Teenager’s innovation may help determine water quality with a cell phone

Allison Bick was recently awarded the 2011 Stockholm Junior Water Prize award for a project involving using cell phones to measure water quality. The award was presented to Miss Bick by H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden during the World of Water Week in Stockholm. Miss Bick’s project combines cell phones with indicator chemicals, such as Colilert-18 to measure the quality of water. This innovative project stood out against the others because it uses readily available and affordable technology, such as cell phones, to test water quality. The process developed by Miss Bick takes 18 fewer hours for results and costs 1/200th the price of standard tests. These new and improved tests can be implemented both developing as well as developed countries to test for water quality.

To read more about Allison Bick’s award or her project, visit: http://www.siwi.org/sa/node.asp?node=1253

Or, download: http://www.siwi.org/documents/Resources/Prize_Nominating/SJWP_Finalistkatalog_2011_web.pdf

Brian O’Neill

Somalis paint the picture of what resilience really means

Peter Greste posted an interesting photographic article about how drought in Somalia affects the local residents. Peter wrote small two or three-sentence descriptions of each photograph he took, and explained what each photograph was of. While some articles can appeal to the audiences’ emotions, including photographs is a nearly sure way of doing this. Each photograph was carefully taken to demonstrate the harsh living conditions of Somali refugee camps. However, the photographer also skillfully demonstrates how Somalis are thriving the best they can in this situation.
Somalis have been forced to coexist with droughts for many years, and thus they have evolved to cope with the hardships that follow. For example, some of the photos demonstrate how different people in the refugee camp have been able to create personal businesses to raise money for their families, as well as help their fellow refugees. One resident refugee was able to carry a sewing machine on his back, all the way from home. He now has a small business repairing clothes for his fellow Somalis. Best of all, he doesn’t even need to advertise. Other creative Somalis spend their time collecting firewood to sell to others. One creative man tied some thorn branches together and draped a few cloths over it to create a shop. He now sells small bags of salt, sugar, and limes.
If Somalis are able to function this well in a refugee camp, after living with drought for many years, how would a drought affect Americans?
To read the original article, visit: http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/inpictures/2011/07/2011727134147853102.html
Brian O’Neill