A Bold, Bodacious Beard Club

beards
Beards are wonderful. I say this not has a biased individual who has a beard, but has a person who understands that beards are more than they seem. In the province of Newfoundland there is a beard club that spends their time making the world a better place. The best part of beard club is that you must tell everybody about, and that anybody is welcome – no beard even needed!

“Instead of paying dues or anything, like a lot of groups do, how about we give back to the community? And one of the great ways, especially with [Hai’s] history with Project Kindness, is volunteering,” he said.

“So once a month we’re gonna get together, do some volunteering, do some volunteering on our own. It’s just a great way to give back to the community.”

Group members share some beard-care tips amongst themselves, and are hopeful the trend expands further.

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Treepedia Lets Cities See Where Trees are Needed

MIT tree

Treepedia is a new tool from MIT that uses Google street view to evaluate what the coverage of trees are in specific areas. It lets you know what your neighbourhood is like and doesn’t just bias cities with big inaccessible parks. This means that cities (and people!) can use this tool to find where trees are most badly needed from the perspective of a pedestrian. Trees are more than just pollution-fighters, they make cities prettier and friendlier.

“Street greenery is a really important part of the urban environment,” says Xiaojiang Li, a postdoctoral fellow at MIT who helped develop Treepedia’s Green View Index, a measure of the tree coverage in a city overall and in any area within the city that a user wants to examine.

Trees provide shade for pedestrians in the summer and help to lower urban temperatures, Mr. Li says. They also help prevent water runoff during heavy rain and clean the air.

The MIT team used the Google photos instead of satellite imagery to “really measure how much greenery people might see” as they move around a city’s streets, Mr. Li says. Treepedia’s Green View Index doesn’t take city parks into account for that same reason.

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Thanks to Delaney!

Lower Your Risk of Cancer and Heart Disease by Cycling to Work

Bicycle

We all know that encouraging bicycles as daily transportation is good for cities, economies, and traffic flow. Cycling is really good for you too and the evidence that you should bike more is more prevalent than ever. The most recent contribution to why riding a bike to work is good for you comes from Glasgow. Researchers there found that over the course of five years people who biked regularly had lower instances of cancer and heart disease!

But, during the course of the study, regular cycling cut the risk of death from any cause by 41%, the incidence of cancer by 45% and heart disease by 46%.
The cyclists clocked an average of 30 miles per week, but the further they cycled the greater the health boon.
Walking cut the odds of developing heart disease but the benefit was mostly for people walking more than six miles per week.
“This is really clear evidence that people who commute in an active way, particularly by cycling, were at lower risk,” Dr Jason Gill, from the University of Glasgow, told the BBC News website.

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Cancer Survival Rates Higher Thanks to Years of Progress

happiness

Science is awesome! Over the last few decades survival rates of leukemia have increased thanks to research into how cancer functions and how to stop it. Cancer is incredibly hard to control and taking a moment to reflect on the success we’ve had is worth it. Thanks to ongoing research we’ve now got survival rates as high as 90% in some parts of the world. Now that we know how to hold back leukemia we can focus on improving access to proper care around the world.

“The study shows that the probability that children survive at least five years after diagnosis has increased in most countries for the two most common types of childhood leukemia,” said lead author Dr. Audrey Bonaventure, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, U.K.


“In 1960, the survival was zero. There was no treatment. Children lived for a month or two after diagnosis and died,” Grundy told CBC News. “In all of medicine, I think this is one of the top success stories: in just 50 years, to go from zero to 90 per cent survival.”

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Get Rewarded for Supporting Civil Disobedience

If your idea to change the world is creative enough then you could get $250,000 from LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman. Technically, it’ll be from MIT Media Lab with money from Hoffman. The Lab and Hoffman teamed up to ensure that creative civil resistance in the USA doesn’t die under the Trump presidency. With the increased pressure on American institutions to buckle under corporate influence right from the top (think Rex Tillerson) the need for people standing up is needed now more than ever before. This prize for civil disobedience is designed to get people engaged and thinking in new ways to stand up for human and legal rights.

“We wanted to see if we could identify very creative and principled disobedience,” says Ito. “I talked to a lot of students, and some of them had started saying, this nonviolence stuff doesn’t work anymore, or those days of Gandhi are over. And some people threatened to engage in disobedience that I felt was sort of reckless.”

The aim of the award is to help someone make further progress. “My hope is that we support a person in the middle of their career and help provide coaching, support, and visibility to help him or her be more effective,” says Ethan Zuckerman, director of the Center for Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab. “We hope we’re not just rewarding what they’ve already achieved.”

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