change month by month in your physical and emotional countenance.

DTOX also works as a personal motivator. Every day an inspiring email with a relevant quote or message is sent to help you throughout your struggles. A mobile alert is also sent reminding you of your progress. Still in need of more support? You can also connect with your friends to track each others progress. You can even build your own customized Support Community to follow along with others who are going through the same issues.

Look in the Health and Fitness section on your smartphone’s app store. The app is currently being sold for $3.99, which seems like a small price to pay for a life dependency-free.

“We are in this together” rings the DTOX motto. Addictions are hard to overcome, and DTOX is there to make that journey to change a bit easier. This application makes sure that whenever or wherever your cravings strike help is only a push of the thumb away. With the DTOX  app, now you really can’t live without your SmartPhone.

Hope is Here: Baby Cured of HIV for the First Time


After decades of struggling to find a cure for the deadly disease HIV Aids, there has been a glimpse of hope. Researchers announced on Sunday that the first baby has been cured of the human immunodeficiency virus.

The infant is now two and a half years old and HIV negative. The child’s mother was unaware she had HIV until delivery so prenatal treatment that could have prevented the disease was not given.

Without these prenatal drugs, the baby was at a high risk of receiving the disease. Dr. Hannah Gay, the infant’s pediatrician, decided to treat the infant early on with three types of drugs.

After 15-18 months of treatment, the mother took her child off of the medicines. At 23 months the baby returned to the office revealing a negative viral load. The doctors ran multiple tests to make sure the results were accurate.

At 28 months the baby returned to the office revealing yet again another negative test result. The doctors were overjoyed to reveal that the child had been cured and showed no signs of the virus ever coming back.

Dr. Katherine Luzuriaga of The University of Massachusetts Medical School, confirmed the baby’s condition. When asked about the potential breakthrough in treating HIV Aids, Dr. Luzuriaga responded:

‘“Well, it’s one case. But often a single case can tell you a lot, mostly because it stimulates intense interest you develop hypotheses. And that’s where the real breakthrough and confirmation come in.”

This story has been a true miracle for the Mississippi mother and her child.  This cure provides hope for the millions of people around the world suffering from HIV Aids and shows that maybe their cure is just around the corner.

A Title Worth Celebrating: Marseilles-Provence Capitale Européene De La Culture


Marseilles has been labeled many things: “the city of water”, “the oldest and second largest city in France”, “the city of the sun” etc. Finally, it receives a title with some oomph: “the Capital of Culture 2013.”

As if the French needed anymore bragging rights, their latest title is one highly sought after by every city in Europe. It requires a selection panel of thirteen elect people to determine the winner. It was first started in 1985 by Mélina Mercouri and Jack Long and 30 cities have been awarded the title every since.

To be selected, the city must create a yearlong artistic program involving all areas of art: dance, music, theatre, science, sport, cuisine, heritage…you name it! As a result, Marseilles and Provence will host over 400 events, 60 exhibitions, and numerous artistic displays throughout 2013. Interested in what events will take place? Take a look for yourself here!

This weekend, January 12th and 13th, commences the “opening weekend” of the festivities featuring a treasure hunt, fireworks, and a light parade. Click here to see a full description of this weekend’s itinerary.

The European way of ‘sharing the wealth’ limits France from receiving the award again for at least another 10 years. So enjoy it while you can Francophiles!

What does this event mean for the French citizen? Other than being surrounded by the flood of camera-carrying-tourists this year, on a positive not you get 365 days of exquisite culture within your own borders!
What does this event mean to me? I am currently staying in Gemenos, a short 15 kilometers distance from the city itself!
What does this event mean to you the reader, who I am sure is at a much further distance? Besides learning something new from a report of an eyewitness, I have removed any hesitation for booking that flight to France.
If you are in the business of travel, rest assured that your job is secure for at least another year. You’re welcome.

French Myths Debunked


Thanks to cartoons, the word “France” renders several image connotations in the American mind: a love crazed skunk,  Pepe Le-Pew,  the future lung cancer victim Cruella De Ville, or the sweet school girl Madeline. Before visiting France and witnessing the people and customs for oneself, people have firm ideas of what France is like due to American made stereotypes. Having had these certain stereotypes in my mind, after visiting France I discovered which ones were true, false, or exaggerated.

Myth: French are rude and hate Americans. Ruling: False

This couldn’t be more false;  the French are actually extremely welcoming. The key to being welcomed into France is to not expect they will cater to you. In other words, don’t arrive demanding they speak English and awe over your American culture. You don’t have to speak French fluently to visit France.  It’s a good idea, to learn a few phrases such as, “Je suis American. Je ne parles pas français” (I am American. I don’t speak French). It shows that you gave some effort to communicate with them in their native tongue.

Myth: French cuisine is bizarre. Ruling: Exaggerated

Some foods on the French menu would seem odd to Americans such as frog legs and snails but these are specialties. The French eat  rather simply and the staple foods hardly vary from those in America. The French primarily cook with lean meats, vegetables, grains etc. They value the freshness of food in France, and pay specific attention to the use of flavors in their cuisine.

Not only do they eat smaller portions than in America, but they only eat three times a day: le petit déjeuner, le déjeuner, et le dîner. They appreciate the taste of food and like to experiment with new flavors. Meals are seen as very important times of day for  the French because it is viewed as a time of conversation with family and friends.

Myth: French love to kiss. Ruling: True.

This is true because of the French greeting. Upon seeing a friend or relative it is proper to kiss the person on both sides of the cheek. Otherwise I don’t believe French couples are anymore inclined to kiss more than American couples do.

Myth: The typical French image is a beret on the head, a loaf of bread under the arm, and a scarf around the neck. 

Ruling: Exaggerated

This image is as accurate as describing all people from the Southern states of America as camouflage-wearing-gun-carrying individuals. While this may true of some people, it should not compensate for the whole French image.

The Italians designed the beret and very few French people actually wear them.

Bread is an essential part to the French diet and the reason this idea of carrying bread has become a stapled image is because of the numerous bakeries throughout France. Food in France is typically eaten very fresh. So after a daily walk, or on the way home, many will pick up loaves of bread to carry home.

It is true that many people wear scarves but not more than in America and other parts of Europe. It is true that more males wear scarves in Europe then in America.

Myth: French smoke like chimneys. Ruling: True

For generalities sake not everyone smokes, but in France it is true that a majority of people do. This is very common in all of Europe.  Many start smoking as early teenagers and continue into their late adult years.  Smoking is popular in America but in France it seems to be more acceptable habit.

Myth: French eat a lot of cheese and drink a lot of wine. Ruling: Exaggerated

French are known for their wine and cheese but that does not make it is an everyday part of their diet. A glass of wine might accompany dinner, but cheese is usually saved for a special occasion. Vineyards are very common, especially in the Southern part of France. So why can’t the French enjoy the fruits of thy own labor and land by enjoying a glass of the best French fruits:  le vin?

Stony Brook Village hosts 33rd annual Holiday Festival

I took a trip down to Stony Brook Long Island to see what made Stony Brook Village’s Holiday Festival Newsday’s festival pick of the day. I was pleasantly surprised to encounter the lovely festival perfect for any family looking to celebrate the holiday season. Take a look at what I saw: