Finally Good News http://finallygoodnews.net Your dosage of good news and positive perspectives from the frontline Tue, 26 Sep 2017 11:22:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 http://finallygoodnews.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/cropped-finallygoodnews-logo1-32x32.png Finally Good News http://finallygoodnews.net 32 32 48449532 How to Help the Victims of Hurricane Irma http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/09/26/help-victims-hurricane-irma/ http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/09/26/help-victims-hurricane-irma/#respond Tue, 26 Sep 2017 11:22:08 +0000 http://finallygoodnews.net/?p=3099 Hurricane Irma left a swath of destruction in its wake as it tore through communities in the Caribbean Islands, the Florida Keys and then mainland Florida and South Carolina. Its raging winds and rain pummeled Cuba and the Caribbean as a category 5 hurricane, killing more than 40 people. At […]

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Hurricane Irma left a swath of destruction in its wake as it tore through communities in the Caribbean Islands, the Florida Keys and then mainland Florida and South Carolina. Its raging winds and rain pummeled Cuba and the Caribbean as a category 5 hurricane, killing more than 40 people. At least 60 people were killed by the then category 4 Irma as it flooded major population centers, including Charleston, South Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida.

One of the most soul-stirring outcomes, and perhaps the only good news in the story of these hurricanes has been the outpouring of kindness and eagerness to help. Ordinary citizens performed extraordinary feats to save perfect strangers. Without citizen action, it is highly likely that many more deaths would have resulted from these devastating hurricanes.

Irma has gone out to Sea, Now What?

This is the perfect time to get involved in assisting the victims of Hurricane Irma. Once storms move on and the media shifts its attention to the new story of the day, it is easy to forget about what happened. In the interim many fraud fundraising drives have been initiated, as well as charity events or calls to action by fraudsters.

If you want to help the victims of Hurricane Irma, there are four basic categories of assistance that are required: blood, money, shelter, and time. Here are a few ways to get involved.

Donations

If you would like to write a check or give a cash donation to assist the victims of Hurricane Irma, carefully identify a legitimate list of public and private sector relief agencies. For instance, United Way has several chapters active in the impacted Florida communities. United Way of Miami-Dade and United Way of Broward County, which has partnered with the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, are in need of donations to enable them to provide direct relief to hurricane victims. The Miami Foundation has initiated a special fund that is assisting victims of Hurricane Irma in Florida and in the Caribbean Islands, particularly Barbuda and the U.S. Virgin Islands, both of which were assaulted again by Hurricane Maria.

Religious Institutions

All Florida religious institutions are involved in the effort to provide basic services to Irma’s victims, including Catholic Charities, Muslim Federation and the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. These charities need your financial support to deliver food, clothing, and water to hurricane victims. Also delivering food to hurricane victims is Food for the Poor, a nonprofit with an established track record of providing food to the poor in the Caribbean and Latin American communities. It is now fulfilling the same role closer to home. Many other Florida nonprofits are engaged in the effort, such as Bridge to Hope which is focused on the most vulnerable of the hurricane’s victims—the elderly, homeless and chronically impoverished.

Shelter

If you have space in your home there are two amazing platforms where you can offer housing for Irma’s victims. You can put a listing on Airbnb or HomeAway, both of which have set up special portals for people to list their homes for the benefit of hurricane victims. You can also alert the Red Cross and other foundations operating in the Florida area if you have a spare room or you are a landlord and have empty apartments.

Time

If you want to volunteer your time and help rebuild communities, get in touch with the Red Cross. Additionally, all of the relief agencies listed above need volunteer manpower to deliver food, diapers, bottled water, clothing, toys, and other supplies to the victims of Hurricane Irma, many of whom are still in shelters.

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A Robo-bartender serves up a Mean Bloody Mary in Las Vegas http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/09/17/robo-bartender/ http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/09/17/robo-bartender/#respond Sun, 17 Sep 2017 07:45:31 +0000 http://finallygoodnews.net/?p=3092 Internet of Things Hits the Bar The world appears to be operating in high-tech hyper-speed. Every day a new technology is disrupting long-standing paradigms and pushing us further into new frontiers. The emergence of Internet of Things (IoT) has brought good news to millions of people around the world and […]

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Internet of Things Hits the Bar

The world appears to be operating in high-tech hyper-speed. Every day a new technology is disrupting long-standing paradigms and pushing us further into new frontiers. The emergence of Internet of Things (IoT) has brought good news to millions of people around the world and made many impossibilities possible. Restricted initially to the laboratories or pages of geek magazines, IoT has recently entered our homes, vastly improving many facets of daily existence with smart kitchen appliances, climate control gadgets, household security apps, and more. Now IoT experts are exploring new premises, among them the neighborhood bar. Meet the Robo-barman!

Robo-Barmen Deliver with Speed and Precision

Cocktail

As of July 2017 visitors to a watering hole in a Las Vegas shopping center can order their favorite cocktail from Tipsy, who they say serves an outstanding Bloody Mary. Tipsy is a Robo-barman, and he’s not the only one. Monsieur and Tended Bar are two additional brands of Robo-bartenders that can multitask and serve customers much more quickly than a human could. As a customer, all you have to do is select your drink (or cocktail) from a digital menu and within a few minutes it will be poured and served to you by the efficient robot, no questions asked. For customers, Robo-bartenders offer a cool futuristic experience, for bar owners, they offer an opportunity to cut expenses and improve the bottom line, but what about human bartenders? Should they be looking for a new line of work?

Who’ll Give You Advice on Your Love Life?

So far, the league of Robo-bartenders is small, but it could be the future. Tipsy appears to have developed quite a fan following in Vegas. Most likely the appeal is the Star Wars like experience of being served your favorite drink by a sleek robot. Nevertheless, it is still a machine, and human interaction is an essential part of the bar experience. How many have poured their hearts out to their favorite bartender, enjoyed his/her nonjudgmental yet blunt advice, or simply felt comforted by the notion that there is someone behind the bar who will let them indulge in self-pity for the night but make sure they don’t cross the red line? Well, Tipsy is not going to be so good with that aspect of the job, he isn’t programmed to do the empathy thing.

Is There a Future for the Robo-Bartender?

Robo-bartenders work great in busy environments, where there are large crowds anxious to be served quickly and fairly, uninterested in long conversations or a tattooed shoulder to cry on. Airports, hotels, sports arenas, cruise ships and shopping malls that are crowded and noisy are the perfect environment for them. They’re also great as part of a human- based team, they can certainly lighten the burden during peak hours. However, they probably will never fully replace the human bartender. As Michael Dyer, a former computer science professor at UCLA, points out, bartenders have multiple and complex tasks and robots can only perform some of them as well as humans. So choosing whether or not to automate a bar is ultimately a question of balancing costs and benefits. For those of us who still don’t have a robotic bar-tender, here is a cool Bloody Mary recipe you can easily make on your own:

Check out How to Make Fabulous Cilantro Bloody Mary’s by Claire Morgan on Snapguide.

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A 25,000 sq. feet rooftop garden makes IGA in Canada King of Green http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/08/31/iga-canada-king-of-green/ http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/08/31/iga-canada-king-of-green/#respond Thu, 31 Aug 2017 11:04:34 +0000 http://finallygoodnews.net/?p=3067 Canadian Supermarket Disrupts the Green Roof Concept When tasked by the local government with the job of making their roof green, IGA Famille Duchemin, a large supermarket in St. Laurent, Canada, decided to take things to the next level. Rather than employing green energy technologies, they built a 25,000 square […]

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Canadian Supermarket Disrupts the Green Roof Concept

When tasked by the local government with the job of making their roof green, IGA Famille Duchemin, a large supermarket in St. Laurent, Canada, decided to take things to the next level. Rather than employing green energy technologies, they built a 25,000 square foot organic garden on the roof of their store.

Buying Local

IGA Extra,boulevard Henri-Bourassa ouest, St-Laurent, Qc
The Duchemin family, owners of the store now have the distinction of creating the largest rooftop garden in Canada. This is good news for Canadians looking for the freshest fruits and vegetables. Store customers can select from the “fresh from the roof” section—better than the morning delivery from the nearest organic farm. Richard Duchemin, one of the family owners observed that consumers like to purchase from local growers. Well, it does not get more local than the store roof.

Everything Certified Organic

The IGA rooftop garden includes more than 30 different varieties of vegetables, such as kale, tomatoes, eggplant, beets, and herbs. Plants are in soil and not hydroponic. All the produce is certified organic. The garden’s irrigation system is fueled by moisture that is extracted from the store’s system of dehumidification machines, utilizing water that would have been thrown away. And, the garden’s rows are in the shape of the IGA logo, serving also as a great piece of PR for passengers flying over from Montreal’s international airport.

Not Just Vegetables

IGA has plans for the future. At present, there are eight beehives operating at full capacity in the garden, with expected production levels of around 600 jars of honey each year. This is also good news, as there has been a worldwide problem with bee populations and a drop in honey production. Store owners hope to also offer fresh cut flowers. Though the flowers are being planted primarily to assist with pest control, they will also bring beauty to the home and heart.
The Duchemin IGA is not new to being green. They have already been certified LEED Gold, achieving the highest rating possible for green buildings. The Duchemins are hoping that their store will serve as inspiration and a model for other supermarkets, restaurants, and all kinds of establishments where food is prepared or sold. Maximizing the full expanse of an establishment’s edifice, in an organic and sustainable way contributes not only to the health of consumers but to the entire planet.

Join the Revolution and Make Your Own Window Garden

You don’t have to be a major grocery store to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables grown on-site. Even if you have a small home, little extra space, and no dirt for a single plant, you can still enjoy growing your own produce. It is the best way to benefit from a clean, organic and fresh food supply. For instance, you can create a window farm, utilizing a system of recycled plastic containers, connected by tubes that transfer a constant supply of nutrient-rich liquid soil. Depending upon the amount of sunlight your home receives, you might be able to harvest your favorite fruits and vegetables year-round. Plus it will give you endless hours of enjoyment and personal satisfaction.

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Technology Developers Turn Their Eyes toward Improving Lives http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/08/15/technology-developers-turn-eyes-toward-improving-lives/ http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/08/15/technology-developers-turn-eyes-toward-improving-lives/#respond Tue, 15 Aug 2017 09:23:51 +0000 http://finallygoodnews.net/?p=3020 Technology Developers are disrupting the Healthcare Industry Healthcare technology developers are pushing the envelope of app and medical product innovation, which is very good news for consumers around the world. Advances in healthcare technologies mean healthier populations and better access to treatment when needed. It also eliminates unnecessary visits to […]

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Technology Developers are disrupting the Healthcare Industry

Healthcare technology developers are pushing the envelope of app and medical product innovation, which is very good news for consumers around the world. Advances in healthcare technologies mean healthier populations and better access to treatment when needed. It also eliminates unnecessary visits to doctors, hospitals and costly procedures.

Moving past entertainment and lifestyle apps, some of the largest technology companies in the world are expanding their creativity to saving lives. Apple, for instance, is making significant strides in their efforts to incorporate a blood sugar tracker in their Apple watch. Still, under wraps, the technology will be a life changer for millions of diabetes sufferers who must closely monitor their blood sugar levels on a routine basis. A less invasive method, such as what will be provided by Apple’s smartwatch, will be good news for diabetes patients.

Apple watch -Blood sugar tracker

Apple Watch Photo: PEXELS

Contact Lenses to Detect Diabetes

Researchers at UNIST and the Internal Medicine Department of Kyungpook National University are working on a smart contact lens that will monitor glucose levels in the wearer, serving as an early-warning system for diabetes, glaucoma, and other conditions tied to hyperglycemia. The sensors are actually electrodes constructed from transparent and highly flexible graphene sheets. There will also be a wireless antenna embedded in the sensor. The goal is that patients will be able to self-monitor their blood sugar levels and the antenna will transmit important medical data directly to their physicians.

Wearables Are Empowering Patients in Self-Care

Researchers have developed a 3D printed wearable sensor that is worn in the ear. The sensors detect fluctuations in body temperature, which if present, are transmitted via Bluetooth to a smartphone app that can be accessed by the wearer’s healthcare professional. Fluctuations in body temperature could indicate problems with metabolic function.

Some Healthcare Technology Development is More Organic

Away from the bells and whistles of wearable and 3D printing, and IoT technology is the Swedish School of Textiles where researchers are developing a reusable sanitary napkin. Scientists Lena Berglin and Karin Hogberg are working on something called SpacerPAD specifically for women in developing countries. Hogberg, who spent some time in Kenya, observed the difficulties women experience living in the slums of the country’s inner city, in crowded conditions, without access to proper materials for their menstrual cycle. The women resorted to rags, but in countries where menstruation is very much a taboo subject, even this approach causes problems. The SpacerPAD is constructed from recycled materials which means the woman can rinse it out after use and following a quick dry, she can use the same pad once again. At the end of her cycle, she can boil the pads to remove any bacterial growth.

Amazon Goes Underground with its own Research Laboratory

Even the online giant Amazon has joined the world of healthcare technology development. Their secret development laboratory, code-named 1492, is working on a number of initiatives designed to improve healthcare delivery. For instance, researchers are developing a platform that would retrieve data from electronic medical records that could be transmitted to doctors and consumers, making a channel for telemedicine. This is good news for many consumers who simply do not have the time to visit the doctor’s office, or are reluctant to go for personal reasons.

 


from CNBC.

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Helping Children With Cerebral Palsy Walk Without Pain http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/07/31/helping-children-cerebral-palsy-walk-without-pain/ http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/07/31/helping-children-cerebral-palsy-walk-without-pain/#respond Mon, 31 Jul 2017 14:31:36 +0000 http://finallygoodnews.net/?p=3003 Engineers Develop a Robotic Device to Help Children with Cerebral Palsy Cerebral Palsy (CP) is one of the most common motor disabilities in America. Worldwide, the CDC cites a prevalence factor of as much as 4 in 1,000 births. The exact cause of CP is not known, but it appears […]

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Engineers Develop a Robotic Device to Help Children with Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is one of the most common motor disabilities in America. Worldwide, the CDC cites a prevalence factor of as much as 4 in 1,000 births. The exact cause of CP is not known, but it appears to be related to brain damage that occurs either at birth or during the first three years of the child’s life. By impairing the child’s motor ability and muscle tone, CP makes it difficult and painful for the child to walk. Most are no longer able to walk at all by the time they reach the age of 30.

Learning to Walk

Engineers at Columbia University set out to improve the walking ability of children with CP. They were primarily focused on the abnormal gait which causes long-term damage and pain to their joints. The outcome of their research exceeded expectations offering very good news for the more than 500,000 children with cerebral palsy in the United States.

A Robotic Belt

The researchers and engineers at Columbia worked with a study group of six boys who were between the ages of 9 to 19. All of them were exhibiting something known as “crouch gait”, which develops due to muscle deterioration. The robotic belt was filled with weights and attached to the boys who then walked on a treadmill. The weights actually made walking more difficult, but it was hoped that the robotic belt would strengthen the muscles in their calves. There were 15 sessions over the course of 6 weeks. During each session, the boys would walk once on the treadmill with the belt and once without it.

Developer Dr. Heakyung Kim says that they achieved even more than they hoped. At the end of the six-week training program, the boys demonstrated a completely different pattern of walking. Their strides were more normal in length and they were less flat-footed, all of which meant less frequent falls. One of the participants was able to give up his walker, needing only crutches.

Dr. Kim hopes that through this device, patients with Cerebral Palsy may gain an additional 20-30 years of walking ability.

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Solar-Powered Tents for the Homeless http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/07/24/solar-powered-tents-for-the-homeless/ http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/07/24/solar-powered-tents-for-the-homeless/#respond Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:17:35 +0000 http://finallygoodnews.net/?p=2995 #wegetitdone: Girls from San Fernando Fight Back against Homelessness Daniela Orozco was moved by the dramatic increase in the number of homeless people in her city. She says that in her freshman year, she would pass perhaps one such individual on her daily walk to school. However, four years later, […]

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#wegetitdone: Girls from San Fernando Fight Back against Homelessness

Daniela Orozco was moved by the dramatic increase in the number of homeless people in her city. She says that in her freshman year, she would pass perhaps one such individual on her daily walk to school. However, four years later, she observed a significant increase in the homeless population, seeing them along the highways and under bridges where she lives just outside of Los Angeles.

Reacting Through Action

This painful reality galvanized Daniela and ten of her classmates to get involved. They wanted to do something meaningful for the homeless, but seeing as they did not come from wealthy families, their contribution had to be something other than money. The solution they came up with is not only useful, it is inspiring: A solar-powered tent that can fold up and fit into a backpack.

A Contribution Much Better Than Money

With no engineering experience, the girls relied upon Google, YouTube and other online sites to help them with the development of the tent. Chelly Chavez, one of the team members, learned to program from online resources in order to develop the programming language necessary to control the technical aspects of the tent. According to their teacher, there was also quite a bit of trial and error, all of which fed into the immense learning process that these girls engaged in.

Empowering Girls to be Engineers

The team won a $10,000 grant from the Lemelson-MIT program to help them develop this amazing invention that they hope will improve the lives of homeless people throughout the country. They worked under the wing of DIY Girls, an intervention program that seeks to bring more girls into the mathematics, sciences and engineering fields.

In mid-June, they presented their invention at the MIT Young Inventors Conference. So far, they have designed and built two prototypes, though there is only one solar tent that remains in tact, the first was practically destroyed during quality control. The second, however, is much sturdier. The girls are currently focused on getting the tents to mass production, which will be good news for the homeless who must deal with severe weather conditions throughout the year.


These Twelve Teen Girls Invented And Spend… by APlus

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Erasing Cell Memory Could be the Cure for Allergies http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/06/29/erasing-cell-memory-cure-allergies/ http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/06/29/erasing-cell-memory-cure-allergies/#respond Thu, 29 Jun 2017 13:52:36 +0000 http://finallygoodnews.net/?p=2991 Could a One-Time Shot Cure Allergy Sufferers? Millions of allergy sufferers around the world were treated to good news earlier this month. A new study out of Australia’s University of Queensland published in JCI Insight, promises the potential of a one-time injection that will permanently turn off the immune response […]

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Could a One-Time Shot Cure Allergy Sufferers?

Millions of allergy sufferers around the world were treated to good news earlier this month. A new study out of Australia’s University of Queensland published in JCI Insight, promises the potential of a one-time injection that will permanently turn off the immune response to allergens. At this point, the research has been limited to asthma, but scientists are hopeful that it can be applied across the board for a host of other allergies, such as peanuts, bee pollen, shellfish and other foods that sometimes trigger life-threatening reactions.

Erasing the Memory of Immune Cells

As the scientists were working on blood stem cells, they discovered that the trigger memory that produces an autoimmune response to allergens could actually be deleted. By using gene therapy they could, in essence, erase the memory of the immune cells, and as a result, eliminate the response to the allergen when the allergic person is next exposed to it. According to lead scientist Professor Ray Steptoe, asthma attacks or allergy flare-ups are based on our immune cells’ reaction to the protein that resides in the allergen. Desensitizing the immune system could protect us against allergens for the rest of our lives.

This is good news especially for children suffering from peanut allergies. Peanuts are commonly found in a wide variety of popular foods, and in some cases, just to the smell of peanuts can activate the allergy. These circumstances have precipitated laws in schools across America that forbid bringing peanuts or peanut products to school. If there is a viable mechanism that could prevent the allergic response from occurring, kids and parents would be able to breathe easily, no longer having any fear of peanuts in the classroom.

There’s Still A Long Way to Go

To date, the study has been conducted only on mice with asthma. The next step will be to test the procedure on human cells. According to the research team, roughly five more years of laboratory testing are required in order to produce a procedure that is suitable for human trials. If all goes well, in the 2020s allergy sufferers will be able to the doctor’s office only once and simply get a shot similar to a flu shot which will protect them against allergic reactions for the rest of their lives.

 

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Tesla’s Solar Roof Tiles Come with an Infinity Warranty http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/06/14/teslas-solar-roof/ http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/06/14/teslas-solar-roof/#respond Wed, 14 Jun 2017 09:05:02 +0000 http://finallygoodnews.net/?p=2984 Elon Musk Wants Every House to Power its Own Electricity Elon Musk, a man on a mission to redefine the paradigm of transportation on earth and in outer space, may have just about the best name recognition of any corporate executive today. He and his company, Tesla Motors, where he […]

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Elon Musk Wants Every House to Power its Own Electricity
Elon Musk

Elon Musk

Elon Musk, a man on a mission to redefine the paradigm of transportation on earth and in outer space, may have just about the best name recognition of any corporate executive today. He and his company, Tesla Motors, where he serves as CEO and Chairman is involved in pushing the envelope on everything from space travel and colonization of Mars to solar energy and artificial intelligence. Musk’s eclectic mix of visioning and strategic pursuit is good news for global efforts to neutralize the impact of climate change through the use of sophisticated and easily deployable green technologies. Musk’s most recent announcement is the Tesla solar roof.

Cheaper Than a Regular Roof

In a series of Tweets, Elon Musk announced that orders for Tesla’s revolutionary solar roof hardware is ready to hit the marketplace. The solar roof tiles will be available around the world, with deliveries anticipated in the US by the end of 2017 and to international markets in early 2018. And, on top of everything Musk promises an “infinity warranty.” Infinity—a warranty that lasts forever. Now this is definitely good news for everyone ready to make an investment in green technology, but not able to afford continuous upgrades and repairs. According the company’s site, the “glass tiles are so durable they are warrantied for the lifetime of your house, or infinity, whichever comes first.” If so, then the solar tile roof will definitely be cheaper than a conventional roof which has to be repaired and replaced over time.

Efficient and Stylish

Tesla’s initial solar tiles will cost approximately $21.85 per square foot, which is great news because an earlier Consumer Reports article had predicted a price of $24.50 per square foot, making it much less competitive against traditional roofing tiles. The initial style offerings will be a smooth and textured black glass and a curved and reddish, Tuscan style, meant to mimic slate. The tiles will be constructed of three layers of solar capturing material, meant to maximize the amount of capture. The top layer will be made of tempered glass, inside is a “highly efficient” solar cell and the bottom layer is a specially designed film, which will make the tiles invisible from the ground. Much effort has been spent to design the tiles so they are transparent from above, allowing maximum amount of solar energy to enter, yet opaque from below or when walking to the side of the house, so that the panels blend in, maintaining the aesthetic integrity of the home.

Calculate Your Costs vs Savings

According to Consumer Reports the total price tag for installing the new Tesla solar panel roof would be around $73,500, including the costs of installation. Tesla suggests the solar tiles will generate enough electricity to power your house. Some studies will have to be conducted once the solar tiles are actually in use, but if this proves to be true, it will be good news for consumers and the environment. Before purchasing, Tesla provides customers with a solar roof calculator to determine if their investment is going to reap a good return.

Initial sales will be conducted only online, with plans to introduce to bricks and mortar retailers later. Much depends upon consumer reaction, but it is already good news.

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Good News for Dagestan’s Gifted and Talented Students http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/05/29/good-news-dagestans-gifted-talented-students/ http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/05/29/good-news-dagestans-gifted-talented-students/#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 11:33:24 +0000 http://finallygoodnews.net/?p=2975 Nurturing the Young Minds of Gifted and Talented Children in Dagestan Dagestan is well known for its civil unrest and lack of physical security. Located in the North Caucuses, with Chechnya, Azerbaijan, and Georgia as neighbors, the Dagestan population is intimately familiar with terrorist attacks and living in fear. The […]

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Nurturing the Young Minds of Gifted and Talented Children in DagestanDagestan Map

Dagestan is well known for its civil unrest and lack of physical security. Located in the North Caucuses, with Chechnya, Azerbaijan, and Georgia as neighbors, the Dagestan population is intimately familiar with terrorist attacks and living in fear. The Center for Gifted Children is a radical and refreshing departure from this narrative which is good news for the future generations of this war-torn country.
An impressive delegation of dignitaries, businessmen, academics, and philanthropists assembled at Dagestan State Technical University, for the center’s opening event. Among the VIPS in attendance were the Chairman of the Republic of Dagestan, Ramazan Abdulatipov and Deputy Chairman, Ekaterina Tolstikova, the Minister of Education and Science for Dagestan, Shahabas Shakhov, Representative of the Russian Federation Council, Suleyman Kerimov, and the President of Dagestan State Technical University, Tagir Ismailov. The ribbon cutting ceremony was followed by a tour of the center and a brief introduction to the first group of children to attend and enjoy the center’s facilities.

Nurturing Young Gifted Minds

If you wish to imagine the center and its potential, just think of a junior tech hub full of bright, curious and playful minds. The Center for Gifted Children will closely resemble a startup incubator that nurtures and encourages young entrepreneurial thinkers to become the innovators of tomorrow. The Head of Dagestan State Technical University, Tagir Ismailov, said it is important to identify and support young gifted and talented children, especially in the critical areas of science and mathematics. “We are pleased that we have such a beautiful center in the republic,” he told the group of supporters.

For the children, the center will be a place to stimulate and celebrate creativity, reach for higher and higher goals, bravely face the challenges they meet, and realize their full potential. Equally important to the educational mission of the center is its promise that no gifted child will be denied the opportunity to achieve because of geographic distance, transportation difficulties or financial condition.

Currently, there are 352 educational institutions across the republic of Dagestan, with a total enrollment of approximately 210,000 students. However, to identify gifted young minds hidden in such a large student body is an arduous task. Ramazan Abdulatipov applauded the hard work of the center’s organizers in creating such an enriching educational environment in a very short period of time. He thanked the founding team for their tireless and focused efforts to build such a special place to nourish the minds of Russia’s next generation of scientists, mathematicians, artists and athletes.

Ensuring Diversity

The President of Dagestan State Technical University emphasized a different and no less important benefit the center will offer the attending children, who will come from all parts of Dagestan to learn together. They will not only be developing their intellectual talent but also learning how to move past differences, listen to their peers and engage in respectful communication. And diversity is not restricted to the students. Teachers, mentors, and specialists were purposefully recruited from throughout the Dagestan republic.

Looking Forward

The Center for Gifted Children was the brainchild of Suleyman Kerimov and Ramazan Abdulatipov. They involved major local universities in the project, both academically and financially in order to promise the stability required for the center’s continuous development and growth. The initial body of 75 students, who were chosen based on their aptitude in a variety of disciplines, will be divided into five learning groups of 15 students each. A summer session is in the planning stage and next year the center will be on full schedule.

It was a day with much good news for the students, parents, community and political leaders of Dagestan, and for the future of this stormy region.

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Congo’s Sea Turtles at Risk, Gertler Family Foundation Steps In http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/05/24/congos-sea-turtles-risk-gertler-family-foundation-steps/ http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/05/24/congos-sea-turtles-risk-gertler-family-foundation-steps/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 07:42:11 +0000 http://finallygoodnews.net/?p=2968 Saving the Congo’s Sea Turtles Probably when you think of the Congo, an image of sea turtles is not the first thing that comes to mind. However, these large creatures of the sea have been swimming along the Congo’s 23-mile long coastline for millions of years. Almost on the verge […]

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Saving the Congo’s Sea Turtles

Probably when you think of the Congo, an image of sea turtles is not the first thing that comes to mind. However, these large creatures of the sea have been swimming along the Congo’s 23-mile long coastline for millions of years. Almost on the verge of extinction, the Congolese government, environmental groups, and passionate advocates launched a targeted program to save the Congo’s sea turtles.

Sea Turtles Face Constant Threats

Until 1992, it was legal for Congolese to catch sea turtles. They were such a favorite dish of the locals, that the species almost become extinct. In 1992 a law that prohibits catching and killing sea turtles in the Congo was passed and a turtle conservation project began, as a part of the establishment of the 187,000 acre Mangrove Marine Park. however, word was slow to filter down to the general public, and the sea turtles continued to be poached by hunters. Lacking sufficient funds, the Congolese government was unable to implement a comprehensive public education campaign, the absence of which meant that many well-meaning Congolese were not even aware that it was illegal to catch the sea turtles.

But, poaching is not the only threat the Congo’s sea turtles face. Thousands drown after becoming caught in fishing nets. Pollution from garbage and effluents poisons their water. Rising sea levels due to beach erosion and coastal development mean that female sea turtles have less and less safe places in which to build nests for their eggs. And, there is a high mortality rate among sea turtle hatchlings and younglings. Out of the seven species of sea turtles native to the Congo, six are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s endangered or critically endangered list.

In Defense of the Sea Turtles

The dangers to the life of the Congo’s sea turtles persisted until 2012 when Marcel Collett came on board to manage Congo’s Mangrove Marine Park. Collett, who was hired by the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature, made it a priority to re-educate the local population regarding the sea turtles and their protected species status, as well as to implement meaningful enforcement policies that would bring about a change in behavior. It hasn’t been easy because the sea turtles have been a long standing staple of the Congolese diet. Furthermore, their trade provides a source of income for poor Congolese who have no employment opportunities and suffer from poverty. A large sea turtle can net quite a healthy return for a poacher.

Giving Life to the Sea Turtles

In addition, in order to protect the fragile turtle eggs, Collet’s team conducts a very delicate operation every season. They patrol the beaches and carefully dig up nests in order to collect the eggs and bring them to special hatcheries. Once hatched the baby sea turtles are returned to the ocean surf. The program has been very effective. Since 2012, the Park has been able to save more than 60,000 baby turtles.

While Collett’s combined approach of proactive protection, raising awareness and law enforcement are clearly having a positive effect, the Mangrove Marine Park turtle project is also expensive. The government offers scarce resources and additional funding is received from public entities like the UN Development Programme and private donors like businessman Dan Gertler, of the Gertler Family Foundation, making it possible to continue this important activity despite the minimal state support. There are also new challenges like the rising tides along the Congo coastline, but the Park manager, his devoted staff, and financial backers are not the types to give up in face of a challenge, they are already drawing up potential plans and contemplating various solutions to keep the sea turtles safe.

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