Month: September 2010
Beauty and Truth Are Leaking out from Between the Cracks
Graffiti is usually regarded as negative, unnecessary, and costly, but every once in a while you see some uplifting graffiti that makes it all seem worth it. Everyone needs to hear some positive words now and then, so seeing a little random piece encouragement can go a long way. We found some examples of vandalism that don’t even seem like vandalism because they make you feel so good. Which ones would you not mind seeing in your community?
Healing Through Maniacal, Lustful Laughing
Association For The Betterment Of Sex
Shouldn’t we all be laughing more while we have sex? (May not be safe for work))
Sex has notoriously been a difficult, dare we say “touchy,” subject to discuss, so for generations there have been guidebooks about human sexuality such as the classic “Our Bodies Our Selves.” Now, from writer Mike Sacks (McSweeney’s, Vanity Fair) and his comedy-writing group “The Pleasure Syndicate”, consisting of Scott Jacobson (“The Daily Show”), Todd Levin (“The Tonight Show”), Jason Roeder (The Onion), and Ted Travelstead (Esquire) comes “Sex: Our Bodies, Our Junk,” a humorous sexual guidebook for the 21st century.
Kindness Invades Capitalism
A cafe where you pay what you want.
The idea for Panera Bread’s first nonprofit cafe was to open an eatery where customers paid what they could afford. A month into the honor system experiment, the restaurant is exceeding expectations and paving the way for more locations.
Pronoia Invokes Ingenuity
All vibrations are good vibrations in the world of energy harvesting.
…Whether it’s a road under heavy traffic or commuters pounding the sidewalk pavement, micromovements on any surface can be converted into clean energy by power-scavenging devices fitted with piezoelectric (PE) crystals. These pressure-sensitive materials — normally made of ceramics — give off a small charge when “squeezed, squashed, bent, or slapped,” explains Markys Cain, a materials scientist at the British National Physical Laboratory. (“Piezo,” by the way, is derived from the Greek for “press” or “squeeze.”) So a PE layer slotted beneath a supermarket parking lot could, for example, use the movement of customers’ cars to power checkout conveyor belts or pump that free electricity back into the grid. Here’s how these sparky substances will be turning vibrations into volts.
Sometimes Beauty Is Hidden from the Naked Eye
Cynicism Is Subservience
Worldchanging.com is a nonprofit media organization headquartered in Seattle, WA, that comprises a global network of independent journalists, designers and thinkers. We cover the world’s most innovative solutions to the planet’s problems, and inspire readers around the world with stories of new tools, models and ideas for building a bright green future. We have brought awareness to issues like refugee aid, renewable energy and innovative solutions for improving building, transportation, communication and quality of life. Our readers are ready to change the world, and Worldchanging connects them with the latest ideas on how to do that.
“Optimism is a political act. Those who benefit from the status quo are perfectly happy for us to think nothing is going to get any better. In fact, these days cynicism is obedience.” — Alex Steffen
Leading North American Feng Shui specialists have created Carry Out Kindness, an international, grassroots initiative promoting Kindness as the missing link to global prosperity, happiness and success.
Turning an abandoned industrial building into an urban farm.
In 2008, Sweet Water Organics began the transformation of an abandoned industrial building into a showcase of potential living technologies and urban agriculture. We strive to become a resource for job creation and use of urban settings.
How’s Your Soul Doing?
Redefining Education: Cultivating the Soul
What is the defining myth of our times? I’ve heard our culture described as materialistic, but we don’t seem to love the material world all that much. I’ve also heard our philosophy labeled as “the myth of fact.” Although I do see the academic world mad in its pursuit of facts, all carefully defined and counted, I think more simply that we are devoted to the myth of things.
Can You Stand This Much Beauty?
Sharing Is Good Medicine
Instead of hoarding information to advance their careers, scientists make their data public quickly. As a result, there’s progress in fighting Alzheimer’s for the first time in quite a while.
In 2003, a group of scientists and executives from the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the drug and medical-imaging industries, universities and nonprofit groups joined in a project that experts say had no precedent: a collaborative effort to find the biological markers that show the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in the human brain.
Now, the effort is bearing fruit with a wealth of recent scientific papers on the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s using methods like PET scans and tests of spinal fluid. More than 100 studies are under way to test drugs that might slow or stop the disease.
People Keep Creating Wonders and Marvels
Nanotech tea bag creates safe drinking water instantly, for less than a penny.
A new “tea bag” uses nano-fibers to suck contaminants and bacteria out of water, providing a desperately-needed, cheap solution for the billions of people without clean drinking water.
Maybe Wealth Isn’t a Prerequisite for Happiness
Making Fun of Yourself Could Be a Primal Pronoiac Act
In case you need some instructions and inspiration in being silly…