Students discover ‘footprint’

first_imgIt takes a lot to outfit a Notre Dame student — clothes, electronics and other various school supplies. Ever wonder who made all of those things?   On Wednesday, ND8 hosted an event in the Dooley Room of LaFortune where students could look up their “slavery footprint,” an estimation of the number of modern-day slaves involved with the production of the items they use. This event was the second in a month-long series focusing on the problems of human trafficking and modern day slavery.   Sophomore John Gibbons, co-president of ND8, said the goal is to take a holistic look at the issues so the various aspects of these global problems are brought to the attention of a larger audience. “A fair amount of the population knows so little about these problems,” Gibbons said. “Our main goal is to raise awareness about them so that it inspires people to think about it more and what they can do to help.”   All of the groups involved were motivated by a desire to increase awareness of these issues, inspiring students to help those affected and giving those students ways to respond. Rosie McDowell, director of International Community Based Learning and Outreach at the CSC, said the Center’s focus in the series was to help student groups to collaborate in order to better address social issues through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching.   “One of the things we try to do at the Center is to encourage collaboration among student groups, and to give them support and resources to move forward with educational events about social issues for the campus and in the community,” McDowell said. The series kicked off on Nov. 3 with a showing of the Invisible Children documentary “Tony,” which documented the struggle to end the use of child soldiers by the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda.   The St. Mary’s Invisible Children club and the Notre Dame club Inspire were heavily involved in bringing the film screening to campus.   Olevia Boykin, president of Inspire, said Invisible Children contacted her over the summer about doing a screening of “Tony” on Notre Dame’s campus. “We paired up with the CSC to bring this event to Notre Dame, and Rosie McDowell thought that the Invisible Children event could be a part of a larger conversation on human trafficking and modern day slavery,” Boykin said. Senior Sarah Commiskey, president of the Invisible Children club at Saint Mary’s, also focused her efforts at showing this documentary on campus.   “I wanted to spread the word, just really to advocate for Invisible Children, and in the best case scenario, turn apathy into action,” Commiskey said.  “I want to really get people so fired up that they do something about it.” Sophomore Erin Hattler, co-president of ND8, said students can get involved in the cause by donating to organizations Catholic Relief Services and by pressuring lawmakers to enact legislation protecting victims and to not cut the budget allotted for international aid.   “The bill [the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2011], originally passed in 2000, is currently making its way through the House and the Senate because it is due to expire at the end of this year,” she said. “We want to mobilize students to contact their representatives to encourage them to pass this bill.” Hattler said the bill provides crucial funding for programs aiding the victims of sexual trafficking, and is crucial in its ability to set the standard internationally for nations attempting to combat the problem. The goal of the groups involved with this series is not only to raise awareness, Gibbons said, but also to provide tangible ways for students to act.  “While we want to bring these harsh realities to life, at the same time we want to show that there are ways to work toward changing them,” he said. “We want to show people that there is hope and that there are ways to address these daunting problems.”last_img read more

Perennial Garden Challenge

We’ve had such a warm winter that most perennials came out of dormancy early and are going like gangbusters. This can pose problems.My summer phlox, for example, would normally be a foot high in early May. But on April 20, they were two feet tall, with buds forming a month early. At least three things are wrong with that. First, air can’t move easily in dense phlox colonies, so mildew takes over and destroys the plants. Second, the taller stems are flopping over. And third, they’re beginning to cover my treasured yellow butterfly weed. My garden is out of kilter. If yours is having similar problems, here are a few things to consider. Transplanting? Dividing? Moving? Not this year! I don’t recommend digging and replacing established perennials this late in the season. And this is an especially bad year for it. Growth is soft and luxurious. Disturbed root systems won’t be able to meet the needs of all that foliage. If you must divide, transplant or move plants, reduce the foliage by half or more. And be vigilant at watering as warm weather returns. Pinching back growth (removing two or three inches of top growth from each stem) can reduce the spread of fast-growing perennials. Chrysanthemum, saponaria, veronica, salvia and lantana will respond to pinching in May. Pinching slows terminal growth and redistributes food into side branches. Your plants will be shorter. They may have twice as many flowers, too. Trimming is likely required for spreading perennial plants such as Homestead Purple verbena. The new crown growth is competing with growth at the ends of scraggly long branches. Cut off all but a 6-inch circle around the crown. Allow the new shoots to spread. The old scraggly ones can be rooted and regrown elsewhere. Thinning is removing some of the plants from a colony. I’ve thinned my phlox by removing shovel-sized groups of plants from the middle, allowing airflow and sunlight to filter in. The remaining plants’ root systems are only slightly disturbed. And by replacing fresh soil in the holes, roots reestablish quickly. I’ve never seen this procedure affect a colony adversely. Staking will be essential this summer. Not only are my phlox flopping over, but so are most other tall perennials. Staking needs to be done now, before the stems fall over. I like small tomato stakes and green yarn. The yarn is effective, yet impossible to see by midsummer. Tie it at one-third and two-thirds of the stem height. If you tie it at one-half the height, strong storms can buckle the stem. This year’s vigor may require you to do more deadheading, or removing spent flowers. Many perennials put up a flush of flowers in early summer. If those flowers are pollinated and allowed to remain, they produce seed. This uses up sugars, thus reducing or preventing more flowers. Because things are growing and flowering earlier this year, the summer flowering gaps may be longer and more pronounced. Gaillardia, phlox, veronicas, coneflowers, Echinops and some of the tall salvias will likely need deadheading to perform well all summer. One last tip: fertilize lightly this year. The extensive root systems will have access to much more fertility, causing gargantuan growth if you add lots of fertilizer. Just a light sprinkling of 10-10-10 may be all you need. Reduce soil moisture if you can. This will harden off root systems and slow growth. By hardening off plants now, they may be better adapted to summer heat. Slight wilting of tip growth in mid-afternoon is normal for most sun-loving perennials. Don’t water this spring unless you see very dry soil and wilting by late morning. read more

Here’s what the experts are saying you should do with your money in 2015

first_imgby: Casey Bond, GOBankingRates.comAmericans essentially share the same financial goals, which, for the most part, can be boiled down to saving money, paying off debt and retiring comfortably. But with a sea of financial advice out there — as diverse as it is vast, and varying in accuracy — the how is where most people struggle in reaching those goals.If only all of that information could be boiled down to a few simple, actionable steps that actually work.Well it looks as though 2015 is the year that wish will be granted. As a part of an annual competition to name the best personal finance expert, the most well-known and respected names in finance and entrepreneurship shared their advice for finding financial success next year.Taking Control of Your Money“Americans can stop seeing themselves as victims — of the job market, Obamacare fallout, economic downturns, and the uncertain future of programs like Social Security and Medicare — and stop relying on someone else to ‘save’ them,” said Robert Kiyosaki, successful entrepreneur and author of the best-selling personal finance book of all time. “It starts with education, especially financial education … so make 2015 the year you champion your life and take control.” continue reading » 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Six Nations 2019: Robbie Henshaw, Dan Leavy doubtful to face France

first_imgFlanker Leavy has been out since December with a calf strain and will not join in full training in the early part of the week. France coach Jacques Brunel on Tuesday named an unchanged matchday squad for the clash at the Aviva Stadium. Six Nations 2019: France unchanged for Ireland clash Fly-half Carbery is on the mend after suffering a hamstring injury, while Conway — who came off the bench in an unconvincing win over Italy last time out — has recovered from a cramp. Related News Six Nations 2019: Maro Itoje (knee) limps out of England training; Charlie Ewels called up as covercenter_img Robbie Henshaw and Dan Leavy are doubtful for Ireland’s Six Nations encounter with France, but there is more positive news on the fitness of Joey Carbery and Andrew Conway.The versatile Henshaw missed the victories over Scotland and Italy because of a dead leg and may not play against Les Bleus in Dublin on Sunday. Henshaw is not recovering as quickly as anticipated and the 25-year-old will continue his rehabilitation this week.last_img read more