GOOD

2009 List: Mark Your Calendars

A calendar of the events you shouldn't miss in the year ahead.

1 The Inauguration January 20The 44th president will solemnly swear to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.2 Davos World Economic Forum January 28–February 1Fifteen hundred of the world's most influential wonks, ministers, and hangers-on cavort in the Swiss Alps for their annual policy retreat. This year's fitting topic? "Shaping the Post-Crisis World."3 Abraham Lincoln's 200th Birthday February 12More than 80 exhibits are planned for Washington, D.C., museums to celebrate the life of the Great Emancipator. A few months later, on Memorial Day, the president will speak at the rededication of the Lincoln Memorial.

4 Charles Darwin's 200th Birthday February 12It's a humanist twofer-the 12th is also Charles Darwin's bicentennial. His hometown of Shrewsbury, England, will hold a big bash for its favorite heretical son.5 A.N.S.W.E.R. March 21The antiwar group marks the sixth anniversary of the Iraq invasion with a day of protests outside the White House. Will Obama stroll out to the front lawn for a chat?6 Green Apple Festival April 19The world's biggest Earth Day celebration stages 10 free concerts in major cities (New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco among them) to honor our planet.


7 Total eclipse of the sun July 22At six minutes and 39 seconds, this will be the longest-lasting total solar eclipse of the 21st century. Unfortunately, nobody in North America will be able to see it. But the views from central China should be stellar.8 La Fête de l'Humanité SeptemberAn annual three-day music festival in Paris pour les proles, it is thrown by France's largest Communist newspaper. At just $22 a ticket, it's a great way for the workers of the world to unite.9 350.org October 24These 350 rallies hope to add pressure to governments to hammer out a deal at the U.N. climate negotiations in December. The "350" refers to the level of carbon dioxide, in parts per million, we need to drop below in order to avoid a doomsday scenario. (We're currently at 387 and rising.)

10 Big Berther December 12Oasis of the Seas, the largest cruise ship ever built, makes its maiden voyage. Onboard amenities include a teens-only spa, a carousel, two rock-climbing walls, a full-sized basketball court, four swimming pools, a "levitating bar," a psychic, a tattoo parlor, and a tropical park with ecological tours led by the resident horticulturist.

NOW WHAT This list was just to get it started. Share other important happenings in the comments below.

Articles
AFP News Agency / Twitter

A study out of Belgium found that smart people are much less likely to be bigoted. The same study also found that people who are bigoted are more likely to overestimate their own intelligence.

A horrifying story out of Germany is a perfect example of this truth on full display: an anti-Semite was so dumb the was unable to open a door at the temple he tried to attack.

On Wednesday, October 9, congregants gathered at a synagogue in Humboldtstrasse, Germany for a Yom Kippur service, and an anti-Semite armed with explosives and carrying a rifle attempted to barge in through the door.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities
via Andi-Graf / Pixabay

The old saying goes something like, "Possessions don't make you happy." A more dire version is, "What you own, ends up owning you."

Are these old adages true or just the empty words of ancient party-poopers challenging you not to buy an iPhone 11? According to a new study of 968 young adults by the University of Arizona, being materialistic only brings us misery.

The study examined how engaging in pro-environmental behaviors affects the well-being of millenials. The study found two ways in which they modify their behaviors to help the environment: they either reduce what they consume or purchase green items.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

One of the biggest obstacles to getting assault weapons banned in the United States is the amount of money they generate.

There were around 10 million guns manufactured in the U.S. in 2016 of which around 2 million were semiautomatic, assault-style weapons. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry's trade association, the U.S. industry's total economic impact in 2016 alone was $51 billion.

In 2016, the NRA gave over $50 million to buy support from lawmakers. When one considers the tens of millions of dollars spent on commerce and corruption, it's no wonder gun control advocates have an uphill battle.

That, of course, assumes that money can control just about anyone in the equation. However, there are a few brave souls who actually value human life over profit.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via Reddit and NASA / Wikimedia Commons

Trees give us a unique glimpse into our past. An examination of tree rings can show us what the climate was like in a given year. Was it a wet winter? Were there hurricanes in the summer? Did a forest fire ravage the area?

An ancient tree in New Zealand is the first to provide evidence of the near reversal of the Earth's magnetic field over 41,000 years ago.

Over the past 83 million years there have been 183 magnetic pole reversals, a process that takes about 7,000 years to complete.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Pixabay

The final episode of "The Sopranos" made a lot of people angry because it ends with mob boss Tony Soprano and his family eating at an ice cream parlor while "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey plays in the background … and then, suddenly, the screen turns black.

Some thought the ending was a dirty trick, while others saw it as a stroke of brilliance. A popular theory is that Tony gets shot, but doesn't know it because, as his brother-in-law Bobby Baccala said, "You probably don't even hear it when it happens, right?"

So the show gives us all an idea of what it's like to die. We're here and then we're not.

Keep Reading Show less
Health