Removing indoor pollution

first_imgWhile studying climate change in the rural Himalayas, Catlin Powers was asked an eye-opening question by one local family: Why are all of these scientists coming here to study outdoor air pollution when indoor air pollution is so much worse? A Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) graduate and current Ph.D. candidate in environmental health, Powers is the co-founder of One Earth Designs, a company that creates products that enable people to improve the quality of their lives by wisely using energy resources. She is one of the creative forces behind SolSource, a revolutionary, sun-powered grill designed specifically to answer that family’s question.Powers began her journey by measuring the indoor air quality inside the Himalayan home where the question was posed, and found that it was 10 times more polluted than the outdoor air in Beijing. Subsequently, she found that more than half a million people each year die in China from the toxic smoke coming from household stoves used for cooking and heating.Spurred by these revelations, Powers began working directly with rural communities to explore energy solutions and alternate fuel sources for cooking in their homes. The result was SolSource, a high-performance, low-maintenance, portable, durable, safe, and fuel- and emission-free solar cooker. SolSource harnesses energy from the sun, which is ample on the Himalayan plateau, and uses it to grill, steam, bake, boil, or fry. Cooking with SolSource saves families time and money, reduces their exposure to harmful stove pollution, and helps conserve precious resources. One Earth Designs recently ended a successful Kickstarter campaign to help fund production of SolSource, as well as to explore a cost-offsetting model for developing nations. The campaign ended with 330 percent of its goal funded. During a recent question-and-answer session through the Office for Sustainability (OFS), Powers talked about her work.OFS: What are you most excited about for the future and for the potential SolSource holds in Asia and in the rest of the world?POWERS: Achieving a 100 percent renewable energy future for all — SolSource is a solar cooker, but it harnesses a tremendous amount of energy beyond what is needed for cooking. So we are working on harnessing that energy for electricity, household heating, water purification, and waste processing. Today, you can eat healthy, delicious solar [-cooked] food. Tomorrow, your solar grill could be powering your house, your car, and your life.With SolSource, we hope to continue to help under-consuming families leapfrog into a highly aspirational solar energy future, as well as to help over-consuming families enjoy life just as much while consuming fewer nonrenewable resources.Given all that is happening with our climate, energy seems like a great place to start. One hour of sunlight provides enough energy to supply all human needs for an entire year. The potential is huge if we could only enable more people to harness it.OFS: What’s the one thing you hope people take away from your product?POWERS: Everyone around the world essentially wants and needs the same basic things, so let’s design an equitable human lifestyle that gives us all a brighter future here on Earth. That future is going to require products and systems that make it fun and convenient to live using fewer finite resources and that close the loop on our waste stream.OFS: What are the challenges in adopting and implementing small-scale renewable energy sources in the developing world?POWERS: People often talk about the last-mile challenge from a logistics perspective, but we’ve actually found that people are willing to travel long distances to access SolSource in town centers and other regional hubs. Our bigger challenge is price constraint. For example, we spoke with families in northern Myanmar who wanted SolSource, but who had never owned a product that cost more than 16 U.S. dollars, and they were taking out loans to afford even those.Some people might say we should just use cheaper materials. But we realized early on that it is often the most price-constrained families that need the highest-quality products. These families tend to live in places with harsh environmental conditions, sometimes amidst warfare, and often with the need for frequent migration. Performance and durability are crucial.OFS: How did your experiences and studies at Harvard influence or contribute to SolSource?POWERS: My experience at Harvard prepared and allowed me to understand the challenge at hand, and how to measure the effectiveness of the solutions. We developed 54 prototypes of solar cookers before we developed SolSource. We trained citizen scientists from inside the villages to monitor its impact on pollution and cost savings, and we purchased state-of-the-art monitoring equipment to support this work.Much of this was funded through grants and fellowships from the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation, which were hosted by Harvard. I also received a scholarship from Harvard to finish my graduate studies, and would not have been able to complete the work without this support.So much of the guidance I’ve received comes directly from my advisory committee at HSPH. Jack Spengler, James Butler, Majid Ezzati, and Christopher Barr were invaluable resources in the evaluation of SolSource, as well as in my personal development.OFS: Do you have a few tips/advice for aspiring “green-preneurs”?POWERS: I always love trading learning with other doers out there. Here are some of the ones that have been most important for me over time.1.  If you have co-founders, your relationship with them means everything about the success or failure of your company. Fighting is fine and natural, but you have to respect each other and know how to communicate effectively.2.  Take the time to stop and think about the bigger context of your work, and make sure that you are still building toward the world you want to live in in the future.3.  Remember to sleep.last_img read more

JTF-Bravo Donates COVID-19 Supplies for Municipalities in La Paz, Comayagua in Honduras

first_imgBy Maria Pinel/Joint Task Force Bravo Public Affairs August 24, 2020 Joint Task Force Bravo (JTF-Bravo) donated personal protective equipment and medications, through U.S. Southern Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Program to support the municipalities of Villa de San Antonio, La Paz, Ajuterique, and Lejamani in Honduras.The donation includes KN95 masks, gloves, gowns, booties, head covers, disinfecting supplies, and medication to benefit the health care providers of the Roberto Suazo Córdova Hospital, a regional hospital that receives patients from both Comayagua and La Paz. Donations were also provided to the Emergency Committees in the municipalities of Villa de San Antonio in the department of La Paz, and Ajuterique and Lejamani in the department of Comayagua to be distributed through local health care clinics. The total donation is valued at more than $52,000.JTF-Bravo continuously works to build partnerships to foster security, stability, and prosperity for Honduran citizens through a variety of missions, currently including personal protective equipment donations in response to COVID-19 throughout the country.U.S. Army Colonel John Litchfield, new JTF-Bravo commander, personally delivered the donations and met with local mayors, healthcare leaders, and authorities, further reiterating JTF-Bravo’s commitment to supporting its partners and hosts in this time of need.“We are committed to supporting your efforts in the fight against COVID-19. We are part of this community and we are in this together. Your success is our success and I look forward to continuing strengthening our partnership,” said Col. Litchfield. “We are together in this fight and we are committed to supporting you as friends and neighbors.”last_img read more

Irish going well at World Cup Rowing Regatta

first_imgSunita Puspure and Monika Dukarska finished 3rd and 4th respectively in the single sculls and will compete in the repechage race later.Aifric Keogh and Aileen Crowley were 4th in their heat and go to the repechage tomorrow. In rowing The World cup regatta continues in Poland.Gary & Paul O’ Donovan won their heat and are straight into the final on Sunday while Shane O’ Driscoll & Mark O’ Donovan won their exhibition race and will race in the A Final tomorrow.Denise Walsh has finished second in her Lightweight Single Sculls and is through to the A/B semi final.last_img read more

Former Rangers hierarchal members arrested

first_imggetty images Craig Whyte had a controversial spell as owner of Rangers Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte and ex-chief executive Charles Green have been arrested as part of an investigation into the “alleged fraudulent acquisition” of the club in 2012.Mr Green, 62, arrived at Livingston police station in West Lothian earlier today, where he was understood to have been interviewed by officers about his time at the Glasgow club.The businessman took control at the Ibrox club in 2012 after completing a purchase of Rangers’ assets and business after it went into administration and liquidation earlier that year. He stepped down as chief executive in 2013.Mr Whyte, 44, who took control of Rangers in 2011 before the club entered administration, attended a police station in Glasgow later in the day for questioning.A spokesman said: “Police Scotland can confirm a 44-year-old man has been arrested and is presently detained in police custody in connection with an ongoing investigation into an alleged fraudulent acquisition of Rangers FC in 2012.“A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.”An earlier police statement said a 62-year-old man had been arrested and detained over the same investigation.A third man, understood to be former Rangers co-administrator David Whitehouse, was also arrested after being detained in England.Police said in a statement: “Following a Police Scotland operation on Tuesday, a 50-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the ongoing investigation into the alleged fraudulent acquisition of Rangers FC in 2012.“Around 6am officers from Police Scotland’s economic crime unit, assisted by officers from Cheshire, attended at an address in England and detained the 50-year-old man.“He has now been arrested and is presently detained in police custody.”All three men are expected to appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Wednesday.center_img 1last_img read more

Raiders legend Cliff Branch dies at 71

first_imgNAPA — Cliff Branch, who played on three Super Bowl championship teams and played his entire 14-year with the Raiders, died Saturday, the club confirmed.Branch turned 71 years old on Thursday. No cause of death has been released. According to the Bullhead Ciy (Arizona) police Twitter account, Branch was found  deceased in his hotel room at 3:40 p.m.“The initial investigation revealed no suspected foul play and that Mr. Branch died of natural causes,” according to the tweet.On August 3, …last_img read more

Mandela banknotes set to hit the streets

first_img31 October 2012 South Africa’s new banknotes, featuring an image of former president Nelson Mandela on the front and images of the country’s “Big Five” wild animals on the reverse, will go into circulation on Tuesday, 6 November. Making the announcement in Pretoria on Tuesday, Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus said South Africa’s currency was “a unique symbol of our nationhood, with many of us handling banknotes every day. The Reserve Bank is proud to be able to honour South Africa’s struggle icon and first democratically elected president in this way.” The new notes will also have upgraded, state-of-the-art security features, as well as enhanced features for the visually impaired, including raised print on both sides. They will have the same R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200 denominations. Marcus said last month that the Bank had no plans to introduce higher denominations, noting that people in the country’s rural areas often struggled to break up a R200 note. The old notes will continue to be legal tender for as long as they remain in circulation, as the Reserve Bank gradually swaps them out. The Bank has been running an extensive awareness campaign ahead of the launch, giving South Africans, commercial banks and the retail industry plenty of opportunity to familiarise themselves with the features of the new notes. Adverts across all types of media, public outreach events and roadshows have extended countrywide and across the borders to common monetary areas such as Swaziland, Namibia, Lesotho, Mozambique, Botswana and Zimbabwe. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Ducere Foundation tells African stories

first_imgLearners at Zandspruit Primary School during the launch of Ducere’s African Children’s Stories Program. (Images and e-book: Ducere)Reading can be boring if the stories do not resonate with the lives of readers. The Ducere Foundation knows this, and aims to provide an African alternative in children’s literature.All too often, library shelves and school bags are filled with Western stories that have little or no relevance to the reality of primary schoolchildren in Africa. But the foundation’s African Children’s Stories Program is leading the way with an innovative initiative that aims to one day publish and distribute African children’s stories from each and every African nation.Julia Gillard, the former prime minister of Australia and its former minister of education, is the chancellor of Ducere and chair of the board of directors of its Global Partnership for Education. She was in South Africa earlier this month to celebrate the foundation’s African Children’s Stories Program roll-out.Julia Gillard, the chancellor of Ducere and chair of the board of directors of its Global Partnership for Education, emphasised how the grassroots are important for children to excel in basic education and literacy.Ducere has partnered with Monash South Africa (MSA), a leading private higher education provider founded by Monash University (Australia) and a member of Laureate International Universities, for the roll-out of the latest collection of stories. They were written by local South African pupils.EDUCATIONAL VISITWhile she was in Johannesburg, Gillard visited Zandspruit Primary School, where she encouraged the children to keep writing and to make their education a priority.“Education, employability and entrepreneurship begin at grassroots level, from the support of basic education and literacy to the preparation of students for today’s global economy,” she said.The MSA and Ducere collaboration is made possible through the MSA student-led programme, This is Me, which promotes children’s creative thinking, storytelling and literacy skills to support their academic and personal growth.“We will continue publishing stories written by African children, for African children to be shared across the globe,” said Di Fleming, the chief executive of the Ducere Foundation. “We encourage and celebrate literacy from a young age, and empower the young learners to embrace their African culture.”MSA distributed hundreds of these stories to schools through its campus community engagement programmes.STUDENT DEVELOPMENTEsther Benjamin, the chief executive of MSA and of Africa operations for Laureate International Universities, believes this project, one of many MSA outreach programmes, strengthens students’ passion for volunteering as part of their personal development, gives them an opportunity to make important contributions to the community, and equips them with valuable skills for leadership and entrepreneurial thinking.An example of African Children Stories from Rwanda (Collection 22).“By facilitating important conversations on education’s link to building robust economies and skilled marketplaces, we strive to be a leading change agent in South Africa and beyond,” she said.“We pride ourselves on local relevancy as well as a global perspective. We work with an extensive global network of thought leaders to ensure that our graduates are equipped for the global business environment as well as for entrepreneurial initiatives relevant to the marketplace.”Gillard’s visit culminated in a panel discussion that included prominent business, NGO, and community leaders.At the discussion, Gillard and Benjamin spoke about the challenges and opportunities for students in the global marketplace. It was emphasised that students needed to pursue academic excellence along with cultivating essential life and personal skills for employability and entrepreneurship.PLAY YOUR PARTAre you playing your part in transforming South Africa? If so, submit your story or video and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.last_img read more

England crowned World Twenty20 champions

first_imgCraig Kieswetter and Kevin Pietersen took England to their first world title in cricket as they thrashed Australia by seven wickets in the final of the World Twenty20 2010.England vs Australia, ScoresT20 World Cup – Full CoverageMan of the match: Craig KieswetterMan of the tournament: Kevin Pietersen (248 runs)Brief scores: Aus 147-6 (D Hussey 59; Sidebottom 2-26); Eng 148-3 in 17 overs (Kieswetter 63; Smith 1-21).Paul Collingwood’s men bowled and fielded sharply to restrict Australia to 147-6 after inserting them here at the Kensington Oval.Kieswetter (63, 49b) and Pietersen (47, 31b) — both of South African extract — added 111 to engineer what is Australia’s only defeat in a world championship final since their thrashing by Sri Lanka in 1996.The duo were dismissed within three runs of each other, causing the briefest of scares in the English camp. But Collingwood added 27 in 17 balls with Eoin Morgan to seal the win with three overs to spare — a massive margin by T20 standards — thus handing Australia their first defeat of the tournament after six straight wins.For Pietersen, who’s just become a father, this was meant to. His aggressive fifty against South Africa set the tone for England’s campaign after they had barely scraped through to the Super Eights.England have been the bridesmaid on many occasions, having lost ODI World Cup finals in 1979, 1987 and 1992, and the Champions Trophy final at home in 2006.Today, they stamped their authority on the game from the first over. Australia were reduced to 8-3 thirteen deliveries into the match, and England never let the momentum slip.advertisementDavid Hussey’s 59 (54b, 2×4, 2×6) and his 50-run stand with Cameron White’s 30 (19b) pulled Australia out of a messy start.Off-spinner Graeme Swann (1-17) complemented England’s pacers again with an economical spell in the middle overs.Earlier, Ryan Sidebottom had dismissed Shane Watson, caught at slip off the game’s third ball, and Brad Haddin caught down the leg in the third over.Haddin walked off looking disappointed at Billy Doctrove’s decision. Replays showed the ball had not hit Haddin’s bat as Kieswetter dived spectacularly to his left to take that catch. In between, Michael Lumb swooped in from cover to run David Warner out with a direct hit.Australian skipper Michael Clarke was caught brilliantly by Collingwood off Swann.The England captain flew to his left at short mid-wicket to hold on to a difficult catch, leaving Australia at 45-4 in the 10th over.England lost Lumb cheaply to Shaun Tait in the second over, but once Pietersen and Kieswetter were through, the trophy was in England’s grasp.By losing this game, Australia missed out on the chance to be the only team to hold all three ICC titles at once. Ricky Ponting had led them to victory in the 2007 ODI World Cup and the 2009 Champions Trophy.England’s 35-year wait to win a major title in cricket has ended and bodes well for them for next year’s World Cup in India.last_img read more

Olympiakos Scores Early, Beats Larissa 2-0 in Greek League

first_imgATHENS — Defending champion Olympiakos scored twice in the first nine minutes, then missed several chances for a wider victory against Larissa in the Greek league on Saturday.Thanassis Androutsos opened the scoring just 14 seconds into the game with a close-range shot off a cross from Seba.Eight minutes later, Tarik Elyounoussi failed to score from even closer, but Brown Ideye got the rebound for his league-leading 13th goal.Bad luck caught up with Ideye in the 66th when he was forced to leave the game with a shoulder injury.The win kept Olympiakos 13 points ahead of Panionios, a 1-0 winner at Veria.Also, Atromitos beat host Asteras 1-0.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more