It has been a busy couple of months for Awesome Mongolia! First, Aldarmaa and I had an amazing time representing the Awesome Foundation by speaking at TEDx Ulaanbaatar about Awesome Mongolia, as well as another project we have been working on, the Good Father Project. You can catch the video here– and practice your Mongolian during the second half of the video, subtitles are forthcoming! The idea was well received by the audience and we are currently working with a group from Ulaanbaatar, the capital city, to start our second chapter (and potentially third) of Awesome Mongolia! The deans of the new group are going to work with students at the health sciences university, and hope to fund some great public health projects. We can’t wait to see what they come up with! Finally, we awarded our second project for Awesome Sukhbaatar in late October. The winning proposal was submitted by an entire class of 11th grade students at one of our schools. They will be working with the local municipal library to recover books that are severely damaged. The students also plan on starting a competition based on reading books!
The National Marrow Donor Program really really really needs more minorities (who are harder to match) and more young people (whose cells make for more successful transplants) to register as potential bone marrow donors. BE THE MATCH ON CAMPUS is their push to make this happen, at 35 colleges and universities in SoCal – including UCLA on 10/24. Besides having to convince college students that it’s really NOT as scary as you think to be a donor, BE THE MATCH also has to pay for testing all these guys – and it’s not cheap. So the LA chapter of The Awesome Foundation is giving this month’s 1K awesome grant to BE THE MATCH ON CAMPUS to pay for 40 UCLA students to be put on the national registry — and hopefully be the match for the someone who needs it. xoxo The Awesome Foundation
Dave Adams is not a musician. But he’s a devoted believer in music’s power to inspire creativity, community and emotion. So one day, Dave bought a used guitar, gave it away to someone who could use it to make music — and started The Acoustic Guitar project. Dave’s conditions: 1. The musician has one week to record an original song using only a used acoustic guitar and a handheld recorder provided by The Acoustic Guitar Project. No editing or post-production is allowed. 2. When the musician is finished, they sign the guitar, take a picture of themselves with it, and choose the next musician to participate. The guitar travels to a new musician every week, becoming a viral memento. Today, the first traveling acoustic guitar is with its eighteenth owner in New York City. Every week a newborn song appears at http://theacousticguitarproject.com as a free download, along with lyrics, photos, and candid interviews with the songwriter. A second guitar has been making the rounds in Helsinki, starting with the Finland winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, one of Europe’s most popular TV shows. Singer-songwriters of all stripes have crafted heartfelt ballads and bluesy riffs. No two songs are the same… read more →
How would you describe a project that is part immersive theater, part designer kidnapping, and totally top secret? Awesome. That’s how. Wanderlust rendezvous: Oct. 6th, 7 pm sharp. Our agent will find you on the north end of the High Line, 30th St. & 10th Ave. Sturdy shoes/warm clothes/flashlight. That brief and cryptic text message was all we received before everything went down. My partner-in-crime and I gather with 5 other couples on the top of the High Line on a brisk early October evening. At 7, our agent arrives dressed in dapper 70s vintage gear and holding an orange Igloo beverage jug. He introduces himself as Fox and asks us if we are there for the couples retreat. We say yes. A couple of confused tourists say “no” and scamper off. Fox leads us down the stairs of the High Line to street level, where we board a big hippie RV named Harvey Love Muscle. Destination? Unknown. “We can’t tell you, but it’s about 2 hours from the City.” Ok. Sure. Just go with the flow. That’s part of the fun of it all. After a brief stop for gas, there’s nothing left to do but sit back, relax,… read more →
October’s Awesome Ottawa award goes to Christopher Smeenk to support his making music with lasers. Christopher, a physics PhD student at the University of Ottawa and the Attosecond Science Lab at the National Research Council, explains that his scientific work “focuses on applications of ultrashort laser pulses to control and image matter on the atomic scale.” But he’s also interested in, as he puts it, “delivering tangible outcomes that non-specialists can enjoy.” So he has developed a new method to make music that he calls the laser musicbox. “New developments in laser technology,” Christopher explains, “make it possible to use light to create and control sound – merging the sensations of sight and hearing into a single experience. By focusing an ultrashort laser pulse into air it is possible to simultaneously generate an audible sound and colours spanning the entire visible spectrum. By focusing a laser pulse into air we create a plasma, i.e., a gas of electrons and ions. When the hot plasma expands into the surrounding cooler air it creates a shock wave that you can hear. By controlling the frequency of the laser pulses we can manipulate the pitch of the note and play a melody.” So… read more →