When word got out that hundreds of people, families, women and children were stranded helpless by the side of the road, the Western Canadian Powerstrokes, a Facebook page of Ford Motor enthusiasts, quickly organized a fleet of civilian trucks to deliver gas water and supplies not only the evacuees, but to fire trucks and emergency services as well.Full Feature: Volunteer Truckers Help Save Burning Canadian Town
What's in the ground beneath your feet? Whats the difference between soil and dirt? What's soil sealing - and why is it detrimental to agriculture? Find out more from physicist Dr. Vandana Shiva and author Paul Bogard about the ground beneath us and how it holds up life as we know it.Full Feature: The Ground Beneath Your Feet
The Overview Effect is a cognitive shift that affects some astronauts when they see the earth from space. Many say they no longer identify with a specific nationality or culture after seeing earth from outer space, instead they see themselves, and all citizens on earth, as one people, living on one world. The Overview Effect has been documented by numerous astronauts and cosmonauts, who describe seeing the Earth from in space first-hand like seeing "a tiny, fragile ball of life hanging in the void, shielded and nourished by a paper-thin atmosphere."Full Feature: The Overview Effect
Narwhals are real, and their conservation status is "near-threatened" with only about 80,000 currently swimming in the oceans. Almost all reside in the icy waters of Baffin Bay, up by the Arctic Circle.Full Feature: Keep Narwhals Real
Why do elephants line up to hug a little old lady in Nairobi National Park? She's their mother. Their adopted human mother. Dame Daphne Sheldrick has been saving orphaned baby elephants in Africa for over fifty years now, rescuing hundreds from certain death after their mothers and entire families were slaughtered by poachers for their ivory tusks. She founded the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya, where hundreds of orphaned baby elephants have been saved and returned to the wild.
Dr. Archelle Georgiou is a doctor, an educator, a consultant and the former chief medical officer of United Health Care. She's dedicated her entire career to making people healthier, and to understanding how the human body works. She wants to share the biggest discovery she's made during this mission. We...are works of art.Full Feature: Your Body's Picasso
Will Allen is the Godfather of Urban Farming. He produces over a million pounds of fish and produce on a two-acre industrial city block in downtown Milwaukee. Allen combines the ancient practice of aquaponics, raising fish and vegetables together, with the art of vertical farming to achieve these remarkable and critically needed results.
The Ocean Defenders Alliance is a group of California-based environmental activists who clean up the sea floor, one section at a time. Composed of a skilled and dedicated group of volunteers, this group works tirelessly to improve ocean health by removing debris, pollution and 'ghost traps' left in the ocean.The Ocean Defenders Full Feature
Here are our most-listened to stories in 2015. The beautiful worlds of science, conservation, education and civil service made up our top stories for 2015! We look forward to bringing you more good news and solutions journalism in the new year. Our program is supported by listeners like you and with generous support from the Pohlad Family Foundation. Visit abeautiful.world for more.
Rabbi Harold S. Kushner is the Rabbi Laureate of Temple Israel in Natick, Massachusetts andauthor of When Bad Things Happen to Good People, a memoir reflecting on how Kushner's relationship to God changed after his son Aaron was born with a rare and painful premature-aging disease.
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Journalist, author and Dartmouth English Professor, Jeff Sharlet, talks about his harrowing trip to Paris during the 2015 terrorist attacks. He was having dinner at a sidewalk cafe about a mile from the Bataclan theater with friend, photographer and fellow collaborator, Tanja Hollander, when bullets, bombs and coordinated terrorist attacks erupted across the city. As texts came in alerting him to the attacks, Jeff discovered one of his students was in trouble, nineteen-year-old journalism student Sarah Khatry had been traveling in Paris and was alone, shuttered in a restaurant, just blocks from the infamous Bataclan Theater, where terrorists would take the lives of over eighty hostages before the night was over. Jeff immediately set out to find her. Here he recounts those harrowing early hours on the night of the attacks, as the hurried streets filled with confusion and fear, and then gave way to long eerie days of quiet grief and deep introspection.
Throughout human history - Scientists have sought to unlock the secrets of the human mind and Dr. Michio Kaku, noted theoretical physics, bestselling author and the co-founder of string field theory, says thanks to new breakthroughs in neural mapping, we're on the frontier of a new era in understanding the human brain.
James Kakalios, the author of "The Physics of Superheroes" returns with an accessible and math-free primer on quantum mechanics. Most of us are unaware of how much we depend on quantum mechanics on a day-to-day basis. Using examples from science fiction pulp magazines and comic books, The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics explains the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics that underlie the world we live in.
The Ocean is full of bad news. Marine pollution, over-fishing, acidification, invasive species and sea temperature rise make the problems seem… as vast as the oceans themselves. There are solutions however, according to National Geographic and Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Enric Sala, who is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and the founder of "Pristine Seas" a worldwide project dedicated to identifying, surveying, protecting, and restoring the last truly wild places in the ocean.
Poet, philosopher, and cancer survivor, Mark Nepo navigates some of the soul's deepest and most ancient questions, such as: What does it mean to inhabit the world? How do we stay vital and buoyant amid the storms of life? What is the secret to coming alive?
Once upon a time, there was a little barber shop in Downtown Dubuque, Iowa called the Spark Family Hair Salon. It's a friendly and cozy place, even though it's located on a not-so-great street, in an economically-challenged neighborhood, nestled right between a gun store and a pawn shop.
Inside the little salon is a big barber named Courtney D. Holmes, a forty-five year old African-American man with horn-rimmed glasses, an easy smile and wide shoulders, who gives free haircuts to underprivileged kids in exchange for them reading out loud to him. "I've got two sons of my own." he says. "I just want to help kids start reading."
Professor David MacDonald, director of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) at the University of Oxford in the UK, found that his research of Cecil the Lion thrust his team into the international limelight.
Tom Davies is 19 years old and lives in London. He finished high school last summer and wanted to do something "different" for his gap year, which is a British expression for the year many high school students take off before starting college. So, being an enthusiastic cyclist… he decided to bicycle around the world.
"I'm often asked how and when I came up with the idea, and I have to say I'm not really sure. It wasn't a sudden eureka moment, it happened over a while, and it was more the conclusion of a thought process whilst thinking up a way to combine cycling and travelling. Eventually coming up with this slightly 'unconventional' plan."
Dr. Marc Rayman is the chief engineer and mission director for the Dawn Misssion, in NASAs Discovery Program. The missions name, "Dawn" came from the core objective of investigating these worlds for a better understanding the origins of our universe. Dawn's actual mission is to investigate the last two uncharted worlds in our inner solar system, Vesta and Ceres, the two largest celestial bodies rollicking around in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars. They're so big they're not even considered asteroids, give Vesta is a "Protoplanet" and Ceres is a "Dwarf planet," like Pluto.
Buddhist monk and cell biologist Matthieu Ricard is the Dalai Lama's interpreter and the bestselling author of the new book, "Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World." His scientific study shows how compassionate meditation and focusing on the well-being others can physically alter your mind, as well as the world.
Adam Shoalts is a professional explorer and adventurer for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society in Canada. His specialty is exploring rivers so remote they have no names and in some cases are not even accurately mapped.
Shoalts has ventured everywhere from the jungles of the Amazon to the desolate tundra of the High Arctic, where he canoed one of the most northern rivers ever navigated in North America called the 'Again River' where he discovered seven uncharted waterfalls, by falling over them.
Long before birds, long before whales, insects have been thrumming, scraping, and drumming complex beats out into the world.
Bug Music continues Rothenberg's in-depth research and spirited writing on the relationship between human and animal music, adding another fascinating chapter to his work recording "inter-species" symphonies with other animals such as Nightingales and Humpback whales, which surprisingly seem to be singing similar songs. Rothenberg's work challenges our understanding of inter-species communication and our place in nature and our relationship to the creatures surrounding us, making a passionate case for the interconnectedness of species.
Author and journalist Heather Lende writes obituaries for the Chillkat Valley News, a small newspaper in her hometown of Haines, Alaska. She recounts the many life lessons she's learned writing obituaries in a small town in her new book: Find the Good.
Haines is a tiny costal community (population about 2,000) located on a narrow spit of land that stretches out into the sea. Surrounded by mountains and only accessed by boat, plane or a few roads leading out of town, the close knit quality of daily life there may be one reason her obituaries are so intimate and personal. Lende has usually met anyone who dies there.
The Nile Fellowship and Nile Prize programs incentivize university students to apply their education and training toward mobilizing their peers and pioneering innovative solutions to the Nile Basin's complex and inter-related challenges. Learn more about The Nile Project.
On this edition of A Beautiful World, Heather McElhatton talks to adventurer, explorer and millionaire Forrest Fenn, who's eighty-three years old and has been called "a modern-day Indiana Jones," after spending a lifetime hunting down and amassing a huge personal collection of artifacts, antiquities and treasures from all over the world.
When Fenn was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he decided to leave his treasure behind, at least part of it, as well as a taste of what he's been experiencing his whole life; Action, adventure and intrigue. Fenn says he's filled a large golden treasure chest with a veritable king's ransom, a pile of his favorite artifacts, including gold coins, rubies, emeralds, carved jade figures and gold nuggets "as big as chicken eggs," valued in the millions. Fenn claims to have hidden this treasure chest somewhere in the Rocky Mountains and left nine clues to find it inside a poem published in his memoir, The Thrill of the Chase. MPR reporter Dan Olson reads Fenn's poem titled: Where the Treasure Lies.
Nineteen-year-old Deshawn Henry is a student at the University of Buffalo and he (along with the help of his professor Dr. James Jensen,) has developed a new water purification device that requires no chemicals or electricity. The "Water Lens" uses only the power of the sun, but can kill 99.9% of all bacteria and pathogens found in polluted water and may be a powerful new tool for fighting disease in developing regions around the world.
Join us on a journey to find the hidden gems inside failure. Can failure ever be a good thing? We find out from bestselling author Sarah Lewis and her book, The Rise: The Gift of failure and the Search for Mastery. We also hear from Adam Steltzner, Lead engineer at NASA, who credits failure to the success of the Mars Curiosity rover, Royal Canadian explorer Adam Shoalts, who discovered seven new waterfalls in the tundra, by falling over them, Jason Padgett, a man who was attacked outside a bar and woke up a mathematical genius, plus a musical performance from singer songwriter Dessa.
Everyone has a different idea about what treasure is. For some, the definition of treasure is literal, actual gold and diamonds, for others it's discovering a new land or reaching an impossible goal… and for others still, it's simply finding a dark quiet spot just to be alone. Guests on the program include: Polar explorer Ann Bancroft, first woman to ever reach the North Pole by dogsled, Travel guru Rudy Maxa, Authors Alexander Chee on Amtrak's new writers residency and Paul Bogard, on his new book, The End of Night, plus a musical performance from singer songwriter John Mark Nelson.
A Beautiful World is a news program that features inspirational stories and positive trends from around the world in the fields of science, technology, ecology, education, arts, music and medicine.
ABW is a show inspired by the exciting and timely new journalism trend called "Solutions Journalism," which seeks to illuminate and report stories not only about the world's problems and challenges, but also on achievements and solutions. Host Heather McElhatton's stories and commentaries have been heard nationally and internationally on MPR, PRI, NPR and the BBC on Sound Money, Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Savvy Traveler and This American Life.
An accomplished author, McElhatton has published four novels, including the best-selling choose-your-own-adventure book for adults "Pretty Little Mistakes." More on Heather can be found at prettylittlemistakes.com or by email.