Some problems confound the means and efforts of even the most gifted individuals; in 1904, tuberculosis was one such problem. Then, concerned citizens banded together to create the American Lung Association—one of the oldest voluntary health organizations still extant in America today—ultimately defeating the disease through the power of collective action. Today, the nature of the battle may have changed, but the spirit of community concern and volunteerism still thrives. Instead of actively fighting to cure certain diseases, the American Lung Association takes a big-picture approach, helping people quit smoking through education and encouragement, providing in-school programs for kids with asthma, and encouraging the community to keep the air healthy, breathable, and free from clouds of inhalable hornets.
Formed by a pack of game-changing new comedians, The Comedy Studio's casual laugh lab hosts both acclaimed funny people and fresh faces. The jam-packed schedule ensures plenty of opportunities to take in a show. The 8 p.m. shows break up the monotony of a chaotic workweek but end early enough (10 p.m.) to curb next-day exhaustion. Seating is determined on a first-come, first-serve basis. The all-ages facility provides a funny-bone-fondling venue for blind dates, out-of-town visitors, or disgruntled neighbors.
Henry Houh has earned four degrees—including a Ph.D.—from MIT, patented seven inventions in the United States and Europe, founded several tech start-ups, and even played on the famous MIT blackjack team portrayed in the film “21”. Instead of spending his afternoons toasting flutes of champagne with other successful entrepreneurs and scientists, Henry works with kids. When he’s not raising his own three tykes, he’s educating other youngsters at local schools, museums, or his own venture, Einstein's Workshop.
Henry and his staff fill the 7,000-square foot Einstein’s Workshop with hands-on activities designed to teach scientific, technological, engineering, and mathematical concepts in a fun, engaging way. Inside the main play space, youngsters can solve stacking puzzles, build elaborate LEGO and K'Nex structures, or assemble electronic devices using Snap Circuits. Classes delve deeper into various scientific subjects, from 2D and 3D computer-aided design workshops to classes where students create robots using LEGO WeDo and Mindstorms kits. Einstein's Workshop even caters some courses to curious adults, such as sessions that explain how to operate a laser cutter or implant a cleanliness microchip into messy roommates.
The winner of Boston.com’s A-List for Best Fine Jewelry 2010, Karenna Maraj Jewelry dresses up drab garments with wearable art and passes along jewelry-making skills through enlightening classes. In the two-hour metalsmithing class, participants imbibe the knowledge of the jewelry gods, learning how to transform shapeless metal into beautiful bangles, pendants, and dental braces. Students shape, cut, solder, hammer, and polish two projects during the class, including a bangle and a pendant hammered from brass, copper wire, and black cord (all included, gold and silver can be purchased for an additional fee). Cutouts, stamps, and designs can be added to each piece, yielding a beautiful accessory ready to take home at the end of the class. With attendance capped at six pupils, students get plenty of one-on-one attention and the chance to fence a jewelry-saw master. Classes are held at the following times:
Think Tank's chefs—equipped with sustainable ingredients whenever possible—draw from global influences while crafting creative spins on classic American dishes. These culinarians kick off eclectic meals by grilling up a duo of locally sourced swordfish fillets before stuffing them into soft taco shells brimming with feta and pico de gallo ($11) or drizzling handmade lobster rangoon in sweet chili-plum sauce ($12). Then, they transform marinated Korean barbecue beef into an egg-topped Seoul burger ($11), wielding sriracha aioli and ancient magic incantations from the Goryeo Dynasty.
Olympia Fencing Center founder and coach Daniel Hondor started his swordplay career with dreams of earning a spot among the Three Musketeers. Enthralled by the adventures of the trio, 7-year-old Daniel picked up his first rapier, beginning an association with fencing that would eventually take him around the world as a member of Romania’s national team. Eventually, after years of international dueling, he set down the sword and took up the mantle of coach, teaching the Romanian junior team techniques he’d learned throughout his career. The Olympics in Atlanta finally brought him to America, where he continues to share the art of fencing with students of all experience levels. He and his fellow instructors lead adult programs that help veteran swordsmen sharpen their skills and introduce novices to the sport’s intricacies. In homage to his childhood inspiration, he also hosts Musketeers classes that acquaint kiddies aged 6–10 with basic rules and moves, preparing them for future classes and eventual careers as knights of the realm.
At Inner Strength Studios, seasoned instructors such as E-RYT 500 instructor Roman Szpond lead vinyasa yoga sessions for beginners, experts, and kids as young as five. Classes ranging from 60 to 90 minutes are held in heated rooms within Innerstrength's Boston studios, which were recently renovated after the Watertown location suffered fire damage. Aspiring teachers can take Innerstrength's 200-hour training program, which instills advanced yoga knowledge through classes, workshops, and a rollercoaster ride through a giant lotus. The studios also provide a slate of other services, such as personal training and massage therapy sessions.