WHAT MOTIVATES US?

Challenging the notion that humans are motivated by monetary rewards, Dan Pink presents a variety of studies that have tested this question to find out what truly motivates humans. I know, 10 minutes is kind of crucial, but this is…

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SCIENTISTS DISCOVER OLDEST RECORD OF LIFE ON EARTH

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Amanda said, “science never ceases to amaze me.” And quite frankly I couldn’t agree more. Shit’s just hella fascinating. I think in our busy busy lives we (or at least I) don’t give science/the world/people the amount of time they deserve to really be understood. Recently, oceanic reef fossils were discovered in Australia, “proving” that life existed 650 million years ago. 650 million years ago! Think about that! I always say we gotta give love to the first humans who were out here, because they were fighting sabertooth tigers, giant insects and all kinds of crazy shit to bring us to where we are now. While today, all we have to fight is the media… But in all seriousness, this is a tremendous discovery that you can learn more about below.

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KICKING OUR PLASTIC ADDICTION

Plastics

By Matthew McDermott

Once we’ve gotten our priorities straight regarding reducing the massive amount of oil we use in transportation – largely because we’ve built our communities into places where most people need to drive rather than walk, bike or take public transit -there’s another conceptually big issue that needs to tackled: What to do with plastic?

Now, plastics alone don’t amount to much out of a single barrel of oil compared to liquid fuels, but their utter ubiquity in our lives combined with the resultant massive waste management and water pollution issues means we’ve got some serious contemplation to do.

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WELCOME TO SCRAPERTOWN

"In order to become a member of the Original Scraper Bike Team, you must: Be a resident of Oakland, CA. Be at least 7 years or older. Retain A 3.0 Grade Point Average, Create your own Scraper Bike…(It Has To…

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BILLIONAIRES TO GIVE AWAY HALF THEIR NET WORTH

Gates & Buffett

This is one of the more promising pieces of news I’ve heard in a long time. A few months ago, we featured an article from Fortune about Bill Gates and Warren Buffett’s $600 Billion Challenge (now called The Giving Pledge), an initiative with an incredibly ambitious goal: to convince the world’s wealthiest figures to give away half of their existing fortunes to philanthropic causes. Well, for the time being, I guess the skeptics are going to have to fall back.

Earlier this week, The Giving Pledge‘s website revealed the first 40 billionaires to volunteer, including Michael Bloomberg, Ted Turner, Larry Ellison and George Lucas, just to name a few. Of course, how the funds will be allocated, and money is by no means a direct solution to the problems we face as a global society. But when you’re talking hundreds of billions, it’s a major part of the equation. Hats off to Bill and Warren. This is impressive, to say the least.

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THE DEATH OF THE CD SALESMAN

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Written By Muammar Reed

What do vinyl records, 8-tracks, cassette tapes, the VCR, and the CD have in common? In a few years they will all be antiques, destined for private showings at museums. They will be replaced by the thumb drive, the iPod, the Android, the Blackberry, and all other types of media holding devices. Alas, it is now time to move on to an age where an Android phone is a boom box, where Pandora and Grooveshark.com are radio, where iTunes is Virgin Records, and where laptops are recording studios.

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EATING AWAY AT EDUCATION: BUDGET CUTS & TEACHER SALARIES

Eating Away at EducationFor the most part, I think we can all agree that providing affordable, quality education should be a priority for the state government. So why is it that every time we need to trim the budget, school funds seem to be the first ones to get the ax? In looking at the effects of the budget cuts, The Oakland Tribune’s Katy Murphy brings up an interesting point. California’s teachers are the highest paid in the nation, and yet per-pupil spending in California is more than $2,000 below the national average, and class sizes continue to grow, particularly in the poorest districts. If the theory is that teacher salaries are cutting into spending on students, I think we’re faced with a tough question. If education is indeed so important, why should we have to choose between paying our teachers a decent salary, and giving our kids the resources to succeed? As always, read more below, and let us know how you see it.

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