Thursday, 8 February 2018

Public Education For All: Will It Just Be A Dream?

Progress is only made possible through education. You can learn everything you need in order to succeed in life in the four corners of the classroom. With rapid globalization, other countries are doubling their efforts in educating their youth especially that it is now common for workers of different nationalities to compete for the same job. You don’t usually have to worry about it during elementary and secondary years as citizens can still get public education especially if you live in America. Regardless of the many issues, we face today, we still remain to be one of the most progressive and powerful nations in the world. However, the youth and their families still struggle in sending their kids to college and in the university. The tuition fee is outrageously high and you can easily fall deep into debt with student loans before you even graduate with a degree you can be proud of.

It is such a shame that no matter how rich the US is, the American government still can’t afford to educate its youth for free when it can very well send all sorts of aid to other nations all year round. That is the problem raised by many parents and teachers right now. Apart from that, the existing educational system prevents teachers from realizing their fullest potential as educators because of conflicting policies that tie their effectiveness as teachers to school funding. Students and their parents are so obsessed in passing standardized tests that determine who is doing well at school and qualifies them to enroll in specific universities when these tests do not fully evaluate a student’s potential, what they have learned at school, and how well they will do later in life. Some can afford to pay for reviews and put their kids in private school so they have an edge over other students on these tests.

The ultimate dream of public education is incredibly simple. Students, ideally, would go to a classroom, receive top-notch instruction from a passionate, well-informed teacher, would work hard in their class, and would come away with a new set of skills, talents, interests, and capabilities. Over the past few decades in the United States, a number of education reforms have been enacted, designed to measure and improve student learning outcomes, holding teachers accountable for their students' performances. Despite these well-intentioned programs, including No Child Left Behind, Race To The Top, and the Every Student Succeeds Act, public education is more broken than ever. The reason, as much as we hate to admit it, is that we've disobeyed the cardinal rule of success in any industry: treating your workers like professionals.


Once a student enters their college years, they realize how what public education in their formative years lacks and puts them at a disadvantage among their more affluent peers. It also is a struggle to pay the high tuition fee itself not to mention the long list of books that do not come in cheap too. School supplies aren’t even included and then there is the dreaded concern about how to pay for costly housing since most students often come from out-of-state or live farther away from the school. You have to face all these issues all at once, which can be a big hurdle for many in completing their education when everywhere around them, there are financial constraints that prevent them from realizing their dream of getting a degree.

Is the U.S. educational system beginning to decay?

I don’t like to be alarmist, or give too much weight to any one test result, but last week’s release of 2016 reading test scores around the world is now the third major proof point that something is awry. The latest Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) — a reading comprehension test given to fourth graders in 58 countries and regions around the world — showed that U.S. performance is sliding in both absolute and relative terms. American fourth-graders, on average, had worse reading skills than they did five years earlier, in 2011, with scores slipping seven points on a 1,000-point scale. At the same time, other countries leapfrogged ahead of us. The combination meant that the United States slipped from 6th to 15th place in this international ranking. 


There is always the option to enroll younger kids in public schools but it all changes when they grow up. However, there is also proof that shows public education to be not that great of a preparation for students for real life after school. A lot of students scored poorly in many basic skills like math and reading comprehension that used to be the competitive edge of most Americans. The US economy is also partly to blame for this performance decline as many parents now no longer have the time to check up on their children and ask how they are doing at school when they are too busy working to provide for all their family’s needs. There are problems in various school districts throughout the country and it needs to be seriously looked at by the higher-ups before we continue to lose ground on our edge in the global workplace, which is definitely what we are preparing the youth for in schools.

The following blog post Public Education For All: Will It Just Be A Dream? was originally published on The Blog


Thursday, 1 February 2018

How Can We Beat Climate Change

You can’t just turn a blind eye anymore. Climate change is happening now and no longer just a figment of our imagination. Our planet has endured enough and it is now showing drastic signs of our abuse and misuse of Earth’s resources. It even came sooner than expected and we only have ourselves to blame. Just look around you and you can see the answer. Technology is one of the major factors why all these things are happening. All the tech gadgets we are using uses up lots of fuel, something we may have not but may run out sooner. Remember that widely used energy today comes from non-renewable sources like fossil fuel. They aren’t just expensive but they may eventually run out in the coming years. What’s worse is that the combustion coming from the burning of these energy sources contribute to global warming, thereby leaving the planet hotter than ever as hot air is trapped in the planet’s atmosphere and consequently melts glaciers making the sea level rise.

Don’t feel helpless just yet. It is not the end of the world. We still have time to change our ways and salvage what little is left of our planet, so the future generation won’t have such a hard time in simply surviving and all. Of course, the little changes you do can make a big difference if done by a multitude of people. However, we need to level up our efforts if we want to contribute greatly to global warming solutions our planet so badly need at this time and day. There are certain industries that can also make a big contribution if they just make the ultimate sacrifice. Unbeknownst to many, the meat industry generates a lot of greenhouse gases. Aside from that, there are other equally alarming issues caused by livestock production such as air and water pollution. Over the past few years, we’ve also learned that livestock growers inject antibiotics to the animals to boost their profit. If the sin tax on (red) meat consumption is increased, people would reconsider their diet and perhaps reduce their meat consumption as well, which will have a profound effect on the industry.

“Sin taxes” on meat to reduce its huge impact on climate change and human health look inevitable, according to analysts for investors managing more than $4tn of assets.

The global livestock industry causes 15% of all global greenhouse gas emissions and meat consumption is rising around the world, but dangerous climate change cannot be avoided unless this is radically curbed. Furthermore, many people already eat far too much meat, seriously damaging their health and incurring huge costs. Livestock also drive other problems, such as water pollution and antibiotic resistance.

A new analysis from the investor network Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return (Fairr) Initiative argues that meat is therefore now following the same path as tobacco, carbon emissions and sugar towards a sin tax, a levy on harmful products to cut consumption.


These are just some of those things you don’t realize right away as a mere spectator in the world. It is actually quite surprising to many to find out that just by patronizing meat products, we contribute to the hastening and worsening of climate change. 15% of all greenhouse gases come from the livestock industry. It may not sound big but when you look at it on a global scale, you’ll be blown to the extent of the damage we are unconsciously doing. It’s not as if our health don’t also suffer because we eat way too much meat than we need.

That’s why I’m joining 100 other MPs, across parties, to call on our pension fund to remove its investments in fossil fuels. Our words in Paris must be matched by our actions in parliament – our constituents expect nothing less. This starts, but by no means finishes, with where we invest millions of pounds through our pensions. But we need to open up this conversation beyond parliament to ensure a just transition to a green economy.

This campaign is the fastest growing divestment movement of all time, which has seen more than $5tn of assets divested across more than 800 institutions. Campaigning for our universities, workplaces, unions, and pension funds to divest is one important way we can help to build a more sustainable society. Parliament must play its part.


We may be facing diverse issues right now but it should not distract us from the most important of all, climate change. All our problems pale in comparison to the danger and disruption it will cause if climate change continues to progress over the next few years. The only planet we call home may be gone forever along with us. We know that the problem rooted from us and it is only but right for us to correct our mistakes. Our over-reliance on fossil fuel may have allowed all these innovations to exist and flourish for years now but they can also be the means to our end.

Green technology should be developed and supported and everybody should look into possible energy source alternatives without disrupting the natural world order right now. Funds should be properly allocated and give priority to those showing promise in solving many of the world’s environmental issues and not be a part of the problem anymore. It may look bleak right now but we’ll be able to find that silver lining if we just all set aside our differences and work together in saving our home.

The article How Can We Beat Climate Change was initially seen on


Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Transform Your Business Through Blogging

Many business owners often make the mistake of underestimating the power of the written content. They think most contents or blogs do not generate money. They are just a waste of time, effort, and the company’s resources. Well, times have definitely changed because words mean so much more and they certainly can bring in all the bucks. With the advent of the World Wide Web, a lot of things have gone digital and have been automated. Your business doesn’t stop simply because the sun is down and the moon is up and your store doesn’t necessarily have to be open 24/7 for it to keep on making money. It may sound like a sorcery in previous decades but this is the reality of our modern times. You can keep growing your business, making sales, and reaching out to your target customers any time of the day as long as you establish and maintain your online presence.

Smart technology enabled individuals and businesses alike to stay connected to the world on their fingertips regardless of time and distance. It is a new frontier that is proving highly beneficial to those who have the foresight to comprehend what all these changes mean to the global economy. And blogging plays a more pivotal role than ever in any institution or company because it communicates their message to the public at all times without fail as long as they are able to capture the words (and the message) they want to convey.

If you are marketing to businesses or consumers, you need to have blog posts in your arsenal. Yes, you will leverage other content marketing channels and communication mediums, but blogging should rank high on your list of content assets to develop.

Need some ammo to make the case? Let me give you three.

  1. Stats don’t lie.

In a survey delivered to B2B marketers, respondents revealed that blogging (65%), social media (64%) and case studies (64%) were the top three marketing content and formats utilized. In fact, 80% of B2B marketers and 75% of B2C marketers say they include blogging among their current techniques.

On top of that, data shows companies that published 16-plus blog posts per month got about 4.5 times the leads than companies publishing zero to four monthly posts. And 53% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority.


Remember that a big majority of the population is so active on social media these days. You can devise your blogs or contents to be posted on your company’s social media channels or provide a link that directs the customer to your website where they can see for themselves what your company is all about and read about all the things that you can offer on the table. You don’t have to be there all the time to answer customer questions. Just whip up some really helpful contents that will guide your readers (and hopefully, future customers) on just about every aspect of your business. You’ll be surprised how many of these curious onlookers were converted to actual sales because they found what they need through your blog or the amazing content you provide on your own site or social media account. By using the right words, you also make your site stand out among the web traffic and among the first ones that the public sees during regular browser searches.

If you’re also not yet sold on the idea, here are five reasons why you should seriously consider blogging for your business:

Show the personality behind your business

Because your customers buy into the 1% that makes your business different rather than the 99% that makes you the same as every other competitor, a blog can give you the chance to showcase your uniqueness in the way you write and the topics you choose to write about. By writing blog pieces that are related to what your business and employees are most passionate about, you can ‘humanise’ your brand, making it more relatable and ultimately more likeable too.

Connect with your customers

Your blog can add great value to the lives of your customers, and it can do so by addressing topical issues or sharing solutions to the problems they are faced with. Not only will it give you the opportunity to engage in discussions with your current customers, but it can also serve as a source for reaching and forming new relationships with potential prospects. The transparency and authority you show on certain subjects is synonymous with fostering trust and credibility in the eyes of your customers.


If you have the flair for writing, take advantage of it and showcase to the world what sets your business apart from the rest. If you are not that savvy with words, hire someone who is to convey the message you want to share with others and attract the kind of traffic that you want. Of course, you should always make it a point that all your materials are related to your business or the niche you are in and should be timely and relevant as well. Spice things up with seasonal contents that share the sentiments of the public or gain your authority in the filed by publishing contents that talks about your mastery of the product or service you are offering. Learn to strategize with the type of content you post and over time, people will flock to your site and your business because you provide them real value for their money, which is what makes a lasting impression to the public.

Transform Your Business Through Blogging See more on: The Pod Blaze Blog


Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Technology Saves The Day: Special Needs No More

We may have a love-hate relationship with technology at times. We love how it made our lives convenient and colorful and virtually erased the word boredom in our dictionary. You’ll never run out of things to do with a smartphone in hand. You don’t even have to go anywhere outside of your room but still stay up-to-day on all the latest happenings and even be able to communicate to family and friends who are thousands of miles away from us. Yet, that is indeed the power of technological innovations. It is simply mind-boggling. Yet no matter how awesome it is, it has its drawbacks and probably just as many as its niceties. First of all, they cost money – a whole lot of it. They are high-maintenance as well. Upkeep and repair costs can seriously endanger your wallet. Electricity consumption likewise rises not to mention all of the dangers it poses to the environment. People get lazier too. We, as a whole, tend to rely on these tech contrivances to do things for us, hence we forget many important life skills that the young ones aren’t familiar with as well.

However, there is one group that also greatly benefited from the rise of technology – those with special needs. Back in the days, communication, (medical) care, transportation, etc. of the differently abled are almost next to impossible. If they are doable, they may come at a high expense. Fortunately, technology has solved many of these problems for them and made their lives just as comfortable and safe as the rest of the population who are perfectly normal and with no physical limitations. It has allowed them to communicate to the world alongside the rest of us and made way for safe travels and differently abled-friendly establishments both private and public. They are no longer highly dependent on other people to do things for them because they can now do it for themselves with little to no help at all since technology is always there to lend a helping hand. Many of them can even hold jobs to support their needs and finally become a part of the productive workforce.

“When you make way for the specially-abled, you automatically make for way others and create opportunities for revenue generation as well.”

Reiterating the important role of technology in enabling differently-abled people, Moses, who is visually-impaired, said, “Technological solutions have been a gamechanger in our lives, giving us control of our own lives. They have opened up job opportunities for people from the differently-abled community, opportunities that were not viable earlier.”

Adding to the discussion, Arun Cherian said,

“Technology has indeed been a tool that enabled many special-abled. However, the need of the hour is to provide high-quality, innovative, and helpful technologies at cost-effective rates. It is essential to ensure that there is a healthy ecosystem (through policies, subsidies, and CSR efforts) that sustains and helps these kinds of technologies roll out into the market.”


We all love technology. Who doesn’t, right? You can spend hours loon in your smartphone watching one video after the other without a care in the world or what time it is already. However, price remains to be an issue even if competition is healthy in the market especially for highly-specialized gadgets that the differently abled needs to help them enjoy normal lives. That persists to be a major challenge for these people and will probably be until the next few years. The industry is still budding and far from perfect but that means there are also lots of room for improvement and other areas the expert can look into and build innovative devices that will address perennial needs of those with handicaps.

Special Needs

Special needs have for years been a critical issue in learning. The traditional classroom has in the past been unable to take care of students who have special needs. The rigid and highly standardized procedures that teachers and students must go through neglect learners with special needs. The accessible and interactive nature of online learning creates an enabling environment for students with special needs to have an equal opportunity at learning. Teachers can also use the various applications availed by technology to assist learners with special needs.

Technology has been able to transform and support education in numerous ways. The internet has made learning affordable and accessible to almost everyone who is willing to learn. Technology has allowed students to access world-class education to help them thrive in the 21st-century’s global economy.


Aside from providing better and a more widespread access to learning by improving transportation for those with special needs, they also have the option not to leave their homes and take classes in front of their computers instead. With that, they can enroll in different modules or courses without the added hassle of everyday travel or commute. Online learning platforms even cater to different needs and the technology is still improving as of this time.

Whatever your limitation is, experts continue to find solutions to meeting your needs and providing you with an opportunity to be of equal footing to those with perfectly-abled bodies by harnessing the technology they need to break out of their limitations and make the most of their remaining senses to function as an individual. Whether it is in education or in the global workforce, those with special needs find more and more opportunities to develop to their fullest potential and not be hindered by whatever physical limitation they have.

Technology Saves The Day: Special Needs No More See more on: Blog


Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Poverty Persists In These Modern Times

Unequal wealth distribution had always been an issue in our lives. Since time immemorial, there had always been conflicts and misunderstanding because some people had more than they’ll ever need while many suffer from hunger and poverty. Don’t be misled to believe that those times are way behind us now. We may live in a world full of technological innovations and advancements but poverty still lingers all around you. Some can afford to buy all those lavish and sophisticated gadgets while one family spends the night in the cold and without food to qualm their hungry stomach. If one thing is true, it is that wealth inequality is more apparent now more than ever since you can easily tell from the material things a person possess how well or badly they are doing in life. It really feels like a smack in the face when you see privileged individuals waste money on nonsense things and luxurious whims and fancies when a big majority of the world’s population can’t even afford to feed themselves and their family or put a roof above their heads. And you don’t even have to live in third-world countries to witness this first-hand as poverty is also a lingering problem in many progressive nations.

Whether it is in the US or in some parts of Europe, you can see homeless people begging for money and food but still the government seems is not doing anything about it. The economy is performing poorly. That is understandable and many people went out of work but to see a glaring number of people who are out of work and unable to provide for themselves keep on growing higher over the years is just plain grim. Perhaps things are more expensive now and other people feel the impact of basic commodities rising but it should not be an acceptable reason to justify the growing poverty line even in rich and powerful nations. Poverty is just the tip of the iceberg because along comes with it a myriad of other problems involving health, safety, and many others because people do drastic things during desperate times. (more…)

The following article Poverty Persists In These Modern Times was first seen on PB


Wednesday, 3 January 2018

The Unexpected Benefits Of The Marijuana Legalization

Marijuana had always been stigmatized for the longest time. Back in the days, people will frown out at you if they ever heard you were smoking weed because that’s what most Hippies do. We all know it as the plant that gives you an unnatural high and has been the subject of countless arguments in the past but recent studies of weed are showing us a different side of it. Of course, innovation played a big part as a different breed of the plant is not being cultivated for its medicinal properties and not just a pick-me-upper that it was of yesteryears. The growing popularity of cannabis in the medical circle definitely caught the attention of both those who are pro and con for the marijuana legalization. People claim it has helped them battle chronic illnesses the modern pharmacology and science weren’t able to alleviate and address.

Studies have also been popping here and there giving us factual information on the bright side of marijuana and why it deserves to be legalized and offered to individuals who can find a good use for it in improving their health and prolonging their lives. Even recreational marijuana is not to be left behind and is passed by legislators in various states all over the country. However, the marijuana legalization also has other benefits that weren’t highlighted in talks involving this humble plant. As more people discover marijuana, the lower the numbers of those individuals engaging in prohibited drug use and even that of teens taking marijuana behind everyone’s back. Maybe its legalization showed them not to do it anymore in hiding and get it from legit sellers or pay a visit to their doctors to find out if they are eligible for medical marijuana, for instance. And if they don’t, then they just don’t have access to it anymore. That’s it.

Following legalization, the rate of adolescent marijuana use in Colorado has fallen to its lowest level in nearly a decade, according to new federal survey data.

State-level numbers from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health show that a little more than 9 percent of Colorado teens age 12 to 17 used marijuana monthly in 2015 and 2016, a statistically significant drop from the prior period. That's the lowest rate of monthly marijuana use in the state since 2007 and 2008.

And it's not just marijuana: Rates of teen alcohol, tobacco and heroin use are down sharply in the state, as well.


Why take drugs and marijuana illegally when it is now legal, after all. The probable reasoning behind it may also be that there are fewer sellers now in the black market than there was in the past when they can openly open a marijuana business without having any trouble with the authorities. It makes sense when you look at it that way. You no longer have to inconvenience yourself devising various schemes because you can safely sell weed right under the authorities’ noses and nobody will ever question you for it. And as a result, teens and other under-aged minors no longer have resources where they can buy weed illegally and thus had to stop the habit unless they can secure means in which to buy it legally.

While legalization opponents have long argued that ending prohibition would lead to skyrocketing use by young people, that doesn’t seem to be happening.

Advocates, on the other hand, have maintained that regulating and controlling the cannabis market and instituting strict age restrictions would actually give teens less access to marijuana than they had when it was illegal and there were no checks for age at the point of sale.

In a Facebook post, cannabis consulting firm Freedman and Koski, Inc, which is run by Colorado’s former top marijuana official, said that the drop in teen use in the state “coincides with an increase in funding prevention programs from cannabis taxes.”


At least, pro-marijuana legalization can add this little detail to strengthen their argument why cannabis should be legalized in more US states from now on. Whether it is for medical or recreational use, making it legal is a great way to monitor the market and discourage people from buying it illegally when they can purchase one in broad daylight if they pass all the eligibilities. And this move is a big boost to the economy especially now that the government can collect taxes from marijuana growers and sellers and businessmen selling marijuana-related accessories like dab pipes and oil rigs when before they couldn’t since it was sold underground. The growth spurt in this market has also opened up employment and livelihood opportunities to many people and thus allow them to earn an honest and decent living knowing that marijuana isn’t that bad after all.

The Unexpected Benefits Of The Marijuana Legalization was first seen on


Friday, 8 December 2017

Special Needs Met By UberASSIST

Not all of us have the same needs. While there are general necessities we all require to live, some require even more than the average Joe. It is unfortunate that some people have to be born with a disability and cripple them for life but there are those who get injured and disabled in the course of their lifetime. Living life is a bit harder for them as they don’t have all the senses normal people have to help them get through life. They can somehow manage when they are at home but it is an entirely different story when they are out of the house.

The stigma associated with any disability aside from seeing the raised eyebrows of the people around them aren’t just the only hurdles these people face. Moving around is actually one of the biggest problems since many establishments do not yet have the facility to accommodate them. Fortunately, this issue is continuously being addressed over the years. Now, Uber is presenting those with handicaps a better way to travel with UberASSIST.

UberASSIST was launched in a partnership with Transportation For All (T4A), an organisation that provides disability equality training for Uber's drivers on how to assist those with different access needs. 

Those drivers would be equipped with better skills to assist passengers with physical, hearing and visual impairments as well as those who need assistance during their rides. For riders, uberASSIST would be just a button tap away. The price will be the same as a regular uberX ride, according to a press release from the app-based private hire company and pioneer in the "sharing economy".

Siripa Jungsawat, general manager of Uber Thailand, said that uberASSIST showcases how innovative ideas benefit society and provide passengers with greater choice and control in their day to day activities. With uberASSIST, passengers with access needs would enjoy greater independence and opportunities.


While this initiative has only been launched in Bangkok, Thailand, it is baby steps to helping those with disabilities a stress-free way of traveling and going about their day without having to worry about commuting or traveling in a crowd especially in a country that is not as progressive as Thailand and commuting can be such a hassle even for a normal person. With the help of UberASSIST, Uber drivers will get trained on how to respond to the various special needs of individuals with disabilities without any markup on the price of the ride. Perhaps that’s the best news of all for everyone especially those with disabilities.

Uber's technology allows passengers to know their driver and vehicle details, estimate their arrival time, view their estimated fares before taking a trip, and allow them to stay in contact with their families throughout the ride through the "share my trip function". UberASSIST is not an ambulance service but is a new choice for passengers in need of assistance during their daily travels, whether they have special needs or are elderly passengers. There are 1.8 million people with disabilities and 12 million elderly people in Thailand. In market terms, this is a huge segment to capture.


No man is an island. It’s like a cliché as old as time. So, we can’t just stay cooped up at home and not interact with the rest of the world. We all go out and make our days productive. The same thing applies to people with special needs. Some of them may be blind, deaf, mute, or physically have other types of disabilities but that does not mean they can’t enjoy whatever the world has to offer that many of us take for granted on a daily basis.

Let’s give a big shout out to Uber for going the extra mile and finding ways to make transportation safer and more efficient for those with handicaps because not all transportation companies will do that. Pressure on key associations will help. Maybe Uber will also implement this project in other countries and make an even bigger positive difference to this world because we can all live with a little less hate and more love, understanding, and tolerance of each other’s differences.

The following blog article Special Needs Met By UberASSIST is republished from PB


Public Education For All: Will It Just Be A Dream?

Progress is only made possible through education. You can learn everything you need in order to succeed in life in the four corners of the c...