Sunday, June 30, 2013

Thanks For Lunch & Picking Me Up

The joy of Letters to the Editor: 

"...many thanks to the ladies who treated this WWII vet to lunch.  I had taken my wife out to lunch and then learned you had picked up most of my tab.  Thanks, from the 92-year-old in a walker."

"I was pushing a grocery cart...backed up, lost my blanace and fell over backwards...I have Parkinson's...When I fell, employees--all strangers to me---came to my did another shopper who happened to be a doctor who checked me out. I was put on an electric cart and taken to my car.  My gorceries were brought to the car and loaded in.  A lady shopper paid for the groceries: even including a gift card.  God bless you."

San Luis Obispo Tribune, Sunday, June 30, 2013.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sometimes A Song With Meaning is a Good Thing

Ranchers For Peace are not actually involved in the livestock business.  We manage no acreage other than whatever square footage of stage we happen to occupy at any given moment.  Our kind of ranching is done in the same dimly lit, borderless region where songs come from — an intentional kind of space, where worldly concerns combine with empathy and, on a good day, become audible.  In other words: while our ranch ain’t exactly a real place you can find on a map, or travel to and see for yourself, you can often hear it plain enough — now at many locations on the interwebs, or live-and-in-person on a stage near you.
And sorry, but the “peace” we’re “for” isn’t exactly real either, in the sense that no such thing actually exists.  But it is more than merely metaphorical: it’s a conceptual reference point, like north or east,  toward which we can steer.  How this works on our ranch is best described by a bumper-sticker we saw not long ago on the back of some veggie-oil van crossing our western pasture at twilight in a driving rain: “If you want peace, work for justice.”  This reminds us that peace, like happiness, is not something that can be directly invoked, but is instead a by-product that only arises in the presence of other favorable conditions.  Our mission on this here ranch is to advocate for such conditions, and to join our noise with the long tradition of folksingers, bards, and troubadours who have done the same.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Technology and the 7th Generation

"Seventh Generation Advisors (SGA) puts into modern practice the ancient Native American philosophy that the decisions we make today should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future. Ensuring that decisions being made about our energy, water, and natural resources are sustainable is central to this belief and to our mission...Since its creation in late 2010, the SGA team has helped design and implement the goals of the R20 Regions of Climate Action (R20). This new global organization is a public-private partnership that brings together diverse alliances of subnational governments and partners to develop, finance, implement, evaluate, communicate and replicate low-carbon and climate resilient projects."

From the SGA website 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ending a "Nature Deficit Disorder"

Photo courtesy of WWF
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) offers a program, No Child Left Inside (NCLB), that inspires youth to respect nature vs. a current trend tagged as a "nature-deficit disorder," a phrase  "...coined by author Richard Louv in his book Last Child in the Woods to describe what happens to young people who become disconnected from their natural world. Louv links this lack of nature to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression," notes the nonprofit's website.

Inspired by the lack of teaching flexibility, the NCLB program "... helps address this problem by giving new incentives and support to school systems to provide environmental education....(it) also recognizes that high-quality environmental education often requires students to use math, reading, science and writing skills as they pursue engaging activities.

"Expanded environmental education will also help boost academic achievement. A number of studies have found that students who take part in environmentally themed lessons do better in science and other subjects."

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Technology for the Seas

The Daily Prism is back from vacation.  And while many swarm to the seas for their summer vacation,  there's a scientific tool floating in the seas that gathers and communicates ocean data that opens up" abilities to map and explore for resources, to protect and secure marine assets, or to conduct groundbreaking scientific research," according to the Liquid Robotics website.

Wave Gliders, a technological tool from Liquid Robotics, can assist researchers study "...ocean acidification, a navy protecting ports of call, or a researcher in need of real time subsea to air communications."

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fisherman Help Save Rope-Entangled Whale

Photo: Leighton De Barros
Last weekend, a commercial fisherman came upon a humpback whale wrapped in ropes and floats in Western Australian waters.  He notified whale rescue specialists and then kept his boat near the whale until the rescue team arrived. Once sited, finding the tangled whale again can be a challenge and authorities credit the fisherman with the eventual success of the whale's rescue.

The Department of Environment and Conservation said community members played an important role in locating and monitoring entangled whales off WA's coast.

DEC's large whale disentanglement response team leader Doug Coughran said with help from the public, DEC was successful in disentangling a 10-metre humpback whale off Two Rocks on Saturday.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tecnology to Battle Poverty's Issues

Courtesy of Grameen Foundation - Women in Ghana register for the Mobile Midwife Service, part of Grameen Foundation’s MOTECH Initiative in Ghana.
The Washington Post reports:

The Grameen Foundation was providing health care to pregnant women in Ghana in 2010 when the organization had an idea: As cellphones become more widely available in developing nations, health information can be quickly disseminated to poor patients in remote locations via voice and text messaging.

Three years later, the foundation’s thesis has given rise to an open-source software platform called Mobile Technology for Community Health, or MOTECH, that an increasing number of nonprofits, non-governmental organizations and humanitarian groups are using to address pandemics such as tuberculosis and HIV.

"Grameen Foundation helps the world’s poorest, especially women, improve their lives and escape poverty by helping to provide access to appropriate financial services (such as small loans and savings accounts), new ways to generate income, and important information about their health, crops and finances.
By helping local microfinance institutions and other poverty-focused organizations become more effective, and by providing the poor with innovative mobile phone-based solutions, we’ve helped millions pull themselves out of poverty," reads the Grameen Foundation website.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Gens X&Y Sprinkle Happiness

The Happiness Sprinkling Project is "A set of Signs (that) travel from place to place, Sprinkling Happiness all over the world," according to the website.  "Happiness Ambassadors are a mix of young and older people across the U.S. who take to a busy street, cradle signs filled with happy words, and share the joy to passersby.
Fourth of July

This project started on Facebook with  a photo of a few people wearing bright orange jumpsuits and holding signs with cool messages over their heads. It seemed a great match to the Center for Happiness.

Inspired, a  group met at a park wearing bright yellow shirts and marched to a  main intersection and Sprinkled Happiness...and the project grows.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

GenY Pianist Calms Turkey Protestors

Pianist Davide Martello. Photo by Emrah Gurel
From this writer's perspective, this story is the good of the year. It's made up of youth, passion, cause and music.

From The Daily News Turkey
The thousands of demonstrators who gathered once again late on June 12 in Gezi Park had an opportunity to chill out thanks to a joint piano concert performed by the German musician Davide Martello and the Turkish musician Yiğit Özatalay.

The Italian-born pianist and composer, who visited Taksim Square and the park, surprised its “occupiers,” bringing with him nothing less than his piano and gave a mellow concert for the crowd, Doğan news agency reported...Martello was on a world tour and he wanted to play in Istanbul to support the protesters, daily Hürriyet reported. “I brought the piano with my car. I play at the squares for people’s freedom. I came here to support the demonstrations,” Martello said.

Friday, June 14, 2013

"Solutionaries" at Millennial Impact Bootcamp

Huffington Post reports:

Millennials, like every generation, have their own jargon to communicate a message. But for many young people today, words such as "solutionaries" have more meaning than "yolo."

These very Gen-Yers are meeting in New York this week for Ignition 2013, a four-day event featuring social change seminars.

The event will feature talks from changemakers ranging from the novice to the accomplished, including Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group; Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder and CEO of the Acumen Fund and Bill Drayton, Founder and CEO of Ashoka at a Tuesday panel called "The Future Of Social Impact."

The special session will highlight research and open the discussion to young people who won the the Millennial Impact Challenge, a partnership initiative between the Huffington Post and Ignite Good, a branch of the Heartfelt Foundation that works to empower young people to create social change.

Ignition 2013 will honor 15 millennial-led organizations who have been awarded grants to carry out projects that create solutions that solve critical global and domestic issues. The group is in various stages of launching initiatives such as empowering Detroit students to be entrepreneurs or a pay-as-you-go system for solar energy to help off-grid families.

The four-day Ignition 2013 workshop includes, storytelling seminars, best practice strategies and talks from leaders in the space including Donors Choose CEO Charles Best, DoSomething COO Aria Finger and David Allen, the author of "Getting Things Done," among many others.

"Ignite Good is dedicated to maximizing millennial social impact. Society is on an unsustainable path, environmentally, socially and politically. Our immediate future is in jeopardy. If millennials fail to act en masse we will face far reaching consequences. However there is hope! We can overcome the daunting challenges we face, if we each do our part and find ways to work together. Ignite Good invests in the millennial generation by identifying, incentivizing and supporting high-impact leaders, by facilitating collaboration and by democratizing storytelling and movement building strategies."  From the Ignite Good website.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Gen Xers ask, "Can You Buy Happiness?"

Ryan T. Howell, Ph.D, and Ravi Iyer, Ph.D., joined forces with other Generation X professionals to "...better  understand the ways in which our financial decisions affect well-being. Also, our goal was to create a site that would be useful and interesting to users, particularly consumers who are interested in how their purchasing styles impact their well-being," as explained on the site, Beyond The Purchase.

The site opens with,  Have you ever spent money on something that didn't make you as happy as you thought it would? If so, you're not alone. Is it possible to become happier by changing your spending habits? Fortunately, the answer is yes and by taking our money, happiness, and personality tests we will help you learn how your consumer choices affect your happiness.

At BeyondThePurchase.Org we help people understand the relationship between money and happiness. To learn about what might be influencing how you spend your money, register with Beyond The Purchase and then take a few of our happiness quizzes as well as consumer psychology surveys and personality tests. After each quiz, we will provide you with personalized feedback and happiness tips. Your responses will also help researchers understand the connection between money and happiness.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Millennial Impact

Book Worm Angels, has 3 board member under 30
“What we heard over and over again is that millennials are eager to give if they’re already engaged in a conversation with the charity,” says Derrick Feldmann, chief executive of Achieve, one of the organizations that researched charitable giving by young adults, ages 20 to 35.

“Stop trying to figure out Millennials
 and just include them."

"That was one wish of a participant in our Millennial focus group. This theme was seen throughout our research as Millennials showed a desire for nonprofits to be more accessible and inclusive of this generation.

"Millennials are eager to be taken seriously as future donors, volunteers, and leaders for causes they care about.

"In many ways, our ongoing study of Millennials continues to be a study of contrasts. After three years of research, we’ve learned that, yes, these young donors are fully immersed in the pace and technology of our times, but they are also invested in timeless values.

"They want to give and to serve. They want involvements that engage their minds as well as their hands.

"In the end, they want to build authentic, personal relationships with nonprofits."

Click this link for the Millennial Impact Report

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Young Man's Philanthropic Goal Met In Nepal

HANDS in Nepal founder and team celebrating a new school
 Hands In Nepal (HANDS stands for Humanitarian Acts in Nepal Developing Schools) started with  a 20-something young man who volunteered his services in Nepal, then, as he writes on the nonprofit's website, "I was able to file the papers for a 501(c)(3) and make definite plans to start an NGO with the goal of building a school in a village we had visited, and with land that was being given to us by our friends who were originally from that village.  When we had visited we were shown the existing elementary school and realized that there was a true need to re-build.  It was very small and the walls were crumbling, the furniture was all broken.The third year I took a semester off and after lots of tedious planning and arrangements I went over alone to oversee the building of the school."

The nonprofit  " (has) 2 schools, plus 2 libraries and many scholarships to enable homeless children to attend boarding schools. We pride ourselves on being grassroots and feel that frequent updates and complete transparency is key to maintaining good relationships with our supporters and the Nepali community."

Monday, June 10, 2013

Money Direct to the World's Poor

Chris Hughes, who co-founded Facebook has joined other prominent Silicon Valley figures in supporting GiveDirectly, which advocates making no-strings-attached cash payments to the world’s poorest people, writes Forbes.

GiveDirectly's standard is to "put at least 90% of every donated dollar in the hands of the poor.. Do one, easy-to-understand thing with every donated dollar; do it ourselves without subcontractors; and clearly explain what it costs to do it...Empower the poor to set their own priorities," notes the website.

“Instead of building hospitals, why don’t we just give poor people money? Research shows it’s effective,”  Hughes told Forbes.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Bioprospecting Seminar in India for World Oceans Day

Molecular biologist, Premraj Pushpakaran, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the National Institute of Technology, School of Bio-Technology will  offer a seminar on marine bioprospecting to students on World Oceans Day June 8, 2013.



Friday, June 7, 2013

Spain Shows "Un Mundo de Mares" to Celebrate the Oceans

Exhibition Un Mundo de Mares

Tres Cantos. 13 May 2013 until 31 Jul 2013, 10:00 am - 7:30 pm
Organization: City University of New York

The exhibition Un Mundo de Mares features the variety of marine ecosystems around the world and the great diversity of marine organisms that inhabit them, highlighting the importance to protect our oceans. We welcome you to visit the permanent exhibition of information panels, marine animal collection, underwater photographs and a variety of audio-visual resources about the marine environment. Join us in the conference series and workshops and learn about the marine world from expert marine biologists, researchers and conservationists. Come to enjoy a series of documentaries and experience the thrill of diving with professional divers.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Middle East Groups Plan World Oceans Day Events

Dubai will celebrate World Oceans Day on Friday, June 7 at Atlantis The Palm Hotel and Resort with "Family oriented activities such as educational talks, kids’ craft dive shows, fish feedings, and other fun stuff."

In Turkey: 
Kemer, Antalya. 8 Jun 2013 until 15 Jun 2013, All Day
Organization: Calypso Dive Center

During the week of June 8-15 we'll include the info about World Oceans Day in our briefing of the customers. We'll talk about the environmental protection and also clean up the trash that we see during the dives.

In Pakistan:

Karachi. 26 May 2013 , All Day
Organization: National Centre for Maritime Policy Research

The National Centre for Maritime Policy Research has again launched an essay competition for World Oceans Day 2013 to encourage individuals to write about the theme, "Together we have the power to protect the oceans".  Participants can register by filling out the registration form and sending it via email to Rules for the Competition:
  • The competition is open to all students from colleges and universities.
  • Only one essay per student is allowed.
  • Essays should be between 2000-3000 words.
  • Essay must be written in Urdu on a single side of a page using double spacing and at least 1.5 inch right margin.
  • It should be submitted in a neat hard copy.
  • Accuracy of facts is important.
  • Writers are encouraged to include resources/ references of all the information and material used.
  • Each essay must be submitted with the following information clearly typed on it: name of student, age, class, department and year, university name, mobile number, and email address.
Important dates:
  • Last date for registration is 15th May, 2013.
  • Last date for submission is 26th May, 2013.
  • Prize distribution ceremony is on June 8th, 2013.
See website for further details.

In Israel:

Herzalia. 8 Jun 2013 , 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Organization: EcoCinema

The 9th annual Eco-Cinema Festival in Israel will be devoted this year to the Seas and Oceans and their preservation. Opening day will be on June 8th (World Oceans Day) at the Marina in Hertzelia and will mark the celebration of the sea in our life. One of the Key events will be our 'Movie Vessel'- a research ship that will host celebrities for screening of a wide range of movies dealing with the sea. We will also be showing movies, open to the public, in several other locations around the country. A Gala dinner will be held at the Crusader fortress of Apolonia overlooking the Mediterranean Sea; here the winners of a short film competition, devoted to the Seas and Oceans, will be announced.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

"Green Divers" Plan World Oceans Day Celebration

Celebrating World Oceans Day in Ireland is the group Green Divers.

"Our aim is to encourage the protection of coastal areas and raise awareness of Irish marine life. Come along and help cleanup on land or sea to celebrate an important day for our seas and oceans. Visit for more info."

Green Divers agenda includes (from the website):

Protection of our coastal areas will encompass three projects:
(i) The Project Aware Dive Against Debris for scuba divers and snorkelers.

(ii) The Clean Coasts Ireland programme for the general public.

(iii) The Sandycove Biodiversity Survey.

A combined monthly shoreline and underwater cleanup will be organised to remove rubbish from a popular coastal area.The biodiversity survey will aim to record exactly what marine life is in our local dive sites and it will also monitor water clarity in the area.

Awareness of Irish marine life will be through:
(i)  Marine life info pictures containing interesting facts about our diverse coastal wildlife
(ii)  Informative maps of local dive sites to encourage more snorkeling and scuba diving
(iii)  A selection of scuba diving and marine life books for sale

Monday, June 3, 2013

The World Unites To Celebrate Oceans

World Oceans Day is this coming Saturday, June 8, 2013.

Each day The Daily Prism will feature celebrations from around the world.

From the Republic of Cameroon:  June 1 to June 9 ACTIONS DES PEUPLES ET ENVIRONNEMENTALISTES DU CAMEROUN  offers:  "Our environment and ocean week will be held by the organizations Apecam and C02. We will organize many activities on subjects such as: degradation and reforestation of the town, protecting rivers and lakes, planting trees, and conferences."

Location:  690 ROAD 5788 SANTA BARBARA - YAOUNDE

Sunday, June 2, 2013

A Push To Remember--Skateboarders Raise Funds

"In October of 2012 my father, and Dylan's grandfather, Jack Smith, passed away due to complications from Alzheimer's Disease. We are making Push to Remember - Skateboarding Across America to End Alzheimer's  in his honor and to raise awareness and $100,000 to help fund care, support and research in the fight against Alzheimer's.

"On July 4th, 2013, our five person team,  ranging in age from 20 to 56 will come together to push our skateboards 3,000 miles from Newport, Oregon to New York City, New York in a little over three weeks," explains Jack Smith, publisher of the Skateboarder's Journal, founder/curator of the Morro Bay Skateboard Museum and also the Marketing Director for VS Athletics.

Video and text updates will be posted throughout the day to the A Push To Remember Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.