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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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National Tell a Joke Day dates back to 1944 when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was having a meeting with Vice-President, Henry Wallace. The two men were tired and depressed due to the stress caused by leading a country through world war.

During a lull in the meeting, Wallace said, "Frank, to cheer you up I have a joke I'd like to share."

"Let's have it, Henry," Roosevelt replied while ashing his cigarette.

"Why did the chicken cross the road?" Wallace asked. "Not sure," Roosevelt replied.

"To get to the other side," Wallace responded.

Roosevelt laughed so hard that the bourbon he was drinking sprayed out of his nose and onto the floor of the oval office.

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via Shannon Sedgwick Davis

"I look at philanthropy the same way I look at my business investments," Muneer Satter, Founder and Chairman of Satter Investment Management, once told me. "I'm looking for exponential returns." In the humanitarian sector where I operate, we've unfortunately grown accustomed to less-than-optimal returns. We do our best to improve security and quality of life for the world's vulnerable populations, but we rarely make a dent in solving the most intractable conflicts or dire emergencies.

As I describe in my book, "To Stop a Warlord," nontraditional partnerships are one strategy that can make the impossible possible. In corporate and nonprofit spaces, and everywhere in between, when we collaborate in unprecedented ways, we buck the status quo and step outside our comfort zones. This retrains us to think without limits and gives us an augmented capacity to make major change in the world.

The results of nontraditional partnerships can be successful in solving problems and lasting in their innovation—and the results can also be surprising. The massive problem we were trying to tackle was to end a long-standing armed conflict in Central Africa where a rebel group called the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) had been terrorizing citizens of four countries for twenty-five years. More than one hundred thousand people had been killed, almost two million innocent civilians displaced, and at least thirty thousand children abducted and forced to become soldiers or sex slaves in what was already Africa's longest-running war.

Ending the LRA conflict seemed like a lost cause. But we set forth on forging an unlikely alliance of private and public entities—including philanthropists, humanitarian organizations, local civil society leaders, and the U.S. and Ugandan militaries—to intervene. By the end of our intervention, many top-tier LRA leaders and at least fourteen percent of the LRA's core fighting force had defected or been captured; and there had been a ninety percent reduction in LRA killings.

There are four major lessons to be drawn from the unparalleled success of this unlikely partnership.

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Alanis Morissette's 1995 song “Ironic" was a massive hit, making the top five in Australia, Canada, the U.S., and Norway. It would go on to be nominated for two Grammys and its video featuring Morissette singing in a large automobile would be nominated for six MTV video music awards. But the song has drawn more than a few raised eyebrows from pedants across the English-speaking world for being about coincidences, not irony. But who cares? It's still a good song.

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Being a server in a restaurant is hard work. You're on your feet all day, you have to deal with needy customers, and the pay can be downright terrible. In fact, most U.S. states permit employers to pay tipped workers less than the federal minimum wage. In 21 states, servers are paid only $2.13 an hour before tips. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, “nearly 15% of the nation's 2.4 million waiters and waitresses live in poverty, compared with about 7% of all workers. They are more likely to need public assistance and less likely to receive paid sick leave or health benefits."

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Theodor Seuss Geisel’s moniker, Dr. Seuss, is an indelible part of any childhood. Born in 1904, his words continue to delight generation after generation of children and adults, enabling them to dream and imagine, explore and create. From his lovable The Cat In The Hat to his perpetually relevant The Lorax, Seuss has entertained through education, twisting, turning, and rhyming words into parables, lessons, and culture. What is a Christmas without the Grinch? Who taught you that even the things you can not see have a need to get protected other than Horton as he hears a Who?

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