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The Survivalist’s Case For Yak Burgers

The unusual meat is tasty, better for the environment, and more secure in troubled times. So why can’t you find it at the corner store?

Somewhere on the road between Montrose and Fruita, Colorado, rancher Bob Hasse and I pass a Burger King, and I ask if he fantasizes about getting yak on the fast-food chain’s menu. “Nope,” he says quickly. “Not even in 50 years.” We’ve just collected eight meat-ready yak from one of his pastures—with the help of a few aluminum baseball bats for insurance—and 8,000 pounds of the shaggy Himalayan animals are bumping up against each other in Hasse’s trailer as we head north to the slaughterhouse.

Yak simply has no place in fast food’s system of optimized convenience and immediacy. Yet at the same time, the conscious American meat eater is eager for an alternative to the gigantic footprint that cattle produces—and Hasse can’t keep up with demand.

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What the Designated Drivers Campaign Can Teach Those in the Youth Service Movement

In the mid eighties, nobody in the U.S. knew what a designated driver was. The concept simply didn't exist here. It was actually a Scandinavian...


In the mid-eighties, nobody in the U.S. knew what a designated driver was. The concept simply didn't exist in America. It was actually a Scandinavian idea. Harvard Public Health Professor Jay Winsten cleverly and systematically seeded the notion in popular culture through a partnership with all the major Hollywood studios and the television networks beginning in 1988.

Within four television seasons, 160 prime time episodes addressed drinking and driving and the notion of the designated driver as "the life of the party" swiftly went mainstream. By 1991, more than half of Americans under 30 reported that they had been a designated driver. Winsten's coup of harnessing the power of popular entertainment media for a broad pro-social campaign was revolutionary.

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You may have noticed that we're big on service here at GOOD. We've long been inspired by and helped support the work of civic ventures and community-based projects, from the big players like City Year and 826 National in the education space, to upstarts like the Noun Project and Verynice in the social design space. One of the common threads that runs through these organizations is that they are powered by service and volunteering—these folks are problem-solving on a hyperlocal scale, but with scalable impact that presents useful models to other aspiring social entrepreneurs.

This week in Washington, D.C., Points of Light hosts its annual Conference on Volunteering and Service—one of the largest gatherings anywhere of civic leaders and social hackers. Thousands will be in DC to connect and inspire, to learn from and train each other. GOOD will be there too.

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How about a little awareness with your bong load tomorrow? Filmmaker Rebecca Cohen presented her kickstarter campaign for her film here on good.is for finishing funds and you helped push her over the line. Her film takes place in Montana, but similar battles are flaring up all over the country. She outlined in her piece the changing landscape of medical marijuana laws:

Our cameras stopped rolling in 2011, and we premiered our film, "Code of the West," at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival in Austin. But even though our film crew had left Montana, Chris’s story kept rolling. Now, as we head into 2013, it’s taken on a new urgency. After a federal crackdown last year, Chris and his business partners were indicted on federal drug charges. Despite his efforts to follow state law and build trust and accountability through community and state outreach, Chris is now facing an 80+ year sentence for a crime that 80 percent of Americans and 18 states think should not be a crime at all. Unless he wins a successful appeal, he’ll be in prison until he’s 120.

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Malala Yousufzai, the outspoken Pakistani teenaged education activist who was brutally attacked by the Taliban earlier this month, isn't going to let a bullet to the head stop her. "When she fell, Pakistan stood. And this is a turning point," her father told the Associated Press today. "She will rise again, she will stand again. She can stand now."

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