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"What are we pushing for, again?”

After an emotional film and panel discussion, the captivated congregation sat in anticipation, waiting to hear how they could get involved and make a difference. I talked about the importance of education and political advocacy, explaining in detail the process of calling our members of Congress to push for legislative changes. Read More

Back in September, a video surfaced online that showed Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking out Janay Palmer (his fiancee at the time, now his wife).

The video prompted the NFL—which before had only suspended Rice for two games—to terminate Rice’s contract and vow to take a harsher stance on domestic violence.

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Of all the liberties the world’s free countries enjoy, few are easier to take for granted than freedom of speech. Those in countries with some measure of free speech might be surprised to learn that there are places where they would be censored. Here’s the places with the most and least freedom of speech:

Best Countries

New Zealand

The country’s 1990 bill of rights declares that “everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.” Read More

One of the biggest troubles facing any attempt to take down a terrorist organization is that terrorist organizations aren’t large, monolithic entities. They don’t have borders. They don’t have a singular ideology. In fact, as has been the case with ISIS, there may not even be a general agreement on what to call themselves. Read More

There’s More to Africa Than Just Problems to Solve

We need to start seeing Africa as more than just a disaster zone. Read More

Meet Kinsale, Ireland's Sophie Healy-Thow, Émer Hickey, and Clara Judge—all 16 years old and all probably smarter than you. They entered the 2014 Google science fair (co-sponsored by National Geographic, Scientific American, Virgin Galactic, and LEGO) and rose to the top of more than 5,000 entries from 90 different countries. They won because their science project is not, say, a solar system made out of styrofoam balls. No, their project, in their words:

...succeeded in showing statistically that two strains of Rhizobium bacteria can significantly accelerate the rate of crop germination (+40% for r.leguminosarum and 28% for r.japonicum; (p<0.0001). R.japonicum also increased the subsequent dry mass of barley by 70% (p<0.0001). We believe that the biochemical mechanism that produced the noted improvements is triggered when flavonoids from the crops prompt the release of lipochitooligosaccharides which catalyse accelerated seed growth.

Well, assuming your head didn't explode from trying to read that, the long and short of it is that it's a major agricultural breakthrough, proving that mixing certain types of bacteria with crops will result in larger yields and help with the ongoing fight against global hunger. For their efforts, all three will get a $50,000 scholarship and an all-expense paid trip to the Galapagos Islands ... Discuss