“Ex-smokers are Unstoppable” campaign

… an initiative of the European Commission…

A useful tool to help you quit smoking and stay away from it later on.

What is the “Ex-smokers are Unstoppable” campaign?

“Ex-smokers are unstoppable” is the new 3 year awareness raising campaign promoted by the European Commission. The campaign aims to provide smokers with motivation to quit and – very importantly – with practical help. It celebrates ex-smokers and portrays them as inspiring role models to encourage current smokers to quit.

What are the campaign’s objectives?

The campaign aims to highlight the positive benefits of giving up smoking and to encourage and assist people to quit. Along with other preventive measures at the European and national levels, the campaign seeks to contribute to ensuring that new generations live longer and healthier lives in a smoke-free Europe.

What makes this campaign unique?

The approach of the “Ex-smokers are Unstoppable” campaign is unique in so far as it does not just focus on the negative effects of smoking like traditional campaigns do. Rather, it emphasises the benefits of quitting the habit and highlights the inspirational achievements of ex-smokers to motivate smokers to stop.

In addition, it actually provides smokers with practical help with quitting, through the innovative iCoach tool.

What is special about the iCoach?

The iCoach is an online health coach that helps people quit smoking at their own pace. It is free and will be available in all EU languages. The iCoach works by analysing the smoking habits of its participants and provides tailored advice on a daily basis. Smokers seeking to quit can use its numerous interactive tools, such as a diary to monitor daily progress and mini-tests. At the end of each month, iCoach compiles a report which provides feedback on the user’s progress as well as additional advice to facilitate process and encourage the user to quit smoking for good.

Where can I find out more?

On the “Ex-smokers are unstoppable” website, available in all EU languages: www.exsmokers.eu

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WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2011

…Warning about the dangers of tobacco

Tobacco use continues to be the leading global cause of preventable death. It kills nearly 6 million people and causes hundreds of billions of dollars of economic damage worldwide each year. Most of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, and this disparity is expected to widen further over the next several decades. If current trends continue, by 2030 tobacco will kill more than 8 million people worldwide each year, with 80% of these premature deaths among people living inlow- and middle-income countries. Over the course of the 21st century, tobacco use could kill a billion people or more unless urgent action is taken.

This report, the third periodic country-level examination of the global tobacco epidemic, identifies the countries that have applied effective tobacco control measures that save lives. These countries can be held up as models of action for the many countries that need to do more to protect their people from the harms of tobacco use.

19 countries with more than a billion people now have pack warning laws at the highest level of achievement in this policy area.

Many people are unaware of the harms of tobacco use. Knowledge about the harms of tobacco is higher in countries with tobacco package warnings.

 

Second-hand smoke kills – Smoke-free laws save lives

Diseases caused by smoking and exposure to second hand smoke

 

Completely smoke-free environments with no exceptions are the only proven way to protect people from second-hand smoke.

 

Twenty-three countries, totalling more than 1.9 billion people, have conducted national anti-tobacco mass media campaigns.

The WHO fCTC (World Health Organization framework Convention on Tobacco Control) demonstrates continued global commitment to decisive action against the global tobacco epidemic, which kills millions of people and costs hundreds of billions of dollars each year. A total of 173 Parties to the WHO fCTC, covering about 87% of the world’s population, have made a legally binding commitment to implement effective tobacco control policies.

Although there has been substantial progress on tobacco control in many countries, more work needs to be done. Continued progress will stop millions of people from dying each year from preventable tobacco-related illness, and save hundreds of billions of dollars a year in avoidable health-care expenditures and productivity losses. It is up to us to make sure that this occurs.

Visit WHO website to read the full report.

 

‘Mother Robin’ wins CNN Hero of the Year

This is the fifth year CNN has conducted its annual search for CNN Heroes. In those five years, the campaign has profiled more than 160 people on CNN and CNN.com. And there have been roughly 40,000 nominations received from more than 100 countries.

The top 10 — remarkable everyday people changing the world — were revealed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper. All were nominated by CNN viewers inspired by their hard work and commitment. Each of the top 10 received a $50,000 grant and was honored at “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute,” a globally broadcast event.

Robin Lim, an American woman who has helped thousands of poor Indonesian women have a healthy pregnancy and birth, was nominated as the 2011 CNN Hero of the Year and  received an additional $250,000.

Here are the top 10 Heroes of 2011, in alphabetical order:

Eddie Canales
Eddie Canales’ son was paralyzed during a high school football game in 2001. Today, Canales’ nonprofit, Gridiron Heroes, provides emotional and financial support to high school football players who’ve sustained life-changing spinal cord injuries.

Taryn Davis
Taryn Davis was just 21 when her husband, an Army corporal, was killed in Iraq. In 2007, she created the American Widow Project. To date, her nonprofit has provided a community of support to more than 900 young military widows.

Sal Dimiceli
Sal Dimiceli has spent decades helping people get back on their feet. Through a local newspaper column and his nonprofit, The Time Is Now To Help, Dimiceli assists about 500 people a year with food, rent, utilities and other necessities.

Derreck Kayongo
Derreck Kayongo’s Global Soap Project collects partially used hotel soap and reprocesses it to save lives. Since 2009, the Atlanta-based nonprofit has provided about 150,000 bars of soap for communities in 10 countries.

Diane Latiker
Surrounded by gang violence in her Chicago neighborhood, Diane Latiker opened her home to area youth and started a community program called Kids Off the Block. Since 2003, her program has helped more than 1,500 young people.

Robin Lim
Robin Lim became a midwife after her sister died from complications during pregnancy. Since 2003, she and her team in Indonesia have helped thousands of low-income women have a healthy pregnancies and births.

Patrice Millet
After being stricken with cancer, Patrice Millet dedicated his life to helping children in his native Haiti. His nonprofit youth soccer program provides free equipment, coaching and food to hundreds of participants from the slums and teaches them to become responsible citizens.

Bruno Serato
Since 2005, chef Bruno Serato has been serving free pasta dinners to children, many of whom are poor and live in motels with their families. Today, Serato provides dinner seven days a week to more than 300 children at the Boys & Girls Club in Anaheim, California.

Richard St. Denis
Since 2008, Richard St. Denis and his organization, World Access Project, have provided hundreds of wheelchairs and mobility aids to people living with disabilities in rural Mexico.

Amy Stokes
Amy Stokes is redefining “family” for South African children affected by HIV/AIDS and poverty. Her organization, Infinite Family, has connected almost 500 teenage “Net Buddies” with nearly 300 volunteer mentors from all over the world via the Internet.

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Peace Innovation Lab @ Stanford University

What is PI Lab?

The Peace Innovation Lab is an initiative from Stanford’s Persuasive Tech Lab and was launched in Spring 2010.

The PI Lab is conducts research in innovation, mass collaboration, persuasive technologies & the potential of social networks to promote new paths to global peace.

What is Peace Dot?

The Peace Innovation project started with Peace Dot. The goal of Peace Dot is simple: persuade any individual, organization or corporation with a website to create a peace subdomain that spotlights what they are doing to help promote peace in the world.

“The Peace Dot idea is simple: Orgs set up a subdomain at http://peace.%5BDomainName%5D.com. At that page orgs share their work. At Stanford, we gather Peace Dot pages into a directory.”

So far, over 50 sites ranging from Facebook to the Dalai Lama FoundationKhan Academy to CouchSurfing, in multiple languages have created peace dot pages around the world.

Peace Dot Directory

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Create a page for Peace Dot!

Is your company or organization creating more peace in the world?

If so, create a Peace Dot page and add it to the directory. In this way, more people will learn about your work and be inspired. You’ll also open doors to collaborations and new opportunities.

To create your Peace Dot page, first create a “peace” subdomain. Next, post content to that page. Then let the Stanford team know about your page by using the form found on Peace Dot website.

To find out more about Peace Innovation Lab, Peace Dot and more past projects, visit the following websites:

Peace Innovation Lab website

Peace Dot website

Peace Innovation Facebook Page

Peace Dot Facebook Page

Best of TED 2011 – 18 Ideas Shaping 2012 – A countdown

A Countdown of 18 groundbreaking ideas to reshape the world in 2012!

Many change agents have been commenting in full force in response to TED and The Huffington Post’s year-end collaboration to bring you 18 ideas that will shape 2012.

In this special year-end collaboration,TED and The Huffington Post are excited to count down 18 great ideas of 2011, featuring the full TEDTalk with original blog posts that they think will shape 2012.

Standby, the countdown is underway!

The countdown until now:

18 –> Kevin Slavin: How Algorithms Shape Our World

17–>  Kathryn Schulz On Regret (Premiere)

16 –> Deb Roy: The Birth Of A Word

15–>  Sebastian Thrun: Google’s Driverless Car

14–>  Rebecca MacKinnon: Let’s Take Back The Internet!

13–>  Naomi Klein: Addicted To Risk

12–> Graham Hill: Less Stuff, More Happiness

.

.

………………….

If you haven’t yet seen the engaging conversations on The Huffington Post, head over and get involved.

This platform allows you to engage in rigorous debate, share your personal experiences with other users and offer constructive criticism for the future of these ideas.

Watch, engage and share these groundbreaking ideas as they are unveiled one-by-one, including never-seen-before TEDTalk premieres.

Sources: TED Blog, The Huffington Post

Driving Home For Christmas – Chris Rea

Driving home for Christmas (1988)

I’m driving home for christmas
Oh, I can’t wait to see those faces
I’m driving home for christmas, yea
Well I’m moving down that line
And it’s been so long
But I will be there
I sing this song
To pass the time away
Driving in my car
Driving home for christmas

It’s gonna take some time
But I’ll get there
Top to toe in tailbacks
Oh, I got red lights all around

But soon there’ll be a freeway
Get my feet on holy ground

So I sing for you
Though you can’t hear me
When I get trough
And feel you near me
I am driving home for christmas
Driving home for christmas
With a thousand memories

I take look at the driver next to me
He’s just the same
Just the same

Top to toe in tailbacks
Oh, I got red lights all around

I’m driving home for christmas, yea
Get my feet on holy ground
So I sing for you
Though you can’t hear me
When I get trough
And feel you near me
Driving in my car
Driving home for christmas
Driving home for christmas
With a thousand memories

Chris Rea

Announcing the 2012 TED Prize Winner – The City 2.0

What is the TED Prize?

The TED Prize is awarded annually to an exceptional individual who receives $100,000 and, much more important, “One Wish to Change the World.” Designed to leverage the TED community’s exceptional array of talent and resources, the Prize leads to collaborative initiatives with far-reaching impact.

An idea takes the TED Prize…

This year, the TED Prize is going in an exciting and different direction. Rather than granting the Prize to a single person, we’re giving it to an idea: the City 2.0.

This year, we’re challenging everyone in the TED Community to embrace radical collaboration on one of the most pressing issues we face: how to build sustainable, vibrant, working cities.

The City 2.0 is the city of the future… a future in which more than ten billion people on planet Earth must somehow live sustainably.

The City 2.0 is not a sterile utopian dream, but a real-world upgrade tapping into humanity’s collective wisdom.

The City 2.0 promotes innovation, education, culture, and economic opportunity.

The City 2.0 reduces the carbon footprint of its occupants, facilitates smaller families, and eases the environmental pressure on the world’s rural areas.

The City 2.0 is a place of beauty, wonder, excitement, inclusion, diversity, life.

The City 2.0 is the city that works.

The TED Prize grants its winner $100,000 and “one wish to change the world.”   How will this prize be accepted on behalf of the City 2.0? Through visionary individuals around the world who are advocating on its behalf.

We are listening to them and giving them the opportunity to collectively craft a wish. A wish capable of igniting a massive collaborative project among the members of the global TED community, and indeed all who care about our planet’s future.

The wish will be unveiled on February 29, 2012 at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California. On a Leap Year date, we have a chance, collectively, to take a giant leap forward.

Read more and get the latest news and updates through TEDPrize website

Source: TEDPrize

Most shared articles on Facebook in the US in 2011

Facebook has released a list of the top 40 most shared stories in the US for 2011.

The stories range from cute to thought provoking and represent the type of news people have been sharing and discovering with friends in 2011.

1. Satellite Photos of Japan, Before and After the Quake and Tsunami (New York Times)

2. What teachers really want to tell parents (CNN)

3. No, your zodiac sign hasn’t changed (CNN)

4. Parents, don’t dress your girls like tramps (CNN)

5. (video) – Father Daughter Dance Medley (Yahoo)

6. At funeral, dog mourns the death of Navy SEAL killed in Afghanistan (Yahoo)

7. You’ll freak when you see the new Facebook (CNN)

8. Dog in Japan stays by the side of ailing friend in the rubble (Yahoo)

9. Giant crocodile captured alive in Philippines (Yahoo)

10. New Zodiac Sign Dates: Ophiuchus The 13th Sign? (The Huffington Post)

11. Parents keep child’s gender under wraps (Yahoo)

12. How to Talk to Little Girls (The Huffington Post)

13. Stop Coddling the Super-Rich (New York Times)

14. Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior (Wall Street Journal)

15. (video) – Twin Baby Boys Have A Conversation! (Yahoo)

16. Man robs bank to get medical care in jail (Yahoo)

17. Why You’re Not Married (The Huffington Post)

18. A Sister’s Eulogy for Steve Jobs (New York Times)

19. Ryan Dunn Dead: ‘Jackass’ Star Dies In Car Crash (The Huffington Post)

20. Scientists warn California could be struck by winter ‘superstorm’ (Yahoo)

21. Notes From a Dragon Mom (New York Times)

22. A Message to Women From a Man: You Are Not “Crazy” (The Huffington Post)

23. Obama’s and Bush’s effects on the deficit in one graph (Washington Post)

24. Penn State, my final loss of faith (Washington Post)

25. Golden-Voiced Homeless Man Captivates Internet (Yahoo)

26. The most typical face on the planet (Yahoo)

27. Widespread destruction from Japan earthquake, tsunamis  (CNN)

28. Permissive parents: Curb your brats (CNN)

29. A father’s day wish: Dads, wake the hell up!(CNN)

30. (video) – Laughing Baby Loves Ripping Paper! (Yahoo)

31. Epic Cover Letter: How To Get Hired For Your Dream Job (PICTURE) (The Huffington Post)

32. New Zodiac sign dates: Don’t switch horoscopes yet (Washington Post)

33. Things Babies Born in 2011 Will Never Know (Yahoo: Money Talk News)

34. The Psychology of Revenge: Why We Should Stop Celebrating Osama Bin Laden’s Death (The Huffington Post)

35. (photo gallery) – ‘Where Children Sleep’ (New York Times)

36. Quake moved Japan coast 8 feet, shifted Earth’s axis (CNN)

37. Steve Jobs, Apple founder, dies (CNN)

38. China’s latest craze: dyeing pets to look like other wild animals (CNN)

39. Grant Hill’s Response to Jalen Rose (New York Times)

40. Steve Jobs’s Patents (New York Times)

Source: Facebook

Christmas gift ideas 2011 – Interactive

Economic crisis or not, Christmas is coming and we need gift ideas! Here is a list from The Guardian to get some!

Click on the image and browse more than 450 imaginative Christmas gift ideas, all available to buy online. Most categories include two galleries: gifts under £20 and gifts over £20, plus stocking fillers for £5 or less.

Source: The Guardian

World’s best islands – BBC Travel

The world’s best islands, accodring to BBC!

Santorini, Greece

An ancient island that endured one of the largest volcanic eruptions in history, Santorini feels like no other place on earth. Here, 120 miles southwest of mainland Greece, everything is brighter: the whitewashed cube-shaped houses, the lapis lazuli sea and the sunsets that light up the caldera. (Courtesy Art Kowalsky / Alamy)

Bali, Indonesia

Lapped by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, Bali is but one of 17,500 islands in the Indonesian archipelago; yet even among its colourful neighbours — and even after decades of tourism development — it stands alone in its lushness and incomparable beauty. (Courtesy David Noton Photography / Alamy)

Cape Breton, Canada

Readers love this island in Nova Scotia for its captivating vistas: cliff-backed beaches and forested headlands studded with lighthouses. Local culture commingles Scottish, Acadian, Irish, African and native Mi’kmaq influences and the music scene is an eclectic mix of fiddling played in parish halls to the popular Thursday night ceilidh (kay-lee) dance gathering. (Courtesy Reimar 6 / Alamy)

Boracay, Philippines

Now that even tiny islands such as Koh Samui are becoming mainstream, Boracay may be one of the last little-known Asian beach getaways. The sandy-shored speck is accessible via an hour-long flight from Manila to Caticlan, followed by a 10-minute ferry ride. Go now, before the crowds arrive. (Courtesy Peter Adams Photography Ltd / Alamy)

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Though the competition for the best island in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific is steep (consider Bora-Bora, Fiji and Tasmania), the Great Barrier Reef, which unfurls from Australia’s northeastern coast, is by far the champion. The area’s spectacularly cerulean water and vast sweep of coral teems with sea life — baleen whales, leatherback turtles, giant clams and about 400 other species. (Courtesy David Ball / Alamy)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: BBC Travel