What’s Up World? #20

Published on MTV’s international pro-social website MTV Voices on 13.03.13

What’s Up World?
Between the ‘cracks’ of the world’s headlines.

naked-cycle

As Bare as you Dare

Residents of the world’s most livable city have taken to the streets in nothing but their smiles and stackhats (that’s Australian for helmet).

The annual World Naked Bike Ride took place in Melbourne, Australia last week to raise awareness of the vulnerability of cyclists, humanity and nature in the face of cars, aggression, consumerism and non-renewable energy. Clothing was optional, but helmets and sunscreen were obligatory (safety first).

Warning: not safe for work, numerous nipples and risk of doodle too high.

How the rich get richer

As part of their 2013 World’s Billionaires series, Forbes have put together a kind of fun, kind of astounding interactive page called the Billionaire Brand Industrial Complex, where you can find out whose pockets get lined every time you buy a big brand name product.

It’s fun because it not only includes things we buy, like M&Ms, Ray Bans, Red Bull and Tic Tacs, but also brands we use, like Google, eBay, HBO and Amazon. It’s astounding because it shows you can become a billionaire by selling soup, birthday cards, plastic cups or girdles.

Fact of the day: Bubba’s mum is not the one getting rich off Bubba Gump Shrimp.

Is there anything less cool than killing baby elephants? Probably not.

Elephant ivory poaching isn’t a new game – it’s been going on across the beautiful continent of Africa since the early 1980s, but unfortunately it hasn’t gone out of fashion.

In fact, elephants are being pushed towards extinction much faster than previously thought. There are less than half the number of elephants living in Central African forests than there were 10 years ago, and the vast majority have been shot by poachers for their ivory tusks.

Organized criminal gangs are trafficking ivory in unprecedented volumes, say wildlife campaigners TRAFFIC, to meet the growing demand amongst Asia’s rising affluent classes for use in traditional medicines and ornaments. Not cool!

It’s never too late

Frederick J Butler was born in 1906. He dropped out of school in his early teens to help support his family, he served in the US Army during World War II from 1941-1945, he retired from the workforce in 1975 and last week he graduated from high school.

At 106 years old, Frederick became the very first graduating member of the Beverly High School Class of 2013, having always regretted not having the opportunity to pursue education in his childhood. Although he never let the lack of diploma slow him down, Frederick always impress upon his children and grandchildren the importance of education.

Now Frederick has a day named after him. And how many people get to tell their school principal, “I remember when you played football”? High five Fred.

Something brewing in your part of the world? We want to know about it. Tweet @its_alicia or @mtvvoices using the hashtag #WhatsUpWorld

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