Creative Charity: How Business Innovators Choose to Give

The boom in the financial services industry from the ’70s onward and the information technology revolution that followed on its heels created a new class of super-rich individuals with few precedents in history. Some of them, though, don’t see wealth as a goal to pursue for its own sake, but are instead applying it as a tool to help those less fortunate than themselves.

Whether this means sending Tents and Camp Gear to areas afflicted by natural disasters, funding efforts that may help the world recover from a global catastrophe, or promoting education in every sense of the word, many have stepped up to make a difference that may be remembered long after their commercial exploits have been forgotten.

The individuals featured here have been chosen not necessarily based on the size of their charitable contributions, but by how they have combined wealth and entrepreneurial ingenuity to try to make the world a better place.

Promoting the “Open Society”

The Open Society is a philosophical concept first described in the early twentieth century. Speaking in general, it describes a system of government and social institutions that are dynamic, transparent and tolerant.

Today, George Soros is perhaps its most effective proponent. The Open Society Foundations founded by him work in 37 countries to promote democratic and liberal values in addition to performing other charitable activities. Unsurprisingly, this often brings them into conflict with authoritarian governments and right wing groups.

Also worth a mention in this regard is Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, who uses his Craigconnects platform to educate the public on issues ranging from consumer rights to electoral abuses.

The Giving Pledge

Theoretically, inheritance tax puts a brake on some families growing ever wealthier over time, but in practice the super-rich have a variety of ways to circumvent this. Some of them, however, have voluntarily decided to give the majority of their wealth to causes they believe in, either before or after death.

Bill Gates has amassed an almost incredible fortune, but his three children stand to inherit “only” a reputed $10 million each. In fact, he and his wife Melinda have already transferred about a third or their wealth to their charitable foundation. Similarly, Warren Buffet’s offspring are unlikely to starve with a $2 billion foundation looking after each of them, but this is only a fraction of the $88 billion this famous investor has managed to amass. So far, over 150 multi-millionaires or billionaires have taken similar pledges.

The Svalbard Seed Bank

If you trust Hollywood, the most likely scenarios for the apocalypse involve either zombies or a giant meteor. The world and the people in it face a far more likely and insidious threat, though: massive die-offs of staple crops.

With much of the world’s food production now reliant on genetically engineered organisms, the theory goes, a single mutation could result in a disease that devastates agriculture all over the world. As one example, nearly all bananas grown in the world are genetically identical, meaning that almost every banana tree in the world could be lost if a microorganism good at attacking it developed. This has actually happened before: during the 1990’s the global shrimp farming industry was almost destroyed by a plague, while half of U.S. maize harvests in the 1970’s were cut down by a fungus. Potato blight in Ireland caused the population to shrink by almost a quarter over four years due to both starvation and mass emigration.

Should something like this happen, it will be essential to have access to similar plant species that can be cross-bred with crop plants to improve immunity. This is where the Svalbard seed bank comes in: dug over a hundred meters into the rock of an island inside the Arctic circle, it houses seeds from over a million different plants and is expected to survive anything up to and including a nuclear war. Although owned by the Norwegian government, much of its funding comes from charities such as the Gates and Moore foundations.

Toasting And Grilling At Your Fingertips

While microwave ovens rule the roost when it comes to culinary appliances in the kitchen, toaster ovens are still in high demand and rightly so. While you can do a lot of things with a microwave, the pure ease of toasting and grilling using a toaster oven is still incomparable, especially if the toaster is Cuisinart TOB-40. This is a classic toaster oven that provides the goodies while sporting a definitive ethnic look for those who prefer their kitchens to exude a traditional vibe.

The Looks

When a review like this puts the looks at the top, you can understand that the appliance must be gratifying to look at and have in your kitchen. The Cuisinart TOB-40 is made from shiny stainless steel with clearly defined lines. It is quite large and has a clear glass door that adds to the view. The stainless steel engraved bold yet subtle Cuisinart logo conveys a message of minimalism. The cool handle is a blessing as toaster ovens tend to get pretty hot.

The Cooking

Well, here comes the main part. The Cuisinart TOB-40 operates like any other toaster oven you might have come across, however, it has a auto slide rack as compared to static racks that you would normally find. This rack makes it very easy to load food and unload them once the toasting or grilling is done. There are several preset functions at play including a bagel function. Being quite spacious, you can make an 11” pizza with ease and process up to 6 slices of toast at the same time.

To adjust the settings, the manufacturer has included dials that are rubberized so you can grip them easily even if you have oily and soapy hands. Keeping the safety in mind, the Cuisinart TOB-40 comes with a auto shut-off feature. In case you mess the settings up, the toaster will shut down automatically instead of setting your kitchen on fire.

With the Cuisinart TOB-40 you get a baking/drip pan and a boiling rack. Since cleaning toaster ovens can be a test at times, the insides of this oven is coated with a special material that makes cleaning very easy. Feel free to browse more toaster oven reviews if you want to, but all in all, the Cuisinart TOB-40 is a nice piece of kitchen appliance if you love a touch of class around your kitchen and would love toast in the easiest and safest way possible.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Foam Mattresses

Ever since they were first invented memory foam mattresses claimed to enhance the quality of your sleep.
But what exactly are they?

Made of Viscoelastic

Memory foam comes in different variations but it was first made of a substance known as viscolelastic which is energy absorbent and soft. What made this such a revolution was that the foam could be molded in response to the user’s heat and pressure, thereby evenly distributing the body weight. When the pressure is removed, it slowly goes back to its original shape.

After it had become such a success, memory foam was also made into other applications. For instance, it could be used as a cushion in helmets or shoes and it had also found its way in prosthetics, as it prevents pressure ulcers when used as seating pads.

However, we still find memory foam to be working best in mattresses and pillows. Like all types of mattress, they are made in different depths and densities, which means you can always find a model that works with your posture.

Some pros of memory foam mattresses

The biggest benefit people always talk about is the fact they relieve pressure, as they provide even support for your whole body. As a result, and this is reported by numerous people using these mattresses, you will no longer (or at least less) be turning and tossing at night and reduce your daytime pains.

They are also great for people who are suffering from back problems, but it is vitally important to choose the right mattress. If you have the firmness and thickness that matches your body, these foams will provide support and relieve your body from stress and tension while sleeping. One of the best things about them is that they can maintain your spine in natural alignment while you are asleep.

Another big benefit is that they are very durable. They can last up to 15 years, as long as you have obtained the right brand and model, and most brands on the market are offering their memory foam mattresses with multiple-year warranty.

Drawbacks

One of the disadvantages of opting for this type of foam is the fact that it is costly (unlike air mattresses!). The price tag can triple the average price of a simple spring mattress, not to mention the difference they have with air mattresses.
They are also heavy because of the nature of the foam. As a result, they could be difficult to move or transfer to another room.

Get Instant Water with A New Faucet

Finished changing your garbage disposal? Well, why not work up the sink and change your kitchen faucet as well! Sure, replacing a faucet can be a bit daunting for some, but if you know how to choose the right one to use, then you can easily swap your old faucet with a stylish one.

Handles

One of the first things that you must consider is to know the kind of handles you would like to have. A typical kitchen faucet has one knob that swivels directionally. You can also have a faucet with two handles: one handle for hot and the other one for cold water.

Number of pots and pans

Another thing to think about is the number of pots and pans you wash each day. If you wash bulky cooking utensils each day, it’d be easier for you to rinse them thoroughly through a faucet that’s tall and comes with a curved neck as you can just easily slide them in out of the sink.

Finish

Then, choose the type of finish you want. If you want a unified look, opt for a finish and style that matches your overall kitchen décor. But you can always choose whatever finish you wish to have, whether or not it goes with the décor.

Easy to install

The best of the best would be a touchless kitchen faucet, which can be installed just as easily as a regular faucet (this is also true if you are installing it by yourself). Make sure that they come with a decent warranty though.

More information: faucetassistant.com

How Air Mattresses Can Help

Air beds and mattresses have established themselves firmly in our lives with their usefulness. The Air mattresses of today are now as efficient in handling the regular usages of a household as they are in handling a rugged camping trip.

If it is your first time buying an air bed then you might have a little trouble finding the best air mattress that suits your needs, so following are some things you need to be careful about while shopping.

  • Your Requirement
    If your requirement is to use the bed in your bedroom then a regular raised or low- profile bed is enough. Only go for multifunction beds if you are planning to use the bed in your living room too.
  • Size
    Airbeds come in three different sizes, Twin, Queen and King. Decide on the size depending on the number of people who are going to use the bed.
  • Pumping Speed
    You can choose between built-in or external pump beds. Built-in pumps inflate the bed quickly but these beds are costlier. External pumps take more time but are more durable as compared to built-in pumps.

There are several other factors as well but these are the most important points. If you follow them carefully you will definitely be able to find the best air bed for your home.

More information: Intex