Author Archives: Theresa Scott

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Black Friday – A Truly Brilliant Invention

Have you noticed how Black Friday, the shopping day right after Thanksgiving Thursday, has crept up on Thanksgiving Day, jumped on it, and gobbled it up like a well-done turkey set upon by a pack of hungry wolves? A few … Continue reading

Lack of Water and Sanitation Claims More Lives than War

by Theresa Scott
“[The water and sanitation] crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns.”*
More than 3.4 million people die each year from water, sanitation, and hygiene-related causes. Nearly all deaths, 99 percent, occur in the developing world.*

I’ve written before on this blog about the need for clean drinking water for millions of people on several continents. Here then, is an update on bringing clean water to the developing world including South Asia, Africa, and India.

Progress is being made. UNICEF and the World Health Organization have a plan to improve the water situation in the world. It’s called “Sustainable Sanitation: Five Year Drive to 2015.”

Clean drinking water sources have been brought to over 2 billion people since 1990. However, 780 million people still remain without access to clean water. That is two and half times the population of the U.S. The burden of a poor water supply falls often on women and girls, who usually are the ones to fetch the water over distances requiring hours of walking each day; rural inhabitants; and the poor who live in slums, and who are most likely to miss out on the improvements made to drinking water and sanitation facilities.

http://water.org/water-crisis/water-facts/water/

Fecal material in water has been found to cause the majority of diseases in poor countries. The leading cause of death among children under five years of age is diarrhea which causes 1.5 million deaths a year. It kills more children than malaria, AIDS, and measles combined.

This means sanitation is also part of the solution to improve the quality of life and health of people. Since 1990, 1.8 billion people now have access to better toilet facilities. It is estimated that improved sanitation facilities can result in an average reduction in cases of diarrhea of more than one-third. Washing hands with soap has been found to reduce diarrhea by more than 40%!

http://water.org/water-crisis/water-facts/sanitation/

*Information for this blog has been taken from the “Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation – Update for 2012” released by UNICEF and the World Health Organization. WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programmer (JMP) for Water Supply and Sanitation. (2012). Progress on Sanitation and Drinking-Water, 2012 Update.

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Scones, anyone?

Here is the scone recipe that has been in our family for over 100 years. Ideal for pairing with hot soups or stews on a cold autumn day. Enjoy! Granny’s Brown Scones 1 c. white flour 1 c. whole wheat … Continue reading

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The I-Hate-to-Wait Blog

by Theresa Scott Have you noticed how fast-paced modern life has become? Way faster-paced than in prior decades. I think the main reason for this is related to one thing: we’ve become accustomed to the widespread immediacy of information on … Continue reading

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The Cassini Spaceship Studying Saturn

by Theresa Scott I was astounded to learn recently about a space voyage to Saturn that has been in motion since it was first launched in 1997 from Cape Canaveral. The voyage is called the Cassini Mission, named after the … Continue reading

Train Travel as an Indoor Sport

by Theresa Scott

Earlier this week I had the chance to travel by train. We passed some of the loveliest bays where the tide was out and the mudflats stretched on for at least a mile. We passed acres and acres of tall green trees—some close to the tracks, some in the distance. I found viewing islands and water and forested land relaxed me and slowed my pace for the day. In a nice way.

And what a chance to see birds! Long-legged herons dotted the beaches, their gray feathers blending in with the gray and taupe sand. Bald eagles were a rarer sight. I saw one on this trip, and he was soaring lazily along an air current. Crows and hawks hang out on the beaches too, looking for snacks and chatting with kin.

There were not many people on the long stretches between cities. For mile after mile, we passed beaches and saw only one or two people at a time. Of the folks we did pass, it seems that trains going by are an invitation to give a friendly wave.

It struck me that the train is actually a small community of core workers who are responsible for serving a larger, mobile community of passengers who whirl through the train orbit and then spin off to other universes (train stations) to do whatever it is they must do, and who may never return. If you work on a train, it must be like having a ton of unfinished stories told to you every day as the train roars past the trees and water and towns.

As a passenger, I found it to be a relaxing experience. If you find yourself looking for an out-of-the-ordinary experience this summer, or if you are pondering a day-trip or a short trip somewhere, you may enjoy taking a train to your destination. If the scenery doesn’t entice you, perhaps chatting with the other passengers will entertain you. Or, you can always look at the birds.

Money, Money, Money

Are you redesigning your finances? Here are a few links that may be of interest to you. If you are happy with the financial decisions you’ve made, these links may still teach you a few tricks.

If you want to find out how some other folks on-line think about the cycle of work, consumerism, debt, more work, more consumerism…(you get the picture…) then you might want to check out the links below.

Dave Ramsey – Advice on establishing a strategic plan of Baby Steps to get your finances in order

Mr Money Mustache – A frugal and wise blog about how to increase your savings and retire early

Madfientist – Also on the more frugal side of things to better move toward financial independence

Enjoy!