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February 24 2014

February 22 2014

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February 21 2014

February 20 2014

February 14 2014

Ben Affleck, Matt Damon Battle it Out for a Good Cause

Let's call it bromancing for charity

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are auctioning off the chance to spend some time with the BFF Hollywood power couple, via Omaze.com. It will only cost you $10 per entry, which will be donated to either the Eastern Congo Initiative (Affleck’s pick) or Water.org (Damon’s pick), to score the double date

"It'll be like just us hanging out, taking selfies, talking about, how, like, the Sox are going to do," Damon describes

Other things the winner can expect — existential questions posed by Affleck, stories from the set of The Bourne Identity or generally discussing Damon's height. And lots Damon and Affleck one-upping each other Read more...

More about Viral Videos, Celebrities, Entertainment, Social Good, and Videos

February 07 2014

How Your Friday Drinks Could Help Gay Russians

Friday's opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics will be a bittersweet occasion for many who are fans of both sports and gay rights

On the one hand, one of the world's great athletic exhibitions and festivals returns for the first time in four years. On the other, that celebration is happening in a country where harsh anti-homosexual legislation drives gay citizens underground and essentially outlaws public support for gay rights

If you're Stateside and wondering how you can help out from far, here's one easy way to get started: Buying a lot of drinks this Friday night

More about Olympics, Us World, Social Good, World, and Sports

February 05 2014

11-Year-Old 'My Little Pony' Fan Attempts Suicide; Bronies Rally

Shannon Suttle, 36, stands in the parking lot of a hospital in Zebulon, N.C. His stepson, Michael Morones, just underwent an emergency tracheotomy. The procedure went well: "He's resting now. We got to see him right after the surgery," Suttle says

It's good news he and his family could use

Last week, Michael tried to kill himself by hanging, allegedly after enduring months of bullying at school, in part because of his passion for the show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. He's alive but suffering from severe brain damage, unconscious and unable to breathe without assistance. Doctors predict he'll be blind if he ever wakes up Read more...

More about Crowdsourcing, Features, Campaigns, Social Good, and Us

January 31 2014

13-Year-Old Blogger: I Promise Girls Will Change the World

Jules Spector hopes to end child prostitution and child marriage in developing countries. She hopes for equal rights for LGBT couples, not only in the U.S. but around the world. She hopes the media will stop portraying women as sex objects. She hopes the contributions of women will be valued in the male-dominated fields of science, technology and engineering.

And she hopes to pass her midterms — she's still in middle school, after all.

In December, 13-year-old Spector launched Teen Feminist, a blog devoted to highlighting feminist causes and culture from a teenager's point of view. The blog's readership spiked dramatically after fellow feminists took note, receiving retweets from PolicyMic's Elizabeth Plank, Marie Claire's Lea Goldman and Amanda de Cadenet of The Conversation Read more...

More about Blogging, Features, Teens, Social Good, and Activism
NASA Shows 60 Years of Climate Change in 15 Seconds

It may feel cold outside right now, but NASA's new climate video helps you visualize how hot Earth is getting overall

NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) created the video, which colors the Earth based on air temperatures that rose or fell compared to historic averages. In 15 seconds, the video spans over 60 years of climate data from 1950 to 2013, and by the end, Earth is covered in hues of red and orange.

The increase in greenhouse gas emissions is directly responsible for rising global temperatures. Earth's average temperature increased 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit in 63 years, reaching 58.3 degrees. Read more...

More about Us World, Social Good, World, and Videos

January 30 2014

Text Messages Curb the Lasting Effects of Malnutrition in Malawi

CHIKWAWA, Malawi — Community health-care worker Stephane January had never used a cell phone before a text message-based nutrition-monitoring program was introduced to his rural Malawian community's district in September 2012. Now, January spends every Thursday sitting outside the Makwira Health Center in Chikwawa, punching children's measurements into simple messages that are sent to a central hospital in the country's capital of Lilongwe.

Each text message is formatted identically, beginning with "GM" for growth monitoring, and followed by a string of numbers representing the child's identification number, date of birth, weight, height and arm circumference. Read more...

More about Mobile, Health, Sms, World, and Social Good

January 28 2014

11 Times Everyone on Facebook Changed Their Profile Pictures

The Facebook profile picture is an art form. It's the first thing people look at when scrolling through your account. Essentially, it tells people whether you're artsy/brainy/happy/boring, etc

However, sometimes your Facebook profile picture stands for a statement in itself. Over the years, users have changed their profile pictures to support various movements or causes. Sometimes dubbed "slacktivism" or "pictivism," it's an easy way to communicate things you believe in, support or even oppose.

Whether for political campaigns or disease awareness, tons of causes have inspired people to change their images. Here are 11 different reasons users have changed their Facebook profile pictures. Read more...

More about Facebook, Social Media, Features, Politics, and Social Good

January 24 2014

Who's Renewing America? This Website Shows You

The Launchpad is a series that introduces Mashable readers to compelling startups. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.

Name: NationSwell

One-Liner Pitch: NationSwell is a new digital media company focused on high-quality stories about the people renewing America.

Why It's Taking Off: With a team of seasoned journalists and advisers across various spaces, NationSwell not only identifies the innovators moving the country forward, but also drives social action in support of their efforts.

When Greg Behrman returned from military deployment in Afghanistan a year and a half ago, he was excited to start a new company with roots in national service. After reading about American decline and the challenges the country faces, he wanted to find out who was actually engaging these issues with the most exciting, dynamic solutions. Read more...

More about Media, Us, Features, Social Good, and Startups

January 23 2014

Tiny Call Center Provides Health Services to 200,000 People

BALAKA, Malawi — Doreen Namasala presses talk on her neon pink desktop phone to answer the latest call to the VillageReach health hotline. Speaking in Chichewa, the hotline worker asks the caller for her name, whether she is pregnant, when she is due and what symptoms she's experiencing. With the help of a custom software program and spiral-bound manual, Namasala will recommend a plan of action — perhaps getting rest or visiting a medical professional — after a few minutes on the phone.

"The callers are living in areas where transportation is difficult for them, like a pregnant woman walks for five kilometers to go to the health center, so we advise them to avoid overworking," Namasala says between answering calls Read more...

More about Mobile, Health, World, Social Good, and Africa

January 22 2014

An Open Letter From Bill Gates

Melinda and I published our latest Annual Letter this week. It’s a bit of a departure for us. Unlike the past five letters, this one isn’t about the foundation’s work. Instead, we decided to take on some of the myths — about poverty, overpopulation and foreign aid — that are blocking progress for the poor.

For example, many people think development aid is a large part of rich countries’ budgets, which would mean a lot can be saved by cutting back on it. When pollsters ask Americans what share of the budget goes to aid, the average response is 25%. When asked how much the government should spend, people tend to say 10%.

For the United States, the actual number is less than 1%. Read more...

More about Bill Gates, Bill Melinda Gates Foundation, Us World, Social Good, and Us

January 21 2014

Slam Poets Raise Their Voices for Martin Luther King, Jr.

Nearly 1,500 people gathered in San Francisco's Nourse Theater on Monday night for the 17th annual "Bringing the Noise for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.," a celebration of the civil rights leader that takes place on his eponymous holiday on the third Monday of January.

This year, the "poetic conversation with MLK," which is organized by the nonprofit Youth Speaks, included an Instagram campaign designed to broaden that conversation's reach.

Off/Page Project, the organization's partnership with the Center for Investigative Reporting, launched the campaign as a way to start a dialogue among both those at the event and those unable to attend. The idea is to use "social media as a way to make calls out to young people across the country about issues that are most affecting them, and their lives, their community," José Vadi, Off/Page's project director, told Mashable. Read more...

More about Poetry, Martin Luther King Day, Instagram, Us World, and Social Good

January 17 2014

This Online Course Will Teach You How to Change the World

Never before have so many people been capable of doing so much to make the world better. Increasingly, new technologies and new ideas allow us to share great innovations and to deliver sustainable change

And as this conversation gets broader, it also needs to get deeper. That's why the 92nd Street Y has partnered with Wesleyan University to launch a free MOOC (massive open online course), "How to Change the World," which starts next week on Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 20

This MOOC grew out of the annual Social Good Summit, a partnership between Mashable, the 92Y, the U.N. Foundation, UNDP, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Ericsson Read more...

More about Social Good, Online Learning, Online Education, 92y, and Us World

January 15 2014

Being Batkid: Behind the Scenes on the Internet's Best Day

Remember Batkid? Of course you do. Adorable and brave leukemia survivor Miles Scott, 5, wanted to be a superhero for a day, and the Make-a-Wish Foundation put together a grand adventure in San Francisco for him back in November, where Miles got to capture the Riddler and the Penguin

What nobody expected was that hundreds of thousands of San Franciscans would join in and pack the streets, that the entire Internet would be following along, or that the President and Justice Department would get in on the act

The Batkid phenomenon is already the subject of case studies and a forthcoming full-length documentary. Until that hits theaters, however, sit back and enjoy this video that takes you behind the scenes on Batkid day Read more...

More about Us World, Social Good, Us, Make A Wish, and Batkid
LinkedIn Adds Search for Volunteer Opportunities

LinkedIn added a new Volunteer Marketplace on Wednesday, allowing users to search for volunteer opportunities that require particular skill sets like open board seats at non-profits

In August, LinkedIn allowed users to openly express interest in these types of opportunities on their profile page, but until Wednesday, these people could only be contacted for positions and couldn't actively search for them

More than 600,000 people have expressed interest in these types of opportunities since August, said a LinkedIn spokesperson, and more than 3 million users have added volunteer experience and causes to their profile since 2011 Read more...

More about Linkedin, Volunteering, Social Media, Social Good, and Work Play

January 13 2014

11 Ingenious Solar Projects Impacting the Developing World

It's easy to take energy for granted, forgetting that throughout much of the world, a lack of power affects everything from business to education to matters of life and death. Approximately 1.5 billion people still don't have access to electricity worldwide, with an additional 1 billion having only intermittent access.

By using the power of the sun — the ultimate natural resource — these issues can be ameliorated, if not solved. Scientists, social entrepreneurs and even big tech companies are working to make strides with solar power.

The gallery above highlights some of the coolest and most innovative solar projects out there today. Whether it's simple lanterns with solar panels at the top, large stills that turn steam into drinking water or even artificial leaves that mimic photosynthesis, you'll be amazed what the sun can do. Read more...

More about Gadgets, Features, Tech, Innovation, and Social Good

January 10 2014

Hundreds of Documents Tell the Tale of the New Jersey Bridge Scandal

In the continuing saga of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the George Washington Bridge lane closures, the state has released hundreds of pages of new documents related to the scandal.

Although questions about the mysterious lane closures that led to the massive gridlock have been asked since they occurred in September, the story erupted on Wednesday when newly public emails showed that Christie's deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, orchestrated the traffic jam along with some of the governor's appointees within the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. They allegedly wanted to dish out some political payback to the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., for his lack of support in Christie's reelection campaign. Christie apologized Thursday for his staff's behavior, but said he had no involvement. Read more...

More about Documents, New Jersey, Bridge, Us World, and Social Good
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