Saturday, August 17, 2013
We share this planet with seven billion others. What is our relationship with them? Are we a single unity? Do we belong to one of many tribal divisions? Are we individuals in a planet full of individuality? There is, of course, no single answer to these fundamental questions. Our sense of identity and diversity depends on context. But the way we conceive of our place among the people of the world has profound social, environmental, political, and ethical implications. The GoodPlanet Foundation asked people from all over the world a series of standard questions about the things they value. The survey examines their hopes, dreams, fears, and grounding principles. In bearing witness to the answers, the project allows us to explore the depth of our human commonality against the superficial visual and linguistic signs of difference. These sound-bites provide points of connection between ourselves and others.
Friday, August 16, 2013
"In India where traditionally boys have been preferred over girls, a village in Bihar state has been setting an example by planting trees to celebrate the birth of a girl child. And this practice is paying off." For the people of the Dharhara village, planting trees provides much more than agricultural benefits, it's their solution to some of the serious challenges that plague their population.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Our world is so full of wonders that new and amazing places are discovered every day, be that by professional photographers or amateurs. Different geographical locations, climatic conditions and even seasons offer the widest variety of natural wonders: pink lakes, stunning lavender or tulip fields, breath-taking canyons and mountains, and other places you can hardly believe actually exist!
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Every year, Joan Wright-Albertini leads her first-grade students in transforming their classroom into a virtual rainforest, a desert, or an ocean -- whatever ecosystem interests her students the most. In recent years, she has also added to the months-long study of habitats an unusual, daring twist. Students come to class one day to find their ecosystem covered in a messy "oil spill." Deciding they want to do something about the situation, students join hands and clean up the mess on their own. View these poignant photos of the experience that deepens both the students' understanding of nature and belief in their ability to care for it.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Good News of the Day:
"Are you happy? Could you be happier? Gretchen Rubin was already "pretty happy" when she asked herself these very questions. In search of the answers, she started her own pursuit of happiness, which eventually became a New York Times bestseller titled, The Happiness Project. She has now written a second book, Happier at Home, based on the idea that the home is the foundation of happiness. Knowledge@Wharton recently spoke with Rubin about why happy people work more hours each week, how to make and keep happiness resolutions, how to ward off the three happiness leeches and how to start your own Happiness Project."
Sunday, August 11, 2013
How many of us have gotten that excited sensation when our smartphones beep with a text or notification of an email? And perhaps like an involuntary reaction we sometimes reach for our phone to check the new message, even if in the middle of a conversation with a friend. In this informative and thought-provoking account of Dr. Peter Whybrow's work, we learn about the fascinating findings of neuroscience which explain our impulsive addiction to modern technology and its impact on our brain and ability to handle stress, thus making anxiety now the nation's most common psychiatric complaint. By understanding how the chemistry of the human brain functions, there is greater potential for us to control our use of technology rather than have it control us.