The East African country of Kenya has been at the forefront of the global war on plastic since 2017，when officials outlawed plastic bags. In June 2020，the government introduced a ban on single-use plastics in protected areas. Unfortunately, the measures failed to make a dent. Hundreds of tons of industrial and consumer plastic waste continue to end up in landfills daily.
However, if 29-year-old Nzambi Matee has her way, the unsightly plastic waste will soon be transformed into colorful bricks. The materials engineer's search for a solution to tackle plastic pollution began in 2017. She quit her job as a data analyst at a local chemical factory and set up a small lab in her mother's backyard. It took her nine months to produce the first brick and even longer to convince a partner to help her build the machinery to make the bricks. But the determined engineer was confident in her idea and did not give up.
The bricks are made using various plastic products- ranging from empty shampoo bottles to buckets to flip flops, which couldn't be recycled and reprocessed. The collected plastic is mixed with sand, heated at very high temperatures, and compressed (压缩) into bricks that vary in color and thickness. The resulting product is stronger, lighter, and about 30 percent cheaper than concrete bricks. More importantly, it helps repurpose the lowest quality of plastic. "There is that waste that couldn't be processed and recycled anymore. That is what we get," Matee says.
Matee, who was recognized as one of the Young Champions of the Earth 2020- the United Nations' highest environmental honor- is far from done. Her dream is to reduce the mountain of garbage in Donora to just a hill by increasing production and expanding her offerings. She says, “The more we recycle the plastic, the more we produce affordable housing.
Listening is a powerful tool in relationships. However, many of us have just mastered the art of looking like we're listening when we barely are. When someone is speaking to us, we may be preparing our next response, or else thinking about something totally unrelated. It requires a great deal of self-discipline and patience to become a good listener.
Bill Gault, an old friend and a wise elder, taught me a phrase “High Impact Listening”. What it refers to is really being present with a person. Bill told me, “Where I have used it the most is with people who at first may strike me as kind of annoying. Itravel a lot, so I am seated by all kinds of people on planes. You see, I am not a soldier, and I am definitely not into guns. When I meet someone who is into guns, I try my best to show up to listen to their ideas and philosophy. This kind of openness and respect are serving me in a big way. When I sincerely listen and engage with another person, especially those who are so different from myself, I can begin to understand their philosophy of life. Now, I love to stay with the process long enough, until I find that we are all one.
Like Bill, many of us have to learn the hard way. For years, Bill had many unpleasant and annoying conversations with people who saw life very differently. Once he matured and appreciated this deep listening process, all of his trips became so much more enjoyable.
For many of us, it's only after a lot of unpleasantness and pulling a damaged relationship out of the mud that we know for sure that it is possible to listen more deeply to each other, and how unbelievably great it is to do so. Then we too can mature as Bill did, to show the type of understanding and acceptance that are required for relationships to develop. We can learn and gain the qualities like patience, openness, tolerance, and self- discipline that give rise to a strong and healthy relationship.
At first sight, it might seem that apart from the Mission Trail, San Antonio is short on places to enjoy the great outdoors. Take a closer look, however, and you'll see San Antonio has much more to offer.
North of downtown near Trinity University, 343-acre (英亩) Brackenridge Park is a great place to spend a family day. Biking or walking around Brackenridge Park, along the Mission Trail and along the River Walk makes for a nice outing when the weather is mild.
Check www. visitsanantonio. com for a list of suggested cycling routes.
For a taste of the Hill Country, head to this 976-acre park. It has about 7 miles of paths for walking and cycling; one of the paths is also wheelchair-accessible. There is also a public workout station near the Turkey Roost Trailhead in case you want to get your sweat on and don't have membership at a local gym.
Friedrich Wilderness Park
This 600-acre park near Six Flags Fiesta Texas is just for hikers. It has 10 miles of walking paths in a Hill Country landscape that are especially worth a visit when
wildflowers are blooming in spring. Close to the Balcones Escarpment, you can also see evidence here of Texas' geologic (地质的) history.
San Antonio Botanical Garden
This expertly tended， 38-acre garden complex showcases native Texas flowers.
There's also a rose garden and a wonderful greenhouse, with a bit of everything from rainforest to desert plants. Call or go online to the garden's website for a calendar of special events- from concerts under the stars and yoga classes to bird walks and summer classes for children.
During his first year at Stanford, Trace Guzman won a part in a short film—a comedy about college girls- directed by an upper-class student engaged in the film and media studies program. At the end of a 12-hour day on the set of“ The Ice Queen Society", which was shot on campus, Guzman realized that he could happily continue for hours on end.
I remember thinking this was the best thing in the world," he said. "Then I stopped and thought, 'oh, this is what it feels like to do something you love.' That was the moment I fell in love with acting."
Guzman pursued his newfound passion in the classroom through film studies courses, as well as classes on screenwriting and script (脚本) analysis. His favorite class was "Writing the Television Pilot". To develop comedy writing skills outside the classroom, Guzman joined the Robber Barons, the student sketch comedy group that performs in the Geology Corner Auditorium. As a junior, Guzman spent winter quarter studying in Madrid with fellow Stanford students through the Bing Overseas Studies Program.
Guzman, who plans to move to Los Angeles to make a career in acting, said he would miss the stimulating conversations and intellectual enthusiasm of Stanford. But he's ready for the next stage of his life and the opportunity to use his art for good.
"I'm a Stanford student and I might shoot too high sometimes," he said. "But whatever I do, it doesn't have to be through one vehicle in my life, and I want to be intentional about it. Obviously, it's a cliché (陈词滥调) to say I want to make a change in the world. But that's a beautiful thing to want to do- and something a lot of Stanford students want to do，And I think that's awesome."
President Coolidge's statement, “The business of America is business,” still points to an important truth today—that business institutions have more prestige(威望) in American society than any other kind of organization, including the government.
Why do business institutions possess this great prestige?
One reason is that Americans view business as being more firmly based on the ideal of competition than other institutions in society. Since competition is seen as the major source of progress and prosperity by most Americans, competitive business institutions are respected. Competition is not only good in itself, it is the means by which other basic American values such as individual freedom, equality of opportunity, and hard work are protected.
Competition protects the freedom of the individual by ensuring that there is no monopoly( 垄 断 ) of power. In contrast to one all-powerful government, many businesses compete against each other for profits. Theoretically, if one business tries to take unfair advantage of its customers, it will lose to competing business which treats its customers more fairly. Where many businesses compete for the customers' dollars, they cannot afford to treat them like inferiors or slaves.
A contrast is often made between business, which is competitive, and government, which is a monopoly. Because business is competitive, many Americans believe that it is more supportive of freedom than government, even though government leaders are elected by the people and business leaders are not. Many Americans believe, then, that competition is as important, or even more important, than democracy(民主) in preserving freedom.
Competition in business is also believed to strengthen the ideal of equality of opportunity. Competition is seen as an open and fair race where success goes to the swiftest person regardless of his or her social class background. Competitive success is commonly seen as the American alternative to social rank based on family background. Business is therefore viewed as an expression of the idea of equality of opportunity rather than the aristocratic(贵族的) idea of inherited privilege.
I've worked in the factories surrounding my hometown every summer since I graduated from high school, but making the transition (转变) between school and full time blue-collar work during the break never gets any easier. For a student like me who considers any class before noon to be uncivilized, getting to a factory by 6 o'clock each morning is torture. My friends never seem to understand why I'm so relieved to be back at school or that my summer vacation has been anything but a vacation.
There're few people as self-confident as a college student who has never been out in the real world. People my age always seem to overestimate the value of their time and knowledge. In fact, all the classes did not prepare me for my battles with the machine I ran in the plant, which would jam whenever I absent-mindedly put in a part backward or upside down.
The most stressful thing about blue-collar life is knowing your job could disappear overnight. Issues like downsizing (裁员) and overseas relocation had always seemed distant to me until my co-workers told me that the unit I was working in would shut down within six months and move to Mexico, where people would work for 60 cents an hour.
After working 12-hour shifts in a factory, the other options have become only too clear. When I'm back at the university, skipping classes and turning in lazy re-writes seems too irresponsible after seeing what I would be doing without school. All the advice and public-service announcements about the value of an education that used to sound stale now ring true.
These lessons I'm learning, however valuable, are always tinged (带有) with sense of guilt. Many people pass their lives in the places where I briefly work, spending 30 years where I spend only two months at a time. “This job pays well, but it's hell on the body,” said one co-worker. “Study hard and keep reading,” she added.
My experiences in the factories have inspired me to make the most of my college years before I enter the real world for good.
I was asked by a reader recently why so many animals seem to have pink ears，when their bodies are all different colours? The truth is that most animals actually don't have pink ears. Let us explain.
Near the equator (赤道), where the climate is hot, animals are likely to have darker skin, including on their ears. Think of the African elephant, which has quite dark ears. In colder climates, skin colour is usually lighter and often pink.
Why is skin colour different in different climates? Skin pigmentation, which is what gives skin its colour, can protect against sunburn and skin cancer. When animals live in colder parts of the world, they don't need it as much to survive. Light-coloured skin also helps animals stay warmer because it reduces heat loss, which is useful if you're in a colder climate.
For most animals, the colour of their fur or other body covering has generally developed as camouflage. That allows animals to mix into the background and avoid being eaten, or for predators (捕食者) to remain hidden during hunting. One example is the sandy-coloured coat of the desert fennec fox, which uses camouflage for both hunting and hiding.
By the way, in many animals, ears come in many different shapes and sizes. For example, in bats, the serval (a type of African wildcat) and the fennec fox, the ears are large compared to their body size—this helps them hear better because it allows them to sense more sound waves. Naked mole-rats have tiny ears because they need to dig a lot. Big ears would get in the way. The other downside of big ears is that you can lose a lot of body heat. That's why animals that live in really cold places, like the Arctic fox, have quite small ears.
When I was about 10, I was walking down the street with my mother. She stopped to speak to Mr Lee. I knew I could see Mr Lee anytime around the neighborhood, so I just stood there. After we passed him, my mother stopped and said something unforgettable. "You let that be the last time you ever walk by somebody you know without opening your mouth to speak，because even a dog can wag its tail when it passes you on the street. "That sentence sounded simple but it made me become who I am.
At work, I used to say hello to the president of the company and ask him how our business was doing. But I also spoke to the people in the cafe and people who cleaned the buildings, and asked them how their children were doing, for every single person deserves to be accepted, no matter how humble(卑微的) they are. I remember that after a few years of passing by the president, I had the courage to ask him for a chat. We had a great talk. At some point, when I asked him how far he thought I could go in his company, he said that if I wanted to, I could get all the way to his seat.
I've become vice-president, but that hasn't changed how I treat people. I speak to people wherever I am. Speaking to people creates a pathway into their world, and it lets them come into mine, too. The day you speak to someone who has his head down and then see him lift it up and smile, you will realize how powerful it is just to open your mouth and say hello.
A Lesson Plan from Life Planning Education: A Youth Development Program
Purpose: To learn about body language and how to use body language
Materials: Cards, container
Time: 25—35 minutes
·Write the words below on cards:
·Place the cards in the container so volunteers can draw them out one at a time.
First make sure that all volunteers know what body language means (expressing feelings through body movement and facial expressions). Go over the following instructions:
·I'll need at least 9 volunteers to play a game similar to charades (猜词游戏).
·The first volunteer will draw a card with a feeling written on it and act out the feeling without using words.
·The rest of the group will guess what feeling is being communicated. Once someone correctly guesses the feeling，the next person in line will draw a card and act out what is written on it, again without words.
·The game will continue until there are no more cards or until time is up.
At last, end the activity using the discussion points below:
·Can you give examples of when someone's body language communicated a different message from what he/she actually said?
·Sometimes one person is offended (冒犯) by another's body language. How can you work to keep that from happening? Answers may include: be honest and direct; match your nonverbal messages to your verbal ones; be aware of (清楚) cultural attitudes toward different kinds of body language.
In England recently three foreign gentlemen came to a bus stop and waited. About five minutes later, the bus they wanted came along. They were just going to get on when suddenly there was a loud noise behind them. People rushed onto the bus and tried to push them out of the way. Someone shouted at them. The bus conductor came rushing down the stairs to see what all the trouble was about. The three foreigners seemed all at sea and looked embarrassed. No one had told them about the British custom of lining up for a bus that the first person who arrives at the bus stop is the first person to get on the bus.
Learning the language of a country isn't enough. If you want to have a pleasant visit, find out as much as possible about the manners and customs of your host country. You will probably be surprised just how different they can be from your own. A visitor to India would do well to remember that people there consider it impolite to use the left hand for passing food at table. The left hand is supposed to be used for washing yourself. Also in India, you might see a man shaking his head at another to show that he doesn't agree. But in many parts of India a shake of the head means agreement. Nodding your head when you are given a drink in Bulgaria will most probably leave you thirsty.