In The World—June 4, 2017

June 4, 2017 No Comments »
In The World—June 4, 2017

By Lindsey Bell

1.7 Million Kids Die Because of Pollution

A new study released by World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 1.7 million kids die each year because of “polluted environments.” The study included in its definition of “polluted environments” everything from dirty air and water to secondhand smoke. This pollution can lead to fatal cases of malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia in children.

WHO Director and General, Margaret Chan, said about the results, “A polluted environment is a deadly one—particularly for young children. Their developing organs and immune systems, and smaller bodies and airways, make them especially vulnerable to dirty air and water.” Experts believe that investing in cleanup is worth the expense and will result in massive health benefits.

Faith Transforms Basketball Player’s Life

Caleb Swanigan was homeless for most of his childhood. When he was in eighth grade, he weighed 360 pounds. Now as a sophomore at Purdue University, he’s a basketball star. He spoke with Steve Hartman of CBS News recently about how the faith of his adopted father, Roosevelt Barnes, changed his life.

Barnes adopted Caleb after Caleb’s mom gave up her parental rights. When Caleb said he wanted to play basketball, Barnes encouraged him, even though his physique wasn’t where it needed to be for the sport. Barnes believed if he told Caleb he was great even before he showed any real talent, it would help Caleb succeed. Caleb told CBS News, “He saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself at that point.”

How Important Is Food Packaging?

Does packaging make a difference in food sales? Artist Dan Meth believes it does and has reimagined some of America’s most popular junk food items like Twinkies, Fruit by the Foot, Nerds candy, and Slim Jim beef jerky.

He changed the name of Slim Jim to Slim James. He placed Twinkies in gourmet boxes. He packaged Fruit by the Foot in a circular tin and added a French label. With each junk food item, he rebranded it to appeal to a health-conscious culture.

Would a rebranding of these items help them sell better? The jury is still out on that, but one thing is certain. These new packages do create a sense of wonder and remind adults of delicious treats they used to enjoy as a child.

Travel to the Moon Could Be Sooner Than You Think

Two private citizens plan to take a trip around the moon. SpaceX, a rocket company headed by Elon Musk, recently announced its plans to send a couple of tourists around the moon in late 2018. If they are successful, the two will be the first people in over 40 years to travel that far into space. NASA’s last Apollo moon landing was in 1972.

These travelers don’t plan to land on the moon, but to instead travel around it. The trip would take about a week and would be automated; however, the two individuals would be trained for emergencies. Musk did not reveal how much the travelers would pay for the trip, nor did he share any details about the individuals, except to say that they know each other. Mary Lynne Dittmar, executive director of the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, said the plan was “risky.”

Lindsey Bell is an author and speaker living in Southwest Missouri with her husband, Keith, and their two children (

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