Billion Tree Campaign Sets New Goal of 7 Billion Trees by ’09

first_img Tree planting remains one of the most cost-effective ways to address climate change. Trees and forests play a vital role in regulating the climate since they absorb carbon dioxide. Deforestation, in turn, accounts for over 20% of the carbon dioxide humans generate, rivaling the emissions from other sources. Trees also play a crucial role in providing a range of products and services to rural and urban populations, including food, timber, fibre, medicines and energy as well as soil fertility, water and biodiversity conservation. In terms of geographic distribution, Africa is the leading region with over half of all tree plantings. Regional and national governments organized the most massive plantings, with Ethiopia leading the count at 700 million, followed by Turkey (400 million), Mexico (250 million), and Kenya (100 million). The two billionth tree was put into the ground as part of an agroforestry project carried out by the UN World Food Program. It has now planted 60 million trees in 35 countries to improve food security. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreSince meeting its goal in 2007 of planting 1 billion trees, a grassroots effort to green the globe has announced that it is raising its target to 7 billion new trees. The Billion Tree Campaign, founded in 2006 by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Kenyan Green Belt Movement founder Professor Wangari Maathai and Prince Albert II of Monaco, also announced last week that in 18 months it has seen two billion trees planted, double its original target. In a worldwide concerted effort to respond to global warming, the campaign is operated by the UN Environment Program (UNEP) and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said: “Having exceeded every target that has been set for the campaign, we are now calling on individuals, communities, business and industry, civil society organizations and governments to evolve this initiative on to a new and even higher level by the crucial climate change conference in Copenhagen in late 2009.” last_img read more

Abandoned NYC Rail Line Being Remade as Park

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreIn a desolate corner of Manhattan’s West Side as wrecking balls loomed, a campaign will triumph in turning a 13-mile-long elevated railway track into a park. A spokesperson for the city Planning Commission, says the project will attract tourists and provide for affordable housing in the area. (AP story in Contra Costa Times) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img

Many US Cities Still Thriving Despite the Economy

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreNewsweek rated American cities on their job creation, sustainability, livability and transportation-infrastructure, to cull a list of the nation’s top performing metropolises.Of the 20 cities topping the list, the highest rated were these ten which represented diverse areas of the country — west coast, east coast, south, center and northeast: El Paso, Oakland, Riverside, San Antonio, Omaha, Washington, D.C., Raleigh, Atlanta, Buffalo and Austin (pictured here).(SEE the Newsweek list at the Daily Beast)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Africa’s Oprah? Nigerian Woman Launches First Continent-wide African Entertainment TV

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA woman who could be considered Africa’s Oprah Winfrey launched an entertainment network yesterday that will be beamed into nearly every country on the continent with programs showcasing its burgeoning middle class.Mosunmola “Mo” Abudu, who was born in the UK, wants EbonyLife TV to inspire Africans and the rest of the world, and change how viewers perceive the continent. Because of the broadcast network, which is being produced by Africans for a global black audience, Mo says, “Everything you know about Africa is about to change.”(READ the AP story at the Washington Post – WATCH a trailer below)Photo by Nkemonwudiwe – CC licenseAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Teen Who Lost Leg to Cancer Gets Dream Escort to His Prom

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA teenage cancer survivor who lost his leg to a rare form of the disease had his dreams cut short to one day become a police officer.However, thanks to a thoughtful teacher, Kieran Maxwell was given a taste of what it would be like to ride with his blue uniformed heroes on Friday night when off-duty police arrived at his house to take him and his date to the school prom(WATCH the video below or READ the story at the Daily Mail) Thanks to Craig Withers for submitting the link!AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Washington DC: From Murder Capital to Boomtown in 25 Years

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA quarter of a century ago, Washington DC had a fearsome reputation for crack abuse and rampant gun violence – it was the “murder capital” of the US. But now, once-blighted neighborhoods close to the centre of the capital are thriving.After Washington had “bottomed out” in 1991, a virtuous cycle began as more affluent young professionals began to opt for the convenience and buzz of living closer to the city centre, often moving to handsome old buildings in areas that once had been considered too dangerous.Residents old and new recognize that gentrification has meant a safer and more prosperous neighborhood. Homeowners have seen the value of their property rise. New commerce in the neighborhoods with shops and restaurants means people are making money and spending it too, in a prosperity cycle.(READ the story from the BBC)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

How to Fix Group Photos With Ex-Boyfriends: Replace Him With the Family Cat

first_img“My cousin got married and my boyfriend was in all the official pictures,” Forsberg told TODAY. “When we broke up six months (after the wedding), my sister thought it’d be fun to replace him with a picture of my cat.”RELATED: Ryan Reynolds Schemes With Dumped Teen After She Posts Hilarious Prom PhotosEmily uploaded all the photos into Microsoft Paint and replaced Chloe’s ex with images of Woof.“I felt a bit bad to have the pictures ruined with photos of him,” says Chloe. “But my sister made me feel a bit better about it.”The amusing re-dos were so purrrrfectly done, BBC 1 Radio host Greg James retweeted the photos to his 1.6 million followers.LOOK: Twitter Cracks Up When Dad Accidentally Asks A-List Celebrity to Step Out of His Photo With Matthew BroderickSocial media users were tickled by the DIY photo prank, including Chloe’s ex, who was delighted by the effort.“We spoke about it and we had a laugh,” Forsberg said. “Some people thought it was a bit of a cruel thing, but he found it funny!” Be Sure And Share The Pawesome Photos With Your FriendsAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreWhy remember a wedding with your former lover when you can giggle at the family cat instead?A kind sister trying to be helpful edited some recent family photos as a means of cheering up her newly-single sibling.27-year-old Chloe Forsberg of Southampton, England had been in a committed four-year relationship with her boyfriend until she recently broke things off. Unfortunately, her ex was featured prominently in a lot of family photos, particularly some wedding shots.last_img read more

Lower Risk of Type 1 Diabetes in Children Vaccinated Against ‘Stomach Flu’ Virus

first_imgThe study provides strong post-market evidence that the vaccine works. Children vaccinated against rotavirus had a 94% lower rate of hospitalization for rotavirus infection, and a 31% lower rate of hospitalization for any reason, in the first two months after vaccination. Rotavirus hits infants and toddlers hardest; it can cause diarrhea and vomiting that can lead to dehydration or loss of fluids.RELATED: Diabetes Patients May Soon Be Able to Say Goodbye to Needles, Thanks to These Capsules From MITYet the study finds more than a quarter of American children don’t get fully vaccinated against rotavirus, and that the rate varies widely across the country. Less than half of children in New England and Pacific states were fully vaccinated. Two-thirds of children in the central part of the country were fully vaccinated.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that infants receive the multi-dose vaccine starting no later than 15 weeks, and finish receiving it before they are eight months old. Infants receive the vaccine in oral drops.The paper’s authors, led by epidemiologist Mary Rogers, Ph.D., caution that they cannot show a cause-and-effect relationship between rotavirus vaccination and Type 1 diabetes risk.MORE: ‘For the First Time’, Researchers Use Healthy Stem Cells for Future Type 1 Diabetes Cure“This is an uncommon condition, so it takes large amounts of data to see any trends across a population,” says Rogers, an associate professor in the U-M Department of Internal Medicine. “It will take more time and analyses to confirm these findings. But we do see a decline in Type 1 diabetes in young children after the rotavirus vaccine was introduced.”The new result echoes the findings of a study of Australian children published earlier this year, which found a 14 percent reduced risk of Type 1 diabetes after the rotavirus vaccine was introduced in that country. That study, and the new one, suggest that a childhood vaccine may lead to a lower risk of a later chronic condition.It also fits with laboratory studies showing that rotavirus attacks the same kind of pancreas cells that are affected in people with Type 1 diabetes.CHECK OUT: ‘Groundbreaking’ Type 1 Diabetes Drug Has Just Been Trialed on First Human Patients–With No Side EffectsThe death of insulin-producing cells, called beta cells, means people with Type 1 diabetes depend on injections of insulin, and multiple daily checks of their blood sugar, for life. If the condition is not managed well, people with Type 1 diabetes may develop problems with their kidneys, heart, eyes, blood vessels and nerves over time.The U-M team used anonymous insurance data from 1.5 million American children born before and after the modern rotavirus vaccine was introduced in 2006. In nearly all cases, the vaccine was free, with no copayment, to the family of the infant. The total lifetime cost of caring for an individual with Type 1 diabetes has been estimated in the millions of dollars.The risk was especially lower among children who received all three doses of the pentavalent form of the vaccine than those who received two doses of the monovalent form. The pentavalent rotavirus vaccine protects against 5 types of the rotavirus while the monovalent vaccine protects against 1 type.MORE: 8-Year Study Shows That Simple Treatment Can Reverse Type 1 Diabetes to Almost Undetectable Levels!Children partially vaccinated – that is, started the vaccine series but never finished it – did not have a lower risk of Type 1 diabetes.More than 540,000 of the children in the study and born after 2006 received the complete series of rotavirus shots; nearly 141,000 received at least one dose, and more than 246,000 did not.Another comparison group, born in the five years before the vaccine was available, included nearly 547,000 children.CHECK OUT: After Breakthrough Trials, Alzheimer’s Vaccine That Uses the Body’s Immune System May Soon Be Tested on HumansIn absolute terms, Rogers and her colleagues report that eight fewer cases of Type 1 diabetes would be expected to occur for every 100,000 children each year with full vaccination.Type 1 diabetes, once called “juvenile diabetes,” only affects a few children out of every 100,000, so having such a large pool of data can help spot trends, says Rogers, an epidemiologist who worked with a team from the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, which provided the data used in the study.“Five years from now, we will know much more,” says Rogers. “The first groups of children to receive the rotavirus vaccine in the United States are now in grade school, when Type 1 diabetes is most often detected. Hopefully, in years to come, we’ll have fewer new cases – but based on our study findings, that depends upon parents bringing in their children to get vaccinated.”Reprinted from the University of Michigan Health LabCure Your Friends Of Negativity By Sharing The Good News To Social Media – Photo by Bradley Johnson, CCAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreThis exciting new study shows that vaccinating babies against a virus that causes childhood “stomach flu” has an unexpected side benefit: it is also associated with a lower risk of developing Type 1 diabetes later on.As a group, children who got fully vaccinated against rotavirus during their first few months of life had a 33% lower risk of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes than unvaccinated children – a lifelong disease with no known prevention strategies or cure.A team from the University of Michigan made the finding using nationwide health insurance data, and published their results in the journal Scientific Reports.last_img read more

Veterans Are Finding Lasting Peace After Taking These Free Journeys into Nature for Months at a Time

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreWith countless US ex-service members struggling to readjust to civilian life following their deployment, more and more veterans are finding unparalleled success in alternative forms of rehabilitation and therapy.Warrior Expeditions is a nonprofit that has proven nature to be an effective treatment for veterans suffering from PTSD. The organization helps veterans overcome their trauma by sending them on longterm nature excursions lasting two to six months.The charity, which also provides all the gear and supplies necessary for the journeys, typically helps 30 to 40 veterans every year with about 10 different expeditions—all of which are facilitated at no cost to the vets. The organization’s recently concluded 53-day trip through North Carolina is the first time that Warrior Expeditions has incorporated paddling, biking, and hiking into one of their excursions.RELATED: With Float Therapy Being Used as Pioneering PTSD Treatment, Clinic Has Given Away 3,000 Free Sessions to VeteransMarine Corps veteran Sean Gobin was inspired to launch the charity after he returned to the US in 2012 following several combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. He then found peace and healing by hiking all 2,185 miles of the Appalachian Trail—and he knew that he wanted to share the experience with other veterans just like him.There is no shortage of evidence on how spending time in nature can positively impact one’s physical and mental health. For the veterans participating in the Warrior Expedition outings, these therapeutic perks are also supplemented by the benefits of exercise, meditation, and sleeping outdoors.Now since the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2359 directing the Department of Veterans Affairs to study alternative health services that could be covered through the Veterans Health Administration, more and more veterans like Gobin could soon be encouraged to experience the same transformative effects of nature in lieu of prescription medication.(WATCH the Freethink short film on the expeditions below) – Photo by FreethinkTreat Your Friends To The Good News By Sharing It With Your Friends On Social Media…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

First Native American-Owned Film Studio Shoots Tom Hanks Movie

first_imgLocated in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in northern New Mexico, the beautiful plot of Tesque Pueblo land has now been the backdrop for over 20 films that needed its rolling desert hills, including Cowboy and The Man from Laramie.CHECK OUT: After Making History With New Film Studio, Tyler Perry to Build a Shelter for Disadvantaged Women and ChildrenThe Pueblo of Tesuque Development Corporation has invested $50 million in expanding the facilities at Camel Rock Studios to include a movie ranch with standing sets, prop studios, a filming-equipped water tank, and 1,000 parking spots, which anyone who has been part of a movie production would agree is a huge plus.Photo by Camel Rock Studios“Casinos, inherently, if you take out all the games, are big empty spaces,” Timothy Brown president and CEO of the Pueblo of Tesuque Development Corporation told Variety. “So we had an events center that we did concerts in and large parties that was a big vacant space. Once we removed all the casino equipment and furniture from the casino area, that became another large vacant space, and then with any business we had an entire administrative area with cubicles and offices that became perfect for their offices to move in.”RELATED: Finally, a Native Californian Tribe Has Land To Call Their OwnAlong with Hollywood’s enduring love of western films, Camel Rock and the Tesque Pueblo Nation are looking to take advantage of a filming boom in New Mexico, with recent successes behind shows like Breaking Bad luring more projects to the area.“You don’t realize it but this area looks like a lot of places in the world…especially the Middle-East, with the mountains and how rugged it is,” Brown added, explaining the Tribe’s thinking.Netflix even made Albuquerque its U.S. production hub, purchasing Albuquerque Studios as part of a plan to spend $100 million in filming and production for original material in the state over the next 10 years.MORE: One of Largest Native American Tribes Just Voted to End Their 100-Year Dependency on CoalPueblo of Tesuque Governor Robert Mora, Sr. said that he hopes the economic benefit from the studio will go toward much-needed healthcare projects for the Tribe, such as a universal coverage option.“The other thing I’m hoping is that one of the big film companies will find a good home here so they’re not searching for locations. Here you have one-third of New Mexico to work with,” said Mora.Shine A Spotlight On Positivity By Sharing The Good News With Your Friends On Social Media…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreMany people would be familiar with the idea of Native American-owned casinos—but what about movie studios?Last year, the Tesque Pueblo Tribe of New Mexico was looking to move out of their old casino building into a bigger space—and while in the process, they realized the 75,000-square-foot facility that they were leaving behind would make a perfect movie studio.Thus was born the first ever Native American-owned production studio and location set in history: Camel Rock Studios—where the Tom Hanks post-Civil War drama News of the World was filmedlast_img read more