Fooducate lets users scan the barcode of any a processed food item. Each product is given a letter grade based on how healthy that food item is — and provides details to support its claim. This interactive app can be used with almost any food product that can be scanned at a supermarket checkout. Whether you’re taking your students on a community field trip or creating a virtual grocery store in your classroom, Fooducate is a great app for sparking conversation. This app is perfect for teaching students how to shop smart, choose healthy foods, and even think about the way products are marketed.
Big Fork Little Fork is a free app that packs a punch. Share tips on cooking, good nutrition and produce, and learn skills that can be used to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This app includes how-to videos and games that explore the food pyramid.
A unique and detailed survey funded by the Rockefeller Foundation confirms the important role that social and community bonds play vis-à-vis disaster resilience. The new study, which focuses on resilience and social capital in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, reveals how disaster-affected communities self-organized, “with reports of many people sharing access to power, food and water, and providing shelter.” This mutual aid was primarily coordinated face-to-face. This may not always be possible, however. So the “Share Economy” can also play an important role in coordinating self-help during disasters.
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Here’s a short list:
AirBnB: A global travel rental platform with accommodations in 192 countries. This service has already been used for disaster response as described above.
Fon: Enables people to share some of their home Wi-Fi in exchange for getting free Wi-Fi from 8 million people in Fon’s network. Access to information is always key during & after disasters. The map above displays a subset of all Fon users in that part of Europe.
LendingClub: A cheaper service than credit cards for borrowers. Also provides better interest rates than savings accounts for investors. Access to liquidity is often necessary after a disaster.
LiquidSpace: Provides high quality temporary workspaces and office rentals. These can be rented by the hour and by the day. Dedicated spaces are key for coordinating disaster response.
Lyft: An is on-demand ride-sharing smartphone app for cheaper, safer rides. This service could be used to transport people and supplies following a disaster. Similar to Sidecar.
RelayRides: A car sharing marketplace where participants can rent out their own cars. Like Lyft, RelayRides could be used to transport goods and people. Similar to Getaround. Also, ParkingPanda is the parking equivalent.
TaskRabbit: Get your deliveries and errands completed easily & quickly by trusted individuals in your neighborhood. This service could be used to run quick errands following disasters. Similar to Zaarly, a marketplace that helps you discover and hire local services.
Yerdle: An “eBay” for sharing items with your friends. This could be used to provide basic supplies to disaster-affected neighborhoods. Similar to SnapGood, which also allows for temporary sharing.
In a two part series (titled “The Defense Budget Is Even Larger than You Think”) at Time magazine’s Battleland blog, I attempt to explain how high spending advocates and even the Department of Defense misuse and manipulate budget data to alter public and congressional perceptions of the contemporary size of DOD spending. The differences between what the Pentagon’s self-serving data present to the public and what is shown by generally used measures of the American economy amounts to hundreds of billions of dollars in some cases. The generally accepted, non-DOD budget history data I use for this analysis (described in more detail in tomorrow’s Part II) put the current defense budget debate and assertions that Pentagon spending is shrinking to “dangerously low” levels in an entirely new perspective.
Part I, “Cooked Books Tell Tall Tales,” describes the subtle, and not so subtle, ways that the Pentagon and other high spending advocates distort DOD’s budget history to make the public and Congress think they need to cough up more money. Find this first installment at