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Friday, October 3, 2014

Louis Simpson: The Silent Piano

We have lived like civilized people.
O ruins, traditions!

And we have seen the barbarians,
breakers of sculpture and glass.

And now we talk of 'the inner life',
and I ask myself, where is it?

Not here, in these streets and houses,
so I think it must be found

in indolence, pure indolence,
an ocean of darkness,

in silence, an arm of the moon,
a hand that enters slowly.

         *  *  *
I am reminded of a story
Camus tells, of a man in prison camp.

He had carved a piano keyboard
with a nail on a piece of wood.

And sat there playing the piano.
This music was made entirely of silence.



Wallace Stevens: The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm

The house was quiet and the world was calm.
The reader became the book; and summer night

Was like the conscious being of the book.
The house was quiet and the world was calm.

The words were spoken as if there was no book,
Except that the reader leaned above the page,

Wanted to lean, wanted much most to be
The scholar to whom the book is true, to whom

The summer night is a perfection of thought.
The house was quiet because it had to be.

The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind:
The access of perfection to the page.

And the world was calm. The truth in a calm world,
In which there is no other meaning, itself

Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself
Is the reader leaning late and reading there.



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-07-17

Reddit users retouch newborn’s photos after her death at father’s request A grief-stricken father desired an image of his daughter "without all her tubes," turning to Redditors who responded with retouched images of the newborn who spent the entirety of her short life in hospital.

Double Amputee Veteran’s Wheelchair Breaks in Lowe’s, Workers Drop Everything to Fix It I’m proud to say I can easily see this happening with buddies of mine. Though they might go overboard and redesign the wheelchair, too.

Hero Pit Bull Rescues Deaf Boy From Burning Home Today’s dog story is what the title says. What I love is the simplicity of the reaction. The family knows they were lucky.

Daily TED Talk

Two nerdy obsessions meet – and it’s magic David Kwong is a magician who makes crossword puzzles — in other words, a pretty nerdy guy. And for his next trick ...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-07-15

An all NPR edition, today. You can read the article and/or listen. I like listening because there are often items left out of the print version.

Stress-Busting Foods Which foods increase your stress? Which reduce it? It’s the latter that I’m interested in. I know I eat the wrong foods when stressed.

This is Your Stressed-Out Brain on Scarcity It’s not good news to be stressed, but it is valuable to realize how much attention it consumes. Armed with that knowledge, we can make changes in ourselves and in our perceptions of others.

The 3 Scariest Words a Boy Can Hear Joe Ehrmann, a 75 professional football player, discusses the pitfalls of the words “be a man.” Excellent stuff, and an article I’ll be bookmarking for use in my own coaching.

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic on Parody in the Age of YouTube Yankovic is releasing his final “traditional” album, meaning songs collected on a CD. He talks about himself, his work, and being weird.

35 Years After Minnie Riperton’s Death, New Fans Still Find Her Famous for her song “Loving You” and her five octave vocal range, which is almost inhuman. Musicians are joining together to celebrate her work. Riperton died from breast cancer in ‘79 at 31.

Daily TED Talk

In fact, I watched this yesterday. I found it useful. What simplistic stories are you telling yourself?

Be suspicious of stories (15 min) “Like all of us, economist Tyler Cowen loves a good story. But in this intriguing talk, he asks us to step away from thinking of our lives — and our messy, complicated irrational world — in terms of a simple narrative.”

Monday, July 14, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-07-14

Back at it, after a week-long lapse!

India’s “Plastic Man” Turns Litter Into Paved Roads Rajagopalan Vasudevan has a method for turning plastic trash into a partial replacement for bitumen in asphalt. In other words, reuse the unrecyclable plastic for roads!

Smelling Farts is Healthy It’s a real study, with real implications, especially for the world of stand up comedy. And for preventing or reversing mitochondrial damage. I’m not sure which is more important.

Colbie Caillat Is Tired of Being Photoshopped This is just outside of what I call news, but it’s a good story with a lovely video, and it made me feel good that my wife doesn’t wear makeup.

Daily TED Talk

Stella Young: I’m not your inspiration, thank you very much ‘Stella Young is a comedian and journalist who happens to go about her day in a wheelchair — a fact that doesn’t, she’d like to make clear, automatically turn her into a noble inspiration to all humanity. In this very funny talk, Young breaks down society's habit of turning disabled people into “inspiration porn.”’

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-07-03

I missed a few days this week. I’ve been busy, and may miss some days next week, too. I leave it to you to find your own good news!

African teens create urine-fueled generator There are some skeptical questions, but this is a wonderfully clever and inventive approach.

Burglar Sends Apology and Money 22 Years After Theft Important evidence that people do change, learn and grow. Having been a criminal doesn’t mean always being one.

9-Year-Old Passes on Gifts for His Birthday, Saves Dogs Instead Start doing good young, I think it’s more likely to last.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Curated Good News–2014-06-25

Poland Has Some Great Street Musicians A “semi-news” article, but this fellow is fantastic!

Richmond Cop Rescues Woman from Approaching Train The incident was captured on the squad car’s video. A testament to this officer’s training.

Daily TED Talk

Capturing memories in video art (5min) Gabriel Barcia-Colombo loves collecting things. He wondered how he would like to memorialize his own and other’s lives as moments in time. So, he put them in jars And a blender. A funny and fascinating demonstration of video art.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Curated Good News–2014-06-24

President Obama Awards the Medal of Honor to Corporal William “Kyle” Carpenter While war isn’t good news, bravery is. This young man is a fine model.

Crossing Guard Makes Sandy Hook a Brighter Place, One Dance at a Time I’ve read of dancing crossing guards before. As always, they make me smile. I love her statement, “All I do is try to make people happy, I wasn’t expecting the gifts.”

(No TED Talk today)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-06-20

Just two, today, all about happiness.

10 Quickest Ways to Boost Happiness Ways based in science, not merely opinion. Love this one: “Just by reading all the way through this article, you’ll have achieved something-so you’ll feel good.”

Daily TED Talk

Flow, the secret to happiness (20min). I usually post 5 min talks in the interests of everyone’s time, but Czikszentmihalyi’s talk is worth the time. And, he has a fantastic last name.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-06-19

Benefit Corporations Look Beyond the Profit Motive B Corps: an affirmation of something I believe, which is that businesses aren’t “for making a profit,” they’re for providing a good or service. Profit is the means, not the end.

Homeless runner embraced by S.F. Marathon He’s not even taking the fund-raising for himself. It’s to benefit the homeless charity that helped him.

Daily TED Talk

The refugees of boom-and-bust (3 min) “At TEDGlobal U, Cameron Sinclair shows the unreported cost of real estate megaprojects gone bust: thousands of migrant construction laborers left stranded and penniless. To his fellow architects, he says there is only one ethical response.”

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-06-17

Father Devices “Bionic Pancreas” to Help Son With Diabetes Ed Damiano, a professor of biomedical engineering, has developed a system to help control blood sugar. While others are working on similar devices, his does more.

Warren Buffett Ready to Double Renewable Energy Investment to $30 Billion Altruism? Savvy Business? Both? You decide, but it’s still good news to me that alternative and more ecologically sound energy production is getting this boost.

High School Students Respond to Racist Flyer An anti-immigration group distributed a racist flyer near a high school, “The Changing Face of Brampton.” A class decided to redo it, and answer the question “Is this really what you want?”

Daily TED Talk

The Dog Song (4 min) “Animal fan Nellie McKay sings a sparkling tribute to her dear dog. She suggests we all do the same: ‘Just go right to the pound/ And find yourself a hound/ And make that doggie proud/ 'cause that's what it's all about.’”

Friday, June 13, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-06-13

Seahawks FB Coleman Gives Flight Seat to Marine What I like is that Coleman didn’t seek publicity. He just did something for someone else because he wanted to.

Man Paints Toenails to Cheer Up Wife With Cancer: Hundreds Join In Nothing puts a smile on your face like purple toes.

Daily TED Talk

The sore problem of prosthetic limbs An affecting five minutes. David Sengeh speaks with seriousness and fire. He is exhilarating and sincere. I believe this guy. “It does not matter how powerful your prosthetic ankle is. If your prosthetic socket is uncomfortable, you will not use your leg, and that is just simply unacceptable in our age.”

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-06-12

iPads Allow Challenged Kids to Play in High School’s Band A fantastic example of positive, transformative use of technology in the classroom. “Before the band, Jason rarely spoke at all. But music helped change that. ‘Some people were very surprised when they could see that he could sing because some people thought that he was non-verbal,’ Goldberg says.”

11-Year-old Invents Non-spill Cup for Grandfather With Parkinson’s Very cool-looking three-legged cup.

She Thought It Was A Trash Bag Blowing In The Wind, But Upon Further Investigation... I’m including the first picture for this one. It’s a dog. This is more a blog post than news story, but I liked it.

dog dreadlocks

Daily TED Talk

Dance, tiny robots! (3min) “There's a place in France where the robots do a dance. And that place is TEDxConcorde, where Bruno Maisonnier of Aldebaran Robotics choreographs a troupe of tiny humanoid Nao robots through a surprisingly emotive performance.”

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-06-10

Michigan teen finishes 40-mile walk while carrying brother Hunter Gandee, 14, carried his brother Braden, who has cerebral palsy. For comparison, soldiers in basic training have to complete a march of about 10 miles carrying a 40 pound pack. Good job, Hunter!

Non-Verbal Teen With Autism Says 'No One Can Place Limits' On You In Moving Graduation Speech Dillon Barmache, using a speaking tablet, gives an inspiring commencement address. I’ve included the complete transcript, below, after the TED Talk.

Photographer Captures Mystery Beach Proposal... Uses Facebook To Save The Day A story of Heather Swanner, a photographer who—luckily for the couple’s family—was in the right place at the right time.

Daily TED Talk

8 secrets of success (4min) This may be a repeat, but worth re-watching. Richard St. John summarizes a three hour talk he gives to high school students.

Transcript of Dillan Barmache’s commencement speech

"Hello, my name is Dillan Barmache.

"When I examine each day, it's just incredible how a student, an autistic one, could ever feel a part of a class of future academics. Education is a better institution when all students have opportunity, plus a chance to take an idea and see the lessons within.

“With your mind, no one can place limits on where an idea can take you. Living without a voice creates almost no way to be heard, but there are people who refuse to think in a box. Open your mind in high school. You will learn to think about different ideas, and examine new findings. Always look inside other people’s experience in order to gain another perspective outside of books. Only then are we able to start opening our eyes to the amazing things around us.

“I so believe that there is so much more each one of us can do for other people, causes, and fields of study. I know too that the thought of high school is daunting, and also exciting. We will be challenged to think for ourselves as we live each day out. Part of education is showing what we have learned, so then tests measure our ability to learn, and are necessary. However, another measure of learning often seems based on insight and guidance. Insight is a guide that separates our knowledge into what we are taught and what we are capable of doing.

“Take a chance to experience your education in a meaningful way, and think outside the box, into yourselves. Insight always leads to truths that an individual either chooses to accept or not. Always consider looking to your own insight and seeking another viewpoint. We are the reality of our thinking life and are capable of so much if we just open our minds."

Monday, June 9, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-06-09

LEGO to Launch Female Scientist Minifigure Collection Love it! “Lego, the Denmark-based toy company, has approved designs for a new collection titled “Research Institute,” an all-female line with characters such as an astronomer, paleontologist and chemist.”

$5 Billion revival leaves Milwaukee River cleaner, more valuable Nice article on the river’s reclamation (though, as a writer I’m dismayed by the dozens of one sentence paragraphs.)

School Janitor Called to Clean Up Mess, Gets Surprise Gift Instead Great little story about students collecting money for the janitor, so he could travel overseas to see his son and grandson.

Daily TED Talk

Forget multitasking, try monotasking (3min) The evidence keeps rolling in that humans “multi-task” badly. Mr Cardini presents humorous examples of why to focus on just one task.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-06-05

On days like this, when I don’t post articles, it’s tempting to think there was no good news today. In reality, I just didn’t find a news (not blog) article that I liked from the few sites I check. I need to expand my sites!

Daily TED Talk

Got a meeting? Take a walk (4min) Nilofer Merchant presents a simple idea: more walking meetings. Why? “Nowadays people are sitting 9.3 hours a day, which is more than we're sleeping, at 7.7 hours.”

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-06-04

Minor League Ball Player’s First Home Run is Caught by Dad I love little stories like this. Father and son had a lucky day that they’ll remember forever.

Daily TED Talk

A plane you can drive (10min). I emailed this to a pilot friend of mine. I can see him owning one. Moreover, I know of an opera singer—also a pilot—who would fly to gigs. This would be great for her.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-06-03

Starting today, if I don’t like the original story’s headline, I’ll create my own. The originals are often too verbose.

Soldotna, Alaska Houses 900 Evacuees During Fire The Red Cross built a temporary shelter, but no one needed to use it.

Minor League Mascot Gives Major League Surprise A deaf baseball fan loves the Dayton Dragons’ mascot, and everyone’s thrilled when the mascot starts speaking in American Sign Language. Watch the second video, without the news story.

Swimwear Company Re-Creates Sports Illustrated's Cover With Plus Size Models The good news, here, is that more “regular” women get told that they, too, are sexy.

Daily TED Talk

Sally Kohn: Let’s try emotional correctness (6min) A valuable talk about being “politically right, but emotionally wrong.” From Ms. Kohn, a liberal lesbian pundit on Fox news (you read that right): “Are you being friendly? Are you just being naive? Or do you really want to hurt me personally? Emotional correctness is the tone, the feeling, how we say what we say, the respect and compassion we show one another. And what I've realized is that political persuasion doesn't begin with ideas or facts or data.Political persuasion begins with being emotionally correct.”

Monday, June 2, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-06-02

While there are good things happening in the world, I haven’t been finding news articles that I felt I wanted to post. But I’ll keep looking!

Daily TED Talk (17min) Neil Pasricha has a blog called 1000 Awesome Things, which he started after some tough personal years. One of his three “As of awesome” is authenticity, and he does come across as authentic and sincere. My favorite quote: “There are so many things to be happy about.”

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-05-28

The Seattle Seahawks Signed A Player Just To Immediately Cut Him. The Reason Why Is Amazing It’s good to read a story of generosity—not greed—in professional sports.

This 'Little Hero' Saved His 10-Year-Old Neighbor From Being Abducted In An Incredible Way We tell our karate students that, when faced with a “bad guy,” they should scream and fight. This story affirms that.

99-year-old Maine woman receives college diploma 75 years later The cynic in me wonders why she didn’t pay for the diploma in those intervening years. But her life-long love of learning made my day.

Daily TED Talk

A Circle of Caring (3 min) His attire may take you aback, but I think it’s part of the point—and he jokes about it. A seemingly simple example of love, but not so simple in reality.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-05-27

Missed several days. Two were due to trying to recover my wife’s failing hard drive. The other was Memorial Day off.

Solar-Powered Pump Makers Want to Bring Clean Water to Millions Who Need It The Austrian company is crowd-funding a way to make the pump’s parts easier to obtain. DIY plans are available.

A Simple, Elegant Invention That Draws Water From Air The WarkaWater looks like modern art, and gathers up to 26 gallons of drinkable water a day.

Human ‘suspended animation’ trials to start this month This might not be good news to everyone, but it is to those who would die during surgery without it. And, really, it’s totally cool.

Daily TED Talk

Try something new for 30 days (5min) “Is there something you've always meant to do, wanted to do, but just ... haven't? Matt Cutts suggests: Try it for 30 days. This short, lighthearted talk offers a neat way to think about setting and achieving goals.”

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-05-21

Firefighter Posts Selfie After Battling Blaze, Gets Thousands of Grateful Messages on VIral Pic The fire isn’t good news, but hearing something positive about it is.

China Unveils the Future of Travel. Magnetic Levitation Trains Could Reach Speeds of 1,800 MPH I don’t know. Sounds a little slow to me.

Daily TED Talk

A skateboard, with a boost (5min) “Imagine an electric vehicle that can get you to work — or anywhere in a six-mile radius — quickly, without traffic frustrations or gasoline. Now imagine you can pick it up and carry it with you. Yes, this souped-up skateboard could change the face of morning commutes.”

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-05-20

Texas High Schoolers Create Hand for Toddler It might seem that all they’d have to do is take the adult blueprint and make it smaller, but I suspect the differences go far beyond size.

Random Strangers Freestyle Together, Show us ‘The Power Music Can Have on the Soul’ Some people think this was staged, but I think if it had then the result would have been more varied and complex. This is just some guys who started spontaneously jamming and enjoying the groove.

Possibly the Largest School of Mobular Rays Caught on Film It’s a video heavy day, continuing with this footage of tens of thousands of rays off the coast of Baha. Why not fly?

Daily TED Talk

Haunting Photos of Polar Ice “Photographer Camille Seaman shoots icebergs, showing the world the complex beauty of these massive, ancient chunks of ice. Dive in to her photo slideshow, ‘The Last Iceberg.’”

Monday, May 19, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-05-19

A Big Break Realized Amidst Fluorescent Lights and Slurpee Machines Terry Boring said the right thing and the right time to the right person. The punch line is the difference it made.

This fifth-grader raised $200,000 to clean up the Gulf oil spill Twelve –year-old Olivia Bouler asked the Audubon Society how she could use her art skills to help after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Kid with Autism Confronts His Bullies in Front of the Whole Class “I see you guys laughing over there.” That part alone chilled me.

Daily TED Talk

High School Training Ground (3min) Malcom London’s slam poem about high school. This hits hard. “Homework is stressful, but when you go home every day and your home is work, you don't want to pick up any assignments.”

Friday, May 16, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-05-16

Today’s posts have consistently long headlines. Is this a result of short attention span, that we have to fit almost the entire story into one sentence?

How a water bottle gave birth to a whole new world of self-healing products A new polymer that’s “super strong, flexible and self-healing.” Could replace aluminum (great for the US, which imports all of ours).

New Mattress Lets You Cuddle Without Your Arm Going Numb This is on the lighter side of “good news,” but might be valuable to those who want or need to sleep on their sides—with or without cuddling partners.

‘Speechless’ Teacher Left Crying After Mystery Patrons Cover Tab For Students With Autism More anonymous goodness. I love it when people essentially say, “You know, we’ve got the money, let’s give it away.”

Daily TED Talk

Love Letters to Strangers (5 min) “Hannah Brencher's mother always wrote her letters. So when she felt herself bottom into depression after college, she did what felt natural — she wrote love letters and left them for strangers to find. The act has become a global initiative, The World Needs More Love Letters, which rushes handwritten letters to those in need of a boost.”

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-05-15

Anonymous benefactor leaves car on paralysed mother’s front lawn I love stories about anonymous good deeds.

New Patlz Students Find $40K in a Couch They faced an ethical dilemma and didn’t take the easy way out. The positive lesson is that kids will try to do the right thing and try to figure out what “the right thing” means. The life lesson is: don’t save your money in a couch.

Daily TED Talk

The hidden light of Afghanistan  Beautiful photography from Monika Bulaj, walking in Afghanistan for 20 years:

“Behind the destruction, I found a soul of places. I met humble people. I heard their prayer and ate their bread. Then I have been walking East for 20 years -- from Eastern Europe to Central Asia -- through the Caucasus Mountains, Middle East, North Africa, Russia. And I ever met more humble people. And I shared their bread and their prayer. This is why I went to Afghanistan.”

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-05-14

World’s oldest sperm discovered And it’s huge! Relatively speaking.

Pharmacist’s Intuition Saves Customer’s LIfe A good reminder to sometimes follow your gut even if it might turn out to be nothing. Because it might also be something important.

After Tweet, Saudis Flock to Visit Paralyzed Man in Hospital This is wonderful, I agree. My only criticisms are: 1) did the patient’s family start visiting again, and 2) are other patients now being visited more? I worry that these huge expressions of doing right replace everyday behaviors. That, by being part of a movement, people feel off the hook for daily good behavior.

Daily TED Talk

A life lesson from a volunteer firefighter (5min) Often our egos mask reality. A great story of doing good, well and funnily told.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-05-13

Cuddling Babies: Hospital Volunteers Show the Power of Human Touch It’s no news to me that cuddling babies is healthy. There was a (dreadful) experiment a century ago that showed babies who aren’t touched will die. More positively, my wife’s mother was the first healing touch therapist to be employed full time by a hospital, in its premature births ward.

The little light that helped one man raise over $1.5 million A solar-charged, collapsible lamp for poor nations and also for campers and others “off the grid.”

Mom Jumps Out Of Burning Building To Save Her Son... 'He Mattered Way More Than I Did' She jumped out of a second story apartment, and may never walk again. Is she a hero? She doesn’t use that word.

Bubblegum That Cleans Your Teeth--For Kids Where There Are No Dentists I’ve never heard of Xylitol, a sweetener that’s beneficial for dental health, but it was discovered over a hundred years ago. It also decreases middle ear infection in children.

Daily TED Talk

A happy song about global warming, from Jill Sobule. (5 min) “Manhattan in January,” cute and funny.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-05-12

Honest Toilet Cleaner Gets to Keep $80,000 I love it when doing the right thing gets rewarded.

This Soldier Waged A 10-Year Campaign To Transform The Life Of A Disfigured Child Wayne Ingram raised money to help Stefan Savic, “born with a rare Tessier facial cleft, a disfigurement that split his nose in half and forced his eyes several inches apart….”

Daily TED Talk

A new missions for veterans – disaster relief (5 min) This is a fantastic effort for veterans to retain the purpose, community and self-worth they experienced while serving in the military. Not just valuable, but literally critical to many’s survival. A striking talk by Jake Wood.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-05-09

In Stanton, Iowa, human chain of 400+ passes books from old library to new Apparently it took longer than expected because the kids--and adults--kept looking at the books saying "I've read this," or "I want to read this."

South Mississippi GED graduates' persistence earns them the cap and gown Stories of several GED recipients. Well done!

This Dad Built A Roller Coaster In His Backyard For His Son For A Very Cool Reason The "cool reason" seems to be "because I could," but he maintains it was about applied mathematics.

Longwood University makes dream come true for dying father, graduating daughter Great story about a university bending the rules for good reason.

Daily TED Talk
The Power of Vulnerability (20min) A fantastic talk from a researcher who discovered that her job--and life--of "control and predict" was at odds with her study's results. Illuminating and valuable science on how to live "whole heartedly."

Read more here:

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-05-08

Arizona will get non-stop clean energy from hot air drafts More alternative energy news coming out of Arizona. In this case, use a little water to create downdrafts from the ever-present heat, leading to continuous energy output.

K9 finds missing autistic boy standing in creek The boy was lost, and hard to find in thick woods, but the police dog went right to him.

Blind Pole Vaulter Soars into State Meet Charlotte Brown is legally blind. When vaulting she sees black. This is a fantastic story of persistence, cleverness and support.

This Artist Turned A Major Street In Bristol Into A Huge Water Slide What fun! Bristol is closing this street the first Sunday of each month to allow doing something different on it. This crowd-sourced water slide was the first project.

The Entire History Of Western Civilization From Ancient Greece To Today Has Occurred While This Axe Has Existed That is one old axe. 3600 years old.

Daily TED Talk
Print Your Own Medicine Chemist Lee Cronin is working on a 3D printer that, instead of objects, is able to print molecules. An exciting potential long-term application: printing your own medicine using chemical inks.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-05-07

Beethoven's 9th Symphony Premiers 190 years ago today, the "Chorale" symphony premiered, composed when Beethoven was completely deaf.

Man With Down Syndrome Fulfills Life Goal, Sings National Anthem At Red Sox Game The title says it all. There's a five minute video of Michael Mullins singing the anthem. Such joy!

This Guy Digs Through Trash To Create Something We Often Take For Granted Gregory Kloehn builds moveable micro houses for the homeless from available scrap.

Daily TED Talk
The Demise of Guys? Psychologist Philip Zimbardo asks, "Why are boys struggling?" He shares some stats (lower graduation rates, greater worries about intimacy and relationships) and suggests a few reasons — and challenges the TED community to think about solutions. Funny, informative. The comments include both support and challenges to Zimbardo's talk.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-05-06

Giant solar farm uses molten salt to keep power coming This Arizona solar station stores energy for use when the sun isn't available.

Chemist Turns Software Developer After Son's Cancer Diagnosis Brian Shaw and his wife discovered evidence of a specific cancer in their baby's earliest pictures (just a few days old). Now he wants cameras to check for it automatically.

Daily TED Talk
The discovery that could rewrite physics (5min) "What they found on Monday was evidence of the ringing of the space-time of the early universe." A quick explanation of the recent confirmation of the Big Bang inflationary universe theory.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-05-05

Scruffy’s Story Captured a Nation and Saved Hundreds of Dogs From Execution (The Tuesday Dog)This is an old story, but I read this book in the last year and enjoyed it. A stray dog has Lassie-like adventures, meeting both good and bad strangers.

Family Who Lost Dog In Superstorm Sandy Gets Huge Surprise At Adoption Shelter A more recent dog story, also true, also wonderful.

Rivers' garbageman named CNN Hero of the Year This guy's cleaning up the Mississippi--and other rivers. He was awarded $250K by CNN. Best part of the article: "During the show, Pregracke pledged to spread some of his Hero of the Year money to the rest of the top 10 Heroes: 'I've met so many great people today, the other Heroes, and I'm really moved by all their stories and all the things they do around the world. ... I'm going to give 10 grand to each of them, because they're awesome.'

Daily TED Talk
Eric Lewis: Chaos and harmony on Piano (5min)  I could joke about not knowing if he's playing wrong notes, but I have a background in music: even any wrong notes would be right for the piece. Listen to the thunderclaps, the rain, the wind!