A History Of Wealth

History of Wealth

Some say it all started with the industrial revolution. Others lay blame directly at the feet of a certain forefather of modern economics, the Scottish moral philosopher and economist Adam Smith. With the publication in 1776 of his book, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, it’s quite possible that Smith set in motion the modern way of thinking about wealth. At the time Smith’s seminal economic philosophy was published, the world (in particular, Britain and Europe) was in a state of turmoil. Change was everywhere. Once the denizens of absolute power, the Church and aristocracy… read more

Is The Handwritten Note A Thing Of The Past?

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Receiving a handwritten letter in the mail may be a rare thing. The giant wave of all things technology has certainly made our lives easier, but have some of the simple things been lost in the process? Many feel that letter writing has now become an art form, and that is hard to argue with. The steps involved with actually writing a letter seem, well, lengthy…time consuming for today’s standards. The ease and immediacy of pressing keys and buttons is a far contrast from carefully selected and then handwritten prose on paper, perhaps the need for stationary even. Then more… read more

Window On The Arctic

Window to Arctic

A new observatory at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean will help keeps tabs on the delicate environment of the far north. Canada’s University of Victoria, which runs the station has stated that the observatory will relay information continuously throughout the year for the first time ever. The observatory includes an underwater camera, microphone, and a device that can measure ice thickness, coupled with instruments to measure temperature, salinity, and other data that can be used to monitor the health of the environment. There is also an above-ground weather station to track local weather patterns and climate data. University of… read more

The History Of Food Banks

The History Of Food Banks

The first food bank in the U.S., St. Mary’s, was established in 1967 in Arizona. The founder, John van Hengel, used to volunteer serving meals when he had the thought to do even more for his community. He heard one of the mothers at St. Vincent DePaul where he helped hand out meals say that she was only able to provide food for her children by searching through dumpsters at grocery stores and taking them to soup kitchens for free meals. This drove him to connect with others in the community to work out a system where those who had… read more

The Gates Foundation Wants Your Big Idea

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Ever since Bill Gates and his wife Melinda founded the Gates Foundation, it’s been a beacon of hope, innovation, and charity for thousands across the world. A few years ago, they came up with the ‘Grand Challenges’ competition, which is essentially a soap-box platform for big thinkers. Each year, the foundation selects a few visionaries to receive a $100,000 grant to start their initiative. If their plan is successful, they can potentially receive another $1,000,000 grant later down the road. All are welcome to submit ideas covering a wide range of topics, such as healthcare, technology, energy, and more. Take… read more

Are There Any Positives To Our Impact On Earth?

Are There Any Positives To Our Impact On Earth?

It is naïve to think that human experiences have not altered the earth’s natural processes. Our daily activities have, in fact, been an irreversible detriment to many of the planet’s way of doing things. The field of environmental health seeks to identify how our surroundings affect human health and the environment. Research in this area uncovers many concerns about our relationship to our surroundings, but could there in fact be some positives to the human impact? The pressing question isn’t whether or not we have altered things, but what exactly is the full effect of our modifications. How does if effect… read more

This Guy Left The Internet For 12 Months

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It may seem like a simply task in theory, that is, disconnecting yourself from all forms of the interweb. However, I doubt very many people could actually shut out the internet cold-turkey, especially having spent most of their adult lives as users. Paul Miller, a prominent tech blogger, unplugged the cords for 12 months in order to write a book about what life without the internet is like in a world where connectivity is everything. Miller recorded how it affected his personal health, creativity, social life, and more. The Verge caught up with him during the last few hours of… read more

How The Film Industry Will Save The Planet

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A couple of weeks ago, I attended The American Film Market in Santa Monica, California. I was there as a Co-Producer for a pre-production film slated to shoot in Montreal, Canada. It was my first year as an attendee, and the 8-day event completely changed my perspective of Hollywood, and gave me a few ideas. Approximately 99% of attendees I met while making my rounds were what I’ve started to call the “Minimum Wage of Hollywood”. From an outsiders point of view, these filmmakers are still making bank–roughly $50,000 – $500,000 per film. However, in a world where Robert Downey… read more

The Many Forms of Wealth

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Wealth takes many forms. But for the sake of argument, let’s think in terms of different types of capital. The traditional definition of capital is “accumulated wealth in the form of investments, factories, and equipment” (Hawken et al, 2000, p.4). From a Green Economic perspective, however, four types of capital are necessary for a healthy and prosperous economy. These are outlined by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins and L.Hunter Lovins in their book, Natural Capital: Creating the next industrial revolution (2000): Human capital: Beyond labour and intelligence, this includes the social capital of networks and organization, as well as the cultural… read more

Eco-Conscious Christmas

Eco-conscious Christmas

There are many ways we can make a difference for our environment, especially at festive holiday times when so much extra is being prepared. Consider adopting some of the practices below to reduce waste in landfills and keep your holiday costs to a minimum. Cards Consider switching to emailed holiday cards to reduce your landfill waste.  If you would like to send printed paper cards consider a card which is made from 100% recycled paper.  If you must give your card to the person physically, consider making the card with previously used or recyclable paper. Trees Fake trees are reusable and… read more