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The Geography of Giving
Ever wonder how charitable the people are who live in your state or community? It turns out that lower-income people tend to donate a much bigger share of their discretionary incomes than wealthier people do. And rich people are more generous when they live among those who aren't so rich. That's according to a new study by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, which breaks charitable giving down by ZIP c... posted on Aug 22 2012, 4,916 reads

 

How Language Enabled Innovation and Evolution
"How did 'culture' develop, exactly? Language, says evolutionary biologist Mark Pagel, was instrumental in enabling social learning -- our ability to acquire evolutionarily beneficial new behaviors by watching and imitating others, which in turn accelerated our species on a trajectory of what anthropologists call 'cumulative cultural evolution,' a bustling of ideas successively building and improv... posted on Mar 11 2012, 27,826 reads

 

Four Degrees of Separation
In 1929, Hungarian author Frigyes Karinthy proposed that there were six degrees of separation between any two people in the world. The theory was made popular by a play, movie and later a trivia game in which players try to link the actor Kevin Bacon to another Hollywood star within six steps. Yesterday, Facebook announced that with its 721 million members, and 69 billion friendships between th... posted on Nov 26 2011, 5,202 reads

 

Seeds for Self-Reliance
The practice of saving seeds has been a cornerstone of farming traditions and has allowed agriculture to become a way of life. But the introduction of high yielding seed varieties and pervasive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides has eroded the diversity of indigenous seeds. The GREEN foundation in India recognized that women are crucial to seed conservation efforts there. By setting up com... posted on Aug 13 2011, 27,521 reads

 

5 Manifestos for Art, Life & Business
Manifestos are a powerful catalyst. Famous architect Frank Loyd Wright said that "an eye to see nature, a heart to feel nature and a courage to follow nature" were three of his top 10 manifestos. By publicly stating our views and intentions, manifestos create a pact for taking action. If we want to change the world, in ways large or small, developing a set of principles that we believe in and cons... posted on Jul 22 2011, 5,706 reads

 

The Intellect in Insights
At first glance, insights seem to come out of nowhere. But in hindsight they make perfect, logical sense. What happens is that we (sometimes unconsciously) recognize patterns that enable us to see things in a new way. Albert Einstein put it succinctly when he said insight "comes suddenly and in a rather intuitive way. But intuition is nothing but the outcome of earlier intellectual experience." Th... posted on Jul 21 2011, 4,798 reads

 

A 10,000 Year Clock in the Mountains
There is a Clock ringing deep inside a mountain. It is a huge Clock, hundreds of feet tall, designed to tick for 10,000 years. Why would anyone build a Clock inside a mountain with the hope that it will ring for 10,000 years? Part of the answer: just so people will ask this question, and having asked it, prompt themselves to conjure with notions of generations and millennia. If you have a Clock ti... posted on Jul 04 2011, 3,833 reads

 

20 Untranslatable Words From 'Round The World
There are at least 250,000 words in the English language. But to think that English -- or any language -- could hold enough expression to convey the entirety of the human experience is naive. For example, 'Toska,' from Russian, which is a kind of dull ache of the soul. Or 'Mamihlapinatapei,' from Yagan, describing the wordless, yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate s... posted on Jul 02 2011, 25,100 reads

 

Learning to Love Uncertainty and Failure
Edge Magazine called for eminent scientists, philosophers, and artists to submit responses to the question, "What scientific concept would improve everybody's toolkit?" The results have recently been published online. A common basis among the responses was that many people currently misunderstand the scientific process, undervalue the need for scientific doubt, and fail to recognize the role of fa... posted on Jun 25 2011, 4,326 reads

 

5 Ways Laughter is Good For Health
Ever felt lighter after a good laugh? Physiologically speaking, that's no coincidence. Laughter is shown to increase blood flow, strengthen immune system, reduce muscle pain, lower blood sugar and shed calories. Along similar lines, singing or listening to music can improve the brain's auditory and language processing functions, and decrease insomnia, stress and stroke. Regular grounding practices... posted on Apr 21 2011, 4,301 reads

 

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