The GOODEST: Our Favorite Things to Learn and Do This Past Week

You can learn about so many things on the internet, but how much more powerful would it be if you could also DO after you learned stuff? From...

You can learn about so many things on the internet, but how much more powerful would it be if you could also DO after you learned stuff? From a lesson about The Emancipation Proclamation to joining Obama's Day of Service and applying to be a Mars colonist, we have things for you to learn and do from this week. Oh, and since we're always learning from the GOOD community, we're sharing member profiles that are starting great discussions and activating the online platform.

Let's Learn:

There's No Race Like Home: 'Searching for Zion' Explores Being Biracial in America

Rebecca Carroll realizes that as a biracial, black-identified mother of a racially ambiguous looking child, her son's name "Kofi" implies some sort of African legacy, which in reality, he can no more claim than her or any of us. In this post, she speaks with author Emily Raboteau of Searching for Zion: The Quest for More in the African Diaspora.

A DO Suggestion? Read Raboteau's book.

Here's What Energy Company 'Land Men' Tell Homeowners in Rural Eastern Ohio

Reuters just put together a short, informative doc on the "land men" who would like to get landowners to lease their land to energy companies. There's been a lot of discussion on this issue, from the movie "Promised Land", which brought you our community-driven photo essay, to the man that's walking the entire length of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline.

A DO Suggestion? Sign up to be involved in the campaign against the Keystone XL pipeline.

Rebrand Your 'Hood for Good

During a time of bankruptcy in 1977, Milton Glaser created the famous “I Love New York” logo pro bono and since then, New York has become the safest big city in America. Lee-Sean Huang discusses how branding can be a part of the difference, and how he helped designed a logo for Rio.

A DO Suggestion? Come up with a logo for your neighborhood.

'Kale-Eating Overlord' Musk Will Allow Meat on Mars—If It's Viable

Want to be a Martian colonist? No problem. Wait a decade or two and you can be one of the first several thousand to do so, says space baron Elon Musk. There's just one catch...

A DO Suggestion? Apply to be a Mars colonist.

The Emancipation Proclamation Story Not Taught in Schools

More than 200,000 African American soldiers and sailors helped to save the Union and carry out what Lincoln called "a new birth of freedom." William L. Katz tells us how their emancipation story offers useful lessons about people power during a time of slavery and for today.

A DO Suggestion? Read The Emancipation Proclamation, then take your slavery footprint. See how your lifestyle contributes to forced labor.

Retrofitting Surburbia: Bringing Life to Vacant Spaces

Ellen Dunham-Jones is an expert on retrofitting suburban spaces. She gives us insight about the communities that are changing vacant strip malls into creative spaces and restaurants.

A DO Suggestion? Occupy a vacant lot in your neighborhood.

The Digital Divide? It's at Your Local School, Too

Dewitt Robinson only has four computers and an outdated projector in his classroom. This lack of a strong tech environment isn’t unusual in classrooms across America. He asks, how can we end the digital divide?

A DO Suggestion? Nominate a nonprofit that's impacting youth to be featured on the Give for Youth microgiving site. Microsoft will match the microfunds through our Give for Youth Maker Challenge.

Redesigning the Front Yard: Replacing Lawns with Food, and Now Prairies

Now, it's also becoming more common to replace lawns with native plants. In the Midwest, homeowners are starting to bring back the prairie yard by yard.

A DO Suggestion? Plant a square foot garden for your home, whether it's on your balcony, in a carport, or on your front lawn.

Softwalks: Turning Scaffolding into Pop-up Parks

In New York City, there is no shortage of "sidewalk sheds". Softwalks designed a "Kit of Parts," a selection of improvements, such as chairs and planters, that can be added to standard sidewalk sheds.

A DO Suggestion? Support Softwalks' Kickstarter campaign.

The Tricycle House and Garden Imagines a Sustainable World on Three Wheels

The Tricycle House and Tricycle Garden is a self contained traveling home and garden concept that was in part a response to property laws in China.

A DO Suggestion? Build a log cabin mobile home.

Let's DO:

Share Files You Don't Want with People You Don't Know

File share your digital trash with Dumpster Drive.

Help Support a New Design to Remove Landmines

Mine Kafon is a low-cost landmine detonator that's looking for funds on Kickstarter.

Volunteer for the Los Angeles Homeless Count 2013

Volunteers are still needed to help count the homeless population in Los Angeles Jan 29-31st. Get involved.

Build Public Schools That Create More Energy Than They Use

On the SW side of Chicago, Academy for Global Citizenship is building a net-positive energy school campus and replicable model for learning and living in the 21st century. Donate to the cause.

Join Obama's Day of Service

In on honor of MLK day and Obama's inauguration, the White House is planning a day of service on January 19th. Find a volunteer opportunity near you and pledge to participate.

GOOD Member of the Week:

Nicole Cardoza started a conversation about The Science of Creativity and its importance in our society on GOOD. Check out how she engaged the community. Get inspired to start a discussion on our platform.

Illustration by Jessica de Jesus, Original Image via (cc) flickr user Markle1

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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