What we’re reading: Fundraising in a recession, football’s concussion crisis, running after brain damage, Detroit mythbusting, the $10,000 question and more

This week, our staff reads about sports and head injuries, farms run by single-celled organisms, innovative strategies that foundations and nonprofits are pursuing to maintain levels of giving during the recession, and the almost prurient interest in the decay of Midwestern post-industrial cities.

Aiming to rebuild public confidence (Crains Chicago Business)—Meg McSherry Breslin chronicles how non-profits and foundations are looking to inspire confidence in charities and maintain funding levels in a recession. –Beverly Berryhill, Office Manager

Does football have a future? (New Yorker)—Last weekend, I watched the first full football game of my life (sorry Bears). Now I find out that it’s closely linked to brain damage, paralysis, early-onset dementia, and psychiatric disorders. I think I’ll stick with baseball (go Cubs!).—Katie Buitrago, Policy and Communications Associate

Crops of Bacteria, Farmed by Amoebas (New York Times)—Apparently humans—or even multi-celled organisms—do not have a monopoly on agricultural talents.—Sarah Duda, Senior Research and Project Associate

The $10,000 Question (Chicago Tribune) – If you had invested $10K at the Dow's precrash peak, where would you be now as Dow approaches 12,000? – Tom Feltner, Vice President

Fixing Diane's Brain (Runner’s World)—When I read about how Diane Van Deren suffered from grand mal seizures, had part of her brain removed, and still does extremely difficult, competitive races, it gave me hope that I can survive a marathon with my full brain intact!—Dory Rand, President

Senior Vice President Geoff Smith reads up on debunking common myths about Detroit:

The Case Against Economic Disaster Porn (The New Republic)-- An interesting take on how pictures of the “ruins” of cities affect our perceptions of places like Detroit.

Yes, There are Grocery Stores in Detroit (Urbanophile)– This article refutes the common misperception that Detroit has no grocery stores and makes the bold claim that “Detroit may be one of the most interesting places in America to shop for food.”