Five for Friday

1. G8 Opposite
Viewpoint on their environmental discussions

If you’ve been following the G8 Summit taking place this
week in Tokyo, Japan, then you’re aware that
discussion surrounding climate change was at the top of the agenda. In a
previous post, we highlighted the agreement made by the group to cut carbon
emissions fifty percent by the year 2050. Though many have hailed this as a
milestone in international environmental policy, others, like UN Environment
Programme Head Achim Steiner, remain skeptical that real change will occur in
the near future. Check out some of Achim’s argument here.

2. Tour de France
Interactive Map

For anyone who’s ever had dreams of one day slipping into a
spandex uniform (not me) and racing amidst cheering fans in this month’s annual
Tour de France bicycle race, a new Google Maps feature now allows you, in some
degree, to live out your fantasy. The company has just launched a map of the
race that is linked to virtual street views. In other words, with the click of
a mouse, viewers around the world can access race-level views. Here’s the full article.

3. Homeless World

Everyone needs to hear an inspirational story now and then,
and this one definitely counts. A new documentary entitled “Kicking It” describes how the lives of
hundreds of homeless individuals around the world are being transformed by an
ordinary soccer ball. In 2006 an international soccer tournament called the Homeless World Cup was created,
providing hope and a sense of purpose to many.



4. Guinness Book
of World Records Natty G Shoe line

It was rather tough for many of us here at National
Geographic to make it to work last week, given the slew of shoes occupying the
main courtyard in front of our headquarters in Washington D.C. It was a
welcomed obstacle, however, given that the surplus of shoes (over 10,000 of
them) was the result of a National
Geographic Kids Magazine-shoe drive
to benefit Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program.
The used shoes, including two pairs from actress Cameron Diaz, will be recycled
and made into playgrounds and sports surfaces. Find out more about the program here.

5. Urban Farming

What would you do with a large amount of deserted urban land
and a community of hungry families nearby? For Detroit native Taja Sevelle, the answer lay with
a seed and some water. With the help of some very kind individuals, as well as
support from her city legislature, Sevelle created a charity called Urban
Farming that turns abandoned city lots into gardens. The produce is then
distributed and shared throughout the surrounding neighborhoods. Click here for the entire

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