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Joy

The best and brightest come together to tackle society’s toughest challenges

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is working to eradicate disease, improve education, and address the needs of their local community.

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Have you ever wished you could solve some of society’s toughest challenges? That’s exactly why the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) was founded.

Established in 2015 by Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, the organization’s mission is to build a better future for everyone. CZI is working to eradicate disease, improve education, and address the needs of their local community.

Since its launch, CZI has awarded around $4.8 billion in grants to organizations whose work aligns with these values.

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Our home, from space.

Sixty-one years ago, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to make it into space and probably the first to experience what scientists now call the "overview effect." This change occurs when people see the world from far above and notice that it’s a place where “borders are invisible, where racial, religious and economic strife are nowhere to be seen.”

The overview effect makes man’s squabbles with one another seem incredibly petty and presents the planet as it truly is, one interconnected organism.

In a compelling interview with Big Think, astronaut, author and humanitarian Ron Garan explains how if more of us developed this planetary perspective we could fix much of what ails humanity and the planet.

Garan has spent 178 days in space and traveled more than 71 million miles in 2,842 orbits. From high above, he realized that the planet is a lot more fragile than he thought.

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Pop Culture

Vanna White celebrates 40 years on 'Wheel of Fortune' with an iconic throwback photo

White's glamorous letter turning made her a staple of the game show.

Vanna White's signature wave.

Vanna White has officially made letter-turning into an art form for four decades.

The model and performer famously bombed as a contestant on “The Price Is Right,” in the early '80s, but it wouldn’t be long before her talents found a perfect home on another gameshow. And now, literally thousands of dresses later, White’s name is synonymous with “Wheel of Fortune.”

To celebrate the milestone, White posted a throwback picture to her Instagram, showing her next to host Pat Sajak during their early days on “Wheel of Fortune.”

She also included a recent picture of herself at 65 (as classically glamorous as always) alongside her longtime collaborator, doing her iconic gesture toward an elaborate “Wheel of Fortune” themed cake, complete with multiple Vanna White dolls.

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Pop Culture

Rehearsal footage from 'We Are the World' shows how incredibly talented everyone was in the '80s

Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Diana Ross, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, man oh man.

Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote "We Are the World."

From 1983 to 1985, more than 1 million people in Ethiopia died from extreme famine. A few months after a BBC report on the famine that triggered the U.K. Band Aid charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?," the biggest stars in the American music industry came together in 1985 to record a charity single to help those suffering in Ethiopia, Sudan and other impoverished African countries.

The collection of entertainers called themselves USA for Africa, and their single, “We Are the World,” sold more than 7 million records worldwide and has generated $60 million over the past 37 years.

The song was written by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson and produced by Quincy Jones. The vocals were recorded after the American Music Awards in Los Angeles on January 28, 1985, in a single 8 p.m. to 8 a.m session at Hollywood's A&M Recording Studios.

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Ads, ads, ads, ads.

You might not know the name James Vicary, but odds are you know about his experiment, at least indirectly.

In 1957, the market researcher claimed to have exposed thousands of unsuspecting moviegoers in a New Jersey theater to a series of phrases like “Hungry? Eat Popcorn” and “Drink Coca-Cola” that flashed across the screen in the fraction of a second as they watched a film. These images allegedly increased the sale of popcorn by 57.5% and Coca-Cola by 18.1%, despite passing far too quickly for viewers to consciously notice them.

Vicary’s findings soon became publicized and induced a widespread, decades-long dystopian fear that secret messages lurked beneath the surfaces of our favorite songs, movies and TV shows, insidiously coercing us to do things without conscious consent. Primarily, to buy things we probably don’t actually want.

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