Mar 21, 2013

International Day of Forests and Trees 21 March

"On this first International Day of Forests and the Tree, I urge governments, businesses and all sectors of society to commit to reducing deforestation, preventing forest degradation, reducing poverty and promoting sustainable livelihoods for all forest-dependent peoples".                                             
     Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon                                                      
     Message for the International Day of Forests, 21 March 2013

Forests cover one third of the Earth's land mass, performing vital functions around the world. Around 1.6 billion people - including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures - depend on forests for their livelihood.
Forests are the most biologically-diverse ecosystems on land, home to more than half of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects. Forests also provide shelter, jobs and security for forest-dependent populations.
They play a key role in our battle against climate change. Forests contribute to the balance of oxygen, carbon dioxide and humidity in the air. They protect watersheds, which supply fresh water to rivers.
Yet despite all of these priceless ecological, economic, social and health benefits, we are destroying the very forests we need to survive. Global deforestation continues at an alarming rate - 13 million hectares of forest are destroyed annually. Deforestation accounts for 12 to 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.


Mar 20, 2013

Richard St. John: Secrets of success in 8 words, 3 minutes

Why you should listen to him:

Richard St. John was on his way to the TED conference when a girl on the plane asked him, "What really leads to success?" Even though he had achieved some success, he couldn't explain how he did it. So he spent the next ten years researching success and asking over 500 extraordinarily successful people in many fields what helped them succeed. After analyzing, sorting, and correlating millions of words of research, and building one of the most organized databases on the subject of success, he discovered The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common and wrote the bestseller 8 To Be Great.
In his books and talks, he shares a wealth of wisdom from the world's most successful people -- knowledge that can help others succeed in their own way, whether it's escaping poverty, building a business, raising a family, or changing the world.
"It's so great. It's such a boost of confidence. This book really gives you a lot of self-esteem about who you are, and that you really can be somebody."
                                                                              -Thomas Fischer, Habitat for Humanity


Mar 7, 2013

"Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us " by Michael Moss
      From a Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter at The New York Times comes the explosive story of the rise of the processed food industry and its link to the emerging obesity epidemic. Michael Moss reveals how companies use salt, sugar, and fat to addict us and, more important, how we can fight back.

Mar 4, 2013

Philips receives FDA clearance to market MicroDose SI Mammography System

Philips has announced FDA clearance of its MicroDose SI full-field digital mammography (FFDM) system. In addition to the capabilities of the original MicroDose approved in 2011, the company touts the SI model’s ability to do single-shot spectroscopy, yet that particular feature is not yet available in the U.S.
The MicroDose device use X-ray photon-counting detectors to perform breast tissue imaging at a considerably lower dose compared to traditional mammography. It is hoped the technology will improve the ability of radiologists to spot tumors within dense breast tissue.

Mar 3, 2013

1 million dollar TED prize for 'Hole In The Wall' education project

Sugata Mitra, an Indian innovator in the education field, has been awarded the $1 million TED Prize for his bold idea in making computer-based education more accessible to children. Mitra, an education technology professor at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, said he will use the prize, awarded by TED, an annual global ideas conference, to launch a global initiative for self-directed learning that builds on his discovery.
TED called Mitra’s "Hole In The Wall" project an “innovative and bold efforts towards advancing learning for children". Mitra and his colleagues on this project dug a hole in a wall near a Delhi slum in 1999. The team then installed a web-enabled computer and left it there. The project’s aim was to show that children can learn almost anything without the need for a classroom environment or a mentor or teacher.

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