Bogota’s bibliophile trash collector who rescues books
Activists / Al Jazeera / Collectors / Gabriel Garcia Marquez Cultural Journalism Fellowship

Bogota’s bibliophile trash collector who rescues books

Bogota, Colombia – Finding Anna Karenina in the rubbish would change Jose Alberto Gutierrez’s life. It was 20 years ago, but Jose still remembers first glimpsing the Russian classic by Leo Tolstoy in the rubbish outside a home in Bogota’s Bolivia neighbourhood. The rubbish collector loaded his truck with the rest of the waste, but took … Continue reading

Sri Lanka’s antivenom leap forward
Al Jazeera / Healthcare professionals / Researchers / Scientists

Sri Lanka’s antivenom leap forward

Colombo, Sri Lanka – In 2006, a Russell’s viper sank one fang into Sanath Weeraratne’s left hand. Weeraratne immediately started to bleed profusely as the anticoagulant properties in the venom took effect. He knew what could come next: more bleeding from the rectum and the gums and blood-stained vomit. The blood could seep into the … Continue reading

Robots lending a helping hand on Australia’s farms
Al Jazeera / Engineers / Farmers / Scientists

Robots lending a helping hand on Australia’s farms

For a change, Kevin Sanders has decided to let someone, or more accurately, something else count the apples in his orchard. This isn’t the first time his idyllic farm down in Australia’s Yarra Valley has played host to robots and their handlers, so Sanders knows what to expect. Moving soundlessly down the corridors between trees, … Continue reading

Sri Lanka: Ancient innovations combat water woes
Aid Workers / Al Jazeera / Engineers / Farmers / Researchers / Scientists

Sri Lanka: Ancient innovations combat water woes

Puhudiwula, Sri Lanka –  In the district of Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka, Puhudiwula is a village of abandoned wells. Though new and well-built, these wells can be found in every garden, costing around 100,000 rupees ($700) to build. The villagers, however, will not drink or even cook with the water, which they believe is driving … Continue reading

Playing with fire in Sri Lanka’s fireworks village
Al Jazeera / Businesspeople / Innovators

Playing with fire in Sri Lanka’s fireworks village

The heavy, metal apparatus standing in R. Lorrence’s garage seems out of place. Its design is simple enough – a pneumatic pump helps pack a mix of explosive chemicals into a slender plastic tube, exerting pressure that a human hand couldn’t hope to match. But it is the only machine in this little cottage firework … Continue reading