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XQ: The Super School Project

When it comes to teaching teenagers, Mr. Mooney certainly knows how to get their attention.

NPR created a short video about Mr. Mooney (included for your viewing pleasure below), a New Jersey high school teacher who runs his English classes in a very modern way. And one of his strategies just garnered him and his students a lot of attention.

Mr. Mooney taught a lesson using rapper Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly" album.

"To Pimp a Butterfly," released in early 2015, has been critically acclaimed for its depth and social commentary. And it debuted in the #1 spot on on the Billboard 200, a fact his freshman English class was well aware of.


So Mr. Mooney used some of the songs to convey lessons to his students about literature, including Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye."


Image by Mr. Mooney, shared by NPR.

He then wrote a blog post about the lesson that found its way to Kendrick Lamar himself. The artist read it and was impressed — enough to come visit the school and Mr. Mooney's students.

When Lamar came to the school, he said he could see and feel the students' energy.

GIF by NPR.

And that's because Mr. Mooney is doing the teaching thing quite well.

There are lots of ways to reach students, and Mr. Mooney found an effective one.

Image by NPR.

Mr. Mooney certainly isn't the first to use pop culture to make a lesson more interesting. These days, it's almost a must to make education relevant. But what he and a growing handful of other educators from elementary schools to colleges all over the world have figured out is that using art and culture isn't just about making a lesson "cool" or "interesting."

Bringing hip-hop into the classroom validates and shows an appreciation for a diversity of art forms — and respects the very culture that the students themselves create and consume.

Mr. Mooney points out how the demographics of our country and classroom are becoming more and more diverse, so we need to really examine what we deem worthy of study. And so far, that strategy is proving very effective.

Students are grabbing onto the lessons and showing a lot of interest.

"We kind of teamed together and put together this class called Hip Hop Lit," explains one student. "Teaching about African-American struggle and sexism, but through hip hop music, is really awesome."

"We dissect album covers, dissect advertisements, go through songs, and we dissect the literature of the songs," says another.

Image by one of Mr. Mooney's students, shared by NPR.

Inspiring, right?

We're so used to hearing about education focusing on the wrong things, like high-stakes testing. It's a nice (and inspiring) change to see a teacher truly reach his students.

You can watch Mr. Mooney and his class in action — and check out Lamar's visit, one that those students will remember forever.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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Girls are bombarded with messages from a very young age telling them that they can’t, that is too big, this is too heavy, those are too much.

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via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

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We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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This article originally appeared on July 2, 2019


Sadly, a lot of men go out of their way to avoid learning anything about a woman's period.

(That could be why throughout most of the United States — where the majority of lawmakers are men — feminine hygiene products are subject to sales tax.)

So we should give some love to the guys who make an effort to learn a bit about the menstrual cycle so they can help their family members when they're in desperate need of feminine hygiene products.

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