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Gender: Male
Hometown: Northern VA
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 10:34 AM
Number of posts: 41,375

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Why are you littering?

Along with shave and a haircut, this dementia-friendly barber offers 'a bit of dignity'

At 17, Lenny White worked in a care facility in his native Northern Ireland, washing dishes and serving food. He found he had a knack for talking with dementia patients.

“I used to love working with them and getting into their world,” he recalled. “They would say, ‘I’m only 30,’ or ‘I want my mummy.’ I’d say, ‘Your mummy will be back soon;’ you wouldn’t tell them, ‘Your mother’s dead.’"

Even after he grew up and became a marketing consultant, he never forgot how good talking to dementia patients had made him feel. Two decades later, after getting divorced, he took a barbering course. A friend who worked in a care facility mentioned how there was a salon for the women there, done up in pink, but nothing equivalent for the men. So White decided to do a men’s day. He brought in a barber’s pole, put on an old-fashioned barber’s apron and sprayed the room with a lemon-scented cologne. He turned on the music of Dean Martin and Elvis Presley, and a group of men was brought in for haircuts.

They loved it. “The staff noticed a big difference,” White recalled of that day, a little over two years ago. As the music played, he chatted with the men and snipped away. Some who had been agitated became relaxed and tapped their feet. Word spread to other care facilities, and thus White, who lives in Bangor, Northern Ireland, became Lenny the Mobile Barber, traveling around the United Kingdom and beyond to deliver an old-fashioned hot towel shave-and-a-haircut to men with dementia.

Really nice article by Tara Bahrampour at https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2019/01/18/along-with-shave-haircut-this-dementia-friendly-barber-offers-a-bit-dignity/?utm_term=.071d2de0363a&wpisrc=nl_optimist&wpmm=1

Lenny travels around Ireland and makes trips to New Jersey cutting dementia patients hair.

Saw my first "Lock Him Up" bumper sticker today.

The first of many!

A 10-year-old boy had an idea to help poor people. 14 years and 8,000 bikes later, he's still at it

In 2005, Winston Duncan was traveling with his mother in southern Africa when he saw an old lady and a young boy walking down a road together. He thought of his own grandmother, who used an oxygen tank, and wondered how he could help the old lady and others he had seen enduring long walks in Africa.

Duncan, who lived in Arlington, was 10 at the time, and his solution was to give them bikes.

Unlike most 10-year-olds with crazy ideas, he actually did it. With his mom, he started Wheels to Africa, an organization that for the past 14 years has taken bicycles donated from residents of the Washington metropolitan area and shipped them across the world to people in need.

Most of the 8,000 bikes they have collected have gone to countries in Africa, helping cut down hours of walking for students and other recipients. But this month, Duncan, now 24, and his mother, Dixie Duncan, traveled with a handful of volunteers and 400 bikes to a destination much closer to home yet still in dire need: Puerto Rico.

More by Tara Bahrampour at

Have old broken stuff? These people will fix it for you - for free

A little more than a decade ago, Martine Postma, a journalist in the Netherlands, noticed something had changed since her childhood in the 1970s. When a household item — a clock, a vacuum cleaner, a chair — broke, people used to try to fix it. Now, their first impulse was to throw it away. As a writer focused on sustainability issues, she was disturbed by that.

“Why do we make so much waste on a daily basis?” she recalls asking herself. “Because we no longer do repairs. So I had this idea to reintroduce repairs as a normal and attractive activity in daily life.”

She came up with a solution that led to a career change and inspired an international grass-roots movement: a regular gathering at which people with broken items can bring them to a place where other people can try to fix them. In 2009, she did a trial run in Amsterdam — and it drew many more people than she expected. Word spread, and soon a network of what became known as Repair Cafés began to spread across the Netherlands and beyond.

Turning her attention to it full time, Postma started the Repair Café International Foundation. She wrote a manual on how to organize the cafes and put together a starter kit. There are now nearly 1,700 cafes in 35 countries, including 75 in the United States, 30 in Canada and 450 in the Netherlands.

More by Tara Bahrampour at

Warning: Coyote Activity

From Boing Boing at:

Russian News of the Times: Trump's Loyalty to Russia Under Investigation

From Tom the Dancing Bug

Charis JB's webcomic shows how pick-up artists morphed into the alt-right:

Too long to post here. Check out:


This toy factory is run by volunteers who give away all the toys for free

A long-haul truck driver recently walked into Tiny Tim’s Toy Foundation in West Jordan, Utah, and asked for a box of toys. Alton Thacker gave him five, each packed with 125 cars.

“He stopped at children's hospitals along his truck route and handed them out," said Thacker, 83, a retired barber who started the toy factory 16 years ago. "And I know he'll be back for more. Seeing all those little smiles is a great motivator.”

The cars — simple wooden toys with a painted smile — are made at the factory and given free to children in need around the globe through charities, churches, children’s hospitals and sometimes truckers who stop by for a box. Thacker’s factory reached a huge milestone this year when he cranked out his 1 millionth toy. He celebrated for a moment and then got back to work.


Children in Ghana play with cars made by Tiny Tim's toy factory in 2008. (photo by Sarah Marchant)

A car built from a block of scrap wood is a simple thing, he said, but the impact is immense. He said all kids react the same when they get the toy — whether they’re in a children’s hospital, a restaurant, a tough neighborhood close to home or a developing country. The cars have been delivered to children in countries including Iraq, Afghanistan, Ghana, Thailand, Russia, Mexico and Brazil.

More by Cathy Free of the Washington Post at:


Do you already have a preferred Democratic Candidate for 2020?

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