Apr 18

Richard Ankrom is an ordinary Los Angeles resident who had a very common problem.  He often missed the freeway exit when he was trying to get from the 110 freeway to the 5 freeway.  But his response wasn’t so ordinary.  While most people would just get annoyed and think “somebody should fix this!”, Ankrom did just that.  A professional sign maker, Ankrom created a replica of freeway signage that read “North 5″ and affixed it to the existing freeway sign that read “Pasadena 110″.  Not only did he make the sign, he made a CalTrans uniform and installed the sign in broad daylight!  CalTrans didn’t even notice his handiwork for several months – and when Akrom finally outed his handiwork, CA left it there.  It was too helpful to remove!

Until now.  CalTrans finally removed Akrom’s sign because they replaced the entire Pasadena 110 sign with a new one – but his improvements were incorporated into the new signage, a testament to his insight and initiative.

Ankrom has photos of the sign on this website.

Here is another story about the Akrom project that includes an interesting video.

Apr 16

America has a history of sending our military to foreign lands for “peacekeeping missions.” While helping others is laudable, gangs have been allowed to fester at home. Our inner cities are almost as war-torn as neighborhoods in Iraq and Afghanistan, only instead of military bombs overhead, civilian shooters reign on the ground.

Russel Simmons has decided to do something about that. He is funding and supporting an American group called, appropriately, Peacekeepers. The peacekeepers are a non-violent group who go into violence-ravaged neighborhoods and spread love with their presence. Right now, they are only in 2 neighborhoods, but other communities have asked for them and they will need everyone’s help in order to oblige.

Read about it on Simmons’ Huffington Post Blog.