Sunday, October 31, 2010

Oprah Visits Yosemite National Park!

Not sure if you caught Oprah on Friday, but it focused on her trip to Yosemite National Park. Yes that's right, Oprah is in parks news.

Yosemite National Park is about to get a whole lot of publicity. Yes, the Queen of the media, Oprah Winfrey, is dedicating two whole shows to her visit to Yosemite National Park with her bff, Gayle King.

Winfrey noted that African-Americans don’t typically visit national park (than 2 percent of national park visitors) and at the invitation of Yosemite Ranger Shelton Johnson, an African-American who hopes to lure more African-Americans to the parks, decided to use her show to boost African American tourism.

Shelton started with a letter in 2004 asking her to film a show from Yosemite to peak the interest of the African American audience and this month, Oprah surprised Shelton by pulling up in a trailer alongside her longtime friend, Gayle King.

“To get her attention to not only respond to me, she’s responding to what I’m saying. She’s seeing that here we are in one of the most beautiful places in the world and a chunk of our population does not visit places like this and it’s a problem,” said Johnson. “It’s a problem in the sense that all Americans own the national park, but not all Americans are here. And she heard that and wanted to do something.”

Rangers wanted Oprah to have an authentic camping experience, so she made her own campfire, cooked her own meals, mingled with other campers and even paid for her camping spot.

Read more:  The Sustainability Ninja

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Zynga Moves FarmVille From Facebook to iPhone to iPad

FarmVille, the real-time farming simulation game, is coming to the iPad. Think watching grass grow is a bore? Think again. The blockbuster Facebook app has engrossed more than 60 million fans around the globe and has become a popular iPhone app too. The move to the iPad marks a first for developer Zynga, which will earn estimated revenues of more than $500 million this year.

What's significant isn't so much the release of FarmVille for iPad owners, but the rapid expansion of Zynga to new platforms. In a space once dominated by mammoth corporations such as Activision and EA, Zynga's massive success demonstrates that indie houses are becoming the most robust players in the app market. Only last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg lauded Zynga for its efforts as an "underdog" fighting established gaming companies.

What's more, Zynga illustrates the potential of cross-platform development. The company's apps are simple--basic graphics and gameplay that takes advantage of social media--but the scalability is endless. FarmVille started as a Facebook app before heading to the iPhone and now iPad. We should expect Zynga's full roster to join it soon--Mafia Wars, anyone?--and eventually make to Android and other platforms.

In the past, games took forever to port, with users having to wait months before popular games headed to the Xbox or PS3 or PC. In the app world, however, scale is not an issue of time.

All right, now I must get back to tending my crops. On the iPad.  Courtesy of  Fastcompany

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Meatless Monday's

IF you eat meat every day of the week, you may soon find yourself dining alone if a new health and environmental movement has its way.

Dubbed Meatless Mondays, the worldwide initiative is about cutting back meat consumption once a week for the sake of your health, budget, animal welfare, global hunger and the environment.

Part-time vegetarians, or “flexitarians” as they’re known, say it’s not a vegetarian movement, but about meat eaters doing their bit.

“It’s a creative way of getting people to think about what they’re eating, as well as about the planet,” says public health advocate and yoga therapist Vinita Chopra, who co-founded Meatless Mondays Australia in December 2009 after the movement took off in the US.

“Not everybody can buy a hybrid car or cycle to work,” she says.

“It may not be appropriate or affordable for them, whereas this is something you can do in your home and actually help the environment and your health and well being at the same time.”

The Meatless Mondays movement was first launched in the US in 2003 by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, primarily as a health initiative to help Americans reduce their saturated fat intake by 15 per cent.

From 2006, it took on a wider and more urgent appeal when the United Nations released a report showing that the global livestock industry was responsible for 18 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions – more than the entire transport sector combined.

Since then, groups advocating reduced meat consumption have been springing up around the world, from Canada and Brazil to Japan and Taiwan.

Meat-free menus are now being promoted in hospitals and schools across Europe and the US. In Baltimore alone, 80,000 schoolchildren dine meat-free in their cafeterias on Mondays, and in 2009 vegetarian Paul McCartney launched the Meat Free Monday campaign with his two daughters in the UK.

Other celebrities have jumped on the bandwagon, including Chris Martin, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ricky Gervais, Sir Richard Branson and Sheryl Crow, as well as chefs such as Spago’s Wolfgang Puck and Tal Ronnen (the chef behind Oprah Winfrey’s 21-day Cleanse).

Many restaurants now offer extra vegetarian options on Mondays, and even sustainable fishing advocates are getting in on the action.   see full story

WHY EAT LESS MEAT?   6 Incredible Soup Recipes
You’ll boost your heath. Excess meat consumption is linked to heart disease, bowel and stomach cancer and diabetes. You’ll lose weight.  You’ll save money.  You’ll reduce your carbon footprint.

Join the Monday Movement

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Clinton to Tech Innovators and Entrepreneurs: “We Want You”

Feeling cooped up in that dingy old cube? Life seem a little meaningless? No worries. The State Department will be happy to send you to the far reaches of the planet to end violence, empower citizens, and bring peace and prosperity to the rest of the world.

Public officials swinging by Silicon Valley usually are on the prowl for precious campaign dollars. But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a point of stopping by the Bay Area on Friday night to ask for something completely different: the tech world’s energy and expertise. “The new communication tools that you and I use as a matter of course are helping to connect and empower civil society leaders, democracy activists, and everyday citizens,” Clinton said in a speech at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club. “We need your help.”

You might have heard how, over the past couple of years, the State Department has been reaching out to the tech world for help with their diplomatic and development goals, particularly through delegations of tech innovators and entrepreneurs to places like Iraq, Russia, and Mexico, where they've explored how the the Internet, mobile phones, and other tech tools can be used to build democracy and combat violence. The initiatives have apparently been working so well that Clinton carved time out of her globe-trotting schedule to make a public speech—only her third since becoming the country’s top diplomat—to implore the Bay Area's innovators to join the State Department’s efforts. “Whether you care about Haiti … violence in Mexico from the drug cartels … national treasures in Iraq,” Clinton said, “we want you to know there’s a place for you.”

Part of our approach is to embrace new tools like using cellphones for mobile banking or to monitor elections. But we’re also reaching [out] to the people behind these tools, the innovators and the entrepreneurs themselves.

We know that many business leaders want to devote some of their companies’ expertise to solving problems around the world, but they often don’t know how to do that. What’s the point of entry? Which idea is going to have the most impact?

To bridge that gap, we are embracing new public-private partnerships that link the on-the-ground experience of our diplomats and development experts with the energy and resources of the business community.

Since taking office, Clinton has appointed a Special Representative for Global Partnerships to catalyze collaboration with the private sector, hosted conferences like “TED at State,” and, most recently, set up a seed fund within US AID, Development Innovation Ventures, to provide start-up money to potential development game-changers, like a new idea for solar lighting in Uganda and a bicycle that doubles as a power source.

“Diplomacy and outreach can’t just be left to our government,” Clinton told the audience in San Francisco . “There are so many ways that we can influence what goes on in other countries.” Technology “is not a silver bullet,” she noted. “But all over the world, we see [its] promise.”  Courtesy of Fast Company

“If you have a good idea, we will listen.”

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

VIDEO: Anne Hathaway and Celeb Friends In Anti Bullying PSA

Anne Hathaway, Ian Somerhalder and Jenny McCarthy have joined the battle against high school bullying by filming a new public service announcement (PSA) following a spate of teenage suicides across America.

Kristin Cavallari and Julie Benz also get serious in the video for The Trevor Project, a non-profit group dedicated to helping youths who are struggling with their sexuality.

The video comes at a time when America is coming to terms with a number of suicides linked to sexuality and bullying the most recent, the death of 18-year-old Tyler Clementi last week, sparked outrage after it was revealed his college roommate allegedly posted footage of him having sex with another man online.

And the celebs are urging troubled teens to seek professional support if they are being targeted. Hathaway says, "It gets better. If you or a friend are feeling lost and lonely there's someone who can help. There is hope and there is help. Call The Trevor Project."

"The Hills" star Cavallari adds, "If you're being bullied in school, you're not alone. Don't give up.      Source

Watch Video Below:

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Monday, October 4, 2010

The Time to Act Against Bullying is Now!

A group called Parents Advocacy Committee for Educational Rights (PACER) has hosted a National Bullying Prevention week for the past four years. This year they are observing this week as usual but have also expanded the event through the month of October.

Make Oct. 20, 2010, the day that bullying prevention is heard about the world!

From California to Connecticut, from Minnesota to Mississippi, join together and shout, “The End of Bullying Begins with Me!” 

Then keep the message moving, from North America to Europe, from South America to Africa, from Australia to Asia.

Stand with others around your town and around the world to raise awareness of an issue that has affected so many for so long.

Whether you are a student or a parent, with a school or an organization, raise your voice any way you can. Sing it, say it, tweet it, text it, blog it, post it, dance it.

Efforts large and small are all equally important.

More than 160,000 U.S. students stay home from school each day from fear of being bullied. No one should have to fear going to school. Unite with others and add your voice to the online petition.    

 Bullying At School And In The Workplace – See It – Stop It – Report It!

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