How Is Electronic Waste Affecting Our Lives?

We are living a time when the electronics make our lives a lot easier. They help us communicate and stay in touch with the latest updates. The innovation pace is so big that, even though we just bought a new device some months ago, we don’t think twice before we buy the latest, recently released gadget.

But, what happens with our old electronics once we replace them? Even though almost all the electronic waste can be recycled, we are still way behind to doing it right. Unfortunately, almost 14 million mobile phones are thrown away each year. And as if this wasn’t enough, all this quantity releases 80,000 lbs. of toxic lead, known for its devastating effects on the human body.

7 facts about electronic waste and recycling

Once you start reading this article, you most probably ask yourself how bad can electronic waste be? How is electronic recycling going on and what could be done to improve it? The majority of our electronic waste is discharged in the landfills from Asia or Africa. However, this doesn’t mean that there, all our mobile phones, TVs, and laptops are properly recycled.

All the electronic waste is usually incinerated on their landfills, polluting the air and the environment with the released toxins. Massive quantities of electronic waste are also sent to developing countries where the workers try to extract precious metals from them.

With an average replacement period of 18 months for a mobile phone, the facts about electronic waste and recycling should make everyone think twice before they replace their electronics.

  • 1. 50 million tons can be quantified each year as electronic waste. This amount is expected to grow yearly by 4%. The United States is the highest electronic waste producer, with an annual quantity of 3 million tons. China comes next with 70 million cell phones and 20 million household electronic devices thrown away every year.
  • 2. Up to 85% of the electronic waste is sent to landfills or incinerators in other countries. Guiyu, a town in China, is known as the “capital of electronic waste”. The workers from Guiyu have an average value of lead concentration of 149. Considering that any value above 100 puts the life in danger, it is obvious to understand what can happen with the workers from these landfills.
  • 3. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mentions that if we would recycle our electronic waste, the benefits could be impressive, starting with a better home space management to preventing pollution and saving the world’s natural resources. For instance, if we would recycle all the mobile phones we throw away in the landfills, we would save enough energy for 24,000 American homes.
  • 4. Electronic waste contains about 60 valuable elements like gold, copper, silver, or palladium. According to EPA, if we would recycle 1 million cell phones, we would obtain 50 pounds of gold, approximately 500 pounds of silver, 20 pounds of palladium, and 20,000 pounds of copper. With these values in mind, it is easy to estimate that the Americans are throwing around $60 million worth of gold and silver to the garbage.
  • 5. Each TV contains approximately 4 to 8 pounds of lead. When a TV is not properly recycled, all this lead ends up into the soil and water. The lead is extremely harmful to the nervous system and kidneys.
  • 6. Apart from lead, electronic waste contains a lot of dangerous and toxic substances. For example, it contains mercury, arsenic, chromium, selenium, or cadmium.
  • 7. The number of mobile phones has reached such an incredible level of being more than the world’s population. What is more, the statistics show that the mobile devices have a growth rate five times greater than that of the population.
  • We can all change this situation and start recycling our electronic waste. Education is the key for an efficient recycling program. Before we throw an electronic device to the garbage, we should think before if someone else could use it. What is more, we can also ask the electronic shops about their recycling programs and get their help.

    In which I discover the magic coffee maker

    cheap k cups taste great

    <3

    I recently started a job in a corporate office.  I personally was very excited because it is my first “real adult” job in my life.  I love getting dressed every morning in sharp business professional attire and walking down the halls with my briefcase on the way to my very own cubicle.  If you couldn’t tell already, it definitely makes me feel a little self-important and extremely fancy.
    However, one of the drawbacks about working in the corporate world is that I no longer have the ability to take my time getting ready in the morning.  I used to be able to dilly-dally and read the paper or watch the news while starting my day. This includes being able to surf the internet a little bit and brew a few cups of coffee before heading out the  door.  Now that I have a morning commute to worry about, as well as avoiding rush-hour traffic along that commute, I just don’t have the time to do any of that stuff.  I have to be up, ready, and out the door– fast.
    That’s why the Keurig coffee maker was such a smart purchase for me.   I used to have to choose between brewing several cups of coffee at a time, or watching the pot to see when exactly enough had been made to fill my mug.  Additionally, I could never seem to get it right because my mug holds more than one cup.  It seemed like with my old coffee maker I was always making too much or not enough. I felt like the Goldilocks of coffee drinkers.
    With my Keurig and the individualized cheap K cups, I no longer have to worry about that silly stuff.  I pour in exactly the amount of water I need, and exactly the amount of coffee I want comes out.  Not to mention it is totally delicious and takes less than a minute to brew.  When I’m rushing out the door and on the way to work, one minute can make all the difference on whether I am five minutes early to the office or ten minutes late.  Thanks to Keurig I don’t have to be stressed out about punctuality, because I know I’ll be on time every time.  The fact that the Keurig coffee cheers me up and gets me ready to tackle my day is just an added bonus.
    Finally, I have been able to make a solid impression with my bosses at work because I got them to be the newest converts to the Keurig way.  In the office break room there used to be an old, poor quality, industrial sized coffee maker that spit out tepid brown water.  Once I brought in my thermos full of Keurig and had my neighbors down the hall drooling from how good my beverage smelled, the office manager purchased a Keurig of our own.  I may be known as the “coworker who is responsible for the awesome coffee maker” at work now, but hey, I’ll take it.

    5 Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

    How is your footprint?

    These days it is pretty hard to deny that unless something changes dramatically with the way people treat our environment the effects are going to be drastic. While some vocal people still deny that global warming is really happening they are fast becoming a minority – it seems as though global warming is real, it is happening and it is scary. So what can you as one single person do to make a difference? Here are five quick suggestions that I try to be aware of in my daily life and they really are not hard to implement at all.

    Buy food from local producers

    We live in a globalized world, and while this is by-and-large an amazing thing that has opened us up to knowledge, new cultures and experiences and cheaper products (I am not an anti-globalization hippie!!) the fact is that shipping products all over the world is emitting massive amounts of carbon. Nowdays it is standard to visit the grocery store and find fruit and vegetables from all over the world. However, the fact is it is not much more expensive to find stores that stock locally grown produce that only has to be trucked a few miles from where it was grown rather than flown 1000s of miles.

    Ride your bike or walk more

    This one doesnt only help the environment but is good for your health too! Next time you are driving to a store just around the corner stop and think if it would be just as easy to walk. Going a bit farther? Jump on a bike. You can pick up perfectly good bikes second hand for under $100 and just riding a few times a week instead of driving will also save you a lot of money on gas. It’s a no brainer.

    Use green energy

    Many power companies now give you the option of getting some or all of your energy from clean sources. Even better read up on how to to make solar panels and start producing your own solar power free from the sun.

    How to make solar panels - save the planet

    Check energy rating on new appliances

    You will be amazed at how much more power one appliance can use compared to an identical-looking one right next to it. If you are buying something big like a TV, fridge or dishwasher do your research and choose a product that uses less energy – this can make a big reduction in your carbon footprint and to your power bill.

    Consume less of everything

    I have to admit that I love shopping online, but it can be a good idea to stop and think before clicking that checkout button… do I really need this new thing? We could all consume a little less and enjoy the simple things in life a lot more.

    HEAVEN AS NOTHING BUT THE DISTANCE BY JOSHUA ROBBINS

     

    Heaven As Nothing but Distance
    Maybe it was enough to believe
    the Zodiac’s blazing entirety
    would be cast from the sky,
    an effortless handful of salt

    scattered to the Kansas plains’
    red wheat. Out West,
    souls every day were shedding
    their Earthly inheritance—the refused

    histories of cause and effect,
    blight, hunger with a trace
    of Santa Fe Railway coal
    dusting grocers’ displays—

    and so my grandfather, too,
    who, having left Topeka
    for Los Angeles’s early sprawl,
    exits the train station’s dim

    into day’s white flash,
    takes one step onto his upturned
    apple crate, a new Bible
    in his palm, and he begins

    to explain why all things are fire,
    what it is that makes you ache
    awake, and why this must
    be so. Once, on a gritty

    city beach in California—flies,
    stinking strands of kelp
    rotting, Styrofoam—he
    and I sat watching a gull choir

    first eyeball, then swoop,
    then peck, almost in unison,
    something tangled in a blue tarp
    washed-in above the tide-pull.

    A drowning victim, maybe.
    A vagrant. And though unable
    to see what was there, when he
    put his hand in mine

    I could not have even counted
    all the things I wished
    to believe in, and which would still
    be true if what I remembered

    was the sound of the waves landing,
    but now there is only the lungless
    hot breath of L.A.
    on my cheek, the cries of gulls,

    their wings ruffling into flight.
    The night after his memorial,
    someone dug a hole into
    Kansas silt loam, dropped

    into it the plastic baggie
    with his ashen remains.
    Nothing then but distance in every
    direction. Above us, a satellite’s

    beacon begged the horizon
    for home, the heavens’ scales
    measured the darkness, and that’s all.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Joshua Robbins is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Tennessee where he teaches poetry and fiction writing, and serves as Editor for Grist: The Journal for Writers. His awards include the James Wright Poetry Award, the New South Prize, as well as multiple Pushcart Prize nominations. His work appears in Best New Poets, Mid-American ReviewThird CoastHayden’s Ferry ReviewVerse DailyCopper NickelSouthern Poetry Review, and elsewhere.

    GUMBO by George Comeaux

    Gumbo

    I

    Oil and Water have always mixed well here –
    Priest and prostitute; Anglo; Creole;
    Plantation owner; wet nurses; sharecropper –
    Gumbo stirring in everyone’s soul.

    Acadians trapped in the swamps no one wanted;
    Africans danced to the auctioneer’s song;
    Battered by strong winds, and social upheaval,
    Twice reconstructed, more fertile and strong.

    II

    It’s not Oil and Water, it’s Black Gold and Brine!
    Treasures embracing, to taunt destiny…
    Mother Earth pierced, lubricants flowing
    In post-partem sorrow to Grandmother Sea.

    Life from the past, dueling life for tomorrow,
    Clouding the bon temps that want to roulez;
    Wings weighted, grounded; gills suffocating;
    Shrimp boats aren’t a’sailin’ on Ponchartrain Bay.

    III

    Blame the pusher, the user, investor, producer;
    Add up to total, send out the bill.
    God said He’d forgive human transgression…
    I don’t think Mother Nature will.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    STATEMENT

    Oil and water have had significant impacts on my life. My parents grew up on Louisiana farms near the Mississippi River, My father worked as a teenager with his father clearing swamps for the levees near Baton Rouge. My spent his career at Humble Oil in Baytown, Texas, on the Houston Ship Channel. Humble income helped fund my college experience. My hope and prayer are that the perpetual inter-dependence and conflict between Nature and Industry will favor the health and well-being of the larger family.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    CHANNEL BY KATHERINE FACTOR

    Channel

    We all live downstream. Osteoblast
    rings are an enormous thing. Have you
    ever seen inside the heart? If you have, you have entered
    a forest. Ventricles abound. Now lie down on its floor.
    Looking up is the miasma of trees; leucocytes
    scan the scene – can you believe it? You are watching your chest -
    I am here thinking it is a man’s, the men I love
    that is the you in this poem and you are under
    the parasoling canopy. Parasols are protectors: that is me.
    And past the chest is the plasma TV. And I am
    watching Micheline on America’s Got Talent, she
    is the younger sister of my puppy love, assistant to the magician
    Antonio, a man with Zappa zombie raging hair. And fire. And blood.
    The zapper instructs us on. Down another
    chamber, the dolphins are hemorrhaging from Corexit.
    What has fallen is vexed –
    foul fruit has fallen from the tree, mutinous breadfruit. Beaches are aflame.
    The workers are pleading, I mean bleeding.
    Is this why my left brain hurts? The headache, I think, is fallout or pollen or waves.
    And the water children build sandcastles, moats retort an invisible oil,
    the solvent explodes. So what if I am angry, will this solve it?
    At Squaw Valley, that name, poets write about birds drenched in crude,
    but we don’t want to say it. This is true: E – co-tro -city.
    It feels weird to admit. To write it. I flip
    back to Micheline. Everyone is so grateful
    and loving, having their American dream. But BP is just
    over there, the crab making every attempt to save
    his house, a charcoaled shell. His moonmother was made for fish.
    The gusher is now a leak shooting ink. The white man
    with feathered trim croons the Reverend. Michael Grimm, the kind
    with the two m’s, goes on singing. Even Al Green can’t clean
    this. The heart pulsates. The molar undulates, is a mountain
    made for cannibalism. This ends the show,
    I mean home, I mean -What has happened?
    Damn you, you hellmouth, this was supposed to be
    a love poem.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    STATEMENT

    I wrote this poem in July at Squaw Valley Poetry Community of Writers, to me a heightened place of eco-poetries. I was thinking of that day’s teacher Dean Young – his influence and his ability to contain constellations in his writing – while watching television in my quarters. As I marveled at how closely programmed the dying earth could be with a hope-blow-out of a talent show, a projective notion came forth – to channel is to make a poem an organism, an artifact of our consciousness at the time.

     

    In workshop, Dean calmly defended Channel when it was described “a rant,” suggesting that control marks and holds the emotion. I was, in fact, so aware of the amoebas of music released in the poems’ making, pushing the words toward mycorestoration because BP wouldn’t, at the same time needling in scorching disharmony of anti-accountability. I was trying, then, to take responsibility at least for language, dispersing the pollutant of imprisoning dark emotions by forcefully accepting poetic taxonomies. Instead of running from the evolving families of “political’ poetry, I found, then, that to admit the heart-driven is a way to allow the few remaining rights waters have guide the poem.
    Katherine Factor was born near the Mississippi but now lives in the San Jacinto mountains. She has work forthcoming in Quarterly West and the Colorado Review.

    VEILED SPILL #1 BY JAN CLAUSEN

    Veiled Spill #1

    One/ This is the world: we agree on that much. Spilling, they loll on their mojo here and there, hurling much to the winds. Idle. Ashing. Desperately kindled. Roasting marshmallowy virgins on the points of bayonets. Muffled within the uncanny. Incandescent. Not to blame. (Above all, not to blame!) Regard their beautiful mugs and wistful abs. I hobbled, veiled, among them like a vendor on the strand. Like a démodé prophet, lip-synching codas, while they stoutly maintained that Being’s a self-starter, that whatever “takes place” would have done so anyway without our intervention, that politics is a reflex, superstitious behavior or else Tourette’s syndrome (This is the world, I said, and they said it didn’t matter.) We better get global warming figured out toot sweet, they moaned, cranking up the AC. They did it without a blush of irony. For them, it’s a no-brainer. This is the world. Where you can do anything. Synthesize a garden or tweet about Art. Pour concrete and sprinkle designer compost and sow exotic grasses. Draft an ars poetica on your mobile. Stock the second freezer with mice to feed the python. Where everything is superfluous like our bodies, but only an ant is more or less foolproof. I can’t get them out of my kitchen. This is the weird. Where nothing helps anything.

    Two/ Veiled to the nines, I said we should cast them out.

    Three/ An Ant! An Enemy! Morning!

    Four/ This heat reminds me of something. I was traveling incognito as a child. And this was the world, and this was America. Riding, I remember, car windows rolled down, in the back seat of the Chevy station wagon, muffled within the uncanny, through some parched provincial state—Idaho, Montana. Stopped at a budget motel, chlorine pool by the parking lot. Dove in, displaying mediocre form. Some limb too much akimbo, Father said. Floated, blissfully far from criticism. And I ain’t got no home in this world anymore.

    Five/ It seemed possible I’d spilled a little sugar on the counter.

    Six/ I divide my time (now) between the cloud and the ledge. And this too is the world as seen from my brittle plenitude. (Cast it off. Loose it to the winds.) This was (is) the world in need of prayer or channeling. Anywhere—while arranging the white squares of ant traps!—you might experience a kundalini wakeup call. Divide the veil in two and pin it back. Think of the pubic bone’s halves like butterfly wings. Root down to the earth through your pelvic floor. Enjoy your teeth. Absorb your brush with breath. Be sure to wash your hands after handling the traps. The captain has turned on the sha-nah-nah sign. I presume we’re cleared for takeout. We’ll be on the ground in stitches.

    Seven/ Veils on top of veils, all utterly transparent. The ants, a lot of them, had found a point of interest over by the stove. It seemed I could write it down, but nuances would vanish. Nobody would get it. I wrote what I overheard. Some consider it purloined. On the radio, journalists spoke of “driving eyeballs to the page.” I pictured (out of Buñuel or Dalí) a shepherd herding his ocular flock to pasture, then learned the phrase was only bloggerese for the effort to capture readers. For years on end, locked down in the seminar, I talked mainly to myself, but possibly it was healthy for the students to witness a female elder’s over-involvement with the text. I silently deplored their inveterate cleavage and spoke in tongues weakly from the parapet of my wimple. Discreetly, under the table, they checked their messages or IM’d fuck buddies. This is the world and this is human endeavor. He created an index card for each of his lovers, including a coded notation of penis size. She used the pen name Adonis for her man-on-man porn, but still couldn’t get an agent. She had a flawed idea of male arousal or possibly just the market. Note I said sow not spill (I meant the seed). While walking in the garden near the lacinato kale, I came upon a woman in a tank top. One shapely limb was raised above her head and what took away my breath (but only metaphorically) was the swirled tuft of hair licking up from the delicate hollow. I worshipped venery briefly in her sexual penumbra, as beads of water clung in the dimpled surfaces of cruciferous vegetable foliage. This was the world, where what I wanted didn’t count. “Shave your eardrums.” What was that you said. Oh, underarms. Armpits. Pluck your eyebrows while you’re at it. How do you “thread” an eyebrow? And how do you decide between “sow” and “spill”? Which do you do with seed? (Or—“sew” the seed, a frill.)

    Eight/ The ants boil up through pinpoint holes between the counter tiles. I should be thinking of grouting, caulking.

    Nine/ It didn’t matter what I wanted, nothing helps anything. A tummy tuck, a water cure, a pose on a sticky mat. Mad ants got into my stash of medjool dates. Extinction kept unfurling in the wings. This was the world and it was dying, blatantly. Had been at it so long I’d sort of gotten acclimated. From Day One, my lullaby had been, “Wake not the sleeping aporia. Mind the hypoxic zone.” Gaily decked out in mufti, one perceives no need for corsets. “And why would you need to put full makeup on just to read The Idiot and Theodicy?” Thus barricaded calmly within the wiki burqa, we loll and spill and sow and toil and maim, maintaining (startled, sorry, reminiscent) that Being’s a self-starter, that direct action is the whippet of the masses, that nothing takes place because of our tenderness. Thus do we palpate romance.

    Ten/ The exterminator came in the heat of the afternoon: round-bodied, graying, wearing a dark blue uniform. He mopped his brow and spoke of the End of Days in a light West Indian accent. “I don’t know how religious you are, but there’s a man on the radio, maybe you’ve heard about him—he predicts that on May 11 of next year…that’s when He is coming to establish His kingdom. If that is true, our time is very short.” “But what do you think?” I wanted to know, always a sucker for eschatology. The exterminator paused, repositioning his nozzle. He appeared to be a man who took pride in his work. “I pay close attention when it says in the Bible: ‘You will know not the day nor the hour.’ I don’t see how anyone could know a thing like that.” While I was making out the check, he noticed my funny aloe plant, deformed by its affinity for indirect light. “Back home on my island, we break off a piece for any cut, bruise, or sting. That’s your pharmacy right there.”

    Eleven/ She walks these hills in a long black limousine. She walks these hills in a crumpled Humvee. She walks these hills in a rusty old beater. She walks these hills in a knockout static kill. She walks these hills in a billowy blind shear ram. She walks these hills in a skimpy blowout preventer. Baby doll, baby doll.

    Twelve/ I wondered: what would happen to the sky?

    Thirteen/ Within its wild veil, the gritty scatter of the belly. This was the world. Why are they hurting it here? (And so I hunkered down and played with fire.) It strikes me that I know so very little in the round, about creation’s lumps and lunges, all its sore latitudes. That humming umbilical engine, under-girding everything, muffled within the din of spill&cleanup. (And so I hunkered down and burned with art.) A gulf is a gulf of relations—this much was clear to me, though I’m not even a woman in the regular sense (for instead of multiplying, I want to be alone, protected by the thick, opaque curtains of sentences that enfold my face and body). It was just water. It was just trees. It was just grass. It was just time. It was there for the living and I’ve never forgotten, here in my cloistered purview, no longer beset by ants, whose antics made me think of the old-fashioned raves my students used to frequent. Everyone would rush to find a party in some warehouse and their rushing in a crowd was the party. “I used to walk to the self along with others” (Darwish). I’m missing them already though they drove me up the wall when I found them in my oatmeal, in my tea. In Spain the pretty bimbos sported fabulous torture-shoes, adorable balls and arches lifted up in flagrant pedi-crucifixions over Roman paving stones. Newspapers filled their pages with debates about the banning of a simple facial garment. I hiked through art museums full of annunciations, flayings. Flew home (enlarging my carbon footprint) and found much the same—cheap amalgam of racialized hooey and imperial conflagration. Autos de fé. Everything twice as tacky as it was before lunch. Why were they hurting it here? I prophesied. I veiled. I came too late to drive the demons out.

    Fourteen/ This was the world: belly-land, belly-sea. A bayoneted cradle was blocking the road. Earth lay before me, disemboweled to the horizon. It didn’t matter what I wanted.

    Fifteen/ I spilled and spilled.

    Sixteen/ I wanted the world to live.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Jan Clausen’s eleven books include five volumes of poetry, the novels Sinking, Stealing and The Prosperine Papers, and the memoir Apples and Orange. Her most recent poetry titles, From a Glass House (IKON) and If You Like Difficulty (Harbor Mountain Press), both came out in 2007. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, Coconut, Drunken Boat, Fence, Hanging Loose, The Hat, Heliotrope, Kenyon Review, North American Review, the Library of America volume Poems from the Women’s Movement, Ploughshares, Tarpaulin Sky, and The Village Voice, in addition to many other journals and anthologies. Clausen frequently reviews books and the literary scene for publications including Boston Review, Ms., The Nation, Poets and Writers, and The Women’s Review of Books. A feminist activist since the 1970’s, she was a founding editor of the lesbian feminist literary journal Conditions. The recipient of writing grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and NYFA, she teaches creative writing in the Goddard College MFA in Writing Program.

    THE NINTH STAR BY MAI’A ‘

    The Ninth Star

    When the hurricane hit New Orleans black and white newspaper image in my coworkers hands. Her black curls, her white skin. I went back to sipping black coffee in a white mug and only said, my family’s from there but thats another story, Yankee.
    This story the tiger who pulled me to his bed and made me forgive him like pretty princesses always.
    The ninth ward is gone now overgrown with blue trees. put the earth in my pockets and hide from the bad dreams.

    I hear you got oil in the bay now seeping into earth making eyes glitter. Dont forget me, girl, now that you’ve become rich.
    You know they used to call your coat black gold you black like me now you old.

    The earth is not the only who knows my name and I too will be called like star to gravity like milk to pink teeth thy will be done new orleans gone.

    My skin drifts light in the winter like the color is trying to escape.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    Mai’a ‘who should have been named Nikki’ according to the poet, Nikki Giovanni, is a visionary and media maker. She has lived and worked in the Middle East, southern Mexico and east Africa with refugee and displaced women under the threat of violence, also she has organized and accompanied communities and persons within the US/Canadian urban landscape, engaging in issues including: race, working poor, sex work, prisons, drug addiction, police brutality, and queer rights. Living in Cairo, Egypt, she is a free lance writer, poet, journalist, zinester, photographer, multi-media performer, and outlaw midwife. She has dedicated her body and life to stopping by any means necessary and possible the violence (whether it be state, military, communitarian, medical, domestic, etc.) that threatens our survival on this earth and to co-creating with you revolutionary, liberatory communities.

    A BLESSING FOR THE WATER BY JUDITH ROCHE

    blessing for the water
     
    beginning no end
    circle the earth
    blesséd water
    blood of life
    ~~~~~~~~~~
    STATEMENT
    This is the text of a public art installation at the Brightwater Treatment Plant in King County, Washington. Jane Tsong is the visual artist, who proposed making three “blessings” for the water treatment plant: for water, air and the biosolids. I wrote the blessing for the water and for the Biosolids. The short shown poem here is the water blessing. The letters are cut out of steel and larger than they look in the photo- the first line is almost 4 foot tall. When fully functional (which it is not yet) water will be sluicing over the text and it will be, by design, barely
    readable – but not totally obscured- by the rushing water.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Judith Roche has added text to several public art installations in and around Seattle, Washington. Her most recent book is Wisdom of the BodyBlack Heron Press, and won an American Book Award. 

    Organising teambuilding Perth – where to go?

    Have you been contemplating getting a team building event organised for your workplace?

    As anybody who is responsible for planning team building occasions knows, making the next one more exciting, more modern and more creative compared to last can be very a challenge Another concern you might face when adding these team building tips together, is ensuring the most of the actions are going to be suitable for the majority of your associates.

    Team building perth group
    When you are choosing your team development program, additionally you need to bear in mind the ambitions that you’d want to realize long term. Overall finding a team building company in Perth that can help you create those objectives is important and once you have these obvious tips, we shall ensure that the program you choose is planning to fulfill those objectives for you. A follow-up procedure can be also put place by us when they get back to work when you get back into the workplace to make certain that what clubs discovered throughout their system is not forgotten but carry out.
    Frequently people get stuck choosing any previous team development plan convinced that they’re yet, but you could be wrong. Every individual program though it may have some characteristics, is still suitable to particular particular ambitions. You must also be aware that outside the basic program a difference could be also designed by itself how you run that program ie: transitional one location to the total result. For professional team building Perth we can give you both types of programs really successfully.
    If you are employing a skilled team development company  to co-ordinate your plan, you can assume them to be versatile to ensure that they create the appropriate occasion for you personally and what you need to obtain. Make sure that the participating facilitators and skilled and staff are there to help you every action of the way, its their profession after all so leave it up to the experts to arrange everything to make sure your day works perfectly. Looking for something more than just improving teamwork? Perhaps you need to consider leadership training to improve the management skills of your more senior staff.

    Are you and your partner on the same page about credit?

    Divide it up into a budget

    I was raised in an house when money was saved. If we wanted something, we had to earn the money for it. We saved up for school clothes, dates, gas in the car, and pretty much anything else we wanted. The expectation was in place that if we went to school after high school we were supposed to pay for that as well. With that motivation, it was easy for me to work hard and save most of what I made. Even though I started with small amounts I was able to save up quite a bit of money and was able to pay my way through college. Often it meant sacrificing something I wanted in the moment, like clothes and shoes, for something I needed later – an education. My parents were very good at teaching us to be savers and financially self-reliant, and my siblings have all started to follow suit. We never got into the habit of spending a lot of money, or buying things we didn’t really need.

    During the first part of our marriage, I felt like my husband had no real concept of money. I was pretty sure he had never even heard of the word or the concept of a budget. If we went grocery shopping, he wanted to get all the food he could and he would go straight for the expensive stuff as well. We got quite a few gift cards at our reception, and had completely different points of view on how they should be used. he had a “well, we have them and there’s some stuff we probably need so we should go find it” mentality, while I wanted to wait for an actual need to arise before we threw one of them in our wallets and went out looking for something specific. I actually ended up hiding a couple of the cards so that we wouldn’t use them and had them for when we needed them later.

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    Our credit cards

    For a few months, I was at a loss. we had completely opposite points of view about our finances, and stunningly different relationships with the money that we earned. I wasn’t really sure what to do, but I knew something had to be done after we ended up purchasing a laptop we didn’t have the money for. We put it on a credit card, but didn’t have enough money in any of our accounts to cover it. It took three months to pay it off, but that was the beginning of the problems. We applied for more credit cards but a free credit report showed that we were pretty much at our borrowing limit. Things got so tight that we advanced ourselves money off of our credit card, which was a whole new position for me. I had always been in control, had my money working for me, instead of the other way around.

    I didn’t agree with a lot of the things we were doing with our money, but I didn’t want to bring money up, because I knew we would just disagree about it and the discussion would cause friction in our young marriage. That was the last thing I wanted.

    I had a glimmer of hope one evening when I was working on our budget and showed it to my husband. He looked at it and saw that he had taken about $50 out of our checking account and put them on his school card, which he used to lunch at the vending machines on campus. A little light went on when he saw how much his lunch was costing us in $5 increments. I think it was then that he started to realize that the little things can add up in a hurry and do some major damage to our finances if we weren’t paying attention. I began to hope that this would be the beginning of the change…

    So if you and your partner arent on the same page financially, sit down and talk about it openly and try to understand where each is coming from. Break it down simply and show benefits from doing it your way and you will both be stronger when it comes to your money.

    Designing A Site That Gets Traffic – SEO Basics

    HTML Tags Can Be Confusing

    Today we will look at some of the meta description tag and meta keywords tags you need to consider to optimize your site well.

    Together with the site’s visible content, the optimized meta description tag provides the information needed to match your target audiences search queries.

    META Description Tag In HTML

    In the HTML code of a web site, a META description tag is written like this:

    <meta name=”description” content=”your content” />

    As an example, the META tag for this particular post is:

    <meta name=”description” content=”META description tag. (SEO Basics) What is a META description tag? What does a META description tag do? How can you optimize it? Examples provided.” />

    To view the META description tag of a site, simply go to your browser toolbar or ‘right-click’ anywhere on your page and choose “view source”.  The meta tag should be located near the top. Mine is approximately 14 lines down, including the blank  lines.

    Take a minute to check it out.

    How Are META Description Tags Viewed in the SERPs?

    Some search engines are temperamental, and like to grab snippets from your page to show beneath the title of your post.

    Most of the time, your META tag information is viewed by searchers beneath the title of your page in the SERPs. (search engine results pages), especially if you are using a plugin such as All In One SEO Pack which allows you to manually apply META tags in WordPress admin post editing section, beneath the post.

    Optimize META description tags for the search engines to ensure that your site has a better opportunity to rank highly for the words that you’d expect your potential target audience to use in their query.

    Equally important, is optimizing the tag to appeal to your audience. You want to use it to draw the attention of your potential visitor. This is known as using ‘call to action’. E.g. for a technology blog like Knowledge Revolution you would want a call to action like “read the latest tech news now!”

    The purpose of keywords meta is to tell the search engines what your content is about.

    (**The lack of support for the META keywords tag may be due to spammers who seem to enjoy using this tag for “stuffing” hundreds of keywords of non-relevant data, in the hope of receiving a higher ranking with the search engines.)

    How To Write META Keywords Tag In HTML

    If you are unfamiliar with META keywords tag, take a look at this example:

    <meta=”keywords” content=”meta keyword tag, meta keyword, meta, keyword, keywords tag”>

    Yours would be <meta=”keywords” content=”your, keywords, separated, by, commas, here”>

    To view the META keywords tag of any site, simply go to your browser toolbar, choose “view” then “page source” or right-click anywhere on your page and choose “view page source”. It will be located in the first few lines of code.

    Pregnancy – three trimesters, a simple guide.

    The magic of pregnancy is lost on half of the world’s population: the men.  However, I’m not writing this piece today for the men – I’m writing it for the women!  There is no way that men can ever truly understand pregnancy as they will never experience it firsthand.  Even if they study a book and look at pregnancy week by week, it doesn’t compare to actually living the experience.  Not even close.
    For example, men will never understand that every single day for the first trimester a woman is likely to be throwing up due to morning sickness.  I’m sure they can’t even remember the last time they threw up, let alone think about doing it every single day for 90 days.  It seems almost like torture – and sometimes it feels like that for us women as well.

     
    Fortunately that doesn’t last forever, as the second trimester provides some relief in the pregnancy process.  I like to refer to the second trimester as the “honeymoon period” because a lot of the bad symptoms of pregnancy tend to disappear during this time, and a lot of the good symptoms also peek their head out to say hello.
    One of these good features is that the baby begins to move around, or kick.  This is one of the few times that a man can actually participate in the pregnancy by feeling his child kick in the woman’s belly.  I have to say that when my husband first felt his child kick in my belly he told me that he finally understood just a little bit of what I was going through over the last three months.  That meant a lot to me and to him as well.  It brought us closer together as a couple and as a team working through the pregnancy.

    Energy levels tend to rise during the second trimester as well, which is great both for you as a mother and for your family.  The truth is, when mom is out of commission the family sometimes loses its way a little bit.  Surprising how often we women are the thread that holds the family together, isn’t it?  I like to think that without us making sure things actually happen then the house would be a mess and the children would be running around willy nilly all over the place with no manners at all.  Feel free to disagree with me on that though!
    My husband once said to me that during the second trimester I was the easiest to get along with and also the most positive, though sometimes crazy, person he had ever been around.  You definitely still get the hormonal swings during the 2nd trimester but you’re able to deal with it in a much more responsible way because you simply have a clearer mind.  Something about not throwing up every single day and also seeing signs that your baby is alive and well just puts you in good spirits and gives you encouragement as you enter the final stage of pregnancy.

    People still falling for the old Nigerian scam

    I’m sure everyone has heard of the famous Nigerian scam by now.  If you haven’t, here’s a brief summary.  You get an email from “royalty” in Nigeria, claiming that you are an heir to a fortune of someone who has just recently passed away.  It’s quite a substantial sum and you’re very lucky to have been named as the recipient of this fortune!  There are only a couple of things that you must do in order to get this money transferred to your accounts in your home country, where you will then be free to spend it lavishly on whatever your heart desires.  You simply have to pay a small fee to get it transferred out of Nigeria and into your accounts. Sounds simple, right?

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    Secure your personal details online to avoid being a scam victim.

    It is simple – a simple scam.  They promise fortunes of over $100,000 dollars so when you’re asked to pay the “paltry” sum of $2000 to get the money, it seems like a complete bargain and you’re more than happy to pony up the money, because you’re licking your chops thinking about all of the jetskis you’ll be able to ride with your hundred grand in cold hard cash.

    Like I said, most of you are probably intimately familiar with this scam as it has been around almost as long as the internet itself.  It was very effective in the past, but now it has been lambasted so heavily even in the mainstream media that even the most simpleminded internet user out there won’t fall for it.  That doesn’t mean that there is nothing to fear on the internet though.  Online scams are the biggest way that consumers are getting defrauded every single day of every year as we more further and further into the information age.  Transactions are happening on the internet more and more these days, and that opens up the door for faceless theft.

    I think the reason we see scams online so much more often is because those who are perpetrating these crimes are highly intellectual and a bit sociopathic.  They wouldn’t have the self confidence to pull off a scam in the real world, so they turn to their area of expertise to funnel money into their banks accounts while not having to speak to another human being at all.  It is the worst kind of depravity and governments across the world are all actively involved in fighting it on a daily basis.

    Don’t let governments be the only ones fighting against online scams though. You as an internet user need to be acutely aware that these scams are out there, and you need to protect yourself from as many of them as possible just by using smart and sound judgment while you browse the internet.  This means installing pop up blockers and using antivirus and anti spyware programs as much as you can to make sure that you’re not being attacked or scammed in any way.

    Why wouldn’t you outsource book keeping?

    For most small business owners, you would have to be absolutely crazy to employ your own accountants and book keepers when you can outsource all of that work to professionals and save money at the same time. It would be completely realistic to reduce your costs by 50% when you factor in salary, leave, down time and other inefficiencies. Outsourcers can achieve economies of scale with things like payroll because it is what they specialise in, they are more efficient at it and they do it well and consistently day in, day out. This results in direct savings for you the business owner. Bookkeepers Melbourne are a good example of the right kind of company to outsource your accounting, payroll and other financial management needs to. Leave all the nitty gritty number crunching to professionals so you can free your time up to concentrate on other areas of your business where you are most effective, whether that be sales, marketing, people management, product development, relationship building or whatever your speciality is. Adam Smith was right – focus on your areas of competitive advantage and everyone wins – especially your bottom line!

    Fun gift ideas for green-friendly families

    Well it’s nearly that time of year again, stores will be putting up decorations, people will be buying trees, carols will be sung. That’s right… Christmas shopping time is upon us! I’ve started looking for gifts early, and given that I blog about environmental issues it is always nice to find related products I can give as gifts. I found these little retro-styled christmas labels at http://www.brightstarkids.com.au/Vintage-Christmas-Labels.aspx?p774 and bought a bunch. What I love about them is they add a nice stylish finish to your gift wrapping (and look awesome on green wrapping paper). You could also put them on home made Christmas cards, on the christmas card envelopes – be creative and think of other ideas for how you could use these on your own gifts and cards. From the same site you could also take a look at their name labels perfect for kids clothes, school bags, shoes – make sure you dont lose any of your kid’s clothing again. You can even get laundry ones so you don’t mix up which clothes belong to who! Your kids will love some of the colorful labels with cartoon animals and other cool pictures on them, and you will probably love the convenience.

     

     

    A conversation I had about greening up rented houses

    The other day over coffee a friend and I were chatting about how she had just moved house into a small townhouse with very little space for a garden. She’s always been an avid gardener and lover of all things green so this is a bit of a disappointment for her so she and I were trying to think of a practical and easy solution to get some more plants around her house. After some brainstorming we thought of a great option which would be to use window boxes and fill them right up with her favorite small plants and flowers. If you shop around carefully enough I think you can probably find a window box to suit almost any style of house, you could attach one under each window easily enough that it would be fine even in a rented property –  a few screws or nails that you can putty over when you move out and take the box back down. What’s nice about them is that while they do look pretty from the outside if you do it right with some big big flower boxes and choose the right flowers to go in them they will bloom up over the bottom edge of the window so when you look out its like you are peering out into a beautiful, lush garden.

    Nice example of a green flower box.

    Over 1 year later pollution is still ongoing…

    Researchers from Auburn University found the environmental impact of the spill is continuing 17 months since oil leaked into the ocean, after an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon.

    They found that “mats” submerged in the seabed for more than a year had been broken up by tropical storms and gave off the tar balls.

    The pollution found on Alabama beaches this month had “essentially identical” chemical composition to those from after the spill.

    Researchers now “question the validity of the widely-held belief that submerged oil from the Deepwater Horizon accident is substantially weathered and depleted”.

    BP said it would “continue to have crews out collecting tarballs as the reports come in” but the report would not change its immediate plans.

    On Wednesday, BP’s share price dropped 1.3pc to 409.1p as it also emerged that the group of obscure Russian investors suing BP and two of its senior staff have almost doubled their claim to £3.1bn.

    The lawsuit follows ongoing tensions at TNK-BP between its joint owners, BP and four oligarchs.

    Small shareholders in TNK-BP, led by Andrey Prokhorov, claim the British company caused the joint venture to be excluded from a £10bn deal with Russian state oil company Rosneft. They originally filed a claim for £1.75bn, strongly contested by BP, but they now allege that losses are higher as they had not included overseas opportunities.

    Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/8780060/New-tar-balls-on-Gulf-of-Mexico-beaches-come-from-BP-oil-spill.html

     

    This begs the question: for how long will things like this keep happening? If there are “mats” under the sea breaking up 17 months later who knows what other timebombs are lurking ready to explode in 6 years, 10 years, 20 years?

    Professional development for health workers

    In any career, investing in your professional development is a valuable and necessary investment to make. For doctors and other medical practitioners this is equally true, if not more so. It is so important to keep up with new developments in your field, and for UK-based doctors and health consultants I have found one website that offers literally hundreds of options to improve your training and expertise. Oxford Medical offer a comprehensive consultant interview course that will have you handling interview situations like an experienced old hand. Fancy moving into the field of medical education? This is a massively growing sector with great career opportunities so why not take a medical teaching course? A teaching course like this is ideal for senior doctors and consultants who wish to add to their repertoire as educators as well as practitioners. Like any industry, as doctors move up the ranks they need to develop their leadership and management skills. Fortunately Oxford provide the option of taking a medical management course. This one is delivered by expert NHS doctors and managers and will add to your depth and skill-set when managing people within a medical environment. Still wishing to go further with medical education? You could always learn to train the trainer by studying a teach the teacher course, it could be the valuable next step in furthering your medical career. Good luck, and always be striving to improve!