My parents planted Bradford pear trees in their back garden when they moved in, and the trees display beautiful blooms in the spring and colorful foliage in autumn.
They also attract grey squirrels, at this time of year, which take the seeds out of the tiny brown pears and drop the fruit on the ground. My mother does not like the mess, but as soon as this begins to occur, huge flocks of American robins come to eat the fermented fruit.
The scene is amazing, as giant groups swoop in, loudly squabbling over choice perches and the abundant food on the ground. Soon, they will fly south to enjoy an easier winter. The scenario always reminds me that Mother Earth provides so much for all her children, on so many different levels.
Today, we span the wide-world over in our quest for news, so grab a cup of coffee and a comfy chair as we get on with our report.
New banking rules issued to stop “Too big to fail” from happening again.
The Financial Stability Board is a body that monitors the international banking industry. The chairman of the group is Mark Carney, who is also the governor of the Bank of England. Yesterday, he announced new rules issued by the FSB that would prevent large financial institutions from being bailed out by tax-payer money.
Carney said the situation that unfolded during the 2008 and 2009 banking crisis was entirely unfair to the public. They footed the bill for businesses who gambled in unstable investments, without enough collateral to make up for losses when the investments went sour.
The rules will be applied internationally and demand that banks put aside at least 15-20% of capital, to make up for any future losses due to bad investments. There would also be new liability applied to shareholders and bondholders to make up additional losses, if the bank does not have enough resources to cover the loss.
International governments paid hundreds of billions in funds to bail out failing banks beginning in 2007, and the new rules have been set in place to see that this never happens again. The British Bankers’ Association supports the new policy and believes it will go a long way in preventing risky investment behavior in the future.
A New Zealand member of parliament is demoted after suggesting homeopathy.
Green MP, Steffan Browning, has been stripped of his responsibilities in handling natural health affairs in New Zealand, after he suggested that homeopathy should be tried in the treatment of Ebola. The government then went a step further and absorbed the entire natural health portfolio of issues into the general health portfolio.
The move came after Browning signed a petition, started in Australia, to get the World Health Organization to look into homeopathy for the treatment of Ebola patients. Party leaders acted immediately, as they felt the need to rebuild confidence in their party, and stressed that future health care discussion must be based on popular “scientific fact” and not hear say.
The truth is, homeopathy was used effectively in a number of pandemic situations, including the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918.
To date, Ebola has only infected a small number of individuals world-wide, and effective quarantine and hygiene protocols seem to be stemming the tide.
For more information on homeopathy, and the history of its effective use during infectious epidemics and pandemics, please see this well-researched piece by Dr. Hoover, who is a board certified family physician and a homeopathic practitioner.
China opens new intellectual property courts to improve its image.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative has issued a watch-list for the past 25 years related to copyright infringement and intellectual property rights. China has made the list every year as one of the top countries to flout these rights.
As new industry develops in China, and cutting edge technology is discovered, the country has decided to open special courts to hear cases related to intellectual property rights. The first court is located in Beijing, with future courts scheduled to open in Shanghai and Guangzhou.
The government will also create a property rights research center and task force to help judges who need professional expertise and information on current property rights law.
Is it possible to save the oceans, feed the world, and make a profit?
Many of the world’s wild fisheries have been depleted, but research shows, with proper fisheries management, those areas bounce back very well. Part of the process involves a reduction, or complete halt, to fishing in the area so food species can regenerate. This puts intense pressure on fishermen, who’s primary source of income may be cut off for a period of time.
Realizing that the sustainable image is becoming much more important in investment decisions at all levels, companies and big philanthropies are looking to improve their track records in a competitive environment. In February 2014, the Bloomberg Philanthropy announced a $53 Million initiative to reverse the oceans’ decline, through improved fishery management, open-source business success plans, and attracting private investment capital.
They plan a test-market introduction in the Philippines, Brazil, and Chile, before being offered around the world. Bloomberg will also be pairing with the Rockefeller Foundation and EKO Asset Management Partners, a group that specializes in innovative impact financing mechanisms, in a program called “Save the Oceans, Feed the World.”
The program will provide micro-finance to fishery communities, in order to bridge the economic gap created when new fishery management techniques are implemented. If the communities are supported through these changes, they are more likely to abide by the regulations and allow the oceans to recover. They also seek long-term investment contracts that guarantee the recovering fisheries a market, for their increased yields, as healthy supply turns around.
A designer creates a new type font to help dyslexic readers surf the internet.
About 10% of the world population has dyslexia, which makes them more prone to mirroring letters, flipping words, and rearranging them in their minds. This can make reading extremely difficult. Common fonts make the problem worse, because certain letters are simply mirror images of others and the uniformity of spacing can create more issues.
Christian Boer, is a designer who is dyslexic, and he created a font called Dyslexie as part of his masters thesis in 2010. The font strives to make each character unique, varies the length of the staffs in letters such as “b” and “p,” and employs bold-emphasis in punctuation and capitalization. These changes make reading easier for dyslexic individuals, as each character is unique and simpler for the brain to differentiate.
The font is available for download, and is compatible with most word processing software. The font is also catching on in the publishing world, and one printer in the Netherlands has already issued 40 titles using the new type face.
That’s the news for today. Have a glorious day. I hope to see you back here tomorrow for more news.
Be Well. Be Joy. Be Love!