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globalbriefs


News and resources to inspire concerned citizens to work together in building a healthier, stronger society that benefits all.


Wild Valentines Many Animals Mate for Life


Handy Curriculum Shop Class Teaches Sustainability


According to a report in The Bos- ton Globe, some American schools regret that they replaced woodshops with high-tech educational forums in the 1990s. Shop class is valuable for students that may underperform in traditional academic settings and empowers them to learn and pro- duce tangible results.


Doug Stowe, a woodworker and teacher in Eureka Springs, Ar- kansas, writes in WisdomOfHands. Blogspot.ca, “Our society has inad- vertently created a dependent gen- eration of young people that don’t know how to fix things and lack even the most basic manual com- petence. Putting girls and boys into shop class would challenge rampant consumerism because a person is less inclined to throw out a piece of furniture and buy a replacement if they know how to fix it. “With so many cheap imports flooding stores, it’s difficult for students to gain perspective on the resources and time required to create a piece of furniture, so shop class can teach students to appre- ciate long-lasting quality and its accompanying fair price tag. In this way, shop class is linked to sustain- ability.”


Source: Treehugger.com 12 Hudson County NAHudson.com


Humans like to think of themselves as unique when it comes to taking vows of togetherness. But a surprising number of other species in the animal kingdom provide sterling examples of fidelity, monogamy and lifelong pairing. Gibbons, of the ape family, are the nearest relatives to humans that mate for life. They form extremely strong pairings and both sexes are on relatively equal footing in their relationships. Bald eagles, our national emblem, typically mate for life, except in the event of a partner’s inability to procreate. Wolves, often portrayed as tricksters in folklore, conduct a family life more loyal than many human relationships. Wolf packs typically comprise a male, a female and their offspring, making them akin to a human nuclear family. Swans form monogamous pair bonds that last for many years or even for life. Their loyalty is so storied that the image of two swans swimming with their necks entwined in the shape of a heart has become a universal symbol of true love. French angelfish are seldom found far from their mate, because they live, travel and even hunt in pairs. The fish form monogamous relationships that often last as long as both individuals are alive. In fact, they act as a team to vigorously defend their territory against neighboring pairs.


Other examples include albatrosses, African antelopes, black vultures, Mala- gasy giant rats, prairie voles, sandhill cranes, termites and, of course, turtle doves.


To view images, visit Tinyurl.com/AnimalMatePics and Tinyurl.com/Animal MatesSlideshow.


Sweet Solution Turning Agri-Waste to Good Use


Cement that incorporates waste ash from sugar production is not only stronger than ordinary cement, it also qualifies as a greener building material. Researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark, have found that cement made with sugar cane ash mixed in is stronger,


can withstand higher pressure and crumbles less than ordinary cement. In countries where sugar cane is grown, such as Cuba and Brazil, this agricultural waste product has been added to cement for years. Extracting sugar from the cane typically leaves a lot of fiber waste that is burned into ash, dis- carded and then requires disposal.


Using sugar cane ash also can lower the energy use and carbon footprint of cement production. Heloisa Bordallo, a researcher at the Institute, comments, “You are saving both CO2


emissions and raw materials.” Source: EcoSeed.org


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