It's all about the little things…

Tag Archives: inventions

Week 33-Modern Marvels, Day 4-Screwdriver

Another long day is in the books.  We flew into Pittsburgh at about 1:00 am this morning, stayed in yet another hotel, woke up at 8 am, got some java in us, quick Target trip, not so quick Ikea trip, drive an hour and some change back to Morgantown, put together various pieces of furniture, pick up dogs, unpack, wash clothes, and finally blog.  Even though I’m exhausted I’m so thankful to have our downstairs office complete.  As you’ve probably already figured out this would not have been possible without some essential tools like a hammer, some nails, and a screwdriver.  Just like yesterday, it may not be the coolest or sexiest invention known to man, but it gets the job done.

Tools like the screwdriver are also vital to helping build new homes.  Homes For Our Troops is using their tools to build houses for veterans who have returned home after serving our country with serious injuries or disabilities.  Founded seven years ago and builds theses houses at absolutely no cost to the veterans themselves.  HFOT raises all of the money needed to buy the building supplies for the home, labor needed to put all the pieces of the puzzles together, or the funds needed to adapt homes into handicap accessible buildings.  HFOT has built homes all across the United States and is expanding even further daily.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, giving a home to the people who volunteered to put their own lives at risk for our safety seems like a small price to pay.  The Nepal Youth Foundation is also building homes, but for a little bit of a different crowd.  NYF has built children’s homes, and are in the process of building student housing in the impoverished Himalayan country of Nepal. The J House (for boys) and the K House (for girls) are two of the very best children’s homes for those who have been abandoned, orphaned, or disabled in the entire country.  Student housing is so important because some students walk at least three hours a day to get to school.  Building dormitories closer to the schools will reduce the drop-out rate and give the students more time to study, which are both very good things.  A little shelter goes a long way.

Homes Four Our Troops Donation

Nepal Youth Foundation Donation

So here’s to you screwdrivers!  I don’t know a lot of people who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting you.  I also don’t know too many who don’t know how to use you.  You can build houses, shelves, desks, couches, chairs, bookshelves, and the list goes on and on.  There’s really nothing else to say.  You’re awesome.  The end.

Week 33-Modern Marvels, Day 3-Umbrella


You may be wondering if I’m thankful for the actual invention that keeps us dry in stormy weather or the catchy Rhianna tune, and the answer is both!  Today was another rainy, rainy day in the NOLA and without our hotel borrowed umbrella we woulda been up that famous creek.  Despite the weather we still have a great last day and got to see and do a lot.  I know the umbrella doesn’t seem like much of a modern marvel, but somebody had to invent it and a lot of somebodies make money hand over fist every year selling those bad boys.  Therefore, today is all about the umbrella, la, la, a, a, a.

Speaking of Rhianna, she actually has a great charity called The Believe Foundation.  Smooth transition I know.  TBF was founded in 2006 because Rhianna is a smart cookie and realizes that the only way to secure our future is to protect and nurture the health and well-being of our children.  TBF and Rhianna achieve this goal by providing kids all over the world with the tools they need to succeed in their life.  Naturally, Rhianna has also performed several concerts to benefit TBF and other charities and she met her young fans after and signed lots of autographs.  TBF also focuses a lot of their effort on raising awareness and funds for the life-threatening diseases that impact children like leukemia and cancer.  Rhianna says she’s always had a soft spot for kids, and that she strives “to inspire with hope, love and courage”.  There sure are a lot of people standing under her huge charity umbrella.  There are also lots of people out there who need a literal umbrella to stand under when the rain starts coming down, and the Under My Umbrella Charity tries to make sure no one gets wet.  UMUC provides rain gear, hats, and umbrella (obviously) to the homeless and other disadvantages individuals and also to the general public!  I am especially fond of this charity because it’s based out of my hometown of Greensboro, NC!  From October 1st of last year to the end of January this year they went on a major campaign to hand out gear, and with great success!  No one can argue their point, that it rains on the just and unjust alike.

The Believe Foundation Donation

Under My Umbrella Charity Donation

So here’s to you umbrellas! Thanks for being the shelter from the many storms throughout our lives. You always seem to be there when somebody takes our sunshine away. You may not be the fanciest invention in the world, but we’d be lost (and sopping wet) without you.

Week 33-Modern Marvels, Day 2-Television

I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes you just need to veg out in front of a television for a little while.  Today was that day for Scott and I.  My poster presentation was yesterday at the ASAS meeting and we listened to some intellectually stimulating talks.  That may sound like a pretty easy day, but it was actually really draining, so today was the perfect day to relax a little bit.  Conveniently, there has been a huge thunderstorm hovering over NOLA all day, so it made it even easier to kick back and watch a few movies on HBO.  Even though I don’t think it’s an appropriate babysitter, or a replacement for books or real conversation, I love watching TV.  So sue me.

Growing up we didn’t have cable.  Not because we didn’t want to, but because the area we lived in was so rural that the cable company didn’t bother running lines out there.  Thankfully we did have the ever popular Public Broadcasting Service, or as we lovingly refer to it, PBS.  The

So did I!

goal of PBS is to create content that educates, informs, and inspires people of all ages.  PBS was founded in 1969 and has over 360 member stations across all 50 states that reach over 124 million people through television each month.  PBS are the people who bring us Sesame Street, Frontline, Masterpiece Theater, and Antiques Roadshow, along with lots of great specials.  In a day and age when parents are afraid to turn on their televisions for fear of what their children might see, they can still rely on PBS to provide quality television.  PBS has been changing people’s lives for the better for 40 years, and Snooki and Pauly D can certainly not say that.  The Motion Picture and Television Fund has been taking care of its own since it was first founded in 1921 as Motion Picture Relief Fund.  MPTV enriches the lives Southern Californians who are a part of the entertainment industry by continually evolving to meet their health and human services needs.  MPTF has grown into a full-fledged service organization which operates six outpatient health centers throughout Los Angeles; a children’s center; a retirement community, health plans and the list goes on and on.  Everyone needs someone to look out for them, and MPTF does just that for entertainment stars.  It only seems right to give back to the people who gave so much to keep the rest of us entertained.

Public Broadcast Service Donation

Motion Picture and Television Foundation Donation

So here’s to you television!  You haven’t always been in color, HD, or 3D, but you are now!  You’ve come a long way from your black and white past, where you were only found once in a family’s home.  Sometimes we may enjoy you a little too much, but that’s just because you’re so much fun!  Thank you for being there when we want to turn our brains off, and also when we want to keep them on and soak up the knowledge you have to offer.

Week 33-Modern Marvels, Day 1-Air Conditioning

My thoughts EXACTLY!

As I sat down to write today, I started to think about what I was really thankful for and only one thing came to mind, air conditioning.  Of course when you’re in New Orleans and it’s 83º but it feels like 93º then I guess that makes sense.  That also got me thinking about all the other great inventions that I would be lost without, and decided that would make a great theme for this week’s blog.  So as I sit in my comfy chaise lounge in my nice cool air-conditioned hotel room with a view, I can’t imagine it any other way.  Thank you Willis Carrier for stepping up to the plate and chilling us all out.

Cool Down St. Louis makes sure that nobody in their city gets too hot-headed, because they’ll help you pay your air conditioning bill during the summer months.  CDSL is part of the bigger Heat Up St. Louis organization that was founded back in 2000 to pick up the slack when the government utility-charity programs run out of funding.  CDSL also had a very generous donation of $150,000 from the Missouri Foundation of Health and $170,000 from the City of St. Louis to help out with the bills rolling in this summer.  They have reached over 45,000 in the city of St. Louis, St. Louis county, and beyond during their eleven years of service.  CDSL is giving a whole new meaning to the phrase, “Ice, ice baby!”.  The Bishop Sullivan Center is also doing their part to keep their Kansas City community cool.  Project ElderCool was also started in 2000 and provides air conditioners for elderly during the steamy summer months.  BSC also goes one step further.  After they donate the air conditioning window unit and install it, they also give some extra money to the individual to help pay their bill.  Since the ElderCool program has been in place it has all but eliminated heat related deaths in Kansas City.  Plus if you donate this summer, A.B. May will match your donation 100%, all the way up to $10,000.  Now I don’t have quite that much money left over after paying my AC bill, but every little bit helps.

So here’s to you air conditioning!  You are literally a life savior during the endless heat wave that is summertime.  You seemed like the obvious choice to kick off this modern marvels week, because of how much you’re in our lives.  Thank you for keeping your cool when the rest of us are a hot, sweaty mess.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Sorry I feel like I just can’t say it enough!