Yesterday was Earth Day, and the Google Doodle celebrated the life and work of Jane Goodall:
Learn about Roots & Shoots, Goodall’s program for young people to
“foster respect and compassion for all living things, to promote understanding of all cultures and beliefs, and to inspire each individual to take action to make the world a better place for people, other animals, and the environment.” (from the About page)
You can watch other Google Doodles, and choose different countries/languages:
Dollar Street imagines families from countries all over the world as living on one street. The poorer families on the left and the richer families on the right. Click on any of the families and you can visit them virtually — see what their homes are like and how they live.
Right now there are more than 260 homes in 50 countries, 30,000 photos in all.
No families from Japan yet. You can volunteer for this project — by taking photos, translatating texts, and other ways. If you click on the “Donate” you’ll see a place to volunteer, starting by filling out a survey (here’s the first question):
It felt like spring yesterday, but it’s cold again today. It’s hard to imagine having to “sleep rough” but that’s what the homeless are faced with.
In Brussels, Belgium, where (according to the video below) there are 2,600 homeless, and where canvas is illegal but cardboard shelters are not, Belgian entrepreneur Xavier Van der Steppen helps the homeless with “origami cardboard tents” that cost only $35 to make.
More about this story from the BBC
More about homelessness in Brussels (from the Brussels Times).
How about the homeless in Tokyo? According to this article from Mainichi Shimbun, “Tokyo sees 4,000 homeless sleeping in 24-hr cafes on any weeknight”.
One interesting point about the cardboard tents is that they’re made by prison inmates. One possible research project topic is to find out what prison inmates in Japan (or another country you’re learning about) are doing. Do they work? Do they make anything that contributes to society?
Another project for helping the needy (of a different kind): help the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour & Welfare with their English-language information. This is just awful: “Self-support of needy person” (PDF)
One incomprehensible sentence:
(image from Pixabay)
Today and tomorrow, I’ll share a couple of lists about the best of last year. Today is a list of “The 99 best things that happened in 2017” (from Quartz).
Some inspiring statistics on the list:
#27: Eleven countries are building a wall of trees on the border of the Sahara desert to slow desertification, and it’s already working. (video from BBC)
#38: 16,000 schools were built in Afghanistan, where the literacy rate increased by 5%, and the youth literacy rate increased by more than 16%. (from USAID)
#68: Almost a quarter (23%) of worlwide parliamentary seats are occupied by women. That’s up from 12% 20 years ago. (this and much more about gender equality from the World Bank)
#71: The number of biracial couples in the U.S. is now at 17%, five times as many as there were 50 years ago, when it was legalized in 1967. (from Pew Research)
#99: India and Italy banned the use of wild animals in circuses, making the total 40 countries which have done this. (from Inhabit)
Something you could do in your portfolio: make a list of a few of the best things that happened in Japan in 2017.