News from around the world automatically selected by our special Intelligent Optimist filter.

  • Jerusalem Post

    New project encourages recycling after school

    April 22, 2014 ELA Recycling Corporation chairwoman says Israel surpassed the US and Europe in meeting its plastic recycling goals this year. In honor of Earth Day the ELA Recycling Corporation, a non-profit organization promoting recycling and the Israel Association of Community Centers (IACC) announced a new recycling initiative Tuesday. Hundreds of community centers throughout the country and some half a million children are expected to participate in... Read on

  • The Atlantic

    A Key to College Success: Involved Dads

    April 22, 2014 This month, millions of high school seniors across America are making important decisions about which college they will attend for the next four years of their life. Based on my professional experience talking to high school students considering attending the University of Virginia, where I teach sociology, many of these seniors seem unaware of how much their chances of collegiate success depend not on their hard work or capabilities, but on... Read on

  • The Christian Science Monitor

    Boston Marathon: Experience over accomplishment

    April 22, 2014 Subscribe Today to the Monitor New motherhood and family life in general have hindered me from running the marathon in recent years. I last ran the Boston Marathon in 2012, roughly eight months before my son was born (another great accomplishment). Since then, my life has both sped up and slowed down considerably. I have quit full-time work to stay at home with my son, and now spend most of my time on my feet chasing a toddler. Read on

  • Toronto Star

    Make every day Earth Day with these apps

    April 22, 2014 Become an informed shopper, compete for green points against your pals, and teach your kids about the environment. Four Seasons is an Earth Day themed interactive children's book. Here are some handy smartphone apps to help make your everyday life -- and not just Earth Day -- a little bit greener. Four Seasons: This is an Earth Day-themed children's book that features environmentally friendly interactions on every page. Read on

  • USA Today

    Meet three student environmentalists who work to save the earth year-round

    April 22, 2014 Once a year on Earth Day, the general population celebrates our home planet. But for some students, Earth Day is every day. Here are three college students who are working to preserve the earth year-round: Danielle Niemann - University of Southern California As other freshmen settled into college life, Danielle Niemann spent her first fall semester out of high school traveling around the world to help prevent deforestation and preserve... Read on

  • BBC News

    Two schools reach final in new classroom competition

    April 22, 2014 Two schools from Wales have reached the final in a competition to win a brand new classroom worth £80,000. It is run by the Times Educational Supplement and this year had more than 600 entrants. The two Welsh schools on a shortlist of five in the UK are Myrddin Special Unit in Carmarthen and Ferndale Community School in Rhondda Cynon Taf. People are asked to cast their vote for their favourite school and the competition closes on Sunday. Read on

  • Time

    Have Your Own Year of No Sugar

    April 21, 2014 But it isn't until minute 20 that Lustig throws down the gauntlet: "My charge before the end of tonight is to demonstrate that fructose is a poison." And thus was born our family's Year of No Sugar. The concept was simple: We were not eating added sugar. We would not eat it in the house, we would not eat it with a mouse. No white sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, molasses, maple syrup, honey, evaporated cane syrup, agave, brown rice syrup,... Read on

  • The Huffington Post

    The Hidden Joy Of Waiting In Line

    April 21, 2014 Americans spend an estimated 37 billion hours waiting in line each year, much to our individual and collective distaste. Few things inspire as much universal frustration and ire as long queues and lengthy wait times -- many of us even struggle to wait for a sluggish web browser to load. In fact, according to computer scientist Ramesh Sitaraman, Internet users may be a particularly impatient bunch. Read on

  • CNN

    10 things Hong Kong does better than anywhere else

    April 20, 2014 Hong Kong has 1,251 skyscrapers -- more than double that of New York City and Singapore. HIDE CAPTION 1. Building into the sky Editor's note: Editor's note: This story is part of a series highlighting superlatives of countries and cities around the world. Click here for pieces on Italy, France, the United States, Canada, Taiwan, India and South Korea, and watch for upcoming installments featuring other countries. Read on

  • The Hindu

    Productive work

    April 20, 2014 This refers to the article, "'Jobless growth' no more" (April 17). The data presented seem to project a rosy picture of employment growth. Indeed, there is prima facie evidence too. But what the article has deceptively refrained to address is the underlying structural shift. For example, it says that construction jobs grew by only eight million between 1999 and 2004 and by about 25 million in 2004-11. Read on

  • The New Zealand Herald

    Superyacht owners in $190m tourism plan

    April 20, 2014 Campaign builds on NZ's good reputation for refits. A new partnership between tourism agencies and the marine industry aims to double spending by wealthy superyacht owners and their crew to $190 million a year. The campaign has been welcomed by a leading agent who provided marine and tourism services for the megayacht A and many superyachts which visited during summer. Read on

  • The Atlantic

    Wall Street Wants to Lend You Money to Fight Climate Change

    April 18, 2014 The latest series of reports from the United Nation Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned in stark terms the catastrophic consequences of the world’s governments’ decades-long foot-dragging on limiting greenhouse gas emissions. But what can you do? For one thing, fix up your damn house. That furnace, from the Reagan era, the inefficient water heater, the drafty windows? They’re directly contributing to climate change. Read on

  • BBC News

    Gabriel Garcia Marquez: ‘He made a reader of me’

    April 18, 2014 Nobel prize-winning Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died in Mexico aged 87. The author was best known for his masterpiece of magic realism, One Hundred Years of Solitude, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. Gabriel Garcia Marquez's other works include Love in the Time of Cholera, Chronicle of a Death Foretold and The General in His Labyrinth. Read on

  • The New Yorker

    Gabriel Garcia Marquez: An Appreciation

    April 18, 2014 At the beginning of "One Hundred Years of Solitude," Macondo's patriarch, José Arcadio Buendía, wants to move the idyllic yet isolated community he founded to another, more accessible location. And, since no one else wants to go with him, he decides that he and his wife, Úrsula, and their son should leave by themselves. "We will not leave," his wife says, reminding him that Macondo was their son's birthplace. Read on

  • The Irish Times

    A fruitful solo run

    April 17, 2014 An Irishman's Diary about educational innovation It was during the week of the annual teachers' conferences, in 1974, that the notion of a transition year first emerged. The education minister of the time, Richard Burke, sprang his brainchild on an unsuspecting audience, and public, at the TUI Congress in Dún Laoghaire. Using the hurling vernacular of his native Tipperary, "it was a solo run", he said in a 2001 interview. Read on

  • Common Dreams

    Spring-run Salmon Release Marks Progress in Restoring San Joaquin River

    April 17, 2014 Today, for the first time in over 60 years, spring run Chinook salmon returned to the San Joaquin River when the San Joaquin River Restoration Program released 54,000 juvenile into California's second largest river. The salmon release is part of a long-term effort to revive the River's historic salmon fishery and create a healthier waterway for the communities of the San Joaquin River Valley while improving water management in one of the most... Read on

  • The Atlantic

    Everyone’s a Health Nut on Monday

    April 17, 2014 Tradition suggests that January 1 is the perfect time to decide to improve your health. But our collective success rate there is grim: One survey found that only about 17 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions stick them out for more than one month. So when do we make behavior changes that really stick? Research has shown that more people start diet and exercise regimes, quit smoking, and make doctors’ appointments on Mondays... Read on

  • BBC News

    Iran has cut higher-enriched uranium stock ‘by half’

    April 17, 2014 Middle East Iran has cut higher-enriched uranium stock 'by half' Iran has neutralised half of its higher-enriched uranium stockpile, as per a deal agreed earlier this year, the world's nuclear watchdog says. The International Atomic Energy Agency has been checking Iran's adherence to the deal, struck with six world powers. The powers want Iran to scale back its enrichment of uranium, which they fear could be used to make a nuclear bomb. Read on

  • CNN

    Braai brotherhood: How BBQ brings South Africans together

    April 16, 2014 Enjoyed in rural areas and cities, and among all cultures, the South African version of the barbecue -- the "braai" -- combines homemade kit and exotic meats. HIDE CAPTION Braai culture shared across South Africa How about warthog with peri-peri sauce? Along with more traditional fare, these are the kinds of things you might find on a "braai," a specialized barbecue born of South Africa and over the last couple years seen around the world,... Read on

  • CNN

    Americans wary of futuristic science, tech

    April 16, 2014 Americans are wary of many sci-fi developments in science and technology, according to a new Pew survey. Read on to see U.S. adults' opinions about drones, robot nurses, lab-engineered meat and other futuristic advancements. HIDE CAPTION Fearing the future? (CNN) -- Americans are generally excited about the new technology they expect to see in their lifetimes. Read on

  • AlterNet

    The Secret Anti-Abortion Law That’s Sweeping America

    April 15, 2014 Pro-lifers can't reverse Roe v Wade. So they're shutting down clinics with red tape and a smile. Don't believe the lie. Last November, a new law went into effect in Texas: abortion clinics would now be required to have an agreement with a local hospital so that patients needing treatment could be transferred. Now that sounds reasonable, doesn't it? Read on

  • CNN

    Should Obama use the power of his pen to push immigration reform?

    April 15, 2014 Should Obama use the power of his pen to turn the tide on immigration reform? "I think the President has a difficult decision to make here," said Stephen Yale-Loehr, a professor at Cornell University Law School. "The courts have upheld wide discretion on immigration matters ... he could make noncriminals the lowest deportation priorities. ... But there is a penalty he could pay through using executive action rather than waiting for Congress... Read on

  • BBC News

    Glow in the dark road unveiled in the Netherlands

    April 14, 2014 Glow in the dark road markings have been unveiled on a 500m stretch of highway in the Netherlands. The paint contains a "photo-luminising" powder that charges up in the daytime and slowly releases a green glow at night, doing away with the need for streetlights. Interactive artist Daan Roosegaarde teamed up with Dutch civil engineering firm Heijmans to work on the the idea. Read on

  • The Globe and Mail

    Nine ways to become a better leader

    April 14, 2014 1. Encourage employees to disagree with you. Companies get into trouble when everyone is afraid to speak truth to power. "If all you hear is how great you're doing, that should be a danger sign," says executive coach Ray Williams. 2. Don't micromanage. Empower the people below you, then leave them alone. "A good part of leadership is stepping back," says Bill Pasmore, senior vice president at the Center for Creative Leadership. Read on

  • Reuters

    Singapore keeps monetary policy tight, sees economy rebounding

    April 13, 2014 (Reuters) - Singapore's central bank stuck to its tight monetary policy stance on Monday despite weaker growth in the first quarter, saying core inflation will remain elevated as a sustained recovery in advanced economies spurs a rebound in the city-state. In a widely expected decision, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said it will maintain its policy of allowing a "modest and gradual" appreciation of the Singapore dollar, with no... Read on

  • The Christian Science Monitor

    Costs to counter global warming ‘relatively modest’

    April 13, 2014 Subscribe Today to the Monitor Such gases, mainly CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels, rose on average by 2.2 percent a year in 2000-2010, driven by the use of coal in the power sector, officials said as they launched the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change's report on measures to fight global warming. Without additional measures to contain emissions, global temperatures will rise about 3 degrees to 4 degrees Celsius (5 degrees to 7... Read on

  • CNN

    Guinness record-setting mural offers relief in war-torn Syria

    April 13, 2014 You'll never guess where this record-breaking mural is The multicolor artwork made by Syrian artist Moaffak Makhoul and his team is the world's largest mural made of recycled materials, according to Guinness World Records. HIDE CAPTION (CNN) -- With no end in sight for the Syrian civil war, it's mostly grim pictures that come out from the country. Read on

  • The Wall Street Journal

    Kocherlakota: Tax Cuts on Business Investments Could Boost Economy

    April 12, 2014 A tax break for businesses that invest in research and development, new equipment and physical structures could be "an effective form of stimulus" for the U.S. economy, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota said Saturday. "The future course of the U.S. economy is not predetermined by the events of the past seven years. Read on

  • The Independent

    Life With Archie: How to give a cartoon hero a new lease of life? Kill him off

    April 11, 2014 Archie Andrews may not wear a Spandex outfit, but he is as enduring and all-American a comic book hero as Captain America. Both characters were created in 1941, which means that Archie – still a teenager on the page but 73 years old in real terms – has survived the Second World War, the Cold War, the Summer of Love and the rise of the internet. Read on

  • The Atlantic

    Are College Degrees Inherited?

    April 11, 2014 Nothing is more American than the belief in second chances. But the latest College Board/National JournalNext America Poll suggests that the choices young people make as they complete high school echo with surprising power throughout their lives. Underscoring the stakes of the next step teenagers take after completing high school, the poll found that those who advanced immediately to some form of postsecondary education—either to a two- or... Read on

  • CNN

    NASA: Beautiful blood moon, when lunar eclipse comes Tuesday

    April 11, 2014 'Blood moon' will be a sight to behold during total lunar eclipse (CNN) -- Prophecy loves signs from the heavens, and they will deliver Tuesday with a moonlight spectacle. What will happen could sound sort of like this: The moon will turn to blood as it aligns with Earth and sun Then do so thrice more ere a year and a half is done, 'Tis not the herald of the apocalypses Just the first of four total lunar eclipses. Read on

  • Wired

    The Daring Quest to Circle the Globe in This Solar Plane

    April 11, 2014 The solar airplane that flew across the United States is back, bigger, better and turned up to 11. Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg made history last year when they flew across the country in a giant airplane powered only by the sun. The two traded stints in the cockpit of a sophisticated aircraft with the wingspan of a Boeing 747, four small motors and a cruising speed of just 29 mph. Read on

  • USA Today

    Burwell: Low-key manager takes on health care

    April 11, 2014 President Obama picked Sylvia Mathews Burwell to be the new face of health care because she has dealt with the complexities of the federal budget and has managed large organizations. One other thing: Burwell is a good bet for Senate confirmation. Just a year ago, the Senate voted by a 96-0 margin to confirm Burwell to her current job, director of the Office of Management and Budget. Read on

  • Israel National News

    PA Denies Progress in Peace Talks

    April 11, 2014 Responding to reports of breakthrough deal, PA chief negotiator Erekat remarks gaps are still 'deep.' Despite a flurry of reports Thursday night based on a senior US official, claiming that a deal was being finalized to extend peace talks, Chief Palestinian Authority (PA) Negotiator Saeb Erekat clarified on Friday that no such progress had been made. Read on

  • Jerusalem Post

    WATCH: Israeli innovation gives Freedom the turtle a new lease on life

    April 10, 2014 Hofesh, as he's known in Hebrew, lost two flippers on his left side four years ago. His new designer fin allows him to swim again. Freedom the turtle - or Hofesh, as he's known in Hebrew - lost two flippers on his left side four years ago after he was entangled in a fishing net, leaving him immobile, unable to lift his head above water to breathe and in danger of drowning. Read on

  • Jerusalem Post

    Talks to extend negotiations progress as Israel hits PA with economic sanctions

    April 10, 2014 US State Department says gaps narrowing between Israel and Palestinians, but adds reports of agreement are premature. Israeli and Palestinian officials did not reach an agreement on Thursday during their fourth session in a week to find a way out of the current impasse in the talks, but sources familiar with their discussions said they did agree to continue meeting in the days ahead. Read on

  • Mercury News

    France gives tech workers ‘the right to unplug’

    April 10, 2014 French IT staff at Google, Facebook and other companies have won new protections against burnout: the right to unplug. A new agreement with employers gives upwards of 300,000 tech-sector workers added guarantees that the "always connected" lifestyle enabled by smartphones won't infringe on their rights under France's famous 35-hour workweek. Union official Michel de la Force told the Associated Press the deal doesn't mean staff will be forced... Read on

  • Irish Examiner

    Life with Joanne: My little sister with a big heart

    April 10, 2014 MANY people over the past few weeks have been asking me about life with my sister Joanne. It is fair to say she has done far more and achieved way more than the average person. However, on saying that and taking everything into account, my life experiences with Joanne have gone from sheer bliss to sheer struggle. While that might sound a bit dramatic, I'm glad to say the tough times have been few and far between. Read on

  • USA Today

    Wind, solar power growing; investments aren’t

    April 10, 2014 Wind and solar energy face challenges from the boom in U.S. production of natural gas. Renewable energy continues to grow in the United States, especially solar, but it's drawing fewer investments as the cost of its technology falls and natural gas remains cheap. U.S. wind energy, although at least 40% cheaper to produce now than six years ago, saw a significant slowdown in its growth in 2013, says a report today by the American Wind Energy... Read on

  • New York Times

    Are You Programmed to Enjoy Exercise?

    April 9, 2014 It's possible that some of us are born not to run. According to an eye-opening new genetics study of lab rats, published in The Journal of Physiology, the motivation to exercise -- or not -- may be at least partly inherited. For years, scientists have been bedeviled by the question of why so few people regularly exercise when we know that we should. There are obvious reasons, including poor health and jammed schedules. Read on

  • Toronto Star

    New U.S. ambassador to Canada, Bruce Heyman, takes post after 9-month delay

    April 9, 2014 Bruce Heyman, U.S. President Barack Obama's new envoy to Ottawa, says building a strong economy doesn't have to come at the expense of protecting the environment. Bruce Heyman, pictured at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Tuesday, will have to confront the Harper government's pressure on the Obama administration to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry Alberta oilsands crude to the southern U.S. Read on

  • The Huffington Post

    The One Thing Boomers Are Optimistic About In Retirement

    April 9, 2014 A new survey about boomers and retirement calls to mind the famous lyrics from "Annie": "The sun'll come out tomorrow..." To kick off National Retirement Planning Week (You didn't know? There's still time to send a card.) , the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) today released its fourth annual report on the retirement preparedness of boomers, called Boomer Expectations for Retirement 2014. Read on

  • knoxnews.com

    Gyrene Burger finds new life in Knoxville

    April 9, 2014 After closing its two original restaurants last summer, Naples, Fla.-based Gyrene Burger Co. has found new life in Knoxville. Subscribe to read the full story Current Subscribers - Activate Now Already subscribe to Knoxville News Sentinel? Unlimited access to News Sentinel on the web, your smartphone and tablet is included with your subscription. All you will need to do is ACTIVATE now! New Subscribers - Subscribe Now Want to keep reading? Read on

  • The Globe and Mail

    The new, younger face of startups

    April 9, 2014 "The appeal of being able to create a company based on nothing more than the product ideas that lived in my head was too compelling to ignore," says Mr. Freire, whose company, DreamQii, now employs six people. A new class of ambitious risk-takers is emerging in Canada, a shift not captured in the drumbeat of statistics showing slow economic growth, anemic job creation and poor innovation. Read on

  • The New Zealand Herald

    Schools encouraged to engage with parents with bad education experiences

    April 9, 2014 Engaging with parents who suffered negative experiences during their own education is helping their children achieve greater academic success, a select committee has heard today. A submission from Adult and Community Education (ACE) Aotearoa detailed how it had been working to better engage parents and caregivers who may have suffered bad experiences in their own schooling. Read on

  • com.sg

    China set to boost tin exports as traders eye arbitrage window

    April 8, 2014 [SYDNEY] Indonesian curbs on tin exports are offering a prop to Chinese producers facing slumping demand at home, underpinning global prices and boosting the opportunity to ramp up overseas sales. Tin prices in China have slipped below the London Metal Exchange (LME) price for the first time in three years, as a rise in the international benchmark has outpaced local prices. Read on

  • Mirror News

    Hillsborough inquests: Stephen Copoc, wildlife loving son and brother who was “perfectly at home with nature”

    April 8, 2014 Horticulturalist, 20, who died in the crush at Hillsborough got Love of Liverpool FC from his dad - his family said "He was one of life's genuine nice guys" Parks gardener Stephen Copoc loved Liverpool FC and often travelled to way matches, but when he went to Hillsborough for the 1989 FA Cup semi-final he never came home. His sister Natalie Tennant appeared at the Hillsborough inquests in Warrington to speak abour her beloved brother. Read on

  • Maclean's

    Obama’s new ambassador to Canada assumes post after 9-month delay

    April 8, 2014 Barack Obama's new envoy to Ottawa says building a strong economy doesn't have to come at the expense of protecting the environment. "Today you can be pro-economy and pro-energy and considerate of the environment," Bruce Heyman, the former Chicago investment banker and major Democratic Party fundraiser, said Tuesday as he became the new U.S. ambassador to Canada. Read on

  • Mirror News

    Hillsborough inquests: Eric Hankin, a nurse who “worked every hour to provide for his family” and was a “big friendly giant” to his kids

    April 8, 2014 Staff nurse Eric, 33, was also a keen footballer himself when he died - his daughter said: "A big giant-shaped hole was been left in my heart" Staff nurse Eric Hankin, 33, was a happily married, loving dad-of-two who loved playing Sunday League football and was an Anfield season ticket holder when he died in the Hillsborough disaster. His daughter Lynsey appeared at the Hillsborough inquests in Warrington to pay tribute to a man who "worked... Read on

  • The Independent

    A milestone in politics to coincide with a milestone in economics

    April 8, 2014 Share It is a milestone in politics; but it coincides with a milestone in economics. The state visit by the Irish president Michael Higgins comes at a time when his country's economy is at last creating jobs in solid numbers, a sign that the recovering world economy is pulling even those countries most savaged by the recession back to growth. Ireland is fascinating not just because it happens to be the UK's nearest neighbour, with a land... Read on

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