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Be Smart When Buying A Used Car

Even though it can save you thousands of dollars, buying a used car can be stressful. 

I always wonder why the car is being sold because I don’t want to buy someone’s lemon! I just found this handy online tool that checks to see if there are any recalls on the car you’re considering buying.  By submitting the car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), you’ll find out if the car is missing any safety recalls over the past 15 years.

Keep this handy for the next time you need to buy a used car, or check your current cars to make sure you didn’t miss a safety recall on the cars you drive today.

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Who Wears the Cyber Pants In Your Family?

I am shocked when I hear about parents giving their children “privacy” and “personal rights” when it comes to their social media interactions and passwords.  Children, and even teens, don’t have the maturity to make good decisions on their own, and can become victims of cyber prowlers. When kids know their parents are actively involved and looking at their social media posts, they’ll stay out of trouble.  And parents should know all of their children’s passwords and check their accounts to protect them from fraudulent activities.

Parents, you are NOT your children’s best friends.  Plain and simple: you are their parents.  By keeping all of their passwords in a safe and secure location, you’ll be a great resource to them when they forget the passwords.  And, most importantly, you can check their accounts periodically and talk to them about their activities.  Be a part of their lives – both at home and in cyberspace.

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TEDxMeritAcademy Video: Nicole D'Arcy & Anna Krawisc's "Ode to Advanced Directives"

To offer both comic relief and valuable medical advice, Nicole D’Arcy and Anna Krawisc – along with the Stanford Video Department – perform a music video. 

Come see this today, Monday, August 14th at 7:00 pm at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz.  Get your tickets at TEDxMeritAcademy.com or at the door. 

TEDxMeritAcademy Speaker David Vasquez

Thrilled that we are hosting a TEDx event at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz! Join us on Aug 14, 2017 at 7 pm.  Get your tickets for TEDxMeritAcademy at wwwtedxmeritacademy.com.  Meet David Vasquez, one of our speakers!

“What if there actually IS an energy ‘magic bullet’?”

David Vasquez is going to challenge the cliched notion in the energy world that “there are no ‘magic bullets’. There’s a breakthrough energy technology from an engineer-scientist-inventor in Arizona named Roy McAlister.  He’s developed a new liquid fuel for both motor vehicles and power plants called METROL that is typically made from garbage and sewage and is  not only clean, safe, affordable, unlimited in supply, and 100% clean, but actually  cleans the air around it.  The implications for both climate change, environment, and world economic prosperity in general are profound.

About David Vasquez:
David Vasquez is a college instructor, book author, computer-graphic specialist, and filmmaker who is focused on renewable energy and sustainable urban design.  He has a doctorate degree mixing cognitive science with science education and he wrote a book about next-generation solar-hydrogen railway-systiems. His professional role has been as VISUALIZER of outside-the-box environmental solutions. He uses this craft both (a) as an independent consultant to public planning agencies in the SF Bay Area, and (b) to educate graduate students in a Landscape Design Dept. (Academy of Art University, SF) about how to create emotionally-engaging promotional images of proposed public projects.

TEDxMeritAcademy Speaker Pascal Costa

Thrilled that we are hosting a TEDx event at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz! Join us on Aug 14, 2017 at 7 pm.  Get your tickets for TEDxMeritAcademy at wwwtedxmeritacademy.com.  Meet Pascal Costa, one of our speakers!

“How to stop overpopulation before we reach 10 billion people on Earth”

Overpopulation is a huge problem. We have too many people, and because of our immense growth experienced in the last century, we are experiencing new problems. Because of overpopulation, we have recklessly produced dirty energy and destroyed fertile land to meet the needs of our ever-expanding population. Forests have been decimated in order to make room for farmland and to produce lumber. We have exploited natural resources such as soil, water minerals, oil, and coal because we have grown dependent on them. As a result of our growing numbers and exploitation of natural resources, we have caused the extinction of 130 mammal species, and have endangered 250 species. Today, about 1000 species are now threatened. Through overpopulation, we have increased pollution, consumption, and the deterioration of land. There’s a simple way to reduce the world’s population and I’ll share my idea with you.

About Pascal Costa:
Pascal Costa founded Preventing OverPopulation, a non-profit organization that educates child-bearing people about how their decisions to have children directly affect the world.  She has presented her project at the Earth Day Santa Cruz festival and she was interviewed on Earth Watch Radio. Pascal recently graduated from high school and plans to continue to advocate for population control in college.

TEDxMeritAcademy Speaker Tim Niemier

Thrilled that we are hosting a TEDx event at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz! Join us on Aug 14, 2017 at 7 pm.  Get your tickets for TEDxMeritAcademy at wwwtedxmeritacademy.com.  Meet Tim Niemier, one of our speakers!

“How can we stop the flow of plastic pollution into our oceans?”

We need healthy oceans, but we can’t give up our plastic. Maybe there’s a way that we can have healthy oceans and still use plastic. If we create value for recycled plastic as a new resource, we can prevent it from harming our life-sustaining oceans. Tim will discuss a clever way of combining great worldwide designs with an inexpensive local recycling process that can stop the flow of plastics into our oceans.

About Tim Niemier:
Tim’s goal in life is to put “A billion butts in boats in healthy water.” He is the founder and designer/entrepreneur who introduced the sit-on- top Ocean Kayak to the world. These kayaks revolutionized all paddle sports because it made kayaking water-friendly. Bringing millions of people into the water makes them appreciate the delicate balance of our eco systems. Tim was 100% responsible for all post-consumer waste and pioneered product stewardship in the water-sport industry and other endeavors.  He also continues to lead many environmental organizations with creative and sustainable innovations. Tim enjoys finding solutions to cleaning the ocean using resource management and recycling.

TEDxMeritAcademy Speaker Joe Jordan

Thrilled that we are hosting a TEDx event at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz! Join us on Aug 14, 2017 at 7 pm.  Get your tickets for TEDxMeritAcademy at wwwtedxmeritacademy.com.  Meet Joe Jordan, one of our speakers!

The Sky’s the Limit:  Pathways to SOLUTIONS”

The gigantic numbers making up humanity, face huge problems like never before.  Solving our way out of this mess will require revolutions in both technical prowess and in morality, fairness and compassion with which we treat one another.  It is time for the “sleeping giant” of the MANY, to wake up, take heart, and lead.   Here we highlight promising actions that we all can DO to save some semblance of a caring civilization and a hospitable natural environment.  “Magic communications”, re-inventing the media from the ground up, can enhance awareness & intelligence as our species grows some wisdom.

About Joe Jordan:
Joe Jordan did atmospheric and space research at NASA/Ames and the SETI Institute (Mountain View) for decades, studying the two largely unrelated problems of stratospheric ozone depletion and tropospheric climate change. Since then he’s been working on solutions, involving education and training (for a new “green workforce”, etc.), and media outreach.  He has long been on the Board of Directors of Ecology Action of Santa Cruz, and was the key driver steering that organization toward its present multi-million-dollar enterprise of promoting and implementing energy and water efficiency throughout California. He initiated the large installations of solar-electric (“PV”) systems on several of the Santa Cruz City Schools, as well as the very first PV systems ever to be located on public buildings in that town. Joe is currently co-hosting a new radio-show/podcast-series/social-media-enterprise called “Planet Watch” on KSCO.

TEDx MeritAcademy Speaker Martin Gaskell

Thrilled that we are hosting a TEDx event at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz! Join us on Aug 14, 2017 at 7 pm.  Get your tickets for TEDxMeritAcademy at wwwtedxmeritacademy.com.  Meet Martin Gaskell, one of our speakers!

“Supermassive black holes: the most powerful objects in the universe”

Have you ever wondered whether black holes exist?  And if so, how do astronomers study them?  What would it be like to be close to a black hole?  UCSC astrophysicist Dr. Martin Gaskell has spent his career studying what happens around supermassive black holes in the centers of distant galaxies.  He explains in simple, everyday language recent progress in understanding what is going on around these extraordinary objects as they eat up matter around them.

About Martin Gaskell:
Martin Gaskell is a researcher in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at UCSC. He has over four decades of experience working on issues related to supermassive black holes (including a Ph.D.), a couple of hundred publications, and many research grants. He was a finalist for five years in a row for top teaching award at the University of Nebraska. Martin also engages in many popular talks to the public.

TEDx Merit Academy Speaker Gregory Gavin

Thrilled that we are hosting a TEDx event at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz! Join us on Aug 14, 2017 at 7 pm.  Get your tickets for TEDxMeritAcademy at wwwtedxmeritacademy.com.  Meet Gregory Gavin, one of our speakers!

“What if you built a river in a classroom?”

Artist Gregory Gavin set out to use the engaging properties of water to invigorate public life and ended up creating a new kind of classroom. Only in a world with consequences, he argues, can children truly be engaged, take on responsibility and become creative agents.

About Gregory Gavin:
Gregory Gavin is an artist, inventor and educator. He founded Riveropolis in 2004 to design, build, install and facilitate innovative water play environments and to bring design experiences to schools, museums and neighborhoods. Since 1991, his projects — ranging from woodworking to filmmaking, to interactive waterworks — have engaged a diversity of participants to both create and exhibit work in public places. His work has been particularly successful in overcoming the obsessive segregation of children, teen and adult activities into separate realms in a way that he feels damages the transfer of inter-generational knowledge and discovery.  Gavin has been commissioned by National Endowment for the Arts, the de Young Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Seattle Public Art Program and the Bay Area Discovery Museum. He has taught at the California College of the Arts and is a California Arts Council Fellow.

TEDxMeritAcademy Speaker Hannah Faris

Thrilled that we are hosting a TEDx event at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz! Join us on Aug 14, 2017 at 7 pm.  Get your tickets for TEDxMeritAcademy at wwwtedxmeritacademy.com.  Meet Hannah Faris, one of our speakers!

“Creating a grassroots movement to inspire change”

Hannah will be presenting with David Vasquez an exciting advance in environmentally protective technology that can help alleviate and reverse the effects of global warming. She will be focusing on the grassroots movement that will help launch the technology in communities throughout the United States by developing Kids4Hydrogen chapters in each state.

About Hannah Faris:
Hannah Faris is a young environmentalist who became president of Kids 4 Hydrogen when she was a junior in high school.  She created the white board video that describes how converting internal combustion engines to use a liquid hydrogen fuel can stop climate change.

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