The same men have been featured on U.S. banknotes since 1929. One organization is trying to change that. Vauhini Vara writes:

Together, Barbara Ortiz Howard and Susan Ades Stone decided to mount an organized effort to put a woman on a bill by 2020, the centennial of women’s suffrage. They settled on the twenty-dollar note, not only because of its resonance with the anniversary year but because they thought that Andrew Jackson was the best candidate for removal from U.S. currency. “George Washington and Abe Lincoln and Alexander Hamilton, who invented the Federal Reserve System”—technically, he created a predecessor to the system—“and Ben Franklin—they have a legacy that we’ve been honoring that would make them hard to remove,” Howard said. “But Andrew Jackson?” Jackson had strongly opposed the notion of central banking. Plus, he sought—and signed—the Indian Removal Act, which led to the expulsion of Native Americans from their homes.

Photograph by Adam Gault/Getty

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Today’s example of Art + Science = Awesome is a stunning project created by American designer Travis Purrington. For his Master’s Thesis at the Basel School of Design in Switzerland Purrington completely redesigned US banknotes, exchanging the dated green currency covered in former presidents and politicians for colorful, ultra-modern designs celebrating science and technology.

“I looked at money as a building block that makes modern civilization possible,” the student designer says.

What if we used money “as an educational tool?” Purrington wonders. “And not to reinforce such a patriotic bond with the country, but more of a global bond with mankind.”

“I wanted to play on things that we might not always think about, like neurons being involved in farming or agriculture,” Purrington says of his $5 bill design. “As soon as you pull away and look at farms from a bird’s eye view you begin to see how intricate and detailed that decision-making process is.”

Head over to Wired to learn more about Purrington’s motivation and inspiration for this awesome project. Then visit Travis Purrington’s website to get a much better look at each of these striking design concepts.

[via Wired]

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What’s In Your Travel Jar?

An inevitable part of travelling is coming home with a random collection of currencies that you simply don’t know what to do with. In our house, we have a jar that is full of travel stuff, including all that foreign money, and some other things collected along the way. Some of the stuff isn’t even from countries I have visited, but was given to me by other travellers I have met in hostels. I would give them a Canadian coin and they would give me one from their country.

Here is what is in my travel jar:

  • 2,127 Icelandic Króna
  • 100 Indian Rupees
  • 10 Finnish Markka (No longer in use)
  • 8.60 Euros
  • 5 Norwegian Krone
  • 1.01 Polish złoty
  • 0.29 British Pounds
  • 0.06 Canadian Dollars (for some reason)
  • A rock from the summit of Besseggen Ridge in Norway
  • 2 rocks from the base of Svartifoss in Iceland
  • My student ID from the University of Oslo in Norway
  • An Icelandair Saga Club membership
  • My lifetime membership to Hostelling International

So whether it is in a jar, a bag, a cup, or just a random collection on a shelf, tell me (or show me) what is in your travel collection by going to my submissions page.