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  • Breve historia de mi vida - Stephen Hawking May 23, 2017
    La mente maravillosa de Stephen Hawking ha deslumbrado al mundo entero revelando los misterios del universo. Ahora, por primera vez, el cosmólogo más brillante de nuestra era explora, con una mirada reveladora, su propia vida y evolución intelectual. Breve historia de mi vida cuenta el sorprendente viaje de Stephen Hawking desde su niñez […]
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  • La teoría del todo - Stephen W. Hawking May 23, 2017
    Una manera clara y amena de acercarse a los misterios del universo. En esta esclarecedora obra, el gran físico británico Stephen Hawking nos ofrece una historia del universo, del big bang a los agujeros negros. En siete pasos, Hawking logra explicar la historia del universo, desde las primeras teorías del mundo griego y de la época medieval hasta las más com […]
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  • Inteligencia emocional para niños. Guía práctica para padres y educadores - Mireia Golobardes Subirana & Sandra Celeiro González May 23, 2017
    ¿Cómo podemos enseñar a los más pequeños a gestionar sus emociones? ¿Cómo ayudar a nuestros hijos a mejorar en sus relaciones con los demás? ¿Cómo facilitar a nuestros alumnos su capacidad para identificar sus emociones y la de los demás y favorecer relaciones sanas y positivas, con empatía y respeto? ¿Cómo contribuir a que padres y profesores puedan también […]
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  • Tricks Any Dog Can Do! - Susan Day May 23, 2017
    This great book comes with advice and guidance as to the best way to teach these tricks. It offers more than one method which the reader can choose depending upon their own situation. There is also advice to using treats and shows you how to not end up with a treat junkie! This books is from the desk of Susan Day, a canine behaviourist. Susan teaches obedien […]
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  • La física del futuro - Michio Kaku May 23, 2017
    Un recorrido asombroso a través de los próximos cien años de revolución científica. El futuro ya se está inventando en los laboratorios de los científicos más punteros de todo el mundo. Con toda probabilidad, en 2100 controlaremos los ordenadores a través de diminutos sensores cerebrales y podremos mover objetos con el poder de nuestras mentes, la inteligenc […]
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  • Sobre la teoría de la relatividad especial y general - Albert Einstein May 23, 2017
    Entre el Electromagnetismo y la Mecánica newtoniana existe una fórmula de bisagra: la teoría de la relatividad especial y general. La importancia del nuevo marco planteado por Albert Einstein se entiende por lo siguiente: la percepción del tiempo y el espacio es relativa al observador. ¿Qué significa esto? Si usted viaja a una velocidad mayor que la de la lu […]
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  • El gran diseño - Stephen Hawking & Leonard Mlodinow May 23, 2017
    Aun antes de aparecer, este libro ha venido precedido, en todos los medios de comunicación, de una extraordinaria polémica sobre  sus conclusiones: que tanto nuestro universo como los otros muchos universos posibles surgieron de la nada, porque su creación no requiere de la intervención de ningún Dios o ser sobrenatural, sino que todos los universos pro […]
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  • ¿Cómo pensar como Sherlock Holmes? - Maria Konnikova May 23, 2017
    Ningún personaje de ficción es más conocido por sus poderes de intuición y observación que Sherlock Holmes. Pero, ¿es su inteligencia extraordinaria una invención de la ficción o podemos aprender a desarrollar estas habilidades, para mejorar nuestras vidas en el trabajo y en casa? A través de ¿ Cómo pensar como Sherlock Holmes? , la periodista y psicóloga Ma […]
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  • Ágilmente - Estanislao Bachrach May 23, 2017
    Bachrach es Doctor en biología molecular y explica el funcionamiento del cerebro. A través de ello, da consejos y herramientas para ser más creativos y felices en el trabajo y en la vida. La neurociencia es clara: el cerebro aprende hasta el último día de vida. La creatividad puede expandirse. Tu mente, mediante la aplicación de las técnicas correctas, puede […]
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  • El cisne negro. Nueva edición ampliada y revisada - Nassim Nicholas Taleb May 23, 2017
    ¿Qué es un cisne negro? Para empezar, es un suceso improbable, sus consecuencias son importantes y todas las explicaciones que se puedan ofrecer a posteriori no tienen en cuenta el azar y sólo buscan encajar lo imprevisible en un modelo perfecto. El éxito de Google y You Tube, y hasta ell 11-S, son “cisnes negros”. Para Nassim Nicholas Taleb, los cisnes negr […]
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50 Reefs Initiative Is Good News For Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are in crisis. While we might wish this were fake news, the facts are clear: without a different approach to conservation, coral reefs will continue to decline toward extinction. However, an announcement last week in Bali, Indonesia gave us some new reasons to be hopeful. Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation and The Paul G. Allen Foundation launched a new, global initiative called 50 Reefs. The initiative states it will “identify and prioritize protection efforts on the coral reefs that are least vulnerable to climate change, and also have the greatest capacity to repopulate other reefs over time.” This is a bold plan to save these extraordinary ecosystems. Has anyone ever done this before? No […]

Bundys acquitted as authorities go after Standing Rock.

The Ross Sea marine reserve, which covers 600,000 square miles of the Southern Ocean off coast of the Antarctic, will be protected from commercial fishing for the next 35 years. Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, an international consortium of governments, approved it unanimously on Thursday.

At nearly twice the size of Texas, the area is home to over 10,000 species of flora and fauna, including penguins, seals, whales, seabirds, and fish.

But Ross Sea is also important for the valuable role it plays in research on the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems.

Secretary of State John Kerry celebrated the park as “one of the last unspoiled ocean wilderness areas on the planet,” and a sign of “further proof that the world is finally beginning to understand the urgency of the threats facing our planet.”

There are some environmentalists who say the designation doesn’t go far enough. World Wildlife Foundation’s Chris Johnson noted that the agreement must be made permanent.

[…]

Kenya’s Ivory Burn Sends Clear, Striking Message

Photo: Peter Chira/African Wildlife Foundation Financial markets love predictability and hate mixed messages. When messaging is ambiguous, it can send the markets into a tailspin. The same can be said for conservation. To address the threat of the illegal wildlife trade, the message we send must be direct and unwavering. On April 30, Kenya will send a very clear message to the marketplace when it destroys its entire stockpile of ivory and rhino horn. Some will ask why Kenya is destroying its stockpile. They will argue that the government should instead petition to sell its ivory and rhino horn to raise money for conservation. They may even wonder whether it would be better to set up a permanent legal trading system, one that would price out the traffickers. The international community has conducted a 20-year experiment on the feasibility of achieving a stable and sustainable market for responsibly procured ivory. Since the 1989 international ban on ivory trade, CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) allowed several one-off ivory sales, in which southern African countries were allowed to sell their stockpiled ivory to demand countries like China and Japan. Photo: Peter Chira/African Wildlife Foundation The legal sale and influx of ivory into two of Asia’s primary ivory markets, far from satiating demand, stimulated it, and stripped away any taboos associated with buying and owning ivory. Traffickers used the legal ivory systems in countries like China and Hong Kong to launder illegal ivory and steer it toward carving factories and shop floors. A legal, international ivory trading system assumes that countries in Africa, Asia and beyond can adequately regulate and monitor trade. It assumes they will devote substantial resources and manpower to tightly restrict and regulate the system, while continuing to devote substantial resources to combat poaching and wildlife trafficking. That is why zero trade — legal or otherwise — and zero demand are the only viable options for stopping this crisis. That is why zero trade — legal or otherwise — and zero demand are the only viable options for stopping this crisis. It is why I am relieved to see that South Africa has decided against proposing legalizing trade at the upcoming CITES conference. Such a proposal would have been a waste of political capital and almost certainly would have failed. It would have divided the conservation community and key stakeholders at a time when unity is needed. We must continue to move the needle in the right direction. This is the first year since 2007 in which rhino poaching numbers in South Africa have gone down. While that does not mean we have reversed rhino poaching–South Africa is still losing more than 1,000 rhinos every year–it is marginal improvement. Why, when you finally have the numbers going in the right direction, would we consider opening up trade? The same with elephants. We are still losing more than 20,000 elephants each year in Africa. That is unsustainable and unthinkable. Kenya certainly believes so. The country’s April 30th blaze will send a direct and unwavering message to the illegal trade market that Kenya is moving toward a zero tolerance approach to wildlife crime. Photo: Peter Chira/African Wildlife Foundation Each of us has a role to play in combating the illegal wildlife trade. With so much at stake, we cannot afford to be bystanders, assuming someone else will take care of the problem. We all must act. Kenya’s burn will elevate awareness nationally and globally. Kenya is making their stand known — that elephants, rhinos and other wildlife are #WorthMoreAlive. Let us all support them in their efforts to bring an end to the illegal wildlife trade before, during and after the burn. And let us move away from sending mixed messages to those illicit markets that thrive on ambiguity and disunity. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. […]

An Important Step Forward for Our National Parks

2016 is a pretty big year for the National Park Service, its centennial anniversary, and with it comes many moments to celebrate. In February, at the Lincoln Memorial, the National Park Foundation launched our Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, a $350 million philanthropic campaign to support our national parks. While at the Lincoln Memorial, we were also proud to accept an $18.5 million contribution from David Rubenstein to restore the iconic site. This week, I am excited to see the momentum of support for America’s national parks continue through the introduction of important legislation that would bolster the National Park System for generations to come. The National Park Service Centennial provides a great opportunity for Congress to come together and explore a new, more holistic funding approach for national parks. Such an approach is reflected in the legislation, introduced by House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT). Chairman Bishop’s National Park Service Centennial Act includes provisions to increase funding for the Centennial Challenge program, establish an endowment at the National Park Foundation, and authorize annual appropriations for the National Park Foundation. The Centennial Challenge program, which requires a $1: $1 private to federal match, has a proven track record. This year Congress appropriated $15 million to the National Park Service for the program which has been matched with an additional $33 million by the National Park Foundation, Friends Groups, and other partners. This $48 million partnership will result in 69 new projects to be completed in national parks in 2016. A list of projects can be found here. That’s an impressive rate of return for taxpayers’ investment and a practice worth repeating. The National Park Service Centennial Act would fund an expansion of the Centennial Challenge by raising the price of the lifetime “Senior Pass”. The increased (and more consistent) funding will allow partners to leverage private contributions even more. The legislation would also introduce an annual “Senior Pass” for those that didn’t want to purchase a lifetime pass. The legislation also establishes an endowment, to be housed at and managed by the National Park Foundation, that would ensure long-term support for our national parks. As the non-partisan, Congressionally-chartered, nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, the Foundation is perfectly suited for this role. With an endowment, the Foundation can build a lasting source of funding that will appeal to philanthropists, especially members of the baby boomer generation, who will be undertaking the largest transfer of wealth in American history. An endowment in support of our national parks is an attractive destination for some of that money. This legislation provides seed money for the endowment through overnight fees at lodges. These are the same fees that we currently pay in hotels across the country and the legislation would reinvest the money in the parks to fund key programs and projects, improve visitor experience, and leverage more philanthropic dollars. Chairman Bishop’s National Park Service Centennial Act also authorizes annual appropriations for the National Park Foundation in the amount of $25 million per year. These funds would have to be matched with private funds and would provide the Foundation with an opportunity to secure philanthropic dollars from a broad diversity of individuals, foundations, and corporations. Our National Park System already serves as an economic engine in communities across the country, with every tax dollar invested in the National Park Service returning another $10 to the U.S. economy. Matching annual appropriations is yet another way that taxpayer dollars can be leveraged for greater investment. When I’m on the road talking with donors and potential donors, one of the most frequent questions I’m asked is “Does the federal government have skin in the game?” That’s why the National Park Service Centennial Act is so important. It commits the federal government to supporting our national parks and requires organizations like the Foundation, local Friends Groups and other partners, to raise the matching funds to secure those dollars. Annual appropriations are and should remain the largest source of funding for parks. Our national parks belong to all of us, and we share a responsibility to maintain them. Philanthropic dollars can help achieve the margin of excellence for our parks and this legislation will make that possible. An innovative and holistic funding model for our parks includes appropriations, fees, corporate partnerships, volunteers, and philanthropic dollars. We’re already seeing the increased enthusiasm for philanthropy for our national parks. The National Park Service Centennial Act will help that grow. The introduction of Chairman Bishop’s National Park Service Centennial Act follows on the heels of legislation introduced last year by House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raul Grijalva (D-AZ). Also called the National Park Service Centennial Act, Ranking Member Grijalva’s legislation includes similar components of Chairman Bishop’s bill. We are grateful for the work and leadership of Chairman Bishop and Ranking Member Grijalva on these efforts. We look forward to working with both of them and the House Natural Resources Committee to coalesce around a bipartisan bill and passing this important legislation. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. […]

The Low-Down On Sustainable Cotton

NOTE: Authored by Gina Marie, author at TriplePundit. NOTE: Can we make the byline read “TriplePundit”? Cotton as a fiber is plant-based and as such is more sustainable than synthetic fibers. It is renewable and supports about 250 million people globally. Worn around the world, over 25 million tons of cotton are produced every year in around 85 countries. Cotton is approximately 55 percent of the fiber used in clothing and textile production. Over 60 percent of the world’s cotton is grown and produced in developing countries and provides a livelihood for over 100 million farmers. But intensive farming methods are used, such as overusing water and pesticides, and those methods threaten the ecosystems cotton depends on. Cotton farmers are also subject to price fluctuations and increasing input costs. Conventional cotton growing is just not sustainable. “The indiscriminate use of pesticides is bad for the soil and has human health impacts. It’s generally bad for the community,” Anita Chester, head of sustainable raw materials for the C&A Foundation, told TriplePundit. By contrast, sustainable cotton is “cotton that’s grown carefully” with environmental and economic aspects considered, Chester said. One standard within sustainable cotton is organic, which does not need pesticides or insecticides and uses less water and energy. It’s environmentally friendly and provides financial security for smallholder cotton farmers. Chester explained that with organic cotton production, “natural methods are used to control pests with no GMO seeds used.” The problem is that organic cotton only accounts for 1 percent of total cotton production. Organic cotton production has actually declined over the last five years. “Farmers don’t see the advantage in staying organic,” Chester said. “They don’t see a business case.” There are other problems, she added. “Retailers face issues of lack of transparency in their supply chains. There’s a huge fear of GMO contamination.” Consider that India, a developing country, is the biggest organic cotton producer, accounting for 75 percent of all organic cotton globally. Most Indian cotton farmers are smallholders farming less than two hectares of land. Organic cotton production is certainly not easy for smallholder farmers. However, there is another standard, Better Cotton, which “substantially scaled up in the last five years” and is “an easier standard for farmers to follow,” Chester explained. With Better Cotton, pesticides and insecticides are used, but the principle is “continued improvement.” In 2014, 7.6 percent of all cotton produced globally was Better Cotton, according to the Better Cotton Initiative’s 2014 sustainability report. The initiative wants that amount to hit 30 percent by 2020 because it believes that “will be a tipping point and lead to transformational change for the entire sector.” Top international brands like H&M and Nike use Better Cotton in their supply chains and their support increases its penetration in the market. H&M is one of the biggest users of organic cotton in the world. The retailer’s goal is for all of the cotton it uses in its products to come from more sustainable sources by 2020. It defines more sustainable sources as being “either organic, better or recycled.” C&A Foundation has a number of initiatives to help overcome the obstacles to sustainable cotton growth. One of those is the Organic Cotton Accelerator, created in 2013 by Textile Exchange, C&A Foundation, CottonConnect and small group of brands to accelerate organic cotton production. A global initiative, it addresses obstacles to organic cotton production and helps link producers to the market. Connecting retailers with sustainable cotton production is key. In 2009, C&A Foundation, Textile Exchange (formerly Organic Exchange) and the Shell Foundation founded CottonConnect. Since its launch, CottonConnect has helped retailers buy more sustainable cotton grown by smallholder Asian farmers. It has supported over 40,000 farmers in India, China and Pakistan to reduce both their input and water use. Working with CottonConnect, C&A Foundation organized an event that brought over 170 stakeholders in the Indian organic and sustainable cotton sector together in March 2014. As a result, the Organic and Fair Cotton Secretariat in India was created, and the foundation supports it financially. The group is made up of Indian private-sector champions, NGOs and other stakeholders. Its goal is to raise awareness and be advocates for more supportive policy framework for organic cotton. The many benefits of sustainable cotton Sustainable cotton is badly needed. “No commodity is as polluting as cotton,” declares the Sustainable Trade Initiative. About 10 percent of all agricultural chemicals used globally are used by the cotton sector. It’s only grown on about 2.5 percent of the world’s agricultural land. The pesticides end up in groundwater and rivers. They not only get rid of pests but also the natural enemies of those pests, and that interferes with the ecosystem. Production of the synthetic fertilizers used in cotton farming use 1.5 percent of the world’s annual energy consumption. They cause other environmental problems. The continued application of nitrates on farm land means they produce nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas with a warming potential 300 times that of carbon dioxide. And soils contain carbon, so if soils are degraded they are able to sequester less carbon. Soil health is what Chester considers to be “the most important thing” when it comes to farming. Sustainable practices help the soil while unsustainable ones deplete it. “That’s an area where farmers must use sustainable practices,” she said. Maintaining good soil helps it retain moisture, and that is increasingly becoming a very important aspect of sustainable cotton farming. Cotton production is an intensive water user. It takes a lot of water to produce cotton, requiring over 20,000 liters of water to produce just one kilogram of cotton, which is equivalent to one T-shirt and a pair of jeans. Most of the global cotton harvest, about 73 percent, is grown on irrigated land, according to World Wildlife Fund estimates. Climate change is affecting farmers. In developing countries like India, cotton is mostly a rain-fed crop. “Weather patterns are so unpredictable, and when you’re dependent on rain for irrigation you are affected,” Chester said. Where does Chester see sustainable cotton, both organic and other standards, in five years? “With renewed energy and excitement, both standards, organic and [Better Cotton], will scale up. Once the demand is stronger and continues to grow, farmers will see the advantage.” That will be good for cotton farmers, for the ecosystems where they farm, and for their communities. Originally published on TriplePundit. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. […]

AMEX Puts National Parks Under My Christmas Tree!

An unexpected Christmas present landed under my tree this week with a thud. It came with a call from American Express. “We know you’re passionate about the national parks and you write about them quite a bit, so we want you to know what American Express is doing to help,” she said. Really?! Our National Parks are idealized as “Crown Jewels,” yet few know how they suffer from a lack of appropriate funding. The National Park Foundation does a herculean job of fundraising to pick up the slack, and the National Parks Conservation Association advocates for Congress to allocate the funds needed. Still, for the 20 years I’ve been involved the funding has never been sufficient to cover all the needs. So to learn that American Express is investing in our parks is a sign of increasing corporate appreciation for our collectively-owned national treasures. News of how AMEX is supporting our national parks reminds me of the feeling I got standing under the General Grant Tree in Sequoia National Park, California, designated our Nation’s Christmas Tree by President Coolidge in 1926. Among other things, AMEX is supporting the Department of Interior’s initiative to mobilize one million volunteers in national parks and public lands; working with the Student Conservation Association to preserve 200,000 acres of park lands, and funding the National Trust for Historic Preservation to refurbish historic structures in or near five national parks. “Please make certain you’re including diverse grassroots organizations and local leaders,” I said to their representative. “Greening Youth Foundation in Atlanta, for example, has an incredible youth corps that is perfect for such investment and opportunity.” “Oh yes!” she said.” One of our projects is refurbishing some of the homes in the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic District in Atlanta. I believe that’s the group that will be doing the work. I’ll check and get back with you.” Really? One degree of separation – as I served on the Foundation’s board years ago, and today the organization is part of our nationwide network at Diverse Environmental Leaders Speakers Bureau that strives to expand the constituency supporting our public lands. Soon I received this note, “Preservation work on the Martin Luther King, Jr. birth home block in the MLK historic district will be performed by members of Greening Youth Foundation, a local youth corps, through the National Trust’s HOPE Crew program. Named “HOPE Crew” for “Hands-On Preservation Experience,” the program links preservation projects to the national youth corps movement. Members of Greening Youth’s Hope Crew learning and putting their skills to work. “To enable the youth corps to successfully complete rehabilitation projects at historic sites, the Trust coordinates support from its broad network of partners, like the National Park Service, and preservation experts to provide training and guidance on each project. The advisor helps guide each project by answering preservation related questions as well as helping the crew members understand and appreciate the historic significance of the project. The craft expert helps train the corps members on techniques such as repointing, carpentry, and window restoration. …” Wow! I cannot think of a gift this Christmas that could make me more ecstatic. Corporate funding that helps expand our publicly owned lands, protect our historic legacy and connect young urbanites to the parks while improving their skill sets and economic outlook – these are gifts I did not expect this season. I am so grateful! — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. […]