Weekly Passport: Dr. King’s Beloved Streets, Mumbai’s No Selfie Zone, & The Gig Economy

1. Dr. King’s Beloved Streets

Photograph: Sid Hastings/The Guardian

Melvin White wants to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s name by reinvigorating the streets named after him in St. Louis. He got the idea after driving down one of the streets bearing King’s name left him feeling disheartened. The street which bore the name of one of the most inspirational men in history was bare, lined with brothels, and was puckered with vacant lots. In retaliation, White set up his non-profit called Beloved Streets, which helps to clean up the streets that honor Dr. King. He doesn’t want Dr. King’s name to become synonymous with urban decline:

“It’s ironic,” Derek Alderman, an expert on MLK streets, told me, “that we have attached the name of one of the most famous civil rights leaders of our time to the streets that speak to the very need to continue the civil rights movement.”

Today,more than 900 streets in the US honor Martin Luther King (you’ll also find MLK streets in Senegal, Israel, Zambia, France and Australia.) Predominantly African-American, they’ve been branded “Black America’s Main Street.” Indeed, even St Louis’s dilapidated street holds resonance with the black community; Michael Brown might have died Ferguson, but his funeral packed a church on MLK.

Read more @ The Guardian >>


2. Grown Up ADHD

Illustration: Katherine Du/NPR

Cases are popping up in men and women aged 50 or older: adults are experiencing loss of focus, trouble concentrating, and are unable to complete projects that they start. The diagnosis is Adult ADHD, and it’s explaining why some baby boomers have had trouble concentrating their entire lives. According to CHADD, the disease is inherited and it’s never too late to start treating – it’s usually discovered when a grandchild is diagnosed:

Goodman says he’s seeing more and more adults over the age of 50 newly diagnosed with ADHD. The disorder occurs as the brain is developing, and symptoms generally appear around age 7. But symptoms can last a lifetime. For adults, the problem is not disruptive behavior or keeping up in school. It’s an inability to focus, which can mean inconsistency, being late to meetings or just having problems managing day-to-day tasks. Adults with ADHD are more likely than others to lose a job or file for bankruptcy, Goodman says. They may overpay bills, or underpay them. They may pay bills late, or not at all.

Read more @ NPR >>


2. A Lesson Learned In Volunteer Teaching

Photograph: Sarah Pycroft/The Guardian

Sarah Pycroft’s story was one of disappointment when she arrived in Sri Lanka for what she thought would be a volunteering trip. She wanted to use her teaching skills and certifications to help underserved communities in Southeast Asia. But when she arrived to the country, there was absolutely no curriculum, and the other aid workers there did nothing to teach the kids. But the lack of structure inspired her to leave and travel to Cambodia, where she was given the opportunity to develop an intense training course for volunteer teachers. Her journey proved fruitful for her and for future volunteer teachers.

As soon as I arrived in Sri Lanka I was given my schedule – 40% of the time I would be working in a home for men with special needs, and there was no netball coaching. I told the organisation that I thought something had gone wrong and they said: “Oh no, the netball project’s finished. You’ll go to the men’s home.”

Read more @ The Guardian >>


 4. The No Selfie Zone

Photograph: Indranil Muhkerjee/Getty Images

The death-by-selfie toll is rising at an alarming rate, and countries are beginning to crack down on “dangerous” selfie behavior. Mumbai is one of the latest local governments to publish signs for tourists, after a young girl drowned in a popular tourist destination in the city after a selfie attempt. Russian police are also taking action, by releasing a “selfie safety” pamphlets that helps tourists take selfies responsibly. Wales and Southern England also imposed regulations after “storm selfies” were being taken during harmful weather conditions.

Signs declaring no-selfie zones will be posted at 16 sites, including several seaside forts and beaches, where local police will warn people not to attempt to photograph themselves. The Mumbai deputy police commissioner told reporters that he hopes the city will also install lifeguards at the sites.

Read more at Foreign Policy >>


5. The Gig Economy

Illustration: Hong Li/NPR

 “I have a gig tonight,” has become synonymous for being busy while obtaining some sort of cash flow. But, the gig is meaning a lot more these days than a wayward cash grab. It is now a way of life to some millennials, who are using the “gig” life as a way to do the opposite of “define” themselves, but to get by while doing what they love. It has many other names, but economists have settled on the “gig economy” and it means that the 9-5 is diminishing, and the work from home aspect is rising. Although some think it’s a buzzword, America is starting to become the Freelance Nation.

That tone of insouciance has made “the gig economy” the predominant name for what’s being touted as the industrial revolution of our times. The lifetime job is history, we’re told, a victim of technology and the logic of the market. Instead, careers will be a patchwork of temporary projects and assignments, with the help of apps and platforms with perky names like FancyHands, Upwork and TaskRabbit.

Read more at NPR >>


Other News of Note:

Lunch-less No More

The Next Einstein

An only child, Pasterski speaks with some awkwardness and punctuates her e-mails with smiley faces and exclamation marks. She says she has a handful of close friends but has never had a boyfriend, an alcoholic drink or a cigarette. Pasterski says: “I’d rather stay alert, and hopefully I’m known for what I do and not what I don’t do.”

Worms To Save The World

Researchers just discovered that mealworms can eat nothing but Styrofoam, turn it into biodegradable worm poo, and get all the nutrition they need. This is huge.

A collaborative study between Stanford University and Chinese researchers found that 100 of these mealworms, which are essentially baby beetles, could consume almost 40 milligrams of Styrofoam per day. Now, that’s not a lot (it takes 453,592 milligrams to equal one pound), but the implications are much, much larger.


“Weekly Passport” is a series curated by Everyday Ambassador writer Elyana Twiggs. Every Tuesday, we will post a round-up of meaningful media tidbits and Everyday Ambassador must-reads. To stay current with our latest edition, follow #weeklypassport on our other platforms, and check back for updates.



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