Do it over–Fix Graduate Educationion

I like many of the suggestions in this article (tho can only clip 1000 characters, so it’s worth reading the whole thing) and am proud that my program, Community, Agriculture, Recreation, and Resource Studies (CARRS) at Michigan State University, is already doing interdisciplinary, problem/theme-focused research and teaching.
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End the University as We Know It

GRADUATE education is the Detroit of higher learning. Most graduate programs in American universities produce a product for which there is no market (candidates for teaching positions that do not exist) and develop skills for which there is diminishing demand (research in subfields within subfields and publication in journals read by no one other than a few like-minded colleagues), all at a rapidly rising cost (sometimes well over $100,000 in student loans).
The dirty secret of higher education is that without underpaid graduate students to help in laboratories and with teaching, universities couldn’t conduct research or even instruct their growing undergraduate populations. That’s one of the main reasons we still encourage people to enroll in doctoral programs. It is simply cheaper to provide graduate students with modest stipends and adjuncts with as little as $5,000 a course — with no benefits — than it is to hire full-time professors
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Fuel from sun and CO2?!!

Looks like “biomimic” fuel is a seriously innovative invention.
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Cambridge-based Joule Biotechnologies has come out of the dark today to announce a radical technology designed to mimic photosynthesis using bio-engineered micro-organisms to make ethanol fuel from carbon dioxide and sunlight.
Because of the abundance of these raw materials, Joule Biotechnologies should be able to make ethanol economically, sustainably and at stable prices.

Prices would be competitive with fossil fuels at $50 a barrel.

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Solar Blimp!

I soooo wanna take a ride! Who remembers the Hindenburg anyway?
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Solar Blimp to Fly from NYC to Paris, Rests on Land or Water

Solar Airship

Perhaps the only thing cooler than being powered by lightweight photovoltaic cells, this airship is also designed to rest on land or water.

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Creating a World Without Poverty, by Mohammad Yunus

Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism by Muhammad Yunus

My rating: 5/5 stars

Read this actually a few months ago, but was reminded of it from a tweet this morning.  The book is solid.  A good idea, well-described, in language a non-economist can understand.  Yunus is looking to bridge the innovation and efficiency of for-profit business with the social-improvement mission of the non-profit sector.  I say: It’s about freaking time!!

No, business models can’t solve everything (though you can expect Yunus to think so as a Nobel Winning Ecnomist and founder of the Grameen Bank), but Yunus conceives of a business model which can, in the right context, combine profitability with helping the poor, solving social problems, and changing the world for the better.   BTW, he is pulling all this off in more than a dozen companies in Bangladesh and beyond, so it’s not all pipe dreams.

I highly recommend this book!

Wind Power in the US

This very cool map (which I don’t think will work once on the blog) displays how wind power has grown in the US in the last decade. Click on it to see it in action!
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map of installed wind capacity in the United States
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I wanna be “I-Shaped”

What a great concept–on thinking about it, my friends are all I-people! And it has nothing to do with Apple…
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Innovation Calls For I-Shaped People

These thinkers have their feet firmly planted in the practical world, can stretch their heads to the clouds—and simultaneously span all of the space in between

There may be no “I” in team, but every team needs to be made up of “I-shaped” people.
This idea was crystallized in my mind thanks to another Englishman, one of the early pioneers of human-centered design, Brian Shackel. I once asked him if he had noticed any particular attributes that distinguished the students that went on to do remarkable things compared with the rest.
His answer was as immediate as it was insightful. He said: “The outstanding students all had an outstanding capacity for abstract thinking, yet they also had a really strong grounding in physical materials and tools.” By this, he meant that they could rise above the specifics of a particular problem to think about them in a more abstract, and in some ways, more general way.
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The Extraordinaries: Micro-Volunteering

I have heard about this org through my minimal participation in (which I’ve mentioned here before). Tho I don’t text so much, this sounds great for those folks who do!
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A hand holding an iPhone, July 1, 2009 · Got five minutes? Got a cell phone? Want to do good?
The Extraordinaries can help. It’s one of a number of newly hatched social-media enterprises that champion speedy cooperation. Here is the 30-second elevator pitch: The Extraordinaries delivers microvolunteer opportunities to mobile phones that can be done on-demand and on-the-spot.
Shazzam! Charity meets brevity. Crowdsourcing for the common good. Turning ADD into AID.
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