Never Give Up Your Dream

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14 people who failed before becoming super successful starsBeatles
by Business Insider
The names Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney, and Steven Spielberg aren’t usually associated with failure.

Oprah
But before these super successful stars made it big in Hollywood, they first failed, were fired, or heard the word “no” countless times.

But they never gave up.

See what 14 game changers had to overcome before becoming famous.
Beyoncé lost on “Star Search” in 1993.
Before people bowed down to Queen Bey, Beyoncé and her Houston, Texas-based hip hop group Girl’s Tyme weren’t considered winners on popular talent show “Star Search.”
The group, who would later become known as Destiny’s Child, appeared on a 1993 episode of “Star Search” — but lost to the Skeleton Crew.
Now 20 years later and one half of the most powerful couple in the music industry, Beyoncé included the “Star Search” footage in her new “Flawless” music video off her record-breaking visual album.
Walt Disney was told a mouse would never work
Before Walt Disney built the empire he has today, he was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
In 1921, Disney formed his first animation company in Kansas City, where he made a deal with a distribution company in New York, in which he would ship them his cartoons and get paid six months down the road. He was forced to dissolve his company and at one point could not pay his rent. He reportedly survived by eating dog food.
Also, When Walt first tried to get MGM studios to distribute Mickey Mouse in 1927, he was told that the idea would never work because a giant mouse on the screen would terrify women.
Entrepreneur Walt had a whole slew of bad ideas before coming up with good ones, read about them here.
J.K. Rowling was on welfare.
Before J.K. Rowling had any “Harry Potter” success, the writer was a divorced singled mother on welfare struggling to get by while also attending school and writing a novel.

Luckily, that novel turned into the “Harry Potter” franchise, which has since made Rowling a billionaire as of April 2012.
Oprah Winfrey was told she was “unfit for TV.”
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At age of 22, the now-TV mogul was fired from her job as a television reporter because she was “unfit for TV.”
Winfrey was terminated from her post as co-anchor of the 6 o’clock weekday news on Baltimore’s WJZ-TV after the show received low ratings. Winfrey has called it the “first and worst failure of her TV career.”
Winfrey was then demoted to morning TV, where she found her voice and met fellow newbie Gayle King, who would one day become her producer and editor of O, The Oprah Magazine.
Seven years after her first “failure,” Winfrey moved to Chicago, where her self-titled talk show went on to dominate daytime TV for 25 years. Winfrey now heads her own channel, OWN.
Jerry Seinfeld was booed off-stage.
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As the story goes, the first time the young comedian walked on stage at a comedy club, he looked out at the audience, froze, and was eventually booed off of the stage.
But a determined Seinfeld went back the next night and performed a successful set.
The comedian would go on to create one of the most successful TV sitcoms of all time.
Stephen King received 30 rejections for “Carrie.”
In 1973, Stephen King was working as an English teacher in Maine and selling short stories on the side to make ends meet. That same year, he accepted a $2,500 advance for his first novel “Carrie” to Doubleday but after 30 rejections, King decided to give up on the book.
At the urging of his wife, King later resubmitted the manuscript and now, after having hundreds of books published, King is one of the best-selling authors of all time and “Carrie” is on its second movie re-make.
As of 2011, total sales for King’s books were estimated to be between 300 and 350 million copies.

Before landing “I Love Lucy,” Lucille Ball was widely regarded as a failed B-movie actress and was even dubbed “Queen of the Bs” in the 1940s.
But by 1962, Ball was the first woman to run a major television studio, Desilu, which produced many successful and popular television series.
Throughout her career, Ball won four Emmys and earned the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors
Director Oliver Stone dropped out of Yale.
Three-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone dropped out of Yale to write his first novel, which was later rejected by publishers. When it was finally published in 1998, the novel was not well-received and Stone moved to Vietnam to teach English.
As a result, Stone enlisted in the army and fought a battle that earned him two Purple Hearts and helped him find the inspiration for his later work that often centers around war — such as “Platoon,” “Born on the Fourth of July,” and “Natural Born Killers.”
Oscar-winning actor Sidney Poitier was told to become a dishwasher
After his first audition, Poitier, who grew up poor in the Bahamas, was told by the casting director, “Why don’t you stop wasting people’s time and go out and become a dishwasher or something?”
Poitier went on to win an Oscar for “Lilies of the Field” in 1964 and 1967’s super successful “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner.”
Steven Spielberg got rejected from film school … three times.
Wikimedia Commons
Steven Spielberg was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television three times.
He eventually attended another school, only to drop out and become a director before finishing.
Thirty-five years after starting his degree, Spielberg returned to school in 2002 to finally complete his work and earn his BA.
“I wanted to accomplish this for many years as a thank-you to my parents for giving me the opportunity for an education and a career,” Spielberg said in a statement. “And as a personal note for my own family — and young people everywhere — about the importance of achieving their college education goals.”
The Beatles were dropped by their record label.
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When The Beatles were just starting out, a recording company told them no.
Decca Recording studios, who had recorded 15 songs with the group, said “we don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out. They have no future in show business.”
Hugh Jackman was fired from 7-Eleven.
Before he was Wolverine on “X-Men” or a Broadway star, actor Hugh Jackman got fired from his cashier job at 7-Eleven.
“I got fired after six weeks because the (boss) said I talked too much to the customers,” Jackman explained to Us Weekly.

Fred Astaire was told he “can’t act.”
In his first screen test, the testing director of MGM noted that Astaire, “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.”
Astaire later insisted that the report had actually read: “Can’t act. Slightly bald. Also dances.” David O. Selznick, who signed Astaire to RKO and commissioned the test, stated in a memo, “I am uncertain about the man, but I feel, in spite of his enormous ears and bad chin line, that his charm is so tremendous that it comes through even on this wretched test.”
Astaire, who went on to become an Oscar-nominated actor, singer and dancer, reportedly kept the negative note in his Beverly Hills home to remind him of where he came from.
Elvis Presley got fired after his first performance.
Wikimedia Commons
In 1954, Elvis was still a no-name performer, and Jimmy Denny — manager of the Grand Ole Opry — fired Elvis Presley after just one performance telling him, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”

Elvis

Elvis went on to become the second best-selling artists of all time.

Living Longer can be a good thing or maybe Not ?

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New post on Financial Post | Business

Why our 60s are our Glory Decade
by Fred Vettese
In Greek mythology, Eos, the goddess of the dawn, fell in love with Tithonus, a mortal. Eos asked Zeus to make Tithonus immortal but neglected to specify under what conditions. Zeus maliciously granted Tithonus immortality but not eternal youth. Poor Tithonus did not die but instead lived on over countless years, growing ever frailer until he was barely more than a whisper.

Thanks to medical advances and general economic prosperity, life spans are getting longer almost everywhere. At the Living to 100 Symposium in Florida recently, longevity experts predicted that the average person born in developed countries like Canada after 2000 can expect to live to 100, a good 15 years more than current life expectancy. This sounds promising but we should not automatically assume that all our remaining years will be healthy ones.

It is only a matter of time before we succumb to stroke, heart attack, cancer, Parkinson’s, dementia or some other age-related illness. It is important to know how many quality years we have left since it affects how we decide to spend our time in retirement.
I couldn’t find any good recent data for Canada but Eurostat, the European equivalent of Statistics Canada, has compiled some interesting data on average healthy life expectancy for 25 European countries.
The average European woman who is age 50 can expect to live another 34.3 years but a startling 16.2 years of those years will be marred by disability that will moderately limit activity for an average of 10.1 years and severely limit activity in the last 6.1 years.

The story for men is similar, with the average 50-year-old European man expecting to live another 29.4 years of which 12 will be spent with moderate or severe disability. Hence a 50-year-old European can expect to live disability-free to 68 in the case of women and 67 in the case of men.
This is very close to the little Canadian data that is available (from 1997) and suggests that, while there will be many exceptions, our 60s will probably be our last really good decade of life.

So what does this mean for people who are approaching retirement now?
The guiding principle is simple: Do the things you want to do when you can do them. Don’t wait too long to take that three-month trip around the world or to finally take some golf or scuba-diving lessons. As for less active things you can do equally well in your 70s, like scrap-booking or gardening, it may make sense to put them off until you get to that age. Your 60s is your glory decade.
As for working in your 60s, you may have no choice financially but if you do have a choice and like your work, then maybe consider working part-time instead of full-time.
This sobering information comes with three pieces of good news.
First, if and when you do succumb to some moderate disability, studies show your spending will decline. Hence, you might afford to spend a little more in your 60s than you thought. It is only in the final few years of severe disability when your spending may trend upwards again (for outside caregivers).
Second, at the same time that life spans are growing, research indicates that the length of time we are disabled is shrinking which means that our disability-free life expectancy is growing faster than our total life expectancy.
As a result, if you are under 50, you can add roughly five or so years to your disability-free life expectancy which will take you well into your 70s. If you are under 35, you can add another five years on top of that so your glory decade will be your 70s.
The final piece of good news is that disability-free life expectancy is something you can improve on. Our approach to health management in our advanced years is changing. Rather than treating each age-related disease as it affects us, a game we can never win, the new emphasis is on regenerative medicine, which involves attacking the aging process itself.
Some gerontologists think we can reach a point in the not-too-distant future when 60-year-olds will enjoy another 30 years of healthy life.
Fred Vettese is chief actuary of Morneau Shepell and co-author of the book, The Real Retirement, published by Wiley & Sons Canada.

Stop Child Marriage / Slavery

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You may remember the story of Rawan – the eight-year-old Child Bride who was reportedly raped to death on her “wedding night.”1

Rawan’s story has served as inspiration for a renewed international campaign to end Forced Child Marriage in Yemen and around the world. Today, while the fight is not over, we wanted to share a few positive signs that momentum is building in Yemen to protect children from Forced Marriage:

Recently, the National Dialogue Conference of Yemen approved a proposal to make 18 the minimum age for marriage in Yemen’s new Constitution.2
Concerned Yemeni citizens are leading the fight to end this form of modern slavery, intervening to stop Forced Child Marriages as they take place.3
Building on the first step announced by the NDC, the Yemeni Human Rights Minister Hooria Mashour spoke out on the global stage, saying that ending Forced Child Marriage in Yemen is a priority of her ministry.4
These are major steps but there is still local resistance to ending Forced Child Marriage in Yemen.

We’ve heard from our partners on the ground that anti-slavery activists face death threats and attempted bombings on a regular basis. This makes Minister Mashour’s action as a public advocate for ending Forced Child Marriage so incredibly brave and sets an example for others. We want her to know the world stands with her, will you help?

Thank Human Rights Minister Hooria Mashour for risking her safety by pushing to ban Forced Child Marriage in Yemen.

The story of Rawan sent shockwaves throughout the world, and exposed just how prevalent Forced Child Marriage is in Yemen. You, along with 331,095 members of the Walk Free Community, took action asking the Government of Yemen to introduce legislation banning marriage for anyone under the age of 18.

While progress has undeniably been made towards ending Forced Child Marriage in Yemen, we can’t let the momentum falter. The political situation in Yemen is by no means stable, and constant cultural and political fighting could derail further progress towards ending this form of modern slavery. We need to keep Forced Child Marriage on the agenda in Yemen, which is why we need to show support for those on the ground so bravely pushing for an end to this form of slavery.

Send a message of support expressing solidarity in the continuing fight to end Forced Child Marriage in Yemen.

They face a constant battle to have their voices heard – we want them to know that we hear them, and they’re not fighting this battle alone.

When you’re done, please forward on to three of your friends to triple your impact.

Together, we can be part of history as Yemen ushers in a new era. Hopefully, one where every young girl and boy is protected from a life of domestic and sexual slavery.
In solidarity,

Debra, Kate, Mich, Jess, Kamini, Andrew and the Walk Free Team

Death of creative genius Philip Seymour Hoffman

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Philip-Seymour-Hoffman

(NaturalNews) Street heroin is devastating America today. The heroin overdose death of creative genius Philip Seymour Hoffman — found dead yesterday with a needle in his arm and “Ace of Spaces” heroin in his hotel room — underscores the urgent need for radical reforms that would decriminalize, regulate and assert strict quality control requirements over recreational street drugs.

It wasn’t the heroin itself that killed Philip Seymour Hoffman, you see: it was the unpredictability of the potency of heroin that’s manufactured, distributed and retailed in an unregulated underground economy which has no quality standards and no accountability to its customers and users.

The War on Drugs is an absolute failure

At first glance to the simple minded, the heroin-induced death of a beloved actor might seem justification for an urgent call to escalate the War on Drugs with an even greater degree of police intervention, state surveillance and expansion of the world’s largest prison system. Yet such decades-long efforts did nothing to prevent to death of Hoffman, and in many ways they undoubtedly contributed to it. When an in-demand chemical product cannot be legally regulated, controlled and distributed alongside medical treatment protocols for addiction, it inevitably falls into the hands of underground operators who, almost by definition, exhibit zero quality control standards and are steeped in a culture of violence and criminality.

And that means the heroin which people like Hoffman are able to acquire is unpredictable: it may be contaminated with toxic substances, combined with physiological multipliers that enhance toxicity, cut with deadly fillers, or dosed with dangerously wide variability to the point where users have no idea how much of the drug they’re really getting with each injection. Every dose is a roll of the dice, and far too frequently that gamble ends in tragedy.

How the war on drugs makes drugs even more deadly

The drug war has failed to keep recreational drugs out of the hands of substance abusers all across America, and in its failure it has vastly increased the toxicity of those drugs to the point where the drugs are increasingly deadly. Remember: Hoffman’s overdose was not a suicide. This was an addict who believed he was simply getting another day’s fix. He had no intention of killing himself.

If street drugs like heroin could be decriminalized, regulated, controlled and distributed in a medical context along with serious addiction treatment protocols, those who choose to abuse the drug would, at the very least, be able to count on consistent dosing and drug composition. Shifting the massive demand for recreational drugs out of the hands of shady criminal operations and into the hands of pharmacies, clinics and addiction treatment centers is not only medically justified but morally and ethically demanded. It also has the revolutionary side effect of causing the economic collapse of drug gangs (and all their violence).

Substance addiction is not a criminal mindset; it is a medical addiction. But by forcing substance addicts to deal with the criminal underground, we condemn them to precisely the kind of toxicity and unpredictability that killed Hoffman.

Hoffman’s death is an urgent call for a sane drug policy in America

Hoffman’s untimely and tragic death is yet another urgent reminder that our current drug policies in America — all based on an utterly failed, cruel and outmoded paradigm of criminality — must urgently change.

Nobody wishes to see anyone use heroin, meth, crank or other “hard” street drugs, yet people are going to use them one way or another regardless of what the rest of us wish. If we hope to see fewer of these people die from drug poisoning and overdose, we must find a way to heavily regulate, control and prescribe these synthetic molecules to addicts in conjunction with compassionate addiction treatment programs that treat these addicts as human beings who need help rather than felony criminals who need prison time.

Let Hoffman’s death serve to remind us all, yet again, that federal drug policy in the USA can never work as it is currently configured. Drug addiction is a medical issue, not a criminal issue, and until it is treated as such, the War on Drugs will continue to waste billions of dollars while unnecessarily destroying millions of lives.

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