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VOLUME 15, NUMBER 17 -- May 3, 2009


Shutting off the lights in Australia

By Rebecca Baylis in PERTH, Australia -- A revolutionary way of thinking about climate change started Saturday, March 31, 2007 when millions of people did something as simple as shut off their lights.

In a single hour that evening, 2.2 million people in Sydney, Australia, shut off all lights and unnecessary electrical appliances in order to take a stand against ridiculously high carbon emissions in Australia and worldwide.

That hour was affectionately dubbed ‘Earth Hour’ and set into motion a new yearly tradition that effectively breached the gap between many nations in their fight to rescue a flailing world.

Read more


When Hurricane Katrina smashed ashore in 2005, Louisiana teen Samantha Perez started writing about the storm that washed away much of her old life. Her journal, chronicled in the pages of The Tattoo, is all online at Hurricane Journal. Read it for an eye-opening and intensely personal look into the eye of the worst storm in recent history.





I caught Bruce Springsteen's harmonica

By Jared Brown in HARTFORD, Connecticut, U.S.A. - I was wearing my dad’s old Springsteen shirt from the early 1970s that has a picture of Bruce in his “Jersey Devil” days, wearing a funky cap and big sunglasses with metal rims. During the concert, Bruce spotted my tee shirt and smiled. At the end of the song “Promised Land,” he tossed me his harmonica.  Read more


Sailing the Hudson in Seeger's sloop

By Kiernan Majerus-Collins in WEST HARTFORD, Connecticut, U.S.A. The captain of a Hudson River sloop built to raise environmental awareness – the brainchild of folk singer Pete Seeger – said the once badly polluted river “looks better to me” these days.

“This amazing old boat” has done a lot to promote clean water and to help convince people to love the river since its launch in 1969, Capt. Samantha Heyman said.

The boat, named the Clearwater, sails with anything from a fidgety fourth-grade class to a 50th wedding anniversary. However “our primary program, our bread and butter, is called classroom of the waves,” said Heyman.   

“Classroom of the waves” and other programs have made it so that “half a million students have sailed on the Clearwater since she started” in patrolling the river 40 years ago Heyman said.

To honor Seeger’s 90th birthday tonight, musicians ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Joan Baez are playing a benefit concert in New York City to help establish an endowment that would ensure the Clearwater has clear sailing for generations to come. Read more



-- NEWS --

South Africans cast their votes

By Mariechen Puchert in WESTERN CAPE, South Africa -- National Election Day arrived on April 22 in a fashion more peaceful than many South Africans expected. As a public holiday, that meant, for many, they could sleep in. But others woke up at the crack of dawn and made their way toward voting stations around the country. Some traveled by foot, the more fortunate by car, but citizens throughout the country appeared to have a single pattern of thought on their minds – Reach the polling stations, vote, go home and anticipate the results.

“We can all try to change the country by complaining or we could try to change it by voting,” said Paul Jordaan, a fifth year medicine student in Western Cape. Read whole story

South African elections may prove pivotal

By Mariechen Puchert in WESTERN CAPE, South Africa (April 20, 2009) For the past few months, there has been little that could occupy the attention of South Africans for long. Not even the arrival of the Indian Premier League in South Africa was greeted by a suitable hubbub. Students, parents, professionals and even the beggars on street corners have but one topic for discussion: the upcoming national elections on Wednesday, April 22. For the first time since the first democratic elections in 1994, South Africans are uncertain about their choice of political party.  Read whole story


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