His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
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China: New solar cell works rain or shine
24 March 2018 - Rain can put a damper on solar panels. But researchers at Soochow University in China have made a hybrid solar cell that works in gloomy weather: it generates electricity from the movement of raindrops sliding on its surface. (more)

US: Washington state signs nation's 1st law banning food packaging chemicals
24 March 2018 - Washington will soon phase out nonstick chemicals in its food packaging. Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill into law Wednesday that will eventually restrict perfluorinated chemicals. Inslee said Washington is now the first state in the nation to ban these chemicals in food packaging. 'This common sense measure will protect consumers, protect our health and protect our environment from unnecessary toxic chemicals,' Inslee said. (more)

Ten days of Asian art in New York City
23 March 2018 - The 10-day Asian art show works with nearly 20 museums and cultural institutions, including Asia Society, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Yale University Art Gallery. Now entering its ninth year, Asia Week New York has become one of the leading events for showcasing Asian art. It features 45 free public exhibitions with an intriguing array of the rarest and finest Asian works of porcelain, jewelry, paintings, ceramics, and jades from China, India, Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, Japan, and Korea. (more)

World Water Day 22 March
22 March 2018 - Water is an essential building block of life. It is more than just essential to quench thirst or protect health; water is vital for creating jobs and supporting economic, social, and human development. Planting new forests, reconnecting rivers to floodplains, and restoring wetlands will rebalance the water cycle and improve human health and livelihoods. (more)

Norway is building some of the world's first electric ferries
22 March 2018 - Norway wants two-thirds of all boats carrying both passengers and cars along its jagged and windy Atlantic coastline to be electrified by 2030. While progress in electrifying the world's excessively polluting shipping fleets is miles behind advances in automobiles, Europe is making initial strides as Paris Climate Accord goals to cut carbon dioxide emissions loom large. Dozens of battery-powered boats that can move through inland waterways in Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands are about to make their first voyages. (more)

This college wants to be the first 100 per cent renewable campus in the United States
21 March 2018 - In 2015, the state of Hawaii committed to converting 100 per cent of its energy supply to renewables by 2045. It's a steep undertaking, and one that will involve utilities coordinating resources across a network of grids that span the island. And at the same time, the Hawaii Legislature and the University of Hawaii system established a joint goal: The entire university network, which comprises 10 campuses across the islands, will be 'net zero' by 2035, meaning that the system would generate as much renewable energy as it consumes. And now by 2019, UH's Maui College will be among the first campuses in the nation to generate 100 per cent of its energy from an on-site solar installation, coupled with battery storage. (more)

British wind power output hits record
21 March 2018 - Power generation from Britain's wind farms hit a record 14.2 gigawatts (GW) on 17 March National Grid said on Monday. Wind power represented 34.2 per cent of domestic electricity generation at 1430 GMT on Saturday, Britain's power grid operator said. '2017 was a record year for green energy and it's looking likely 2018 is set to exceed that,' said Fintan Slye, director of the system operator at National Grid. (more)

To cultivate art and mind is also to cultivate peace, UNESCO chief says on World Poetry Day
21 March 2018 - Not merely limited to beautiful and poignant words and phrases, poetry holds the extraordinary power to open new horizons, bridge differences and illuminate a path to peace and dialogue, the head of the United Nations cultural agency said on World Poetry Day. Commemorated every year every year on 21 March, World Poetry Day recognizes the prominent art as one of humanity's most treasured forms of cultural and linguistic expression as well as identity. (more)

The world added nearly 30 per cent more solar energy capacity in 2017
19 March 2018 - The global solar market grew 29.3 per cent last year, with nations installing 98.9 gigawatts of new capacity, according to data from the industry group SolarPower Europe. The new capacity brings the total operating solar power in the world to 405 GW, 89 per cent of which was installed in the last seven years, according to IFLScience. (more)

UK art teacher wins $1M teaching prize for inner city work
18 March 2018 - A British art teacher won a highly-competitive $1 million teaching prize on Sunday for her work with inner-city children in London, helping students feel welcome and safe in a borough with one of the highest murder rates in the country. Andria Zafirakou, 39, beat out some 30,000 applicants from around the world to win the Global Teacher Prize, which honours one exceptional teacher a year who's made a significant contribution to the profession. (more)

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly explains how seeing planet Earth from space changed his perspective on life
17 March 2018 - Retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly spent 340 days in space aboard the International Space Station in 2015-2016, which changed his perspective on life, making him more empathetic. 'I think it makes you a more empathetic person,' he said. 'More in touch with humanity and who we are, and what we should do to not only to take care of the planet but also to solve our common problems, which clearly are many.' (more)

US: More Maine towns making transition to life without plastic bags
17 March 2018 - Plastic bag fees and bans can be controversial, but in the Maine communities that already have adopted the changes, at least one official said that the transition has been much easier than anticipated. (more)

Library on wheels brings joy of books to Afghan kids
16 March 2018 - The children of Kabul love the blue bus -- they rush toward it every time it pulls into their street, eager to come onboard, their young eyes brimming with excitement. It's it's a library on wheels -- the first such enterprise in Afghanistan's war-battered capital. Inside the bus are rows of neatly stacked books for children, hundreds of them in both Dari and Pashto, the two main languages in Afghanistan. The library was the initiative of Freshta Karim; a 25-year-old who recently got her master's degree in public policy from the University of Oxford, England. (more)

15th-century pot of gold (and silver) found in the Netherlands
16 March 2018 - While digging in Hoef en Haag, a town in central Netherlands, waterworks employees recently unearthed a remarkable archaeological relic: a centuries-old pot filled with hundreds of gold and silver coins. ...As Janene Pieters reports for the NL Times, experts are nevertheless excited by the discovery, which they hope will shed light on a little-known period in the area's history. (more)

Just desserts - Sara Lee foundation to invest all assets into social change
16 March 2018 - The charity founded by the previous owner of frozen dessert-maker Sara Lee in the United States said it would invest its entire $440-million asset pool in ways that drive social change. The New York-based Nathan Cummings Foundation (NCF), which in 2016 agreed grants of $23 million, said its decision would make it 'one of the largest foundations to commit 100 percent' to so-called impact investing. (more)

Thailand: Tourist islands unite to save environment
16 March 2018 - Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan in Surat Thani province will ban 'unfriendly activities' which hurt the environment and marine ecological systems at the country's top tourist destinations. The measures include: no anchoring at a coral reef, a ban on feeding marine animals, no catching fish, no construction that has harmful results on marine and coastal resources, no waste water discharges, and no sea walker activity. (more)

Real-life pot o' gold discovered during Dutch construction project
15 March 2018 - Utility workers in the Netherlands stumbled across a centuries-old pot of gold earlier this month while laying down new pipes, according to news reports. The remarkable find includes 500 coins -- 12 of them gold and the rest silver -- dating to the 15th century, which were nestled inside of a glazed, earthenware cooking pot, according to the NL Times. (more)

US: Entering a 'rainforest' at the Philadelphia Flower Show
15 March 2018 - The 2018 Philadelphia Flower Show's theme was 'Wonders of Water.' The PHS (Pennsylvania Horticultural Society) chief of shows explained, 'We want to capture all the sensory elements of the rainforest -- its fantastic colors, scents, and sounds -- and demonstrate its unique and vital role in purifying water and sustaining our environment.' (more)

'Enough is enough': US students stage walkouts against guns
14 March 2018 - Declaring enough is enough, tens of thousands of young people from Maine to Alaska walked out of school to demand action on gun violence Wednesday (14 March) in one of the biggest student protests since the Vietnam era. Braving snow in New England and threats of school discipline in places like Georgia and Ohio, they carried signs with messages, railed against the National Rifle Association, and bowed their heads in memory of [the 17 students who lost their lives] in the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. (more)

'Enough': US students come together in spectacular walkout to end gun violence
14 March 2018 - Thousands of students poured out of classrooms in the US on Wednesday (14 March) in an unprecedented expression of mourning and a demand for action to stem the country's epidemic of gun violence. The protesters called for new gun safety legislation, including a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and the introduction of universal background checks. They also opposed the additional fortification of schools with fences and armed guards, policies endorsed by the NRA, America's powerful gun lobby group. (more)

America's most beautiful botanical gardens
14 March 2018 - One of the best ways to celebrate the arrival of the clearer, warmer, and certainly brighter months of spring is to visit a botanical garden and marvel at nature's awakening beauty, with a full spectrum of radiantly colored plants and flowers that are just now starting to bloom across America. ... The following is a brief preview of five of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the country. (more)

Carol Van Strum, crusader against Agent Orange, wins prestigious environmental award
14 March 2018 - Longtime environmental activist Carol Van Strum is now also the recipient of a prestigious environmental protection award for her decades of work. Strum was awarded the international David Brower Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding environmental and social justice work on the first of March 2018. Strum is the author of 'A Bitter Fog,' which tells the story of the fight she helped lead against aerial herbicide spraying in the Five Rivers area of Oregon, which led to a temporary ban on aerial pesticide spraying on federal forests. (more)

Finland is the happiest country in the world, says UN report
14 March 2018 - Finland has overtaken Norway to become the happiest nation on earth, according to a UN report. For the first time the UN also examined the happiness levels of immigrants in each country, and found Finland also scored highest. (more)

Finland is world's happiest country: U.N. report
14 March 2018 - Finland is the world's happiest country, according to an annual survey issued on Wednesday (14 March) that found Americans were getting less happy even as their country became richer. The U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network's (SDSN) 2018 World Happiness Report ranked 156 countries according to things such as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity, and absence of corruption. (more)

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