Travel to Become a Better Person

When friends ask for life advice tell them to leave. Over at BBC Travel they have an article about how travelling can make you a better person. So what are you waiting for? Get out and explore the world!

You’ll gain a broader perspective

As Twain’s quote emphasises, travel can open people’s minds and allow them to see things from a new perspective.

“When you travel, you are faced with alternative cultures that have a different way of doing, thinking and believing,” said Simon Huggins. “It challenges your assumptions and makes you shift your way of looking at things. When you get home, you come back to your own culture with different eyes and a more questioning mind.”

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Energy From Drinking Water

Drinkable water right from a tap in your home is a relatively new and amazing thing. Just when you thought water delivery systems couldn’t get any better a company has converted pipes into energy generators. Their new pipes can capture energy from water as it flows to its destination to provide a small amount of energy for communities.

“We have a project in Riverside, California, where they’re using it to power streetlights at night,” Semler says. “During the day, when electricity prices are high, they can use it to offset some of their operating costs.”

In Portland, one of the city’s main pipelines now uses Lucid’s pipes to make power that’s sent into the grid. Though the system can’t generate enough energy for an entire city, the pipes can power individual buildings like a school or library, or help offset a city’s total energy bill. Unlike wind or solar power, the system can generate electricity at any time of day, regardless of weather, since the pipes always have water flowing through them.

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Why Fossil Fuel Divestment Makes Sense

Rolling Stone has a great article looking into the logic of divestment, that is the growing trend to remove investments in fossil fuel companies and investing in renewable companies instead. On campuses around the world students have been pushing their schools to put their money where their mouth is by divesting.

It makes sense to do this as a society too. It’s not just because the current economic system is unsustainable but because it also makes economic sense.

For RBF, the logic of divestment was twofold. “There was a very clear moral impetus to do this,” Wayne says. RBF makes significant grants in the field of sustainable development, and the fund reached a breaking point with Big Carbon over what Wayne describes as “the schizophrenic notion that we had investments that were undermining our grants.”

But there was also “an economic reason for divestment,” Wayne says. RBF’s business is philanthropy. It was determined not to damage its portfolio. But as RBF scrutinized its fossil-fuel investments, it began to have concerns. One of the primary assets on an oil company’s books are its “proven reserves” – that is, the oil in the ground and beneath the oceans that will be the source of future profits. RBF questioned the wisdom of parking its money in companies that, in a low-carbon world, would not be able to bring that oil to market – “proven reserves” risked becoming “stranded assets.” RBF also balked at investing in companies that continue spending astronomical funds in the hunt for even more unburnable oil. Exxon Mobil, America’s largest oil company, despite having more than 25 billion barrels of proven reserves, sunk more than $7 billion into new exploration in 2013 alone. “There is no good reason for this vast expenditure of stockholder wealth,” wrote Longstreth. (He has also served as chairman of the finance committee of the Rockefeller Family Fund.) “It is wasted capital,” he continued, “an offense against stockholders in terms financial alone.”

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Tiger Population Recovering in India

The Indian tiger population suffered great losses in the last 100 years. Tigers were killed for the bizarre perception that their body parts could help people have sex. This caused a major population collapse for tigers.

Now it looks like the tigers are making a come back!

The number of tigers in India has seen a sharp rise to 2,226 tigers from 1,411 seven years ago, the environment ministry has said.

“India is now home to 70 per cent of the world’s tigers,” Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Tuesday.

Karnataka has the most number of tigers at 406. Uttarakhand has 340 tigers, Tamil Nadu has 229, Madhya Pradesh has 208, Maharashtra has 190 and the Sundarbans in Bengal has 76 tigers.

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Wear Lycra, Live Longer (And Ride a Bike)

Here are things that have proven time and time again:

  • Bicycles are a great way to get around.
  • Exercise helps your health.
  • Bicycles are a good source of exercise.
  • Exercise can make you happier.
  • Bicycles are a sustainable transportation solution.
  • Exercise reduces mental strain.
  • Bicycles + exercise can slow the aging process:

Scientists who analysed the physiological functions of more than 120 regular cyclists aged between 55 and 79 failed to find any of the obvious signs of ageing that they would normally observe among people of the same age.

The volunteers – 84 men and 41 women – had to be able to cycle 100 km (62 miles) in six and half hours for men and 60km in less than 5.5 hours for women. Smokers, heavy drinkers and those with high blood pressure and other health conditions were automatically excluded.

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