Category Archives: Global Understanding

Working together to Help Florida during Hurricanes

Wells Fargo Story – How one community kept a hurricane at bay

I love volunteering in our community, this is a great example of what a community can do to increase environmental awareness and protect and expand the natural habitats in Florida dunes.

Year of the Pig at Oakland Museum and in SF!

Lunar New Year Sunday, February 10, 12–4 pm

OMCA will ring in the Year of the Pig with our 18th Annual Lunar New Year Celebration. Join us for a daylong festival celebrating the diverse Asian cultures represented in California with live music and dance performances, hands-on activities, and much more.

Easy to get to on BART, only one block away from 10th Street–Lake Merritt BART.

Lunar New Year – February 5 – marks the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar and is the biggest annual event celebrated by many Asian cultures including Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Korean. 

Most of the top traditions of Chinese New Year observed during the 15-day holiday serve one purpose: to usher in a year of good fortune and prosperity.

The ancient Chinese lunar calendar, on which Chinese New Year is based, functioned as a religious, dynastic and social guide. Oracle bones inscribed with astronomical records indicate that the calendar existed as early as 14th century B.C., when the Shang Dynasty was ruling.

IN SAN FRANCISCO:  The 2019 Chinese New Year Parade is on Saturday, February 23. It starts at 5:15 pm at the corner of 2nd and Market Streets in San Francisco, and is one of the largest in the world. There will be lots of fun events for the lunar new year in both February and March. There are hundreds of lively parade entries! The parade includes several floats, the largest and most popular of which is the 28-foot-long Golden Dragon. It takes a team of more than 100 people to operate and move it through the streets of San Francisco. It then weaves its way through Chinatown and ends at Jackson and Kearny Streets. The parade usually ends around 8pm.

Get there early, take BART to the Montgomery station.

Oakland Museum of California.1000 Oak Street @ 10th Street–Lake Merritt BART

Lunar New Year – The Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival, also called Yuan Xiao Festival. It honors deceased ancestors on the 15th day of the first month (Yuan) of the lunar calendar. The Lantern Festival aims to promote reconciliation, peace, and forgiveness. The holiday marks the first full moon of the new lunar year and the end of the Chinese New Year. During the festival, houses are festooned with colorful lanterns, often with riddles written on them; if the riddle is answered correctly, the solver earns a small gift.

The Lantern Festival may originate as far back as the Han dynasty (206 bce to 220 ce), when Buddhist monks would light lanterns on the 15th day of the lunar year in honor of the Buddha. The rite was later adopted by the general population and spread throughout China and other parts of Asia. A legend concerning the festival’s origin tells the tale of the Jade Emperor (You Di), who became angered at a town for killing his goose. He planned to destroy the town with fire, but he was thwarted by a fairy who advised the people to light lanterns across the town on the appointed day of destruction. The emperor, fooled by all the light, assumed the town was already engulfed in flames. The town was spared, and in gratitude the people continued to commemorate the event annually by carrying colorful lanterns throughout the town.

Festival celebrations also include lion and dragon dances, parades, and fireworks.

Each year for Lunar New Year, in SF the Chinatown area comes to life with Cherry blossoms, and preparations for the upcoming Lunar New Year parade.THIS YEAR: Chinese New Year is on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. It is so much fun to see this parade and very loud too.  I have been able to walk in the parade with my company 3 times, that is thrilling – we were surrounded by thousands of clapping spectators,  stilt walkers, Lions, dragons, high schools, martial artists and local civic groups. — the editor

 

Marty Essen – new book

Marty has done it again, but instead of inspiring us to love our environment and protect ecosystems- this book is a fictional departure! Time is Irreverent — it combines all the things you tremble over, global warming, nuclear bombs, and travel writers! How can these go together, you ask?  Read on!

Just when we need a good laugh. So put the air-purifier ON, and enjoy! Marty has poked fun at the current state of affairs, the total disarray of a solid science-based view between our movie stars, government, the public, teachers and just about everything! It is a light-hearted book and wittily will help you draw conclusions while having a belly-life.  Just what we need.

You can return to one of his many books on the environment- I’d Recommend Cool Creatures, Hot Planet or  Endangered Edens.  OK the. are not full of laughs, but the pictures and words are so compelling.  (see the list below.)

Some of Marty’s notable achievements are:

Author of Time Is Irreverent
Amazon #1 Best Seller in Political Humor, Parodies, and LGBT Science Fiction
Amazon Canada #1 Best Seller in Comedy, Humour, Political Humour, LGBT Science Fiction, Alternative History, and Time Travel
Author of Endangered Edens
Amazon #1 Best Seller in Ecotourism, Travel, Caribbean Travel, and Puerto Rico
Winner: Readers’ Favorite Book Award—Environment
Winner: National Indie Excellence Book Award—Nature
Silver: Nautilus Award—Animals & Nature
Silver: Nautilus Award—Middle Grades Nonfiction
Author of Cool Creatures, Hot Planet
Amazon #1 Best Seller in Wildlife
Winner: Benjamin Franklin Award—Travel/Essay
Winner: Green Book Festival Award—Animals
Winner: National Indie Excellence Book Award—Travel/Essay
Winner: USA Best Books Award—Travel/Essay
Bronze: ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award—Travel/Essay
Bronze: IPPY Award—Travel/Essay
Minneapolis Star-Tribune Top-10 “Green” Book
APCA’s #1 Booked College Speaker for 50 total months

A new book, you’ll love: Dispatches from the Sweet Life

William Powers on his new book, DISPATCHES FROM THE SWEET LIFE: One Family, Five Acres, and a Community’s Quest to Reinvent the World. In it, this gifted writer and expert on sustainable development shares the trials and joys of a family striving to live sustainably off the work-and-spend treadmill in South America.  it is a story of both hope and how-to for a world in desperate need.

In addition to his storytelling prowess and expertise, Bill has worked for more than a decade in development aid and conservation in Latin America, Africa, and North America. He is a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute and an adjunct faculty member at New York University.

 the community table:  
In his first book, Twelve by Twelve, Bill lived in an off-grid tiny house in rural North Carolina. In New Slow City, he and his wife, Melissa, inhabited a Manhattan micro-apartment in search of slow in the fastest city in the world. In Dispatches from the Sweet Life, the couple, with baby in tow, search for balance, humanity, and happiness in Suraqueta, Bolivia, a subtropical town where the Andes meets the Amazon. Surequeta is also a Transition Town — a model community that aims to increase self-sufficiency to reduce the potential effects of peak oil, climate destruction, and economic instability.

Worldwide, about sixteen hundred Transition initiatives currently exist, part of a global Transition Network, in which local communities foster “glocal” low-carbon economies through alternative energy, local consumption, organic agriculture, and more.

Leaving behind America’s work-and-spend treadmill La Familia Powers embrace the potential of the Sweet Life (vivir bien) — the Bolivian idea that happiness is best achieved in deep community in balance with nature.

Oh you’ll love this book! A great real-life drama, rather than just talk, this is DOING!

Health in Asia, Talk on Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer

An Evening with Stanford’s Dr. Samuel So
Tuesday, July 24 from 5:30-7:30 PM in SF

Asia Society Northern California for a conversation on the latest on health with Dr. Samuel So who heads the Asian Liver Center at Stanford University and is an internationally recognized expert on hepatitis b, which affects 260 million people in the world (up to 100 million people in China alone) and is the major cause of liver cancer.

Stanford’s Asian Liver Center conducts translational research by which scientific research is translated into practical applications and policies to improve human health. The Asian Liver Center established a Center at Peking University in March 2012 to expand Stanford’s teaching and research opportunities in China.

Asia Society has many interesting and insightful talks, demonstrations, and discussions every month on a wide range of subjects: food, history, dance, health, trade and many more.
Northern California | Asia Society

Nvidia Discusses: More self-driving car investment, Using VR, Imaging

Nvidia CEO: Uber crash will spur more self-driving car investment

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said today that theUber crash in Tempe, Arizona last week would likely lead to more investment in self-driving cars, not less. “I believe as a result of what happened last week, the amount of investment into the seriousness of [autonomous vehicles] is going to go up,” he said during […]  Read the full story

Watch Nvidia drive a real car using Black Panther-style VR

One of the most exciting moments from the hit film Black Panther came to life today, as Nvidia’s Holodeck software enabled a driver using virtual reality to drive a car in the real world. Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang offered the demonstration at the 2018 GPU Technology Conference (GTC) as an aside while discussing autonomous car […]    Read the full story

Nvidia’s deep learning enhanced imagery can show a baby in the womb or beating heart

Nvidia showed off deep learning visualization 3D imagery of a beating heart and a baby in the womb, based on enhanced inferences from crude black-and-white ultrasound scans. Nvidia showed a demo dubbed Clara, a medical imaging supercomputer. It showed a baby in the womb, an image extracted from artificial intelligence analysis of a black-and-white ultrasound […]    Read the full story

Great reading …. From VENTURE BEAT

Five Inconvenient Truths -Global steel industry

Interesting article, it discusses trade, overcapacity, raw materials, growth/slow down in building, and re-purposing of existing mills.  Maybe that is true. Read more here.

I must admit I am most intrigued by the existence of this group:

John Lichtenstein is a managing director for Accenture Strategy and the global lead of Accenture’s metals group.
The article did not discuss:  
  1. Changes in Environmental regulation. What if the total cost of an item was part of the selection process for materials (Aluminum vs. Steel)? What if LEED building specified LOCAL MATERIAL use or adding the effects of long distance shipping into the environmental degradation? What if shipping companies were forced to contribute money to the clean-up of the plastic gyre in the Pacific Ocean when shipping across the Pacific Ocean?  Unlikely, but possible and more sensible than carbon credits.
  2. Quality of the steel produced in China (I’d really like to know why the Bay Bridge is rusting with its low quality steel imported from China), coupled with the environmental devastation caused by converting raw materials to finished goods in a country that does not have strict environmental regulations and technologies.
  3. The main premise that global demand is slowing and will remain so, flies in the face of the greatest population being urban, and the population continues to expand. Housing in urban areas is made with steel, when it is high-density.

There is always room to learn more. I’ll be interested in Accenture’s next set of statistics.

There are many other Accenture articles; here is another from the same author.

Origami Whales: A Gentle Way to Teach Conservation

Thanks TED Talks for this lovely broadcast!  Watch the video, link below

Allow things to unfold and you will find your Purpose in Life. | Peggy Oki | TEDxQueenstown   (time 16.34)

Image result for Origami WhalesThis insightful artist folds paper whales using origami and thousands of volunteers to fold the whales & dophins and give a clear call to action and visual reference point.  Children, Adults, Students, Seniors – all join in and FOLD then STITCH these whales into curtains to be displayed in galleries, schools, civic centers.

HINT: There are YouTubes and Pinterest on origami

Peggy Oki leads with passion. She gives advice to a beginning environmental activist: “Follow your heart with vision and actions, create your fold and you will find your porpoise in life.”

ART THAT HAS PURPOSE:

Published on Apr 28, 2016

With an appreciation of flow and motion Peggy’s life has been always been driven by passion. From surfing and skateboarding to the intimate appreciation what she calls the ‘Cetacean Nation’. Discovering the transformative force of participation artwork through her Origami Whales project was the first step to realising that passion could be harnessed, amplified and ultimately inspire for a deeper purpose.

Surfer, Skateboarder, Artist and Activist.
Once the only female member of the famous Zephyr Skateboard team from documentary ‘Dogtown and Z-Boys’: Peggy’s love of the outdoors inspires her to travel worldwide in search of good surf. In 2004, she founded the Origami Whales Project to raise awareness about commercial whaling. She has also developed the Whales and Dolphins Ambassador Program and led campaigns such as ‘Let’s Face It’, which petitions to save New Zealand’s critically endangered Maui’s dolphins and Hector’s dolphins.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

 

Hurricanes – Be Prepared

With the start of the Atlantic hurricane season beginning June 1, it is time to prepare and use emergency procedures and resources to stay safe.

According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, there is a 45 percent chance of an above-normal season. Forecasters predict there is a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which five to nine could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including two to four major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).

Take these steps to prepare:

  1. Secure your home, including windows, roof, soffits, and other openings.
  2. Know your evacuation route.
  3. Don’t hesitate when it’s time to leave.

To be ready for any emergency, make a personal disaster plan that fits your needs and those of your family. Take a look at the Disaster Prepper’s book!

Consider how you will contact each other and where to meet if you can’t go home. Also think about creating a “go kit” that includes a battery-powered radio, medications, records you may need, food and water, and comfort items if you have to shelter or evacuate for a few hours or days.

Download the American Red Cross Hurricane App for iPhone and Android devices to monitor conditions in your area or throughout the storm, prepare your family and home, and notify others you’re safe even if the power is out.

You can get free community training throughout the USA, look up CERT – Community Emergency Response.

Related Links: CERT Training Classes    Disasters Infographic  Disaster Prepper’s book