Category Archives: Health

Sometimes Talking To Grandma Is The Answer

Sometimes talking to Grandma really IS the answer! An innovative new pilot program is changing the way therapy is made accessible to the masses in low and middle-income countries.

Innovative New Green House Grows Food In The Desert

A new type of green house that uses cardboard and sea water, grows healthy food in the desert…and it’s affordable.

Encourage Gun Ownership, Teach Empathy, Implement Resource Matching

A few practical steps to create a safer, happier, more productive community (both by community building and workforce building):

 

  1. Ban sale of assault rifles to civilians – however encourage and reward responsible gun ownership by treating gun ownership, registration, training, etc. the same way we treat the responsibility and privilege of car ownership. Also suggest/encourage concerned citizens to join the NRA so they can influence from the inside empathic and sensible accountability and responsibility of gun ownership and handling.

 

    2. Teach/include practical empathy classes in all classroom curriculum – not only would this be FUN, it would be helpful for student mental health by allowing them to see the humanity in those smaller and weaker…thus help them appreciate and be empathic to their own vulnerability and value:     

 

  1. Create a job dating game where job seekers of all ages, sexes, and abilities could input their transferable skills and passions as well as their past job experience and education. Business could input the transferable skills and passions needed for their particular job openings – including the ‘worst’ things about their jobs and the ‘benefits’ of the jobs. Because one person’s worst job is the next person’s best job – you could match what the employer and employee both want from the relationship. Since this game would be blind to age, sex, race, etc. it would naturally help diversify a workforce. This dating game would focus on passion, for example: the person who loved playing in the mud as a kid would get matched up to outdoor jobs with real mud, science jobs working with goey stuff, baking jobs working with dough, manufacturing jobs working with chemicals and more…so the future employee gets to choose from a wide variety of interesting and diverse jobs/career paths, while the employer gets someone passionate about their industry (an industry the prospective employee may have never thought to apply to). (Idea by Barb Hughes)

 

  1. Create a resource matching game. Non-profit organizations, government organizations, businesses, housing, universities, police, realtors, churches, individuals, etc. input what resources they have to offer. Individuals looking for a new house, apartment to rent, stores that deliver organic food, Tool libraries that loan out items for temporary use, non-profits or senior centers who can loan a wheelchair or crutches short term, local government agencies, schools that have a program in the field they want to study (and scholarships/bank financing), – the resources to match are endless. The difference between a resource matching game and just using google, is the individual playing the game can enter in their yearly income or explain they temporarily need resources for free. This allows non-profits and helping organizations to step in to assist people. It also allows individuals to offer to help – such as a hair stylist may input into the game that he/she is willing to give free haircuts to someone who is below the poverty line, or looking for a new job, or just got out of prison, or just graduated from college. It allows people and organizations to play a game to ‘match up’ what they have to offer, both for profit and for community building. And it allows the person playing the game to play both sides of the game – as a resource provider and a resource receiver. (Idea by Barb Hughes) Other ideas at https://betterideasnow.com/

Three Simple Ideas To Solve Our Biggest Problems

Reading Bill Nye’s book Everything All At Once, I’m inspired to share three of my ideas that would immediately change the world for the better using simple, doable processes that would solve multiple problems simultaneously. These three ideas would partner business, government, nonprofits, and community members to work together for good:

1. A job matching game focused on employee passions and transferable skills that matches the best employee to your business with the least amount of work and the most mutual satisfaction. Businesses that offer living wages, benefits, and respect their employees will be included…and job seekers of all abilities, education, and background can play.

2. A resources matching game that helps solve the multiple challenges of homelessness, poverty, addiction, and personal hopelessness. This game would be open for ALL to play so that there is no stigma.

3. A free sharing model that has worked for 12+ years that combines bringing new customers into businesses, community building, keeping items out of landfills, and free fun for all players.

I want access to partner with those who have the connections and resources to bring these ideas into reality (actually the third idea I’ve already created into reality at https://swappositive.wordpress.com/about , but need a bigger team to expand it).

These three ideas are practical and doable. I want to join a successful team to help create and implement these ideas in the spirit of the Bill Nye lifestyle philosophy. Please contact me at barbtalks22@gmail.com.

“Updating my resume. Plz kill me.”

“I’ve been playing with my Jobs Dating App idea. Here’s a conversation I had a few days ago on facebook when a friend mentioned they are begrudgingly looking for a new job.  I changed the names (other than my own) to protect privacy, and did light editing for clarification :

______________________________________________________________

Carl:  Updating my resume. Plz kill me.

Lynn: I did update mine recently and it suuuuuucked

Carl: Few things make me feel like more of a loser / impostor / slacker / etc.

Jeanie: I feel your pain. Doing that myself. Oh, and the job search itself. If I get so bored just reading a job description, how can I possibly imagine actually working there! Egads.

Carl: Right? Or finding the perfect job that you know you’ll love but realizing you’re not qualified. 

Jeanie: Right? Because somehow when it’s time to hire, all of a sudden HR and hiring managers seems to think that if you haven’t done that exact thing already, you can’t possibly be acceptable. You know, because once we start looking for a job, it’s impossible for us to ever learn a new thing ever again.

Carl: EXACTLY

Jeanie: I once got a rejection letter to my resume submission that actually said, “…you’re not a perfect fit.” Perfect. Who the hell would ever be a PERFECT fit? Except for the person who previously had the job but even that person would not be PERFECT because if they were, they’d still be in the job. Ugh.

Carl: No such thing as perfect. Sorry you’re job hunting, too.

Barb Hughes: I want to be on a team to design a job dating app. Where you fill out all the things you think are FUN, and then the algorithms find jobs that have similar things to what you like. It would make job-hunting entertaining, and bring up all kinds of new jobs that we’d never have thought to apply for. It would also be a great game for grade school, middle, and high school kids to get an idea of what current jobs out there they would actually be compatible for, so they can take classes that feed that interest…I mean they’ve already listed things they like to do (or want to try doing) so what better way to choose a career path?

Jeanie: Great idea! Except that I don’t think there’s a big market for someone who excels at reading books, binge watching Madame Secretary, snorkeling and frosting cupcakes. 😉

Barb Hughes:  Jeanie HA! That would be where the questions would be broken down and crafted in such a way that they would apply to job interests. For example, binge watching could be a transferable skill of “able to sit for long periods of time staring at a screen totally focused on watching something I find interesting.” Other questions would ferret out what those interests are.

Carl: ^^^Going through surveillance footage like those poor guys on legal dramas. 🙂

Barb Hughes: Frosting Cupcakes might be listed under several categories (depending on which actually brings you joy) such as ‘creating masterpieces with food, clay, or art’ or ‘repetitive hand motions that create a product such as knitting, frosting cupcakes, or painting’.

Barb Hughes: And then if a business has similar activities, such as assembling widgets,  bread making, painting clay figurines, etc. you might be paired up with possible jobs in anything from manufacturing to pharmacy work to watch repair. See how much fun this would be? Jobs you never would have thought of would be offered as possibilities of transferable skills to the things you ACTUALLY enjoy doing.

Barb Hughes: Carl, concerning surveillance footage – my daughter has a friend who would get in trouble as a kid for sneaking around listening in on people…and now he works as head security at a department store and gets to watch people on security cameras and then confront them. He loves his job.

Carl: I’ve made peace with the reality that not all jobs must be work one loves. That whole “do what you love and the money will follow” is nonsense. Someone has to do unpleasant jobs and that’s okay.

Jeanie: Carl I actually agree. I’m totally fine working at a job I’m not “passionate” about, as long as it’s fairly decent and the pay is sufficient. There was this great article I came across a few years ago about how the idea of “following your passion” is overrated. I’ll see if I can find it–you may like it.

Jeanie: I think that whole passion following thing has created a lot of disappointed young people. But maybe Barb can crack the code…

Barb Hughes: I would also like to add in – for the business offering the job – for them to fill out what benefits they offer. Free clothes (radio stations have lots of promotional t-shirts and stuff that they give to staff -radio outfitted me for awhile there; and  I’ve heard people at Nordstrom et all have nice employee discounts on clothes). Free Food (when I worked at a restaurant you could have one free meal each shift you worked; at New Seasons Market they offer employees 20% off everything in the store AND they give you free food through the blue slip program). Businesses would also fill out what kinds of health care they offered, if they give out free bus passes/pay for a car or your gas money etc. So not only would the prospective employee fill out the game to match, but the employer would fill out what that actual job does and what perks the company offers, so you get a *real* match. I’d also like google maps included in the game so you can see which jobs are closest to you via walk/bike/public transportation/driving/work from home so you can choose a short commute if you want (saving the city in gridlock and pollution).  I’ve been working on gamified questions, but of course this would take a lot more input and  research as well (which I enjoy doing).

Jeanie:  Barb these are all great ideas! Maybe you should develop the app!

Barb Hughes: Jeanie I’m looking into how to do that!

Barb Hughes:  I think gamifying it in a way that hasn’t been done before would at least give options we don’t currently have. I mean, it seems like all jobs ask for is what degree/how much college you have, and if you’ve done *that* particular job before. And  how many jobs are not even around anymore (book binder? radio disc jockey? all the things people over 40 went to college for?) It really doesn’t make sense to NOT have companies look for transferable skills, and what actions/opportunities brings an employee individual joy…and then for those same companies to offer to pay for any upgraded training an employee might need. Not only are there community colleges and tech/trade schools available for company paid training, there are also tons of free online classes, as well as free classes through public libraries, so an employer may not even have to PAY to train the employee…just give them a website and paid time to learn. And since the employee has already listed their interests, they will be thrilled that you are investing in them so they can invest in the company.

_____________________________________________________________

I’m interested in being on a team to develop this web app.  Please contact me at urbanfarmer pdx1 (at)  yahoo . com  and include what organization, skill, or financial backing you would contribute to make this job dating web app a reality.

By Barb Hughes

Call 911, text for help, with the touch of a button

I just discovered this safety jewelry that sets off a loud alarm, texts friends/family/contacts of your location, and dials 911 all at the touch of a button.  It’s called Roar Jewelry. Part of the purchase price goes to educating children in empathy, so that the rape and violence culture cycle ends.

Practical Solutions To End Rape Culture

Upon thinking about the Brock Turner case and how to deal with the underlying rape culture, I’ve come up with some practical solutions.

1. A rape kit needs to be a part of everybody’s first aid kit, right alongside bandaids and aspirin *. Since 1 in 5 women experience rape (I’m not sure what the numbers are for men), this is such a common occurance we all need to be prepared because it will inevitably happen to us or someone we know as things currently stand.

2. All children need to be educated about consent, starting from an early age. (No, you can’t play with Trisha’s doll unless Trisha says you can. No you can’t touch Ben’s private parts – those don’t belong to you, etc.)

3. All teenagers through adults need to be clearly taught what consent and respect for others means, and the legal consequences of not respecting others boundaries. (I think overall social and kindness practices used to be taught in class as ‘citizenship’ or ‘social studies’ or something like that? But this would add the meaning of consent to the mix as well.)

4. All teenagers and adults need to be taught that assault is assault, and consent is consent – that a person (in this case, the rapist) doesn’t get to decide that someone else ‘wanted’ it. He can only say that HE ‘wanted it’. And if the other person was asleep, or drunk, or said no, or was unable to respond, or was vulnerable (a child, special needs, an employee afraid of losing their job, physically ill, mentally ill, etc.) then they CAN’T legally give consent. Meaning, even if *you* were ‘just getting 20 minutes of action’ using the vagina etc. of another person, if that other person didn’t want your ‘action’, that is called rape and you will be prosecuted.

5. The legal system will clearly define the above (i.e. consent, assault, personal responsibility, personal autonomy) so that there is no doubt as to the meaning of consent, assault, and that personhood rights belong to each individual concerning his or her OWN body.

By Barb Hughes

PS. This discussion is personal for me as my daughter was raped and went through much the same things Brock Turner put his victim through – and many of you/your friends/family have experienced the same thing. Honest education, legal protections, and creative and proactive medicine can help.

*I just discovered this jewelry that is proactive to set off a loud alarm, text friends/family/contacts of your location, and dial 911 all at the touch of a button.  It’s called Roar Jewelry. Part of the purchase price also goes to educating children in empathy, so that the rape culture cycle ends.

Combination Bike-Stroller

Bike-Stroller: convenient for parent and child as a bike riding to and from, and as a stroller when you get to your location. Great exercise, and so practical!

Edible Cutlery

Don’t throw away your disposable silverware – eat it!  This innovative ‘silverware’ is a food item that is baked, and comes in various flavors to go with whatever you are eating – sweet, savory, etc.  Disposable environmentally destructive plastic was ‘innovative’ in it’s day, but we’ve learned now that it’s harmful to the planet and to our health.  With todays technology and understanding we can do better!  (Plus the edible cutlery is nutritious and delicious according to those who’ve tried it.) What a great new business model.

 

The above story is from The Better India a news source featuring innovation for positive and practical change. I’ve just discovered it and bookmarked it.  Good stuff!

Affordable Housing for Seniors and Young Adults

Finland leads the way with another innovative idea: seniors and young adults enjoy affordable housing  – and an enriching community experience.

Honoring Tomb-time

With Easter and stories of new life and resurrection on our minds, I wanted to explore a side of Easter that I’ve never heard discussed before.

I saw a comment on facebook from a friend of mine that said:

“Sick. Depressed. More than I can handle”.

Without having context to that comment, it got me to thinking.  How many of us have felt that way at one time or another? It sucks. Sometimes life gets sucked out and so it just sucks. Lack of health sucks. Trying to keep a smile on sucks. Having a person/pet you love die sucks. Getting out of bed sucks. Watching people just not ‘get it’ sucks. Not being able to do anything about it sucks. Not having energy sucks. About the only things that don’t suck at times might include:

1. the love and kindness of a spouse who cares/close family who will listen and not judge

2. soft organic flannel sheets

3. Hyberbole and a half dark humor

I wonder if sometimes ‘hitting bottom’ might possibly be compared to a place like Christ in the tomb: cold, dark, quiet, a suspended life. And that’s OK. It’s OK to be buried for awhile. In fact, maybe that’s part of the Easter Story? Maybe instead of rushing to the resurrection, maybe it’s OK to be in the tomb? Maybe it’s not a ‘fault’ to be in the tomb? Maybe it’s just part of a – can I say it – healthy life to be in the tomb?  Even if we don’t know how long it will last?  Especially if we don’t know how long it will last?

Yes, resurrection does come, and we celebrate that, but maybe there is also a place to respect the times in our lives that represent tombs?  Why do we fear the cold, dark, quiet, suspended times?  Is it because in American culture those are seen as ‘weak’, or ‘useless’, or ‘bad’, or ‘unproductive’…and we feel shamed for them?  What would happen if those times of depression/grief, or “tomb-time”, had a different, purposeful meaning in our culture?  Do other cultures have a place of respect for those times in a person’s life?

How can we incorporate a safe, honorable, and healthy place for those -including ourselves – who are experiencing tomb-time?  If we had a different perspective, maybe we wouldn’t feel the cultural need to deny, try to cheer-lead it away, or shame it?  Maybe tomb-time is an important part of a healthy life?

Some possible resources: the book Tear Soup , online helps from Tear Soup.

Barb

Gravity Light – free energy source powered by gravity

This light source powered by gravity produces clean, free energy for lighting. No sun or batteries needed. No breathing kerosene fumes, no danger of damage by fires, only safe, clean, off-grid energy.

Transport and purify water at the same time

The Midomo Water Purifier transports and purifies water at the same time.

A Rational Response to Homelessness

Utah is tackling the homeless problem.  Their plan is already saving taxpayer money AND is improving the economy, plus they are on track to eliminate homelessness by 2015.

Jerry the Bear helps kids with type 1 diabetes

Jerry the Bear is an interactive teaching tool for kids with type 1 diabetes. The bear needs the same thing a child does:  checking blood sugar levels, choices on what to eat, and even helping kids master their medical procedures through play.

To learn more about Jerry the Bear, click here.  If you don’t know a child with type 1 diabetes, you can still play a part in helping those who do here.

Utopia for those with Dementia

The Netherlands has a unique eldercare community built specifically for dementia patients, called Dementia Village.  Dementia Village is a safe 4 acre indoor/outdoor community where residents can enjoy the seasons, visit a restaurant, drink a cup of tea, get their hair done, go shopping, and are free to go wherever they want (within the save indoor/outdoor village with a ratio of 2 staff per resident).

This 4 acre complex is home to 23 housing units with 7 different ‘lifestyle themes’, the goal being to create a space where each resident can enjoy life and feel welcome.  On a physical level people here require fewer medications, eat better, live longer.  On a mental level they also seem to experience more joy.

Thanks to CNN’s World’s Untold Stories for this video.

Solar Roadways Are A Reality

Solar roadways do more than just create abundant electricity and green jobs – they also can:

1. Melt snow in the northern climates so you can drive cars and ride bikes safely year ’round

2.  Be programmed with signage  – so as traffic patterns change you don’t have to repaint the roadway stripes – just reprogram the configuration

3.  Help keep the air and water shed cleaner

4. And a whole bunch of other amazing things.

The technology prototype has already been proven, and the technology is ready to launch commercially  –  starting with parking lots and private driveways and eventually leading to roads worldwide (if we cover the roads in America, we’ll have 3 times more energy than we need).  If you’re a business or an eco friendly early adapter check out the indiegogo campaign.

Ikea leads the way in system to stabilize refugee families

Ikea is developing a prototype of refugee shelter that is easy to put together, is insulated, has a solar light so people can cook/sew/do homework when it gets dark, and other simple yet practical features.

Ikea is getting feedback from refugees to improve upon the concept before they roll out the final design.  They also plan to include a system of health care, education, and more so refugee families can not only get stabilized physically, but get all members of a family back on their feet in body/mind/spirit as quickly and respectfully as possible.

Start a Free Store for the Homeless

Wanna start a free pop-up store for the homeless?  Check out this video, which gives how-to information including downloadable posters!

Introducing The Street Store. The world’s first rent-free, premises-free, free ‘pop-up clothing store’ for the homeless, found entirely on the street and curated by you.

Download open-source files and host your own Street Store on www.thestreetstore.org

Follow on Twitter @TheStreetStore and on Facebook.com/thestreetstoreorg 

Accessible Adventures for those with limited mobility

Vacations are fun!  Even if  you’re in a wheelchair or have limited mobility.  Accessible Adventures is a new video series, hosted by former radio host John Williams, that SHOWS accessible vacation spots featuring wheelchair and limited mobility people having fun in the Northwest!  Also check out the blog to see Jim Martinson skiing Crystal Mountain on a mono ski. Here’s a video with John Williams telling more about this timely idea: