22.4.2015, World - Κόσμος

A song you may have heard gives a look at why our planet is worth protecting

Curator: , Upworthy

You've probably heard this song 1,000 times. However, when it's mixed with these images, it adds a layer of context you may not have thought about.

"I see trees of green, red roses too. I see them bloom for me and you. And think to myself, 'What a wonderful world.'"

This is the beginning of one of the most recognizable songs in American history. Originally sung by Louis Armstrong, it was written to offer a positive and hopeful look into the future. It talks about babies being born into our world and all the world has to offer them. It offers simple, relatable images of the human experience and the world we live in.

This version is performed by the great David Attenborough, and the absolutely gorgeous shots of nature it features really brings out the theme of this classic song.

Click [ video ] to watch . . .



Yuri Kochiyama

Life is not what you alone make it. Life is the input of everyone who touched your life and every experience that entered it. We are all part of one another.

World, Κόσμος  |  June 5, 2014


Opening quote


Sadly, the legendary civil rights activist Yuri Kochiyama passed away a few days ago at the age of 93. Here's one of our favorite quotes from her, brought to you by 18 Million Rising and The Global Fund for Women.



GR - Η ζωή δεν είναι αυτό που κάνεις μόνος σου. Η ζωή είναι η συμβολή του καθενός στη ζωή των άλλων και η κάθε εμπειρία που αποκτούμε. Είμαστε όλοι μέρος μιας κοινωνίας που αλληλεπιδρά.


T a g s  -  Ε τ ι κ έ τ ε ς


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Raise Money For A Personal Cause

Personal Finance |  June 4, 2014

By Sara Eckel


Would you crowd-fund a breast augmentation or vacation? Some people do. (Thinkstock)

Would you crowd-fund a breast augmentation or vacation? Some people do. (Thinkstock)


Sharon Chayra was pleased to hear that two business acquaintances had married, but her enthusiasm damped after the bride sent her an email with a link to the newlyweds’ crowdfunding campaign. The affluent couple was raising money for their honeymoon, a $10,000 safari vacation in Africa.

A look at a growing trend among travellers of using the internet to solicit donations to help fund their trips.

“I thought, ‘seriously? I’m not invited to the wedding. I don’t get my beloved cake. And you want me to pony up money for your African safari?’” said Chayra, the president of Chayracom, a public relations company in Las Vegas.


Calling in the crowd What, exactly, is crowdfunding?


Crowdfunding allows people to raise money for a personal cause from friends, family and strangers through internet platforms, such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Giveforward.



Many campaigns are non-profit and seek to fund political, charitable, commercial causes, but some use crowdfunding to pick up the tab for personal desires such as sports cars and vacations through sites including GoFundMe and GoGetFunding.

To avoid awkwardness, Chayra contributed $50. She later saw that others had given $250 or even $500. “So then I thought, ‘Jeez, it’s only $50. They’re probably thinking, ‘Gosh, she’s so darn cheap.’ But too bad!” she said with a laugh.

Crowdfunding has raised money for worthy social causes, groundbreaking journalism and individuals hitting hard times. But the lure of easy cash has a growing number of people — Americans, in particular — asking friends, relatives and strangers to pick up the tab for less-noble causes, such as home renovations, sports cars, vacations, security deposits, and travel expenses to reality-show auditions and bikini-model competitions.

For her part, Chayra had received outlandish crowdfund requests before, including another couple’s pre-wedding vacation in the California wine country and a friend’s birthday plea for breast implants.

“I felt like saying ‘I want a tummy tuck for my birthday. You’re not getting your boobs till I get my belly,’” said Chayra. “I mean, where does it end?”

Crowdfunding has become an increasingly addictive way of asking for funds for personal use. GoFundMe, which was created specifically for personal requests, has seen the annual amount raised by its campaigns soar to $128m in 2013 from $5.65m in 2011. The growth “is due to the massive increase in personal fundraising across all of GoFundMe's categories,” said Chief Executive Officer Brad Damphousse.

The requests can make the people on the receiving end very uncomfortable, said Jeff Yeager, a Virginia-based personal-finance expert who has published four books on frugal living. The technology has enabled people to succumb to their lazier and more entitled impulses, he added.

“Prior to crowdsourcing, you had to do it the old-fashioned way — work, save money and spend less to get what you want. Now, for a lot of people it becomes, if not the default setting, then near the top of the list of how you’re going to do that,” Yeager said.

Some crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo are geared toward artistic, business and charity endeavors. GiveForward is designed for altruistic intents, such as raising money for loved ones with expenses related to illness or injuries.

Yet other sites like GoFundMe and GoGetFunding cater to individuals looking to raise money for just about anything, including the bathroom sink.


End of civilised society?

While some see personal-desire crowdfunding requests as a sign of the demise of civilised society, Ethan Mollick, a professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, said this, too, shall pass. In time, a consensus will develop about what’s appropriate.




“Over time the people who are looking to raise money for a Ferrari, unless they are funny and good, will disappear,” Mollick said. “Think about the decrease in the number of forwarded jokes from relatives you get from 2000 to today.”

Since these campaigns are so public, Mollick believes the market will ultimately punish the abusers. “What makes crowdfunding interesting is everyone gets to see whether you succeed or fail,” he said.

Also, crowdfunding can be an expensive way to get what you want. Most  sites keep between 4% to 5% of the donations, and additional 3% to 5% goes to a processor, such as PayPal or Stripe.

The burning question: How do these sites keep people honest? What’s to keep the honeymoon couple from buying a new car instead of trekking through Tanzania, for instance?

The sites that handle entrepreneurial or charitable requests often vet requests, said Gordon Burtch, a management professor at the University of Minnesota. “In most cases, however… there is not much in the way of policing going on.”


Uncomfortable for both parties

For recent grads and struggling artists, crowdfunding offers a chance to obtain something otherwise financially unattainable. Christopher Ott, a recent university graduate, was nervous about publishing a campaign to finance the purchase of a used laptop for $800. “I almost didn’t press the final button. It feels too self-indulgent and pandering,” said Ott, a 23-year-old from Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

A fledgling freelance photographer and audio engineer, Ott currently works at a pizza restaurant as he attempts to develop his career. The laptop, fully loaded with the software he needs, would significantly aid that advancement. To stave off the idea that he was a freeloader, he also offered something in return: test strips, photo shoots and prints to donors of varying levels.

Ott says his $30,000 in college loans made him reluctant to pay for a new computer with a credit card. “I probably could have borrowed,” he admitted, “but I saw there was a better way.” 

Ott expected — and received — some criticism. Why didn’t he use his tax return? Why didn’t he save for it? Will you stop spamming me? On the other hand, he also raised the full $800 in a week and got several donations from people he’d never met.

“The attitude seemed to be, ‘This guy is working as hard as he can. It sucks that he is limited by this financial burden and let’s just help him out,” said Ott, who has begun scheduling photo shoots for his $50 donors.

For Melvin Bowser Jr, progress has been more slow going. In February 2013, Bowser created a GoFundMe campaign asking friends and family from his Texas hometown to help finance his dream of being an actor in Los Angeles, seeking help with everything from rent and groceries to classes and headshots. The 25-year-old hotel valet supervisor had raised $640 at press time — well short of his $5,000 goal — but he has also achieved some acting success, including a small recurring role on the Fox Television US series Surviving Jack.

Bowser said his friends and family back home have given him only positive feedback, adding that he has never directly asked anyone for money, but simply posted his campaign on his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

“If you want to donate feel free. If not, no big deal. I understand that everyone has bills of their own,” said Bowser. He also said he donates to other people’s funds, like a friend’s recent request for voice lessons.

Mollick said this sharing is common for many artists’ campaigns: “It is often the same $5 being passed around.”



Oftentimes, though, the money trickles upward to those less needy.

Jean, a New York City media executive who asked to be identified by her first name only, was shocked when a friend sent a blast asking for money to pay the vet bill for her sick cat. The friend, she noted, earned more than $75,000 at her entertainment-industry job and would drop $140 on a pair of shoes without blinking.

In less than 48 hours, the pet owner had the $3,000 she needed for the vet bill. Jean explains that most of the donors were people hoping to break into the entertainment industry: “They were basically trying to kiss her butt. These were people in the Midwest making $32,000 a year, and they were donating $5, $10, $25 for her cat’s medical expenses.

“She asked me if I could share her plea on Facebook. I was so uncomfortable with that that I just pretended I never saw her email,” she said. “I didn’t even know how to respond. I was so horrified.”





Blindly following the leader can get investors in trouble. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images) European school of crowdfunding

A new step for the SEC   A brave new world of investing

Room to grow   Crowdfund your career

(Harley Schwadron) Financial wisdom in crowdfunding?  

Ask a stranger to pay?




The Five Must-Have Leadership Traits

Business  |  June 4, 2014


Eric Barton

    How to work as a team? Managers could learn lessons from the hive (iStockphoto)

    How to work as a team? Managers could learn lessons from the hive (iStockphoto)


    These days in business, there is one thing all managers need to know: forget what you used to know about being a manager.


    Gone are the days when middle management was expected to lead troops into some territorial battle with rivals. Disregard the old command-culture favoured in the ‘80s. Abandon that tired business school mantra about always seeming to be the smartest one in the room.


    Creativity happens when boundaries are crossed. — Georg Petschnigg


    These days, it’s about collaborating, listening and treating more junior employees as equals. The prevailing culture for successful businesses now is a management structure that is flat, where the most junior associate has a chance to develop the next big idea.


    Don’t know how to get by in such a world? Here, then, are five things all managers need to know to succeed in business today.


    5. Trusting Workplaces Breed Creativity

    The best leaders find a way to encourage creativity in their teams. Pulling that off begins by dispelling the myth that some people just aren’t creative.

    “Everybody has the ability to be creative in one way or another,” said executive coach Charles Day with The Lookinglass, a management consultancy in New York City. “The key is to figure out how to unlock it in your employees.”

    To help new ideas grow, be sure employees have context. In other words, they should understand the overall goals of the company. When a new idea fits the business strategy, be generous with the time allocated to exploring it. Then be sure your more junior employees know they won’t be criticised for trying a novel idea that fails.

    Some companies foster inspiration by encouraging employees to try new creative outlets. Computer design firm FiftyThree, based in New York City and Seattle, holds regular classes to teach employees subjects such as fashion illustration. The company’s IT guy won’t be designing dresses for the runway anytime soon, but the process helps employees to tap into their imagination.

    “It might seem strange to teach a bunch of engineers how to do fashion sketches,” admitted FiftyThree, co-founder and chief executive officer Georg Petschnigg. “But creativity happens when boundaries are crossed.”


    4. Trust Your Intuition -- Sometimes

    Within a generation, the concept of instinctive intuition has gone from quack science to a proven strategy for success in business.

    That’s in large part thanks to studies that show it’s best to rely on a gut feeling when you need to make a quick decision. It’s especially true when you have extensive knowledge of a subject.

    “A lot of people think intuition is general purpose, but intuition is actually domain specific,” said Massimo Pigliucci, a philosophy professor at City University of New York. “Intuition is the result of your subconscious brain picking up on clues and hints and calculating the situation for you, and that’s based solely on experience.”

    Maybe one of the most famously intuitive leaders, Steve Jobs, often spoke of following his heart. This helped Jobs green light two projects that seemed too risky back in 2001: iTunes and the iPod. It is more than just a gut feeling, however. The lesson from Apple, Pigliucci said, is to follow-up snap decisions with meticulous attention to detail.

    Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition,” Jobs told the graduating class of Stanford University in 2005. “They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”


    3. When to be Funny

    Knowing when to use a joke can help disarm uncomfortable situations and help bosses build real relationships with their employees.

    However, jokes should never belittle a more junior employee or stray in to the realm of off-colour humour. But a boss who can crack jokes at his own expense? That’s a good way to lighten the mood.

    At Zappos, a Nevada-based online shoe retailer, toy-gun wars regularly break out between departments, and videos of employees oddly dressed and dancing on their desks often end up on YouTube. All that joking around has made employees more loyal to the company and more productive.

    Any type of positive humour seems to improve job satisfaction,” said Jessica Mesmer Magnus, associate professor of management at the Cameron School of Business at University of North Carolina, Wilmington. “Humour shows that you’re a real person and that you can relate to your employees on the same level.”


    2. Trust in Delegation

    It takes faith for managers to delegate important tasks, and it’s something few successfully pull off.

    The reason is simple: They often think they’re better equipped to do the work than their more junior employees.

    Instead, the key is to trust them with the difficult parts of the job. Let them succeed, with just a few nudges and checks, workers will be more likely to work hard for you.

    At the end of the day, it’s all about trust and that willingness to be vulnerable,” said Matthew Pearsall, assistant professor of organisational behaviour at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.


    1. Top-Down Collaboration

    Creating workplace collaboration isn’t as simple as just telling employees to work together. Instead, managers must give their teams specific tools, then oversee how they are being used.

    We often tell people to work together, but we don’t tell them how,” said E Allan Lind, professor of leadership at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, North Carolina. “First, we have to be mindful that people working together is not a normal state of things.”

    Managers must show how good ideas come out of working together. They must also demonstrate that real collaboration equals innovation, and be on the watch for communication breakdowns.

    David Kelly, founder of the wildly successful design firm Ideo, is famous for asking a group of people that have very little in common on their curriculum vitaes to solve a problem. Sometimes it’s the data guy who comes up with the entirely new engineering solution or the computer geek who figures out the best marketing strategy. For Ideo, this team approach has helped the company create everything from airplane lavatory signs to the first computer mouse.

    Those meetings may lead to team members disagreeing. Within reason, that’s a good thing, according to Lind.

    “Conflict is like the fire in the firebox of an old steam engine,” Lind said. “You don’t want the fire to get so hot that it gets out of the firebox, but you don’t want it to go out, either.”





    (Andy Lyons/Getty Images) The unexpected key to delegation

    (iStockphoto) Collaboration lessons from bees

    Bill Gates writes about leadership lessons he has learned. (Stefan Postles/Getty Images) What makes a great leader?

    What is the best way to handle a bad colleague? Dealing with difficult people

    Don't get left behind in the new year. (Thinkstock) New year, new career strategy




    April 2014, English & Greek Post










    Διακοσμημένος τοίχος που πήρε βραβείο Γκίνες ως η μεγαλύτερη τοιχογραφία από ανακυκλώσιμα υλικά στην γειτονιά Al-Mazzeh 

    31 Μαρτίου 2014, Δαμασκός, Συρία


    Decorated wall that won the Guinness World Record for the largest mural made from recycled material, on March 31, 2014 in Damascus's al-Mazzeh neighborhood. (LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)


    Mural - Τοιχογραφία

    Syrian Moaffak Makhoul and a team of six artists pose with their Guinness World Record awards for the largest mural made from recycled material, on March 31, 2014 in Damascus's al-Mazzeh neighborhood. (LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)




    DAMASCUS, March 31 (Reuters) - A group of Syrian artists in Damascus has created the world's biggest mural made of recycled materials, a rare work aimed at brightening public space in a city sapped by war and sanctions.

    The brightly coloured, 720-sq metre work was constructed from aluminum cans, broken mirrors, bicycle wheels and other scrap objects and displayed on a street outside a primary school in the centre of the Syrian capital.

    The mural's lead artist, Syrian artist Moaffak Makhoul, said the idea behind the project was to give ordinary people a chance to experience art and relieve some of the pressures of daily life as the country's three-year-old conflict grinds on.

    Guinness World Records has declared the work the world's largest mural made of recycled materials.

    Syria is sunk in a civil war that has killed over 140,000 people, forced millions more to flee their homes and devastated much of the country's infrastructure, economic activity and urban life.

    Gains over the past few months by President Bashar al-Assad's forces in Damascus' outskirts and along the nearby Lebanese border have strengthened the government's grip on the capital.

    The mural took about six months to complete and was finished in January with the help of about six artists.


    Syrians walk through a decorated wall that won the Guinness World Record for the largest mural made from recycled material, on March 31, 2014 in Damascus's al-Mazzeh neighborhood. (LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)


    Syrians walk through a gate on a decorated wall that won the Guinness World Record in Damascus's al-Mazzeh neighborhood on March 31, 2014. (LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)


    Syrians walk past a decorated wall that won the Guinness World Record for the largest mural made from recycled material, on March 31, 2014 in Damascus's al-Mazzeh neighborhood. (LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)








    Αρχική     Blogs









    April 2014, English Post









    L A N D M A R K S


    By Eileen Shim

    Eileen is a writer living in New York. She studied comparative literature and international studies at Yale University, and enjoys writing about the intersection of culture and politics.


    We've seen them in pictures and in guidebooks. The world's most famous landmarks live in popular imagination in their idealized form, but it can be surprising to see them in person. While some landmarks can be even more awe-inspiring when you take in their natural surroundings, others have been swallowed up by sprawling cityscapes.

    In our perfection-obsessed society, it's tempting to crop out distractions and focus on the main subject. But as these images show, it can be just as enlightening to see  how a landmark fits into an environment, and how a tourist attraction sticks out from a natural landscape. Here are 15 zoomed-out photos of famous landmarks around the world:


    1. Taj Mahal

    Image Credit: AP

    Image Credit: Imgur


    2. The Great Pyramids of Giza

    Image Credit: AP

    Image Credit: AP


    3. Stonehenge

    Image Credit: AP

    Image Credit: AP


    4. Niagara Falls

    Image Credit: AP

    Image Credit: Imgur


    5. The Brandenburg Gate

    Image Credit: AP

    Image Credit: AP


    6. The Parthenon

    Image Credit: AP

    Image Credit: Imgur


    7. Mount Rushmore

    Image Credit: Getty

    Image Credit: AP



    8. The Forbidden City

    Image Credit: AP

    Image Credit: Imgur


    9. Hollywood

    Image Credit: AP

    Image Credit: Imgur


    10. Central Park

    Image Credit: Getty

    Image Credit: Imgur


    11. The Arc de Triomphe

    Image Credit: Getty

    Image Credit: Imgur


    12. Santorini

    Image Credit: Getty

    Image Credit: Getty


    13. The Statue of Liberty

    Image Credit: Getty

    Image Credit: Getty


    14. Eiffel Tower

    Image Credit: Getty

    Image Credit: Getty


    15. St. Basil's Cathedral

    Image Credit: Getty

    Image Credit: Getty



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