Bill Gates relaunches philanthropy

July 7, 2008

Through his foundation, Microsoft founder is aiming to change charity – There’s a story about Bill Gates that his wife, Melinda, likes to tell. Shortly before the couple established their philanthropic foundation in 1997, Bill carried around in his briefcase for a month an emotional letter from an American family asking him to help a sick child who needed a kidney. “Bill agonized over it,” Melinda recalled at a digital industry conference last month in California. “Do you spend $20,000 on a single transplant or buy vaccines for many children in Africa?”

For the past 10 years, the Gateses have opted for the latter: “How can we do the most good for the greatest number with the resources we have?” Bill asked a sea of Harvard University graduates at their commencement ceremony last year.

The answer? If you’re Bill Gates — with $37.5 billion in your foundation’s coffers and as much as $100 billion to contribute over the course of your lifetime — you do it very, very carefully, say philanthropy leaders. With that kind of wealth comes unprecedented giving power: you have the world’s biggest foundation — the Wal-Mart of the global charity sector — and you’ve got the single most powerful leadership platform in philanthropy today. “One out of every 10 foundation dollars spent is going to have the Gates name on it, and that gives (Gates and his foundation) an influence that is impossible to calculate,” says Rick Cohen, the former executive director of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Five Great Ways to Achieve Happiness Through Serving Others

July 7, 2008

From Zen Habits
I worked in the “Happiness” business. For a long time I worked in the Hospitality industry, restaurants and hotels, where I have been a busboy, host, waiter, bartender and manager. For 12 years I spent most evenings and weekends, and every holiday, taking care of people who were going out to dinner or attending an event like a wedding or prom.

I truly enjoyed this work as it was emotionally fulfilling and financially rewarding, not to mention just plain fun a lot of the time.

There are those who would disparage a career path like this as demeaning and servile, yet the call to serve others is the source of my own greatest happiness. Read the rest of this entry »

Coffee Kids and the Man Behind It All

July 7, 2008

By Bill Fishbein
Just before I went off to college, my dad pulled me aside to give me some words of advice. He told me that he had once read in the Talmud that, “If you change one person, you change the world”. While I knew and appreciated that he was trying to share something of profound value to me, I thought it was the most ridiculous thing I’d ever heard. There are billions of people in the world. And, changing one of them wasn’t going to make one hill of beans worth of difference. Anyway, I went off to college.

In college, while other kids were drinking beer and falling in love, I was falling in love with coffee. I studied late with friends from Venezuela who brewed the most delicious coffee. I should have been as passionate about my studies as I was about the coffee. But, I graduated just the same.

Shortly after college, I returned to Providence, to help my mom and dad in their restaurant equipment business. It was a small business, but we had big dreams. Still, I envied the coffee supplier. We both entered restaurants from the back door, but he had the life! He sold coffee! Read the rest of this entry »

For Baseball’s Josh Hamilton life is looking up

July 7, 2008

Not too long ago, Josh Hamilton was out of baseball and addicted to drugs. Few wondered whether his baseball career would ever be resurrected, they just wondered if he’d live to see the next day.

Hamilton’s baseball journey started when he was the first overall pick of the 1999 baseball draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In 2001, Hamilton was in a car accident and at that point started experimenting with drugs. He played sparingly in 2001 due to injuries and drug use. Between 2002 and 2006, Hamilton didn’t play baseball at all. He failed numerous drug tests and had many failed stints in rehab. Read the rest of this entry »

Toyota plans Prius with solar panels

July 7, 2008

Toyota plans to install solar panels on the roof of the next generation of Prius hybrid cars, according to a report in Monday’s edition of the Nikkei newspaper.

The panels, which are expected to begin appearing on the high-end version of the gasoline-electric hybrid car as early as next spring, will supply part of the 2 to 5 kilowatts needed to power the air conditioning, MarketWatch cited the Japanese business daily as reporting. Kyocera will reportedly supply the panels.

The move would make Toyota the first major automaker to incorporate a solar-power generation system into a mass-produced car. Read the rest of this entry »

‘No Child,’ No Problem: School In Ocean City Nails Its Target

July 7, 2008

OCEAN CITY, MD — The goal of the No Child Left Behind Act is that every child attain proficiency in reading and math by 2014. At most of the 1,455 public schools in Maryland, teachers and principals regard that scenario as improbable, even laughable.

At one school, the target has been met.

Last spring, all 184 students in the third and fourth grades at Ocean City Elementary School passed the Maryland School Assessment, or MSA, a battery of tests given by the state every year since 2003 to satisfy the law.

The school was the first in the state, apart from a few tiny special-education centers, to meet the goal that has defined public education this decade. Read the rest of this entry »

Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness

July 6, 2008

New Research Shows That Humans Have More Control Over Their Happiness Than Previously Thought. What exactly is happening inside the brains of people experiencing joy and happiness? “It’s a very complicated chemical soup,” explained Dr. Richard Davidson, who has made a life’s work out of studying “happy brains.” His lab at the University of Wisconsin is devoted to understanding how much of our joy level is set at birth, and how much we can control.

With a skull cap containing 128 sensors, Davidson’s team can watch a subject’s brain respond to a series of photographs, some pleasant, some distressing.

“We can challenge the brain by presenting these emotional images and look to see how you respond to them,” Davidson said.

ABC News’ Bill Weir underwent the test, and by studying the activity in his left prefrontal cortex, Davidson discovered that Weir’s brain was “more positive than not.” Read the rest of this entry »

Iraq Prime Minister says terrorism in country defeated

July 6, 2008

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Iraq’s prime minister said Saturday that the government has defeated terrorism in the country, a sign of growing confidence after recent crackdowns against Sunni extremists and Shiite militias.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki launched the crackdowns to extend the authority of the government over areas in Baghdad and elsewhere that have largely been under the control of armed groups since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

“They were intending to besiege Baghdad and control it,” al-Maliki said. “But thanks to the will of the tribes, security forces, army and all Iraqis, we defeated them.” Read the rest of this entry »

The gospel according to Adam Smith – Spiritual Capitalism

July 6, 2008

Is doing good compatible with making money? It is if you practise spiritual capitalism. Art DeLorenzo and I were having a hard time connecting. He’s a 67-year-old retired financial adviser in the New York City area whose budding consulting practice keeps him from settling into an easy chair. I’m a journalist in San Francisco, perpetually on deadline. Several appointments we set were moved or missed, but we kept trying. Late one evening, as we seemed finally to settle on yet another date for our interview, DeLorenzo threw out a comment that would prove as valuable as anything he said in our hour-long phone call days later.

“Wait a moment.” DeLorenzo paused. “I could say 3 p.m., but the group I’ll be meeting with before you, they tend to run over. It’s just their habit, but I know this. So I’d rather not book you right up against them. I don’t want to compromise the integrity of my commitment to them.”

The details of one man’s business schedule might not seem meaningful at first. But in that moment I realized DeLorenzo’s deliberate emphasis on a few choice words—“the integrity of my commitment”—was a straightforward yet eloquent statement of a still-fuzzy but increasingly important trend: spiritual capitalism. Read the rest of this entry »

Organic Herb and Vegetable Program Takes-Off at Rocket Farms

July 6, 2008

SALINAS, CA – Rocket Farms announced the launch of a comprehensive organic herb and vegetable program on June 19. The program is wide-ranging and also focuses upon sustainability. Rocket has received 100% certified organic status from the USDA for 40 acres (of its 5.3 million square feet of growing space) for the new program, which grows organic culinary herbs, vegetables and organic heirloom tomato plants.

“Customers are becoming more discerning and prefer to buy agriculture that is grown without pesticides and any other toxins,” said Marc Clark, EVP of Rocket Farms. “We have a strong ethic at Rocket to provide the healthiest plants which are free from any chemical toxicity.” The organic herbs and tomatoes are grown on benches without pesticides. Read the rest of this entry »

Spielberg Group Gives $1M to Pennsylvania Jewish Museum

July 6, 2008

PHILADELPHIA, PA – A foundation created by Stephen Spielberg is giving $1 million to the National Museum of American Jewish History.

The money from the Righteous Persons Foundation will go toward a new, five-story museum building being built in Philadelphia.

With the donation, officials say the museum’s capital campaign has raised $111 million toward its $150 million goal. The new museum is set to open in 2010.

Spielberg helped establish the Righteous Persons Foundation in 1994 after directing his Oscar-winning Holocaust film ”Schindler’s List.”

The museum was established in 1976 and is dedicated to telling the story of the American Jewish experience. It is constructing the new building in hopes of raising its profile and increasing the number of visitors.

By Associated Press

Unprecedented attempt to revive Indian tiger population

July 6, 2008

JAIPUR, India – In an unprecedented attempt to revive the tiger population in western India, authorities airlifted a female tiger to a national reserve Friday where it will join a male tiger delivered there last week.

The tigers were carried by Indian Air Force helicopters to Sariska Tiger Reserve in the western state of Rajasthan, whose entire tiger population has been wiped out by poachers in the last five years.

Poaching and a vanishing habitat have savaged Indian tigers, which were believed to number in the tens of thousands a century ago. The tiger population has dropped from nearly 3,600 five years ago to about 1,400, according to the latest tiger census in February.

Environmentalists hailed the airlifting of the tigers from Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, one of India’s most popular places for tourists to see tigers, to Sariska. Read the rest of this entry »

Denmark ‘world’s happiest nation’

July 3, 2008

Denmark is the happiest country in the world, according to the latest World Values Survey published by the United States National Science Foundation.

The annual study surveyed people in 97 countries to discover who is happiest.

The survey asked people two simple questions about their happiness and their level of satisfaction with life.

Puerto Rico and Colombia completed the top three happiest nations. Zimbabwe was found to be the least happy, with Russia and Iraq also in the bottom 10.

The study was directed by University of Michigan professor Ronald Inglehart. He says that unlike other studies, which have focused on economic factors, his research has found that financial prosperity is not the only reason for happiness. Read the rest of this entry »

Horizon of Hope to Raise Money for Breast Cancer Initiatives

July 3, 2008

NEWARK, OH – The Longaberger Company is kicking off its 2008 Horizon of Hope campaign with a special offer that will enable customers to buy Horizon of Hope products at a 20 percent discount while also supporting American Cancer Society breast cancer research and education initiatives.

The campaign features a Horizon of Hope Basket and other products that Longaberger designs exclusively for the fundraising effort. $2 of proceeds from each Horizon of Hope Basket, accessory set, or set of travel mugs go to the American Cancer Society.

The campaign is from July 1 through August 31, with the discount on Horizon of Hope products available from July 1 through July 16. Read the rest of this entry »

Kylie Minogue Honored at Buckingham Palace

July 3, 2008

Britain has honored Australian singer Kylie Minogue for her services to music.

The 40-year-old pop star received an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, or OBE, from Prince Charles during a ceremony Thursday at Buckingham Palace in London.

She was lauded for a career that spans more than two decades.

Minogue first appeared on British television in the mid-1980s soap opera ”Neighbors.” She has since sold millions of albums. Her hits include ”I Should Be So Lucky” and ”Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi.”

On the Net:
http://www.kylie.com/home