Talk about inspiration! With nothing to do last summer while his dad worked in the office of his East Los Angeles auto-body shop, a nine-year-old boy named Caine turned packing boxes into a cardboard arcade. His games included mini-basketball and mini-soccer. He taped old calculators to each game for PIN code access and manually distributed tickets for winning. He charged just $2 for a 500-game fun pass card, but business was slow. Most people were ordering their used car parts on-line. Then one day, a customer walked in and played in Caine's arcade. The customer had so much fun he decided to help Caine drum up business. You must watch the video to see what happened when the story of Caine's arcade went viral. If you're not moved at end (10:50 minute mark) when Caine says, "I thought they were here for me. And they were. And I was proud," then you might want check to see if you still have a pulse.
Entries in Earth Day (3)
Once upon a time there was a beautiful planet called Earth. Mercury-free salmon spawned in crystalline rivers. Whales sung songs of freedom in the oceans. There was no such thing as smog advisories. The ozone layer was a thick shield that protected living things from harmful ultraviolet radiation. The polar ice cap was extensive, regulating the temperature of the land, water and air. There were lush rain forests and dense jungles. Plants and animals lived sustainably...ah, the good old days.
A lot has changed on Earth in recent times and our planet has become sick. Not so desperately ill that it can't still enthrall us with its diversity and beauty, but sick in more a chronic, annoying way–like a cough that nags and worsens, or a joint that aches and steadily deteriorates.
In the midst of our current federal election, we've heard remarkably little about the environment. It's a non-issue. The Green Party was excluded from the debates and gets precious little media coverage compared with the Conservative, Liberals and NDP. But we can't just blame the establishment. Politicians respond to the issues people tell them they care about–either because they (the politicians themselves) genuinely care or because they want to be seen as caring–sometimes it's hard to tell which.
Polls show that the number one issue concerning the electorate in the 2011 federal election is health care. Hence, key messages this week had more to do with keeping emergency departments open, forgiving medical school loans for rural doctors, and making sure every Canadian has a family physician, and less to do with reducing carbon emissions, protecting wilderness areas or cleaning up the Alberta tar sands.
Herein lies the irony. There cannot be a healthy population without a healthy environment. We depend upon the bees that pollinate our orchards, the quality of the food we eat and water we drink, and the cleanliness of the air that we breathe. We cannot be healthy without a healthy environment. Anyone with foresight can tell you its better to focus on health prevention that to react to the consequences of unhealthy living. Cleaning up the planet is a great start to improving our overall health so we don't rely so heavily upon doctors and hospitals to fix our polluted and broken bodies.
Today is Earth Day. I hope you find a moment today to appreciate and celebrate our beautiful planet. Better yet, do something to help restore it to its former glory – pick up garbage, turn over a garden, hang your laundry on the clothesline, ride a bike or walk instead of driving your car. Municipalities often organize group events so if you're stumped perhaps look into what's going on in your neighbourhood or check out this site: http://www.earthday.ca/pub/
Let's start talking about the environment again, and making it an issue of local, national and international importance. No matter what your political affiliation this is everyone's responsibility. Keeping the earth healthy means keeping its inhabitants healthy. We are not separate from the environment, we are the environment.
Happy Earth Day.
Updated on Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 7:45AM by Alison DeLory
It’s Earth Day and in that spirit I’ve decided not to drive today so I’m pressed for time. I want to make it to the gym for a 10:30 class. This means I’ll have to leave early and run there but before then, I need to hang—not tumble-dry—my laundry. I’m also puzzling over how to run with my travel mug as going for coffee (does Tim’s serve fair trade?) directly after the class is one of my main motivators pushing me through Body Pump and today of all days I don’t wish to use a disposable cup. Doing right by the environment is inconvenient sometimes, and time consuming.
Buzz…the laundry is ready. Thankfully it’s a sunny day.
I’m back. On my way inside after hanging the clothes on the line I heard the whirr of the dishwasher and felt a wave of Earth Day guilt. I did set it on “Energy Saver” cycle (which takes three hours so for lack of clean dishes I may eat lunch off my lap—better choose a sandwich over salad) but I feel like a hypocrite nonetheless. It’s 8:52 a.m. and I’ve already run two major appliances, not a great start.