Katie: "Invention Of The Century"?

(CBS)
Sometimes the answers to life's most complex problems are the most simple. We found that out when common aspirin was discovered to be a highly effective treatment for heart disease, stroke, colitis, and a host of other ailments.

Recently, it was learned that a procedure as ancient and as available as infant circumcision was, in fact, a powerful tool in the fight against AIDS, especially in Africa.

Another example of this "triumph of the simple" has emerged with the invention of something called "LifeStraw" by Danish Clothing manufacturer, Mikkel Frandsen. It has been called the Best Invention of the Year, the Invention of the Century, and the Europe's Best Invention. Forbes Magazine calls it one of the Ten Things That Will Change The Way We Live.

And what is this incredible breakthrough that has the potential to provide drinkable water for the 1.1 billion people in the world who live without it and to save 6000 lives each year?

It's a straw.

A drinking straw containing filters, iodine, and carbon. All at a cost of $3.00 a year per person, but that cost will undoubtedly come down. In Sub Sahara Africa the "LifeStraw" has the potential to change entire societies.

The purity and simplicity of these solutions speaks volumes. That which we search for may already be right under our noses, in our pockets, or among our children's toys. As we go about trying to discover "the next big thing" we should remember to first simply look around us before looking at the stars or into a microscope.

Which reminds me. I've got to renew my subscription to "Real Simple."
  • Katie Couric

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