Venezuela’s Resourceful Solution to Water Shortages

Venezuela is facing a water crisis due to years of underinvestment in infrastructure and maintenance by the state-owned water companies. This has led to water shortages and rationing across the country.

In response to this crisis, Laurencio Sánchez designed the Lata de Agua, a system which captures and filters rainfall for use in schools and other community buildings. This system provides a reliable source of clean water for communities which suffer from water scarcity. Lata de Agua started operating in 2019 and has already had a positive impact on the lives of students and teachers in the three schools where it has been installed.

Many Venezuelans are unable to obtain a reliable water supply due to recurring problems with state-owned company networks.

Water was so scarce at Unidad Educativa Nuestra Seora del Encuentro, a school in Petare, one of Venezuela’s poorest neighborhoods, that pupils had to carry water from home to drink and wash their hands throughout the day.

However, Laurencio Sánchez, a Venezuelan architect, developed the Lata de Agua – this translates to “Can of Water” – method, which catches and filters rainfall for use in schools to provide communities with a constant flow of clean water.

“It is a sustainable, alternative, complementary water-supply model based on the collection, storage and treatment of rainwater in vulnerable communities and their institutions,” explained Sánchez.

“The model offers, at the local level, a unique possibility of obtaining abundant and high-quality water for at least six months of the year in these communities, not only in vulnerable communities but in all places that suffer from water scarcity.”

“We no longer suspend school activities; we work our daily workday. The benefit has been enormous for the school,” she says.

Rainwater is used to water the plants a vegetable patch at the Unidad Educativa Nuestra Seora del Encuentro, another Petare school, to help feed its 850 students.

The crops would dry up before the project arrived. “We planted maize, but there wasn’t enough water because, due to the sector’s difficulties and the reality we lived in, we had to ration.” “We had to choose between the kitchen, bathrooms, toilet, and vegetable patch,” explains headmistress Mara Inés Guerrero.

“But thanks to this we can sow better, have higher yields and thus achieve better nutrition.”

Lata de Agua began operations in three schools and one health center in 2019.

It has transformed the daily lives of students and teachers at the Fermn Toro school in Petare.

The school’s headmistress, Dayani Echezura, says the organizations would sometimes go up to eight months without water before the Lata de Agua project was installed, but they now have a constant flow.

Friendly Mosquitoes Can Help Save Lives

What would life be like without mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes cause more deaths than any other organism on the planet, accounting for approximately 17% of all infectious disease deaths. Mosquitoes can transmit diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, and the Zika virus.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the primary vector of the dengue, chikungunya, Zika, and yellow fever viruses around the world.

Aedes aegypti is a mosquito species known for transmitting illnesses such as dengue fever, yellow fever, and the Zika virus. This mosquito was originally found in Africa, but it has since spread to many other regions around the world. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is most active throughout the day and prefers to breed in stagnant water. This makes regions with poor sanitation and a lot of stagnant water, such as urban slums, especially vulnerable to mosquito-borne disease outbreaks.

“The important thing here is that we’re not going to have a world without mosquitoes. This is one mosquito species out of about three and a half thousand different species of mosquito.”

The good news is that a large-scale pilot project introducing new Friendly mosquitoes achieved 96% suppression of the dengue-spreading mosquito population in Brazilian urban communities.

Dengue fever is a tropical virus-borne disease. Mosquitoes transmit it. Fever, headache, muscle pain, and a rash are among the symptoms. Dengue fever can cause serious illness and, in some cases, death.

Friendly mosquitoes are exactly that, non-biting Aedes aegypti males, who go onto mate with wild females and pass along a lethal mutation that prevents female offspring from reaching adulthood.

Oxitec is a UK-based biotechnology company that is responsible for the design and implementation of the Friendly mosquitoes initiative, as well as a pioneering developer of biological pest control solutions. Oxitec was founded in 2002 at the University of Oxford in the Oxford University Insect Research Group. Oxitec specializes in pest control using genetically modified insects. Oxitec’s first product was a genetically modified male mosquito that mates with wild females and produces offspring which die before entering maturity when released into the wild. This diminishes the mosquito population and, as a result, the prevalence of mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever.

Another feature of the dengue-spreading mosquitos targeted by Oxitec in Brazil is that they are an invasive species. “It originally comes from Central Africa, it should not be in Brazil at all. So it’s not a critical part of the ecosystem there,” says Dr Rose.

According to Oxitec, their technology is the first genetically modified pest-control product available for purchase by governments, households, businesses, and communities. This works by merely adding water to mosquito eggs, which hatch inside of a few days.

“Other ways of controlling mosquitoes include spraying chemicals, and those will obviously hit not just the species but many other things in the environment that are really beneficial. So we think that this is a really targeted way just to get rid of this mosquito, which is causing significant problems for human health.”

Will this reduce the number of deaths caused by the mosquito? Surely, but more research and development needs to be done before the global death rate from mosquitoes spread illness can be substantially reduced.

Did You Know? – Ice Cream

Did you know that ice cream was invented in China? It’s true, and it was created there almost 2,000 years ago. It didn’t have anything in common with modern ice cream, at least not the one I keep in my freezer. Even though it was prepared from milk, it also contained rice and snow, making it extremely different from the frozen foods available today.

Initially, the milk was brought to a boil before being blended with the rice. Once everything had been combined and the rice had begun to swell, it was placed in a basin and topped with snow. Unlike the mixing that occurs now, they would then wait until the snow had begun to melt before serving the ice cream.

Ice cream did not make its way to Europe until the seventeenth century in the west. It immediately became a favorite dessert in that location. But not for everyone. It was still regarded a luxury at the time, and only the wealthy could buy it. At the time, all ice cream was prepared by hand, and the procedure was extremely time-consuming. When I was a youngster, I used to assist my uncle manufacture it. We’d sit on the porch and create ice cream with an old-fashioned hand-powered ice cream maker that had been passed down through the family for generations.

I’m not sure how old it was, but in the early 1800s, a woman called Nancy Johnson built the first hand-cranked ice cream maker, which transformed children’s birthdays everywhere. From then on, it made it feasible to make ice cream more readily, though not effortlessly, and it quickly became a popular dessert in the United States.

Today, you can find ice cream in a wide variety of flavors, and the treat is enjoyed by people the world over. There is no need to list the flavors and variations, there are too many, and they never stop coming since new combinations pop up everyday.

Currently Reading: Agatha Christie’s “Third Girl”

In “Third Girl,” Hercule Poirot, one of the world’s most famous detectives, is tasked with solving a murder. The victim is a young woman who was discovered dead in her apartment, and there are three possible suspects. Poirot will have to use his deductive talents to determine which of the three is the murderer.

“Third Girl” is a suspenseful mystery that will keep audiences wondering until the very end. Christie has developed a complicated and convoluted narrative that will keep readers engaged. Poirot is a skilled detective, and Christie has built a complicated and tricky plot which will keep readers engaged. Fans of mystery books will enjoy this.

In Agatha Christie’s “Third Girl,” the housemates are an unusual group. Clara is shy and retiring, Sonia is exuberant and fun-loving, and Myra is quiet and secretive. They all appear to get along, yet there is an undercurrent of tension between them.

Clara is the first to learn about Sonia’s hidden past. She’d been keeping it a secret, but when Clara unintentionally uncovers a letter from Sonia’s mother, she discovers the truth. Sonia is the illegitimate daughter of an affluent family who has kept her true identity hidden from her housemates.

Myra is the next to find out, and she’s not happy about it. She’s always suspected that Sonia was hiding something, and she’s not thrilled to find out that she’s right. Myra is also worried about what this means for Clara. If Sonia is hiding her true identity, what else is she hiding?

The roommates’ relationship starts to unravel as secrets are revealed and mistrust sets in. Clara begins to distance herself from Sonia, and Myra starts to keep a closer eye on her. The tension between them builds until it finally explodes in a dramatic confrontation.

The reader must finally determine if the housemates can overcome their disagreements and stay friends.

Third Girl by Agatha Christie was a good book for me. The novel is a mystery story about a young woman named Poirot who is attempting to investigate a crime. I enjoyed how the novel had me wondering until the very end. I really enjoyed the characters and how they grew during the novel. Overall, I felt the book was excellent and would suggest it to others.

William Morrow and Company published “Third Girl” in 1966. Agatha Christie died in 1976, she was born in 1890.

Hercule Poirot: Then and Now

Hercule Poirot has become one of the most famous fictional detectives of all time. Agatha Christie created Poirot, who first appeared in Christie’s novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles and went on to solve over 33 crimes in both short stories and novels.

Poirot is an eccentric figure known for his fastidiousness, love of order and symmetry, and his motto, “Order and procedure, that is the thing.” Initially debuting as a secondary character, Poirot soon became the center of the narrative and has starred in over 50 books and short stories.

Poirot has been played on screen by a number of actors throughout the years, most notably David Suchet in the long-running television adaption.

Christie’s works are still famous today, and Hercule Poirot is one of the most beloved fictional detectives of all time.

The cultural significance of Agatha Christie’s and Hercule Poirot’s work cannot be overstated. Christie’s novels have entertained readers all over the world for almost 100 years, and Poirot has become one of the most recognizable fictional characters of all time. Christie’s ingenious plots and Poirot’s odd demeanor have caught the public’s imagination and turned them into cultural icons in their own right.

Poirot’s popularity is as high as it has ever been and his stories have been adapted on both the big and small screens. Murder on the Orient Express, a fresh adaptation of Christie’s novel, was released to critical and financial acclaim in 2017. The popularity of this renowned detective does not appear to be waning.

Babies From A to Z: At Least How We Experienced It

When you become a parent, your life changes dramatically. You must begin to consider things like school, doctor’s appointments, and bedtimes. You must also be more cautious about what you say and do, because your children are constantly watching and learning from you. I learned all of these things along the long road of motherhood, some the easy way, some the hard way, but all of them were rewarding.

It would be an understatement to say that this is not the case. After a certain age, most of us have the observational skills to recognize that there are numerous changes that occur when you become a parent. Some of the more noticeable changes are that you have less time for yourself, that you must budget your time and money differently, and that your priorities shift. However, there are numerous less visible changes that occur. For example, you may discover that you are more patient, organized, and understanding. Parenting is a big responsibility, but it can also be a lot of fun. If you’re considering becoming a parent, be ready for significant changes in your life.

While eFrog and I have those ever so precarious baby steps behind us, my sister and her wife are just getting started. So today, I thought that I would write something for them.

I was in charge of organizing my sister’s baby shower. I wanted to make sure it was perfect, so I made sure to include all of her favorite games and foods. We started off with the classic “Guess the Baby Food” game. We had a variety of different foods, ranging from sweet to savory. My sister was able to guess all of them correctly. For the main course, we served a variety of finger foods. My sister’s favorite is chicken salad, so I made sure to include that. For dessert, we had a beautiful three-tiered cake. It was decorated with pink and blue icing, to represent the upcoming arrival of my sister’s baby girl.

The next game we played was the “Guess the Baby’s Gender” game. We had a few different ways for people to guess, including a “predict the size of the belly” game and a “guess the number of diapers in the box” game. My sister was able to guess the gender correctly. She is having a baby girl! We were all so excited for her. For the final game, we did a “guess the baby’s name” game. My sister had a list of names that she and her husband had been considering. We all took turns guessing which one they would ultimately choose. It was so much fun!

If you ever find yourself in the position of organizing/hosting a baby shower I can only offer a couple of tips that made it easier for us to make sure everything went smoothly. First off when it comes to anything like this you need to have a guest list pretty early on. As you have already read, we did the whole gender reveal thing per my sister’s wishes. That meant both men and women were invited, though I don’t think that that is a feature of this type of celebration alone, but my sister wanted her husband there, and he didn’t want to be the only man.

Get your guest list together as early as possible. This will help you determine early on the number of guest you intend to invite and what type of food to serve.

Next, you need to decide on a theme, of course our theme was the reveal and I styled everything around that including the games that I have already mentioned. This can be anything from a classic baby shower to a more unique theme, like this one where we revealed the gender at the end. Then you need to pick a location. This can be anywhere from your home, their home, your mother’s home or something more involved like a park pavilion or a rented hall. And finally, you need to decide on a date. This is important so that everyone can clear their schedules and be there to celebrate the new arrival.

Once your have that done you can go about picking out invites and either have them printed like we did or do it yourself. Since my sister wanted the whole reveal thing to be incorporated into the party we spend an entire Saturday afternoon looking through designs online. I was glad when she finally settled on one and honestly, I think she was too. But that has never been my thing and I was relieved when she said “here it is” since it was getting stressful looking at them. They honestly all look sort of similar, at least to me. She was of a different opinion, obviously.

From my experience games are one of the most important parts of the shower – regardless of the theme or people attending – because they help break the ice and get everyone involved.

Parenting Changes Everything: How Becoming a Parent Will Surprise You

Parenthood is something for which one is never truly ready. You believe that you are, but the truth is that you are not. When you have children, your life will go in so many different directions that it’s hard to keep track of it all. The following are the three most surprising things that change over time:

Suddenly You No Longer Have as Much Free Time (At All)

Do you remember when you used to have an almost unlimited amount of time at your disposal (after work, chores, and such)? Those times are distant memory when you have children. Since you became a parent, you no longer have complete control over your time. You have to plan everything around your child’s schedule and their requirements. It is not always simple, but it is well worth the effort, at least for us it was.

As a Parent You Have to Be Much More Organized

Parenting requires a lot of organization skills. And while you might not have them at first, you quickly pick them up through your sudden on the job training. How hard can it be? Well, if you are organized it isn’t and that is the point. But you have to keep track of things like: their doctor’s appointments, your child’s school activities, food – clothing – shelter, and everything in between. If you’re not organized, it’s easy to let things slip through the cracks.

This goes for anything in life really, but when things slip between the cracks when you are busy as a parent you run the risk of disappointing them. While, life can be full of disappoint if you let it, keeping an overview of everything can help make things run smoothly in your household. That is why I am an obsessive list maker. BUT, nobody has ever complained about forgetting their toothbrush when we go on vacation so there is that!

You Become More Patient, Seriously Zen, Patient

Being a parent requires a significant amount of patience. There will be times when you question your mental stability, but you have to keep in mind that this is merely a passing phase in your life. It’s not going to be like this forever. You have to maintain your composure and ride out the storm.

The experience of parenting is one that is fraught with difficulty but rich in rewards. It is not always simple, but it is well worth the effort. When you become a parent, you’ll notice changes in many unexpected areas, such as the ones listed above.

When you have children for the first time, it is a completely new and extraordinary experience for you. You are instantly responsible for another person’s life, which can be a frightening as well as a rewarding experience. Some of the joys of becoming a parent for the first time are being able to witness your child’s development and growth, to see them accomplish their goals, and to simply take pleasure in their company. It has the potential to be a wonderful and memorable time that you will cherish for the rest of your life.

Being a parent for the first time is not without its difficulties, that much is obvious. It’s possible that you constantly feel tired, that you worry about whether or not you’re doing everything correctly, and that you have the impression that you’ll never get a break from your responsibilities. However, these obstacles are all a necessary part of the journey, and they will make the rewards that much more satisfying when they are overcome.

Therefore, if you are a parent for the first time, I hope you enjoy the ride! It will be one of the most challenging and difficult experiences of your life, but it will also be one of the most rewarding.

Active Friends Encourage Active Lives

Life can change fast sometimes. And for some of us it can go rather slow. But if you are a sedentary person, there is good news. Per a new mathematical model developed by a group of researchers, active friends are a critical factor in increasing our physical activity. The model may help explain why, despite widely known health benefits, we do not appear to be meeting the recommended amount of weekly exercise. While this might not make time change, it will sure help us improve our health.

The researchers discovered that a complete lack of social influence leads to long-term sedentary lifestyle and even a decrease in physically active populations. The most significant element encouraging largely inactive people to become and stay physically active was social interactions among both sedentary and moderately active groups. In contrast, social interactions that encourage moderately active people to become sedentary frequently result in the cessation of exercise routines.

The good news is that people that want to get back into shape may only require a more active friend. This information may also provide a new avenue for governments and organizations to strengthen public health programs by concentrating on community activities.

According to the new study, social interactions are an important factor in encouraging people to live more active lifestyles. According to the research, people are more likely to be active if they have active friends, and inactive people are more likely in becoming active if they make friends with active people.

The findings could have significant impact on public health policy, as they suggest that neighborhood initiatives may be more useful than other means of promoting physical activity.

A mathematical model was used in the study to simulate the spread of physical activity through social networks. The model demonstrated that even a comparatively tiny number of active people can have a significant impact on a population’s overall level of activity.

The results indicate that group physical activity initiatives may be more beneficial than individual-level measures.

When I Am Feeling Overwhelmed I Get Organized

Since it is getting into the gloomy months a lot of my colleges have begun to complain about it being dark all of the time. Darkness does not bother me, but I can accept that some of us aren’t the nocturnal sort. So I decided to put together some of the things I do to stay focused during the day. These aren’t specific to a particular time of year by the way.

Don’t worry, if you’re having trouble staying focused at work, you’re not alone; we all get overwhelmed from time to time. It’s a common issue, particularly in this day and age of constant distractions and ever-increasing work loads.

But it is possible to overcome this obstacle and stay on track; you can even make the task itself easier, even in the midst of chaos, which does appear from time to time. Here are a few strategies I employ to maintain focus at work:

1. Get and Stay Organized

I know that it is a given, that it is easier said that done, but one of the best ways to stay focused is to get organized. And stay organized. This means having a place for everything and knowing where everything is. Stop looking for pens, your glasses, or the memo your boss gave you.

Start by de-cluttering your work space, keep only the things you need on your desk, get rid of anything that isn’t essential to your work. Then, create a simple system for organizing the things you do need so that once you are done with them they can be returned to there place where only they are stored.

The same things goes for the tasks that you need to complete during the day. Here you could start using a physical planner to keep track of your tasks, or using a digital to-do list app. This really depends on your type of job, I have used both and I think that the handwritten planner works the best (for me). Find what works best for you and stick with it.

2. Prioritize

There is no need to say that with a cluttered work space and a long to-do list, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why it’s important to set priorities for the tasks you have to complete. Not everything is so important that it needs to be done right now. In fact you can schedule your day around the most important and then fit the others tasks in where they work the best.

That is why I take a few minutes at the beginning of each day to think about what needs to be done and what can wait. Then, I start with the most important tasks and work your way down.

3. Don’t Forget Yourself

It might seem counterintuitive, but taking breaks can actually help you stay focused, full of energy and give you a chance to reflect on what you have already accomplished. When you’re feeling overwhelmed or bogged down, a short break can give you the mental reset you need to power through trying chores.

All you really need to do is step away from your desk for a few minutes, take a walk or do something completely unrelated to work if you can. Just make sure you keep it brief – you don’t want your break to turn into a procrastination session which is all too easy when we have daunting tasks to complete.

4. Eliminate the Daily Distractions

In today’s world, distractions are ever present, in fact there are more distractions than ever before. And when you’re trying to stay focused, even the smallest distraction can throw you off course and waste a couple of hours before you manage (if you manage) to get back on course.

Eliminating distractions really isn’t that hard once you get the big one out of the way. That big one being your phone. Start by turning off your phone and putting it somewhere out of sight, I usually slide it in a drawer. Then, close any tabs on your computer that you don’t need for your current task. Try and limit it to two or three, this gives you an overview and you can close them before you begin your next item on the list.

I work in an open office. This in and over itself can be distracting. If you work in an open office, like me, consider using headphones to block out noise. And if you find yourself getting pulled into side conversations about topics that are not currently pressing for your attention, politely excuse yourself, then move to a different area.

5. Set a Time Limit

When you’re facing a large or challenging project you should limit the amount of time that you are willing to work on it in a single session. I like to take the big, challenging projects and break them up into small, bite sized pieces. These can then be put on the schedule in the morning and you can work them off as they come. When we try and do it all at once it is easy to loose the oversight and end up with more work than is necessary.

I hope that some of these items were helpful. When I was in my senior year of college I began to implemented them on the ever increasing workload. Since then I have been able to tackle even the biggest tasks satisfactorily.

Hercule Poirot’s Ten Greatest Cases

Hercule Poirot, a Belgian detective invented by Agatha Christie, is regarded as one of the best fictional detectives of all time. Poirot originally appears in Christie’s novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles, and he has since solved over 33 crimes in short tales and novels.

Poirot is a peculiar character renowned for his fastidiousness, love of order and symmetry, and his mantra, “Order and method, that is the thing.” Poirot, who began as a supporting character, rapidly became the focus of the stories and has appeared in over 50 novels and short stories.

Poirot has been played on screen by a number of actors throughout the years, most notably David Suchet in the long-running television adaption.

Christie’s works are still famous today, and Hercule Poirot is one of the most beloved fictional detectives of all time.

Hercule Poirot’s Top 10

Agatha Christie is recognized as the “Queen of Mystery,” and her Poirot novels are among the most well-known and popular in the category.

Having read the most popular Poirot novels first will give you a fair understanding of Christie’s writing style as well as Poirot’s persona. Some of the later Poirot novels are more sophisticated, and if you are unfamiliar with the series, you may find them puzzling. Reading the series’ most popular novels first can help you comprehend it better.

The most popular Poirot novels are typically regarded as the greatest in the series, so you’ll be reading some of Christie’s best work. Reading the more popular Poirot books first can also help you comprehend the series’ popular culture references.

Here are the most popular stories with a short description of each book.

  1. “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd”: Poirot looks into the death of a wealthy businessman in a tiny town.
  2. “The Murder on the Links”: Poirot is called in to investigate the death of a man on a golf course.
  3. “Peril at End House”: Poirot investigates a woman’s murder in a coastal resort.
  4. “Lord Edgware Dies”: Poirot investigates the assassination of an aristocracy in London.
  5. “Murder on the Orient Express”: Poirot looks into the death of a man aboard a train.
  6. “The A.B.C. Murders”: Poirot investigates a sequence of murders that appear to be linked to a nursery rhyme.
  7. “Cards on the Table”: Poirot looks into a murder that occurs during a game of bridge.
  8. “Murder in Mesopotamia”: Poirot is called in to investigate the murder of an archaeologist’s wife in Iraq.
  9. “Death on the Nile”: Poirot investigates a woman’s murder on a cruise liner.
  10. “Appointment with Death”: Poirot is called in to examine the death of a woman in Palestine.

It’s All Because of Kafka

I have Franz Kafka to thank for rekindling my passion of reading as a child. For those who don’t know, Franz Kafka was a Czech-Austrian writer, probably most famous for his surrealist and absurdist writing styles. Kafka’s works frequently deal with themes of loneliness, existential anguish, and absurdity. His most famous works are “The Metamorphosis,” a short tale, and the novels The Trial and The Castle. The phrase “Kafkaesque” refers to events that are ludicrous and surreal, such as those presented in Kafka’s literature.

He was born in Prague in 1883 to a middle-class Jewish family who spoke German. He studied law, but after finishing his studies, he was hired full-time by an insurance company, leaving him little time to write. Despite writing several hundred letters to friends and relatives Kafka had a rocky connection with his father. He was engaged to various ladies and yet never married, and he died of tuberculosis at the age of 40 in 1924.

My mother used to read to me every night when I was a kid. This aided me in developing reading skills at a young age. I was reading at a grade school level by kindergarten.

When I got to junior high, though, the literature we were reading tired me. I quit reading completely. This changed my senior year when I was assigned to AP literature. We were required to read Franz Kafka’s short story The Metamorphosis.

I was moved to tears by this story. It was the first time a story made me cry. It was in a collection of short stories by Franz Kafka. I devoured the entire book in one sitting. Then I went out and purchased some more Kafka.

My younger brother brought home a book the following year and assured me it was full of adventure. My mother, as well as Kafka and Tolkien, are responsible for my passion of reading.