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Wisdom

Ring’s return brings new life for Kansas City homeless man

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Billy Ray Harris returns the diamond engagement ring to owner Sarah Darling. (image: KCTV5)

Billy Ray Harris returns the diamond engagement ring to owner Sarah Darling. (image: KCTV5)

A homeless man who returned a diamond engagement ring to a woman who mistakenly dropped it into his donation cup when she was giving him some spare change now stands to be handsomely rewarded for his selfless act.

A fund set up on GiveForward.com for Billy Ray Harris, the man who was panhandling on the streets of Kansas City, Mo., earlier this month when he received the valuable donation in error, had gotten more than $146,000 in donations as of Monday evening.

“It is good to know honesty still exists despite one’s circumstances which Mr. Harris exemplifies!” wrote one poster, who donated $25. Another who gave $100 added: “People from all over the world salute.”

The donations – more than 6,000 of them in varying amounts – have come in from all over the United States, as well as from Germany, Sweden, Australia, Ireland and other countries. In addition to the congratulations and good wishes that they offered, some donors also urged that Harris receive help to manage the money that was earmarked for him.

Harris himself seemed to be bemused by the outpouring.

“What I actually feel like is, what has the world come to when a person returns something that don’t belong to them and all of this happens?” he said last week in an interview with KTNV-TV, an ABC News affiliate in Las Vegas.

When Harris saw the unintentional donation in his cup on Feb. 8, he kept it safe until its owner, Sarah Darling, returned to ask about it. Her wedding and engagement rings had reportedly been bothering her, so she removed them and put them into her purse, and that’s how they ended up in Harris’ cup, KCTV reported.

News of Harris’ act – and Darling’s gratitude – have spread. KTNV-TV reported that complete strangers have sought Harris out to congratulate him and give him food.

The fund was started 10 days ago by Darling’s husband, Bill Krejci. It will close in 80 days, at which time the money will be given directly to Harris, according to a note on the fund’s web page.

In a note that Krejci posted on the website on Feb. 23, he wrote that he had met with Harris and they had chatted.

This is the ring Sarah accidentally dropped into the coin cup. (image: news.com.au)

This is the ring Sarah accidentally dropped into the coin cup. (image: news.com.au)

“We talked about a lot of things related to my family’s ring and the many donations. We talked about one day in the future the ring may one day be passed down to my daughter. We talked about how insanely positive all this has been. We talked about what he’s planning to do with the donations. The details would be better left for later but know that he has a very solid plan and a very solid way of making it happen,” Krejci wrote.

Another bit of good has apparently come out of Harris’ sudden fame. He and his sister have reconnected after having lost touch more than 20 years ago. She lives in Texas and has reportedly offered him a place to stay with her, KTVN reported. Harris is considering the offer.

[source : http://gma.yahoo.com/homeless-man-returns-diamond-ring-and-wins-big-180658337.html]

Midway: Message from the Gyre

By | Compassion, Wisdom | No Comments
Chris Jordan's photographs of bird carcass with stomach full of plastic.

Chris Jordan’s photographs of bird carcass with stomach full of plastic.

Sharing a heart wrenching video I saw from the net. People need to realize what we do to our environment and take the appropriate steps to keep it clean, and in our current situation clean it up.

Do our beautiful earth a favor, start with each self by producing less garbage and manage our waste better. 

The MIDWAY film project is a powerful visual journey into the heart of an astonishingly symbolic environmental tragedy. On one of the remotest islands on our planet, tens of thousands of baby albatrosses lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic from the Pacific Garbage Patch. Returning to the island over several years, our team is witnessing the cycles of life and death of these birds as a multi-layered metaphor for our times. With photographer Chris Jordan as our guide, we walk through the fire of horror and grief, facing the immensity of this tragedy—and our own complicity—head on. And in this process, we find an unexpected route to a transformational experience of beauty, acceptance, and understanding.

We frame our story in the vividly gorgeous language of state-of-the-art high-definition digital cinematography, surrounded by millions of live birds in one of the world’s most beautiful natural sanctuaries. The viewer will experience stunning juxtapositions of beauty and horror, destruction and renewal, grief and joy, birth and death, coming out the other side with their heart broken open and their worldview shifted. Stepping outside the stylistic templates of traditional environmental or documentary films, MIDWAY will take viewers on a guided tour into the depths of their own spirits, delivering a profound message of reverence and love that is already reaching an audience of tens of millions of people around the world.

Production of the feature film “MIDWAY” continues through 2013.
Please go to midwayfilm.com for more information.

For more information:
MidwayFilm.com

To donate:
midwayfilm.com/donate.html

Midway Project blog, team details, production diary videos:
MidwayJourney.com

Facebook – behind the scenes photos, latest updates
Facebook.com/MidwayJourney

Twitter:
twitter.com/#!/midwayjourney

Youtube:
youtube.com/journeytomidway

Nature’s most loyal lovers: Magellanic penguins always return to same mate after solo journeys totaling 200,000 miles

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Faithful: New research shows how a pair of Magellanic penguins were loyal to each other for 16 years

Faithful: New research shows how a pair of Magellanic penguins were loyal to each other for 16 years

● Penguin couple stayed together for 16 years, smashing all previous records
● New research shows incredible loyalty in spite of the epic distances travelled by the bird

As the UK divorce rate continues to soar, a new study has today shown how marital harmony is thriving in the penguin world.

Research has revealed a pair of Magellanic penguins as among the most faithful in the animal kingdom.

The couple have remained loyal to each other over a 16-year period, in spite of spending thousands of miles apart during their winter trips.

Loyal: A pair of penguins can track each other down among hundreds of thousands of other birds using a distinctive call

Loyal: A pair of penguins can track each other down among hundreds of thousands of other birds using a distinctive call

The findings come after a 30-year study of the breed where researchers placed metal identity bands on the flippers of 50,000 birds on the southern coast of Argentina.

Previously penguin relationships were believed to span a maximum of just 10 years, with many cut short by the unexpected death of birds during migration.

Loving: A Magellanic penguin stays loyal to the same mate, in spite of long periods apart

Loving: A Magellanic penguin stays loyal to the same mate, in spite of long periods apart

‘Divorce’ is also a possibility as couples who fail to hatch chicks will split up and find new mates.

But according to The Sunday Telegraph, biologists have been surprised by the longevity of the relationship between a particular couple.

‘The bond they have is incredible really,’ lead researcher Dr Pablo Garcia Borboroglu, of the National Research Council of Argentina, told the newspaper.

‘It is unbelievable how far Magellanic penguins swim – and each breeding season they come back to the same nest and to the same partner.’

The research was revealed during a lecture to the Whitley Fund for Nature in London, and Dr Borboroglu will set out his findings in a book to be published next year called Penguins: Natural History and Conservation.

Magellanic penguins can only be found around the Falkland Islands and South America.
Argentina has the highest population, with 900,000 breeding pairs in Argentina, while there are 800,000 couples in Chile.

But their numbers have dropped dramatically since the turn of the century due to oil pollution and falling fish numbers and there are thought to be around 1.2 million left in the world.

Dr Borboroglu’s project also used satellite tracking to identify the movements of the birds, showing the enormous journeys they travel each winter to the warmer waters of Brazil.

Every year, the penguins arrive at their summer nests in the southern hemisphere and find their partners using a distinctive call.

After reuniting and mating, the female usually lay two eggs, which each partner takes turns guarding while the other goes out to sea.

After they hatch, the parents spend a month caring for their young before heading off to their wintering area.

The penguins join a roll call of other animals that undertake loyal relationships, including the albatross, French angelfish and black vultures.

Mates for life: In spite of long distance flights, albatrosses always return to breed with the same partners

Mates for life: In spite of long distance flights, albatrosses always return to breed with the same partners

Jealous: Like the Magellanic penguin, black vultures are strictly monogamous

Jealous: Like the Magellanic penguin, black vultures are strictly monogamous

[source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2234755/Magellanic-penguins-return-mate-solo-journeys-totalling-200-000-miles.html]

10月16日世界粮食日‧全球粮食荒‧大马酒肉臭

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中国连云港市天使家园幼儿园开展认识粮食活动,通过对各种粮食的辨认,培养孩子们爱惜粮食的意识,迎接10月16日世界粮食日的到来。图为江苏省连云港市天使家园幼儿园的小朋友在课堂上学习辨识五穀杂粮。(图:新华社)

中国连云港市天使家园幼儿园开展认识粮食活动,通过对各种粮食的辨认,培养孩子们爱惜粮食的意识,迎接10月16日世界粮食日的到来。图为江苏省连云港市天使家园幼儿园的小朋友在课堂上学习辨识五穀杂粮。(图:新华社)

世界正面临粮食短缺危机,庆幸的是大马人仍过著丰衣足食的生活。正因如此,大马人严重缺乏对粮食危机的醒觉意识。

据统计,大马人每天丟弃约1千500万公斤的食物残渣,其中的10至15%是还可食用或被浪费的食物,等於丟掉300至450辆罗里的食物。

这里不缺蔬果鱼肉,食物供应充足,粮食短缺对我们来说似乎是非常遥远的事。

然而,粮食危机是有连锁效应的,它牵一发而动全身,对全世界影响,危机离我们並不远。

10月16日是世界粮食日,今年的主题是“农业合作社:养活世界的关键"(Agricultural Cooperatives : Key to Feeding The World)。

配合世界粮食日,我们来探討饥饿与粮食荒和我们有甚么关係。

汤礼聪:全世界正面临粮食短缺危机,但大马民丝毫未曾察觉其严重性。(图:星洲日报)

汤礼聪:全世界正面临粮食短缺危机,但大马民丝毫未曾察觉其严重性。(图:星洲日报)

畜牧业是粮荒罪魁祸首之一
汤礼聪:鼓励吃素救地球

绿色生活协会(Green Living Society)主席汤礼聪说,在极端的天气条件下,全球暖化、气候转变,全世界正面临粮食短缺危机,但本地人丝毫未曾察觉其严重性。

他指出,人类一年吃掉4千亿只动物,世界人口不断增长,基於人类的需要,畜牧业不断扩大。而大部份的种植品,如玉米和大豆都用来餵养动物。因此,畜牧业是世界粮食危机的主要的罪魁祸首之一。

“为了紓缓粮食短缺问题,人类必须减少肉类消耗。联合国也鼓励人们吃素食拯救地球。"

马每4儿童一人超重

汤礼聪指出,全世界每隔5秒就有人死於饥荒,其中75%是儿童。而在东南亚国家中,大马最多孩子有肥胖的问题。

根据马来西亚肥胖儿童儿科工作小组研究的调查显示,大马每4名儿童就有一人超重或肥胖。

“全世界有三分之一的人足够温饱,有三分之一的人食物不足,剩余的三分之一人口处於挨饿状况。

“大马人被归为首个部份(足够温饱),他们的健康问题都与食物有关,但非並挨饿,而是营养过剩、肥胖问题。"

从小没养成珍惜食物习惯

“新生代的肥胖问题源自於父母纵容孩子吃垃圾食物多过日常正餐。这导致孩子们在用正餐时,吃不下而浪费不少食物。父母允许孩子浪费食物,並没有教育他们,因此孩子们从小就没有养成珍惜食物的习惯。

他说,大马人在舒服的环境太久,从未经歷严重的环境灾难或粮食危机,所以在这方面的意识相当低。

他补充,年长者因曾体验艰难的生活,比较懂得珍惜食物。到了年轻一代,生活条件提高了,人们的购买能力也相渐提高,往往毫无节制地消费,特別是年轻人和小孩子对食物不懂得感恩,从未意识到浪费食物的问题,这种情况令人感到担忧。

反对以木薯製塑胶袋

他指出,除了浪费食物造成全球粮食荒恶化,有些市场上的產品是以食物为原料,如木薯製成午餐盒、以淀粉製成塑胶袋,这些產品叫做“可分解物"。

他非常反对这类產品,他说,这些生產商完全面向业务,也不瞭解整个世界粮食危机的情况。世界上很多人正在挨饿,但他们用食物来生產日用品,而且市场上仍有一部份人在使用,確没意识到这些產品的存在,无形中对饥饿者造成“迫害"。

“生產商解释说,他们使用原料是第三级的木薯,不能食用。我的问题是:一些非洲国家的小孩饿得只能吃树叶和泥土,那么难道第三级的木薯不可以吃吗?"

每年扔掉75万吨好食物

从事废弃物管理的汤礼聪指出,我国每一天產生约3万吨的垃圾,一年则有1千万吨,当中50%是食物浪费,意即每年產生500万吨食物浪费。

他把食物浪费分为4类:

1:厨余,在准备食物前,淘汰的菜头菜尾和果皮等。

2:食物的残渣,这些剩余的食物已不能再食用,如骨头、鱼头、海鲜蚌壳类、水果种子外壳等。

3:消耗不完的食物,可能因挑食、不珍惜食物或点过多食物消耗不完,而扔掉质量良好,但还能被食用的食物。

4:没好好策划而过期的食物,购买者因没好好策划食用时间,以致错过食物的赏味期限而被迫丟掉。

汤礼聪指出,第一类和第二类的食物浪费是无可避免的,无论如何,这些食物浪费都是我们造成的。

“不过,第三和第四类的食物浪费是可以避免的。从我的研究,大约有10至15%的食物浪费属於第三和第四类。这也意味著马来西亚人每年扔掉或浪费约50万至75万吨的好食物。"

他补充,传统佳节或民俗习惯造成更多不必要的食物浪费,比如说主人家可能因为面子问题,不愿减少订食物,视桌上食物的多寡为招待宾客週到与否。

宴会30%好食物弃垃圾桶

“你可否想像一个活动结束后,如宴会,有多少的食物被丟弃?从我的研究中显示,宴会上有30%的食物最后將倒入垃圾桶,而且皆是100%好的食物。"

汤礼聪认为,自助餐比一桌10人的宴席对环境更友善。无论如何,最近几年宴会上的食物浪费已有所改善,他观察到食物的数量已从原本的9道减至8至7道。

他鼓励宾客在宴会上打包吃不完的食物,很多人因为不好意思而没有这么做。他建议主人家通知宾客打包剩余的食物,如果主人家鼓励他们这么做,相信许多宾客愿意这么做,这可减少婚宴上的食物浪费。

“食物浪费是温室气体的排放原因之一,进而引起全球暖化和气候转变。此外,所有浪费的食物都被送到处置场所,而食物的腐化过程会產生沼气和二氧化碳,对环境有害,因此减少浪费食物绝对有必要。"

珍惜食物醒觉仍低
浪费习惯根深蒂固

汤礼聪说,为了提高人们珍惜食物的醒觉,他每次在座谈会时,尝试播放影片或照片,让出席者瞭解有很多人因没有食物而饥饿的情况。

“很多人看了很感动,並且后悔过去浪费食物的行为。然而过了不久,他们又故態復萌。这是非常不幸的,浪费几乎成了人们根深蒂固的习惯,並非一朝一夕能纠正过来。"

他补充,从他的调查所得,除了居住环境有厨余和食物浪费,酒店、餐馆、小贩中心、食物加工厂及巴剎也有不少,然而这些单位都没有好好处理厨余的问题。

汤礼聪指出,有些酒店把处理厨余视为社会责任,但在大马並不普遍。

林德来:在婚宴上大马华人展现节制的美德,一些宾客会要求把桌上剩下的食物打包回家。(图:星洲日报)

林德来:在婚宴上大马华人展现节制的美德,一些宾客会要求把桌上剩下的食物打包回家。(图:星洲日报)

林德来:节制美德减少浪费
鼓励打包婚宴剩余食物

雪隆姑苏慎忠行餐饮业公会总会长林德来受访时认同,国內饮业者对粮食危机的意识普遍不高,不过根据他的观察,华人量人而点菜,不过份舖张。

他说,大马餐馆的厨余一般是“菜头菜尾",在清洗蔬菜过程中,就丟掉腐烂、不新鲜的部份。这些都是不可食用的,至於厨余量多量少,视个別餐馆的使用蔬菜量而定。

“过去我曾到中国,当地人以`客人吃剩菜才有面子,吃完则没面子’,因此单单冷菜近10道,热食又有逾10道,太多佳肴美食难以消受。"

林德来指出,相对之下,在婚宴上,本地华人展现节制的美德,一些宾客会要求把桌上剩下的食物打包回家,这种“打包"习惯是值得鼓励的,不应浪费食物。

他说,宴会上,一般只有至8至10道菜,相当符合一桌人的食量。一个人的食量毕竟是有限的,太多肯定吃不完。

联合国粮食
及农业组织的资料显示

过去50年,人类对肉食的需求激增了500%,为满足增长,全球越来越多农地被用作种植牲畜饲料,中南美洲便有66%的热带雨林因而消失。

●每生產一公斤牛肉,需要16公斤穀物以及1万5千公升食水。单是美国一年餵饲牲畜用的穀物,便能餵饱13亿人口。

●大马人每天丟弃约1千500万公斤的食物残渣,其中的10%至15%是还可食用或被浪费的食物,等於丟掉300至450罗里的食物。

关於全球饥饿:

●全球粮食生產足以让每一个人吃饱,但全球有超过十亿人吃不饱,即是每7个人当中,便有1人挨饿。

●60%饥饿人口是女性,但她们亦是全球粮食生產的重要生力军。

●每年,有大约30万名孕妇因营养不良(缺乏铁质),在分娩时因出血过多而死亡。

●同时间,全球有1亿2千万人有肥胖问题。

关於儿童饥饿:

●每5秒,就有一个儿童死於饥饿或相关疾病;每4个饥饿人口中,就有一个是儿童。

●在发展中国家,60%的儿童死於饥饿,每4个儿童,就有一个体重过轻。

●经济学家指出,长期陷於饥饿会窒碍儿童身心发展,长大后的生计或收入比平均人口低5至10%。

关於饥饿人口:

●约75%来自农村或乡郊地区,25%来自城市。

●10亿饥饿人口中,65%来自以下7个国家,即印度、中国、刚果民主共和国、孟加拉、印尼、巴基斯坦和埃塞俄比亚

[source : http://www.sinchew.com.my/node/264896?tid=67]

“白害”破坏大马环保生態‧年弃20亿保丽龙饭盒

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Styrofoam cups (image from Ace Gallery)

Styrofoam cups (image from Ace Gallery)

(吉隆坡17日讯)保丽龙(Styrofoam)已成为地球上破坏环境的祸首之一;在公民和环保意识有待加强的马来西亚,每年被丟弃的保丽龙饭盒多达20亿个,全部成为了“歷久不衰”的垃圾。

根据数据显示,国人每年丟弃的保丽龙饭盒垃圾重达3万公吨,若以每个饭盒15克的重量计算,即表示我们每年製造20亿个饭盒垃圾。

曹智雄:难分解应少用

房屋及地方政府部长拿督斯里曹智雄对星洲日报说,政府在观察国人使用保丽龙餐具的情况,虽然还未计划全面禁止,不过会鼓励人们尽量减少使用保丽龙。

保丽龙的学名叫作发泡聚苯乙烯,这些经得起数百年的风吹雨打而不腐化的白色污染物,对海洋生態的破坏是无法预计的。

保丽龙非生物可分解,不能变成堆肥,如果放入水中很长时间,会分解成小颗粒,能存在好几千年。清理海滩要花上好几百万美元。

在讲求方便的速食时代,保丽龙免洗餐具在我国被大量使用。虽然很多国家如中国和美国已禁用保丽龙餐具,但在大马,每年约有3万公吨的保丽龙餐具被推出市面,使用后被丟弃,回收量接近零。

这些垃圾只是饭盒而已,还不包括包装电器或大物件用的保丽龙保装盒。

现阶段仅檳岛禁用

目前只有槟岛市政局实行禁用保丽龙政策,其他地方政府则没有这方面的管制。

曹智雄说,槟岛市政局也还属於初步推行的阶段,所以该部会先观察这项措施的成效,目前未有计划在全国推行禁用保丽龙措施。

2010年7月,槟岛市政局首开先河,实行禁保丽龙政策,其第一阶段的对象仅是市政局食肆。迈入2011年,开始扩大禁用的对象,诸如霸级市场、夜市场、私人小贩中心等。

直至今年4月,行动进一步升级,来到全面禁用的阶段,並估计在11月起,保丽龙会在槟岛绝跡。

报导 : 戴丽佳
[source : http://www.sinchew.com.my/node/251105?tid=1]