Happy Thursday, dear friends. We are getting some much needed rain, here on the east coast of the US, and the birds are making a ruckus this morning, bathing in all the puddles! I am glad you have some time to join me for the news, so draw up a chair, pour some coffee and let’s get started!
Much of the news today portents trends for the future on all fronts.
A woman takes the reigns of Scotland’s National Party.
After a national vote for Scottish independence from Britain failed last month, Alex Salmon stepped down as first minister and the leader of the Scottish National Party. Deputy party leader, Nicola Sturgeon, stepped into the role, as no one else came forward for the position. Sturgeon stands to become the first minister of Scotland, and vows to hold Westminster to it’s promise of more parliamentary autonomy for Scotland. All three major Scottish parties are now headed by women.
A special study by the UN reports that internet snooping is bad for international law.
While many might feel that the internet offers a level of anonymity that does not exist in face-to-face conversations, the reality of world wide web use is just the opposite. Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA, and other international security agencies, were using mass surveillance on unsuspecting users in an effort to cut down on international terrorism. Now, in a critical study presented to the United Nations General Assembly, Ben Emmerson QC, the UN’s special rapporteur on counter-terrorism, states that bulk surveillance is in direct violation of the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Surveillance, without cause, which in effect eliminates all privacy, cannot be balanced against the possible decrease in terrorism, and therefore, should be terminated.
California water district receives international honor.
As we previously discussed, the severe drought in California, is causing a forced evolution in conservation and technology. One water district in the San Joaquin valley, created a high pressure irrigation delivery system, that saves water and pin points delivery to local customers. This revolutionary technology, earned them the WaterSave Technology Award from the Congress on Irrigation and Drainage in South Korea. Forty countries came together at the conference, showing that environmental issues do not have political borders, and vastly different countries can work together for the common good of all on the planet.
The Fair Trade label seems to be rubbing off on a whole generation of British teens.
The Fair Trade symbol turns 20 this year, and represents fair and equitable compensation for quality products. Teens graduating from school and entering university at this time have grown up with this symbol, and believe that all people should be paid and treated fairly in the work place. A recent survey of teens in the UK, reveals that 82% of survey respondents expect companies to offer ethical and sustainable products, to treat workers fairly, and refrain from environmental abuse. As these teens become adults with more buying power, the companies that heed the information in this survey will be the ones to flourish.
A new type of battery will untie cell phone and electric car users from the wall socket.
Current rechargeable battery technology is based on lithium ion cells, which take a long time to recharge, and only last about 3 years. New technology, designed by Chen Xiaodong of Nanyang Technology University, is based on nanotubules of titanium dioxide, which charge in minutes and can last up to twenty years. The new technology should be available by 2016, and many producers of portable devices and electric cars are very interested in integrating this battery into their products. It will not only decrease charging time, but due to the extended battery life, it will also decrease the amount of used batteries going into landfills.
And finally, a bitter-sweet story of generosity…
A boy leaves a lasting legacy to his community.
Martin Romero, died of brain cancer when he was 14 years old. As a young cancer patient, he was given the chance to participate in the Make-A-Wish program. The foundation, makes final dreams come true for terminally-ill children. At first, he wanted to go sky diving, but his condition did not allow it, so he decided, instead, to donate his wish to his community baseball fields, where he had played as a young child. The foundation provided funds to install asphalt pathways between the fields, so those with disabilities, and mom’s with strollers, could have better access. A painting of Martin has been placed at the ball fields, in his honor, and the town is considering naming one of the fields after him.
That’s the news for today! I hope to see you tomorrow, so we can share some more!
Be Well. Be Joy. Be Love!