iOS app Android app

Tom Gerdy

Unicorns, Leprechauns, and the Perfect Parent

Tom Gerdy | December 1, 2015 | Parents
Being informed and educated is usually a good thing. It can also do damage if it is allowed to dictate every action we take. I know I was not a perfect parent, but I did the best with what I had.
Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz

December Dilemmas Melt Into Chocolate

Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz | December 1, 2015 | Religion
Christmas tree or Chanukah menorah or both? December portends heated Christmas/Chanukah-dilemma conversations for an increasing number of interfaith families. I
Aspen Institute

Paris Climate Talks Must Address 'A Total System Stressor'

Aspen Institute | December 1, 2015 | World
Above, watch Rachel Kyte, the World Bank Group's special envoy for climate change, and Larry Brilliant, chairman of the Skoll Global Threats Fund, give their thoughts on practical steps to battle climate change, and how people can get involved. This article originally appeared on the Aspen Ideas Festival website. With growing urgency and a lot of bottom-up action around the world, a solid and effective global agreement is needed at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, which opened today, to keep the momentum going, and to achieve the necessary goals to slow global warming. That's according to two experts who spoke at the 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival, in a session called "When Systems Collide: Health, People, and the Planet." In their discussion, Rachel Kyte, the World Bank Group's special envoy for climate change, and Larry Brilliant, chairman of the Skoll Global Threats Fund, connected the dots of how climate change affects more individuals in more ways than most people think -- and underscored the urgent need for definitive action now. "The cost of inaction is so much higher than the cost of action," said Kyte, who cited an estimate by the European Union that the benefits from emissions reductions to health spending and health outcomes could be at least 38 billion euro per year. "So if we do act, we have the opportunity to have healthier lives." With changing rainfall and temperature patterns in many places, disease-carrying mosquitos are moving into areas that haven't seen them before, and mosquito-borne diseases are on the rise in general. Climate change is causing wheat rust to move north, potentially threatening crops in the wheat basket of Ukraine and Russia, while making wheat more difficult to grow in Africa's rising temperatures. Beyond its effects on the economy, health, and food supply, climate change is impacting entire populations in dramatic ways. "The poor are the most vulnerable to climate, but the vulnerable will be made more poor by climate change," said Brilliant. He gave the example of potentially millions of Bangladeshi climate refugees -- fleeing devastating floods and crop destruction from salinated fields -- throwing themselves on their Hindi and Buddhist neighbors. "I don't think that will go over very well." Brilliant also pointed to the ever-increasing fallout from the Syrian civil war, which he said was triggered by extreme drought, water shortages, and food scarcity. Perhaps of even greater concern is the impending issue of water availability and allocation in Himalayan countries, which include three nuclear-armed countries: India, Pakistan, and China. With the Himalayas melting and 2.5 billion people dependent on water from those mountains, Brilliant posits that water scarcity will exacerbate already strained political relationships there. "If these sovereign nations, particularly the ones with nuclear weapons, are not able to produce the water to water the crops and feed the people, they're not sovereign nations any more, and it's issues of sovereignty that cause war," he said. More extreme weather in rural areas is pushing the poor to migrate in large numbers to cities, many of which are on or near coasts, Kyte pointed out, putting them even more in harm's way. And these kinds of things are happening in countries that typically don't have the health or other social systems to support such large-scale human movements nor the ability to mitigate for destructive climate events. "It's a total system stressor in ways that we can't predict," said Brilliant. Still, both Kyte and Brilliant have reason for optimism. Kyte sees a growing sense of urgency around the world and lots of countries setting targets for themselves, not willing to wait for 193 countries to agree on something. While he worries that time is running out quickly, Brilliant said he's seen more and more people rally to the climate change action cause, including young people who are tomorrow's leaders and, in the United States, Republicans who are coalescing around the idea of a revenue-neutral carbon tax. He believes the business community has solutions and that the cost of renewable energy is at a point where it's becoming more desirable than carbon, which is a spur for investment. Catherine Lutz is a freelance...
Rick Steves

Sign of a Good Trip? The Number of Real People You Meet

Rick Steves | December 1, 2015 | Travel
TripIt, a popular app designed to help you organize your travels, just did a quality job of producing a series of four-minute interviews with me about my travel philosophy. These "fireside chats" were shot in my living room. I thought you might enjoy the conversation. Here's one about...
Franklyn Odhiambo

'Muslim Extremists' Is a Legitimizing Term for Terrorists

Franklyn Odhiambo | December 1, 2015 | Politics
While the confusion that follows any terror attack the magnitude of Paris is to be expected, certain reactions in these moments can have dire policy implications on the efforts to contain terror globally.
Hannah Khan

My Reality As an American Muslim

Hannah Khan | December 1, 2015 | Politics
To me, being a Muslim in America is about educating those who may be misled by stereotypes and misinformation in the media. But it's also about being actively engaged in all aspects of society, from politics to sports, the workplace to the hip-hop scene.
Maura O'Neill

The President for Entrepreneurs? It's Hillary Clinton

Maura O'Neill | December 1, 2015 | Business
I have spent more than twenty years as an entrepreneur, and four years as Chief Innovation Officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development. I believe that Hillary Clinton is the best candidate to represent our interests as President of the United States.
Elissa Davey

My Garden Doesn't Grow Like Yours Does!

Elissa Davey | December 1, 2015 | Women
Many ask us how we can do this, because burying a baby is the hardest thing to do in the whole wide world! Our answer back is: "How can we not?" It's the right thing to do.
Lule Demmissie

Gender Equality in the Workforce Can Close the Wage Gap, the Retirement Gap and the Confidence Gap

Lule Demmissie | December 1, 2015 | Money
Women everywhere are working hard for their careers and their salaries. In turn, they must make that money work hard for them and plan now for the life they want.
Yassine Aitmoulay

Maati Monjib: The Cost of Free Speech in Morocco

Yassine Aitmoulay | December 1, 2015 | World
Even though Morocco adheres to many international conventions, many appalling cases of oppression in all of its forms still exist, including but not limited to infringements on free speech and freedom of the press. Such is the case for Maati Mounjib.
Katie Cavuto MS RD

Holiday Kitchen Hacks: Carve Out Meal Prep Stress

Katie Cavuto MS RD | December 1, 2015 | Taste
With the holidays quickly approaching, the stress of getting your holiday meal on the table may be starting to build. Thankfully, there is still time to plan, prep and -- more importantly -- simplify your time spent in the kitchen. Here are 10 timesaving holiday food hacks that will minimize the craze and leave you feeling like a kitchen whiz!
Georgianne Nienaber

The Deadly Cholera Book of Numbers Swells in Haiti

Georgianne Nienaber | December 1, 2015 | World
It has been four years since I have been in a cholera treatment center (CTC) in Haiti and five years since the United Nations infected the Mirebalais River by dumping raw sewage from the Nepalese encampment into the waterway. The river system is forever contaminated, and cholera will never be...
Sunita Viswanath

Honoring Manmeet Bhullar on Guru Nanak's Birthday

Sunita Viswanath | December 1, 2015 | Religion
Not long ago we lost a great Sikh man, a public servant who lived the egalitarian and altruistic principles which define Sikhism -- Manmeet Singh Bhullar. Forever helping others, Manmeet died in a car accident while going to help a friend.
Roads & Kingdoms

5 O'Clock Somewhere: A Night of Burma's Finest Drink and K TV

Roads & Kingdoms | December 1, 2015 | World
"Safa malaf." My colleagues and I raise our glasses and pour the fermented rice wine, which they jokingly call "White Label," down our throats.
August McLaughlin

Common Risks of High Heels

August McLaughlin | December 1, 2015 | Healthy Living
I find it interesting that virtually no articles on high heel risks suggest giving them up as a viable option, much less the one sure way to prevent or minimize these problems. Most simply suggest cutting back on how often you wear them and lowering the height -- I'm guessing because they realize that for many women, giving them up is simply not perceivable.
Jamie Davis Smith

Shop Local For DC-Area Kids: 9 Awesome Locally Owned Small Businesses With Great Gifts For Kids

Jamie Davis Smith | December 1, 2015 | DC
Thanksgiving is over and we are officially knee-deep in the holiday season! Those of us with children in our lives are giving serious thought to which gifts to give in the coming weeks. When thinking about gift-giving for DC area children do not overlook the opportunity to support the fantastic locally owned businesses in our neighborhoods.

Leggings as Pants? 3 Looks to Prove It's a "Do"

ModCloth | December 1, 2015 | Style
Has any article of clothing been as hotly contested as leggings? Somewhere between tights and skinny jeans exists this miracle of style and stretch, and yet no one can seem to agree quite the right way to wear these all-purpose bottoms.
Tracey Noonan

What Do You Have to Lose: From Shark Tank, to Partnering with One of my Heroes!

Tracey Noonan | December 1, 2015 | Business
Really...What have you got to lose? The morning I applied to Shark Tank was like any other. I got up early, headed into the shop and it was business as usual. While answering emails I thought. "I should apply to Shark Tank today." And so I did. Five days later...
Wayne Pacelle

For #GivingTuesday, Help Us Help Pets in Poverty

Wayne Pacelle | December 1, 2015 | Green
An estimated 23 million pets in the United States are in homes where their caretakers live at or below the poverty level, and that typically leaves the animals without access to veterinary care. The goal of Pets for Life is to take veterinary care and services to these homes.
Janson Wu

To End AIDS, We Must Value the Lives Most At Risk

Janson Wu | December 1, 2015 | Gay Voices
HIV disproportionately targets the most socially and economically vulnerable in our society. That is why, if we are to reach our goal of getting to zero, we must focus on counteracting the many ways our governments, institutions and society devalue the lives of those who are most marginalized.