“Boston public schools map switch aims to amend 500 years of distortion”

Theguardian.com – Mar 2017 – USA |

Don’t pretend that this cartographical conundrum hasn’t been keeping you up at night.

The Mercator projection has long been a topic of debate within mapping enthusiast circles. It is almost ubiquitously used in contemporary maps and atlases, and many would recognize its projection of our planet. Western-Europe at the center of our globe, with a sprawling northern hemisphere in comparison to it’s southern half.

The Mercator projection distorts out planet. South America and Africa appear drastically smaller than they are in reality, with areas such as Europe, America and Greenland being inversely enlarged. Schools in Boston however are looking to shake things up for its students and restore some geographical truth to their classrooms.

The maps they use will now feature the lesser known Peter’s projection, which cuts US, Britain, and the rest of Europe down to size.

Many are hailing the move as an important step in removing colonial thinking from contemporary society. These new maps will remove the focus and exaggerated sizing of imperialist powers. It is hoped this slight shift will help promote a more universal and truthful understanding of Earth for future generations, moving away from western-centric discourses of our planet.

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“Food Not Bombs: Dumpster divers use food to build community in inner Brisbane”

Abc.net.au – Mar 2017 – Australia |

A group of Australian food warriors are taking to Brisbane’s bins in the fight against food waste.

It is no secret that huge amounts of food are thrown out by supermarkets on a weekly basis as ‘use-by’ and ‘sell-by’ dates are met. Although the packaging may now define the food as inedible, a growing global movement known as ‘Food not bombs’ is challenging this assumption.

In Brisbane’s faction of the group, young men and women meet on Friday evenings to carry out their rescue missions. They do not seek permits or allowance from the supermarkets to carry out their work, they rely on speed and cunning to be in and out before their presence is noted. The food they are able to recover is then turned into meals for the hungry and needy.

The group hopes that their actions will cause a much bigger stir within society, outside of food waste. They are about promoting a new way of thinking about our lives and communities, and the way we engage with food. For them, food is much more that just something you eat. It is an opportunity to build friendships, learn new skills and create memories.

Is this something  you would consider doing, or have already done? Is this something we should be celebrating?

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“7 powerful photographs of terminally ill patients living out their final wishes”

Upworthy.com – Mar 2017 – Netherlands |

A Dutch non-profit, Ambulance Wish Foundation (AWF), helps terminally ill patients carry out their final wishes.

Unlike the ‘Make-a-wish-foundation’, AWF works on fulfilling the wishes of both children and adults.

The linked article focuses on seven powerful and emotive images showing the company in action, and dreams becoming a reality.

To read the article and see the images, please follow the title reference above.

 

“We have some good news on the California Drought. Take a look”

Nytimes.com – Mar 2017 – US |

California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range is not only aesthetically stunning, but it also crucial for fresh water supplies in the area.

Snow melt during the spring and summer recharges California’s lakes and rivers, allowing for water intensive activities. Crops can be irrigated and drinking water supplies can be recharged for the growing population.

In recent years, the area has seen increasing drought periods owing to reduced levels of precipitation and snow formation in the mountain range. This year, however, has been surprisingly positive, as found research funded through a NASA programme.

2017’s winter snow blanket is surprisingly thick and expansive. Areas that have in recent years remained uncovered during snow-fall months, are once more submerged in ice and snow.

It may be too early to start rejoicing and considering drought as a thing of the past for California. There will always be water pressure in the region owing to the large population, harsh climate, and relatively low levels of naturally occurring water. However, with increasing action and regulations being undertaken globally to reduce green house gas emissions and climate change, may this be an indicator of years to come?

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