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Nov 29, 2023 Read in Browser

Karuna News

“There is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”  -- Amanda Gorman

Hello everyone, all around us are challenges in our world and yet also all around us are everyday people bringing forth their light and contributing to the good, true, and beautiful. In Canada, one woman has planted over 370 thousand trees. A man left a gift of 3.8 million dollars to his small New Hampshire hometown. And an interactive, online database eases the struggle to provide aid and information to hard-to-reach areas. “For it is our hope that implores us, at our uncompromising core, to keep rising up for an earth that is worth fighting for,” as poet laureate Amanda Gorman writes. May we allow our light and hope to guide our intentions and efforts this week.

EVERYDAY HEROES

She Planted Over 370K Trees In Canada

She Planted Over 370K Trees In Canada

Akil Mazumder | Pexels

Leslie Dart is among thousands of foresters helping to repopulate Canadian forests but the sheer volume of trees she has planted is extraordinary. She planted 372,290 trees across three summers, often documenting it on TikTok, with one video earning 8.7 million views. "You just really have to be prepared for everything, be open-minded, roll with the punches," she says. "It just makes you a stronger person mentally and makes you more adaptable and ready to take on the world." She started her work as a forester while in college at Durham College in Ontario. She had to be careful to avoid losing her footing among the fallen logs, rocks, and roots, fought off mosquitoes, and encountered bears and moose. She has begun a career in the aerospace manufacturing industry after graduating from college in the spring but hopes to resume her tree-planting efforts in some capacity soon. Read Full Story.

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TECHNOLOGY

This Portable Device Detects Alzheimer's And Parkinson's Biomarkers

This Portable Device Detects Alzheimer's And Parkinson's Biomarkers

David Baillot/UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering

An international team of researchers has developed a handheld, non-invasive device that can detect biomarkers for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases that would allow testing at-home and at clinics and nursing homes, and transmit the results wirelessly to a laptop or smartphone. The device, which could be modified to detect biomarkers for other conditions as well, could be on the market within a year if further testing goes well and FDA approval is obtained. The researchers adapted a device they developed during the COVID pandemic to detect the spike and nucleoprotein proteins in the live SARS-CoV-2 virus. Tests with brain-derived amyloid proteins from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's deceased patients showed that the biosensors were able to detect the specific biomarkers for both conditions with great accuracy, on par with existing state of the art methods. Read Full Story.

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EVERYDAY HEROES

Man Leaves Gift Of $3.8 Million To Small New Hampshire Town

Man Leaves Gift Of $3.8 Million To Small New Hampshire Town

Ed Smith | AP

A man who lived frugally all his life left an unexpected gift of $3.8 million to his small New Hampshire town, Hinsdale. Geoffrey Holt, who died on June 6, moved to New Hampshire in 1968 and lived on his social security checks for the last 15 years , said his friend, Edwin "Smokey" Smith. The gift came from a trust fund Holt established in 2001, primarily made in mutual funds accounts, and was left to the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. Town administrator Kathryn Lynch said the town is considering various ways to use the funds including possibly buying an electronic voting machine - ballots currently are counted by hand - and fixing the town hall clock. While Smith said his friend would be happy to know his gift is being appreciated, Holt would be stressed at being in the "limelight. "He didn't like to be in the front of the crowd," Smith said. Read Full Story.

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EVERYDAY HEROES

Online Database Helps To Provide Information Of Rural Locations Seriously Impacted By Earthquake In Morocco

Online Database Helps To Provide Information Of Rural Locations Seriously Impacted By Earthquake In Morocco

Brandi Alexandra | Unsplash

In September, a serious earthquake struck the Atlas Mountains in western Morocco, affecting a large area with many of the worst-hit locations being rural mountainous villages that weren't on the map. Many local and international humanitarian aid organizations quickly took action to help, but were unsure about where to go or how to get there. An interactive online database created by Nabil Boutrik helped to ease much of the struggle for aid by providing information about these hard-to-reach areas. With the help of Yassine Chamkh, a computer engineering student, Nabil Boutrik, a Moroccan topographer who understands the fear and panic earthquakes cause, combined topographic maps and high-resolution satellite imagery to locate the rural communities and small villages in need. The platform contains one spreadsheet that gives information about the names, locations, and details of impacted areas, and another spreadsheet is a table of villages with specific assistance requests. This online database helped to increase the efficiency of aid by helping relief organizations avoid going to a location that is already receiving help, communicate urgent needs, and know the exact needs of certain areas, which reduces waste as well. Read Full Story.

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SCHOOLS

As Ireland's Smartphone School Ban Is Approved, The Town Where It All Began

As Ireland's Smartphone School Ban Is Approved, The Town Where It All Began

Alena Darmel | Pexels

In Greystones, County Wicklow, Ireland, community members are taking youth mental health into their own hands -- with an astoundingly simple yet consensus-driven solution. In May 2023, the town of Greystones launched a 'no smartphone code'. Steered by local parents and headteachers, this initiative helps safeguard children's mental health by countering peer pressure on smartphone ownership. Now, as Ireland's government greenlights school smartphone bans, Greystones serves as a strategical blueprint, encouraging face-to-face interactions and preserving youths' innocence and childhood. Eight months in, Greystones has found the ban refreshingly simple. Even as some claim this demonizes technology, Greystones has found global support. Read Full Story.

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