+
True
Gates Foundation: The Story of Food

Ever look for something — for what seems like forever — only to never find it?

Your car keys, your wallet, your soulmate (jk!). It's so frustrating!

GIF from "South Park."


Try walking 14 miles to locate water and coming back with nothing.

That's not an extreme example. It happens often to pastoralists in Africa.

Over 250 million pastoralists (people who raise and care for livestock as their primary economic source) try to find grazing lands for their animals every year. It's their job to care and tend to them, after all.

But over the past few years, they've found it extra difficult to find green pastures for their livestock. El Niño has been in full force in the region and the extreme drought that's resulted from it has created unbearable conditions.

Image via Jeffrey Brown/Project Concern International. All images used with permission.

How do you feed your animals if you can't find food or water around? You keep looking.

Image via Jeffrey Brown/Project Concern International.

And looking.

Image via Jeffrey Brown/Project Concern International.

And looking.

Millions of pastoralists trek miles and miles with their herds looking for a sign of green pastures.

In the past, they've typically found them through word of mouth, from lessons learned in the past, or by sending people to scout out the areas in advance. But as resources are drying out and areas have already been consumed, these methods are becoming increasingly less reliable and livestock are dying from it.

Image via Jeffrey Brown/Project Concern International.

Fortunately, one organization is changing that. With space.

Image via Project Concern International/YouTube.

The global development org Project Concern International (PCI) has created an impressive solution to this problem.

They've launched the Satellite-Assisted Pastoral Resource Management program (say that 20 times fast), or SAPARM for short. It has helped to save the lives of livestock and the livelihoods of pastoralists from 22,000 miles away.

Here's how it works:

First, the organization teamed up with a pastoralist community in Ethiopia to understand and map out what the community's traditional grazing areas have looked like.

Then, they tapped into a satellite situated 22,000 miles above North Africa (that was already there doing satellite things) to record real-time images of those same areas. They layered the community's information with the satellite's and were able to create digitized maps that show real-time locations of the greenest areas around.

A generated SAPARM map example. Image via Project Concern International.

The maps are refreshed every 10 days and printed out and distributed to pastoralists to give them a better view of what the grazing lands look like in their area.

It shows them where the best vegetation (i.e., grass) is so they save time and money and make more informed decisions on where and when to migrate.

Findings have shown that the livestock mortality in the community has dropped by 47% since people started using the satellite maps.

It also showed that 80% of pastoralists in the area are using the maps, and almost half of them say that the maps are now the single most important resource when it comes to planning for their herds. What a shift.

If you're thinking, "Wow, that's a great idea, PCI. Good job," you're not the only one. The SAPARM program has a lot of support from USAID and the World Food Programme (to name a couple) and has even caught the eye of Google, where they are working together to expand access to these maps in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and beyond.

Image via Jeffrey Brown/Project Concern International.

As parts of Africa struggle through extreme drought and the effects of climate change, it's encouraging to see solutions that can make such an immediate impact.

It doesn't take a satellite from 22,000 miles above to see that the world is going in the right direction on this one.

Pop Culture

She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

Lynch is part of a growing line of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory

Upon first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.