lukegilman.com : High on the Hog Blog
Purveyor of Idle Observation

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Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at www.lukegilman.com

Juan Enriquez: Beyond the crisis, mindboggling science and the arrival of Homo evolutis

Somehow this is the first time I’ve come across Juan Enriquez who brings a fascinating and very funny perspective on where we are (as a species) in the grand scheme of things.

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Jeffrey Sachs on Representing the Voiceless

The good people at the Situationist have uploaded many of their videos to YouTube. Included below is Jeffrey Sachs’ talk “Representing the Voiceless: The Poor, the Excluded, and the Future.”

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David Batstone on Human Trafficking, Q Talks

batstone-762709

David Batstone discusses his encounter with and subsequent passion for ending Human Trafficking on Q Talks. More on his cause website Not for Sale: End Human Trafficking and Slavery

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San Francisco Street Preacher Ministers to Homeless by Becoming Like Them

The Street Preacher in San Francisco is profiled in the Chronicle, Kevin Fagan, Spreading the Word on the Street, San Francisco Chronicle, May 24, 2008 (audio)

“I’ve never heard of a street preacher like him anywhere in the country,” said Michael Stoops, longtime leader of the National Coalition for the Homeless. “I’ve often thought that if you’re going to minister to the poor, you should try living like them. “And here is a guy choosing to do just that. Amazing.”

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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Charles Murray on Education

Charles Murray of Bell Curve fame, has a series of excerpts in the Washington Times of his new book on education, Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Bringing America’s Schools Back to Reality. The thesis isn’t a new one in my opinion – but still a valid critique of American education. Whether or not it could be turned into useful policy is another matter.

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Answer Questions, get Free Rice for UN Food Program

grains-of-riceFree Rice is a website that allows you to answer questions and earn 20 grains of rice for each right answer, to be donated to the United Nations World Food Program. In the past year over 43,564,381,610 grains of rice have been donated through the website.

FreeRice is a sister site of Poverty.com, partnering with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and the United Nations World Food Program.

Donating 2500 grains of rice only took me about 20 minutes and I learned a few words in the process. It’s surprisingly addictive.

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Charlie Rose talks with Teach for America Founder Wendy Kopp

Charlie Rose featured an interview with Wendy Kopp, the Founder of Teach for America (official website) last week. For anyone interested in education the conversation is a fascinating one, following the recent publication of her book One Day, All Children…: The Unlikely Triumph Of Teach For America And What I Learned Along The Way.

I’m fascinated with Teach for America as a program. It’s most impressive accomplishment in my opinion, is not teacher recruitment or classroom performance, on which most commentators in educational circles understandably focus, but on Kopp’s more ambitious purpose in raising a generation of leaders who understand teaching from the inside. I’ve run into a number of Teach for America alums here in Houston, most of whom are no longer teaching but who remain deeply committed to the issues they were exposed to through the experience. Kopp’s original inspiration, to create an alternative to allow America’s top graduates to explore careers that offered a more meaningful impact on their society than the corporate jobs many were being recruited for, has been a wild success.

Those who have stayed in teaching are doing some remarkable things. KIPP Academy, a charter school founded by Teach for America alums Dave Levin and Mike Feinberg and Chris Barbic’s YES Prep have become widely recognized as exemplary schools. I’ve taught in KIPP’s saturday school as part of the Street Law program at the University of Houston Law Center and the mindset of the kids is remarkable.

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High Marks for Teach for America

From the Wall Street Journal’s Amazing Teacher Facts

Eleven per cent of Yale’s senior class, 9% of Harvard’s and 10% of Georgetown’s applied for a job whose salary ranges from $25,000 (in rural South Dakota) to $44,000 (in New York City).

Hang on a second.

Unions keep saying the best people won’t go into teaching unless we pay them what doctors and lawyers and CEOs make. Not only are Teach for America salaries significantly lower than what J.P. Morgan might offer, but these individuals go to some very rough classrooms. What’s going on?

It seems that Teach for America offers smart young people something even better than money – the chance to avoid the vast education bureaucracy.

Slate’s Teach for America Grows Up: What TFA can teach the NCLB era. has more on Wendy Kopp as a social entrepreneurship success story.

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The Last Lecture of Randy Pausch, it’s a good one

Computer Science Professor Randy Pausch, who has terminal pancreatic cancer, delivered what is expected to be his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon University entitled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.”

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Social Innovation Conversations: Pura Vida Coffee

From the Social Innovations Podcast comes a talk from John Sage, co-founder and CEO of Pura Vida Coffee. John tells the story of his friend Chris, a friend he met through a Christian fellowship group when they were both in the Harvard Business School. While John went to work for a start up tech company in Seattle before they shipped Windows, Chris went to Central America to work in non-profit work. At one of their annual reunions, Chris brought John a bag of coffee from the town where he was living. John, then working as a consultant to Starbucks, recognized the quality and was astonished at how cheap it was. The idea for Pura Vida was born to meld the social goals of living wages for coffee farmers and a quality product to create a sustainable business model that fed back to the community. Available now at HEB.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

[via SIConversations.org]

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