Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Ideas, Actions, and Inspiration for a Better Tomorrow - June 28

Energy, Technology

“Net-zero energy buildings generate as much energy as they use — a model that’s gaining traction as green products and systems become more common. A report earlier this year from Navigant expects the North American net-zero energy market to increase 38.4% from 2014 to a value of $127 billion by 2035.

One reason for this growth, according to Navigant, is the prevalence of technology that helps buildings meet such stringent energy-consumption requirements. Those include chilled-beam systems, more and better insulation, energy-efficient facades and improved controls for monitoring daylight levels and space occupancy. All that, in turn, is helping to bring the related methods and systems into local and state building codes — another driver of continued adoption of net-zero construction”.

Personal Development


“In this emotional talk, Carrie Wilkerson encourages us to define success for ourselves and no one else.

It’s useless to try and chase another person’s vision, she says. Your point of achievement isn’t something that others can decide for you, and trying to live up to their view could throw you off your path.”


 TEDx video included in this article:

Talking to a great conversationalist is like magic--the minutes fly by, your brain lights up, and you feel closely bonded to another human mind. No wonder so many of us want to master the seemingly mysterious ability to get past small talk and really connect.

But unless you're naturally gifted with charm and wit, even holding up your end of a conversation can feel daunting. Learning not only to be interesting yourself, but also to guide a conversation and bring the best out of others has to be an tough skill that makes years to master, right?

Nope, responds public radio host Celeste Headlee. In the course of her career she's interviewed thousands of people from all walks of life and learned that sparking a great conversation is really a matter of a few simple habits that anyone can learn. She shared her secrets in a TEDx talk a few years back.

Prison, Education

To date, much of the research on prison education is centered on the correlation between prison education and recidivism—the tendency of an individual to reoffend. A 2013 meta-analysis by the RAND Corporation, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice, found that incarcerated people who participated in correctional education programs have 43 percent lower odds of recidivating than those who did not. Furthermore, those who participated in such programs were 13 percent more likely to land post-release employment than those who had not. That number would likely be higher if discrimination against the formerly incarcerated weren’t so profound.


These data are compelling, but they disregard the fundamental role of prison education. Education is a human right—a recognition of dignity that each person should be afforded. It isn’t merely something that attains its value through its presumed social utility—or, worse, something that society can take away from an individual who’s convicted of breaking the social contract. That’s true even for the men I work with, nearly all of whom are serving life sentences, as are nearly 160,000 other people across the country for crimes ranging from first-degree murder to stealing a jacket. This reality—that those I taught would never leave the prison’s premises—recalibrated my understanding of the purpose of prison-education programs. Do those serving life sentences deserve access to educational opportunities never having a future beyond bars? The answer is yes and necessitates that in-prison education serves additional goals beyond reducing recidivism.

Science, Cancer

A new drug shows promise in its ability to target one of the most common and sinister mutations of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), according to researchers. In a first-in-human study, researchers treated relapsed patients with gilteritinib, an FLT3 inhibitor, and found it was a well-tolerated drug that led to frequent and more-sustained-than-expected clinical responses, almost exclusively in patients with this mutation.

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