Sometimes, I find mildly amusing things in my Twitter rabbithole excursions. On other times, I stumble upon videos that make me laugh out loud, think, and get me inspired all at the same time. Shawn Anchor’s TED talk is one of those videos. Set aside 12 minutes to watch this, I guarantee it will be worth it. :)
This is one of my favorite videos from last year. It shows a whole town in Turkey learning sign language so they can surprise Muharrem, their deaf neighbor. Seeing his face light up when he slowly realized that he was able to communicate with everyone that morning, makes me smile so much. Though this video was created as part of a company’s promotion, it does not take away from the fact that the neighborhood took the time to participate and learn for this event. To me, this is also a sign of hope: Hope for raised awareness of the barriers many people have to overcome in order to live “normally.” Hope for more technology that can bring us closer as a human race. And finally, hope for people to realize the tremendous impact that a simple kind gesture can bring to a person’s life.
Drones have been getting a bad rep recently, but here’s a bit of news showing how we can use this technology for good! Led by Lauren Fletcher (an ex-NASA engineer), BioCarbon Engineering plans to counter deforestation with large-scale reforestation through drones. By automating the process with aerial planters using a fraction of the cost, the company is aiming to seed 1 billion trees a year. It is currently just in its prototype phase, but I really like where this is going nonetheless! With so much technological advancement happening a mile a minute, let’s hope that this recent news not only helps rebuild our forests, but also inspire other inventors and entrepreneurs to use their talents for improving our world. Read the full article here.
She liked being reminded of butterflies. She remembered being six or seven and crying over the fates of the butterflies in her yard after learning that they lived for only a few days. Her mother had comforted her and told her not to be sad for the butterflies, that just because their lives were short didn’t mean they were tragic. Watching them flying in the warm sun among the daisies in their garden, her mother had said to her, see, they have a beautiful life. Alice liked remembering that. – Lisa Genova, Still Alice Whenever I see butterflies, they always remind me of change. Metamorphosis. The transformation and the inspiration behind the seeming end. The staggering beauty of possibilities! I have forgotten that they only live for a little while, until I stumbled upon the quote above. Yes, life comes to an end for all of us eventually … but this thought should never take away from the simple joys of living, the quiet yet profound impact of each moment, and the significance of a life lived well.
As we unwind from the manic deal-hunting and shopping frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I’d like to take a moment to share what I think is the best way to kickoff the holiday season: Giving Tuesday.
While eating breakfast this morning, I noticed that our cereal box claimed that if we go to their website with our unique code, they will donate 50-cents to a bee-friendly charitable initiative. I can’t remember the last time I went online to “redeem a code” since it’s usually for a chance to win another bottle of soda or fastfood french fries. But this time, I was pretty excited! I get to help our worker bees AND choose the focus that my 50-cents will go to. Whether this is a Cascadian Farm marketing strategy that completely worked on me (as I am now very aware of their brand + they’ve effectively influenced my next purchase decision on cereals), OR a cause someone from the company is genuinely passionate about — at the end of the day, I feel like I contributed in a very small way, to benefit bees’ habitat creation and research. I’m not affiliated with their company and I am not paid to endorse them, but the enthusiasm I felt in perusing their website (while I learned more about bees) reminded me of a Nielsen …
After downing that thirst-quenching summer drink, was there a time when you thought of turning your empty plastic bottle or soda can into something more useful other than throwing it in the recycling bin? In Istanbul, they can be used to provide food for dogs and cats immediately! Pugedon, a Turkish company, recently introduced an innovative vending machine that releases water and food for our stray furry friends, in exchange for recyclables. As seen in the photo below, people can deposit their bottle through the slot on top and a portion of food is dispensed to the next pup (or kitty) that comes along. As for operations, the profit made from the recycled bottles or cans are used to cover the cost of pet food. Plus, it’s all solar-powered! Kudos to Pugedon for giving their stray animals a chance, while doing their part in saving the planet, one recyclable at a time. Source: Big Think
My late grandmother and my sister are teachers and I know for a fact that they are not the only ones who spend their hard-earned money to buy school supplies for their students. This weekend, Bill and Melinda Gates will match your Back-to-School donation to teachers via DonorsChoose.org. You can even choose which area you’d like to donate to: From Books to Art Supplies to Field Trips and more (I chose books) — locally or in another state! I didn’t even know about this site until today, so Thank You Mr. Bill Gates for bringing this to our attention. :)
Some of us complain that we do not have time. How about 5 minutes? I picked out my Top 3 ideas for spending those free short minutes from an article I saw last night, and slightly modified them based on personal experience. And although the ones I selected are not all that productive, they are fun. For tonight, that’s all I care about. 1. Listen to your favorite song. 70’s disco? 80’s synth pop? 90’s R&B? 2000’s Boybands? Blast it in your car or put your earphones on and bop along. (By the way, singing your heart out with Boyz II Men is another level of catharsis, my friends.) 2. Say Hello It’s easy to nod at someone as you pass each other in the hallway/ on the street. I have found that more often than not (unless they’re rushing to the restroom), people appreciate it when you really want to know how they are doing. Look at them sincerely and listen to them talk about their fun weekend, a crazy day, or just return a smile even when you get the stock “all good” response. …
This is one of the coolest gifts I received last Christmas. It’s the first time I realized this service exists but after I figured out that I needed to go to the website and pick charities I would like to donate my gifted funds to, I was smiling all the way. They have a huge list to pick from and I wish I can give to all of them — but to me, in the process of choosing which charity I’d like to support, it made my final choices all the more meaningful. It reminded me that my chosen organizations have objectives that I strongly believe in, and more importantly, they are close to my heart. I left the website with a warm feeling. The good kind that you only get when you know you’ve contributed to something in need of your support. This gift also reminded me to give, to pay it forward, to be selfless for a moment, and to continue rallying for causes I believe in, even when it’s hard enough to …