Societal Needs

These messages describe what matters in our society with respect to our basic needs.

    • Bot Prevention, Crowdsourcing, Language Learning

      Louis von Ahn was born in 1978 in Guatemala. Both of his parents were doctors, and he had privileges that others in his country did not have. His privileged background has helped shape his career. His experience in applying for college in the U.S. left him with a...

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    • The Purple Heart

      In 1782, George Washington commander of the Continental Army created the Badge of Military Merit. The original badge was a medal heart on a purple background. The award was discontinued in use until after World War I. In 1927, the Army Chief of Staff asked Congress to...

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    • Electronic Books

      Angela Ruiz Robles was born in Spain in 1895. Her family was wealthy so she was able to get a college education. She studied to be a teacher, preparing women for office jobs. Ruiz lived during the Spanish Civil War and became an advocate for female literacy. At the...

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    • False Reality

      In a number of conversations he had with colleagues and former students, he was often questioned about the moral decline of students he taught. With a teaching career that spanned 50+ years over seven decades, he seemed to be one who had a unique insight into the...

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    • Passports

      The concept of a passport has ancient origins. Documents were put together to grant safe passage from one country to another. Since travel between countries was so rare, the documents had limited value. It was Benjamin Franklin who created something like what we would...

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    • The Birth Control Pill: A Planned Beginning

      The birth control pill has been called the second-greatest pharmaceutical discovery after penicillin. Its discovery faced both scientific and political challenges. In the 1940s and 1950s Margaret Sanger, a leading women’s rights activist personally funded early...

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    • Inclusive Design

      The Curiosity Project was created to stimulate lifelong learning by all people, no matter the socio-economic status, age, gender, physical/mental status, or any other trait. They were the beneficiary of a substantial endowment so they had the financial means to make a...

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    • Credit Hours

      Some of our most accomplished leaders in a wide variety of areas were largely self-educated. Abraham Lincoln, for example, was a self-educated attorney. Over time post-secondary institutions began to become more valuable, but that created a problem. At the time, there...

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    • Sport

      Ollamaliztli is thought to be the first sport. It was played as early as 1650 BC by the pre-Columbian people in a region we now know as Central America. Little precise information is known about its rules or equipment, but we can speculate from the remains. It was...

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    • Installment Purchases

      Isaac Singer didn’t invent the sewing machine, but he did make a number of changes to the original design. He applied for patents for his innovations. Edward Clark was his attorney. When Singer couldn’t pay Clark, he gave him 37.5% of the Singer Sewing Machine...

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