Sydney Moyer in Haiti for Accion

The Haitian Way

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This post was originally published on the Accion Medium account. You can see that here.

I breathe a sigh of relief as I step into the back of the van, its dark windows a blissful respite from the hot Haitian sun. Back in Boston, there’s still about six feet of snow on the ground, and my sweater and corduroys seem almost as out of place as the group of Canadian doctors riding in front of me on the way to their respective hotels. Our driver masterfully winds through the mountainous streets, gripping the wheel as he avoids at least three head-on collisions at the last minute. Rock outcroppings shoot out of the ground with wild abandon, a natural majesty usually absent from cities as big as Port-au-Prince. The city seems to wrap itself around the hillsides and cliffs, roads nestled into the rock just enough to avoid a steep fall, if one can manage to avoid the barrage of oncoming traffic, wandering farm animals, and wayward soda salesmen who seem to dance around every corner. The dance of their movements belies a deep understanding of, and comfort with, their surroundings.

Saving The Silent Barn

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Hop off the elevated JMZ train at Myrtle Ave. in Brooklyn, and it all looks like a wasteland of industry—the tracks flanked by a Popeyes, KFC, Dunkin Donuts, and what seems like hundreds of bodegas and delis, their neon color palettes lighting the street, each indistinguishable from the next. You walk further down Bushwick Avenue until you hear the din, a cluster of voices and chords and feedback emanating from what is not, in fact, an abandoned gas station, but Brooklyn cultural hub and renowned music venue, The Silent Barn. You know that any band you see there could be everywhere by next year. You know that you will fit in here, maybe by virtue of the fact that you usually don’t. You know that The Silent Barn will be a safe space for you and yours. You know that, whatever happens, it’ll be a good night.

Girls to the front: Kathleen Hanna @ the Wilbur (4/9)

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This post originally appeared on Allston Pudding, and the accompanying photos were taken by Leah Corbett. You can see all that here.

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If you know or care at all about punk music, feminism, activism, or social justice, you probably know that seminal Riot Grrrl Kathleen Hanna is nothing short of a force of nature. And if you know and care about all of this, you were probably sitting near me at the Wilbur last week, eagerly awaiting the Bikini Kill frontwoman’s talk, “My Art: Punk Rock Feminism and Beyond.” But if you weren’t, or you don’t, or you’re wondering why the hell Marty Walsh declared April 9th Riot Grrrl Day in Boston in Hanna’s honor, then this one’s for you.

How we can use the web to fight against poverty

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This post originally appeared on Accion’s Medium account. You can read that here.

When I think about the impact of technology on the world, my mind leaps to the few usual suspects — iPhones, Google, Facebook, Firefox — you name it. I think of the technology that I interact with every day, the technology that improves small processes within my life in an American city. I even think about how to use my technology intentionally, so that it doesn’t become overwhelming — I turn off email push notifications after a certain time, I set up automatic bill pay, and I try to end my night by reading a book instead of staring at a screen. I live in a developed, endlessly connected world, and I’m always looking for little ways to unplug from it.

Today, according the United Nations, is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, and this year’s theme is “Leave no one behind: think, decide and act together against extreme poverty.” This got me thinking about technology — not about iPhones or Firefox — but about technology that we can activate to help the underdeveloped world, about technology that can help include people who have been left behind.

A Beginner’s Guide to: Sleater-Kinney

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We all know what it’s like to be too intimidated to start listening to a big name artist with an even bigger discography. Never fear, Allston Pudding is here with a list of jumping off points that might help you or a friend get well acquainted with what could be your next favorite artist. Click here for our other Beginner’s Guides!

Rolling Stone critic Rob Sheffield once hailed OG riot-grrrl giants Sleater-Kinney as “America’s best punk band ever. EVER,” and four out of five doctors, as well as this humble AP writer, would have to agree. The trio, made up of drummer Janet Weiss and singer-guitarists Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker, were hugely influential in the roots of riot-grrrl feminism in the Pacific Northwest, and managed to crank out seven near-perfect LPs before going on indefinite hiatus in 2006. Luckily for us both, that hiatus is officially over after the announcement of a brand-new record and a tour to support it earlier this week. If you’re looking to brush up on your S-K listening before their February show at the House of Blues, we’ve got a crash course for you right here.

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On my last day at Mozilla

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As many of you may know already, I’m sad to call today my last day at Mozilla. I have accepted a position with this really cool microfinance nonprofit called Accion, and am quite excited, but immeasurably sad to be leaving the Mofo family.
I’m absolutely overwhelmed with gratitude that I’ve gotten the chance to work with the incredible people that populate the Mozilla Foundation– it has without a doubt been the best work experience of my career, and I’ll carry the inspiration that this team has given me forever.

Questions & Answers: What I Learned at Mozilla’s DML Science Fair

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This post first appeared on Mozilla’s Webmaker blog. Here’s the original.

Amongst the cheerful clamor of hundreds of educators connecting at the Digital Media & Learning this year, I’ve heard some pretty amazing thoughts from some pretty amazing people on how to reform education. And although I’ve talked to participants and exhibitors from vastly diverse backgrounds, many of their approaches and plans seem to lay anchor in one idea.