#991 Pint-sized model of compassion

Cayden Taipalus

When a child at Challenger Elementary in Howell, Michigan was refused lunch because there was no money in the student’s account, 8-year-old Cayden Taipalus was heartbroken. So was the hungry child. The cheese sandwich, along with juice and fruit, that…


#989 The wizard of plastic recycling

Akinori Ito and the Blest machine

Ingenuity and dismay are the driving forces behind an invention that is turning plastic into oil. Recycling plastic will never be enough. We have to reduce. But that is much easier said than done, which is why we need people…


#986 Aging adventurers take to the open road

Road Scholars hiking in Glacier National Park

Who can resist a name like Road Scholar for a travel program designed for aging adventurers? Elderhostel has been around for a long time, but somehow I had missed its morphing into Road Scholar. That is a much more inspiring…


#985 Dan Dolderman’s Unstoppable Snowball

Dan Dolderman

Dan Dolderman started his TEDxUofT (University of Toronto) talk with a story he says broke his heart. His daughter was filling containers with snow. When he asked her what she was going to do with the snow, she said: “I’m…


#982 The right stories can change our brains

Dr. Paul J. Zak

We know stories capture our attention and imagination, but Dr. Paul Zak’s research shows they affect us physically. Zak is the founder of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University, which studies the neurophysiology of our decision making.…