Awesome Stories 216

This week Awesome Stories brings you better teaching, beautiful geometry, safe wind turbines, mystery and happy music.

Turnaround for Schools

After realizing the immense needs of children suffering from poverty, Dr. Pamela Cantor started Turnaround for Children. Their core mission is to mitigate the traumatic effects of stress on children’s long-term development. They use a systems approach to teaching with support for teachers, students and administrators. Children growing up in poverty need a very different environment that reduces stress, fosters connections and teaches broader life skills. Turnaround requires their partner schools to provide a full-time social worker for the program. So far, their results have been very good, with significant reductions in suspensions, severe behavioral incidents and absenteeism, along with improved math and reading test scores for schools in their second year. Dr. Pamela Cantor was recently awarded The 2014 Purpose Prize for Intergenerational Impact.

Beautiful Geometry

Watch this gorgeous video showing the beauty of geometry in motion. It was the intro video for the TEDxSummit. Enjoy!

Embracing Mystery

Embracing mystery is hard, especially when our minds and culture crave certainty. This post makes a great case for learning to embrace the mysteries and uncertainties in life. The truth is we are surrounded by mystery with vast areas of space, life and knowledge that we don’t know, although we like to pretend we do. Much of the article explores the ideas of Marcelo Gleiser, from his book The Island of Knowledge: The Limits of Science and the Search for Meaning. In his words, if large portions of the world remain unseen or inaccessible to us, we must consider the word “reality” with great care. We must consider whether there is such a thing as an “ultimate reality.”

Bird-Friendly Wind Turbinessafe wind turbines, Awesome Stories

Raymond Green was bothered by how many birds are killed by traditional bladed wind turbines so he invented a better solution. In most turbines, large blades move at high speeds and often can’t be seen by birds, so they hit the blades and die. Raymond Green designed CWP (Catching Wind Power) units with cones to funnel the wind into an inner core that houses the turbines. This ensures the birds won’t impact the blades, plus the design is more efficient by channeling the wind. The CWPs are visible to the birds, and make virtually no noise. A company called Sigma Design is developing various sized models to bring to market. Way to go Raymond!


Happy Music!

This article explores the wreasons that we love music. Most of us have strong emotions attached to certain songs and music, or maybe music that we love to sing or dance along with. Recently for me, that song was Happy by Pharrell Williams. If you haven’t heard it, watch the video below and get happy!  🙂 Music is a very simple, direct and effective way to boost my mood. There is a lot of research on how music can affect our brain by releasing dopamine during peaks in the music. Certain classical music like Mozart can soothe our emotions and aid learning. Music can also synchronize brain waves among listeners, especially in groups like at a concert.

Find some happy music to sing, dance, and start your Awesome Week!




10 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 216

  1. You keep outdoing yourself with these Awesome stories, Brad.
    Kids who live in poverty and stress must need a different approach to learning — seems so simple.
    I like the story about our need for certainty and versus the acceptance of certain mysteries. I feel both ways about God. I’m accepting the mystery, even as I crave certainty.
    And I am interested in anything that informs us about how music affects the brain and emotions within us. This is powerful, especially given music’s impact on people who have Alzheimer’s.
    Meanwhile, as a supporter of alternate energy sources, I am very thankful about the windmill design of that man. I hate what they do to birds, so hooray for his design.

    thank you, Brad. Another very nicely curated magazine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you enjoy my curating efforts Cynthia! I’m with you on these stories, with a special soft spot for children and those with Alzheimer’s like my step dad. And we won’t have a home if we don’t take better care of our planet. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have always been a big fan of TED talks, and now I have even more reason to love it 😉 The way math is used in everyday lives is sometimes overlooked as obvious, and this short video is a microcosm of that. While watching the short two minute video, I almost began to forget that there were actual people creating these patterns. It was absolutely captivating, thanks for sharing Brad!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Watching the video with sacred geometry movements, reminded me of one of my all time favourite books (A Beginner’s Guide To Constructing The Universe) that was the beginning of my delving into studying the science, which sadly, is no longer taught in schools and universities, in fact, the author was commissioned to help finish the Saint John of the Divine Church, in New York, because no one knew how to finish it due to the building having been built within sacred geometr guidelines, here is a link to his most fascinating website:

    Liked by 1 person

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