An Awesome Foundation

The Awesome Foundation wants you to do something awesome, seriously! This is a great idea, a bunch of people put in some cash (in this case $1,000) and then others submit project ideas revolving around ways to make your city better!

The Awesome Foundation for the Arts and Sciences is an ever-growing, worldwide network of people devoted to forwarding the interest of awesomeness in the universe.

The Foundation distributes a series of monthly $1,000 grants to projects and their creators. The money is given upfront in a paper bag full of cash by a group of ten self-organizing “micro-trustees,” who form autonomous chapters around geographic areas or topics of interest.

Check out The Awesome Foundation

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Make a Boring Thing Fun by Adding More Boredom

I use this technique quite a lot, but somebody else wrote about it in a way better than I could. If you can do two boring tasks at the same time you’ll have an enjoyable experience.

I’ve noticed several related things: 1. I could easily study flashcards while walking. This was less mysterious because I coded walking as pleasant. 2. I can’ t bear to watch TV sitting down. Walking on a treadmill makes it bearable. This didn’t puzzle me because I coded TV watching as pleasant and sitting as unpleasant (although I sit by choice while doing many other things). 3. I have Pimsler Chinese lessons (audio). I can painlessly listen to them while walking. While stationary (sitting or standing), it’s hard to listen to them. 4. When writing (during which I sit), it’s very effective to work for 40 minutes and then walk on my treadmill watching something enjoyable for 20 minutes. I can repeat that cycle many times. 5. Allen Neuringer found he was better at memorization while moving than while stationary. 6. There’s some sort of movement/thinking connection — we move our arms when we talk, we may like to walk while we talk, maybe walking makes it easier to think, and so on.

You could say that walking causes a “thirst” for learning or learning causes a “thirst” for walking. Except that the “thirst” is so hidden I discovered it only by accident. Whereas actual thirst is obvious. The usual idea is that what’s pleasant shows what’s good for us — e.g., water is pleasant when we are thirsty. Yet if walking is good for us — a common idea — why isn’t it pleasant all by itself? And if Anki is good for us, why isn’t it pleasant all by itself? The Anki/treadmill symmetry is odd because lots of people think we need exercise to be healthy but I’ve never heard someone say we need to study to be healthy.

Read more at Seth’s blog

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Sim Societies Gives Players a Green Choice

Thanks Kotaku!

In the ironically sponsored BP SimCity Societies videogame players will be forced to address global warming. They can increase or mitigate the effects of global warming based on their energy choices. We’ve covered this game before.

Sutainablog has got their hands on the game and have covered SimCity Societies in detail:

Now, SimCity Societies isn’t an “educational game”: Carol Battershell, VP of BP’s Alternative Energy division, claimed that, from the outset, the idea was to create “entertainment with a little bit of education.” As in previous versions, players build their own cities, and either succeed or fail based on how their development choices create harmony or chaos within them.

In this version of the game, pollutants created by industry, transportation, and electricity generation play into the equation. A player has to choose the kind of power sources his/her city will rely upon, and receives information about the CO2 emissions and smog-causing pollutants created by each choice. Too much of either affects the city’s environment, and the well-being of its residents: increased instances of smog, for instance, will raise levels of illness among citizens and keep them from work (which costs the player, or “mayor,” money). Increased carbon emissions could result in floods, droughts, powerful storms, etc. As Rachel Bernstein, the game’s producer, noted, “Games are always about managing resources… Players have to make choices that have end-game results, and they come to recognize the costs and trade-offs of those choices.”

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Amazing Eco-Friendly Bra!

thanks yahoo!Chopsticks are made of wood, which means, like paper towels, they are made from trees. Trees are really good for the environment and saving them is great. A Japanese lingerie maker has found a way to promote reusable chopsticks in a sexy way.

Lingerie maker Triumph International Japan unveiled the “My Chopsticks Bra” on Wednesday in Tokyo in a bid to promote the use of reusable chopsticks instead of disposable ones.

Japanese bin an estimated of 25 billion wooden pairs of chopsticks a year, many of them already made from recycled wood chips, but a growing number of environmentally aware consumers want to combat this “throw away” culture.

“It’s a small step, but because many Japanese chopsticks are disposable, big chunks of forests are being cut down,” said Hiromi Shinta, spokeswoman for the company.

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McDemos – For Easy Protesting

protest!Ever wanted to tell people what you think but can’t find the time to fit into your busy schedule? I know I have! Well, we’re in luck because a group of artists have created quick and painless demos in the heart of the Old Empire (you know, the one that the sun never sets in). Introducing McDemos:

Ever wanted to bring capitalism crashing down but can’t get time off work to do it?

Wanna force liberal parliamentary democracy to bow it’s corpulent head in shame but have to take the car into the garage AND do the shopping?

Do you get the urge to jab John Prescott with a stick till he cries like a fat girl but can’t find a stick?

Then McDemo’s is for you, we’ll find the stick and do the jabbing! Let us demonstrate for you!

In this busy 24/7 world you often don’t get the time to make your voice heard, so isn’t it about time you contracted your protesting needs out?

We’ll ruin multinationals while you relax with a cocktail by the pool. We’ll force MPs from office while you catch up with Desperate Housewives on E4. Let us demonstrate for you!

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