Showing posts from June 7, 2020

Spell to Be Said Against Hatred

"It is especially in times of uncertainty, in tremulous times of fear and loss, that the curtain rises and the minstrel show resumes -- a show of hate that can be as vicious and pointed as the murderous violence human beings are capable of directing at one another, or as ambient and slow-seething as the deadly disregard for the universe of non-human lives with which we share this fragile, irreplaceable planet.[...] How to end the mockery and the minstrel show is what poet Jane Hirshfield -- one of the most unboastfully courageous voices of our time, an ordained Buddhist, a more-than-humanitarian: a planetarian -- explores in "Spell to Be Said against Hatred," a miniature masterwork of quiet, surefooted insistence and persistence."

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Meet the Birds Keeping You Safe in Flight!

Did you know that one of the greatest threats to our safety as we board a plane and fly off to our destination is BIRDS!? Luckily, some ingenious airports are turning to one of the world’s oldest sports and taking some inspiration from the natural world to keep us safe!

Airports around the world have a surprising employee in their ranks! They’re small, winged, and save billions of dollars in airplane damages every year— and they may even be the reason your plane landed safe and sound. Ready to meet these superstar employees?

By Brittany Nugent

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Educate the Heart

Poet and author Shane Koyczan narrates this poignant short video on the importance of educating children's hearts as well as their minds. While children need knowledge to prepare them for life, those who love and care for them must also educate their hearts. Teaching compassion, acceptance, tolerance and respect are needed along with knowledge to adequately prepare children for the world.

Need a Hero? Look Around You

We love to exalt heroic individuals. But in this historical moment, collective heroism is best suited to the challenges we face.

Against the apocalyptic backdrop of the past few months, two recurring images stand out. One is of people lining up outside of grocery stores, each shopper wearing a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19. The other is of hundreds of people lying on streets and bridges, hands behind their backs, to protest police racism and violence after Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd.

By Elizabeth Svoboda

These two images have much in common beyond visual similarities—the urban landscape, the repeating patterns, the obscured faces. Both feature large groups of people engaged in what psychologist Phil Zimbardo calls “acts of everyday heroism,” small-scale good deeds that might seem ordinary. Yet multiplied by the millions, the impact of such acts—in saved lives, and in changed minds—far surpasses what any single heroic act can deliver.

Amid two crises—a gl…

How Adults Can Support the Mental Health of Black Children

Psychologist Riana Elyse Anderson explains how families can communicate about race and cope with racial stress and trauma.

With his last breaths, George Floyd called out, “Momma!” before he was killed in Minneapolis. He was one of nearly 1,300 black people have been killed by police in the last five years. They are two times more likely to be killed by police than white Americans.

By Maryam Abdullah

Facing destructive policies and attitudes in the United States, mothers and fathers try to safeguard their black children from racism. This often takes the form of preparing them for bias and communicating the real threats to their lives from a history of othering that continues today. But it also involves highlighting how to draw from a well of strengths that black culture and black families—immediate, extended, and historical—possess.

To better understand this process, we interviewed Dr. Riana Elyse Anderson, clinical and community psychologist and professor of public health at the Universit…

How Challenging Stereotypes Can Save Black Lives

When police stereotype African Americans, the results can be deadly. But new studies suggest ways to help all of us see each other as complex human beings.

When researchers at Stanford University analyzed 95 million traffic stop records from 2011 to 2018, they found that African Americans are pulled over more frequently than whites by day—but are much less likely to be stopped at night, when “a veil of darkness” masks their race and makes it harder to racially profile drivers. Despite the lower number of nighttime stops, the study found, blacks and Latinos are still more likely to have their cars searched than their white counterparts.

By Zaid Jilani, Jeremy Adam Smith

These results suggest that at least some police are engaging in racial profiling—that is, they are making assumptions about individuals based on stereotypes and then using that to inform their actions. These traffic stops can turn deadly, as we’ve seen numerous times during the past few years.

This reality is on the minds o…

How Dogs Are Helping Us Detect Cancer!

A group of highly trained dogs is learning to smell some of the hardest to detect forms of cancer! So, what are we learning from these super-sniffers?

For 15,000 years, we’ve had a cancer-detecting companion by our side! Yes, with the right training, dogs are able to smell signs of cancer in humans, before we can detect it with other tests. It’s an incredible feat that scientists are hoping will help us create new ways to “smell” cancer in its earliest stages!

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

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Turning to Face the Dark

In May of 2019, Rabbi Dr. Ariel Burger sat down with educator and writer Parker J. Palmer for an unscripted conversation. What emerged was a wide-ranging contemplative dialogue on suffering, healing, and joy. Parker is the author of 'Five Habits to Heal the Heart of Democracy', and many other life-changing books. Ariel is the author of "Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel's Classroom"

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How to Transform Your Weaknesses into Your Secrets to Success!

What if the secret to getting the full potential out of your life, your productivity, and your gifts started with your weaknesses? It seems like an odd place to start, but this TED talk will have you looking at your weaknesses in an entirely new light in less than 10 minutes!

When Tom Nash, now one of Australia’s top DJ’s and an incredible thought leader, was relearning all of the day-to-day actions of life after having his arms and legs amputated, something dawned on him that changed the trajectory of his life. In one of the best TED Talks we’ve seen recently, he shares that moment of inspiration with us and hands us the keys to unlocking our own greatest strengths!

By Sam Burns

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Beyond Protests: 5 More Ways to Channel Anger into Action

"A lot of people of color are tired. We're tired of being the unseen and misunderstood," says Inger E Burnett-Zeigler, a psychologist and associate professor at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. She'd like to see more voices at the table. "I think it's important for everyone, regardless of race, to ask, 'What is my role in this system?' " she says. Ask yourself, 'Have I been a passive bystander, and how can I change that? Perhaps it's simply speaking up in situations where you may have been disinclined to speak up before," Burnett-Zeigler says. These tragic events of recent weeks can also create an opportunity, because people are fired up. Given all the anger and frustration, experts say there are strategies to channel these emotions into action.

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bell hooks: Love as The Practice of Freedom

“Love as the Practice of Freedom”

bell hooks

Social commentator, essayist, memoirist, and poet bell hooks (née Gloria Jean Watkins) is a feminist theorist who speaks on contemporary issues of race, gender, and media representation in America. Her many books include Ain't I a Woman (1981), Talking Back (1989), Killing Rage: Ending Racism (1995), Outlaw Culture (1994), and Remembered Rapture (1999). In Black Looks (1994), she writes, "It struck me that for black people, the pain of learning that we cannot control our images, how we see ourselves (if our vision is not decolonized), or how we are seen is so intense that it rends us. It rips and tears at the seams of our efforts to construct self and identify."

In Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations (1994), hooks advocates a "progressive cultural revolution" by means of repudiating all forms of domination in a "holistic manner." In order to decolonize our minds, suggests hooks, we must begin to "su…