The Barefoot Homeless Man Story: A Twist

Looking for a Piece of the Pie

The Barefoot Homeless Man Story: A Twist

The heartwarming story of the NYC cop who bought a pair of boots for a barefoot homeless man has taken a sobering twist. Turns out, Jeffrey Hillman actually has an apartment in the Bronx, and he wasn't as touched by the gesture as the rest of us. In fact, you might say he's a touch bitter.

According to an article in the Huffington Post, 54-year-old Hillman acquired the apartment via a housing program that helps homeless veterans. He has apparently been reluctant to accept help from family members and outreach services. 

It didn't take long for photos of unsuspecting good samaritan New York Police Officer Larry DePrimo to go viral. But Hillman has since been found barefoot once again, having hidden the boots because "they are worth a lot of money.” 

He was allegedly also looking for "a piece of the pie" from photos posted on the Internet "without his permission."

I've seen this kind of reaction before, and it's disheartening. When a friend offered her store-bought lunch to a homeless man, he sneered and refused. My husband's $20 bill was rejected by another whose running shoes were threadbare. 

Clearly a pair of boots isn't going to solve the complex problem of homelessness. But it's a start.

As New York Magazine writer Adam Martin put it: 

"[Hillman's behaviour] doesn't make DePrimo's action any less generous. And it doesn't make it any less of a good example. We'd much rather live in a world where people are inclined to do nice things for strangers than in one where everybody's a jerk because they're afraid of getting scammed."

What do you make of this story?


Some Surprising Sperm Killers

Tips to Support the Little Swimmers

Some Surprising Sperm Killers

We're having fewer babies these days. If birth rates are plummeting here as in the U.S., then it's because we're either having less sex, more abortions, or simply becoming more efficient at inhibiting the progress of those 'little swimmers.' Whatever the reason, if you're struggling to conceive, there are ways to boost sperm count. 

An article in the Huffington Post has compiled the following list of surprising 'sperm zappers':

Bisphenol A: BPA isn't just bad for baby; it's bad for honey, too. In receipts and canned food packaging, the chemical can seep into food.

Phthalates: some shampoos, soaps, even sex toys contain the chemicals that compromise sperm count and quality. Where possible, go natural and green. 

Alcohol and Smoking: booze, both nicotine and marijuana significantly lower sperm counts and mess with sperm's ability to swim.

Stress: by inhibiting testosterone, stress cuts sperm count dramatically.

Soy: Apparently the isoflavones in soy products mimic estrogen.

Polychlorinated biphenyls: PCBs accumulate in contaminated fish. Opt for smaller, younger fish.

Perfluoroalkyl acids: the chemicals found on nonstick products such as Teflon, Gore-Tex and wax paper can lower sperm counts.

Abstinence: waiting too long before clearing the pipes is apparently counterproductive. Waiting more than a couple days to ejaculate causes "lose motility and change shape.

Any surprises here?





Best (and Worst) Places to be Born

Canada Makes Top Ten

Best (and Worst) Places to be Born

Not that you usually get much choice in the matter, but a new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit has named the top places in the world to be born, based on factors such as "gender equality, life expectancy at birth, quality of family life, divorce rates, climate change." 

Canada just scraped by in ninth position, while the coveted number one spot to be a babe was Switzerland, land of quality chocolate and nice watches!

The top ten are:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Australia
  3. Norway
  4. Sweden
  5. Denmark
  6. Singapore
  7. New Zealand
  8. Netherlands
  9. Canada
  10. Hong Kong

"Despite the global economic crisis, times have in certain respects never been so good," stated the report. "Output growth rates have been declining across the world, but income levels are at or near historic highs. Life expectancy continues to increase steadily and political freedoms have spread across the globe, most recently in north Africa and the Middle East." 

If you're a little dismayed by Canada's rank, take heed in the fact that we were voted tops when it came to raising kids (the HSBC Expat Explorer Survey 2012), and among women living in G20 countries (TrustLaw). 

With the best also comes the worst. Babies born in Pakistan, Kenya and Angola were, according to the article in the Huffington Post, "burdened by poverty, corruption and violence." 

Where did our southerly neighbours rank, you ask? Incredibly for a country that once held the top spot in 1988, the United States now holds the 16th place, tied with Germany.