Small Actions

Bob Hughes · September 30, 2016
Pendulum in Action, write stuff, writing by hand, small actions

Cursive may be fading as a course in school, but people still do a lot of writing by hand. And when they do they’re likely to use something they give little thought to but that changed how people communicate: the ballpoint pen.

This week marked the 117th birthday of László József Bíró, who invented of the first commercially successful modern ballpoint pen, and patented it in 1938 (in some countries and certain languages, Biro’s name has become the term for a ballpoint pen: the word […]

Bob Hughes · September 16, 2016
Pendulum in Action, small actions, tickets that help the poor

No one likes parking tickets, but one small town has found a way to make them more tolerable (or less of a pain to pay).

The police department of Strasburg, Virginia, in Shenandoah County, is allowing residents to donate 10 canned food items in exchange for payment on parking tickets. The police department will then donate the canned food to the Compassion Cupboard of Strasburg, a local food pantry. (This program is in effect into December.)

Hunger remains a problem around the […]

Bob Hughes · September 15, 2016
Pendulum in Action, small actions, health care expenses

Many countries offer government-sponsored healthcare, which allows even the most modestly paid workers to have access to doctors. The United States, of course, has government-mandated healthcare, which means that everyone needs to have healthcare, but most people have to pay for it themselves. And healthcare in the U.S. be shockingly expensive. So despite the threat of fines for not having healthcare, a lot of people do without and hope for the best.

This is especially hard for workers […]

Bob Hughes · September 09, 2016
Pendulum in Action, small actions, technology, car as energy source, electric cars

The world of automobiles is changing, as everyone knows. More electric cars are on the roads. Self-driving automobiles are already among us, and will become more common as the years roll on. And more and more we’re probably going to depend less and less on gasoline to fill our tanks. In fact, in Norway in 2025, they will no longer sell cars that need gas – all will be electric.

A new development is even more eye-opening: Some electric cars may be able to recharge themselves and then […]

Bob Hughes · September 08, 2016
Pendulum in Action, fresh produce, fresh vegetables and fruits

It’s hard for those on a fixed income to get the fresh foods they want and need, especially in big cities. But thanks to a new initiative by GrowNYC, the nonprofit organization that runs New York’s many greenmarkets, thousands of people may soon have easy and affordable access to fresh produce.

New York has announced the development of the New York State Greenmarket Regional Food Hub, a new $20 million food hub that will be based in a […]

Bob Hughes · September 02, 2016
Pendulum in Action, small actions, classical music, pianos on stations

I noticed something quite pleasing in some of the stations I’ve recently hurried through in Paris: pianos. Not only that, piano music. Played by passengers who, like me, came upon the keyboards there and decided to make music.

Now, most subway stations around the world have musicians stationed here and there, busking for change. And some subway cars feature, for better or worse, wandering musicians (or performers) who annoy, or thrill (depending on your tolerance) passengers with their […]

Bob Hughes · August 26, 2016
Pendulum in action, small actions, good neighbor

As more incidents of hate and intolerance surface around the country in today’s charged atmosphere of us-against-them, it’s good to know that some people are still looking out for their neighbors.

While the Phillips family, of Tenino, Washington, was vacationing, their car and home were marked by horrible racist graffiti. The family’s neighbors, not wanting them to return home to such a disgusting display of hatred, took it upon themselves to clear the house and car of the hateful […]

Bob Hughes · August 19, 2016
Pendulum in Action, flood relief, small actions

The destructive and widespread flooding in Louisiana has left more than 30,000 people without homes, to name just one impact that this massive meteorological event has had on a state that has been buffeted too often by turbulent weather events.

It can be overwhelming for those who want to help to know where to begin, or how, exactly, they can assist those in need.

People need food, shelter and clothing. They need help with loved ones. They need assistance for medical problems. […]

Bob Hughes · August 18, 2016
Pendulum in Action, small actions, helping the hungry

News surrounding the Olympic Games in Rio has included, of course, the tremendous performances of world-class athletes, but also accusations of doping, incidents of bad sportsmanship and the problems of hosting an elite event in a city, and nation, that remains beset by poverty and hunger.

But thankfully, as top athletes have had access to a surplus of food during the Olympics, some chefs have risen to the challenge like champions themselves. An initiative to make smarter use of food […]

Bob Hughes · August 12, 2016
Pendulum in Action, WE Cycle, teaches empathy, small actions

Despite our living in a community-minded WE Cycle, more and more of us are narcissists. This self-centered tendency (or even pathology) has led to further alienation among people, even as social media allows for greater virtual engagement with each other. At the same time social media permits more vaunting of one’s own exploits and a look-at-me tendency that can lead to blocking out other points of view. This narcissism has negative effects on society, as people think less of what others […]