America's Brand of Self-Interested Volunteering
New technology platforms and lingering job shortages mean volunteering will be increasingly motivated by self-interest. So is it still volunteering? Or should we not worry about defining it?
What's the Latest Development?
The concepts of service and volunteering are undergoing radical changes due to new technology platforms and an increasingly competitive job market. As one might expect, there will be a side to service increasingly motivated by individuals' self-interest. Start ups like Sparked and Catchafire, which work like dating sites for volunteers, match people's interests and skill sets to organizations that work to help society. These companies are also seeking to integrate service into the corporate structure, creating skill-based volunteering programs to suit a company's desire to provide its employees with leadership opportunities.
What's the Big Idea?
As job shortages linger, the kinds of experience that differentiate one resume from another are razor-thin. That means volunteering, which provides opportunities to develop a particular skill set as well as leadership in general, will be considered an increasingly important asset by businesses looking to hire. "This healthy competition will ensure that social good organizations are getting the best volunteer talent. It also incentivizes the organizations that are looking for volunteer talent to invest in themselves in order to attract the best talent." But should we be concerned about service motivated by self-interest?
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Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.
- There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
- CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
- Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
- Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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