GOOD

Reading for Treasure

Teaching writing in a pirate supply store, in San Francisco.


At 826 Valencia, a purveyor of "pirate supplies"in San Francisco's Mission District, the grand joke is that pirate supply stores are commonplace. Its website bills it as the city's "only independent pirate supply store," as though the streets were overrun with competing big-box chains.If selling eye patches seems a strange front for tutoring adolescents in writing (the true mission of 826, founded by author David Eggers in 2002) that's sort of the point. "It's liberating," says store manager Anna Ura. Indeed, a huge tub of lard-apparently a pirate staple-goes far toward breaking down tired classroom codes. The purpose of 826 is to awaken in kids a sense of wonder about writing, and designer glass eyes ($25) and pirate dice ($1.75) are all part of the act. Adults seem to get a kick out of the place, too: The store attracts a steady stream of befuddled Valencia Street window shoppers.The San Francisco outfit is the first of a growing number of 826-affliated tutoring centers across the country. Like 826 Valencia, these centers do more than tutor in writing; they also supply accoutrements for budding superheroes, spies, explorers, monsters, and time travelers. And they all bear a common theme, central to the task of inspiring young authors. Your writing is just that: yours.LEARN MORE 826valencia.org
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Photo by Josh Couch on Unsplash

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Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth are the subjects of a new statue that will be on display along The Mall, a walkway that runs through the park from 66th to 72nd street. It will be dedicated in August of next year, which is fittingly the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote.

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Historically, we have waited until something is near the complete point of collapse, then fought and clawed to bring the species numbers back up. But oftentimes we wait so long that it's too late. Creatures vanish from the Earth altogether. They go extinct. And even though I don't think for a single second that we should downplay the severity of extinction, if we can flip this on its head and show that every once in a while a species we have given up on is actually still out there, hanging on by a thread against all odds, that is a story that deserves to be told. A tragic story of loss becomes one about an animal that deserves a shot at preservation and a message of hope the world deserves to hear.

As a wildlife biologist and tracker who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of animals I believe have been wrongfully deemed extinct, I spend most of my time in super remote corners of the Earth, hoping to find some shred of evidence that these incredible creatures are still out there. And to be frank, I'm pretty damn good at it!

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The Planet

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

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NHM Vienna/Hans Reschreiter

Wealth inequality has been a hot topic of discussion as of late, but it's something that's occurred all throughout history. Class structure is a complicated issue, especially when you consider that haves and have nots have been in existence for over 4,000 years.

A study published in Science took a look at over 100 late Neolithic and early Bronze Age skeletons found in a burial site in southern Germany. The study "shed light on the complexity of social status, inheritance rules, and mobility during the Bronze Age." Partly by looking at their teeth and the artifacts they were buried with, researchers were able to discover that wealth inequality existed almost 4,000 years ago. "Our results reveal that individual households lasting several generations consisted of a high-status core family and unrelated low-status individuals, a social organization accompanied by patrilocality and female exogamy, and the stability of this system over 700 years," the study said.

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Culture
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Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

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