The folks at PRI share the things each month that capture our attention and imagination. We wish all our colleagues and friends a season full of joy and inspiration. Please share yours with us!
|This holiday season, I’m really digging the cool ornaments that CB2.com is offering to trim your tree. Sculptural tear-drop shapes, origami inspired designs, sputnik stars, and even a miniature of their iconic reed chair. The modern designs are festive, fun, and would make a great statement in the home or office.|
|I have a favorite NPR radio show called This American Life. Recently I listened to a story about the U.S.-Dakota (Plains Indians) war which happened during the same period as the Civil War. It turns out that this war was the site of the largest mass execution in U.S. history: 38 Dakota warriors were hanged by the order of Abraham Lincoln. So why didn't I learn about this in school? This inspired me to look into how history has been recorded, and from whose point of view? It's a huge topic that takes more than a single Google search, but check these out: “8 Facts History Books Got Wrong,” a slideshow from the Huffington Post; “5 Baffling Discoveries That Prove History Books Are Wrong,” from Cracked.com; and “Things History Got Wrong,” from Geekoterre; to name just a few.|
|I am continually inspired by the fantastic math videos of Vi Hart, whose “recreational mathematics” are entertaining and informative. You don’t have to be a mathematician to find her work fascinating, though my daughter (who sleeps with a math book, I kid you not) and my mom (lifelong numbers lady) verify that Vi Hart is the real deal. Our current favorites are “Hexaflexagons” and “Wind and Mr. Ug.”|
|In a world of politically divided nations, I was inspired this month by the unity of the people of Thailand. Thailand’s revered King Bhumibol celebrated his 85th birthday with over 200,000 unified citizens. “Long live the king” chanted the crowd as the royal motorcade commuted to and from the hospital where Bhumibol has lived since 2009 after suffering a respiratory illness in 2009. The “goodwill” of the citizens “gives me the confidence that your kindness is key to bringing unity to the people and the nation,” he told the crowd in his speech.|
|I am inspired by the power of the holiday season. We should all be aware and present of humanity throughout the year, but for some reason, during the holiday season it seems to go into overdrive for many people which is a wonderful thing. Churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, other religious institutions, food banks, grocery stores, you name it . . . all step up the game to contribute to mankind and animal-kind alike. Something as simple as cleaning out your cupboards and giving away all canned and packaged goods that you know you won’t use is a gesture that goes a long way for someone who is hungry. Donations are easily accepted at almost every grocery store in a big bin by the exit. Buying a can or two of animal food when you leave your local Wal-Mart and donating it to the local shelter stationed outside is also another simple, easy way to make a difference. Don’t let the time pass, do it now and remember why we should be doing these things all year.|
|Val Emmich has been my favorite musical artist for the better part of a decade—I was first introduced to him in a coffee shop at Rutgers University, and was immediately hooked. Since then, Val has earned some acclaimed fame (most notably as the first unsigned artist to ever appear on MTV), had some struggles with his record deal, and released a plethora of albums. Oh, and he was also a guest on 30 Rock and Ugly Betty!His last album was entirely crowdfunded, using a Kickstarter project that really let his fans get up close and personal with his entire music-creation process. This month he’s releasing Posthaste, a 50-song boxed set highlighting his first decade as a musician. The tracks are available to listen to online, and I have had his music on repeat since the site went up!|