Tag: teen pregnancy

First citywide program for connecting black women with HIV prevention drugs coming to DC

A $1 million investment from the MAC AIDS Fund will go toward making D.C. the first major city to get a program that will connect black heterosexual women (the second-highest group of new HIV infections) in the District with pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP. (Slate, 6/17)

In 2009, D.C. declared an HIV epidemic that rivaled those in many African nations, with around 3 percent of the city’s residents living with HIV. In some areas and age groups, it was closer to 5 percent. Though targeted prevention efforts have cut D.C.’s new-diagnosis rate by almost 60 percent since then, the city still has an HIV rate nearly twice as high as the state with the next highest rate, Louisiana, and nearly 4 percent of black residents are infected. In D.C. and across the country, HIV is a racialized epidemic among women: As of 2012, 92 percent of D.C. women living with HIV were black.

Channing Wickham, executive director of Washington AIDS Partnership, which is at the forefront of these efforts, had this to say:

The Washington AIDS Partnership is excited to be at the center of Washington, D.C.’s goal to “end HIV” through the soon-to-be released “90/90/90/50 by 2020” plan, and innovative HIV prevention strategies such as  Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for women. Stay tuned for a major announcement with more details on June 30!

RACISM/INEQUALITY | Marcela Brane, Herb Block Foundation president and CEO, shares with WRAG this year’s winner of the Foundation’s annual Herblock Prize for Editorial Cartooning, and the enduring impact and significance of the political cartoonist in society. Check out the winning cartoon, “Racist EZCash,” by Mark Fiore(Daily, 6/20)

REGION | Leaders of Washington’s former bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics are said to be keeping up the momentum of their efforts by continuing to meet to discuss objectives for further regional cooperation, even without the possibility of the summer games. (WBJ, 6/17)

Unemployment rates in D.C.’s ward 7 and 8 are at the lowest levels in several years, according to newly-released federal data from the Department of Employment Services. (WCP, 6/17)

– A report by the District’s Office of Revenue Analysis examines the gender pay gap among the city’s workforce. While men make more than women for the same work in most industries, D.C.’s nonprofit sector is shown to be one area where women often make more than men in similar positions. (WBJ, 6/17)

–  This Is The Insane Amount of Money it Takes To Be Considered “Wealthy” in DC (Washingtonian, 6/17)

Montgomery County schools have adopted a new budget officials hope will narrow the school system’s achievement gap and lower class sizes. (WaPo, 6/17)

– Data show that more than 1.3 million U.S. students were homeless in 2013-2014. Advocates are looking to bring greater awareness and support to youth experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty, and a new report surveying homeless youth reveals that many schools may be failing to help students. (WaPo, 6/17)

– According to estimates, there are still 37 million homes in the U.S. that contain lead-based paint and 6 million that recieve drinking water through lead pipes. With children shown to absorb more lead than adults, the American Academy of Pediatrics is urging physicians to be more proactive about testing children for exposure. (NPR, 6/20)

Video: Can the U.S. End Teen Pregnancy? (Atlantic, 6/14)

Just in case you haven’t heard, Clevelanders are very, very happy today.

– Ciara

Is the power of philanthropy enough to move the needle on racism? Yes, it already is.

by Tamara Lucas Copeland
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

In January, the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) started an intensive exploration of racism called Putting Racism on the Table. Each month, for three hours, grantmakers have been immersed in a topic. Structural racism in January, white privilege in February, implicit bias in March, and this month the focus was on mass incarceration as a case study on how all three factors are operationalized in one system of government, the criminal justice system.

I think that several factors are remarkable about this work. First, eleven major funders in the Greater Washington region came together and said, “We aren’t ready to act. We want to learn.” This was powerful. It has seemed like a societal taboo to talk about the 800-pound gorilla of racism that sits in the middle of the room when discussing housing needs, educational needs, health care, or any of the multitude of community needs that philanthropy seeks to address. But these grantmakers were ready for the talk. Eighty percent of the attendees have come to two or more of the sessions. They have recognized that racism cannot be explored in sound bites. There is a depth and breadth to the topic that requires that you listen, reflect, talk with others, and then sit with the information for a while to make it your own. They are doing the hard work of truly understanding racism. After the sessions, many have been candid in revealing, despite their education and commitment to social justice, just how lacking their knowledge truly was about how pervasive and entrenched racism is in our society. Here’s an illustrative sampling of comments:

“After the session on structural racism, I realized how little I know about racism.”

“The systemic nature of racism is more pervasive than I had previously understood.”

“I think there are situations where white privilege is so ingrained that I am not even aware of the impact I am having just by being present or in casual conversation.”

“Having been through the session on implicit bias, I better understand the very strong and powerful way our subconscious influences our thinking and actions. What can we do?”

I am proud of the commitment that philanthropy has made to this learning journey. People who felt that they were sensitive to and understood racism have learned that it is far more nuanced, unconscious, and institutionalized than many would think. We have achieved the goal of knowledge gain. But, this isn’t learning just for the sake of learning.

Philanthropy has been referred to as society’s passing gear. Its position provides a platform for societal change that goes well beyond dollars. Consider the impact of the national Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on smoking reduction or that of the local Summit Fund on teenage pregnancy prevention. They both felt that they could make a difference and with a laser focus that commitment has led to deep and lasting improvements.

I have heard foundation CEOs talk about how this work is already translating into changes at their foundations. I have heard trustees who are business leaders share the impact that it is having on their thinking and on their actions. And, I have heard colleagues in other states discuss how WRAG’s work has opened the door for a discussion that they didn’t think they could have with funders. The needle is moving – slowly perhaps – but moving, and the momentum is building. Stay tuned.

D.C. expands outreach efforts to homeless adults

Washington City Paper explores the District’s efforts to conduct outreach to and provide services for homeless adult residents in the city who live in encampments as the temperatures fall. (WCP, 1/15)

As the weather turns dangerous for people sleeping on the streets or in makeshift shelters, the work of these outreach teams becomes even more urgent. But as encampment cleanups for the first time ever continue into hypothermia season—when homeless citizens have a right to shelter—advocates worry that people unwilling or unable to go inside will be left without lifesaving protections.

Ward 3 Without Cold-Weather Shelter For Men (WCP, 1/18)

PHILANTHROPY | The Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy have partnered to release the Disaster Philanthropy Playbook, a comprehensive resource to help philanthropy respond to future disasters.

EDUCATION/MARYLAND | Recommendations to close or consolidate a number of schools in Prince George’s County have brought members of the community together to oppose the possible changes. (WaPo, 1/17)

GENDER/INEQUALITY | How to Bridge That Stubborn Pay Gap (NYT, 1/15)

– A new report finds that the average age of first-time mothers continues to climb in the U.S. Researchers contribute the rise in the average age to a decline in the number of teenage pregnancies. (NPR, 1/14)

– According to data, there are correlations between several measures of economic development – such as income, education, and occupation –  and one’s level of fitness. (City Lab, 1/11)

The role of photography in the Civil Rights Movement.

– Ciara

Meeting unmet needs for a better healthcare system

Over on the Consumer Health Foundation blog, Dr. Rajiv Bhatia discusses how data on the unmet needs (food, employment, housing and transportation) of patients could help the health care system further calculate risk factors in order to provide a more comprehensive experience that would include connecting people with the proper community resources. (CHF, 4/1)

According to a recent national survey, 85% of primary care doctors say that unmet needs for food, housing, employment, and transportation contribute to poor health for their patients. These doctors recognize that they lack the time, tools, and resources to support all of their patients’ health needs and want health care systems to do more. Sadly, few health care systems measure unmet needs as risk factors in the populations they serve or take steps to address these needs.

Quality health care matters a great deal when we are sick, but protecting and maintaining our health requires a foundation of basic human needs. Insecure work, the lack of nutritious food, and unstable shelter are increasingly common experiences in our society that result in high costs for health and healthcare.

PHILANTHROPY | More and more grantmakers are committing to “get on the map!” Foundation president/CEO and chair of WRAG’s board of directors, Patricia Mathews, shares why the Northern Virginia Health Foundation is excited about the interactive mapping tool and sharing their grants data with colleagues. (Daily, 4/6)

Opinion: As the District’s homelessness crisis persists, David Bowers of Enterprise Community Partners offers his thoughts on how the city must use a broader approach to tackle the problem and bring about lasting change. (WaPo, 4/3)

– According to a report from the National Alliance to End Homelessness, federal funding for programs to end homelessness in the U.S. is at its highest level ever. The study also found significant declines in homelessness nationally among sub-populations over the past few years. (HuffPo, 4/3)

The unprecedented funding is “probably in part” to credit for a decline in net homelessness: 578,424 people were experiencing homelessness on a single night in January 2014 — down 2.3 percent from the year before.

What’s more, improvements were tracked within every major sub-population, such as the chronically homeless, families and unsheltered persons. Veteran homelessness, for example, has dropped 33 percent in the past five years.

YOUTH/DISTRICT | In this special film, DC Teens: Progress & Promise, made by Stone Soup Films for the Summit Fund of Washington, District teens and leaders working to lower rates of teen pregnancy speak on what is being done to create a better future for young people in the city and why that work is so vital. Check out the video here.

Related: Dr. Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution, who makes an appearance in the film above, will be the featured speaker of our first Brightest Minds event of the year. On April 30, she will explore the growing trend of unwed and unplanned motherhood, its impact on child poverty and wellness, and how the social sector can effectively support efforts for change. This event is open to both WRAG members and nonmembers. More details here.

– On April 15, United Way of the National Capital Area (UWNCA) is offering a free training to support any area nonprofit that will participate in the Do More 24 Day of Giving to be held this year on June 4. Nonprofits interested in participating do not need to be members of UWNCA, but must serve the D.C. metro area. Click here to learn more and to register by April 13.

Opinion: Simple Steps to Promote Diversity at Nonprofits (Chronicle, 4/3)

– McAuliffe ‘bans the box’ on state job applications (WaPo, 4/4)

Who’s ready for some baseball?! Take this quiz to see how much you know about the sport.

– Ciara


Giving in America

Post-recession giving in America has undergone a lot of changes over the years. The Chronicle of Philanthropy offers a look at the changing landscape of giving with an interactive map and data from the largest metro areas. (Chronicle, 10/5)

As the recession lifted, poor and middle class Americans dug deeper into their wallets to give to charity, even though they were earning less. At the same time, according to a new Chronicle analysis of tax data, wealthy Americans earned more, but the portion of the income they gave to charity declined.

The Chronicle study found that Americans give, on average, about 3 percent of their income to charity, a figure that has not budged significantly for decades. However, that figure belies big differences in giving patterns between the rich and the poor.

Opinion: A Better Way to Encourage Charity (NYT, 10/5)

HOMELESSNESS | Over the weekend, more than 60 families were moved from a hotel to the D.C. General Homeless shelter amid a number of concerns over a lapse in communication and coordination ahead of the relocations. (DCist, 10/3)

POVERTY | Opinion: Regular, on-time payments for necessities like cell phone bills, rent and utilities are not often reported to credit bureaus until there is a delinquency or late payment. As such, the “credit invisibles” – those who have no credit standing – are shown to be unreliable in the eyes of lenders.  While their economic behavior flies under the radar for credit rating agencies, businesses and nonprofits are taking a stand to help people gain a financial footing. (NYT, 10/2)

Related: Many strategies help families build resilience and financial independence. Financial literacy, affordable banking and credit, stable housing and home ownership, tax preparation assistance, and benefit selection and utilization are all part of the asset building toolbox. While 2015 Affordable Care Act enrollment and tax season are almost here, there are opportunities all year round to help low-income families create and sustain wealth. Members can join us on Monday, October 20th at 12:30 PM at WRAG as we host a brown bag discussion on asset building and to share your own work and learn what others are doing.

COMMUNITYCapital One has announced their new dFUND, a $500,000 grant program that will invest in innovative programs that help individuals, families and organizations succeed in a digital economy.  The dFUND is a catalyst to propel non-profits working in Capital One markets to further the ideation and development of this change for individuals and organizations in their communities. The application is available here.

– Though it is reported that as many as 10 percent of American children suffer from an impairing mental illness, there aren’t nearly enough school-based mental health services available to students. Some schools have begun offering  a new service, known as tele-mental health, that could greatly improve access to much needed psychiatric services. (CityLab, 10/2)

The Washington Post shares the stories of women on what it’s like to be a teen mother. (WaPo, 10/3)

 Sometimes you need to just stop and look at the fall foliage.

– Ciara

D.C. teen pregnancy, a story of cause and effect

In this special report, Elevation DC takes a look at the progress the District has made in reducing teen pregnancy in some areas. The report also examines some of the direct and indirect effects of teen birth, and the continued struggle to end the cycle of poverty that often precedes it. (Elevation DC, 6/3)

While the teen birth rate in the District has declined 65 percent between 1991 and 2010, numbers have remained relatively unchanged over the past several years in wards 7 & 8. In 2007, there were 222 births to teens in Ward 7 and 216 births in 2011, according to the DC Department of Health’s Center for Policy, Planning, and Evaluation. In Ward 8, births to teens were recorded at 306 in 2007 and 295 in 2011.

[…] teen mothers are much more likely to drop out of high school, decreasing their earning potential for their entire lives. The cycle of poverty persists with their children, who often live below the poverty line and become teen parents themselves.

COMMUNICATIONS│ Paul VanDeCarr, Managing Director at Working Narratives, spoke with WRAG members and local nonprofit representatives as part of the 2014 Brightest Minds series. Here, he offers advice for funders and grantees on storytelling to garner support. (Daily, 6/3)

VETERANS │ Opinion: A judge in Fairfax County is seeking to create a veterans treatment docket that would provide specialized programming for offenders who have served in the military. Fairfax County has one of the highest concentrations of veterans in the country, and many offenders are found to have had no criminal record prior to service. (WaPo, 6/2)

EDUCATION │ A look at how much has changed in Prince George’s County schools since new leadership entered the system a year ago. (WaPo, 6/2)

HOMELESSNESS │ Amid complaints of uninhabitable conditions at the D.C. General shelter, homeless families and supporters will gather at 6:30 P.M. to rally for improvements. (DCist, 6/3)

REGION │ What You Need to Know for Virginia’s New Voter ID Law (WAMU, 6/2)

Free ice cream is my favorite flavor…or cookie dough.



An effort to reduce pregnancies among Hispanic teens in Montgomery County

YOUTH | While the overall teen pregnancy rate has been declining, there remains a significant disparity between Hispanics and other groups, an issue that one local nonprofit has been working to address in Montgomery County (WaPo, 3/29):

Even as the Latino birthrate has fallen in Montgomery over the past two decades, it remains more than 2.5 times higher than the rate for the county’s black girls in that age group and more than three times the rate for white girls.


Since 1996, the earliest year in which Montgomery officials have published data, the great disparity between birthrates for Latino and white teenagers has hardly changed. Meanwhile, the gap between black teenagers and Latino teenagers has increased. This has perplexed local officials at a time when teen pregnancy rates in the nation are plummeting and the gaps between all races and ethnic groups continue to shrink.

For advocates, the disparity has come to symbolize the socioeconomic gulf between Latinos, largely a population of new immigrants, and more established populations in one of the country’s most affluent counties.

COMMUNITY | Today the Citi Foundation announced the launch of Pathways to Progress, a three-year, $50 million initiative in 10 cities, including D.C., to provide career training to 100,000 low-income youth. (Citi, 3/31). More information on the initiative is available here.

VETERANS | The Post commissioned a wide-ranging survey of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s a must-read for those interested in issues affecting veterans and their families. The quick take-away from the intro: “More than half of the 2.6 million Americans dispatched to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan struggle with physical or mental health problems stemming from their service, feel disconnected from civilian life and believe the government is failing to meet the needs of this generation’s veterans.” (WaPo, 3/29)

Related: WRAG members have been convening regularly over the past year to look at ways philanthropy can better support veterans and their families in our region. Last year, they learned about challenges some veterans encounter when transitioning to the civilian workforce, and today (literally, right this minute) they are examining the potential of scaling up a successful program in Montgomery County for the entire region.

– Housing advocates see great potential for affordable housing options in Ward 8, particularly as developers begin to re-hab the area’s “abandominiums” – condos and apartments that have been left empty. (WAMU, 3/28)

How your housing affects your health (WaPo, 3/26)

EDUCATION/WORKFORCE | In his latest column, Robert McCartney argues that recent changes to the GED exam, put in place to meet higher demands of employers, are making the exam far more difficult to pass during a time when unemployment for those without high school diplomas is so high. (WaPo, 3/29)

REGION | The population of the Greater Washington region continued to grow last year, due primarily to the availability of jobs. (WaPo, 3/28) As Stephen Fuller explains in the article, “very few people flock to D.C. to enjoy the weather.”

HEALTHCARE | Maryland gears up for health exchange redo (WaPo, 3/30)

ARTS/PHILANTHROPY | S&R Foundation provides Washington Ballet with live music, affects city’s music scene (WaPo, 3/28)

CSR | Breaking Down The Benefits Of In-Kind Giving — And The Regulations Around It (Forbes, 3/30)

Related: On Thursday and Friday last week, WRAG and Johns Hopkins University hosted the second session of the Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility. Check out the speaker-line up and photos from the session. From the pictures, it looks like a fun and jammed-packed two days. We’ll begin taking applications for the 2015 class early this summer. More information here.

You know how in some circles the first thing people ask you is “what do you do?” That drives me crazy. Here’s a cool video that gives an overview of all of the obnoxious ways people form quick judgments about new acquaintances all over the country.

– Rebekah

Nicky Goren of the Women’s Foundation puts the minimum wage in perspective

WORKFORCE | In a Huffington Post op-ed, the Washington Area Women’s Foundation‘s Nicky Goren applauds the D.C. Council’s decision to raise the minimum wage as a step in the right direction – but reminds us that the hourly wage required to ensure economic security in D.C. is over twice what the proposed minimum wage would be (HuffPo, 12/4):

We live in a region that consistently makes “best” lists — 50 Best Cities, Best Cities to Find a Job. The truth is, those lists only apply to some of our community’s residents. For others, this has become an increasingly difficult place to live with resources that are always just out of reach.

Related: Since the federal poverty line hasn’t changed much over the years, the minimum wage increase doesn’t even come close to lifting a family of four out of poverty. This chart puts it in pretty scary perspective. (Atlantic, 12/4)

GIVING | A local Salvation Army office had $10,000 stolen after Thanksgiving. In response, they’ve received over $35,000 in pledges, including $10,000 from the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation. (WaPo, 12/5)

HIV/AIDS | The New York Times looks at some of the reasons why the HIV/AIDS epidemic has become concentrated among young black and Hispanic gay men. (NY Times, 12/4)

EQUITY | A new Pew report finds that economic mobility in urban metropolitan areas is linked to economic integration. Not surprisingly, relative to many other regions, the Washington area ranks high in economic segregation and low in economic mobility. The study also makes policy recommendations for addressing the issue (Atlantic, 12/4):

Public policies aimed at addressing economic segregation and mobility fall into two categories – housing assistance and education and skill upgrading. Both must be a part of any successful fix to this pernicious problem.

On the housing front, the study notes the need for more affordable housing. But the authors also point to the need for more innovative mixed-income development, inclusionary zoning, and metro-wide transportation and economic development.

YOUTH | Teen pregnancy rates have declined significantly throughout the United States, including in D.C. – although they are dropping much faster in some parts of the city than others. (WaPo, 12/4)

PHILANTHROPY | Philanthropy expert Lucy Bernholz’s annual Blueprint report is out, detailing her forecast for the social economy in 2014. (Grantcraft, 12/5)

Loudoun to allow nonprofits to apply for tax exemptions (WaPo, 12/5)

Nonprofit Government Contractors Still Face Late Payments, Says New Study (Chronicle, 12/5)

No Shock Here: Lots Of Jobs In Maryland And Virginia Tied To Government (WAMU, 12/4)

Federal Transit Benefit Could Be Cut In Half, Worrying Advocates And Metro (WAMU, 12/5)

I have two seasonally appropriate videos for you today. The first, a flash mob performance at a Smithsonian museum by the Air Force Band. Second, a spot-on Lego re-creation of the mall chase scene in Blues Brothers (you know, because it’s shopping season). Enjoy!

– Rebekah

Changes ahead for region’s economy…Fairfax County Superintendent proposes budget increase…Giving expected to rise by $3.3 billion in 2013 [News, 1.11.13]

The New York Times looks at how the Washington area developed a booming and vibrant economy, thanks mainly to government and government-related spending. (NY Times, 1/10)

We escaped the fiscal cliff worst case scenario, but the region’s economy will still be negatively affected by reduced federal spending and the loss of about 22,000 federal jobs over the next few years. (Examiner, 1/10)

EDUCATION | In anticipation of a big jump in enrollment, Fairfax County Superintendent Jack Dale has proposed a $2.5 billion budget that includes pay raises for teachers and additional funds for language and AP classes. (WaPo, 1/11)

– The Children’s Law Center’s Judith Sandalow calls on the D.C. Council to take advantage of the District’s strong economy to support programs that help children and families living in poverty, after four years of budget cuts. (HuffPo, 1/10)

– High schools offer day-care services for teen parents to prevent dropouts (WaPo, 1/11)

PHILANTHROPY | According to the Urban Institute, charitable giving this year will grow 1.3 percent – $3.3 billion – thanks to the increase in the top tax bracket in the fiscal cliff deal. (Chronicle, 1/10)

Related: Here’s the Urban Institute’s analysis.

Removing the stigma of HIV testing (WaPo, 1/11)

– There’s a whole lot of flu going around. (WaPo, 1/10) But it’s not this bad…yet.

DISTRICT | Check out the cool plans for Chuck Brown Park. (DCist, 1/10)

Vincent Van Gogh, digitized.


What if we spent Olympic level funding on fighting poverty?…Voucher program supports 300 new students…Successful teen pregnancy program faces funding problem [News, 8.6.12]

POVERTY | Opinion: Mark Bergel, executive director of nonprofit A Wider Circle, asks – What if D.C. made an Olympic effort to end poverty? (WaPo, 8/4) Bergel considers how much money is being poured into the Olympics:

So here’s my question: If we were prepared as a community to mobilize the region’s resources and fund the premier athletic event in the world, why can’t we make the same commitment to house our homeless neighbors, feed hungry families and clothe young and old in our community? If our local government and the private sector were prepared to provide beds, healthy meals and showers for athletes from around the world, why do so many among us not have a bed, a healthy meal or a shower?

It’s an interesting premise, and it can be applied to a lot of other things. What if we took the profits from just one blockbuster movie and used them to fight poverty? What if the federal government didn’t throw away hundreds of millions of dollars on obviously dumb investments like Solyndra and spent it on fighting poverty instead?

And if we had the necessary resources, would we actually be able to end poverty? Bergel says yes. What do you folks think?

Related: As it so happens, organizers are considering bidding to have the Olympics in DC/Baltimore in 2024. (WTOP, 8/6)

– About 300 new students have been awarded private school education vouchers as part of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. (WAMU, 8/6)

Montgomery schools expand autism services (WaPo, 8/6)

Editorial: Evaluating the District’s teachers (WaPo, 8/5) “Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson is on solid ground in raising the standard for what it means to be effective.”

TEEN PREGNANCY | The District has had a lot of success with its New Heights program for teens who are expecting or have children. It is designed to keep those teens in school while connecting them to critical services like welfare, health care, and child care. With federal funding, the program expanded to 15 locations – but a cut off in federal money is threatening 13 locations.

As the program faces financial trouble, it has a strong advocate in D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier, who herself struggled to stay in school as a teen mother in D.C. (Examiner, 8/6)

LISTS | The Nonprofit Times has released its annual Power & Influence Top 50 for nonprofit leaders across the nation. (NPT, 8/6) I think I was probably ranked 51st. If only that Bill Gates hadn’t gotten in my way…

LOCAL | Poor response rates to P.G. emergency calls under scrutiny (Examiner, 8/6) In Capitol Heights, for example, more than 30 percent of calls don’t get a response within a minute.

BUDGETS | Here’s a list of the ten states receiving the most federal funding per capita. It isn’t clear if D.C. was considered, but Maryland and Virginia rank third and second, respectively. (247WallSt, 8/6)

FINAL FRONTIER | NASA’s Curiosity rover landed a little after 1:30am ET today. It was surprisingly exciting and tense to watch the room full of NASA operators as they navigated the incredibly difficult landing. Their reaction to the landing was absolutely priceless – watch this from about the 2:30 mark. And then, amidst the celebrations, Curiosity began sending us pictures from another planet. Wow.

Back on earth, other impressive things have been happening. Usain Bolt cruised in to another Olympic record in the 100 meter sprint. So, he’s gotten faster with age. And, shortly before, South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius challenged our conception of what it means to be disabled as he competed in the 400 meter semifinals. 

Hope you all enjoyed the weekend!

– Christian