Tag Archives: Cumberland

Home Gadgets Part II

14. NARWHAL SKEWERS

NARWALS

Doing what narwhals do best, these skewers pay homage to one of the weirdest whales, which features a giant canine tooth sticking out of its head and a silly face. And now, these guys can hold your shish kebabs.

15. MOUSY CHEESE BOARD

CHEESE

This cheese board comes complete with a mouse-shaped knife that can be stored in a little hole underneath.

16. FLASK BANGLE

Flask bangle

Sometimes you know you’re going to need a quick drink, but it might be hard to hide a flask on your person when you’re wearing a summer dress. That’s where this hollow bangle bracelet steps in. It has a cork stopper and enough room for a decent swig. Just don’t be too obvious about sucking on your jewelry.

17. TREE MEASURING CUPS

Tree measuring cups

These stackable measuring cups form a lovely ceramic tree, each with its own branch handle. It includes a quarter, third, half, and full cup.

18. GEODE COASTERS

Geode coasters

These blue agate coasters are a nice departure from typical wood or ceramic. They add some sparkle to your home. They’re also fully lined on the back so they won’t scratch surfaces.

19. LABORATORY SHOT GLASSES

Laboratory shot glasses

Get your science on with these beaker-shaped shot glasses. They’re not just for drinking, since you can measure all sorts of things with them….but they’re mostly for drinking.

20. HEDGEHOG DRYER BALLS

Hedgehog dryer balls

Stop buying dryer sheets and snag some of these little guys instead. They tumble around in the dryer with your clothes, separating the fabric and leaving clothes soft and free of static. Plus, they cut down on the waste that dryer sheets produce.

21. SQUIRRELY STEEPER

Squirrely steeper

Fill this squirrel’s tail with loose leaf tea and set it on the rim of your cup. Perfect for when you just want a single cup of tea.

22. PANDA TEAPOT

Panda teapot

This is more than just a teapot; it’s a whole tea set for one. The head comes off, and when it’s inverted, it becomes a cup. There’s also a little infuser included for loose leaf tea, and a lid for the pot to keep the heat in when you’re enjoying a cup. Just look at it. This thing is adorable.

23. SHOWER SQUIDS

Shower squids

These dangly shower friends helpfully hold your bathing essentials. Their adjustable tentacles can hold bottles and bars of soap. They’re also great for storing bottles upside down to get the last few drops out.

24. TABLET-HOLDING CUTTING BOARD

Tablet-holding cutting board

If you’re using a new recipe you found online and you don’t want to take up counter space with your tablet (or put it in something gross), try this cutting board. It comes with a built-in tablet stand so you can check back on the instructions more easily. Just make sure you keep an eye on that knife.

25. MAGNETIC HOURGLASS

Magnetic hourglass

This hourglass functions like the ancient timer that it is, but with a twist. Instead of regular old sand, this one uses ferrous sand, which is black and magnetic. This causes it to form all kinds of spikes and stalactites as it counts down a minute.

Use the following link to shop for these items:

http://www.viralnova.com/awesomer-gadgets/?mb=vnnl&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Viralnova%20Daily&utm_campaign=ViralNova%20Daily%202015-06-12

To find out more about these gadgets, click the text below the photos, which will take you to each respective shop. These make perfect gifts for anyone in your life who likes all things cute and unusual — and that can totally include you.

WATER DROPLET HAPPY ICON GIMPCROPPEDHave a great weekend everyone!

Plastic choking our oceans – Tragic

The following article, “10 Things We Learned About Tackling Plastic Ocean Waste”, by Hannah Gould was posted to theguardian.com June 23, 2015

Earlier this year an NGO warned we could end up with ‘as much plastic in our oceans as fish’. Here is what the experts said in an online debate on plastic pollution.

Image result for oceans being choked by plastics1) We can’t keep up with waste management
More than 50% of ocean plastics are coming from rapidly developing geographies around the world, where population growth and increased plastics consumption is outpacing the capacity to manage waste. Even in the US, waste infrastructure is set up for a material mix that’s less relevant today.
“Plastic never dies, and that means every piece we ever produce will stay on this planet,” warns Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans.
A lot of areas don’t have the infrastructure to manage plastic, so even if consumers put their bottles in the right bins, it won’t necessarily end up being recycled.

  Image result for oceans being choked by plastics

Image result for Tackling ocean waste will require a range of different policies2) We need action from governments and businesses
Tackling ocean waste will require a range of different policies that drive manufacturer participation, combined with voluntary efforts by companies. Key to this will be global corporate leaders that recognise the scale of the problem and its local impact.

TURTLE3) It’s an economic as well as an environmental issue
We’re told of ocean plastic strangling seals and turtles swallowing it, but the mainstream media rarely frame the problem as an economic one.
Bridget Croke, head of investor and industry partnerships at the Closed Loop Fund, says some big consumer packaged goods companies are demanding more recycled content because they are concerned with the price volatility of raw materials. However, she says it’s early days and markets must be pushed pro-actively.
“We need to show [companies] that designing in a way that holds the value of the materials makes economic sense”.


4) Designers and recyclers often feel helpless

Just designing a product with its end-of-life in mind could have a big impact, says Jenna Jambeck, assistant professor of environmental engineering at the University of Georgia. She says that “so many issues [are] caused downstream from not considering this point in a product’s life cycle”.
But Sandy Roger from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMC) points out that there’s a “kind of helplessness pervading this space”.
RECYCLE END PRODUCTConsumer goods companies keen to design for recycling don’t know which system to design for because municipal recycling is so diverse, while municipalities and waste companies are overwhelmed by a growing and changing portfolio of plastics. “It’s a stalemate, and both sides end up with lowest common denominator solutions,” Roger says.
EMC is trying to bring together the two sides to allow more joined-up thinking, while Croke says the Closed Loop Fund is looking at packaging trends to make sure it builds appropriate infrastructure.

YOGURT SHAMPPOO5) There are global solutions to this global problem
One way to solve the end-of-life problem would be to make simple products, such as yogurt pots and shampoo bottles, from a single material that is recyclable around the world, suggests Alexis Haas, director of sustainability at Adidas. Currently, consumer goods are mostly made from mixed plastics, which are only suitable for down-cycling.

6) There are also local solutions
Ben Kneppers, co-founder of Bureo Skateboards, explains that an artisanal fishing village in Chile was left with no choice but to burn or discard its old fishing nets. In giving the community the resources and opportunity to return nets for recycling, the company says it has prevented waste, created jobs and captured a valuable material for its skateboards.
Its business model works with both large and small fisheries and, according to Kneppers, results in “an amount of material 100 times more than we can make direct use of at the moment”.

JEANS7) We have to eliminate the ‘ick factor’
Shubhankar Ray, global brand director at G-Star RAW, says: “People buy what they desire in fashion, so eco-clothing needs to be cool and sexy to drive desire.”
The company’s Raw for the Oceans jeans collection, fronted by singer Pharrell Williams, is made from 35% recycled ocean plastic and 65% cotton. Eliminating preconceptions around reusing waste can push the idea of recycling, which is one part of the solution.

8) Labelling plastic bags like tobacco is not helpful
Adding a warning sign to plastic bags about the damage they can cause may not be a great solution. While Kneppers agrees that a lack of education is part of the problem, he believes that we would better engage consumers with positivity, by highlighting how small actions can protect the places we love.

Image result for oceans being choked by plastics

9) A ban might not be best
“We need to be careful when proposing an all-out ban on any one material,” warns Nicholas Mallos, director of the Trash Free Seas programme. “If material substitutes are available to replace a given non-recyclable plastic, like cellophane, then it’s key to look at the entire life cycle and ensure we don’t replace one unintended environmental impact with another.”
Besides, a ban isn’t practical or actionable. Ray suggests that it would be better to lobby policy makers to put plastic reduction and suitable alternatives on serious agendas.

10) Together, we can take plastics off the market
“The problem we are facing is that plastic is simply the wrong material – it needs to be reinvented,” says Gutsch. “There is no need to use plastic straws, plastic utensils, plastic bottles, plastic bags … We can take these products off the market right away. By doing so, we show there is a movement happening, which motivates the research and development labs for material development.”

http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/jun/23/10-things-we-learned-about-tackling-plastic-ocean-waste

Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival ~ Paddles Up Everyone

PADDLES UP FOR THE 2015 TIM HORTONS’ 

OTTAWA DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL

TIM HORTONS OTTAWA DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES                                  FREE CONCERT LINEUP 2015

HEADLINERS INCLUDE TOKYO POLICE CLUB, HEY ROSETTA!, DAN MANGAN + BLACKSMITH, THE RURAL ALBERTA ADVANTAGE, YUKON BLONDE AND MORE – JUNE 25 TO 28

Now in it’s 22nd year, Tim Horton’s Ottawa Dragon Boat is proud to announce their 2015 lineup. The festival, taking place at Mooney’s Bay Park in downtown Ottawa from June 25th-28th, will include performances from Canadian heavyweights Hey Rosetta!, Dan Mangan + Blacksmith, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Tokyo Police Club, Yukon Blonde and many more.

The Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival is the largest festival of its kind in North America. It is a three day event held at Mooney’s Bay Park.

Admission is FREE and features non-stop racing, concerts, children’s area, cultural performances, local delicacies, artisans and fun shopping! It is a great destination in the heart of the Nations Capital and is an easy getaway for visitors from Ontario, Quebec and the United States.

THE 22nd ANNUAL OTTAWA DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL WILL TAKE PLACE ON JUNE 25-28, 2015

In partnership with the Ottawa Dragon Boat Foundation, paddlers raise funds through the Pledge Challenge for local charities. To join the Pledge Challenge, visit http://www.dragonboatfoundation.net.

The following is a YouTube video of the 2011 Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival –

I just had to include the following inspirational video I found on YouTube, “Must Watch Dragon Boat Clip!!!”, taken from various dragon boat events in Singapore.

This video was created to show that the sport, dragon boating, is not just about training hard to win, but to enjoy and embrace all the elements that it encompasses.

Three fun filled days for everyone –

Have a great time –

Best of luck to all participants

“WINNING PADDLES TAKE ALL!!!”

           MUSIC BULLLET 2 “…dip, dip and swing your paddles, 
                         splashing with silver,
                         follow the wild goose flight
                         dip, dip and swing…”

Rainsoft – Eternally Pure Water Systems, Inc.

SALES & SERVICE for all your water treatment needs in Ottawa and surrounding areas in Ontario and Quebec.

 

 

 

 

Universal Water Access ~ “Muddled Policy…”

The following article, “Is Water A Right, Commodity, Or Service?”, Sara Jeromewritten by Sara Jerome, is taken from Water Online, posted June 12, 2015

faucet.reg

Is water a commodity, a service, or a right? Recently, the debate has raged.

Daniel Van Abs, a water policy professor at Rutgers University,raised that question in a recent editorial published in NJ Spotlight. Van Abs is a water policy professor at Rutgers University who served as senior director for planning and science with the New Jersey Highlands Council, a water-protection implementation body. He has since retired from state government.

VAN ABS TO CROPVan Abs posed this question in his post: “Is water, as the U.N. states, a fundamental human right? Or is it a commodity that must be purchased at the going rate? Or is it a public service, in which the focus is on satisfying a social goal for provision of general needs?”

WATER HUMAN RIGHT TO CROP“Our history shows us that water supply has aspects of all three, which makes for a muddled policy setting. What do we do when basic water services exceed a customer’s ability to pay? As water rates rise to address the costs of system rehabilitation, enhanced drinking-water treatment, and source-water protection, we need to make sense of this mess,” he continued.Image result for Detroit water service
DETROITDetroit officials sparked protests last year by shutting off water service for thousands of delinquent customers, a move that prompted questions about whether shutoffs violate human rights. “The city, which continues to close as many as 400 accounts a day, has been widely criticized for its actions,” CBS News reported. United Nations advisers have argued that Detroit violated human rights during a frenzy of water shutoffs.

Image result for Detroit water serviceCities other than Detroit have also used water shutoffs to handle ratepayer delinquency. “In Michigan, Hamtramck, Warren, Pontiac, Eastpointe, Romulus and other cities have shut off delinquent customers as a way to improve collections. Elsewhere, so have other big cities such as Baltimore and St. Louis,” the Detroit Free Press reported.

Van Abs noted that New Jersey is no stranger to ratepayer delinquency. “New Jersey has areas of high poverty that have lost most of their industrial water customers. And much of the state’s water-supply infrastructure is old, if not decrepit,” he wrote.

Maude Barlow: “Water a right, not a commodity”, uploaded on Mar 18, 2009 – Canadian water activist Maude Barlow, leading protesters at the World Water Forum in Istanbul, says access to water is a fundamental human right.

To Van Abs, there are problems with calling water a guaranteed public service. “The costs could be handled like many other public services (such as police or courts), through the property tax, with local governments paying the water utility to provide the service. Doing so would remove incentives for efficient water use, unless provisions are made to limit the service by household to only what is necessary. Just imagine the problems with this approach. Government would have to track the number of people per household to ensure that a single-person household and a five-person household are provided for equitably,” he said.

There are also problems with calling water a commodity, since it means water shutoffs if customers cannot pay. “Clearly, this approach is not socially acceptable for those of limited means,” Van Abs writes.

Image result for water a guaranteed public serviceWhat if water were treated as a basic human right? For utilities to be empowered to treat service as such, policy changes would be needed in many places, including New Jersey.

“The problem is that New Jersey has no routine system for helping poor households afford water (and sewer) services. For residential energy, the NJ Board of Public Utilities regulates essentially all providers, and New Jersey has established several programs for temporary and long-term assistance. The same is not true of water supply utilities, since there are hundreds of government and privately owned water utilities in New Jersey. Establishing a unique household assistance program in each of these utilities would be an administrative nightmare, and some are too small or serve too poor an area to provide this aid,” Van Abs wrote.

“A broader approach is needed. New Jersey needs to take a hard look at how its poorest households will maintain access to water utility services as water and sewer rates increase. We shouldn’t allow the Detroit question to become the New Jersey problem,” Van Abs wrote.

Image credit: “running faucet,” Steve Johnson © 2010, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

WATER DROPLET HAPPY ICON GIMPCROPPED

This is a very serious universal topic – one that affects each and everyone of us.  Let’s make it a priority to be pro-active – do research, access local resources, attend meetings, lobby your Members of Parliament. There is a plethora of related videos on Youtube – well worth viewing!  

http://www.wateronline.com/doc/is-water-a-right-commodity-or-service-0001?

Father’s Day Message ~ Awesome!

FATHER'S DAY

Father’s Day is June 21, 2015 and I believe the following Youtube video, “Father’s Day Message to Fathers” is exceptionally inspiring. 

I encourage you to forward it to that special person in your life and also to be guided by the wonderful , timeless messages if you are a father yourself.

FIRST IMAGE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVpTFaqwDSc

Remarkable quest ~ Adrift

1-ALEX BELLINI ADRIFT“Alex Bellini ~ Man to live on melting iceberg for one year to urge climate change action.”
Crazy publicity stunt or stroke of daring genius? We’re not sure, but it got our attention. The man pictured above is Alex Bellini, a professional adventurer and motivational speaker who plans to live alone on a melting iceberg off the coast of Greenland for one year, to emphasize the urgent need for climate change action.
This bold one-man campaign comes at a time when a chorus of scientists, organizations and policymakers continue to warn about the accelerating loss of Arctic ice.
Thus, extreme circumstances seem to call for extreme measures, but for this former finance student from northern Italy who has already run 23,000 kilometres (14,291 miles) of marathons, rowed solo across the Mediterranean, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans, this new project seems even more extreme. Watch Bellini explain his actions himself:


Starting in spring of 2015, Bellini plans to find a suitable iceberg in the northwest region of Greenland, where he will remain for up to a year as it slowly melts. Provisioned with with 300 kilograms (661 pounds) of dried food, Bellini will shelter in a survival capsule, the Kevlar-reinforced kind used for ocean oil rigs,
until it becomes too risky – at which point he will take to the sea in the capsule, floating adrift until he is rescued.


The project will also serve science: the UK-based explorer plans to observe the changes to our planetary climate, firsthand. Bellini’s technical equipment will be powered by a rowing contraption that will convert his muscular energy into electricity.
He says on Motherboard:
Image result for entire lifetime of an icebergMy objective is reporting and investigating, by means of scientific methods, the entire lifetime of an iceberg. I want to prove how the pace of ice-melting has dramatically accelerated over the last decades. We’ll also play the symbolic card: the adventure of a man floating adrift on an iceberg will come to represent the condition of the whole humankind going adrift on an endangered planet.

Though Bellini earnestly seeks to draw attention to the seriousness of climate change, some have expressed awed disbelief at the adventurer’s proposed plan. When asked if he was “crazy,” the self-professed “explorer of human nature” replies to Adventure Journal that it is also about pushing the boundaries of human WIFEpossibilities: “Well, I want to be honest with you: yes, probably I’m a bit crazy, but is it not equally crazy someone who lives a life constantly dreaming of something different? Is it not equally crazy someone who procrastinates, someone who, fearing to be or look imperfect, refrains from dancing, acting, singing, wooing a girl? Is it not equally crazy someone who postpones his happiness to future events that might never occur? Maybe I’m crazy because I chose sacrifice, remoteness, and solitude or because I decided to live the life I love, but as you can see nobody is straight.”

It may seem crazy, but this seems like another much needed nudge to the collective human psyche to adapt and change for the better; in a way, we’ll all be floating adrift with Alex. More over at Alex Bellini’s site, Facebook and Twitter; read more about Adrift 2015.

http://alexbellini.com/adrift-2015-2/

WATER DROPLET HAPPY ICON GIMPCROPPEDFor those of you fortunate enough to speak or understand Italian enjoy the following in depth video of Alex and his quest.

Friday Fun – Home Gadgets – Ingenious, Adorable, Fun, Kooky!

1. Acrobatic clothespins

Acrobatic clothespins

The figures on these clothespins add a bit of fun to anything you want to hang up. You can use them for clothes, or if you want them to be more visible, to hold papers or photos.

2. Laboratory organizer

Laboratory organizer

These test tubes can hold just about anything, like hard-to-organize office supplies (which are included). They’d also be perfect for holding spices in the kitchen. You could even get really experimental and try growing tiny plants and herbs in them.

3. Melting clock

Melting clock

This desk clock is a nod to the Dali masterpiece, and in true Dali fashion, it makes a unique addition to any desk or shelf. And yes, it actually tells time despite its floppy appearance. All it takes is one AA battery.

4. Moon nightlight

Moon nightlight

This little guy will help you bring the moonlight inside with you. This light, designed to look just like our favorite satellite, provides a soft glow that helps you see, but won’t keep you awake.

5. Owl-shaped tape dispenser

OWL

This two-roll tape dispenser will help you cut down on tape replacement. Most importantly of all, it sports an adorable bug-eyed owl who will help cheer you up on long days stuck in the cubicle.

6. The cyclist’s pizza cutter

The cyclist

Why settle for a boring pizza cutter when you can use this clever bicycle? The double wheels make slicing up your favorite Friday dinner much easier.

7. Egg-separating pig

Egg-separating pig

This rubber pig, officially called the “Yolkpig,” sucks up egg yolks while leaving the egg whites behind. The yolk can be deposited elsewhere by squeezing it out of the piggy’s nose.

8. Pirate corkscrew

Pirate corkscrew

Pirates are no strangers to booze, so it makes sense that this one is on board (ha!) to help you open your bottles. His arms double as a foil-cutting knife and a lever, respectively. His head can pop open beer bottles, and his leg serves as the corkscrew. Just don’t get in a fight with him.

9. Robot nutcrackers

Robot nutcrackers

The soldier look is so 19th century. Get with the times when it comes to nut consumption with these adorable robots. The crank lowers the screw inside and cracks the nutshell. Even though they’re robots, these guys are made of wood. It’s a modern take on a classic tool.

10. Toothpick whale

WHALE

The splash is actually a collection of plastic toothpicks, all conveniently stored in the nasal cavity of this whale. Okay, forget we phrased it like that. This precious ceramic whale contains 32 reusable picks.

11. Oliver the elephant

Oliver the elephant

Yes, that’s his name. This olive dish comes with a clever addition, since his trunk doubles as a pit receptacle, hiding them out of sight until cleaning time. They can be emptied by popping out the rubber stopper in the bottom.

12. Rainmaker

Rainmaker

This watering can attachment can be fitted to just about any screw-top beverage bottle (water, soda, etc.). It provides a gentle sprinkle of water, perfect for plants. The multiple streams ensure even distribution.

13. Nessie ladle

LADLE

Okay, we know we’ve featured this before, but come on. This thing is so cute, and thanks to its little feet, you never have to worry about where to rest it while you make sauces and soups. Her little head will poke out of the soup just like the real-life version does in Loch Ness. (Because she’s 100% a real thing.)

Use the following link to shop for these items:

http://www.viralnova.com/awesomer-gadgets/?mb=vnnl&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Viralnova%20Daily&utm_campaign=ViralNova%20Daily%202015-06-12

To find out more about these gadgets, click the text below the photos, which will take you to each respective shop. These make perfect gifts for anyone in your life who likes all things cute and unusual — and that can totally include you.

WATER DROPLET HAPPY ICON GIMPCROPPEDWe’ve got a great sunny and warm weekend coming up after being drenched for almost a week – hope your weather is as great.  Get out and have fun