Pop!Tech ’09: Maasai and Lions, Working Together

The Maasai people of Kenya have an understandably antagonistic relationship with the country's lions. If you're a Maasai, your capital is all tied...

The Maasai people of Kenya have an understandably antagonistic relationship with the country's lions. If you're a Maasai, your capital is all tied up in cow assets. When a lion kills one of your cows, that's an immediate hit to your material wellbeing. To protect their interests, Maasai kill lions. It's a part of their culture. The problem is that Kenya's lion population is now headed towards extinction. The country is down to an estimated 2,000 lions and is losing about 100 each year.A few brave young Maasai, calling themselves the "lion guardians" are starting to protect these lions instead. They're tracking lions and radio-tagging them so herders can avoid them and, while they're out in the bush, they help round up stray cows as well. Not only is it nice to protect lions for their own sake (they're incredible creatures), but it's also economically important for Kenya. If the country loses lions, its valuable tourist industry suffers.Paula Kahumbu, who just spoke at Pop!Tech, has set up a blogging platform so these young "lion guardians" can broadcast their efforts to the rest of the world and raise funds. Not only is the lion guardians' blog super compelling (tracking lions is turns out to be pretty exciting work), but it also lets them raise interest and-critically-funds.It's wins all around. The Maasai learn more about the lions so they can better protect their herds, the lions survive, and it's all in Kenya's long-term economic interests.

McDonalds sells a lot of coffee. Over a billion cups a year, to be exact. All that coffee leads to a lot of productive mornings, but it also leads to a lot of waste. Each year, millions of pounds of coffee chaff (the skin of the coffee beans that comes off during roasting) ends up getting turned into mulch. Some coffee chaff just gets burned, leading to an increase in CO2.

Now, that chaff is going to get turned into car parts. Ford is incorporating coffee chaff from McDonalds coffee into the headlamps of some cars. Ford has been using plastic and talc to make its headlamps, but this new process will reduce the reliance on talc, a non-renewable mineral. The chaff is heated to high temperatures under low oxygen and mixed with plastic and other additives. The bioplastic can then be formed into shapes.

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For over 20 years, our country has perceived itself as more divided than united, and it's not getting better. Right after the 2016 election, a poll conducted by Gallup found that 77% of Americans felt the country was divided on the most important values, a record high.

The percentage of Americans who agree that we disagree got higher. During the 2018 mid-term elections, a poll conducted by NBC News/Wall Street Journal found that 80% of Americans felt the nation was "mainly" or "totally" divided.

We head into the 2020 presidential election more divided than ever. A new poll from USA Today found that nine out of ten respondents felt it was important to do something about the conflict in our country. We can't keep on living like this forever.

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via Honor Africans / Twitter

The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

So for those with hearing loss, the chances of coming into contact with someone who uses the language are rare. Especially outside of the deaf community.

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