Meanwhile in … Nairobi, Kenya, rollerblading is becoming an established sport.

And in College Park, Md., researchers invented a fabric that can cool or warm the body.

Siegfried Modola/Reuters/File
A man skates in Mombasa, Kenya.

In Nairobi, Kenya, rollerblading is becoming an established sport. The streets of the city are experiencing a flashback to the 1990s, when in-line skating reigned supreme in many Western nations. After the trend fell off, donated skates eventually arrived in Nairobi, where the supply is fueling the booming trend. The sport has moved from the underground to the middle class, and skaters can often be seen weaving through the city’s traffic. Many children are now receiving lessons, perhaps hoping to emulate the success of Kenyans who have placed well in recent African speed-skating championships. (The Guardian)

In College Park, Md., researchers invented a fabric that can cool or warm the body. The material has two types of special threads inside it that react to sweat. That means that when the strands get wet, they warp, allowing more heat to escape through the fabric. When the fabric is cool and dry, the threads return to their original, warmer configuration. The fabric isn’t market-ready yet, but scientists have high hopes for its commercial applications. (Boy Genius Report)

In the Seto Inland Sea, Japan, an island is being covered in contemporary art. Visitors can reach the “art island” of Naoshima by ferry and stay there overnight as they explore the numerous scattered installations. Many of them are interactive; they include underground galleries, mazes, a giant pumpkin, and the Claude Monet Space, where works by the famous impressionist are mirrored and refracted in thousands of tiny white tiles. Construction on the island began in earnest in the 1990s, and many of the works were created by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando. (CNN)

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.