Tag Archives: News

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.

Good News Network gets a fantastic make-over

The Good News Network was started by Geri Weis-Corbley in 1997, and I’ve enjoyed the little encouraging stories sent to my email inbox for many years.  Recently the Good News Network went through a transformation, and is now a free and easily navigated news service. The insight and direction of Geri’s work and attitude are cutting edge cultural creative.  Check out more information about what she’s doing, why, the history, how you can get involved by sending in your own stories, and more here.  Now you can start and end your day with GOOD news from the Good News Network  – rated #1 on Google.

Better idea for news!

If you’ve never heard of Upworthy, I’d like to introduce you. This site is so encouraging/inspiring that I’ve subscribed to.  It’s an example of where media is going – a POSITIVE direction that’s interactive, caring, and human.  Here’s the latest details about how Upworthy is expanding their amazing business, and how you can get involved:

We Had A Kinda Crazy Idea. You Made It Real. Thank You.

Hey all,

We launched Upworthy 18 months ago based on a pretty crazy idea: that if you can catch people’s attention, they actually care more about the most important topics in the world than they do about celebrity sideboobs or iPhone rumors or weird old tips about belly fat.

The thing was: We had no idea if it was true.

We certainly wanted to believe that we could help Continue reading

Programmer teaches homeless man to code

Homeless_man_learns_coding-MEDIUMHere’s a great Labor Day story: Pat McConlogue, a NYC programmer and entrepreneur, offered Leo, a homeless man, either $100 or the chance to learn how to code.  Leo chose learning to code.  After only a few days of tutoring, Leo now has a facebook page and wants to design a website or an app featuring social environmental change so others can make small changes for the greater good.  Leo is concerned about greenhouse gases and deforestation, and wants the U.S. to lead by example to create a better world – and Leo wants to play a part.

Pat has gotten a lot of flack for offering to help a homeless man.  I think a lot of people with new ideas get flack (to start with), and I’m happy to say that Pat went through with his idea, even though naysayers were trashing him.

Pat and Leo’s story encourages me not to give up on my ideas, even if others say they won’t work or aren’t good enough.   Because how do you know it won’t work until you give it a go?

How might your small ideas and what you have to offer help give someone a leg up or begin positive change in the world?

Thanks to the Good News Network for this story on Patrick and Leo.

Every person can make a positive difference to benefit all

SI_at_Friendly_House_(6)_for_webThe Community Legacy Program of Our United Villages believes that every person can make a positive difference for the benefit of all.  They celebrate and support everyday people who in small ways are making a positive difference in their communities.  To celebrate, they have monthly free Sharing Ideas meetings that give individuals a chance to tell how they got involved/created their community strengthening idea, and how others can duplicate their template, allowing individual passions to encourage and inspire others.  To support, they provide free tools and resources on their Continue reading

Body heat powered flashlight

This body heat powered flashlight was invented by Canadian 10th grader Ann Makosinski.  Using no batteries, electricity, or cranking, just the difference between her warm hand on metal and the colder air flowing through a hollow plastic tube, the heat energy difference (thermoelectric effect) lights up the LED bulbs.

Ms. Makosinski is a finalist this year in the worldwide Google Science Fair.  Take a look at her simple and practical flashlight design.

Thanks to Gizmag for this article.

Match your skills with a good job

Maybe you’re looking for a new job.  Maybe you’ve been out of the work force awhile and aren’t sure how your skills might transfer to today’s workforce. If so, the site My Skills My Future might be a fun little foray into seeing possibilities.  You just type in a current or past job title, and then push the Find My Career Matches button.  You can search by zip code, state, etc. to narrow down your job search. I sent the site link to a few of my friends, and then thought I should post it here as well.  Even if you’re happy in your job, it’s fun to see what other jobs are available in your skill set…it might remind you of how valuable you really are.  The U.S. Department of labor sponsors the site, which probably explains why the jobs are for the most part good paying and provide benefits.

Car & power plant run on liquid air

Inventor Peter Dearman of London has invented a car that is powered by liquid air:  no gas, no batteries.  He says the technology has been around for a while, and that since we’re running out of fossil fuel, it’s time to offer a non-toxic solution.  It won’t produce any emissions because it’s only air – just using heat from the atmosphere and liquid air.  An engineering company in Europe is creating a state-of-the-art version of Inventor Dearman’s prototype car later this year.

Liquid air can be used for more then powering cars.  It is currently being used on the outskirts of London in a power plant storing wind energy at night to be used during the day to power local houses.  The United States has more than $100 billion earmarked for investment in energy storage over the next 10 years, so this technology could be coming to a town near you.

When asked why he has spent 40 years inventing various technologies that he hopes will help save the planet, Dearman shrugged and said “Why not?’

For more information, check out this ABC news article.

GMO labeling starting soon at Whole Foods

People want to be in control of what they put on and into their bodies.  Now, Whole Foods Market supports consumer’s right to know by setting a five-year deadline for labeling GMOs.  We can each do our tiny part to keep our food stream safe and healthy and that makes a huge difference in and of itself.  But it also brings me joy when one of the biggest natural foods chains does its part. Read the whole story here.

And speaking of Whole Foods, my husband Chris Taylor is performing in his band HDuo at Whole Foods in our neighborhood as I write!  Whole Foods strives to be involved in their local neighborhoods, yet another better idea in creating community and fun.

Water-producing billboard

The city of Lima Peru doesn’t get much rainfall, but they can get humidity as high as 98%.  The University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) has partnered with advertising agency Mayo-Draft FCB to create a novel way for residents to not only get unpolluted drinking water (their local wells are often polluted), but also to show prospective students that they could make the world a better place by becoming an engineer. The billboard catches humidity in the air and turns it into filtered drinking water, and is capable of producing 96 liters (over 25 gallons) of water every day for the locals or travelers needing a drink.  This video outlines the project:

Thanks to Gizmag for this story.

Kindergarteners wear eye patches to make classmate feel better

Mrs. Brown, a kindergarten teacher in Florida, helped comfort a student who felt he wouldn’t fit in after an eye injury made wearing an eye patch to school inevitable.  The boy was afraid he would be made fun of and was fearful to return to school.

To help the student feel better, Mrs. Brown talked to the students in advance about the boys accident, and that he was going to be O.K. but had to temporarily wear an eye patch to protect his hurt eye.  She then made eye patches for ALL the students, and the children all tried doing their work with an eye patch, both adding to a new adventure of trying to work with one eye, as well as learning empathy. Mrs. Brown kindly created a safe place for her hurt student – and a road to empathy and learning for his classmates.  She is a wonderful example to us all that the little things DO matter.

Thanks to Jacksonville Florida TV station news4jax for this story:



New (ancient?) growing method drastically increasing crops

Low tech farming in India is far outpacing GMO and pesticide intensive farming. The super yields are from a growing method called System of Rice (or root) Intensification (SRI). This method has also dramatically increased yields of wheat, potatoes, sugar cane, yams, tomatoes, garlic, and many other crops, and is considered one of the most significant developments of the past 50 years for the world’s millions of small-scale farmers and the two billion people who depend on them.

Nobel prize-winning economist Jospeh Stilglitz visited the area in India using this system and was amazed, saying “If any scientist or a company came up with a technology that almost guaranteed a 50% increase in yields at no extra cost Continue reading

What stories are you paying attention to?

The stories we pay attention to are what form our ideas of what’s possible.  The stories we pay attention to help show us what choices we have.  Sarah van Gelder discusses in this short Tedx talk  “Solutions Journalism”, or “Appreciative Journalism”:  news that focuses on what matters most, what’s possible now, and what’s working.

Check it out here:


The News Channel I Want

What if the news actually HELPED us find solutions, make connections, added value to our day?  What if news reports focused on creating a better world and things we do want – instead of pointing out the bad apples and things we don’t want?  What if news looked something like this:

“1.5 million people safely arrived at their destinations today through airways worldwide.  Let’s hear from reporter Bill  – today in the Bahamas –  about what conditions are like there.”

“It’s sunny and 80 degrees, the water is clear, the beaches are clean – it’s paradise Darlene!  Hotel packages to the Bahamas start at $$$ and the winter discount rates last through the end of the month.  Back to you.”

“In technology, Belgian students at the State University have created an app that lowers blood pressure.  They’re selling it for 99 cents on iTunes; money Continue reading

Smog-eating concrete and other new tech ideas

America’s Greenest Street’ provides a complete street urban development package.  I’ve heard of permeable pavers, bioswales to absorb rainwater overflow, recycled concrete, and tree canopies to produce shade in the summer and absorb traffic pollution.  But I hadn’t heard of Smog-Eating concrete, nor LED street lights run on solar AND wind power combined.  The lights are actually quite fun to watch when the wind blows.

Here’s a short video of these and other new inventions that could power our cities in practical and beautiful ways:

See the whole article by gizmag here.

Drowning in household clutter

I enjoy a serene living space.  But sometimes I’ve found myself in a cluttered living space not knowing how I got there, or how to get out.    Several years ago when I was a young mom I discovered a website called Flylady.  It was a ‘how to clean out your clutter’ site, and was based on the simple premise of starting out by keeping your kitchen sink clean.  Which sounds simple enough, but when you’re self-employed at home and you’ve got small children, there didn’t seem to be time to eat, clean up, do voice work, enjoy your kids AND keep the sink clean. Ours was the house that looked like it had blown up inside, with couch cushions on the floor as forts, snacks (on little plates if I was lucky) on the floor between Lego projects and Thomas train tracks in various configurations.

The kids had a GREAT childhood.  Good food was eaten by all (eventually).  Clients were overjoyed with our fast turn-around and professional voice work.  But clutter?  Yeah, that’s where things got backed up.

Back to Flylady.  It said that if you start with Continue reading

Your own sound track: music tempo matches your run speed

runnersEver wished you had a soundtrack?  Music that would speed up or slow down depending on your movements or actions? The new Cruise Control app changes a songs’ tempo to match your cadence.  Created at Canada’s Simon Fraser University, the device is iOS compatible, and was designed for runners and for other health pursuits including medical needs.  You can choose between four modes:

Cadence mode will choose songs from your library and adjust their tempo to play at the cadence you’ve chosen. Basically, you set the pace you want to run Continue reading

A dad’s gift lives on in his son

Tony Tolbert’s dad gave others a hand up – Tony always remembers someone in the guest bedroom who needed a place to stay.  So when Tony became a man and saw families struggling with homelessness, he called up a homeless shelter and asked if there was a homeless family who’d like to live in his fully furnished home, rent free, for a year.

The mother of 5 who was chosen was in tears.  She’d been able to bring her smaller children with her into the shelter, but not her teen son.  So not only were they homeless, but they were separated as a family.  Tony Tolbert’s Continue reading

A living sewage treatment plant

Here’s a really cool technique for treating wastewater that treats up to 52,000 gallons of human waste a day, and produces clean water, fertilizer for food, and solar energy in the process.  Makes me want to go on a retreat to the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies just to try it out (well, and take a rest, do yoga, get massages, learn stuff – basically my ideal retreat).  This is yet another creative example of cradle-to-cradle technology, where one being’s waste is another’s food.  This is a larger scale and power supplying version of my previous articles on home-use composting toilets and home use herb garden/worm bin/fish tank.  This is also a practical solution to update our current faulty national sanitation system.  Thanks to Yes! magazine for the link.

Pee generated electricity

A urine-powered generator  has been created by teenage girls!  Their invention turns one liter of urine into six hours of electricity.  These girls are actively working to solve major world problems.  These generators would be great as emergency back-up, or even everyday use.  This aligns with cradle to cradle methodology.  When this idea becomes an actual product, please let me know and I’ll post it here.  Until then, take a look at this article, and if you are a decision maker, help Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, Faleke Oluwatoyin, and Bello Eniola  bring this invention to market!