We are so happy to announce the launch of our newly re-designed Care2.com and thepetitionsite.com! It’s been months in the planning, and after many late nights, our team has launched a beautiful new site. The site is much easier to navigate and really represents the many aspects of how we are trying to help our members make a difference in the world. Check it out!

Advertisements

We have a very rough cut of the Flutterfrog’s flight in Portland.

Also check out the great slide show on Flickr.

From Alex F., designer and pilot of Care2’s Flutterfrog:

For those of you who are wondering how the FlutterFrog’s maiden voyage turned out, it was frickin’ awesome. The audience loved our goofy costumes, and laughed in the right places at our skit. Out trip down the runway was straight, our glide was level and respectably long at forty feet, and I’ve had landings much rougher than ours in commercial jetliners. Ultimately, we did not walk away with any prizes, but we did a better job than most of the teams there, we learned a ton, we had a great time, and we’re *SO* on track for a victory in 2009!

Hopefully there’ll be video of her maiden voyage later this week. 🙂

The Flutterfrog and crew are ready to go. 🙂

Flutterfrog and Crew

Every year, Red Bull sponsors a contest called Flugtag USA. Supposedly the challenge is to achieve homemade, human-powered flight, but as near as I can tell, the real goal is to dive off a pier with as much style as possible. That and to have a good time doing it.

The reason I’m bringing it up is because Alex Feinberg, one of Care2’s engineers, was inspired to submit a proposal for Flugtag, and for the past three weeks, the “Flutterfrog” has been slowly coming together in a garage just north of Redwood City.

It’s been a blast building this amalgam of treefrog and butterfly. The team is especially proud that the Flutterfrog is earth-friendly (made from over 90 percent sustainable or recycled materials).

Launch day is Saturday, August 2 in Portland, Oregon’s Tom McCall Waterfront Park. If you’re in the area, come on by and wish the flight team well! If you can’t make it out, wish the FlutterFrog team good luck via ThePetitionSite.

You can also help our team win the people’s choice award by sending a text message to 72855 (RBULL) with TEAM 17 in the body between 11am and 4pm PST on Saturday, August 2. Help us win!

If you’re curious, the San Mateo Daily News and the Daily Journal wrote articles about the project. There’s also a short slideshow slideshow to be found at Flickr. And even a series of short, homemade videos of the Flutterfrog being built:





The folks at Care2—they’re a talented bunch. 🙂

As you may have seen from the news, the Olympic torch made a rather ignominious appearance in San Francisco this week. I was there along with the contingent of folks from Care2.com and Amnesty International to protest the Chinese human rights record in Tibet.

In many ways it was a surreal experience – a mixture of festival atmosphere, protesters, pro-Chinese supporters, and the curious. According to the New York Times, the Chinese consulate had bussed people in for the event. On the protester side, there were a wide range of organizations represented. I saw signage for Tibet, Darfur, Burma, and even a couple addressing animal rights issues in China and the war in Iraq. It was quite colorful with all the flags waving and signs with competing messages.

Part way through the afternoon, I became separated from the group and ended up chatting with a middle-aged Chinese couple and a small group of out-of-town visitors. All of us were busy trying to track down the torch’s location, and thanks to the power of the cellular telephone, we found out about its detours through the city.

The torch never did make it to where we were, but I didn’t mind too much. I was there to help highlight to the Chinese government the cost of its realpolitik games. The government planned for the Olympic games to highlight China’s new standing on the world stage. What they didn’t take into account, however, was that a reckoning was due as a result of decades of human rights abuses. And not just in Tibet. How many read about Hu Jia’s recent arrest?

I’m actually a big fan of the Olympics, and I would be disappointed by a boycott. There’s no reason to punish the athletes who’ve worked so hard for their moment under the Olympic rings. But China is clearly trying to make a political and economic statement by hosting the Olympics, and the opening ceremonies are sure to be a reflection of that. After all, that’s where a host country shows off its culture, politics, and technical/artistic ability. As such, I consider the ceremonies fair game for boycott.

Chinese officials, of course, don’t see themselves as villains. I’m sure they justify their actions as necessary for the development of Chinese prosperity. (Sudanese oil anyone?) But this “progress” at any cost… well, it has a cost. And as I mentioned, there’s a reckoning to be had.

Karma – works for people, works for governments.