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Environment, Health, Technology

Put Down Your Phone And Save Lives

UNICEF

 

Just give me a minute… gotta step up on my soapbox here…. Okay, all set.

Now, anyone who knows me, knows I’m a little bit addicted to my cell phone. Okay, okay, a lot bit. From the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed, it’s well within reach. Like many reading this, I, too, use it as a watch, a grocery list, updated Gameboy, email checking device, and yes, sometimes as a phone. As I write this, it’s sitting next to me and I’ve already checked it, sadly, twice.

The problem is that I’m so attached to it, that there’s never really any moments anymore to just step back and say, “Let’s take some ME time.” And that is clearly needed.

So when I heard about the UNICEF Tap Challenge, I not only was selfishly happy that I could use this to get away from my phone, but was also ecstatic that I could do some good while putting down my phone.

The UNICEF Tap Challenge, is this: put down your phone and they’ll help people around the world get clean drinking water. In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours walking just to collect clean drinking water. Around the world, 1,400 children die from diseases due to unsafe water or not having sanitary facilities.

All you have to do is this: Open up UNICEFTAPPROJECT.ORG on your smartphone, then put down your phone, don’t touch it. (Also, you might want to plug it in, because this drains your battery.) For every 10 minutes that you don’t touch your phone, UNICEF partners will donate a day of water to a child in need.

Companies like Giorgio Armani Fragrances have banned together, donating and sponsoring people who are putting down their phones.

So instead of uploading another selfie of you and your cat, why not help others (and yourself) by putting down your phone. Visit their site for more information (http://tap.unicefusa.org/), but I’m challenging you all to test it out and see how long you can go. Post in the comments how long you’ve gone and let’s save some kids!

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Film, Technology

OK Go: You are amazing

If you haven’t watched Ok Go’s new music video for “This Too Shall Pass,” then you’re missing an incredible spectacle of timing, gears and pizzaz.

As a kid, I had found old drawings of Rube Goldberg machines in books. They were of these elaborate contraptions that would have a chicken lay an egg, which would start a bicycle tire to spin, which would blow up a balloon that would pop and all of that would lead to an orange being squeezed for some juice. They were the most perplexing contraptions for the simplest of tasks.

Ok Go took it to the next level. The timing was perfect, down to the clinking of glasses to the tune of their song. Umbrellas flew, a television glided to its demise and pulleys dragged people and things all over the studio. It was delightful and done in one single shot. No cuts, no dramatic videography, just pure, simple engineering.

The video was filmed in a two-story warehouse in Los Angeles, Calif. The contraption was designed and built by the band and members of Syyn Labs. It took months to make and was well worth the effort. There are barely enough words to describe how incredible this one single video is nor how amazing the links to each part are set together.

If you haven’t seen it, watch it. It’s alread had over 10,000,000 views, so what’s a few more.

OK Go is a Chicago rock band which now resides in Los Angeles. It is made of Damian Kulash (vocals/guitar), Tim Nordwind (bass guitar/vocals), Dan Konopka (drums/percussion) and Andy Ross (guitar/keyboards/vocals.) Ross joined OK Go in 2005 to replace Andy Duncan. In 2007, the band won a Grammy for “Best Short-Form Music Video” for “Here It Goes Again,” in which the band had a choreographed routine on treadmills. It also won the 2006 YouTube Award for Most Creative Video.