Wealth Inequality in America

I Am Human – Dr. Maya Angelou

 

 

“Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto”

“I am a human being, nothing human can be alien to me.”

Terence (Publius Terentius Afer)

Appreciate Our World

 

 

 

The Attitude Of Gratitude – What are you grateful for today?

 

 

A Moving Art original short. Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg motivates those around him as happiness is revealed.

http://movingart.com/

 

Brazil Protests in all Major Cities. Rio – 100 thousands, Sao Paulo – 65 thousands. Brasilia, Capital: Congress was invaded

 

 

 

Brazil Protests – “Do not come for the World Cup!”

Brazil is under Siege: Protests in all Major Cities.

 

 

Livestream

 

Brazil experienced one of its biggest nights of protest in decades on Monday as more than 100,000 people took to the streets nationwide to express their frustration at heavyhanded policing, poor public services and high costs for the World Cup.

The major demonstrations in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasilia, Belem, Belo Horizonte, Salvador and elsewhere started peacefully but several led to clashes with police and arson attacks on cars and buses.

The large turnout and geographic spread marked a rapid escalation after smaller protests last week against bus price increases led to complaints that police responded disproportionately with rubber bullets, tear gas and violent beatings.

Coinciding with the start of the Confederations Cup – a World Cup test event – the rallies brought together a wide coalition of people frustrated with the escalating costs and persistently poor quality of public services, lavish investment on international sporting events, low standards of healthcare and wider unease about inequality and corruption.

 

Read more at BBC News

 

Kyrgyzstan: Bishkek Building Boom Widens Wealth Disparity

 

 

Glance at the parking lot outside parliament, at the fleet of Lexus SUVs kitted out with chrome, and you might think Bishkek is the capital of a wealthy country. A block down Chui Avenue, a shiny new Range Rover is parked on the sidewalk. Police drive their own BMWs.

Look a little closer, though, and the real Kyrgyzstan comes into focus.

In the shadow of the hulking White House – as the parliament building is known – Enjegul Kydyralieva, 50, sells lollipops and nuts from a blanket spread on the ground. On a good day, she clears about 250 soms ($5.20). “One hundred percent” of that – after she subtracts 50 cents for daily transportation to and from her village 45 minutes away – goes to feeding three children and three grandchildren, including the four-year-old she’s babysitting on the curb.

“If anyone gets sick we try to save money to buy medicine,” Kydyralieva says as the steel gate opens and another shiny new SUV glides past. “It’s not fair. They drive around with these cars that cost thousands of dollars and we are here working all day to earn a few hundred soms. Plus, they try to chase us away.”

Bishkek today is a city of striking contrasts. The luxury cars – and their tendency to run red lights with impunity – are just one expression of the disparity. “Elite” apartment blocks, where units cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, are mushrooming in central districts. Billboards announce the latest new nightclubs. At a new Turkish-built shopping mall, a pair of Italian loafers costs the equivalent of Kyrgyzstan’s average monthly income.

This is one of the poorest countries in Asia. But it’s not only underemployed grandmothers who struggle.

An engineering lecturer with a doctorate, single mother Elmira Ismailova, 46, earns about 7,000 soms a month ($145). She spends 70 percent of her salary on food, but considers herself lucky, because her parents help with 3,000 to 4,000 soms per month. “If I didn’t have their support, I wouldn’t call myself middle class. My salary is never enough. If I want to go out somewhere, like a restaurant, I have to save money in advance,” she says.

Many Kyrgyz struggle to put food on the table. An April study by the World Food Program, a UN agency, found the average price of wheat flour 42 percent higher than a year ago. The same report estimated that 24 percent of Kyrgyz households were not meeting basic nutrition and calorie requirements. This is partially due to a poor harvest in 2012, high prices for fuel, inflation, and Kyrgyzstan’s overall isolation.

“Kyrgyzstan does not have a middle class. There are poor people and there’s a rich elite, which is maybe 5 to 10 percent of society,” explained Pavel Dyatlenko of Polis-Asia, a think-tank in Bishkek.

Across from parliament, on the opposite side of Ala-Too Square, Anar Subankulova, who looks 75 but is 54, sells gum, single cigarettes, and kurut—dried yogurt balls that taste a bit like Parmesan cheese. Subankulova spends 4,200 soms ($87) per month on rent and utilities for the small apartment she shares with her grandchildren. She earns about 300 soms a day. “It’s torture because this is never enough.”

Asked if the 2010 “April Revolution” changed anything, she breaks into tears and says she doesn’t want to talk about it.

 

Read more at Eurasianet.org

 

Seattle to Build Nation’s First Food Forest

 

 

Seattle is planning to build a new city park filled with hundreds of edible plants – such as fruit trees, vegetables plants, herbs, etc… Free to “anyone and everyone.” If successful, it will be the first “food forest” of the nation.

 

An inspiration and a model for everyone!

 

Seattle’s vision of an urban food oasis is going forward. A seven-acre plot of land in the city’s Beacon Hill neighborhood will be planted with hundreds of different kinds of edibles: walnut and chestnut trees; blueberry and raspberry bushes; fruit trees, including apples and pears; exotics like pineapple, yuzu citrus, guava, persimmons, honeyberries, and lingonberries; herbs; and more. All will be available for public plucking to anyone who wanders into the city’s first food forest.

 

Read more at Take Part

 

Travel Post 1

travel post

Take a Deep Breath – Our Air is Crowded with History

 

 

Watch a fascinating presentation on air, breath, molecules and space straws – presented by Michael Stevens from Vsauce.

 

 

Check out the Vsauce YouTube Channel

 

Ocean Cleanup Array to remove 7,250,000 tons of plastic waste from the oceans

 

 

19-year-old Boyan Slat has unveiled plans to create an Ocean Cleanup Array that could remove 7,250,000 tons of plastic waste from the world’s oceans.

 

 

The device consists of an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms that could be dispatched to garbage patches around the world. Instead of moving through the ocean, the array would span the radius of a garbage patch, acting as a giant funnel. The angle of the booms would force plastic in the direction of the platforms, where it would be separated from plankton, filtered and stored for recycling.

 

Slat went on to found The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, a non-profit organization which is responsible for the development of his proposed technologies. His ingenious solution could potentially save hundreds of thousands of aquatic animals annually, and reduce pollutants (including PCB and DDT) from building up in the food chain. It could also save millions per year, both in clean-up costs, lost tourism and damage to marine vessels.

 

Please help support the campaign for a Feasibility Study on Ocean Cleanup

 

Source Inhabitat – Ocean Cleanup Array

 

 

 

We are the Explorers

 

A new movie trailer for NASA’s space program – “We are the Explorers”.

 

“We can show our students and young people that we’re in an exciting new era of space exploration,” AIA — an aerospace trade group said. “Now is the time to reach them — to remind them that an inspiring space program awaits, one that is worthy of their ambition.”

 

Support the Indiegogo campaign “We are the Explorers”