| Good News Stories from around the World
Thursday July 24th 2014

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Here at Good News Stories we bring you upbeat news stories from around the World.

Sports Direct Lose out on England Football Flop

England’s laughable and inevitable early exit from the World Cup cost Sports Direct up to £20m in lost profits, the group said, as disappointed football fans failed to buy replica shirts.

Dave Forsey, chief executive, said Roy Hodgson boys’ lacklustre performance was much more significant to the business than a dispute with Adidas which meant Sports Direct could not stock replicas of the on-field strips of key teams, including the winner Germany and runners-up Argentina. The brand has pulled stock from a number of different retailers, because it was unhappy at the presentation of goods or customer service.

“England’s early exit meant a £10m to £20m swing to [underlying profits],” he said. “It’s all about England for the World Cup for our stores. What affects sales primarily will always be how long England lasts in the tournament.”

While Sports Direct revealed a healthy 15.6% rise in pretax profits to £239.5m on sales of £2.7bn, up 23.8% in the year to 27 April, driven by strong sales of sportswear as well as the acquisition of fashion chain Republic, Forsey said performance would have been better if the national team had hit the back of the net more often.

However, Forsey said Sports Direct was hopeful of stocking the key Adidas football strips it wants, including Premier League team Chelsea’s after “encouraging discussions” with the sports brand which stopped supplying certain strips to Sports Direct earlier this year. Forsey was not able to confirm if and when Adidas might begin supply but he said:”Top-level engagement has been encouraging for the last couple of weeks and both teams see opportunities for their side.”

Sports Direct is also seeking a rapprochement with shareholders after a bruising battle over the bonus scheme which would have significantly benefited the chain’s founder, Mike Ashley. On Wednesday, the company said Ashley had chosen to withdraw from the scheme, just two weeks after it had been approved. The move was widely welcomed by major institutional shareholders who felt the bonus arrangements were inappropriately structured.

They want Ashley, who owns a 58% stake in the company but does not receive any pay for his role as executive deputy chairman, to be rewarded by a salary or a dividend that would benefit all investors. Shareholders had threatened to vote against the re-election of the chairman Keith Hellawell and some non-executive directors, but Forsey said their protests had not affected Ashley’s decision.

11 Ways to Overcome Anger

Anger is something that virtually all of us have within us and is something best tackled by ourselves and our own actions.

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Anyway here are 11 ways to calm your anger!

1. Ask: “Am I improving the situation?” This works especially well with the Big Girl. If I get angry with her, she has a complete melt-down. It’s unpleasant, but her reactions have sure helped me get better control of myself. Now, when I have the urge to snap, I think, “Is this going to help the situation?” And the answer is always NO.

2. Find “an area of refuge.” I lifted this phrase from a sign near an elevator at Yale Law School—it struck me as funny. Research shows that when people’s thoughts are unoccupied, brooding sets in. So I try to “find an area of refuge” in my mind; that is, to dwell on serene thoughts instead of brooding and fussing. Along the same lines…

3. Distract myself. Indulging in “overthinking”—dwelling on trifling slights, unpleasant encounters, and sadness—leads to bad feelings. I can enrage myself by obsessing on some petty annoyance. In what the Big Man calls the “downward spiral,” I begin to rail about every negative episode in recent memory. Now I deliberately distract my thoughts, usually by thinking about some writing question.

4. Ask: am I mad at myself? Martha Beck makes the interesting argument that we brood on other people’s faults when we subconsciously identify with them; what we condemn in other people is what we condemn in ourselves. So now when someone is making me angry, I ask myself, “Can I accuse myself of the same fault?” In a telling bit of psychology, I’ve noticed Beck’s observation to be very true for other people, but not so much for myself! Do I suspect a bit of self-denial might be going on…?

5. Laugh. Humor is the answer to everything (humor and exercise). Now when I absolutely can’t hold back my anger, I at least try to insert a joke, or make fun of myself, or assume a lighter tone as I rant on. So instead of sniping out a comment like “Can you PLEASE just answer my emails so I can deal with these horrible logistics issues?!” I might say something like, “I’m thinking of getting a homing pigeon that will fly to your office and rap on your window with its beak until you send me an answer.” The added advantage of this approach is that no matter how the other person responds, I feel less angry and more light-hearted when I adopt a lighter tone.

6. Get some exercise. Physical activity can help reduce stress that can cause you to become angry. If you feel your anger escalating, go for a brisk walk or run, or spend some time doing other enjoyable physical activities.

7. Take a timeout. Timeouts aren’t just for kids. Give yourself short breaks during times of the day that tend to be stressful. A few moments of quiet time might help you feel better prepared to handle what’s ahead without getting irritated or angry.

8. Identify possible solutions. Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand. Does your child’s messy room drive you crazy? Close the door. Is your partner late for dinner every night? Schedule meals later in the evening — or agree to eat on your own a few times a week. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix anything and might only make it worse.

9. Unplug. Technology encourages us to react quickly. The minute we get that text or feel the phone vibration, we’re racing to respond. Reacting impulsively is a trigger for angry outbursts. Set aside time each day to be free from checking email, social media sites, and text messaging.

10. Train your mind to respond slower. Think, speak, drive, text, listen, cook, eat, and walk slower. When you slow down, you’ll feel more in control of your options and your inner life.

Leave post-it reminders on the computer, your car dashboard, and your front door. Our brains are not trained to remember many things, so write it down.

11. Sleep on it! Honestly, if I had to choose just one option to manage anger, it would be getting sufficient sleep. Sleep deprivation is a huge culprit in negative moods, including anxiety and depression.

Commit to going to bed earlier during the week. It’s nearly impossible to make calm, measured, responsible choices if you can barely keep your eyes open.

Bottom line: You have everything you need to change. With daily commitment, practice, and patience, you’ll increase problem-solving abilities so you can manage your anger, rather than have your anger manage you.

Remember, living in the past causes depression. Living in the future causes anxiety. Living in the here-and-now enables you to make healthy choices to increase emotional well-being.

 

 

New movie based games at Microgaming

Microgaming is one of the pioneers of the iGaming industry. Its first operation was launched in 1994 – it was the first of its kind. Later Microgaming has abandoned this line of business, focusing on the development of online games instead. The company turns 20 this year, and the list of its games includes over 500 titles.

Microgaming releases new games quite often. New games are added to the company’s offer every month. This year Microgaming has released several new titles this year, like the Lucky Koi, Avalon II, Untamed – Crowned Eagle, Loose Cannon, Girls with Guns – Frozen Dawn, Football Star (a title honoring the 2014 FIFA World Cup that will take place this summer in Brazil) and Cool Wolf. And the good news is more great games are set to follow.

The company has announced at the beginning of this year that it has made arrangements with Studiocanal S.A. for the rights of an iGaming adaptation of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a massive blockbuster and instant classic with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the title role. The game is set to be released this summer.

Only a week later Microgaming has announced a similar deal, this time with Universal, for the release of a game based on one of the most game-changing movie trilogies of all times, Jurassic Park. This game will also be released in the summer of 2014.

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular TV series of our days. This HBO series, based on the novels from the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series written by George R. R. Martin. This epic tale has stolen the hearts of millions of people all around the world, even having the dubious honor to be the most pirated TV series of all times. Microgaming has signed an agreement for the release of a game based on the TV series in February, with a release in the second half of this year. Surely a piece of good news for the series fans.

Microgaming has a long history of releasing games based on successful movies and TV shows. Some of their games have become instant classics – The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, based on the popular Batman movies directed by Cristopher Nolan, are hugely popular titles in their offer, and the game based on Battlestar Galactica (the favorite TV show of yours truly) is also among the preferred ones of the players.

Want to play Microgaming games? You can do so by visiting one of the operations that offer their games to their registered customers – websites like Platinum Play, Royal Vegas or Euro Palace, among others. Good luck, and have a good time playing the latest Microgaming titles.

Downs syndrome Man sings at ballpark

Many people dream of singing the national anthem at a major sports event, but few can do it with a spirit rivaling Michael Mullins.

Here is a video of him here…

http://vimeo.com/93660175

Mullins, a 38-year-old die-hard Red Sox fan, has Down syndrome. Last week, he realized a dream he’s had for nearly a decade: Singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Fenway Park, capacity 37,400, to open for the Red Sox.

According to the Metro West Daily News, Mullins has spent the last 10 years singing the national anthem for a minor league team, and four years lobbying the Red Sox for a chance to sing at Fenway. He’s been helped along by the Michael Lisnow Respite Center in Hopkinton, Mass., where he lives.

“Nope, I’m not nervous,” he told Boston’s WCVB in an interview before the big day. “Piece of cake.”

“He is so excited. This is the biggest day of his life,” added center director Sharon Lisnow.

Mullins really is becoming the talk of Beantown. News of Mullins’ performance tonight is quickly getting around, according to Alex Dunn, liaison from the Center who’s assisting Mike on his big day.

“We’ve been walking around, and he’s in a Rex Sox shirt, and people keep asking him if he’s going to the game,” Dunn says. “We tell them, ‘Oh, he’s not just going to the game, he’s singing the National Anthem!’ Everyone wants to shake his hand.”

For Mullins, the gig is also an opportunity to raise awareness for a cause dear to his heart.

“I like doing disability awareness,” Mullins remarks, as he’s performing on the park’s Disability Awareness Day.

8 Ways to be happier!

cornish beach

beach time!

We all want to be happier don’t we? Here at Good News Stories we have uncovered eight ways to be happier :)

1. Buy some happiness. Our basic psychological needs include feeling loved, secure, and good at what we do. You also want to have a sense of control. Money doesn’t automatically fill these requirements, but it sure can help. I’ve learned to look for ways to spend money to stay in closer contact with my family and friends; to promote my health; to work more efficiently; to eliminate sources of irritation and marital conflict; to support important causes; and to have enlarging experiences. For example, when my sister got married, I splurged on a better digital camera. It was expensive, but it gave me a lot of happiness.

2. Don’t insist on the best. There are two types of decision makers. Satisficers (yes, satisficers) make a decision once their criteria are met. When they find the hotel or the pasta sauce that has the qualities they want, they’re satisfied. Maximizers want to make the best possible decision. Even if they see a bicycle or a backpack that meets their requirements, they can’t make a decision until they’ve examined every option. Satisficers tend to be happier than maximizers. Maximizers expend more time and energy reaching decisions, and they’re often anxious about their choices. Sometimes good enough is good enough.

3. Exercise to boost energy. I knew, intellectually, that this worked, but how often have I told myself, “I’m just too tired to go to the gym”? Exercise is one of the most dependable mood-boosters. Even a 10-minute walk can brighten my outlook.

4. Stop nagging. I knew my nagging wasn’t working particularly well, but I figured that if I stopped, my husband would never do a thing around the house. Wrong. If anything, more work got done. Plus, I got a surprisingly big happiness boost from quitting nagging. I hadn’t realized how shrewish and angry I had felt as a result of speaking like that. I replaced nagging with the following persuasive tools: wordless hints (for example, leaving a new lightbulb on the counter); using just one word (saying “Milk!” instead of talking on and on); not insisting that something be done on my schedule; and, most effective of all, doing a task myself. Why did I get to set the assignments?
5. Take action. Some people assume happiness is mostly a matter of inborn temperament: You’re born an Eeyore or a Tigger, and that’s that. Although it’s true that genetics play a big role, about 40 percent of your happiness level is within your control. Taking time to reflect, and making conscious steps to make your life happier, really does work. So use these tips to start your own Happiness Project. I promise it won’t take you a whole year.

6. Jon Haidt, author of The Happiness Hypothesis, teaches positive psychology. He actually assigns his students to make themselves happier during the semester.

“They have to say exactly what technique they will use,” says Haidt, a professor at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville. “They may choose to be more forgiving or more grateful. They may learn to identify negative thoughts so they can challenge them. For example, when someone crosses you, in your mind you build a case against that person, but that’s very damaging to relationships. So they may learn to shut up their inner lawyer and stop building these cases against people.”

Once you’ve decided to be happier, you can choose strategies for achieving happiness. Psychologists who study happiness tend to agree on ones like these.

7. Cultivate Gratitude

In his book, Authentic Happiness, University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman encourages readers to perform a daily “gratitude exercise.” It involves listing a few things that make them grateful. This shifts people away from bitterness and despair, he says, and promotes happiness.

8. Foster Forgiveness

Holding a grudge and nursing grievances can affect physical as well as mental health, according to a rapidly growing body of research. One way to curtail these kinds of feelings is to foster forgiveness. This reduces the power of bad events to create bitterness and resentment, say Michael McCullough and Robert Emmons, happiness researchers who edited The Psychology of Happiness.

Racing driver showing encouraging signs

The seven-times Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher is “showing moments of awakening” after three months in a coma in a hospital in Grenoble, his manager revealed today.

Previous updates on Schumacher’s condition had spoken of the motor racing legend showing signs of responding to stimulus. Today’s statement implies that he has progressed beyond that stage but medical precedents suggest that, after three months in a coma, his chances of complete recovery are slight.

Schumacher crashed head first into a rock while skiing off-piste at Meribel in the French Alps on 29 December last year. He has been in a coma at Grenoble University Hospital since.

Career in Pictures: Michael Schumacher
The 45-year-old has undergone two operations to reduce pressure on his brain caused by swelling and remove haematomas, and the news today comes as his first significant improvement since effort began at the end of January to awaken Schumacher.

Schumacher’s manager said no further details of his conditions would be released at this stage.

The German was skiing with his son between three and eight metres from the piste when his skis struck a rock hidden in the snow. He was projected for two to three metres and his head struck another rock. His helmet was split in two by the force of the collision.

What is a Medically induced coma?

Can be induced by powerful anaesthetics and is broadly similar to the sedation and artificial ventilation used during surgery.

Used to shut down many brain functions, lowering blood flow and pressure.

Taking a patient out of an induced coma is a delicate process, especially after a prolonged period of sedation
Doctors and relatives are looking for any signs of returning consciousness and recovery.

Last month Schumacher’s relatives said in a statement that he had been showing “small, encouraging signs”.

Investigators probing the accident said Schumacher had been going at the speed of “a very good skier” at the time of his crash in the resort of Meribel.

He had been skiing off-piste when he fell and hit a rock, investigators said.

Experts reconstructed events leading up to the crash after examining Schumacher’s skiing equipment and viewing footage filmed on a camera attached to his helmet.

Schumacher retired from racing in 2012 after a 19-year career.

He won two titles with Benetton, in 1994 and 1995, before switching to Ferrari in 1996 and going on to win five straight titles from 2000.

Source: The Independent, The BBC

Secrets of long life revealed!

We’d all like to live forever but the one thing in life that is a certainty is death! But this is good news stories and we’d like to report on some ways of extending your life as long as possible!

So what makes people live so long — nature or nurture? “The average person should be able to live to 90 years old if they exercise, eat well, and avoid smoking,” Thomas Perls, M.D., a professor of medicine at Boston Medical Center, the director of the New England Centenarian study, and co-author of Living to 100, told Yahoo Shine. “Before the age of 90, genetics only accounts for 25 percent of a person’s lifespan; 75 percent is their healthy habits. If a person lives past 90, we have to look to a stronger genetic reason.

Drink 8 glasses of water a day.
Once believed to be the amount everyone needs for proper hydration, a longevity essential, a 2002 study from Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, NH, debunked the 8X8 rule. As Dr. Goldberg explains, “there’s no magic number of glasses,” emphasizing it’s more about getting fluids, not necessarily from straight-up H20. Herbal tea and juices are hydration helpers (though soda isn’t), but fruits and vegetables (like celery and leafy greens) are an even healthier way to get your liquids.

Cut out booze.
A daily glass of wine not only can help your heart but also add years to your life. University of Texas at Austin researchers found that moderate drinking, such as a small glass of wine (about four ounces) a day, reduces mortality among older and middle-aged adults. Dr. Goldberg says it’s because heart disease is the leading killer of women, and wine is chockfull of antioxidants, which prevent serious sickness. So fill ‘er up-without overflowing that glass.

Get eight hours of sleep every night.
While research suggests snoozing fewer than six or more than nine hours a night raises your mortality risk, everyone has different sleep needs, says Shelby Harris, PsyD, director of the behavioral sleep medicine program at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY. So if you wake naturally after only, say, six-and-a-half hours a night, forcing yourself to reach eight hours won’t lengthen your life. To learn how much sleep you need, try awakening without an alarm for a week, if you can swing it. If you feel good and have enough energy most of the day, you’ve found your ideal amount of rest.

Make sure if you ever travel from your home country you have good travel insurance from sites such as over80.co.uk to ensure you are covered in the event of something going wrong!

Don’t let a cold get you inflight!

Are you taking a long haul flight soon and worried about the prospect of catching a cold or worse?

We’ve all been there — you’re on a full flight, stuck in the middle seat between a cougher and a sneezer with nowhere to turn. Are you doomed to get sick? Dr. Travis Stork, co-host of “The Doctors,” says there may be something you can do.

If germy particles are floating in the air, switch on your overhead air vent to the highest setting, aimed downward at your face. “The air will actually help push those particles away,” he says.

While many stock up on vitamin C and take other supplements designed to strengthen the immune system for travel, Stork says, wellness is more in your head than you think. “All of those supplements out there, a lot of it is the placebo effect,” he explains. “If you’re more optimistic and you believe you’re going to get better, your immune system strangely fires up.”

Tips…

Stay hydrated. It turns out that drinking plenty of water will not only counter the overall dehydrating effects of air travel, which can lead to headaches, stomach problems, cramps, fatigue and more, but can actually fortify your preemptive natural immune mechanisms to function considerably better. Of course, this is the case in normal daily life — when exercising, during prolonged sun exposure, etc. Even caffeine and alcohol consumption can dry you out. However, in an airplane, where your nose and throat are on the front lines of the war with exceedingly dry air, these are the first places to suffer.

Keep your hands clean. Your hands are the most consistent point of first contact with cold, flu and other germs. It is a direct line from armrest/ handshake/seat back to fingers to fork to mouth to full-blown fever a few days later. Scientists report that the viruses that cause colds and flu can survive for hours on your skin or on objects such as armrests, TV remote control handsets, tray tables and other similar surfaces. However, the simple act of washing your hands with hot water and soap is a formidable rampart against this transfer of harmful microorganisms.

Wear a face mask. The NIH cites airborne germs as one of the top two sources of cold virus infection; some travelers have taken to wearing masks either to prevent infection, or when they themselves are already infected. Personally, I would not last more than a half-hour or so behind a hot mask, but this may be an effective prevention tactic nonetheless.

Top Luxury Casinos around the world

As the summer season draws around, people start planning their trips abroad. There are so many different types of vacations that you can take. A popular choice is a casino holiday. This is where you choose some of the most extravagant casinos to visit. A lot of the biggest casinos are part of resorts which house luxury hotels, multiple entertainment options, and amazing architecture as well as the gambling, so it’s easy to see why people might make a casino holiday their first choice. You don’t have to be a high roller to do this kind of holiday either. Many people just observe in the gambling halls, some people go as first timers, and some people go as experts, the level varies.

South Africa has many luxury casinos. The Sun City Casino isn’t too far from city of Johannesburg which is a popular holiday destination. You can find all the usual casino games here such as blackjack and American Roulette. Salon Prive and the International Rooms are the rooms to go to if you are a high roller-here there are high betting limits.

The Rio Casino is in the city of Klerksdorp. It has a Brazilian Carnival theme and offers slot machines and table games. Lots of South African casinos have a theme, but the Rio casino has really gone all out, and aside from the gambling, you can enjoy fine dining and entertainment.

American roulette is very popular in South Africa, so you might have to brush up on this if you are more used to the European version. Nowadays it’s only really professional gamblers and possibly users of online casinos like www.gamingclub.com/au/online-roulette. If you are wondering what the difference is, it is basically the wheel. The American Roulette wheel has an extra slot on the wheel, the 00, which doubles the casino’s advantage. You need to bear this in mind when deciding to play or not.

Woman Reunited with Daughter after 70 years

Now this is a lovely story…

Brooke Mayo never stopped thinking of the rosy-cheeked little girl she gave up for adoption nearly three-quarters of a century ago.

She was certain, though, that she’d never again see the child she had named Delphine. After all, she’d been told in 1945 that the girl had died.

Indeed, it wasn’t until this past July that the little girl, whose adoptive parents had renamed her Patricia, walked through the door of Mayo’s Paso Robles home.

‘I was in a daze,’ the 89-year-old woman told the San Luis Obispo Tribune, which reported on the reunion Sunday. ‘I’m still in a daze. I can’t believe this. The people I talk to say it’s like a book or a movie or something, it’s just so amazing.’

We love a happy ending!

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