The Echigo-Tsumari Art Field is a fantastic and wonderfully impractical art space in Japan, where artists from around the world have scattered large-scale installations across 160 kilometers of land.
In the midst of this art field is this set of giant colored pencils from Cameroon-born artist Pascale Marthine Tayou, titled “Reverse City:” enormous colored pencils hewn from trees dangle 2 meters above the ground, pointing down at the visitors below.
More about this installation:
On each pencil is written the name of one of the countries of the world. The giant pencils are variously colored; some are short, some are tall…Suspended upside-down, the points of this colorful city are aimed at human visitors who, looking up at it, feel both awed and threatened.
Continue reading Creativity: giant colored pencil art installation, that “both awes and threatens”
As we wrote back in April, there’s no doubt that the Internet is revolutionizing education, as more and more companies continue to emerge and alter the way we learn. We’ve kept a close eye on edX, Khan Academy, Academic Earth, P2PU, Skillshare and Codecademy, and rounding out that list is Coursera, one of the youngest of the bunch, which recently raised $16 million to launch with 37 undergraduate and graduate-level courses.
Now, since starting off with the likes of Princeton and Stanford, Coursera is announcing 12 new university partnerships, $3.7M in equity investments from Caltech, Penn and existing investors, and a total of 1.5M student users from 190 different countries.
More specifically, here’s a list of the company’s 12 new partnering universities, following Coursera’s original four launch partners (Stanford, Princeton, University of Michigan and University of Pennsylvania):
- Georgia Tech
- Duke University
- University of Washington
- Rice University
- University of Edinburgh
- University of Toronto
- EPFL – Lausanne (Switzerland)
- Johns Hopkins University (School of Public Health)
- University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- University of Virginia
If you’re interested, these courses are free and here’s a list of all the new classes available:
The Next Web – Education startup Coursera partners with 12 new universities, raises $3.7M and hits 1.6M enrollments
Continue reading Coursera adds 12 more prestigious universities – free online education grows
By Bill Gates
People sometimes say that the United Nations doesn’t do enough to solve the big problems of the world. I’ve never really agreed with that point of view, but if anyone is looking for evidence of the UN’s impact, a good place to start is the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
They were agreed to in 2000 by all 193 UN member countries and 23 international organizations. Creating that kind of consensus is—by itself—a significant achievement.
The great thing about the MDGs is that they provide clear targets and indicators of progress in key areas, including:
- Ending poverty and hunger
- Universal education
- Gender equality
- Child and maternal health
- Combatting HIV/AIDS
- Environmental sustainability
- Global development
Although a number of countries won’t be able to achieve all of the goals by the target date of 2015, the MDGs have been helpful in getting everyone to really think about their part, the progress they’re making, and what they can learn from others. The goals have focused political attention in developing countries, encouraged UN groups to work together, and inspired wealthy and fast-growing donor countries to coordinate their efforts.
In February, the World Bank announced that the MDG goal of cutting extreme poverty by half had been achieved five years early. A week later, UNICEF and the World Health Organization announced that the goal of halving the number of people without access to safer drinking water was also reached five years early.
Source: The Gates Notes – A Report Card on Helping the World’s Poor
Continue reading The Millennium Development Goals – wiping out disease, famine, and poverty on Earth