Awesome Stories 209

This week Awesome Stories bring you leadership, high-tech breakthroughs, savoring life, Amazon treasures and love for Valentine’s Day!

Bold Leadership

leadership, Awesome Stories

“Who’s influenced you the most in your life?”
“My principal, Ms. Lopez.”

This story and photo recently went viral thanks to Brandon Stanton and his Humans of New York campaign. To date, the campaign has raised over $1,100,000! Vidal’s acknowledgment of his principal as the most important person in his life touched a chord with people around the world. The reasons are touching and inspiring. In an area of Brooklyn where too often the kids are expected to fail, principal Nadia Lopez goes out of her way to support, lead and encourage her students. She is determined to give them every opportunity to succeed with policies that educate and lift up, rather than punish. Thanks to the funds raised, she and the school will be able to offer dramatically different experiences for the students.


Unboiled Eggs!

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have recently discovered a new way to unfold the proteins in a boiled egg, creating a new process and word to “unboil” eggs. Their process can pull apart the tangled proteins, allowing them to refold and return to their original structure. I don’t really understand what this is, but apparently it has huge applications for saving time and money in cancer research, biotech and food production. They have filed a patent and are looking for partners to commercialize the process. Any takers?

Cities of the Future

This might be a little too high tech and expensive to supply the world’s food, but it does create some awesome food yields. And I’m sure it can help in cities. What do you think of this high-tech farming approach? I also like similar, low-tech hydroponic growing approaches.

Slow Down and Savor Lifesavoring life, Awesome Stories

I routinely need to remember this lesson! This touching article shares how a busy mother learned to slow down and savor life from her daughter. Now Rachel Macy Stafford will never tell her child to hurry up again. As many of us can relate, Rachel was always busy with life, work, family, errands and electronic communication. In her own words, “My eyes were opened; I saw with clarity the damage my hurried existence was doing to both of my children.” This is the moment she dedicated herself to learning patience, to slow down and savor life with her children. To simple joys!


Treasuring the Amazon

Ethnobotanist Mark Plotkin knows personally about the value of the Amazon and it’s many treasures. When he had an infection that Western medicine couldn’t cure, he happened to meet a shaman who treated him with a fern that healed his leg. Since that experience, Mark has dedicated his work to protecting not only the forest, but the greatest treasures of the Amazon – the isolated tribes and their knowledge. These people and their knowledge are disappearing faster than the forests themselves. Many of the remaining tribes choose to live isolated from modern life. Mark and I both hope that we can develop culturally sensitive ways of honoring their way of life, protecting the people, forest and vast treasures.

Keep Loving

Here is a fun video reminder to keep loving. Nimesh Patel offers a musical celebration of love and unity. Enjoy and keep loving!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Keep loving and spreading that good stuff around.  🙂 



10 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 209

  1. Thank you for all this great links to the different awesome stories, Brad. Lots of interesting reading with a great variety. very touching and inspiring. ❤
    Happy Valentine to you too ❤
    Dina et al xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Brad,

    Enjoyed these all once again. I watched the video on the AeroFarms. I think it’s intriguing, and have seen articles and ideas on these types of urban/vertical farming solutions in the past. It’s hard for me to form an opinion one way or the other, because the video and web-site didn’t address several issues I think are important. I think it’s really interesting, and only time will tell perhaps, about the ultimate viability and gains.

    First, there is undoubtedly a cost, both in equipment, materials, labor and energy to farm in this way. How does that cost compare to farming in the natural environment? How do the gains compare to other farming research on organic methods of cultivation that are also ongoing throughout the world? What type of energy density does this type of farm require, because it is obvious the solar income on a given property would not be sufficient power the system, so energy must be imported. Likewise, all nutrients must be imported, and if the fertilizer is not derived from integration with animal farming, then industralized fertilizer plants must be run, perhaps, to satisfy the nutrient needs. When you look at all of these factors, it strikes me that with current technology the results may be mixed– e.g. a higher density of food production per hectare is offset by the need for off-site energy and nutrient production?

    Lastly, I’m curious about the plants themselves. How do they actually thrive in these carefully controlled environments? Does a lettuce no longer exposed to the full spectrum of the sun actually express its genes in the same way as lettuce grown outdoors? Or is there something a little different? Like fish farms vs wild fish stocks… would these types of plants be found to be in some way materially different than plants grown in the soil? I have no idea… It is simply a curiosity.

    If I lived nearby, my guess is fresh greens, grown without pesticides and herbicides, would be a pretty choice grab in the supermarket! But I’m not convinced it’s a viable means of getting food to places where it is not already getting…


    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with all your assessments Michael. It does seem like they’re skimming over a lot of important details. And still I’m intrigued by the creative use of space to grow veggies in urban environments. I hope we can integrate creativity, tech and natural systems to design more holistic and sustainable solutions.
      Thanks for your thoughtful reply. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Cities of the Future really resonates with me today, for a specific reason – Epcot – the experimental prototype city of tomorrow. There is a greenhouse and attraction in the park called Living With The Land. It is a boat ride that takes you through the research labs (Disney has partnered with NASA) to use hydroponics (similar technology to aeroponics) to create freshly grown produce in a controlled setting. Like you say, it may not be feasible worldwide, but the only way we make strides towards being able to do so are the baby steps such as these.

    There is a restaurant in the same building called the Garden Grill that uses all the produce grown in this location for their recipes. It is a perfect example of practical science in action 🙂 And they are looking to utilize this type of technology for long distance space travel (think trips to Mars that may take nine months) where astronauts are able to grow their own food in the capsule they are traveling using this type of technology.

    Great articles once again Brad, thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Epcot prototype sounds fun and interesting Dave. It sounds like they are doing what O’Hare Airport is doing; combining a showcase with practical by using the food onsite. I’d like to see them or other hydroponics live. So far, I’ve seen lots of them online. Thanks for contributing Dave. Have an awesome week! 🙂


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