The electric Kurrent can be charged in an ordinary household outlet and maintain their power for up to 100 miles on flat ground. Though very small, the car is built strong enough to be substantial in a crash. They’re making up to 10 of them each day in colors that will make you want to own a matching iPod! The fact that they are “zen”-like, zero-emissions and non-polluting, makes them even more attractive to young and old alike. Thanks to Steve Ghent for the tip! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA new breed of micro automobiles known as Neighborhood Cars can transport two people for as little as two cents a mile. The stylish Kurrent offers its electric car for around $10,000. These cars, popular in Europe — and designed in Italy — are rolling into Florida, California and mountain state communities at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore”A popular program that provides food assistance to low-income women and their children received its first overhaul in more than 30 years Thursday with the addition of fruits, vegetables and whole grains to the list of grocery items covered by the U.S. government.” (Reuters) Thanks to Lynn J. for submitting the link! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreFour months of calm may not seem significant to those of us living in the West. But in a town where residents are accustomed to 30-second warnings of incoming rockets, it is a long time indeed. It is now four months since the Egyptian-brokered Israeli-Hamas ceasefire went into effect. According to Alex Fishman, the security-minded Yediot Achronot military correspondent, the “agreement has resulted in an almost complete cessation of Qassam rocket fire” on Sderot and other Israeli towns. Now the Israelis have to decide whether or not they want to extend the ceasefire for another six months. Defence Minister Ehud Barak favours extending it indefinitely, although he may be resisting the Israeli side of the bargain—easing the blockade of Gaza. Of course, few people here even know that the ceasefire is holding and that Hamas is scrupulously enforcing it. In fact, I imagine many believe Hamas is still firing those rockets, despite the evidence. The very thought that Hamas actually adheres to agreements is, for some, an inconvenient fact. Another inconvenient fact is that Egypt has been effectively working to shut down the smuggling tunnels between Egypt and Gaza. Fishman reports that Israeli officials “praise the Egyptians’ achievements in discovering tunnels to and from Gaza.” These officials note that the Egyptians “successfully nabbed part of a terror cell operating in Hezbollah’s service, which was planning the kidnapping of Israeli tourists in Sinai.” You won’t read about that in those direct mail appeals from pro-Israel organisations whose raison d’être is to convince Jews that the situation is bad and only getting worse and that Egyptians are not to be trusted. Fear is the bread and butter of such organisations. However, facts are facts. More Good News From the West Bank Then there is the continuing good news from the West Bank, where General Keith Dayton has helped transform some violence-ridden population centres into veritable islands of tranquillity (at least by West Bank standards). For years, Americans and Israelis have demanded that the Palestinian Authority crack down on local terrorists and gangsters; under Salam Fayyad, it is happening. Here is what Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff told Ha’aretz: “Four and a half months after the Jenin project began, it is proving a big success. The Shin Bet security service has received very few intelligence warnings about attempts at terror attacks emanating from the region, and clashes with the IDF have almost subsided. Commerce and industry have improved and, what is most important from the Palestinian perspective, order has returned to the streets.” Things will improve further if Israel gives a boost to the Palestinian economy by dismantling unnecessary and redundant checkpoints rather than continuously adding more. You can’t do business if your customers and your inventory are held up at internal checkpoints. The important thing is not to let “Jenin First” become “Jenin Last.” Replicating the Jenin model is imperative. Foundations of Peace in Washington On the Washington front, I attended the annual banquet of the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) two Sundays ago. The keynote speaker was Prime Minister Salam Fayyad who issued a stirring call for implementing the two-state solution. There were several other speeches and various greetings and messages. But there was not a single anti-Israel statement. Speakers decried the 41-year occupation but there was not one anti-Israel remark. ATFP sent a clear message of friendship for Israel and Jews. By way of contrast, the loudest cheers at AIPAC (and other Jewish organisational events) are often reserved for those speakers who indulge in the most paranoid and extreme Arab-bashing. To their credit, these Palestinians have rounded the corner. This is in large part due to the leadership of Palestinian-American physician, Ziad Asali, his wife and partner Naila Abed Asali, and ATFP, the organisation they founded. Things have changed since Golda Meir preached that there was no such thing as Palestinians. The Palestinians have been mainstreamed which means that at long last their voices are being heard in Washington. Whether or not the next administration will take action to address their legitimate needs – as well as those of Israel – is an open question. Avoiding simple-minded hawkishness on Israel is good politics. According to a recent American Jewish Committee poll of American Jews, Israel ranks number six on the list of issues Jews consider when they vote for president. Three percent cite Israel as compared to 54 percent of Jews who cite the U.S. economy (this was before the stock market collapse) and the large numbers citing health care, Iraq, and other domestic concerns. This is not to say that American Jews do not care about Israel; they most certainly do. When it comes to voting for president, however the Israel issue is barely a blip. That is because Jews know that in this election both candidates are pro-Israel and also because they understand that mouthing lobby-crafted formulations about Israel does nothing to advance its security. They certainly aren’t buying the lies being circulated in partisan hate emails. Jews have been called a lot of things. Stupid isn’t one of them. _____________________________________________ MJ Rosenberg, Director of Policy Analysis for Israel Policy Forum (IPF), was a long time Capitol Hill staffer and former editor of AIPAC’s Near East Report. Rosenberg also serves on Search for Common Ground’s Middle East Advisory Board. This abridged article originally appeared in IPF Friday and is distributed with permission by the Common Ground News Service (CGNews). The full text can be found at: www.ipforum.org. RELATED NEWS: Palestinian Authority Receives $150 Million From US (Jerusalem Post) – The US signed an agreement on Wednesday to give $150 million to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s West Bank government, the first installment of $555 million pledged by Western countries at a’ conference last year intended to underpin recently revived peace talks. 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AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreThe State of Hawaii and the Hawaiian Electric Company on Tuesday became the second in the nation to commit to building an alternative transportation system based on electric vehicles and an “intelligent” network of tens of thousands of battery recharging stations.The plan, the brainchild of the former Silicon Valley software executive Shai Agassi, and his company, Better Place L.L.C., will help fuel Hawaii’s drive to lead the nation in renewable energy use, create jobs locally, while also helping to secure its energy future.(photo: L-R Shai Agassi, Founder and CEO of Better Place, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle and Robbie Alm, Hawaiian Electric executive vice president… Thanks to Sun Star for sending the story!) “Today’s announcement is a significant move towards our state gaining independence from foreign oil,” said Governor Linda Lingle. “This public-private partnership is exactly the type of green investment we have been working on as we continue to carry out our Hawai’i Clean Energy Initiative (HCEI), moving toward the goal of 70 percent clean energy for the state.”Better Place plans to begin permitting for the electric car network within the next year and begin introducing vehicles within 18 months, with mass-market availability of electric cars in 2012. Hawaii joins Israel, Denmark, Australia and California since Better Place was founded in October 2007, committed to deploying the world’s first electric car networks.Hawaii spends up to $7 billion a year on oil imports and drivers pay some of the highest gasoline prices in the nation — accounting for nearly 20 percent of the state’s Green House Gases (GHG). Building the infrastructure for widespread adoption of electric vehicles will not only stimulate the local economy and reduce carbon emissions, but also provide a more affordable transportation option to Hawaii’s drivers.“Hawaii, with its ready access to renewable energy resources like solar, wind, wave and geothermal, is the ideal location to serve as a blue print for the rest of the U.S. in terms of reducing our dependence on foreign oil, growing our renewable energy portfolio and creating an infrastructure that will stabilize our economy,” said Shai Agassi, Founder and CEO of Better Place.The collaboration includes Hawaiian Electric Companies that will provide the infrastructure and green energy needs to power Better Place’s network of public charging spots and battery swapping stations with renewable energy.“Hawaiian Electric is proud to be the first utility in the United States to sign an agreement with Better Place,” said Robbie Alm, Hawaiian Electric executive vice president. “It is clear that to reach the very progressive goals of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative will take changes not just in the way we make and use electricity, but in the way we move around our islands.“The plan will provide immediate benefits to consumers and encourage the addition of more renewable energy resources to the grid. Because Better Place will manage when vehicles are recharged, they can provide a market for renewable energy output in off-peak hours when it might otherwise not be needed,” Alm said.Launched with $200 million of venture funding in 2007, Better Place is working with partners to build its first standards-based networks in Israel, Denmark, Australia and California – and now Hawaii – beginning in 2010.Related GNN Story: Where Can I Buy an Electric Car in America?AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore From the Acropolis in Greece to the Giza Pyramids to the Empire State Building in New York, illuminated patches of the globe went dark Saturday for Earth Hour, a campaign to highlight the threat of climate change. Photo: The Empire State Building dims during Earth Hour (c) Jin Lee from WWF AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore The Vatican recently announced that it intends to spend 660 million dollars to create what will effectively be Europe’s largest solar power plant. This massive 100 megawatt photovoltaic installation will provide enough energy to power all of its 40,000 households. To reduce its greenhouse emissions even more, the Vatican is contemplating using an electric popemobile and the Pope’s summer residence is being fitted to run on power from the methane generated by the horse stables. (Bloomberg.com via Inhabitat.com) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreEvery health and lifestyle magazine contains articles claiming stress is bad for us. They list dozens of ways to relieve stress, from exercise to healthier foods to relaxation techniques especially for people who take care of others and tend to neglect themselves.But stress is not always as bad as these cautionary articles insist. In fact, some stress is actually necessary to keep us going and growing.Our individual responses to different types and levels of stress can either drain or energize us. It is how we perceive and process both ongoing and unexpected stressors that intensifies or reduces their impact on our bodies, minds and emotions. The term “stress” was first used in the mid-1950s by endocrinologist Dr. Hans Selye in his book “The Stress of Life.” In his research experiments, Selye discovered that we experience stress not only when we hear bad news but also when we receive good news. He differentiated these two types of stressors by calling negative stress “distress” and positive stress “eustress” (the Greek prefix “eu” means well or good). The idea that we naturally feel stressed by positive experiences — like getting married, having a baby, graduations, promotions, winning awards or races — is echoed in the Social Readjustment Ratings Scale. Devised by University of Washington medical researchers Holmes and Rahe, the SRRS ranks the impact of good stress-events as well as bad stressors like death, divorce or losing a job. They discovered it is the accumulation of minor plus major changes over a period of time that increases one’s chances of developing stress-related ailments like heart disease, cancer or a weakened immune system. Stress effects also intensify when several changes occur without enough time between them to recharge our physical and mental resources. When dealing with normal life changes, Holmes and Rahe also concluded that a single event is rarely stressful enough to cause significant illness if we have some control over the situation and are able to view it as a challenge or opportunity instead of a threat. So stress is not always bad or unhealthy. It can actually keep us from becoming complacent or staying too long in jobs, relationships or environments which are not good for us. When bad stress builds to the “breaking point,” it usually forces us to make choices and change our behavior or environment with positive and healthier results. Stress is also necessary to keep us moving forward while working toward a goal — like a creative or business project — or training for athletic events like championship games or marathons. This type of eustress prevents us from slowing down or giving up too soon and helps us build momentum in the early stages to empower us to reach the “finish line.” So positive stress management can actually give us a Competitive Edge via increased focus and drive. As we move forward on what researchers call the Performance Stress Curve, eustress helps us make choices, take actions and communicate more clearly. When it comes to managing stress, there are two basic approaches: Defensive or Offensive. If we take a Defensive approach, we subconsciously distort reality by hoping the situation will change without having to do anything about it. But this keeps us in a state of denial and often amplifies the internal impact of distress, contributing to disease or depression. Taking an Offensive approach, however, enables us to manage stress by using it to our advantage. By consciously changing or adapting, we adjust to life-changes organically and can view things in perspective that at first feel like problems. Then we can reframe these “problems” as opportunities or challenges and take appropriate action. Offensive ways to manage stress include: Changing our situation whenever possibleIncreasing our ability to cope with the situation as it isChanging our perception so the situation looks and feels differentChanging our behavior, as this is truly where we have the most controlWhenever we feel stressed, it can be useful to first determine whether it’s Distress or Eustress. Then we can decide whether to become Offensive by utilizing or adjusting it, or remain Defensive and wait to see if the situation changes on its own. Sometimes choosing to live with stress is appropriate, like when it energizes our Competitive Edge. We can also balance our stress levels to avoid being thrown off-center too easily or often. Ongoing stress management techniques for creating balance include sleeping well, eating healthy foods, exercising, meditating &/or focusing on the positive things in our lives. These are simple and inexpensive ways to relieve pressure, especially when we’re faced with unexpected events or must manage stress over a long period of time. While the bad news is that it’s nearly impossible to avoid stress in our crazy-busy world, the good news is that using stress management techniques and being mindful can actually make stress empoweringinstead of draining. This puts us in control of the stressors in our lives so they can’t stop us from continuing to go forward and grow more joyfully empowered every day.Barbara Schiffman, C.Ht., is SelfGrowth.com’s Official Guide to Stress Management, a Life Balance Coach, Certified Hypnotherapist and NLP Practitioner. For a list of her favorite stress relief books/resources, send her an email request for “The Eustress List” with your name and city/state to [email protected] or visit www.hypnosynergy.com.Top photo courtesy of Sun StarAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore
“The Hilton Foundation has been championing solutions for long term homelessness for two decades and we have learned that permanent supportive housing is the most cost effective and successful,” says Steven M. Hilton, president and CEO of the Hilton Foundation. “This approach restores stability, autonomy and dignity and helps the individual integrate back into the community.”This approach combines affordable housing with on-site services such as mental health treatment, substance abuse prevention, employment opportunities, and life training. Studies in Los Angeles show that it is 40 percent less costly to place someone in this type of supportive housing than to leave them on the streets. Further, the costs decrease over time. National studies reveal that chronically homeless people—18 percent of the overall homeless population—consume 64 percent of homeless system resources.Since 2004, the Hilton Foundation has provided more than $20 million in grants and loans for such efforts in Los Angeles, resulting in the development of more than 2,300 units and the creation of the $30 million Los Angeles Supportive Housing Loan Fund.Getting local businesses involved is part of the strategy for success. The Hilton Foundation provided funding for the creation of the Los Angeles Business Leaders Task Force on Homelessness. The task force has been led by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Greater Los Angeles. The new plans will also focus on homeless veterans who are cycling through institutions such as shelters emergency rooms, and jails. “This campaign is a great step forward to eradicating long term homelessness in our home town,” notes Hilton, “and there could be no greater way to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors than to help vulnerable people find homes, medical and other services and, most of all, hope.”Learn more at HiltonFoundation.org.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreSupporting an initiative to end chronic and veteran homelessness in Los Angeles County within five years, the Conrad Hilton Foundation announced Wednesday a gift of $13 million in grants to fund key components of the campaign.The grants include: $9 million for the creation of 2,500 new permanent supportive housing units; $3.6 million to identify 4,500 of the most vulnerable people on the streets and provide housing; $330,000 for an innovative pilot program to ease the transition into housing; and $200,000 to engage faith leaders and communities in the campaign.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreCalifornia is cracking down on invasive species. The state has passed the strictest rules in the country to prevent cargo ships from introducing foreign plants and animals to San Francisco Bay.The new process uses chlorine to oxidize or kill any live organisms in the ship’s ballast before they are pumped out after the chlorine is neutralized. (READ the story at NPR News)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreInventor Steve Katsaros perfected his solar design in June 2010, a simple bulb that charges up during the day and lights up the room at night.He dubbed his company Nokero — short for “No Kerosene” and adopted a “social entrepreneurship,” model to get the bulb into the hands of people in the developing world. He wants to create jobs and incomes for villagers interested in spreading the light to neighboring towns.(READ the story at CNN)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore