January 2011

Military Suicide. “For the second year in a row, the U.S. military has lost more troops to suicide than it has to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

And that doesn’t even include veterans.
>  28 January 2011 | LINK | Filed in ,

Egypt's Tears

Tear Gas

Via Facebook: photo of a tear gas canister from a police crackdown on protesters in Egypt.

The label: “Made in U.S.A.”

>  27 January 2011 | LINK | Filed in , ,

Building a House of Light and Wind

David Biello on the daunting physical logistics of scaling up green energy:

“It’s not just a matter of making the necessary equipment, it’s also a question of finding the space for it. A coal-fired power plant produces 100 to 1,000 watts per square meter, depending on the type of coal it burns and how that coal is mined. A typical photovoltaic system for turning sunlight into electricity produces just 9 watts per square meter, and wind provides only 1.5 watts per square meter.

The challenge is worse for smaller countries: the United Kingdom would have to cover its entire landmass with wind turbines to provide enough electricity for the current Briton’s average consumption — roughly 200 kilowatt-hours per day, according to MacKay, the Cambridge expert.”

>  21 January 2011 | LINK | Filed in , ,

Supply Side

On the War of the Poppies:

Myles Ambrose, one of President Nixon’s closest advisers in the War on Drugs, was scathing in his judgement of some of his fellow drug-warriors:

“The basic fact that eluded these great geniuses was that it takes only ten square miles of poppy to feed the entire American heroin market.

And they grow everywhere.”

>  21 January 2011 | LINK | Filed in ,
Way of the Gun. A quick state-level map and statistical analysis on gun violence in the US reveals some interesting correlations:

Gun Violence

I’d love to see if a finer-grained city or census tract correlation bear out these findings, as well as other factors like, say, the scale of gun ownership.
>  14 January 2011 | LINK | Filed in , ,

One for One

  • Noted previously, with every pair of shoes you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. As of September 2010, TOMS has given over one million pairs of shoes.

  • In 2007 and 2008, under its Give 1 Get 1 program the One Laptop per Child program donated a laptop to a child in the developing world for every computer sold. 83,500 laptops were donated in 2007 and 12,500 in 2008.

  • FIGS, a necktie retailer in Santa Monica donates one school uniform to a child in Africa for every tie it sells.

  • For each pair of eyeglasses sold, Warby Parker donates a pair of eyeglasses to someone in need through Restoring Vision. To date, that’s almost 10,000 pairs.

  • Out of Print in Brooklyn, donates one book to Books for Africa every time it sells one of its T-shirts, which feature the covers of mostly out-out-of print books.

  • For every condom it sells, Sir Richard’s plans to give another condom away for free in a developing nation through Partners in Health.

  • For every nutrition bar you buy from Two Degrees, they give a nutrition pack to a hungry child..

  • Every time you buy a book, Better World Books will donate one to someone in need.
>  11 January 2011 | LINK | Filed in


I don’t usually publicize events here (mostly because I hate reading other peoples’ posts about the wonderful events I will never get to) but there are a few social design-related events coming up in the next few months. Perhaps something near you?

Know of others?

>  11 January 2011 | LINK | Filed in

On to February.
Back to December.