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Encyclopedia of Life

A new web-based zoological catalogue will store information about every single plant and animal on earth. Plus Big Thinker Wendy Kopp.

How do you squeeze more than a million species onto the internet in a way that is as interesting to a class of Australian kindergartners as it is to the world's leading expert on mushrooms? Scientists behind the Encyclopedia of Life, a new web-based zoological catalogue, aim to find a way, as they spend the next 10 years creating an online home for information about every single plant and animal on Earth.Equipped with a superstar spokesman (the renowned biologist E.O. Wilson) and state-of-the-art software (mash-up technology and wiki-style editing), the project is well on its way. At the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, in Massachusetts, taxonomists are sorting through a list of 10 million species names. And in centers in Boston, Washington, D.C., and London, more than a million pages of papers on dogs, beetles, and fish have been scanned and digitized.The first species pages will premiere on the site in mid-2008. On the polar bear page, virtual phylogenetic trees will link the bears to their relatives, maps will trace their Arctic migrations, and scanned reports will describe the first documented sightings of the beast. Categorizing species like the polar bear will be quite straightforward. Things like mushrooms might prove more challenging, but will ultimately validate the concept: There's no single expert on all kinds of the spore-bearing fungus, but the diverse knowledge of hundreds (if not thousands) of experts will combine on the site to paint a complete picture.BIG THINKER:

Wendy Kopp

We see evidence every day-at every grade level, and in urban and rural communities all across the country-that when children facing the challenges of poverty are given the opportunities they deserve, they excel. This is the truth, and yet those who believe that it is impossible for schools to overcome the challenges of poverty consider it a radical idea. This is the idea I'd like to see our nation's leaders embrace-the idea that with a new approach to education, we can ensure that all of our nation's children, regardless of where they are born, have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.Wendy Kopp is the director of Teach For America (one of GOOD's nonprofit partners).


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Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

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Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

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September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

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via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

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via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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