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Schools of a Different Sort: Five Alternative Educations

Some people aren't built to thrive in a lecture hall, and conventional schooling doesn't guarantee a job.

Every three months, GOOD releases our quarterly magazine, which examines a given theme through our unique lens. Recent editions have covered topics like the impending global water crisis, the future of transportation, and the amazing rebuilding of New Orleans. This quarter's issue is about work, and we'll be rolling out a variety of stories all month.

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To most, clean energy conjures up images of green prairies with towering windmills, or wide expanses of solar panels as far as the eye can see. Often, we're tempted to say, "Okay, why not build more? Problem solved." But the reality of the matter isn't so simple.

In a recent Grist post, Guy Warner, founder and CEO of Pareto Energy, cited America's outdated power grid as one of the factors holding back progress on sustainable energy:

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The Japanese have a propensity for turning the mundane into its exact opposite—making it either really cute or really stylistic. Usually, really cute. I mean, we're talking about the culture that gave birth to Pokémon, anime, and almost all things anthropomorphic. Case number one: It's a manhole cover, but it also shows the logo of the local baseball team, the Hiroshima Carp (that's right, the cuteness has permeated their baseball league). It's beautiful.

In America, manhole covers are just manhole covers. In Japan, they're an art form. So much so that Remo Camerota has a blog about them. And a book. And an iPhone app. But it's more than just an art form, really. It's a state of mind. It's a philosophy that declares, "no, I'm not content with just doing what I need to do, I want to elevate it."

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