This Woman Rowed Across Three Oceans By Herself

Roz Savage arrives Honolulu Hawaii

(The following excerpt from This Woman Rowed Across Three Oceans By Herself by Jennifer Reingold recently appeared on To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)

What Roz Savage learned in the process can help you, too.

Existential crises happen. Most people buy a sports car. But when Roz Savage—then a consultant in her 30s—had one, she did something rather different. With no experience except for a stint on the crew team while she was a student at Oxford University, she decided to row across the Atlantic Ocean… alone.

Savage’s decision changed her life forever. Before first hitting the water in 2005, she sold her car, quit her job at UBS as an IT project manager and left her husband, a consultant. After 103 days of rowing, she made it across the Atlantic in early 2006. She added to her list of feats by rowing the Pacific and the Indian Oceans in the following years.

On Wednesday morning, Savage spoke at a breakfast sponsored by Gannett GCI 1.32% . It’s amazing to meet someone who did more than just think big. She set an incomprehensibly tough goal and met it. The biggest takeaway from my conversation with her: She somehow willed herself to succeed at something so unbelievably hard.

Her adventures put my life into perspective. Suddenly, getting my two kids dressed and breakfasted before school and showing up on-time to work didn’t seem nearly as intimidating as it had 30 minutes earlier.

It’s worth noting that Savage, an English daughter of two Methodist church employees, didn’t start off thinking of herself as exceptional. She was smart and bookish, and aspired to a bourgeois life, as so many of us do. The problem was that when she got it, the happiness she had expected to come along with material comfort never came. So at the age of 32, she sat down and completed a self-help exercise in which she wrote two versions of her obituary—one if her life stayed the same, the other if she had “lived her life in full.” “I wish I could say I quit my job the next day and told my boss where to go,” she said, “but it took longer than that.”

Savage, despite being just 5’4” and with no ocean experience, decided to row. She picked rowing because she had always loved the sea and wanted to draw attention to the pollution of the oceans. On her first trip, her satellite phone broke, leaving her alone on the water without outside communications for more than a month.

“It was a crash course in personal development,” she said. When asked why she would pursue something so crazy, she laughed wryly at her answer: She wanted to get out of her comfort zone.

That she did. During the worst moments, when Savage was covered with saltwater sores and ailing from tendinitis in her shoulders from the many hours of rowing, she realized what personal development truly meant. “I learned that it was the suffering that made [the challenge] truly worthwhile.”

After success in the Atlantic, Savage set new goals. She went on to row the Pacific Ocean (an early attempt was aborted when her boat capsized, but she persevered, trying again the next year; she described having to be rescued as one of the most devastating parts of the whole experience) and in 2010, she conquered the Indian Ocean (during which her radio actually worked, allowing her to listen to 270 audiobooks).

Savage recently retired (“I was becoming too comfortable,” she says, incredibly). Savage has written two books and speaks frequently about her journey. She’s also working on building affordable floating homes in the UK. This, ladies, is one truly powerful woman.

#Yellen: Greatly Concerned By Widening #Inequality


“We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” – Louis Brandeis

(The following excerpt from Yellen: Greatly Concerned By Widening Inequality by Martin Crutsinger recently appeared on To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen sounded an alarm Friday about widening economic inequality in the United States, suggesting that America’s longstanding identity as a land of opportunity was at stake.

The growing gap between the rich and everyone else narrowed slightly during the Great Recession but has since accelerated, Yellen said in a speech at a conference in Boston on economic opportunity. And robust stock market returns during the recovery helped the wealthy outpace middle-class America in wages, employment and home prices.

“The extent and continuing increase in inequality in the United States greatly concerns me,” Yellen said. “By some estimates, income and wealth inequality are near their highest levels in the past hundred years.”

Yellen’s extensive comments on economic inequality marked an unusual public departure for a Fed chair. Her predecessors as head of the U.S. central bank tended to focus exclusively on the core Fed issues of interest rates, inflation and unemployment. Indeed, the Fed’s mandate doesn’t explicitly include issues like income or wealth disparities.

But since taking over from Ben Bernanke in February, Yellen has made clear she is deeply concerned about the financial challenges that ordinary workers and families face.

Throughout this year, she has stressed the need for the Fed to keep rates low to boost economic expansion and hiring. She has said that the unemployment rate, now at 5.9 percent, doesn’t fully reflect the health of the job market: Yellen has expressed concern, for example, about stagnant incomes, the number of part-time workers who want full-time jobs and the many people who have given up their job searches and are no longer counted as unemployed.

In her first speech as Fed chair, she highlighted the hurdles faced by three unemployed workers. And in congressional testimony in February, Yellen called income inequality “one of the most disturbing trends facing the nation.”

Her remarks Friday, accompanied by extensive data compiled by her staff, expanded on her concerns. Between 1989 and 2013, Yellen noted, the average income of the top 5 percent of households rose 38 percent. For the remaining 95 percent of households, it grew less than 10 percent.

The widening gap in overall wealth is even more pronounced. The average net worth of the bottom 50 percent of families – a group of about 62 million households – was $11,000 in 2013, Yellen said. Adjusted for inflation, that figure is 50 percent lower than in 1989.

By contrast, the average real net worth of families in the country’s top 5 percent has jumped from $3.6 million in 1989 to $6.8 million in 2013, according to the Fed’s data – an 89 percent surge.

“I think it is appropriate to ask whether this trend is compatible with values rooted in our nation’s history, among them the high value Americans have traditionally placed on equality of opportunity,” said Yellen, a labor economist.

Many analysts argue that widening income inequality is hurting economic growth itself. The wealthy are receiving higher pay and rising investment earnings. Yet those households tend to spend less of their money than do low- and middle-income consumers who are dealing with sluggish wage growth. Because consumer spending accounts for roughly 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, less spending tends to slow growth.

Yellen did not discuss the state of the economy, interest-rate policy or how her views might affect the Fed’s actions. Nor did she address criticism that the Fed’s super-low rates have helped sustain the wealth gap by fueling stock gains and facilitating mortgage refinancings. The affluent benefit disproportionately from stock-price increases and home refinancings.

Instead, Yellen outlined four areas she described as “building blocks of opportunity” – early childhood education, affordable higher education, business ownership and inheritances.

“I do not mean to suggest that they account for all economic opportunity, but I do believe they are all significant sources opportunity for individuals and their families to improve their economic circumstances,” Yellen said.

On Thursday, she visited a career center in Chelsea, Massachusetts to meet with people looking for work.

At the Chelsea center, Yellen listened to participants’ stories about the job search difficulties they faced.

The Fed will next meet Oct. 28-29. It is expected to end the monthly bond purchases it has been pursuing to put downward pressure on long-term rates. But it’s also expected to retain language that it plans to keep a key short-term rate at a record low for a “considerable time.”

Most economists don’t think the Fed will start raising short-term rates before mid-2015.

Woman Can See A Million Colors …


(This excerpt from Woman Has A Unique Condition Where She Can See A Million Colors by Emily Arata recently appeared on elite
When impressionist artist Concetta Antico looks at a shadow, she sees everything but black.

Antico is a certified tetrachromat. She can see a wider range of color than what’s normal because she has a fourth type of cone in her retinas.

The painter lends her vision to researchers’ studies in hopes it will help them better understand how we see color.

Antico’s young daughter was born colorblind, which is the result of the same mutated gene that gives her mother a fourth kind of color receptor. Antico hopes science will one day be able to help her see correctly.

Antico believes she’s aware of her special skill because she’s a painter.

She’s been trained to look at color so closely, her extra-perceptive eyes naturally aided her. When she was officially declared a tetrachromat after genetic testing seven years ago, she was largely unsurprised.

Scientists believe only women can be tetrachromats because they have two X chromosomes, which provide green and red cone cells. If you’re genetically gifted with superior color processing power, it’s coming from both sides of the family.

But, unlike what you may think, Antico doesn’t automatically see a whirlwind of new colors. Instead, tetrachromats have to be trained to look at colors more closely. They can see a range of shades within your average reds, blues and other colors.

Still, Antico’s got nothing on the mantis shrimp, which has 12 kinds of color receptors.

4 Ways #Malala Yousafzai’s Life Is A Victory Over #Terrorism

Malala Yousafszai

“With her courage and determination, Malala has shown what terrorists fear most: a girl with a book.”

- Ban Ki-Moon, The Secretary General Of The United Nations

Malala Yousafzai just became the youngest person in history to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

She’s only 17 years old, but as an educational activist and feminist icon, she’s already accomplished more than most people can hope to in an entire lifetime. Accordingly, it is difficult to think of a more deserving individual for this prize.

Yousafzai has displayed an indefatigable passion for peace, equality and education.

Her tireless advocacy has inspired people around the world to stand up for human rights and egalitarian principles.

The Little Girl Who Stood Up To Terrorists

Malala is from the Swat Valley of Pakistan. In 2009, the Taliban was very active in this region, terrorizing residents and shutting down schools that educated girls.

At that point in time, Yousafzai was 11 years old and wanted to become a doctor. Thus, she became an outspoken critic of the Taliban’s efforts to prevent girls from receiving an education.

She blogged about her experiences living under the Taliban for the BBC. As a result, the public took notice of this amazing Pakistani schoolgirl’s story.

This brave young woman defiantly stood up in the face of tyranny and oppression, and showed the world the true meaning of courage.

Malala went on to fight for women’s educational rights throughout Pakistan. Consequently, in 2012, the Taliban attacked a school bus that she was on. They singled her out because she was encouraging other girls to go to school.

When the Taliban gunman boarded the bus, he asked, “Who is Malala?” She bravely and unashamedly replied, “I am Malala.”

Malala was shot in the face, but she survived and went on to become an international sensation and symbol of equality and perseverance. Hence, Yousafzai not only survived a terrorist attack, she has continued to stand up for the very causes that led the Taliban to target her.

Yousafzai is fearless, and every single one of her accomplishments is a victory over terrorism.

With her courage and determination, Malala has shown what terrorists fear most: a girl with a book.

Her contributions to the world have been immeasurable, but here are a few examples of her benevolent activities:

1. She started the Malala Fund, which supports educational rights for the world’s children.

2. The United Nations declared July 12 “Malala Day.”

3. More than 3 million people have signed the Malala Petition, which inspired the UN and Pakistan to commit to children’s education.

4. The Taliban was so afraid of her, they tried to assasinate her. But she survived. They failed, she won.

Malala Yousafzai is an example for us all. She has taught us that we are the masters of our fates, and that an education is a fundamental human right worth dying for.