Saturday, June 21, 2008

Who Needs Oil?

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know I skip all over the place with my subject matter much like I do in my speeches. I do that intentionally because I want this blog to be all about education and diverse learning. It all goes back to my basic premise, "The problem isn't the issue. The issue is how you deal with the problem." That's why the subject of this post hit me. It's about gaining knowledge. It's all about the process, the journey, both yours and mine.

My last post about the American's With Disabilities Act was done because a friend sent me the article and it just fit. I am excited to see what will happen with the new changes.

I learned about the article for my inspiration to write this post while listening to the radio the other day. The Internet is really pretty cool that way. If you're not already aware, you can learn a lot by spending time on the 'net. (He said jokingly.)

According to a February 22, 2008 article in Technology Review, a startup company in South San Francisco, Solazyme, is converting various forms of algae into biofuels in a new, unique way. It truly is a fascinating read. You can access the article by clicking here.

Check out this video Solazyme has produced to explain what they are doing:

Imagine condensing a 150 million year process into three days! Talk about "CHANGE"!

Regarding change, I'd like to paraphrase our current President and say, "Bring it on!"

In doing a little research on the technology, a quick Google search pulled up 173,000 sites for "green fuel algae." There is obviously something going on here. It will be interesting to watch the technology develop.

Obviously, this is not the only part of the solution to solve our energy problem. But, it promises to be a good start. Other renewable energies like solar, wind and hydroelectric will definitely play their part.

Let me know what you think of the article and video.



Monday, June 16, 2008

ADA Improvements Coming

The New York Times is reporting a substantial update to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). ADA was signed into law July 26, 1990 as this photo shows. It has five titles and covers a wide range of issues. They are:

Title I prohibits employers, including cities and towns, from discriminating against qualified job applicants and workers who are or who become disabled. The law covers all aspects of employment including the application process and hiring, training, compensation, advancement, and any other employment term, condition, or privilege.

Title II prohibits state and local governments from discriminating against disabled persons in their programs and activities. Title II also sets forth the applicable structural accessibility requirements for public entities.

Title III prohibits private enterprises who provide public accommodations and services (e.g., hotels, restaurants, and transit systems) from denying goods, services and programs to people based on their disabilities. Title III also sets forth the applicable structural accessibility requirements for private entities.

Title IV makes available telecommunications devices and services for the hearing and speech impaired. These regulations spell out certain mandatory minimum standards telephone companies must maintain to be in compliance with the ADA.

Title V includes some miscellaneous provisions that relate to the construction and application of the ADA, including alternative dispute resolution.

To read the Time's article, click here. It is well worth your read.

Let me know what you think.



Monday, June 9, 2008

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

I am a big fan of 60 Minutes, and last night they ran a story on the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and what a good story it was. Here is the piece:

The reason it was so exciting for me to see was the fact they are funding research projects which are studying embryonic stem cells and how they may help find a cure for spinal cord injury. They have no restrictions on their research because they receive no federal funding. If you want to learn more about the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, you can visit their website by clicking here.

If you didn't see 60 Minutes last night, I encourage you to watch the video. I am curious to read any comments you might have.



Sunday, June 1, 2008

Mentoring Works

We all know mentoring works. What we are learning is just how huge the issue is! According to MENTOR's website:

MENTOR recognizes that, although nearly 17.6 million young Americans need or want mentoring, only 3 million are in formal, high-quality mentoring relationships. That means more than 14.6 million young people still need mentors. That unmet need constitutes what we call the "mentoring gap." 

MENTOR is a ten-year-old National Mentoring Project located in Alexandria, VA. Their goal is to expand the world of quality mentoring. You may learn more about them by clicking here.

If you're interested in helping to close that "mentoring gap," or just learning more about mentoring, I suggest you go to their site, and click on your state to find a mentoring program that fits your needs.

To see how effective mentoring programs can work, and what happens when funding dries up, click here.

If you are a mentor or mentee, good for you! If you're not, why? Personally, I'm involved in one formal mentoring program, and informally mentor several young, and not so young, people on a number of things from youth activities to coaching new speakers.

Please let me know what your experience is regarding the issue. As always, I welcome your comments.