Tips to Help the Earth… From Anywhere in the World
Our environment is struggling. For too long we have taken from the Earth without giving back. It’s time to do something about it: Let’s look at some very small and simple things you can do at work to help the environment.
Small things add up. If 100 people do 100 small things it starts to make a big difference. Please read these tips and then forward them to your friends and co-workers.
Let’s see if we can make a difference. These tips are easy to implement.
Turn off your lights, computer screens etc. when leaving…
Lights are the biggest killer of energy in the corporate world. Massive buildings like the Empire State Building have millions of lights and they leave them all on, all night. What a waste.
Switch to compact fluorescent lamps
These bulbs are the spiral ones as opposed to the traditional round light bulb. Using one of these lasts as long as SIX traditional globes and saves up to 75% of the energy. They cost a bit more off the shelf but save heaps in long term costs. Easy.
Turn things off at the power point
At the end of the day we usually just turn things off at their console switch instead of reaching around and turning them off at the power point. Most people do not realize that a lot of power is wasted when you leave the power point on.
Catch the bus to work
There really is no advantage in driving to work unless you have to leave and come back during the day. The bus is cheaper and it is much better for the environment. Each car that you take off the road saves thousands of pounds of greenhouse gases every year. By catching the bus you will be saving money and helping the Earth.
Make sure the work kitchen fridge is not leaking
Fridges that leak air outside because of poor seals waste a lot of energy. Be the one to glue it back on or if the job requires more attention submit an anonymous complaints saying that the fridge is a safety concern and needs to be fixed. This should also get management off their butts!
We’d love to know what you are doing to help the environment.
At Babylon, we believe in healing the world, and instead of buying a dictionary made from trees, you can go Green with our translation software. And in an effort to make this world a better place, in honor of Earth Day, we will happily offer you a 50% discount on Babylon until May 13th, 2012.
My Life in Translation: “The Paris Tense”
By Cara Waterfall
Cara Waterfall is an independent writer and blogger. Formerly Toronto-based, she now lives in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. She blogs at www.caraincocody.com. You can also find her at www.belledejournal.com.
When writer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette was asked what her life’s dream was, she haughtily replied: “And what would I do with a single dream?”
While quantity seemed to matter to Colette, I only had one dream—to live in Paris. No other city had the same cachet: it so flawlessly manifested the spirit of romance and opportunity.
Finally, the stars aligned. I was reveling in the flexibility of student life and my boyfriend was pondering a leave of absence. The more we discussed it, the more it seemed feasible. We were also eager to reconnect with family who conveniently lived in Paris. It seemed like the universe was shrieking at us to take a chance: profitez de l’instant!
We were thinking in the euphoric long term so we publicly declared our departure in writing and in person; our one-way tickets were booked, our living quarters arranged.
It was time to navigate our exquisite—albeit ill-defined—future.
Each day we would walk across the Pont des Arts. It was the city in microcosm, a montage of unfolding, miniature dramas that defined Paris and Parisians. On cloudless days, painters, picnickers and photographers jostled for space; at night, it was blanketed by students drunk on wine (and youth) and couples drunk on each other. Moonlighting musicians supplied the score near stars embedded in the Seine.
On this bridge, the lovesick had found another way to make the ephemeral permanent: les cadenas d’amour cascaded over its railings like chains.
Naturally, the Parisians detested the padlocks: they were removed from the bridge with much pomp and circumstance. However, they later returned to reclaim their place on the Pont des Arts—a chivalric outcry against the official culture of Paris.
“It’s a cultural thing.”
Whenever my boyfriend—who is Parisian—and I would disagree about anything, he would offhandedly say: “It’s a cultural thing.”
It’s true that Paris is a culture—and state of mind—unto itself. Two months into our experiment, my adopted city was starting to give me a headache. I wasn’t enamored with the practicalities of living there: When would my French repair itself? How quickly could I get my British passport? Where would I work?
While my boyfriend could sidestep barriers of language and culture to a certain extent, the tides of wanting to belong tugged me in every direction. And the Parisians were as elusive as the city itself, keeping me at arm’s length while they bumped into me at every turn.
New York Times journalist Milton Mayer described this paradox in his article on the Parisian state of mind:
“The American goes to Paris, always has, and comes back and tells his neighbor, always does, how exorbitant and inhospitable it is, how rapacious and selfish and unaccommodating and unresponsive it is, how dirty and noisy it is—and the next summer his neighbor goes to Paris. They’re both right.”
Still, there were modest victories: immersed in the euphony of French, I started to glean the meanings of words. And thanks to my boyfriend’s nephews, animal names were added to my lexicon:biche, écureuil, guépard. (This newfound vocabulary did not qualify me as a scintillating conversationalist, but was excellent fodder for road trips and board games.)
Gradually we began to create routines: the morning stroll for “un traditionnel, s’il vous plaît”; café outings in Montmartre; the 8 o’clock news on France 2 with David Pujadas.
Dinnertimes were sacred: small feasts of endives, steak and fromage. Our utensils dipped towards ivory plates cleaving the fragrant air, our napkins feathered with wine stains and breadcrumbs.
We were beginning to picture ourselves as more than bit players in these Parisian vignettes.
Just Trust Me for Now
As it turns out, our love affair with Paris did not guarantee the city would love us back. We were only meant to be part-time residents of Paris for now—our long-term plans abridged by the realities of economics and employment.
We made one last visit to the Pont des Arts. At sunset, the padlocks resembled the relics of unrequited love. (I had heard that some had been removed and re-sold as scrap—a cruel finish to an auspicious beginning.)
I was reminded of what writer Adam Gopnik, who had lived in Paris, had to say about public displays of love:
“Public declarations of eternal loyalty are the best short-term erotic tactic, as generations of lovers have learned—there is no true long run, no final result that will make sense of everything, only an endless sequence of short runs placed end to end. I love you forever really means Just trust me for now, which is all it ever means.”
It did seem like our dream had had a short run. But that night our Parisian future seemed no less sublime for being finite. We dispensed with the tenses; now there was no mood but the imperative.
Going to Warsaw or Prague? We’ve Got You Covered
GUINNESS WORLD RECORD for Babylon.com
Last week was a festive week for us, as Babylon.com was awarded a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® certificate for the Most downloads of a translation software with over 100 million users. This is a huge achievement, and we are very happy to help tons of people communicate all over the world!
But the good news didn’t stopped there. At the same time, Babylon.com also entered the list of the 100 Most Popular Websites Worldwide.
This is what Rob Molloy, from Guinness World Records, said about us:
“This new Guinness World Records title reflects the significant reach and popularity of Babylon’s translation services. It is a major achievement for Babylon and comes hot on the heels of recent records for Firefox, Facebook and Ustream. We’ve seen Firefox 3.0 gain the title for Most downloads of a software application in 24 hours, Facebook reclaim the Most likes on a Facebook page title and Ustream named as the online service ingesting the most video content. After the tallest and shortest people in the world, digital records are now the ones that we get most enquiries about and it’s clear that the importance of these records will continue to grow and grow.”
We are very proud to be one of the top 100 sites on the Internet with over 100 million users, and to support 100 million translation requests a day. Back1997, when Babylon launched its first dictionary software, we could never imagined that so many people, from over 200 countries and territories would be using our software now. And since then, for the past 14 years, we have been, and still are, committed to continually improve and innovate in language solutions.
Thanks to all of you who chose Babylon and helped us become a lasting piece of history.
New Babylon Version!
A new Babylon version is out! Now you can access our Facebook page through the software.
Solange Leben da ist, gibt es auch Glück