This mobile solar power station offers a lightweight high-capacity lithium-ion battery with all the bells and whistles. […]
Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com. Not since World War II have more human beings been at risk from disease and starvation than at this very moment. On March 10th, Stephen O’Brien, under Secretary-General of the United Nations for humanitarian affairs, informed the Security Council that 20 million people in three African countries ? Nigeria, Somalia, and South Sudan ? as well as in Yemen were likely to die if not provided with emergency food and medical aid. “We are at a critical point in history,” he declared. “Already at the beginning of the year we are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the U.N.” Without coordinated international action, he added, “people will simply starve to death [or] suffer and die from disease.” Major famines have, of course, occurred before, but never in memory on such a scale in four places simultaneously. According to O’Brien, 7.3 million people are at risk in Yemen, 5.1 million in the Lake Chad area of northeastern Nigeria, 5 million in South Sudan, and 2.9 million in Somalia. In each of these countries, some lethal combination of war, persistent drought, and political instability is causing drastic cuts in essential food and water supplies. Of those 20 million people at risk of death, an estimated 1.4 million are young children […]
Raj Karmani was a graduate student in computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign when his frequent trips to the neighborhood bagel store opened his eyes to food waste. Most of the unsold bagels usually went into the trash. Karmani’s obsession with efficiency got him thinking: What if there were an app that would sync up businesses with fresh, excess food and organizations in need of it? In 2013, he started Zero Percent, an online platform for food donation.
Here’s how it works: First, a food producer at a commercial kitchen, say a restaurant or bagel shop, opens an Uber-style app and drops in detailed data about the excess food: the amount, where to pick it up, when to pick it up, etc. Then, a delivery person, hired by Zero Percent, scoops up the food and drops it off at any number of youth groups, community centers, or nonprofits that have also signed up for the app and signaled a need.
Right now, Zero Percent operates in the Chicago area and in Urbana-Champaign (but plans to expand), and its biggest clients include the University of Illinois and the local Salvation Army. Karmani says Zero Percent has delivered more than 1,000 meals. As a well-educated and relatively well-off immigrant, the experience has been eye-opening for him. “Some of these kids have never seen strawberries.”
Meet all the fixers on this year’s Grist 50.
According to the acclaimed online astrologists of our time, the arrival of April is joined by four planets in retrograde: Venus, Saturn, Mercury, and Pluto. But this list of masses currently dampening everyone’s mood isn’t a comprehensive one. It would be rude to omit our current president, who, through his attempt to bring our country back to the “good old days,” has won the title of the most backwards celestial body in our solar system […]
Dear Ivanka,I don’t know you. But I know some of the paths you walk: You’re a parent concerned about your children; you’re a child concerned about her dad; and sometimes what you wish for one of them conflicts with what the other wants for you. I’ve walked that tightrope myself.My daughter Lily is the light of my life. I knew that my mother, who I loved but with whom I sometimes clashed, adored her. So a few years back when my mom voted to ban gay marriage, it was painful; it took time and more than one very hard conversation for her to understand how her vote made families like her own granddaughter’s less safe. When she got a second chance to vote against gay marriage just a few years later—she couldn’t.This year, when copies started circulating of a potential executive order which would have allowed discrimination in the guise of religious freedom, I was deeply grateful that you and Jared intervened, making whatever case it took for your dad to keep it off the table.I can well imagine the experience of having that conversation. My mom and your dad were high-schoolers at the same time; though age doesn’t determine one’s attitude toward equality, it certainly informs it. And our folks were raised in an era before the average parent would have dreamed of telling their kids that “love is love is love.” Thank you for helping your dad be more a part of our time.I understand that you and Jared are trying to lead another conversation that our parents couldn’t have predicted: the one about climate change. My mom was torn about this.On one hand, she seemed to believe the news reports she was reading; but she also felt that God would just solve it in the end […]
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