A Vast Sea of Knowledge

This week’s recommendation is a bit different – in the sense that it is a website rather than a specific article within the site. Yet for weeks, I have felt that TED deserves more attention. What you gain from clicking that link, is access to a vast source of information under the flag “Ideas worth spreading.”tedtalksI used to fill my spare time with movies and series that didn’t really reflect the world around me. Often I would feel at a loss when it came to real issues, and I would just escape to my fantasy world. When I found TED however, that all changed. It feels almost ridiculous to say how few movies and series I’ve seen lately, compared to how many TED talks. That is exactly why I want to share this amazing site with you – I feel connected with the real world, I feel aware of what is happening, and I have more knowledge than ever before.

The great thing is that there are TED talks for everyone. There are so many topics to explore, and a lot of funny talks too. I really urge everyone to check it out and expand your view of the world. And remember, smiles are contagious 😀

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Bill and Melinda Gates: Annual Letter

Every year Bill Gates and his wife Melinda write an annual letter raising awareness on important subjects. For 2017 they focused on the positive changes that have been made in the world – reminding us that optimism is a vital tool in the worldwide efforts. They narrate their letter as a response to Warren Buffett, a fellow philanthropist who made the largest donation to Gates’ foundation – illustrating the effect his donation had.

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The worldwide efforts explained in the letter includes: reducing childhood deaths and newborn mortality, making vaccines available, ending malnutrition, gender equality, ending poverty, and providing modern contraceptives enabling future planning. They close the letter with their ultimate goal:

We want to end our letter with the most magical number we know. It’s zero. This is the number we’re striving toward every day at the foundation. Zero malaria. Zero TB. Zero HIV. Zero malnutrition. Zero preventable deaths. Zero difference between the health of a poor kid and every other kid. Bill Gates, Annual Letter

I implore everyone to read the letter and share it: everyone should know about – and get involved with – the global efforts to better our world. And remember – smiles are contagious 😀

Last Chance to See

In 1989 Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine traveled around the world with the hope of finding animals on the brink of extinction. They searched for animals like the aye-aye in Madagascar, the kakapo in New Zealand and the Yangtze river dolphin in China. The trip was documented through a book and a BBC radio show.

20 years later and Carwardine is set to make the journey again. In the midst of planning the next journey Douglas Adams unfortunately passed away – and a new companion needed to be found. During the last adventure, Stephen Fry had been house-sitting for Adams and handled their mail and parcel deliveries all over the world. Fry admittedly felt jealous of their extraordinary adventures, so when he was asked to join he did not hesitate.

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The series which consists of 6 episodes – each dedicated to one specific threatened species; Amazonian manatee, Northern white rhinoceros, Aye-aye, Komodo dragon, Kakapo and Blue whale. Each episode is filled to the brim with beautiful nature and curious creatures. It provides a lot of information regarding the effects mankind has caused, but it also shows those glimpses of hope through conservation efforts.

In order to save our planet, we all need to open our eyes to the truth. The only way to stop species from going extinct is educating people. Tradition, superstition and lack of education are often the cause of extinct species. This series provides insight into a worldwide issue in a way that makes you want to get involved.

Please do get involved – spread the word, educate yourself and others, and remember that smiles are contagious 😀