Back to School: Study a Current Event #30DaysofGOOD

Choose a single important issue or world event that's happening right now, and focus for an hour on getting a better, deeper understanding of it.

30 Days of GOOD (#30DaysofGOOD) is our monthly attempt to live better. This month we're going "Back to School" and committing to learn something new every day.

These days, we have more options for getting information quickly than at any time in history. But vaster, faster access to news doesn't guarantee that we really know or truly understand what's happening in the world. Take, for example, the results of a recent research project reported on by the Poynter Institute:

People who watch no news at all can answer more questions about international current events than people who watch cable news, a survey by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind finds.


While part of the problem lies with the choices we make about where we get our news from, there's also the issue of information deluge. We're bombarded with so many tiny bits of news throughout the course of a day that we're unable to meaningfully investigate any individual piece of it.

Today's task is to try something new. Step away from the noise of the screaming heads on TV and radio news. Abstain from clicking on every intentionally-aggravating headline your friend's uncle's coworker posts on Facebook. Instead, choose a single important issue or world event that's happening right now, and focus for an hour on getting a better, deeper understanding of it.

You've probably heard a lot about the current crisis in Syria, but what do you know about its origins? Use Wikipedia to read up.

Only have a vague sense of what's in Paul Ryan's much-buzzed-about federal budget plan? Give it a read at, where you can also see the current proposals of all other United States Representatives.

Curious about the technological innovations and scientific goals of the latest Mars rover? Visit NASA's website and start exploring.

Let us know in the comments section of this post what you decided to study, and how you went about it. And if you've got tips or ideas for staying on top of important current affairs (and weeding out the garbage), please share them with the GOOD community.

via Alan Levine / Flickr

The World Health Organization is hoping to drive down the cost of insulin by encouraging more generic drug makers to enter the market.

The organization hopes that by increasing competition for insulin, drug manufacturers will be forced to lower their prices.

Currently, only three companies dominate the world insulin market, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. Over the past three decades they've worked to drastically increase the price of the drug, leading to an insulin availability crisis in some places.

In the United States, the price of insulin has increased from $35 a vial to $275 over the past two decades.

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Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

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In late 2018 and early 2019, a drone captured footage of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales crammed into holding pens in the Srednyaya Bay. The so-called "whale jail" made headlines, and authorities began to investigate their potentially illegal capture.

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via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

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via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The 2020 election is a year away, but Donald Trump has some serious ground to cover if he doesn't want it to be a historical blowout.

A Washington Post- ABC News poll released Tuesday shows that Trump loses by double digits to the top Democratic contenders.

Vice President Joe Biden (56%-39%); Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (54%-39%); Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (56%-39%); South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (52%-41%); and Sen. Kamala Harris of California (52%-41%) all have big leads over the president.

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