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Surf Lifesaving: voluntary lifeguard services & competitive surf sport originated in Australia, expanding globally

competitors run to the water during the start of the Open Women's Board Race final, 2009 Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships

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Surf lifesaving originated in Australia in 1906 in response to drownings at local beaches in Sydney. It comprises key aspects of voluntary lifeguard services and competitive surf sport and has expanded globally to other countries including New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, and the United States. Such groups became necessary following the relaxing of laws prohibiting daylight bathing on Australian beaches. Volunteer groups of men were trained in lifesaving methods and patrolled the beaches as lifesavers looking after public safety.

a competitor from Northcliffe competes in the Open Men's Board Race semifinal, 2009 Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships  read more »

Photo: green reflections - photographer reflected in seaweeds at green fuel plant in Le Vigeant, southern France

reflection on seaweeds at Seche environmental plant in France

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A photographer is reflected in micro seaweeds in a basin at the Seche environmental plant in Le Vigeant, southern France. Seche Environnement, which specializes in the treatment and storage for all types of non-radioactive waste, produces green fuel from seaweeds.

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Photos courtesy of Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images

Original Source: Times Online

Time to celebrate Cinco De Mayo; time for "good neighbors working together when faced with common challenge" - Obama

Top: Ballet Folclorico Guadalajara, Mexican folk dancing at the Cinco de Mayo fiesta; Bottom: Two people dressed in period costumes commemorate Cinco de Mayo marking the 1862 defeat of the French Army

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Obama marks Mexico's Cinco de Mayo holiday

Cinco de Mayo marks the Mexican army's victory over the French army on May 5, 1862. The holiday has grown in popularity in the United States as an affirmation of not only its Mexican but its Latin American minorities.

President Barack Obama observed Mexico's Cinco de Mayo holiday a day early by hailing the close cooperation between the two countries in the face of swine flu, economic crisis and a drug war.  read more »

Nature fed up with animals being ill-confined, force-fed? 1st cows mad, then bird flu, now deadly virus from swine

A couple attempts to kiss. Across Mexico more than 1,300 people were tested for suspected swine flu infection and 400 were taken to hospital for checks. Health officials believe that tens of thousands, and possibly more, have been infected but have since recovered.

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While Indonesia's bird flu death toll climbs to 119, deadly strain (a nasty mash-up of swine, avian, & human viruses) of swine flu gets under radar of the immune system and pushes death toll in Mexico to 152 and climbing. "Residents [of La Gloria, Perote Municipality, Veracruz State, Mexico] believed the outbreak had been caused by contamination from pig breeding farms located in the area. They believed that the farms, operated by Granjas Carroll, polluted the atmosphere and local water bodies, which in turn led to the disease outbreak. I’m as mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore According to residents, the company denied responsibility for the outbreak and attributed the cases to ‘flu.’ However, a municipal health official stated that preliminary investigations indicated that the disease vector was a type of fly that reproduces in pig waste and that the outbreak was linked to the pig farms. It was unclear whether health officials had identified a suspected pathogen responsible for this outbreak."  read more »

Earth Hour: time zone by time zone, ~4000 cities & towns in 88 countries dim nonessential lights from 8:30-9:30pm

Malaysia's landmark, the Petronas Twin Towers along with other buildings before and after the lights were switched off to mark Earth Hour in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 28 March 2009

Window to the World, calling for Wind of Wisdom,
as common sense is a gift to each soul,
as common environment is the inseparable planet,
as common desire is to live in a better world.

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Earth Hour 2009 has garnered support from global corporations, nonprofit groups, schools, scientists and celebrities — including Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett and retired Cape Town Archbishop Desmond Tutu. From an Antarctic research base to the Great Pyramids of Egypt and beyond, the world switched off the lights on Saturday for Earth Hour, dimming skyscrapers, city streets and some of the world's most recognizable monuments for 60 minutes to highlight the threat of climate change. Time zone by time zone, nearly 4,000 cities and towns in 88 countries joined the event sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund to dim nonessential lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

night view of the site of the ancient Giza Pyramids before and after switching off the lights for the Earth Hour, in Cairo, Egypt Saturday March 28, 2009  read more »

Floating treasure, tempting sea. World's biggest ship hijacking by pirates off coast of Somalia for $3 mil ransom

the world's biggest ship hijacking for a $3 million ransom, a Saudi supertanker

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A parachute dropped by a small aircraft is observed by the U.S. Navy as it drops over the MV Sirius Star during an apparent payment via a parachuted container to pirates holding the Sirius Star off the coast of Somalia, January 9, 2009. Somali pirates then freed the Saudi supertanker seized in the world's biggest ship hijacking for a $3 million ransom - but five drowned when their boat capsized as they were making off with their share.

the crew of the hijacked Ukrainian merchant vessel MV Faina off the coast of Somalia

The crew of the hijacked Ukrainian merchant vessel MV Faina stand on the deck, under the watch of armed Somali pirates on November 9 after a US Navy request to check on their health and welfare, at sea off the coast of Somalia.

ransom money is dropped near the Ukrainian cargo ship MV Faina off the coast of Somalia near Hobyo

In this photo provided by the U.S. Navy, ransom money is dropped near the Ukrainian cargo ship MV Faina while under observation by a U.S. Navy ship February 4, 2009 off the coast of Somalia near Hobyo. Pirates did not leave the ship until February 5.  read more »

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