China in the Wake of a Devastating Quake

On Saturday, an earthquake in Sichuan province, killed at least 186 people injuring more than 11,000 leaving two dozen missing in rural communities around Ya’an city, along the same fault line as another quake to the north five years before that resulted in 90,000 people in Sichuan and neighboring areas being killed in one of the worst natural disasters in China’s history, AP reports. Many relatives search in the rubble in hopes of finding their loved ones still alive, while search and rescue has been working since Saturday to aid the victims and search for survivors.The Lushan and Boaxing counties this time were hardest hit on Saturday even though they escaped the worst of the 2008 quake yet residents said they would of benefited from the region’s rebuilding such as special reinforcements made to building and new evacuation procedures introduced. According to the Associated Press, relief teams flew in helicopters dynamiting landslides in order to reach isolated communities on Sunday. Many residents were upset with emergency teams as little aid was distributed among the areas effected and were busy taking away bodies while searching for survivors. Along the road in Longmen, children carried hand written signs reading “No water, no shelter.”

According to China’s earthquake administration, the earthquake measured a magnitude 7.0 while the U.S. Geological Survey recorded it at a 6.6 and struck at around 8 a.m. Saturday. Aftershocks could be felt throughout the region, leaving about ten thousand people in tents and cars unable to move back home or too afraid. The official totals are yet to be determined as numbers are still coming in but so far 186 people were killed, 21 missing and injured and 11,393 injured from Saturday’s quake as quoted by the Xinhua News Agency from the provincial emergency command center. The government has mobilized thousands of soldiers and others to the area as well as excavators, heavy machinery and even tents, blankets and other emergency supplies to aid the region.  The state media reported that two soldiers died after their vehicle slid off the road falling down a cliff. According to AP, the Chinese Red Cross will deploy relief teams with supplies of food, water, medicine and rescue equipment to disaster areas. The seat of Lushan country has been converted to a refugee camp with tents and volunteers serving noodles and boxed meals to survivors from stalls and vans. Large vans have been converted into mobile banks with ATMs, military medical trucks with X-rays and doctors giving first aid. The most severely injured were sent to the provincial capital as survivors try to deal with limited water and building inaccessibility leading to sanitation issues. The area is still experiencing aftershocks on Sunday while family members and friends try to contact their loved ones inside the crippled quake zone.

Poverty has an Expiration Date?

According the World Bank, it does. What is the difference between extreme poverty and poverty? Who defined it? While the governments of the world figure this out, the World Bank has set a deadline for 2030 to end extreme global poverty emphasizing that the poorest benefit from strong growth and rising prosperity in developing nations Reuters reports. According to World Bank President Jim Yong Kim on Saturday following a meeting of the World Bank’s Development Committee, “For the first time in history we have committed to setting a target to end poverty. We are no longer dreaming of a world free of poverty; we have set an expiration date for extreme poverty.”  The goal plans to reduce extreme poverty to 3 percent and target the bottom 40 percent of people living in each country of the developing world.

The target of the World Bank aims to guide the institution and work with the United Nations to make plans post-2015 poverty strategy to replace existing goals. The developing world has seen a growth of about 6 percent annually in their economies with millions of people being lifted out of poverty creating a new global middle class which has also allowed for increases in growing inequality. As the Committee explains, “We recognize that sustained economic growth needs a reduction in inequality. Investments that create opportunities for all citizens and promote gender equality are an important end in their own right, as well we being integral to creating prosperity.” This week the World Bank released figures that show extreme poverty has plunged since 1990 with 21 percent from 43 percent and that most of the poor are heavily concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, while China has slashed extreme poverty according to Reuters. Kim also said climate change and investments in heath and education were discussed as well.

The meeting also called for donor fundraising campaigns by the World Bank’s fund for its poorest borrowers urging strong participation by all countries. Every three years according to Huff Post, donors from rich and developing economies alike raise funds for the Bank’s International Development Association or IDA, while the United States, Britain and Nordic nations are usually the biggest funders for the past several years Brazil, India, China, Chile, Argentina and Peru have also donated funds. However with the current financial climates in Europe and the United States, the World Bank will be more restrictive when it comes to how the money is used so not to impact the poor. The emphasis according to Kim should be on helping fragile  and conflict hit countries.

Changing the World: Amazing Billboard Produces Water Out of Air (VIDEO)

Billboard In Lima, Peru Creates Drinking Water Out Of Thin Air (VIDEO).

Changing the world one billboard at a time or at least that is the hope for one group of imaginative engineers and I don’t mean Disney. It is no secret that water is in short supply especially in some areas around the world with only three percent of the water in the world potable. At a rapid rate, the world has used  much of the water leading us all eventually into a world water crisis if nothing is done to curb our appetite. What makes it worse is the fact that many of our fresh water canal and underground springs are polluted everyday by large corporations and carelessness killing species that thrive in these areas. The hope here is to take inspiration away from the video and find ways to lessen your footprint on the world by making positive choices and taking responsibility for what man has done. The engineers came up with the idea because of a necessity and scarcity of water available in some parts of the world.

 The University of Engineering and Technology of Peru partnered with the ad agency Mayo DraftFCBand to the first ever billboard to capture   humidity and turn it into potable drinking water in Lima in order to address the area’s water insecurity issues as well as bring a message of hope in the second largest desert capital in the world. The structure was created in order to address the issue of residents being forced to drink polluted water from wells. As one resident of the Bujama District explains, ” They could put this in different places if possible in each village, in each town…the water that gives us life.” Peru gets less than two inches of rain, but has an atmospheric humidity of 98 percent according to the video so the billboard uses reverse osmosis, a water purifying process, in order to produce the water and stores the water in tanks up to 20 liters each providing 9,450 liters in three months.

The implementation of the billboard coincides with a study, published in the Cryosphere journal, showing the Andean glaciers which provides fresh water for the residents of Peru and other countries has shrunk 30 to 50 percent since the 1970s. Antoine Rabatel, one author of the study, explains: “Glacier retreat in the tropical Andes over the last three decades is unprecedented.” With water supplies dwindling due to climate change and a growing population facing food insecurity issues, the billboard provides one innovative solution in a sea of many possibilities. NanoGanesh, for example, allows farmers to use mobile phones to turn off irrigation systems remotely decreasing the use of water and electricity. According to the Associated Press, the UN and other global agencies are calling for greater solutions to the water crisis as 60 percent of the world’s population will be living in cities in the next eight years putting more strain on resources and sanitation. UN Deputy Chief Jan Eliasson had this to say, “If we do water and sanitation right, we can have a great improvement on others goals.” The impact of such technology is vast and the potential to save lives is enormous as the access to potable clean water will reduce maternal health issues, child mortality and overall poverty.

Inspiring Words for the World

I could not have said it better myself. I encourage everyone to listen to the words and think really hard about their lives. This video encompasses what my blog is about the heart of everything. What would you do if money didn’t matter? This is the key to happiness but only you can unlock it. I hope that the young to the old will find inspiration in the words and go on a journey to find your happiness because in the end that is all we have that is constant yet ever changing. Inspiration can be found everywhere you just have to be willing to listen and follow your dreams.

Ciccio the Dog Attends Church

Ciccio the Dog Attends Church.

This is such a sweet story I had to share it. To me, the picture speaks volumes about how dedicated animals are to their owners and that humans can learn a lot. In Rome, Tommy a 12 year old German Shepard hasn’t missed a single day of mass since his owner died 2 month ago. The small church he attends in southern Italy is where his mistress’s funeral was held Wednesday. Each afternoon when the bells of Santa Maria Assunta church ring, Tommy will set off for the village to get a front row seat next to the alter says the Il Messaggero newspaper. His owner “Maria tu lu campu” — “Maria of the fields” — lived alone with Tommy and three other rescue dogs who used to follow her faithfully on her daily rounds and have now been adopted by the village. Tommy has returned daily since his mistress’s coffin was brought to the church on the day of her funeral  and sits quietly through all celebrations and masses including funerals according to father Donato Panna.

Yu Youzhen, Chinese Millionaire, Works As Street Cleaner To Set Good Example For Her Children

Yu Youzhen, Chinese Millionaire, Works As Street Cleaner To Set Good Example For Her Children.

I commend this mom for teaching them the value of community and staying grounded. Since 1998, 53 year old Chinese real estate mogul Yu Youzhen wakes up everyday at 3 am to sweep the roadway for $228 month. Why does she do it you ask? To set a good example for her kids. Not too many millionaires would be willing to do this unless court ordered. “I want to be a role model for my son and daughter. I don’t want to sit around idly and eat away my fortune,” Yu told local newspaper Wuhan Evening News, according to the SCMP. Yu refuses to give up her contract job because she believes that “Work is not just about the salary, it makes one focused,” Yu told the Wuhan Evening News, according to the Telegraph. “Laziness gives rise to all sorts of bad habits.” Don’t worry though her two kids have salary jobs, but she has given them an ultimatum that she will relinquish her real estate to the government, if her children don’t continue to work, local media note. Kudos to this mom for setting a good example for all kids everywhere. More parents should take a page out her book you might be surprised at the result.

Red Robin Receipt Shows Manager Comped Pregnant Mom’s Meal (PHOTO)

Red Robin Receipt Shows Manager Comped Pregnant Mom’s Meal (PHOTO).

I thought this deserved an honorable mention today. A woman eating at a Red Robin was pleasantly surprised along with her husband and two year old to find the manager had comped her meal plus left her this nice note on her receipt.  These are the act of random kindness I like to do and talk about because he might not of changed the world but he did make someone’s day a little better. Let it inspire you to help out your fellow man. Read more about it above and tell me what you think.