This Old Man Wants Adults to Play

Here’s a fun video to start your week with, this old fellow plays all day for his health and to inspire his next invention. He wants all people from kids to seniors to play all day, everyday to help their mental and physical health. At the very least, his enthusiasm is infectious.

Find more inspiring video, audio, and images at Growing Bolder.

Thanks to Christine!

Clearing Minefields With Help From the Wind

In 1997 many nations of the world signed the Ottawa Treaty which banned the use and trade of land mines. The majority of countries signed on, but countries from Russia to the USA to even Armenia still need to commit to not using such dangerous weaponry. As a result of the use of these mines entire regions of nations are unable to be used.

Clearing land mines is expensive and very dangerous, which is where this really nifty idea comes in for using a nifty device to help clear the mines.

Mine Kafon | Callum Cooper from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

Via Reddit.

Australia Starts Two-Year Super Trawler Ban

Commercial fishing is one of the most damaging things one can do to gather a food source. Trawlers are so inefficient they perform the equivalent task of cutting down an entire forest to get a couple cows. With this hugely negative impact that trawling can have on undersea life in mind Australia has decided to ban, for at least two years, trawling by large boats in some protected waters.

Conservationists have welcomed the Government’s decision, saying the trawler would have “plundered” domestic fish stocks.

“The Government is right to take a precautionary approach, because monster boats like the Abel Tasman have no place in our waters,” Greenpeace spokesman Ben Pearson said in a statement.

The Greens also welcomed the announcement, but Tasmanian senator Peter Whish-Wilson says he is concerned other fisheries may be open to the Abel Tasman.

“There are other fisheries, both in the state water such as the sardine fisheries that it could fish, and potentially in mackerel,” he said.

Read more at ABC.

Band of the Month: Beams

Welcome to the new, biweekly addition to Things Are Good!
Band of the Month will be recurring every other Friday as a way to kick start the weekend with good news and good music!

Today’s Band of the Month is Beams; A seven piece Toronto band with a hearty, bluegrassy-folk sound. Beams are today’s Band of the Month because their smile inducing on-stage rapport is not only obvious, but infectious to everyone in the room. Partner that with charming vocal harmonies and instruments like mandolin and saw (that’s right, saw), and you’ll be grinning all weekend.
Check out the link below for a taste of the band!

Dakota Live by BEAMS

Band of the month by Greg O’Toole

NYC Mayor Bloomberg Loves Bike Lanes

As Toronto fights smart planning and removes sustainable transportation infrastructure (indeed, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to do so), New York City Mayor Bloomberg continues to espouse how great bike lanes are. In NYC they have added a lot of miles of bike lanes and found local business get more business, neighbourhoods become nicer, and more people can get around easier than they did before!

With the release by NYC DOT this week of a report showing the economic impact of their street projects, Bloomberg wove the economic case into his speech. “Talk to merchants everywhere we’ve put protected bicycle lanes [and pedestrian plazas]… They will tell you that business is dramatically better than it was before.”

Bloomberg called New York City’s legacy of mega-highway building by former DOT Commissioner Robert Moses a “mistake” because “we bulldozed neighborhoods.”

With the mistakes of the past fading from view, Bloomberg seems to understand the direct link between how streets are used and whether or not a city succeeds. “We’re using the streets in ways they had not been used in a long time,” he said, “Cyclists and pedestrians and bus riders are as important — if not, I would argue more important — than automobile riders.”

While he acknowledged that bike lanes “are always controversial” he defended them by noting that, “more and more people are using them.”

Looking ahead, Bloomberg said he has no plans of letting naysayers or controversies stop the progress. “Transportation… it’s not sexy and it certainly invites controversy,” he said, but added, “We’ve just got to keep developing, keep building, sensibly, with some plans and community involvement; but not stopping.”

As you can probably guess from my recent series of pro-bike lane posts, I am rather embarrassed by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his archaic approach to transit. When he’s out of office we may get to see some good news coming from Toronto again.

Read more here.

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