Awesome Stories 184

This week Awesome Stories brings you compassion, clean air, creative living, ancient fungi and courage.

Compassion Saves Money!

More studies are showing that offering homeless people housing and basic services actually saves money for the cities who implement programs for the homeless. The latest study, by the Florida Commission on Homeless, showed that it costs Florida residents $31,065 per homeless person for each year they live on the streets. Alternatively, it would cost taxpayers just $10,051 per person to give them a permanent place to live and services like job training and health care. If central Florida implements this supportive housing approach, it would save $350 million over the next decade.

Sludge Power

I love innovation that helps turn a waste or problem into a resourceApplied CleanTech, has created a compact, transportable system called SRS™ for Sewage Recycling System. Their system turns waste sludge into Recyllose™, their term for a biomaterial that can be used for fuel, bioplastics, pulp and paper. Demo projects have shown the SRS to reduce operating costs by 30%, while increasing a sewer plant’s capacity by a similar amount. This means cities can drastically reduce their waste treatment costs without the need for expensive new plants.

Dance Break with A Tribe Called Red

Here’s another Native American group that caught my attention with their fun and upbeat energy. What do you think?

Creative Living

I remember similar wisdom years ago from a woman named Dvora who taught a beginner’s painting class. Her gift was creating a safe, welcoming environment to help us allow our creative muse room to express. Her core belief was that we are all creative, we simply need to allow the flow and expand our definition of creativity. Creativity might be expressed in our job, cooking, dressing, etc, not simply art. This article offers 10 great tips for living more creatively. I especially like tip #5; life is an adventure to be lived, not a problem to be solved. What’s your favorite?

Reflecting on the Oldest Life on EarthBrain Coral, Awesome Stories

This is a thoughtful article full of pictures from on some of the oldest living things on earth. Rachael Sussman is fascinated by the ancient life on earth and what it means for humanity. She has spent a decade traveling the world to discover and document ancient life. I knew about ancient trees that can be thousands of years old, but I had no idea some moss can be over 3000 years and Pando, a group aspen root system, that is estimated to be about 80,000 years old! Rachel explores the questions of life, death, impermanence, philosophy and what it means to be alive on earth from a broader, more connected perspective.

Courageous Soul

Meet Chris, an amazingly courageous man who hasn’t let having stumps for arms and legs hold him back from living fully. His reminder that “if you’re letting your appearance hold you back, you’re really missing out” really hit home for me. Instead of worrying about my problems, issues and appearances, maybe it’s time to go for my dreams.

Smog Eating Roof

I love this idea. Students at UC- Riverside have tested a coating for roof tiles that cleans the air. The titanium dioxide coated tiles would breaks down the same amount of smog-causing nitrogen oxides per year as created from a car driven 11,000 miles. There are other roofing tiles on the market that help reduce pollution from nitrogen oxides, but no data on how much nitrogen oxide is neutralized. The students created a chamber, coated the tiles and measured the results. The titanium dioxide coated tiles removed between 88 percent and 97 percent of the nitrogen oxides. The best benefit is the cost, which they estimate would only be about $5 per roof! Next, they’ll be testing using the coating on exterior paints to see how it performs. Maybe someone will create a paint that I can apply to my asphalt roof that both reflects the sunlight to lower the heat and cleans the air.

I hope you found something to inspire you to live more fully. Have an awesome week! 🙂


22 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 184

  1. So much awesomeness packed into one post here, Brad!
    I really like #3 on the Ten Things Creative People Know, it’s so true…
    I remember reading about Rachael Sussman’s oldest things on earth, how freaking cool is that?!
    Those stories about sludge power and smog eating roofs are right up my alley, I just love innovated people who come up with ways to help our planet!
    And of course, anything related to helping the homeless always speaks to me…
    Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Julie, Glad you got your awesome on! It must be all that creative expression on your blog. XD I’m a sucker for innovations too, though Michael brings up a good point of how do we factor in the impact of those changes and hopefully pick ones that have a net positive impact. Thanks for reading, commenting and caring.


  2. Great stuff, Brad. I remember reading about something like those titanium dioxide tiles a number of years ago. I thought they were really cool, partly because I just like learning about new things. Since then, it has struck me time and time again how little we know about the way things fit together. We solve one problem to create another. I think the tiles are impressive, but also wonder, how do we change our thinking about introducing “new things” so that we are taking a holistic look at how technologies may cause changes to ripple through out systems, and likewise, how do we prevent ourselves from getting “analysis paralysis” and letting these considerations scare us off from change itself.

    And maybe, just maybe, the oldest living thing on Earth is Life itself. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Michael. Great point about how do we measure and pick wise innovations that create a net positive impact, including all the ripple effects, which we probably can’t know. Some innovations and tech solutions are suspect in my book. Technology is not always the solution. Let me know when you figure out the cure for analysis paralysis! 🙂


  3. Hi Brad,

    Great collection, as always! It is interesting to learn that housing for the homeless can go beyond compassion. I hope that inspires more people to rehabilitate the poor and the homeless. How you find such innovative articles is a marvel! I also liked that pictorial post about oldest living things. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Balroop. I appreciate you reading, commenting and sharing. 🙂 I obviously spend a lot ( too much?) time on the computer reading to find stories to share. I actually love it. The only hard part is choosing which ones to include. Yes, I hope more cities and people are inspired to help the homeless. This is just one possible solution, though we certainly have lots of empty homes in the US that could be used. blessings,


  4. I love the prospect of providing shelter/housing for the homeless. And it is always good to see the possibility studied and considered. Not to rain on the potential parade though, similar research has been conducted and validated that by shifting incarcerated people out of prisons and instead, into rehabilitation and re-immersion programs, even greater financial savings would accrue to municipalities, states, even the federal government.

    So the obvious question becomes, “Why haven’t elected representatives jumped all over this, especially when budgets become increasingly tighter?” And while answers vary, a common response invokes NIMBY. People in communities, be they urban or rural, don’t want their tax dollars used to support these type of programs. Or at least on a meaningful scale. They want the money spent on services for them, not the homeless, needy, and jailed.

    The squeaky wheel gets greased. And we are left with an perpetuating lack of compassion. In the business world this is often referred to as ‘opportunity loss.’

    Noble and caring of you to create awareness around this topic, Brad!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for the thoughtful reply Eric. Yes, the NIMBY comes up in many arenas. The resistance over financial concern is interesting and sadly misplaced given that it costs more to leave the folks homeless or keep people in jail. I tend to ascribe this to corporate influence. Incarceration has become BIG business and corporations run our country in my opinion. I’ll take noble, maybe I like tilting at windmills. 🙂


  6. Hey Brad…great stories! I swear just about an hour ago I asked my friend if she wondered why they couldn’t make paper out of something other than trees….and here you go….they can make it out of sewage?? And my fav is #6. Change is an inside job! Oh boy do I agree with that!! Much love Brad! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks Lorrie! You’re an example on living from the inside out. I’m a work in progress. XD Actually, my favorites for paper and related products are hemp and bamboo, two very productive plants! Say hi to the beach again for me! I really need to plan a beach trip. 🙂


  8. Another wonderful magazine, Brad. From learning the cost of homelessness (we pay one way or another, so why not do it the right way) to farmer Chris’ cheerful commitment to living and doing – inspiration galore.
    Thank you for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great inspiration all around here, Brad. My favorite tip for more creative living is #7 — that’s why I love travel so much — I always return with a broader mind! Fun music…and LOVE, love, love Chris! His video should be shown in high schools everywhere. What an incredibly admirable “can-do” attitude. Thank you!! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Glad to oblige! Yes, sometimes I miss the diversity of Washington DC and travel. I love experiencing new people, places and culture. Chris is wonderful and I love your idea to share his video in schools as motivation.
    blessings my friend, 🙂


  11. That’s very interesting about the cost of the homeless, makes sense to help those people rather than have them going from pillar to post and never getting anywhere. Seems a ridiculous waste of money to leave them in that state! It is true that a lot of them have a mental illness of one kind or another. There are a number of homeless people in the city where I live, and they are always unstable emotionally. But can be difficult to help them sometimes. There was one elderly lady, lovely cheerful soul, just wouldn’t be given a home. I think living with four walls frightened her. She preferred to be out in the open in the company of people – a bit of a problem that. There’s nothing worse than forcing someone ‘not’ to be homeless! 🙂

    The recycled sewage turning it to fuel is a great idea. Perhaps our ocean and beaches would be a lot cleaner if they did that!

    I love the music Brad, very upbeat and dancy! I listened to a few of their other songs on You Tube, I like the way they add that Native American Indian sound with the modern, that works well. My dad used to like the Native American music, I think if he was still alive he’d really like these young people. Thanks for the music!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Suzy, Thanks for taking the time to explore and comment. Homelessness is a big and challenging problem. I agree we don’t want to force people into homes, just an interesting way to use empty ones. Yes, water and the oceans are another challenging area, which has sparked some creative solutions like plastic “banks” to collect and repurpose plastic as an asset.
    so did you dance to the music? 🙂


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