Posts by "jweeks"

Dragonfly Drone To Fly Skies of Saturn’s Moon Titan

NASA?s Dragonfly Mission Will Soar the Skies of Titan in Search of Life?s Origins
NASA chose a drone-like design for Dragonfly. It will be able to fly to different locations and take samples of the organic-rich sands to analyze them. Since Titan’s atmosphere is four times denser than Earth’s, it is actually easier to fly on Titan than on Earth. Dragonfly will be the first such rotorcraft sent to explore another world.

 

3.5% for Change

 

The '3.5% rule': How a small minority can change the world
Nonviolent protests are twice as likely to succeed as armed conflicts, and those engaging a threshold of 3.5% of the population have never failed to bring about change.

There are, of course, many ethical reasons to use nonviolent strategies. But compelling research by Erica Chenoweth, a political scientist at Harvard University, confirms that civil disobedience is not only the moral choice; it is also the most powerful way of shaping world politics – by a long way.

Looking at hundreds of campaigns over the last century, Chenoweth found that nonviolent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns. And although the exact dynamics will depend on many factors, she has shown it takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.

 

Rethinking ‘economics’

This ferment is beginning to solidify into a movement. The New Economy Organisers Network (Neon), a NEF spin-off based in London, runs workshops for leftwing activists, to learn how “to build support for a new economy” – for example, by telling effective “stories” about it in the mainstream media. Stir to Action, an activist organisation based in Bridport in Dorset, publishes a quarterly “magazine for the new economy”, and organises advice sessions in left-leaning cities such as Bristol and Oxford: Worker Co-ops: How to Get Started, Community Ownership: What If We Ran It Ourselves?

“There’s a totally new impulse to activism about the economy now,” says the magazine’s editor, Jonny Gordon-Farleigh, who was previously involved in anticapitalist and environmental protests. “The movement has gone from oppose to propose.”

 

One Woman, 100 Marathons, 200 Food Banks

I set a goal to road-trip across the country, running a marathon in all 50 states (I’d later up it to 100 marathons), volunteering at each of the 200 Feeding America food banks, and visiting friends and family as I went.

I set out in July 2014. I ran my 100th marathon last month and volunteered at my 200th food bank on April 11. Am I done? Not even close. Not while there are millions of hungry Americans. Not when there is more that I — that we all — can do.