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

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

by Alessandra Rizzotti
December 2, 2012

Fish Poo Power: A Genius Countertop Aquaponics Garden

“We’ve been doing this [testing the gardens] for eight months, and it still blows my mind when I see the first one sprouting—out of rock. It’s just crazy. I get so excited about it, but imagine a little kid seeing that.” With a bit of the wonder that dwells in any farmer, Arora adds, “They’re never going to forget that for the rest of their lives.”

'Solutionaries': Why Adults Need to Get Out of the Way

Most adults are simply not doing enough, except for perhaps Charlie Kouns and David Loitz—the visionaries at Imagining Learning. Around the United States, Kouns, Loitz, and their team have been hosting listening sessions, inviting young people to share their revelations and insights on education.

"We have been told by students that this was often the first they had been asked to share their own views on education," says Loitz. "We must provide a safe space for them to express this vision, to dream, critique, revise, and reinvent the world in which we live."

Yard CSAs: Hey, Neighbor—You Gonna Eat That?

It seems like such a reasonable idea: 

    There are yards

    Not everybody has a use for theirs

    Use those yards to grow food

    Sell it

Twinkie Extinction: Luckily I Photographed Its 37 Or So Ingredients

More recently, when I became a parent, I started thinking a bit about food. I began to consider which foodstuffs are healthy and which are not. Given how much thought my own mother put into it, it was hard not to. A career in photography has provided me license to embrace my obsessive compulsive side. I love the idea of taking any object and deconstructing it into its component parts. Essentially, I find great thrill in lining things up and photographing them. Thus, this project. The Twinkie is made up of 37 or so ingredients and this is what they look like.

Occupy Sandy: One of the Best Startups I've Ever Seen

"Looking for something to do?" a volunteer asked. "We need about 400 PB&Js ready for Red Hook in about an hour."

Meanwhile, a U-Haul from Maryland had arrived, packed to the brim with supplies. "We need a conga line to get these boxes in the church," another volunteer shouted. A dozen people instantly formed and began unloading the truck. The formality of management just isn't necessary at this level when the goals are so clear and everyone is on the same page.

Trend Alert: Capotain Pilgrim Hat as Ultimate Homage to Patron Saints of American Gentrification

Kent Glick, owner and operator of the Myles Standish Buckle Hat Manufacturing Company in Long Island City, is thrilled by the recent uptick in popularity for his product. “I inherited this business from my father,” he says, “and believe you me, things were different back then. It was a different world. Most of the buckle hat operations have moved to China. It’s cheaper to make them over there, but the quality just isn’t the same.” Despite this, Kent is confident that things are looking up for the American capotain industry. “All year we’ve just been getting by, treading water, but the last month or so? Sales are through the roof!”
 
“This time,” he says, “pilgrim hats are back for good.”
 

 
Instead of contributing to the profits of international mega-corporations which exploit their workers and the planet, use holiday spending as an opportunity to uplift your own community. When you buy from locally owned businesses, $45 of every $100 spent will remain in the local economy. Of that same $100 spent at a chain retailer, only $14 would remain locally.
 

 
 
Here I was in the heart of the Middle East and my Muslim mother-in-law, who at the time covered her hair with the veil and made no secret of her desire for a grandchild (three years of marriage with no baby to show is still nearly unheard of in Syria), had gotten a pill for me that would delay even further her desperate wish to become a grandmother. A pill that in the United States was still deeply controversial and difficult to come by.
 

 
 
Finding an innovative solution often involves getting lost. It's like setting out to find treasure with just a map and a compass—you may encounter mountains, seas and wild animals along the way, and how you choose to navigate those challenges releases your particular gifts and skills.
 

 
Illustration by Jessica De Jesus
 
Original image via (cc) flickr user kindercapes
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