Building the World

February 22, 2016
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Water (+) Sports

Can sports raise awareness of the future of water? Image: wikimediacommons.

Sports are associated with water. Many sports are performed on, in or through water; other sports like running races build up a powerful thirst, often slaked at water stations. Because of their natural link, can sports help to raise awareness of water sustainability? México’s CONAGUA invites participation in an annual running event. In a different endeavor, sports teams representing water’s many forms – oceans, rivers, urban water, agriculture and irrigation – are exemplified by Ultimate Frisbee Oaxaca, UFO, to raise awareness of how to sustain and improve these vital resources. Rome’s aqueducts provided water for urban growth as well as competitive games including naumachia. Sporting events often include water stations; will innovations such as the Fontus by Kristof Retezár be a game changer?

For more:

Comisión Nacional del Agua (CONAGUA), “Carrera del Agua” http://www.comunidadvialmx.org/eventos/2016-02-15-corre-una-vez-mas-por-el-agua

Ultimate Frisbee Oaxaca (UFO): https://www.facebook.com/UltimateOaxaca/

Palacios-Vélez, Óscar Luis and Felipe J.A. Pedraza-Oropeza. “Drainage and Salinity Problems in the Mexican Irrigation Districts: An Overview 1962-2013.” Tecnología y Ciencias del Agua, vol. VI, núm. 6, noviembre-diciembre de 2015, pp. 113-123. ISSN 0187.8336.

Fessenden, Marissa. “This Water Bottle Refills Itself.” Smithsonian.com. 3 February 2016. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/water-bottle-refills-itself-from-moisture-air-180957986/?no-ist

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported Licen

September 24, 2015
by buildingtheworld
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Heroes, Inspiration, and Change

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Washington, D.C., August 28, 1963, delivering his “I Have a Dream” Speech.

On September 24, 2015, Pope Francis addressed the United States Congress; it was an historic occasion, as the Pontiff was the first to do so, although predecessors had also received invitations. Pope Francis referenced the message of Moses, and highlighted four American heroes: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day, and Thomas Merton. In these leaders, the pontiff called forth the hope and action of the United States, and the world, to the qualities of peace, freedom, dreams, responsibility, and dialogue. What is the role of heroes as an inspiration to those ready to build a better future?

For the text and audio of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech of 28 August, 1963: http://www.mlkonline.net/dream.html

For the text of Pope Francis’ address to the United States Congress of 24 September, 2015: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/09/24/text-of-pope-francis-address-to-congress

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

September 8, 2015
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Migration

LE Eithne Operation Triton, June 2015. Image: Irish Naval Service.

Our world faces a refugee and migration crisis. What solutions can be found? Greece, now a center of activity, pioneered a new vision when people boarded boats from Thera to found ancient Cyrene. In Australia, from 1947-55, over 75,000 industrious, innovative individuals and families left two dozen European countries to relocate and build the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Power Project, a multi-reservoir hydroelectric system of 16 dams, seven power stations, and 140 miles of interconnected tunnels, pipelines, and aqueducts in the most arid country on earth. Australia remembers: #LighttheDark gathered support for the world’s current migration crisis. Europe has also opened doors to freedom and opportunity. Major infrastructure projects to combat drought are still needed today. Can our world find inspiration in the examples of Greece and Australia to offer opportunity to the industrious, innovative, pioneering migrants and refugees of our times?

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

December 30, 2014
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Winter Innovation

 

Basketball. Image: wikimedia commons.

December is the birthday month of one of America’s most popular sports. Stormy New England winters confined college athletes in Springfield, Massachusetts, indoors. Using two peach baskets affixed to the railing of a balcony, Dr. James Naismith invented, and named, the game of basketball to keep athletes in shape throughout the winter of 1891. The game of hoops proved to be a rapid success. The first international match was played in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1909 (the American team lost); by 1936, basketball entered the Olympics (the American team won).

For more: www.hoophall.com.

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

October 12, 2014
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Way of Rights

Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, present at 1215 signing of Magna Carta. Image: wikimedia commons.

800 years ago, rights took a leap forward. Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, champion of human rights,  is credited with an influential role in the Magna Carta, or Great Charter. The agreement, accepted by “manus” (Latin for hand but meaning legal power, similar to handshaking on a deal) by King John at Runnymede, on June 15, 1215, gave birth to rule of constitutional law in England, and later the world, including the United States’ Constitution. Magna Carta, the Great Charter, along with other landmark documents including the Emancipation Proclamation, and Universal Declaration of Human Rights, visits Massachusetts in October. What are the evolving rights of the future? Will Bolivia lead the way?

About Magna Carta: http://www.bl.uk/magna-carta/articles/magna-carta-english-translation

Magna Carta in Massachusetts: http://www.clarkart.edu/Exhibition/Magna-Carta.aspx

Bolivia and the Rights of the Earth:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/apr/10/bolivia-enshrines-natural-worlds-rights

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

September 22, 2014
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Common Ground

Landscape in Scotland by Gustave Dore. Courtesy of Walters Art Museum.

Scotland’s decision of September 2014 probes connection. Whether for or against independence, one might find common wealth in Charlemagne‘s interconnected centers of learning that may have led to establishment of universities. Erasmus, a modern European educational exchange network, follows the tradition. Another example of the power of connection might be the Hanseatic League of medieval Europe, now known as Hanse. At the time of the guilds, industries traded specialized goods such as wax, cloth, on a regional basis; Hanse was formed for this purpose. When the 14th century league decided to require annual convention, Tagfahrt delegates from 50 cities met in an intricate, and inclusive, system of governance and agreement. New leagues, for new times, may be emerging: whether united or independent, regions of the world are interconnected through shared benefit and responsibility for water, energy. Hanse’s annual meeting was often convened by Lübeck; might Glasgow, Scotland, host Common Ground 2015?

For more:

On Scotland’s September 2014 decision: http://www.bbc.uk/news/magazine-29276463

On Hanse: http://www.hanse.org/en/international-hanse-days/the-traditional-hanseatic-days/

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

 

January 1, 2014
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2014: Tlcan-Alena-Nafta

 

North America. Image courtesy of wikimedia commons.

January 1, 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the North American free trade agreement, joining Canada, Mexico and the United States in partnership. While the original accord focused on economics, now it may be time to expand the focus to shared resources including, but not limited to: water, energy, transport, public health, communications, employment and education. Charlemagne has been called by some the father of the European Union because of early efforts to draw people together through shared systems respecting the richness of diverse languages. Who is the Charlemagne of the North American continent?

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

 

May 15, 2012
by zoequinn001
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The Charlemagne Scholarship

University of Aachen, from young-germany.de.

On June 1, 2000, the Rheinisch-Westfalische Technische Hochschule Aachen, of Aachen University, awarded the Charlemagne Prize to the President of the United States. To continue the association, the university instituted the Charlemagne Scholarship, awarded annually to a U.S. student of engineering who is placed in an industry-oriented research unit with the option of attending advanced courses. Tuition is free, and there is also a period of German language training customized for the winner’s needs. The goal of the program is to continue to bridge and share the highest technological standards for both the United States of America and the Federal Republic of Germany to develop “young scientists and engineers with a strong international orientation.”

The spirit of learning exchange is also reflected in the ERASMUS program that invites EU students to take a year of study at another university within the Eurozone, promoting shared understanding among a fresh cadre of multi-lingual young professionals. The program fosters expanding the vision of a new generation who will think of themselves first as Europeans and second as nationals of a particular country.

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Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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