If anyone out there is still wondering whether libraries are relevant in the 21st century, let this powerfully moving video by Julie Dressner and Jesse Hicks remove all doubt:
Help make sure that libraries can keep doing good. Wherever you are, support your local library today.
And whether you live in NYC or not, you can donate to the New York Public Library here, the Brooklyn Public Library here, and the Queens Library here.
Documentary filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady capture a moment of hate — and love — in a city big enough to contain both:
I love this town.
(via The New York Times)
A song for New York, from Lucy Kaplansky:
It’s been eleven years, and songs like this — and the memories of that day — still bring tears to my eyes. I don’t think I’ll ever be over it.
My daughter is eleven now. She was just four months old on 9/11 and has no memory of that day, only the stories her parents have told her — it’s history for her, just another thing that happened in the world before she became aware of the world. Maybe that’s the way it should be. I wouldn’t wish this quiet grief to haunt her for the rest of her days. Let her acknowledge that day and move on with her life, in sunlight and in joy.
They’re teaching her in middle school to accept — “not just tolerate” — all cultures. I temper it a bit, telling her that all people deserve respect, but not all ideas do. Where cultures have wrong ideas — honor killings, female genital mutilation, the belief in the supremacy of one religion or another — people must speak out against them.
But perhaps the middle school teachers are right to emphasize respect and acceptance first: if respect is the foundation, perhaps it will help kids grow up to remember that whoever they disagree with is a human being too. In the end, after all the many important issues to disagree about, there’s nothing more important than that.
More thoughts on 9/11 here.
Nobel Prize-winning physicist Leon Lederman answers science questions from passersby on the street corners of New York:
Chemist Stephen Benkovic answers questions in Philly:
What a wonderful, and wonderfully democratic, idea. I wish there were more; the videos, produced by ScienCentral, date from 2008 and 2009, and no more seem to have been filmed since then. Too bad; making scientists accessible, and having them engage directly with the public about their questions and concerns, seems like an excellent way to make science feel relevant again, and help raise the science literacy of the country — one curious passerby at a time.
(via Boing Boing)
Courtesy of Improv Everywhere. Founder Charlie Todd’s (real) TED talk is also very much worth a look.
More videos here (including this one).