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Top Five Geeky Acts of Kindness

Top Five Geeky Acts of Kindness

By Robert Punchur

Geeks are good people. Star Trek director JJ Abrams proved this theory when he granted a dying fan his final wish. The fan, Daniel, was a 41-year-old Trekkie diagnosed with incurable cancer and one of his last goals was to see Into Darkness. Unfortunately, doctors didn’t believe Dan would make it to the movie’s premiere in May. When Abrams heard, he tossed professional confidentiality aside and sent a rough-cut copy of the film to Dan’s house.

This story touched many hearts and inspired us to compile THE TOP FIVE GEEKY ACTS OF KINDNESS

#5 Tab for a Cause

Money isn’t required to be charitable. This was the belief of six friends who created www.tabforacause.org; an effortless way that people can raise funds for charity at no cost to themselves. All users do is surf the web.

Tab for a Cause works with seven charities and multiple sponsors. Once a user downloads the website’s extension, every blank tab on that user’s browser is replaced with a page of charity updates and information. The page also includes banner ads from sponsors. Each time their ad is seen, sponsors donate fractions of a cent to a Tab For a Cause charity. Therefor, the more people who download the extension, and the more time they spend surfing the web, the more money that is raised!

Why It’s Geeky: All people have to do to help a cause is surf the internet!

Why It’s Great: Charities include Human Rights Watch, Save the Children, and Conservation International.

#4 Free Rice

This charity has two goals: To stop hunger and to educate the world. (Only two goals? What underachievers!)

How they plan to accomplish these goals is innovative. www.freerice.com created a vocabulary-based matching game where, for every correct answer, The World Food Programme donates ten grains of rice to individuals in need.

Why it’s geeky: You play video games and build vocabulary.

Why it’s great: Players have raised over 97 billion grains of rice to date!

#3 Caine’s Arcade

Caine’s Arcade is the story of a young entrepreneur with an engineering spirit. Through the help of a friend and the endless reach of social media, this talented boy received the gift of a lifetime. I’d give further detail but this video tells the story best (be forewarned: It will make your eyes do tears).

Why it’s geeky: A video nerd and social media junkie discovered a young entrepreneurial engineer.

Why it’s great: Thanks to the video, Caine now has a scholarship fund of nearly a quarter-million dollars. The film has also inspired a separate charity called The Imagination Foundation, which seeks to find, foster, and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in kids.

#2 George Lucas donates $4 billion to better education

After spending four decades creating the Star Wars saga, George Lucas finally agreed to sell his franchise to Disney for a staggering $4.05 billion. The prolific moviemaker then amazed the world one final time by announcing that he would donate all money from his sale, in it’s entirety, to bettering childhood education.

Lucas is quoted as saying:

“I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education. It is the key to the survival of the human race. We have to plan for our collective future… As humans, our greatest tool for survival is our ability to think and to adapt… our responsibility is to continue to do so.”

Which is as epic as any dialog he’s ever written.

Why it’s geeky: George Lucas is the king geek and he is donating a fortune to education.

Why it’s great: George Lucas is the king geek and he is donating a fortune to education.

#1 Foldit

This game can cure cancer.

http://fold.it/portal/

That’s not science fiction. It’s just science. And I can explain how it works, but first you need to understand a little bit about protein structures.

Put as simply as possible, proteins are the essential elements that make a body function. There are trillions of proteins in every human and they each serve a different purpose. Every protein, however, is made of a long chain of conjoined amino acids. These chains can be made both naturally or synthetically.

And that’s where the game comes in. Because there are so many possible chain combinations, it is very expensive and time-consuming for scientists to engineer each one. Foldit works as an online simulator allowing players to utilize human puzzle-solving intuition in building new chain combinations. Researchers behind the game can then predict if created chains could have any practical use if generated in a lab.

In short, these puzzles that people are building FOR FUN have made significant progress towards curing three of the most notoriously devastating diseases of the 21st century.

Why it’s Geeky: SO MUCH SCIENCE. And video games. And puzzles. And science. And you’re building complex protein structures. And it’s online. And did I mention the science?

Why it’s Great: It could freaking cure cancer.

What do you think is the greatest geeky act of kindness?

Tags: star wars, star trek, life, george lucas, charity, jj abrams

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