Updated on February 17, 2017
When a disaster happens the first thing of importance is to offer assistance to the people who have been affected. The American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, and United Way are examples of organizations that immediately come to mind when we think of disaster relief. What a lot of people do not realize many private, non-profit, public, and volunteer organizations offer disaster relief. National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) is a community of organizations active in every phase of emergency assistance, VOAD provides a platform for these agencies to work together, through communication, collaboration, and coordination. VOAD, founded in 1970, has grown to over 100 member organizations dedicated to delivering hope in a time of need.
Many relief organizations are readily recognized; there are numerous lesser known, who do equally important work in disaster relief.
Islamic Relief USA
Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) and its staff of volunteers, partners, and supporters have been working together for almost 25 years to make the world a better place. Guided by the values and teachings of the Qur’an, Islamic Relief USA does not distinguish between gender, race, or religion in their mission to provide relief and development in a dignified manner. To raise funds for domestic and international projects IRUSA sponsors seminars holds banquets, and concerts and participates in public awareness programs throughout the United States. IRUSA has regional offices in several states, including California, Illinois, Florida, New Jersey, Texas, and Virginia.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is the disaster relief program of the Presbyterian Church USA; the program funded by donations from church members. Some of the disasters PDA has responded to are Southern Tornadoes, Tennessee Wildfires, Gulf Flooding in 2016, and West Virginia Floods, over 20 states have received relief from PDA. Internationally PDA has responded to the Ebola crisis, Nepal Earthquake 2015, European refugee crisis, and the Middle East disasters in Iraq and Syria. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance provided in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.
Convoy of Hope
Convoy of Hope is a relief organization that works with churches, businesses, and other nonprofits to give help and hope to people who are impoverished, hungry and misfortunate. Founded in 1994 by a family who had received help after their father was killed by a drunk driver, to date this organization has helped almost 80 million people both domestically and internationally in 48 states and 114 countries.
The peoples of the world owe a debt of gratitude to organizations like VOAD, the few mentioned and the hundreds of others who are working to make the world a better place.
Posted on February 14, 2017
Undercover Colors is the revolutionary new product that people are using to prevent drug-assisted date-rape. Statistics show that close to 20% of all women in the US will be a victim of sexual assault during their lifetime. Some of those assaults are committed by incapacitating the victim with so-called ‘date rape’ drugs, like rohypnol or GHB.
To combat this situation, Undercover Colors invented a nail polish that reacts to the chemicals and changes colors if the drug is in the drink. A person merely needs to swirls a finger in the glass, and the polish will change colors if a drug is present.
Two of the inventors are bright young Ph.D. candidates at Duke University, Ankesh Madan, and Tasso Von Windheim. They founded the company back in their undergrad days at North Carolina State and had continued working on it since then. The two men have a unique background and are committed to making the product a staple in cosmetics supplies. Here are a few highlights of these young people.
Ankesh loved science and technology since he was a kid. He built a radio as a junior high student and focused on engineering and math during his high school years. He’s had a unique upbringing with strong family values
- Born in Thailand in 1993, lived in Jakarta, Indonesia and moved to the US in 1999
- Studying for his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Duke
- Has always been interested in math and science
- Father was an engineer and manager. Ankesh learned both the technical and business side of technical fields
- Very goal oriented until he began the Undercover Colors business. Now he loves the process and has realized how science directly affects lives
Tasso Von Windheim
Tasso’s parents moved to Costa Rica for a year while his father pursued a business opportunity. He was motivated to be part of Undercover Colors because he knows women who have been victims of drug-assisted rape.
- Born in a small town in Canada but has spent most of his life in Raleigh, North Carolina
- He is a first year Ph.D. candidate in Eleclectrical Engineering and Computer Science at Duke
- Earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Material Science
- Spent a year in a small village in Costa Rica
- His father was an entrepreneur and inspired Tasso
Posted on February 14, 2017
Stars and stripes were projected on the Beaux-Arts facade of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue. The steps were lined with a green stream of Statue of Liberty impersonators. The rotunda was filled with an equally round proscenium, complete with drum set and keyboards waiting for The Kills to take the stage. The show was an hour late. Everyone was waiting for Madonna.
Not me. I left after it hadn’t started by 10 p.m., and I checked it out on my computer.
No one embraces their own terrible taste with as much unrepentant gusto as the German designer Philipp Plein, who usually shows in Milan but who on Monday night brought his P .T. Barnum fashion to New York for the first time, seemingly with no sense of how tone-deaf the whole display was — from bustier to thigh-high boots, from fire-and-brimstone embroidery to NASA puffer coats.
Read the entire piece here.
Updated on February 8, 2017
Sometimes home is in the middle of an area torn apart by war and fighting. Out of every 113 individuals in the world one has been forced out of their home. That adds up to sixty million people. These refugees need help and fortunately, there are organizations whose goal is to help them.
This organization focuses on helping refugees and IDP camps all over the world. They want the kids to have the option of learning so they can get out of the camps and have a life in regular society as quickly as possible. Their efforts make certain governments are providing the extra funds required to properly address the crisis of the refugees. They also ensure this money does not come from aid programs of critical importance.
Islamic Relief USA
One of these organizations is called Islamic Relief USA. They were founded 25 years ago and have been providing aid for refugees ever since. They have helped the Bosnian refugees in Europe, the Kosovars when they required help settling into the United States and the Syrians in multiple countries.
Islamic Relief USA gave aid to over 3 million refugees in 13 different countries in 2016. They gave water, food, supplies for the winter, medicine, sanitation supplies, medical supplies and care and provided education. For the refugees who were more stable training in job skills was supplied. They care enough to offer shelter and help refugees in any way they can. What they really want is to be able to do even more.
UNCR was founded in 1950 by the UN General Assembly. They are the coordinators and leaders of the actions taken internationally to protect refugees all over the world.
The Mercy Corps was established so Syrian refugees would have necessities. They provide supplies and food. They increase the refugees access to shelters, sanitation, and clean water, and also ensure the children have a safe place to go.
Save the Children
Save The Children helps Syrian kids by giving them emergency food. They also support their right to be educated in the refugee camps in Syria.
The world can be a scary place but for refugees who no longer have a home, it becomes a lot worse. With the help and backing of these organizations, these individuals have a chance to reclaim their lives and many children are no longer going hungry.
Posted on February 7, 2017
Everyone living in Maryland must take their time in choosing windows. The windows in the house will help ensure the weather does not penetrate the building, and windows will regulate air inside the structure. This article explains how anyone may purchase windows for their home from local companies, how to choose proper windows and what each window will do. Every family that has invested in proper windows will find it quite simple to ensure they are cutting back on energy bills every month.
#1: Choosing a Window Company
The window firm such as Thompson Creek prices or Wheaton will help the homeowner learn how to choose proper windows for the home. They will aid in the selection of each window, and they will find windows that are suited to the home’s construction. The windows must be measured for each section of the house, and they must be chosen for their energy-saving qualities. They may come with other features such as blinds or shading that make them more functional, and homeowners may choose any style they like.
#2: How Are Windows Installed?
Windows are installed using techniques that are honored by the industry, and they are installed one at a time to ensure quality. The company that arrives to install the windows must be given ample time to complete the job, and they will help the homeowner understand how each window was installed for the highest in quality. The window will be sealed up tight, and the windows will be more efficient as a result.
#3: Lowering Energy Bills
The window company knows the homeowner will begin to save money as soon as the windows are installed, and they will help the homeowner use windows that come with blinds or shading. The windows may come with heavy glass that is very quiet, or they may come with a special system that allows them to be opened vertically. Each window is chosen for the homeowner’s needs, and it is installed in a particular position because the homeowner needs maximum effect from each window.
There are quite a few windows that may be installed in a home, and each home must have their windows custom installed. The windows will sit in the positions where they are most-effective, and they will offer the cooling power and shade that is required. Call a local company to ensure the windows are chosen and installed with the greatest care.
Updated on February 7, 2017
Florida often gets a bad rap as a strange or even criminal. This is a very unfair reputation. This state, and particularly Miami, have become some of the most culturally interesting areas in the nation. One reason for this renaissance is the rise of the Miami Design District and the celebrities who have been flocking to the area to visit it.
The Miami Design District Is Transforming the City
Miami has always been one of the most promising and interesting cities in Florida. However the Miami Design District is quickly transforming it into one of the most stylish and celebrity-heavy cities. For example, this neighborhood is devoted to fashion, design, and offering high-quality dining experiences.
Just 10-15 years ago this area of the community was completely abandoned. Homelessness and crime were rampant here and people were afraid to walk the streets. With the help of various dedicated developer, the area has slowly, but surely, become a hub for Miami culture. There is art, there is shopping, there’s incredible fashion shows, and a variety of incredible businesses and cultures that make their home there.
Businesses in the Miami Design District
There are many different businesses that have made their name in this district. Each of them is a high-quality one that is top in their field. Just a few of these include Design Within Reach, Locust Projects, Louis Vuitton, Luminaire, Prada, Cartier, Marni, De La Cruz Collection, and many more.
Clearly, the Miami Design District has become the go-to place for high-quality Miami living. But what about the celebrities that either call the area home or visit it regularly? It’s worth knowing just who considered this area worthy of their lofty presence. This helps you understand why it is so worth visiting.
Celebrities Who Have Shown Up Here
There are many different celebrities who love the Miami Design District. For example, Laurie Lynn Stark has often showed up with Zoe Kravitz to showcase a variety of art projects and designs. Elle Macpherson and Craig Robins are also popular visitors who aren’t afraid to interact with tourists and other visitors.
Other celebrities who have showed up here include singer and musician Pharrell Williams, actress and designer Kate Hudson, and many more. These celebrities showcase just how popular the area has become. Visiting here not only surrounds you with many high-quality businesses, but puts you in an area where you are likely to meet some intriguing celebrities.
Posted on January 23, 2017
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Space Agency continues to make strides towards a mission to Mars. Having recently announced that they will be collaborating with NASA on the “Hope” Mars Mission, this relatively new space program has quickly become a key player in future space exploration. The collaboration between the two agencies is more than a one-time agreement. The arrangement will apply to future projects as both have goals for further exploration of Mars with NASA hoping to send a manned crew sometime in the 2030’s.
The UAE Space Agency plans to launch the Hope spacecraft in July of 2020. This not only marks another important step forward in future Mars missions but it will also be the first interplanetary spacecraft built by an Arab nation. Reminiscent of the race to the moon in the 1960’s, the Arab world has entered the space program at a pivotal point when scientists are making a push to reach past what were once thought to be impossible boundaries.
“This is the Arab world’s version of president Kennedy’s Moon shot – it’s a vision for the future that can engage and excite a new generation of Emirati and Arab youth,” says Yousef Al Otaiba (https://twitter.com/yousefalotaiba1?lang=en), the UAE Ambassador to the United States.
Hope presents an important opportunity for both the UAE Space Agency and NASA. Once establishing orbit, Hope will study the atmosphere, climate, and other weather patterns on Mars. Gathering this kind of information and relaying it back to Earth in a timely manner are crucial for future successful Mars missions. Communication between a manned crew and Earth will have to rely on communication equipment already orbiting Mars. Hope could potentially be part of the lifeline between future missions and Earth.
The UAE Space Agency has proved to be a key player in current space exploration with the successful development and management of an astronomical camera network that warns astronauts in space of dangerous debris. Promoting peaceful space exploration, they are leading not only Arab Islamic nations but the world of space exploration.
While some may believe that space exploration holds no practical merits, the UAE Space Agency, like many other national space organizations, realizes that future advances in technology often come when science reaches for what may seem impossible. Many technologies that further the space program can be used for national security, predicting and responding to natural disasters, and building the knowledge we have about the natural world.
Continued collaboration with NASA and other space organizations is the next step for the UAE Space Agency and the space exploration sector at large. As nations and space organizations continue to work together, their combined knowledge and technology will lead the way to new paths in space exploration. Read the press release from June 2016.
Posted on January 23, 2017
A reader asks: “Where does cloud storage really reside? And is it secure?”
Quentin Hardy, The Times’s deputy technology editor, considers the question.
“Cloud” data is stored on hard drives (much the way data is usually stored). And yes, it’s probably more secure than conventionally stored data.
What makes cloud storage different? Instead of being stored directly on your own personal device (the hard drive on your laptop, for example, or your phone), cloud-based data is stored elsewhere — on servers owned by big companies, usually — and is made accessible to you via the internet.
When people think of cloud computing, they often think of internet-connected public clouds run by the likes of Amazon, Microsoft and Google. (If you use Gmail, Dropbox or Microsoft’s Office 365, you are using a cloud service.) There are also consumer clouds that, for example, hold your pictures and social media posts (think of Facebook or Twitter), or store your music and email (think of Apple or Google).
Posted on January 10, 2017
IGY Marinas has made an announcement that the National Harbor Marina is now one of their locations. This new Marina is located in the Northeast and will give the company the ability to offer the people who come through the area services they have not had before. This is a milestone in Washington D.C. for IGY Marinas.
IGY has a strategy for expansion they are using continually. This strategy is targeted and precise. National Harbor is one of the most major destinations for tourists and has become a hot commodity for companies who are planning projects for new developments. IGY decided this would be an ideal location according to their plans for expansion.
Tom Mukamal of IGY has stated that National Harbor as well the areas in the Washington D.C. locations were extremely high on the list they have for properties they would like to have for expansion. Factoring in how successful destinations in this area have become, IGY made the decision to make this recent acquisition a yachting capital in the region. They are really looking forward to being able to work with the industry members.
IGY is going to join up with the National Harbor Marina while undergoing the process for integration. They have a plan to begin the services of the company and all of its operations as soon as they can. IGY Marinas is also planning to use the relationships that already exist inside of their network to help heighten the marina’s profile. This will be accomplished by hosting special events and with the use of various philanthropic efforts. Andrew Farkas serves as Chairman for IGY.
The National Harbor Marina has features pertaining to their waterfront that are quite unique. They also have a reputation for excellent customer service. There are over seventy floating dock slips at this marina with the ability to handle a yacht over one-hundred feet long with a draft up to a full nine feet. Some of their amenities include pin coded security gates at the entrance, facilities for laundry, showers that are completely private and Wi-Fi service this is complimentary.
Posted on January 9, 2017
With a spectacular venue that reminds one of the seaside on the coasts of the Mediterranean, you enjoy gorgeous views of Georgetown Harbor and the Potomac River as you sit on the outdoor patio or see through the restaurant’s large windows. Fiola Mare is especially attractive to a star-studded crowd of celebrities, politicos, and to anyone who wants to have a private romantic dinner, host a family or business event, or for any other special occasion that will result in unforgettable memories.
At Fiola Mare you will find the highest-quality and freshest seafood and other delectable delicacies that are exquisitely prepared and can be paired with the finest wines by a staff that is attentive and friendly.
Part of the menu changes daily based on the availability of seasonal ingredients, and those dishes are added to the favorites. Some of the specialties are the Fiola Maine Lobster Ravioli filled with a large helping of lobster meat and a robust sauce, the Risotto with Truffle, the Seafood Tower with its amazing variety of seafood and special sauces, a cappuccino with a pretty heart floating on top, and scrumptious desserts. You really must try the fabulous Bomboloni (ricotto doughnuts) that are warm, airy, soft on the inside, and with a bit of crunch outside. They come with ice cream and a super yummy sauce. You can also indulge in a top-notch brunch with a glass of bubbly, three courses, and a warm pastry basket.
The talent and passion of the hands-on owners, Maria and Fabio Trabocchi, is evident in their third fascinating restaurant, which is now added to the well-known and well-appreciated Fiola and Casa Luca. They deserve the title they have been given as “the Nation Capital’s most dynamic culinary couple.”
The trio thrives in the world-class Washington DC market of global dignitaries, heads of State, and other politicians. Some notable guests include UAE ambassador, Yousef Al Otaiba, Vice President Joe Biden, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
President Obama celebrated his 55th birthday on August 4 of this year and spent over three hours enjoying the cuisine and the atmosphere. A crowd gathered and sang “Happy Birthday” to the President outside the restaurant. Those lucky people were out for an evening stroll, discovered that part of the Georgetown waterfront was blocked off for that birthday dinner, so waited until the dinner was finished. Oprah has also been seen dining there as well as frequent political figures.