Inspiring Stories

DoSomething.org Looks to Encourage Youth Turnout in US Elections

The 2019 Get Out the Vote campaign has started. In 2018 the campaign, that has been set up to encourage younger people to register to vote, added 118,000 young people to the register in time for the 2018 midterms.

This year it is set to pull more young voters into the democratic process for the forthcoming elections in 2019 and the Presidential Election in 2020.

DoSomething.org has benefited from a $500,000 grant donated by Craig Newmark Philanthropies which is headed up by Mr Newmark, the founder of Craig’s List. This funding will likely be used to target previously underrepresented voters including people of color.

The long term aim is to encourage young people to take a lifetime interest and fully participate in the democratic life of their country which is essential if the US is to hear the voice of all its citizens including those who are the most marginalized.

One Man’s Passion

This is a subject that Craig Newmark feels strongly about. Looking at some of the ways that people are excluded from the opportunity to vote, he hopes the funds will help some of the young voters to overcome barriers that prevent them from exercising their franchise.

Things like gerrymandering, ID regulations, purging, and other tactics can often remove peoples’ ability to register and cast a vote.

Newmark believes that DoSomething.org’s Get Out the Vote is a much-needed initiative and that more work is needed at a grassroots level to make the election system much more inclusive and open to all Americans.

For DoSomething.org, a spokesperson announced that in 2019 the campaign will be looking to educate voters using offline and online channels. There is likely to be a great deal of input from social influencers, alongside voter registration drives, reminders delivered via SMS, and voting plans.

The offline activities will include community organizing to encourage all young adults to register to vote.

A key part of the strategy is the organization of another National Absentee Ballot Day on 8th October. This will target the five states with elections planned: Louisiana, Virginia, New Jersey, Mississippi, and Kentucky, with students from each state, encouraged to submit an absentee ballot.

Last year the campaign helped to bring about a record voter turnout in the midterms (42%). The only year where a higher turnout was recorded was 1914 when 50.4% of voters came out. However, it is worth noting that in 1914 women did not have the vote (US Elections Project).

The $500,000 grant from Newmark means that DoSomething.org can aim to break more records in 2020 when US citizens have another presidential election. Newark sees the vote as an essential civic duty that enables Americans to protect their democracy.

He encourages everyone to get out to vote and passionately supports the aims of DoSomething.org’s Get Out the Vote initiative. In particular, its role in targeting young people and empowering them to elect their officials and hold them accountable.

The 2019 Get Out the Vote campaign has started. In 2018 the campaign, that has been set up to encourage younger people to register to vote, added...

Earth Humans Are Awesome Inspiring Stories

Swedish Teen Sailed Across The Atlantic to Defend Mother Earth

Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean in her carbon-free yacht, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg has already received recognition for her stance on protecting our planet from climate change.

Greta Thunberg

She sailed from England to New York to join a climate-change conference which took her 13 days to complete. She chose a solar-powered, carbon-free yacht to avoid potential damage from carbon-emissions that have already damaged our planet through air travel.

Her 13-day voyage has drawn the attention of skeptics and supporters alike. She strongly feels it’s her duty to be an activist to guarantee that our planet will be taken care of.

Even though she is only 16, Greta knows it’s critical that people understand how their actions are harming Earth. Nothing can stop her from finding new ways to take care of our planet while encouraging others to realize how they are impacting our environment and climate.

Even though she is not a scientist, she believes her vessel is a scientific testimonial to raise awareness about the long-term issues that are affecting the Earth.

Thunberg’s passion for climate-change is nothing new. When she was 15, she organized an environmentally-friendly strike outside the Swedish Parliament building during school hours to encourage others to take action to save the planet.

Although most adults did not condone her actions, she held firmly to her convictions for three solid weeks! She handed out information and encouragement to others who passed by her. Eventually, her strike was published online and her efforts touched many people across the world.

Her plea for help went absolutely viral. Since then, her face has become the symbol of advocacy surrounding climate change.

Science in Action:

Her actions have caught the attention of people across the world. She has decided to throw herself into her cause as a full-time activist. She has taken time off from school to make activism her life’s goal. She has attended universities, conferences, events about climate-change, scientific events, and various political assemblies to spread the word.

Greta Thunberg UN

To travel from one event to another, she has chosen to use transportation that reduces CO2 emissions including by train even though it takes longer to get to her destination.

Greta has made many sacrifices to get the word out about the impending doom facing us in the future if climate change is not taken seriously. She said that we live in a strange world where children are literally sacrificing their own education to protect the planet against ruination.

Her outspoken attitude has drawn criticism from many, mostly due to her age, who do not believe the planet is in harm’s way. Meanwhile, others have come to her defense claiming that those who are against her are just ignorant.

Thunberg has remained focused and motivated to keep her climate change actions before the entire world. She planned on attending the climate-change conference held in the United States on September 2019. She decided to sail across the Atlantic Ocean from Britain to New York in her yacht that left no carbon footprints.

Greta’s Latest Missions:

On August 14, 2019, Greta sailed from Plymouth on the first-of-its-kind carbon-free yacht named Malizia 2. She sailed with her father who is an experienced sailor along with two other people. The 6-foot solar-powered yacht has technology on board that measures carbon emissions.

During the trip, she was able to observe how beautiful the ocean is with its many inhabitants including dolphins. As she traveled, she came to realize the importance of a pollutant-free ocean.

Although her journey was admired, many people who are in denial of climate change took to Twitter to leave negative comments about the young activist. One Twitter user, Julia Hartley-Brewer, left a message “Hi Greta, I’ve just booked some flights for my family to enjoy the winter sun on a beach over Christmas. Level Of Guilt – Zero!”

While there were negative remarks left behind, there were many others who came to her defense. Paraphrasing author Philip Pullman who said that most people have never done nor ever will one-hundredth as valuable and important as what Greta has accomplished.

Many others stressed their concerns about people who have nothing better to say about this young women’s passion to address climate change.

There is no doubt that planes do take their toll on the environment causing those who are conscientious to choose alternative forms of transportation. Her supporters definitely outweigh her critics. She said that even though there are people who will remain in denial and not accept what’s going on, she will remain focused on the crisis of climate change and do what she has to do.

There will probably be a line drawn in the sand, separating believers and non-believers regarding climate change. Each individual will have to make their own decision about the health and well-being of our planet. In the meantime, there are countless wild animals being slaughtered for game or to sell their ivory or fur.

These animals are becoming extinct and, believe it or not, they play an important role in the protection of our climate. I wonder if anyone thinks about them?

Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean in her carbon-free yacht, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg has already received recognition for her stance on protecting...

Earth Inspiring Stories

Amazon Rainforest Fire:

How to spot the FAKE photos as Twitter reacts to the devastation

In the past year, Brazil has been hit over and over again with devastating forest fires, especially in the Amazon region, so Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts have been blowing up with posts and pictures with the hashtag #AmazonRainforest being the most popular among them.

According to satellite data from the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), in Brazil alone, there are 80 percent more fires in 2019 than there were last year. However, it seems like some of the pictures being shared in relation to the devastation are inaccurate.

More than half of the fires in Brazil are in its Amazon region, and staggering satellite images show just how many fires there are.

Satellite images from NASA and NOAA are giving an accurate portrayal of how far the destructive fire and smoke has spread across the country, but many photos being shared on social media are quite misleading, even if they were meant to be supportive. As a result, users are being asked to stop sharing inaccurate photos, most of which are from fires that happened 30 years ago.

One of these pictures was retweeted over 15,000 times with the caption: “For three weeks, the Amazon RAINFOREST has been burning.

“Fire frequency in Brazil has increased +82% due to droughts, increased heat, and land-use change (logging, industry, & agriculture).”

The following image is actually an Alamy Stock Photo from a climate website called ALERT back in February of this year.

Amazon rainforest fires: All four of these are inaccurate, the top left being California in 2013 (Image: TWITTER)

This second post that included four photos was uploaded to Twitter with a caption bemoaning Brazil’s tragedy, but actually none of the photos have anything to do with the August 2019 Amazonian fires.

The top left photo was liked on Twitter over 4,500 times but was taken during a forest fire in California and uploaded to the US Department of Agriculture’s Flickr account back in 2013. The second is from a 1989 Amazon forest fire, according to The Guardian.

The third picture is from the same 1989 fire, and the fourth image is a heat map from InfoAmazonia showing the extent of forest fires in the Amazon from 2000-2014.

Kendell Jenner retweeted another viral post to her more than 28 million followers, but neither of the two photos are actually related to the recent forest fires.

The image on the right is a picture of fire in Serbia, while the left was taken by photographer Daniel Beltrá in 2014 for articles on fires in Sweden.

Yet another image captured for Getty by Lauro Alves posted on Wednesday shows a fire at Brazil’s Taim Ecological Station in 2013.

Lastly, Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio shared an image of fires burning against a wall of green forest, but this photo is originally from February 2018 in the article, “Carbon emissions from Amazon wildfires could ‘counteract’ deforestation decline”.

So, beware of the misleading pictures and check the sources before you believe what you see!

How to spot the FAKE photos as Twitter reacts to the devastation
In the past year, Brazil has been hit over and over again with devastating forest...

Category - Inspiring Stories

Inspiring Stories Tech News

Nudes Lined Outside Of Facebook’s Headquarters In New York

Protesters gathered outside of Facebook’s Headquarters highlighting the injustice of gender inequality regarding the company’s nudity policies.

On this particular Sunday morning, from Astor Place, you would have gotten an eye-full as the sun slowly rose.  Approximately 125 people decided to pose naked outside the headquarters to challenge the company’s suppression of artistic nudity.

Participants covered their nipples with stickers of photographed male nipples which were provided by different celebrities including Andy Cohen, Andres Serrano, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, Tunick, Adam Goldberg, and Mpagi Sepuya.

The group worked with the National Coalition Against Censorship to point out their rigid and old-fashioned gender inequality that exists within Facebook’s policies.  It’s deemed acceptable that men can go bare-chested but not women.

#WeTheNipple

Both Facebook and Instagram are on the same page regarding their policies. It seems their policies accept images of nipples when a woman is giving birth, breastfeeding, or revealing scars from a mastectomy.

Global policy management, Monika Bickert marked this up to safety and consent. She told Business Insider, that it’s very difficult to determine the age of a person or to determine their consent.  On top of that, even if it’s obvious the person gave their consent to a photo, did they give consent for the image to be shared?

The NCAC argued that various platforms such as Instagram, have global audiences so banning all photographs of nude human bodies is an outdated and old-fashioned position of shame and censorship.  There never seems to be a problem in artwork found in museums or art galleries, just on social media.

Tunick, the leader behind the Sunday Protest said the work he’s allowed to post is essentially different from the work he made.  He said every pixelated nipple only succeeds in sexualizing censored work.  He also added that censorship actually breaks his spirit.

That said, YouTube has allowed for artistic nudity for a long time after changing their policies more than 10 years ago which seems to have taken place after the NCAC and EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation ) stepped in.

Will Facebook and Instagram reverse their standing anytime soon?

NCAC sent a letter to Bicker requesting they change their stance to welcome and respect the arts.  Director Christopher Finan believes there are many solutions and suggested that individual users have the ability to create filters to screen or block images.

As of Monday, the NCAC said that the #WeTheNipple had been blocked on Instagram and over 500 images supporting the art have been removed.  A spokesperson for Facebook said they have been in touch with the NCAC and look forward to keeping an open dialogue with them and other groups for more details and information.

I guess, only time will tell if both sides of the aisle can come to a compromise.  Nudity is a difficult issue for all involved.  Artistic expression should always have a place while censorship in an effort to protect younger people should be heard as well.

Protesters gathered outside of Facebook’s Headquarters highlighting the injustice of gender inequality regarding the company’s nudity policies.

On this particular Sunday morning, from Astor Place, you would have gotten an eye-full as the sun...

Entertainment Inspiring Stories

Field of Light Installation is Like the Super Bloom on Steroids

The Field of Light Installation by artist Bruce Munro is an immersive art piece comprising 50,000 shimmering lights. The sight of these lights is set against the backdrop of Uluru in the Australian Outback and spread over a vast desert landscape.

This pilgrimage-worthy sight is neither easy nor affordable to get to, so the news that the artist opened an exhibit in Paso Robles, California is exciting for all those passionate about his art designed to illuminate and accent natural beauty.

This newest installation is Munro’s largest one yet, covering a 15-acre hillside in California’s wine country, around four hours north of Los Angeles. The art project, entitled Field of Light at Sensorio, has taken several years to finish, but it is meant only to complement the landscape’s natural beauty, not to add to or take away from it.

“We want visitors to be completely immersed in the environment, inclusive of the stars above,” Munro said to Travel + Leisure. “Everything we’ve created here at Sensorio dips below an elevation of 830 feet, so visitors will feel like they’re being cradled in the valley.”

Field of fiber-optics

Munro designed the 58,800 stemmed spheres lit by fiber-optics and LED’s to glow in varying rainbow-colored hues, giving the effect of the super blooms that covered areas of California this past spring by day. At night, however, is when the sight is most stunning. The ground transforms into a galaxy of stars, unlike anything you’ve seen or imagined.

“The amount of light emitted is surprisingly minimal — about the same as what a couple of houses would give off if they were spread over a 12-acre valley,” Munro explained, “so there’s a balance between the stars on the ground and those in the sky.”

Munro’s hope is that his work creates perspective as well as community. He designed it so that visitors could walk meditatively through the valley, considering the play of the nights on the natural wonders surrounding it.

“I work in light, but it’s not about the light, it’s about emotions,” he said. “I feel that we’re in a moment of history when we have to start questioning our values and getting back to basics. I hope that, in a small way, my installation helps guide you toward the clear sky, literally and otherwise.”

The Field of Light Installation by artist Bruce Munro is an immersive art piece comprising 50,000 shimmering lights. The sight of these lights is set against the backdrop of Uluru in the Australian Outback and spread over a vast desert landscape.

This...

Earth Inspiring Stories

‘World’s Smallest McDonald’s’ Restaurant for Bees Is Now Open

It’s always a joy to travel the world, see different sights, and explore foreign cultures. One of the reasons we travel is to see things that are different from what’s familiar to us. However, some things are all over the world, and one of those is the famous fast-food chain McDonald’s.

Now the restaurant has just done something most marvelous – it’s opened up a new restaurant!

“Now, wait a minute,” you may be thinking. “What’s so novel about that?” Well, this isn’t just any McDonald’s. This one is ‘the world’s smallest’ McDonald’s, and was created just for bees.

Though it’s obviously not serving food since it was created to be a beehive, the detail is amazing. McDonald’s cut no corners with their smallest of restaurants, providing it with signage, seating, drive-thru bays, and the famous golden arches.

This tiny restaurant in Sweden is the first of what the company hopes to be many, many – thousands, even – beehive McDonald’s. This first is a tribute to all of the Swedish McDonald’s, many of which have beehives on their roofs as an effort to assuage the effects of global warming.

Earth can’t live without bees

Bees play an absolutely crucial role in our planet’s ecosystem. They pollinate three quarters of our planet, but the bee population has experienced a serious decline as a result of pesticides and climate change. And no bees means no food.

McDonald’s currently has over 37,000 restaurants open all over the world, and if every one of those hosts a beehive, the positive impact could potentially be astronomical. The company hopes, therefore, that the initiative is taken up not just by Sweden but by every McDonald’s restaurant.

Christoffer Rönnblad, marketing director of McDonald’s Sweden, described it as a ‘great idea’.

According to Adweek, he said: “We have a lot of really devoted franchisees who contribute to our sustainability work, and it feels good that we can use our size to amplify such a great idea as beehives on the rooftops.”

The danger of pesticides to bees

Just last year, a ban on pesticides was put into effect by the EU just after the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reported that neonicotinoids were a serious threat to bees, no matter where or how they were used.

Vytenis Andriukaitis, the EU commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “The Commission had proposed these measures months ago, on the basis of the scientific advice from the European Food Safety Authority.

“Bee health remains of paramount importance for me since it concerns biodiversity, food production and the environment.”

It’s always a joy to travel the world, see different sights, and explore foreign cultures. One of the reasons we travel is to see things that are different from what’s familiar to us. However, some things are all over the world, and one of those is the...

Health Inspiring Stories Lifestyle

3 Ways to Avoid Burnout When You’re Trying To ‘Do It All’

There are certain times in life that call for us to be constantly busy, struggling to balance all the things on our plate all at once. While it cannot be avoided, burnout can! It’s the times that you feel you haven’t a minute to spare to take care of yourself that it’s more important than ever that you do.

Maybe you’re running your kids around while simultaneously juggling everything at home in addition to working a part-time job. The only rest is when your head hits the pillow for those few sweet hours late at night before you’re back at it early the next morning. Your kids and loved ones need you, so what can you do?

Phases like these are what I like to call “soldiering.” Let me be clear, however, that soldiering is not a negative thing. It shows strength and momentum, self-discipline to get done what needs to be done and love for those you do it for. Sometimes, it’s sacrificing what you want for the sake of others, putting yourself second. All this is okay.

Soldiering isn’t a phase that’s meant to last forever. You can only press on with such energy for so long, so know that an end is in sight and that you can carry on until then. And at the end, you can pause to look back at all your hard work has accomplished.

If this is a stage you’ve found yourself in before or are in right now, here are three things to keep in mind to keep from burning out.

  1. Acknowledge that you are soldiering.

Soldiering becomes much more manageable when you acknowledge that’s the state you are in. When you have life on autopilot, you miss out on what goes on day-to-day; you’re not fully present to those around you. But when you’re able to acknowledge to yourself and those around you that you are doing what needs to be done, clarity comes, and you’re able to think through the outcome – the reason you’re in this phase of soldiering to begin with.

  1. Practice self-awareness.

We often avoid self-awareness more than we practice it; sometimes, taking a close look at yourself is just plain scary – we’d rather go on, blissful and ignorant to what is really going on within us. So, self-awareness rarely comes naturally.

But when you habitually make yourself do it, you notice more your behaviours, your reactions, why you feel the way you do. You have insight to see why your environment or your hectic schedule affects you the way it does, both physically and emotionally.

As you look within and understand yourself better, you can make more informed and conscious decisions and impact the quality of your life and relationships positively – both during your soldiering phase as well as when your pace slows.

  1. Take time for self-care.

Yes, it’s appropriate to put others first, to be selfless, but if we don’t take time to care for ourselves, we end up having little to give others. We often feel guilty doing things for ourselves or feel that it shouldn’t be a priority during busy times, but self-care is crucial.

During times like these, you become so energy-depleted and so emotionally drained. There’s no way to continue on if you don’t intentionally replenish and restore these! Take time to grab your favorite meal, read a novel, take a nature walk, or whatever it is that allows your mind and body to rest and recuperate. Just a few moments doing something restorative gives you the energy to tackle each new day afresh!

This season of soldiering won’t last forever, but while it does, utilize these tips to give you strength and help you cope!

There are certain times in life that call for us to be constantly busy, struggling to balance all the things on our plate all at once. While it cannot be avoided, burnout can! It’s the times that you feel you haven’t a minute to spare to take care of...

Fashion Inspiring Stories

High School Junior Makes Dream Prom Dress for Date

When it comes to our High School prom, we all know how big and important it makes us feel. For a lot of kids, it’s one of those nights that they look back on with lifelong affection. Sadly, like most events we go to as teens and kids, our proms are often places where a lot of judgments about people are made.

How expensive your suit/dress is becoming a major part of the argument for a lot of people. Sadly, we live in a society where we rate how ‘cool’ someone is based on how much their parents can afford to spend on a dress.

However, Parker Smith wasn’t one for putting up with such nonsense. This kid, who must go down as one of the most awesome kids in his generation, decided that he wanted to do something special.

Despite having no sewing skills whatsoever, he learned the art and created the dream prom dress for his prom date. She and her family couldn’t afford to buy her the dream gown she wanted, and so Mr. Smith stepped up to the plate – and then some.

His partner for the evening, Addi Rust, couldn’t afford the dream gown that she wanted. So when she asked Parker to make the dress for her – mostly as a joke – he decided to set about doing so. Judging by the photos, he has done an absolutely amazing job on the sewing job.

He would make parts of the dress more than once in a bid to perfect the style and shape of the design. Of course, Mr. Smith didn’t do this all on his own: like any smart boy, he got help from his beloved grandmother to help him make sure it was just right!

A prom dream come true

A beautiful blue ball gown came into being, then, and Addi was able to head off to prom looking absolutely fantastic – while being at prom date with one of the best up-and-coming young sewers in the community, from the looks of things!

He kept adding more and more to it, eventually creating an endearing and creative dress that perfectly achieved the aim: making Addi very happy on her big evening. Addi knew what it was going to look like throughout the process, as Parker kept her up-to-date on the entire process.

She even praised him on social media for his amazing attention to detail, and for creating a wonderful prom dress that, clearly, made her very happy indeed. Remember girls, if you’re going to get a prom date, make sure it’s a guy who has the skills and the self-belief to create an outfit for you!

Playing right up to his role as Prince Charing, he even played the role of slipping on a white heel onto her fool – a proper Cinderella story that we can all enjoy!

When it comes to our High School prom, we all know how big and important it makes us feel. For a lot of kids, it’s one of those nights that they look back on with lifelong affection. Sadly, like most events we go to as teens and kids, our proms are often...

Inspiring Stories

Billionaire Pays Off Student Loans in Act of Kindness

In a world that is as rampantly unequal as the world we live in, it’s easy to feel disdain for the haves and the have-nots. It’s a world that can feel really unfair at times, as we watch people earning millions of pounds per year take control of every industry.

We sit back and watch the become increasingly unequal, and it creates a natural and understandable bitterness towards the ‘billionaire class’ – but, from time to time, we get some solid proof that not all billionaires are the loveless, empathy-free caricatures they are often made out to be.

Take the story of Robert F. Smith, a popular billionaire. He went down to Morehouse College to see the graduating class of 2019 and congratulate them for their success. More importantly, he gave them a wonderful parting gift: he paid of all of their student loans.

During his commencement speech, the billionaire started and said: “Men of Morehouse, you are surrounded by a community of people who have helped you arrive at this sacred place on this sacred day,

“On behalf of the eight generations of my family who have been in this country, we’re gonna put a little fuel in your bus. This is my class, 2019. And my family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans.”

Lifting the Burden

Now, for those who think that might be a small gesture, estimates reckon this covers as many as 400 graduates – and could be as much as $40m in total to cover the costs. That’s a truly incredible sum of money to donate to people who he has never met before in his life.

We’re often told we should be thankful because some super-rich individual has donated a relatively small portion of money to a good cause. To spend $40m of your own money lifting one of the biggest burdens on the next generation of successful students, though, is nothing short of incredible.

Robert F. Smith is a graduate of Cornell University and Columbia Business School. He made his money as a smart investor when he was CEO at Vista Equity Partners. He managed to become the wealthiest African American, with a net worth of over $4bn. While that’s an eye-watering sum of money, it’s nice to see such an act of kindness carried out with that money, helping those who really need the support.

When asked to comment on the act of generosity, President of Morehouse College David Thomas remarked: “Robert Smith has set an example that others will follow, not just for Morehouse but for other historically black colleges and universities.”

In a world that is as rampantly unequal as the world we live in, it’s easy to feel disdain for the haves and the have-nots. It’s a world that can feel really unfair at times, as we watch people earning millions of pounds per year take control of every...

Inspiring Stories Science

NASA Finds Beresheet Impact Location on Moon

When NASA carried out a large chunk of its unmanned missions away from our planet, we are often waiting a long time to find out the results of the study.

One particular conclusion that we often hear is that there has been some form of crash, or that the particular probe or unit has been left to its own devices. A fine example of this was on the 11th April mission when SpaceIL sent up the Israeli Beresheet spacecraft.

This first-ever private spacecraft made it to the moon but had problems in the final phase of landing and crashed. Therefore, it was left on the moon with no real way of being able to save it.

NASA used its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to look out for the Beresheet and has now found it on the Moon. They took a snap of the point of impact, with the LROC taking a shot around 56 miles from the surface. They found a 10-meter wide smudge on the ground which, according to the experts, is the point of crash for the Beresheet.

It’s uncertain if it left a crater, or if it just dented the surface. More investigation and close-up imagery would be needed to help confirm that particular information. According to NASA, though, it’s possible that the crater the little spacecraft left behind could be ‘too small’ to have left a full crater, saying: “It’s possible the crater is just too small to show up in photos,

“Another possibility is that Beresheet formed a small indent instead of a crater, given its low angle of approach, light mass (compared to a dense meteoroid of the same size), and low velocity (again, relative to a meteoroid of the same size; Beresheet’s speed was still faster than most speeding bullets).”

Good Shot

The LRO camera which managed to get the shot has been circling the moon for around a decade. It passes a part of the Earth satellite on a twice-per-month basis, once during the lunar day and once during the lunar evening. By using a series of wide-angle and narrow-angle cameras, this manages to capture some pretty spectacular shots.

This latest find, though, could be a quite important one for making sure that in the future we know exactly where important tools sent up to the Moon have vanished.

According to NASA, though, it’s important to note that the landing site is not yet conclusive. As they mentioned, the fine soil particles which came up during descent could have created a highly reflective surface.

Others suggest that it would be gas that has come from the crash. Either way, NASA noted: “There are many clues that we’re actually looking at a man-made crater instead of a meteoroid-caused one,

“This is an important consideration, since the Moon, having no atmosphere, is constantly bombarded by space rocks that leave craters.”

So, while we might not get a definitive answer until it passes again in late May, at the moment it looks like we know where the Beresheet has landed.

When NASA carried out a large chunk of its unmanned missions away from our planet, we are often waiting a long time to find out the results of the study.

One particular conclusion that we often hear is that there has been some form of crash, or that the...

Humans Are Awesome Inspiring Stories

Apollo 11 Moon Landing Instruction Manual For Sale

This is going to head up for auction in the near future. The instruction manual that was used by Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong to get to the moon in 1969 is going up for auction. It’s expected to fetch around $9m and will go on sale at an auction at Christie’s.

In life, the modern demand for money means that we often see items we would class as priceless being sold for cheap sums of money. People selling off prized sporting medals, celebrities selling off old guitars, that kind of thing. Poverty, and rising from poverty to fame, can see people make decisions that are based on their immediate needs.

It’s easy to see how it happens, too; what use is memorabilia if you cannot eat tonight? Sometimes, though, you see something go up for auction that simply shocks you. Like the instruction manual for the Apollo 11 moon landing.

This space-themed auction is going to have some amazing things up for sale, with some of it going for millions, all in the name of celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.

The book, named The Apollo 11 Lunar Module Timeline Book, was part of the reason why those two men got to the moon and back. We have to admit, though, it’s funny, the concept of two men reading an instruction manual to work it out the same way you would with a new washing machine or chainsaw.

It’s got all of the sales pitch that you need, too, such as the fact that it seemingly sat between the two fellas when Armstrong said those famous words: ‘The Eagle has landed.’

A huge piece of human history

Going to the Moon, then, was one of the major moments of the previous century. In a century dominated by war and bloodlust, it was a rare moment of human achievement that would make you cheer rather than cry. This book, then, seemingly played a key role in helping such an amazing achievement take place to begin with.

Indeed, there is even a section within the book that speaks about whether or not the astronauts should just stay on the Moon. According to the Head of Books and Manuscripts at Christie’ America, Christina Geiger, it’s ‘almost like a choose your own adventure,’

With around 150 annotations included within the book, too, many people find it quite exciting to be able to see the mind of these men at work.

Traces of what is seemingly ‘lunar dust’ has been found on the pages, too, as well as all manner of other interesting pieces of information and minor factoids that we are sure will be of huge interest to those who grew up watching this momentous moment in history take place.

Without doubt, this is going to be one of the most in-demand items to have ever been put up for auction from this most incredible feat of human achievement: a reminder of what we can do when we aren’t all bickering.

This is going to head up for auction in the near future. The instruction manual that was used by Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong to get to the moon in 1969 is going up for auction. It’s expected to fetch around $9m and will go on sale at an auction at...

Inspiring Stories

Emotional Reunion as Irish Woman, 81, Finally Meets Her Mother, 103

81-year-old Eileen Macken from Dublin has finally found her birth mother.  Eileen was raised in an orphanage in Dublin and started her search for her mother over 60 years ago, when she was just 19.

Sadly Eileen had not been successful until one day she was contacted by a genealogist after appearing on RTÉ Radio 1′s Liveline.  The genealogist had tracked Eileen’s mother and found her living in Scotland.

Last month Eileen traveled to Scotland accompanied by her husband, daughter, and son-in-law and finally met up with her mother, now 103.

Macken revisited the radio show and spoke to the host, Joe Duffy, in a follow-up show after meeting her mother, Elizabeth.  She said she had been given a warm welcome both from Elizabeth herself and her family.

Despite having never met the two women had a bond and spent some time chatting.  Elizabeth is due to celebrate her 104th birthday this weekend.  Eileen did not stay too long because of Elizabeth’s advanced age but said that she was really kind and a fantastic woman.

She went on to thank the Liveline team and the genealogist for making their reunion happen, saying that she still felt like she was floating on a cloud and wondered if she would ever come down.

81-year-old Eileen Macken from Dublin has finally found her birth mother.  Eileen was raised in an orphanage in Dublin and started her search for her mother over 60 years ago, when she was just 19.

Sadly Eileen had not been successful until one day she was...

Humans Are Awesome Inspiring Stories

Celebrated SF Sculptor Ruth Asawa Honored with Google Doodle

On Tuesday, April 30, Ruth Asawa was memorialized with the online tribute of a Google Doodle. Asawa is a celebrated San Francisco sculptor who already has a public high school named after her and a day each year in her honor.

The Google Doodle appeared on 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 30 and ended the following night at 9 p.m, also the first day of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. For those 24 hours, anyone doing a Google search would see Asawa threading one of her trademark wire baskets. The search box was also illustrated in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Israel.

The logo shows Asawa kneeling on a carpet applying overhead stitching to a crochet wire basket with four more completed ones hanging alongside it, a bit like Chinese lanterns or Christmas ornaments. The unsigned color drawing was designed by Google staff artist Alyssa Winans.

Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page began the Google Doodle in 1998 when they first played around with their corporate logo to suggest they attended Burning Man. Since they began this fun and meaningful tradition, 2,000 or so doodles have been chosen and created by the Google Doodle Team.

Graduated in an Internment cap

When she was a teenager, Asawa was included in the internment of Japanese Americans living on the West Coast during World War II and began her artistic training from other internees. She graduated high school in 1943 while in an internment camp in Arkansas, which then allowed her to leave and go to college. Asawa studied at Black Mountain College in North Carolina but eventually moved to San Francisco, where she and her husband, architect Albert Lanier, raised six children.

It was Asawa’s doing that produced a public arts high school in San Francisco, founded in 1982. She was a faithful advocate of the study of the arts. Since its founding, the San Francisco School of the Arts was renamed the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts in 2010. Feb. 12 has been Ruth Asawa Day in San Francisco since 1982.

However, Asawa died at 87 in 2013. Her work continues to be represented through permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the de Young Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, plus several works of public art throughout San Francisco. The Doodle itself provides a biography of her life.

The Japanese American Internment Memorial Sculpture in San Jose and the Garden of Remembrance, which includes boulders representative of 10 internment camps, at San Francisco State University are just a couple of the permanent installations that memorialize her and her work.

“She was most proud of what she did in the public schools,” said her son, Paul Lanier, “and having so many people see the Google banner will draw their attention to learn more about her.”

On Tuesday, April 30, Ruth Asawa was memorialized with the online tribute of a Google Doodle. Asawa is a celebrated San Francisco sculptor who already has a public high school named after her and a day each year in her honor.

The Google Doodle appeared on 9...

Inspiring Stories Science

Utah Non-profit DNA Testing Lab to ‘Revolutionize Cold Cases’

The Utah Cold Case Coalition, a non-profit in Utah, just signed a lease for lab space in an office building in the city of Murray where they plan to build a DNA testing lab that will completely transform how cold cases are handled. The non-profit was first formed to bring attention to the cold case murder of six-year-old Rose Tapia in 1995, and it wholly relies on volunteer staff.

According to the Salt Lake City Tribune, its co-founder Karra Porter, a defense attorney, said, “This is going to revolutionize cold cases across the United States. We saw this need and it was too big to ignore.”

An estimated 103,780 of the murders that have occurred in America between 1996 and 2016 remain unsolved, said a report by the U.S. Department of Justice. In the state of Utah, The Utah Department of Public Safety website has recorded about 400 cold cases that run the gamut from missing persons to murders to unidentified bodies.

Crowd Funding

Porter hopes to begin by helping solve Utah’s cold case and moving from there to help police all over the country. The coalition launched a GoFundMe page with a beginning goal of $81,000 and hopes to raise a total of $200,000 for DNA lab equipment.

The GoFundMe page says: “Despite being staffed by volunteers, we’re one of the most creative and aggressive cold case organizations in the U.S. We began in Utah, but are now contacted by families and law enforcement throughout the country.  Early on, we learned how much evidence has not undergone DNA testing due to its high cost.  We’re doing something about it.”

Francine Bardole pointed out to the Tribune that the department has an enormous backlog of untested DNA, rape kids, and more and that DNA testing could take anywhere from 8 to 18 months. According to a police investigator in the Utah city of West Jordan, a DNA lab would help immensely to lessen the time and cost it takes to deal with cold cases.

“The price can be overwhelming,” Bardole said, adding that going to a private lab can cost about $6,000.

She asked, “How many departments can afford to pay, on one case, $6,000?”

The Utah legislature passed a law last year that required law enforcement agencies to enter cold cases or any cases that go unsolved for at least three years into the database.

The Utah Cold Case Coalition, a non-profit in Utah, just signed a lease for lab space in an office building in the city of Murray where they plan to build a DNA testing lab that will completely transform how cold cases are handled. The non-profit was first...

Humans Are Awesome Inspiring Stories Lifestyle

How Tinder Had A Hand in The New Diverse Couple Emoji Selection

Emojis have become crucial in the way we communicate. More and more, these pictographs are used to depict what we’re feeling, what we’re saying, and even who we are. This being the case, it’s of utmost importance that emojis are relevant and inclusive.

Tinder has been a force behind the creation of new interracial couples emojis. They formed a petition with over 50,000 supporters which pushed Unicode to make these emojis a reality this year.

In the Name of Love

Emojis representing people of color and people with disabilities were first released to the public in 2015. In later years, Unicode responded to the call for emojis representing non-heterosexual couples.

It was interesting that this hadn’t been done before, considering how excellent a form of communication and what a statement emojis had come to be.

Making the First Move

Tinder conducted a study that connected online dating with the increase of interracial couples and saw the necessity for improved visibility for its users. They first attempted to make a change in February 2018 when they kicked off the #represent campaign, which successfully petitioned the Unicode Consortium to be more inclusive.

 Tinder’s CMO, Jenny Campbell made a statement, “Tinder advocates for the freedom of people to live how they want to live and love who they want to love.” People from all over the world joined Tinder in their petition, resulting in over 50,000 signatures in order to have all loves represented.

Coupling Celebrated

We’ve had a small taste of what to expect once all 230 emojis are released for public use. They display a wide range of skin tone and gender. The release showed all sorts of couples smiling and holding hands, of all sorts of gender and color combinations. The new emojis are full of happy diversity.

Emojis have become crucial in the way we communicate. More and more, these pictographs are used to depict what we’re feeling, what we’re saying, and even who we are. This being the case, it’s of utmost importance that emojis are relevant and...