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Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier Guards Stand Still, Even During Rains from Hurricane Sandy

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Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Hurricane Sandy

Have you ever heard of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier here in the United States? To be honest up until this year I actually did not know what or where it was, but a captivating photo swirling around the Internet brought it to light for me.

There are two photos one of which was taken last month picturing three soldiers standing guard in front of the tomb in pouring rain. The other photo is the same but taken yesterday in the hours leading up to when Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast. Many people are saying that the photos show the true honor, courage, and commitment of the United States Military that these Sentinels are displaying.

So what exactly is the Tomb of the Unknowns? It is a Tomb located in the Arlington National cemetery in Arlington, VA that contains the remains of unknown American Soldiers from World War I, II, The Korean Conflict, and up until 1998 the Vietnam War according to Arlington Cemetery.

It is interesting that each of the soldiers received the Medal of Honor for their bravery and outstanding work in combat. The tomb is by far one of the most popular tourist sites in Virginia and it is guarded every day of the year in any kind of weather, 24-hours a day by men of the 3rd United States Infantry known as “The Old Guard”. It has been this way since 1948 and has gained much respect around the nation, and has captured American hearts during the dangerous times of Hurricane sandy.

“The Old Guard has guarded the tomb every minute of every day since April 6, 1948 today and the rest of the week will be no exception,” The Units official posting on its Facebook site.

This is not the first time these dedicated men have stood guard in the midst of some nasty weather. They stood their ground and remained at their post during Hurricanes Isabel and Irene, as well as the horrible Blizzard in 2010 that actually made Washington D.C. shut down according to ABC News. Some people have been concerned that because these brave men guard the tomb in any weather that they are putting themselves at risk to get injured.

However, the Society of The Old Guard mentions on their website that despite the soldier’s commitment, the safety of the soldiers is their number one priority. The society also mentioned they never put them at risk of possible injury or life threatening cases.

The Tomb of the Unknowns may not be well-known for people outside of the east coast, but one thing is for sure, those military men guarding the Tomb have the up most respect from millions of Americans especially now.

Hurricane Sandy, Soliders Stand Guard at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Hurricane Sandy is forcing evacuations across the East Coast, but take a look at this Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Regiment are standing guard at Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier.

Fake Hurricane Sandy Pictures: Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier Guards

The soaking wet soldiers were photographed guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier back on a rainy day in September.

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Environment

England Moves To Ban Plastic By April 2020

England is enforcing a ban on plastic straws, cotton buds, and stirrers in April 2020 to mitigate problems relating to plastic pollution in the ocean. Click To Tweet

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Turning the tide on plastic pollution | Photo From: Cardiff University

England Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, confirmed in a statement that the UK would be making its fair share in environmental protection by banning plastic in the country by April 2020. The UK government will ban plastic straws, cue tips with plastics handles, and stirrers all over the country, however, with some exceptions.

Plastic straws will remain available for individuals with disabilities and medical purposes. Therefore, plastic straws will be made available through registered pharmacies who can sell them over the counter or through online.

Moreover, restaurants, pubs, and bars are also allowed to keep a stock that will be readily available to customers upon request. Notably, establishments cannot publicly display plastic straws and will now serve coffee without stirrers.

Annually, England uses an approximate of 4.7 billion plastic straws, 316 million stirrers, an 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cue tips, the statement said. About 10% of cue tips used ends up getting flushed down the toilet and into the oceans.

In contrast, a public consultation held by the government showed that over 80% of respondents back a ban on the distribution and sale of plastic straws, 90% a ban on drinks stirrers, and 89% a ban on cotton buds, which led to the ban on plastic.

Companies choose to work with plastic since it is a cheap and versatile material to use. As a society, we have grown dependent on plastic as a universal tool that functions as a disposable form of general materials. We can see this through plastic bags for our groceries or the plastic spoon and fork you use when you’re on a camping trip. It’s also present in a lot of practical uses such as in household appliances, in your car, and basically, everywhere you go.

But the kind of plastic that the UK government is eyeing to ban is specific to the environmental impact these objects create, which are the senseless single-use plastics that continues to pump itself endlessly in the market.

Moreover, the idea of plastic being ‘disposable’ is a double-edged sword: people can use them without having to worry about its worth, while the other end of the spectrum acknowledges that because it’s known to be disposable and cheap, we can buy, use, throw, and repeat without consideration.

We have been desensitized of the impacts of our small actions to the rest of the world. We tend to think that a single piece of plastic can’t hurt but don’t seem to consider that if all of the 7 billion people believe the same way, that would also result to 7 billion pieces of plastic out in the streets or into the ocean.

In the case of plastics, they don’t decompose quickly like materials made from natural resources such as paper and wood-based materials. They often take decades to disappear naturally but only needs seconds to pollute, harm, and possibly kill the entire ecosystem.

It is estimated that there are over 150 million tonnes of plastic in the world’s oceans, and every year, one million birds and over 100,000 sea mammals die from eating and getting tangled in plastic waste. A recent report estimates that plastics in the sea is set to triple by 2025 – unless human societies make actions to prevent it from happening.

“Urgent and decisive action is needed to tackle plastic pollution and protect our environment. These items are often used for just a few minutes but take hundreds of years to break down, ending up in our seas and oceans and harming precious marine life. So today I am taking action to turn the tide on plastic pollution and ensure we leave our environment in a better state for future generations,” Secretary Gove said in a statement.

Although plastic straws, cue tips, and stirrers hardly make a portion that’s polluting the ocean, it’s still a significant step into the fight against single-use plastic. With the growing movement in support of being more responsible with our footprint in the environment, the England government’s latest announcement solidifies and strengthens the cause.

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Environment

Adidas To Produce 11 million Parley Shoes From Ocean Plastic

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Adidas

Plastic pollution and improper waste disposal is a global nightmare, and it’s incredibly challenging to resolve. It could be anywhere; forests, communities, and the most profound of the oceans are already contaminated and disturbed.

Today’s headlines are filled with animals choked to death by plastic and garbage, especially those in the oceans. The waves and shores on most beaches contain wastes, floating bottles, single-use plastics, and the like. This trash is human-made, and it is just right that humans should resolve it.

It is an obvious issue that people do not want to face and talk about these issues because of guilt and shame. Years from now, the place we live in, the beaches we love, and the forests where we find lasting peace won’t be the same as it was the last time we checked on them. Our environment and natural resources suffer from the problem we have made.

There are a lot of movements and organizations pushing ocean clean-ups, proper waste disposal education, plastic elimination, and many more. The little efforts we do is an excellent start and will make a significant impact on the environment.

But, the big question is, what happens to the garbage we collected? How can we transform trash into something useful and environment-friendly?

Adidas announced its commitment to help reduce ocean plastic waste by creating 11 million pairs of new shoes out of plastic collected from the waters and beach sides around the planet.

This idea came from Cyrill Gutsch an activist designer who thought of developing a better and faster work on plastic and garbage that are always seen alongside beaches—where people run, jog, and rest.

The organization’s move to put work on these is not just a part of putting up awareness and educational programs on trash, but creating something out of nothing and transforming waste into something valuable.

This move will establish work for production and gain more out of the trash people get to pass by daily. The organization’s partnership with Adidas is a smart way of “marketing” cleaner beaches and oceans rather than imposing something people cannot cope up.

The power that fashion (and footwear) has is a robust platform to make people move faster in helping with this global issue, says Gutsch. Aside from this, people get to learn the importance and value of things that are around them, he added.

Through fashion and social media along with influential endorsers who are known around the world, it is easier to communicate with people from different parts of the globe. It becomes a trend in which people believe in too and never argue about.

It’s about time that we get a new perspective on saving our planet and earning from the human-made trash that has been disrupting the way we live. Since environmentalism started, it was all about “protesting and warning”—a good insight from Gutsch—and it was never enough to push people to their limits to help change the world on plastic-use and garbage disposal. People continued to do the same thing over and over again.

The product idea from Gutsch and the decision to turn ocean plastic wastes into materials used for Adidas’ athletic garments, is a scientific and creative level of art, he says. This initiative is a better way to actually “spread awareness” about the problem.

Parley shoes by Adidas started in the year 2017 and produced over 1 million pairs since its introduction. In 2018, they were able to make 5 million of environmentally-centric shoes made out of Parley’s ocean plastic.

However, trash is way more than the millions of shoes produced and has been adding up every single day. This fact is a sad truth that people have to face today. As ugly as it sounds, this is the hope environmentalists need to convince everyone that this is a significantly impacting issue that we all should do something and be part of the solution.

It’s not about how many Parley shoes Adidas can produce and perhaps when other shoe companies join the force, but it’s still about how people dispose of their plastic waste and having a changed heart towards the environment. The oceans are part of the world, and there are lives underneath waiting for people upland to do their job. Be the change the world needs!

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Current Events

Twitter Blasts Lonely Planet For Inaccurate Video Of Philippine Tourist Spot

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Banaue Rice Terraces

If there is something that Filipino citizens are incredibly proud of, it is their cultural heritage and their breathtaking tourist destinations. One of the most popular among the different world-class spots is the Banaue Rice Terraces located in the mountainous Cordillera region.

The world was struck in awe over the beauty of the thousand-years-old man-made rice terraces including the travel guide Lonely Planet. However, yesterday, the travel website is in hot water after they published a video that claimed the Chinese built the famous tourist spot.

In the video released by the Lonely Planet was a feature on the “world’s greenest places.” It claimed that “these mud-walled terraces were first built around 2000 years ago by the Chinese.” Since netizens took notice of the video and the inaccuracy in its content, the company has taken it down from its Facebook page. Nonetheless, screenshots were still taken by users.

As expected, Filipino fumed with what they call was a “lie” and “an attempt to credit everything to the Chinese.” A Twitter user schooled the travel guide company with some Philippine history.

“The earliest recorded Chinese contact to the Philippines was in 982 AD. The Banaue Rice Terraces was built by Filipino indigenous people 2000 years ago. Get your facts straight.”

Following the post of Jose Ruperto Martir, which is the first time that the inaccurate content was noticed, Lonely Planet thanked the poster and said that they would take a look into it.

“Thank you for flagging this; we’ll share this with our editors who’ll take a further look into it. We’ll share updates/action points on this thread.”

Nonetheless, many Filipinos were disappointed by the mishap. A user replied to the post made by Lonely Planet in response to the post of Martir said:

“I have been watching Lonely Planet (fave host: Ian Wright) since I was a kid with my family. This is an utter disappointment!”

She also raised the concern of misinformation and the idea that it may also have happened in the past – creating a dent to the reputation of the company.

“I’m worried about the misinformation you may have made in the past. What were your sources that states the Chinese built our gorgeous Banaue Rice Terraces?”

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the terraces are an “outstanding example of an evolved, living cultural landscape that can be traced as far back as two millennia ago in the pre-colonial Philippines.

Filipinos are well aware of this fact as it is one of the most basic lessons Filipino children learn in school. That is why many netizens questioned the Lonely Planet for the source of their claims.

“There are rice terraces in China. Maybe they mistook them as one and the same? Fact check fails,” a Twitter user said.

“You’ve got an error in your research studies,” another one added.

The UNESCO’s website reveals that the Banaue Rice Terraces, dubbed as the “Eighth Wonder of The World” were “all the product of the Ifugao ethnic group, a minority community that has occupied these mountains for thousands of years.”

“The Ifugao Rice Terraces are the priceless contribution of Philippine ancestors to humanity. Built 2000 years ago and passed on from generation to generation, the Ifugao Rice Terraces represent an enduring illustration of an ancient civilization that surpassed various challenges and setbacks posed by modernization,” UNESCO further noted.

Amid the faux pas and the taking down of the inaccurate video, netizen’s eagle eyes were still able to spot the same inaccurate information in Lonely Planet’s website. On its website, Lonely Planet wrote of the rice terraces: “World Heritage listed, they’re impressive not only for their chiseled beauty but because they were introduced around 2000 years ago by the Chinese.”

Screenshot from Lonely Planet’s website

The page is still up as of writing.

Because of the disappointment caused by the website and the video from Lonely Planet, netizens from the Philippines demanded an apology to the Ifugao people. They have also sought the help of the current Secretary of the Department of Tourism to respond to Lonely Planet’s inaccurate statements and misrepresentation of Filipino cultural heritage. /apr

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