Weekly News Recap: August 2, 2019

Weekly News Recap: August 2, 2019

Sydney and Taylor Woodworth have raised more than $100,000 for the Stollery Children's Hospital in the 10 years of running their charity lemonade stand. ( Manual Carrillos/CBC )

I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. — Groucho Marx

This week's highlights

  • Vicks partners with an Australian homelessness charity #VideosWorthWatching
  • Pit stops that amaze and iPhone photography that awes #NowThatsFast
  • The lemonade sisters are at it again, Fortnite is finally paying off, and Calgary is getting a new hockey arena #IShouldHaveBeenAGamer
  • Take a break (really), why humility works and a breakthrough in mental health therapy for men #DontGlossOverYourEmotions
  • Mosquitoes as THE apex predator #52BillionAndCounting
  • A deceased bachelor carpenter is putting hundreds through college #AmazingHumans
  • And so much more...

Great campaigns


  • The Winners Of The 2019 iPhone Photography Awards Are Gorgeous (digg) Stunning. There is a reason our phone is also a camera. Or...is it the other way around? "The winners of the iPhone Photography Awards (IPPAWARDS) have been announced, providing more proof that you don't need an expensive camera to take breathtaking photos." 7/25/19

Because it's fun


  • Calgary agrees to fund half of new $550M hockey arena for Flames (CBC) CALGARY STORY Woot! "Calgary city council has approved a deal with the owners of the Calgary Flames to help finance what it calls a new event centre in East Victoria Park." 7/30/19

  • The mysterious case of the 'Great Job,' 'You Are Loved' signs has been cracked (CBC) CALGARY STORY I heart this. Such a beautiful motivation. "A Calgary woman has reluctantly admitted she is the mysterious sign-planter who has been putting up dozens of little red signs with inspirational sayings around the city." 7/30/19

  • Easy peasy, lemon squeezy: Sisters' charity lemonade stand raises $100,000 in 10 years (CBC) EDMONTON STORY The lemonade sisters are at it again. Congrats ladies. You rock. "Much can change in 10 years but for Edmonton sisters Taylor and Sydney Woodworth, one thing has stayed the same: an unwavering determination to make lemonade from lemons — and then sell it to raise money for the Stollery Children's Hospital. By the time the girls shut down 2019's edition of the weeklong lemonade stand on Sunday, they'd surpassed $100,000 raised since setting up their first lemonade stand on their driveway in 2009." 7/30/19

  • Albertan is climbing world's 7 highest summits to elevate mental health awareness (CBC) CALGARY STORY Nice way to raise awareness. Literally. "An Alberta mountaineer says he's struggled with mental health and depression more than once in his life — so he's sharing how he climbed above it while fundraising for the cause by scaling the highest peaks on seven continents [...]. So far, he's raised about $17,000 for the Canadian Mental Health Association (Calgary Region) and hopes to meet a goal of $43,319 — matching the total height of the seven summits, at $1 per metre." 7/30/19

  • 'Words can't explain it': 16-year-old Fortnite video game world champ wins $3M (CBC) My kids have been telling me there is a future in gaming for a while. Apparently, they are right. "All those hours playing video games have paid off for a 16-year-old. Kyle Giersdorf, of Pottsgrove, Penn., racked up the most points and won $3 million US as the first Fortnite World Cup solo champion." 7/29/19

  • Rogers Place: Was it worth it? (CBC) ALBERTA STORY "As Calgary city council prepares to vote on a multi-million dollar arena deal, Edmontonians might be feeling a sense of déjà vu. When the Rogers Place arena deal was approved in 2013, it came with plenty of potential, promises and possibilities." 7/28/19

  • Repairs go unfunded as community grant applicants wait for Alberta’s fall budget (The Star) CALGARY STORY :-( "The Renfrew community hall has seen better days. The decades-old building’s foundation has a leak that has caused water issues and mould, and needs other repairs and upgrades to its bathrooms, kitchen and more. The tab for fixing it all would be $225,000. But the repairs have been thrown into uncertainty because of what the Renfrew Community Association and similar Alberta groups call 'radio silence' from the province over whether it will help pay for badly needed infrastructure improvements." 7/25/19

Books to read

  • Here's how to improve brain function and get smarter at any age, says author of new book (CBC) SASKATCHEWAN STORY Whew. I am adding this to my reading list. Now. "Whether people are 20-years-old or 100-years-old, it's always possible for them to fight back cognitive delay and improve their brain function, says the author of a new book called Smarter Next Year. 'How well your brain works today, tomorrow or 10 years from now is for the most part, a matter of choice, not chance [...]. Genes don't control your destiny, you do.'" 7/28/19

Seven life and career hacks -- one for each day of the week

  1. Do You Know Why You Need Crickets in Your Life? (Personal Growth) This coming weekend is a long weekend in most of Canada. I have a pile of work and home to-dos. I was planning to knock off a bunch of them. Then I read this. Take a break. Spend some intentional time with those you love. I am spending the weekend doing just that. Thanks Mr. Weiss. 7/26/19

  2. How to Use Humility to Do Anything You Want in Life (The Ascent) All hail humility. Oops. It doesn't want recognition. In all seriousness, this is a superpower that I wish I had more of. 7/17/19

  3. When Mathematics, and Its Wordy Cousin, Philosophy, Finally Clicked (The Startup) Math can be for everyone. And, if so, how great is that? 7/9/19

  4. How I Finally Got Men to Talk About Their Feelings in Therapy (The Forge) Terrific. Hard to read. But still terrific. I encourage those who are interested to visit the link in the article: APA issues first-ever guidelines for practice with men and boys. Can't heart this enough. 6/27/19

  5. I Tried This Popular, Yet Deceptively Simple, Productivity Hack (The Startup) Christine, my amazing wife, tries to do five things around the house each day. Many of them fall into this category. Powerful. 5/10/19

  6. How to Be a Prolific Reader (The Startup) We all need to read more. At least that is what I tell myself. This helps. 2/7/19

  7. What Makes a Ridiculously Awesome Life? 3 Things. That’s it. (Self) This is a four-minute read. And, it is not light. Pursue. Give. Invest. Bingo! 1/22/19

Uncommon knowledge

  • How Mosquitoes Changed Everything (The New Yorker) I hate mozzies. "In total, Winegard estimates that mosquitoes have killed more people than any other single cause—fifty-two billion of us, nearly half of all humans who have ever lived. He calls them 'our apex predator,' 'the destroyer of worlds,' and 'the ultimate agent of historical change.'" 7/29/19

  • The business of sleep (GQ) I have said it before. I will say it again. I believe that sleep (as in getting enough of it) underpins everything good in our lives. Get enough and you have energy, motivation, cognitive function, success with weight control, and a host of other good and great things. Sleep. Get some. 7/29/19

Philanthropic personalities

  • Chronicle of Philanthropy Founder Has Died (Chronicle of Philanthropy) RIP Mr. Gwaltney. We will not see your like again. "[The] secret of [the Chronicle's] excellence comes from the backing of Corbin Gwaltney, an insightful editor and entrepreneurial leader. For more than three decades, he offered our editorial team freedom and resources to do what we thought served our readers best and gave our business colleagues a mandate to respect our editorial independence." 7/29/19

  • IOWA CARPENTER SAVED $3 MILLION TO PUT 33 STRANGERS THROUGH COLLEGE (Newsweek) I am humbled by this story. What an incredible man. "An Iowa carpenter is responsible for sending dozens of people to college. People he never had a chance to meet." 7/18/19

Philanthropic controversy

  • UC Berkeley loses U.S. News college ranking for 'greatly overstated' donation numbers (SFGate) "U.S. News announced [...] the University of California at Berkeley will no longer be listed as the No. 2 public school in America; instead, it's been booted down to 'unranked' due to what the publication called 'greatly overstated' alumni donation numbers. The reporting errors were brought to the attention of U.S. News by the school itself [...]." 7/28/19

  • How a lawsuit could reveal secrets about Silicon Valley’s favorite philanthropic loophole (Vox) I am not oblivious to the fact that this article is positioned just before the next one. "Chuck Brown remembers the exact moment he realized he was part of the problem. It was early 2018 and his bosses at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) were, once again, crowing about how much their charitable accounts had grown in the previous year. Leaders proudly announced that they now oversaw $13.5 billion in assets, before turning to their too-familiar refrain: 'We’re as small,' the call-and-response went, 'as we’re going to ever be.'" Thanks to Andrea McManus for forwarding this article to us. 7/2/19

Trends and shifts

Large gifts

  • Anonymous donor gives £1.5million to charity - after previously donating £6million. (Solihull Observer) It pays to use the funds well and to communicate how those funds were used to the donor. "A SUPER generous anonymous benefactor has given more than £1.5million to a local charity – after previously donating £6million. Grant giving charity The Heart of England Community Foundation distributes money to local voluntary and community groups on behalf of donors. And after being impressed with how their money had been used, the same unnamed donor decided to give even more." 7/29/19

  • KYOTO ANIMATION’S BANK ACCOUNT RAISES 620 MILLION YEN BY DONATION (Epic Dope) "Recently, NHK reported, Kyoto Animation’s bank account opened [...] to accept donations after the deadly fire at the Kyoto’s studio building on the 18th of July this year. Surprisingly, the company has raised 620 million yen (about US$5.6 million) since they began accepting donations. The company will give the funds to the families of the victims of the fire, as well as use some to rebuild their studio." 7/27/19

  • Boeing Donation to Ayrton Senna Institute to benefit 2 million students in Brazil (Boeing) "Boeing will invest in a partnership with the Ayrton Senna Institute to boost STEM and comprehensive education over the three next years [...]. This latest investment amounts to USD 3 million and expands Boeing’s commitment to Brazil while building on the company’s existing collaboration with Ayrton Senna Institute." 7/26/19

  • Vanderbilt Eye Institute receives $10 million donation (Healio) "Vanderbilt Eye Institute has received a donation of $10 million to fund regenerative visual neuroscience research [...]. The donor family wished to remain anonymous." 7/25/19

  • Intact Financial Corporation donates $1.34 million to address the root causes of child poverty Français (Newswire) CANADIAN STORY Thanks Intact! "One in five children lives in poverty in Canada today. That means 1.3 million children cannot afford after-school sports or art classes, join their classmates on school trips or access the Internet to help with their school work. To help build more resilient communities, Intact Financial Corporation [...] is donating $1.34 million to support United Way Centraide-funded programs and agencies across the country that tackle child poverty [...]. " 7/25/19

  • Company Donates $5 Million For Anacostia Bridge: Report (The Patch) "Exelon Corp. has committed $5 million for a bridge that would span the Anacostia River and connect Washington Navy Yard and Anacostia Park [...]." 7/24/19

  • Memphis athletic department to receive $13 million donation (Tuscon.com) "Memphis has announced that alumnus Gary W. Bryant and his wife have pledged $13 million to boost the school's athletic department by establishing a trust." 7/24/19

  • $100+ Million Donation Toward Cancer Research at Ohio State for Immuno-Oncology Center (TrialSite News) "Pelotonia has donated more than $100 million toward cancer research at Ohio State University. The non-profit declares that $102.2 million donations will establish the Pelotonia Institute of Immuno-Oncology at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Care Center [...]. To date, they have raised approximately $195 million for cancer research." 7/17/19

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