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Showing posts from July 12, 2020

john powell on Othering & Belonging

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john a. powell is one of the foremost public intellectuals in the areas of civil rights, racism, ethnicity, housing and poverty. Despite a distinguished career, powell spells his name in lowercase on the simple and humble idea that we are part of the universe, not over it. He has introduced into the public lexicon the concepts of "othering and belonging." For powell, "othering" hurts not only people of color, but whites, women, animals and the planet itself, because certain people are not seen in their full humanity. Belonging is much more profound than access; "it's about co-creating the thing you are joining" rather than having to conform to rules already set. More in this powerful interview.


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Ping Pong Makes Progress for Parkinson’s Patients!

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Adding a little fun to our problem solving can lead to great results! Don’t believe us? Well, in rec rooms across the world, there’s a table, two paddles, and a ball that may help reverse the effects of Parkinson’s Disease! Here’s that story.

Could a therapy that can halt and even reverse the effects of Parkinson’s Disease be sitting in basements and rec rooms right this minute? In the fight against this debilitating disease, ping pong has had some promising possibilities! It may seem like an odd pairing, but for players like Nenad Bach, ping pong has changed their lives!

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber


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The Holocaust Survivor Who Forgave the Nazis

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In this beautifully animated film, Holocaust survivor Eva Kor tells the powerful story of her time in Auschwitz, where she, along with her twin sister Miriam, were used as human guinea pigs, subjected to horrific experiments. Years later, feeling the need to free herself from the horrors of the past, Eva wrote a letter of forgiveness to a Nazi doctor, who agreed to accompany her to Auschwitz. When she realized she had the power to forgive, she finally felt free. "You can never change what happened in the past, all you can do is change how you react to it."


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How to Form a Pandemic Pod

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Here are some questions to ask as you expand your circle of care and cooperation during COVID-19.

What are our ethical obligations to other people? Whom do we trust? What are the limits of that trust? What are the precautions we must take to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and people we’ll never meet?

By Jeremy Adam Smith, William Winters


These are the questions that people around the world are asking themselves in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by infection with the novel coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2.

Initially, governments asked us to shelter in place. That meant staying inside our homes for weeks and months, depending on local conditions. Even after we were permitted to leave our houses, we have needed to maintain distance and barriers between each other—perhaps indefinitely. Fighting COVID-19 has cut people off from friends, lovers, family, neighbors, and coworkers. Kids can’t go to school; families can’t go to church; we can’t see music or sports t…

Iris Murdoch on Storytelling & Why Art is Essential to Democracy

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"A good society contains many different artists doing many different things. A bad society coerces artists because it knows that they can reveal all kinds of truths." This post from Brain Pickings shares more of Iris Murdoch's lucid views on storytelling, art and healthy democracy.


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Why Is My Cat So Dang Weird?!

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The midnight racing, the pre-pounce butt-wiggle… these are just a small sampling of the odd things that cats do. But you don’t need to be a crazy cat lady to appreciate these sometimes-ferocious little furballs! Let’s start by nipping at the evolutionary excuses your cat has for being, well, the weirdest!

They’re fluffy, they’re moody, and they’re ready to pounce at any given moment! Even if you’ve never had a feline for a pet, surely you have found yourself scratching your head about their odd behavior before. If we look a bit closer, cats are a household critter that hunters, psychologists, and your 9-year-old niece can relate to! Read on to unravel the mystery of why on earth cats do what they do—and just maybe, we’ll discover a little more appreciation for our weirdest roommates…

By Renee Laroche-Rheaume


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Designing Schools of the Future

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"We are building a state-of-the-art Formula 1 engine in the body of an old, broken-down Buick, and wondering why the car won't go."While pedagogical methods have advanced tremendously in recent decades, the shape of our learning spaces has not. Think: rooms filled with desks in rows all facing front, in an environment directly counter to contemporary progressive learning styles. Seeking to remedy these constrictions, Kurani links architecture with student-centered learning. His innovative designs help schools empower students and teachers in the learning process, thus helping entire communities. He shares more in this piece.


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How Purpose Changes Across Your Lifetime

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Purpose is not a destination, suggests research, but a journey and a practice.

Purpose is the stuff of inspirational posters and motivational speeches. When we find our purpose, they say, we’ll know what we are meant to do in life. The path will be laid out before us, and our job will be to keep following that vision with unwavering commitment.

By Kira M. Newman


But is this really what purpose looks like?

Alongside the self-help hype is a body of research on purpose across the lifespan, reaching back more than 30 years. Following people as they grapple with their identity as teens, settle into the responsibilities of adulthood, and make the shift to retirement, this research paints a more complicated picture of purpose—but a hopeful one, too.

Here’s the upshot: We don’t have to worry about finding our one true purpose; we can find purpose in different areas of life. In fact, purpose isn’t something we find at all. It’s something we can cultivate through deliberate action and reflection, a…

Big Picture Competition: Celebrating Earth's Diversity

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Now in its seventh year, BigPicture encourages photographers from around the world to contribute their work to a competition that both celebrates and illustrates the rich diversity of life on Earth, and inspires action to protect and conserve it through the power of imagery. Take a look at the gallery of stunning images from this year's winners, and learn more about the photographers here.


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How Does Religion Affect Happiness Around the World?

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A new study suggests that the answer depends on the stresses your society is facing.

Can religious faith make you happier?

By Jill Suttie


It’s a question that has plagued happiness scientists. While it makes sense that religion could bring meaning to people’s lives, meaning is not necessarily the same as happiness—even if it provides us with other benefits.

In addition, being religious often means attending religious services and being part of a social network, which tends to make people happier. So, it’s hard to tease out the impact of faith from other factors, like community, on happiness. Finally, while some large-scale studies have found a correlation between religiosity and happiness, others have had mixed results, suggesting that the story may be complex or involve factors tangential to religious belief.

Indeed, a new study suggests that it may depend on the society in which you live.

The researchers surveyed 40,534 randomly selected respondents from 43 nations about their happiness…