Showing posts from June 12, 2011

KIPP King: It's Not Tolstoy - San Lorenzo, CA Patch

Happy countries are all alike; every unhappy country is unhappy in its own way.  Otherwise, there is little more than passing resemblance between the oeuvre of the 19th century Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy and the 8:30 a.m. class taught by Jared Kushida.  For many in KIPP King Collegiate High School's first graduating class, War and Peace (the class) is the highlight of their grueling pre-collegiate academic career.  Not because it's easy — students I spoke with said it's among the most rigorous courses offered at the school — but for the relevance so many students don't find till college.   "The goal of the class is to be an intro to political science, ethics, and international relations," Kushida said. "We help them form their own idea of conflict and peace. We build that back to looking at the history of the development of war and peace. At the mid-year point we turn to looking at current situations. We look at the UN, we look at the IC

MOA Tonight

We listen to music and talk to people. Watch previous shows here , and check out the backgrounds here This week's show will not be live, as the station is having technical difficulties. We'll be offering a repeat of our January 27th, 2011 broadcast, and we hope to be back live next week! Hope to 'see' you then. :) via It's weird bein' home at 9:30 on a Saturday night. We miss y'all! Party on, live in the now, and be excellent to each other. :) Posted via email from Moments of Awareness

Scammers posing as Better Business Bureau | KTVB.COM Boise

BOISE -- Scam artists are trying a new tactic when it comes to getting private information from businesses. The Better Business Bureau reports that scammers are calling businesses and claiming to be the Better Business Bureau. The callers say they are trying to update the BBB website, then demand information and things like credit card numbers. [...] Full article at   Posted via email from Moments of Awareness

My Tutorial World is now available. - The Minecraft Teacher

My Tutorial World is now available. After a great many delays, the Tutorial World, made by me and @GraphicsMatt , is finally available for download.  This is more than a simple training exercise, it’s a whole world to explore! Beyond that, it’s designed to be played by a single person OR an entire class being led by a teacher.  This world (and variations of it) are what I use personally in my own classes. Tonight I’m releasing the basic map file that anyone can drop into their Minecraft ‘saves’ directory, or host on their own server.  I’m releasing it with very few strings attached.  Anyone should feel free to use it.  More information and instructions can be found in the ReadMe file . DOWNLOAD THE TUTORIAL WORLD! PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT the full server setup that I use with my own classes.  In fact, I would not recommend that a teacher use this raw version in school without certain protections in place.  There are far too many ways that an inquisitive or misc

Rattlesnake bites man who saved it from traffic - US news - Weird news

A New Jersey man received an unpleasant surprise after trying to save a snake. On Thursday, around 6:30 p.m., the 24-year-old man was driving on Route 679 near West Stage Road in Tuckerton, when he spotted a rattlesnake crossing the road. Officials say that the man got out of his [...] Full article at "Look bitch, you knew I was a snake." Name that movie! :) Posted via email from Moments of Awareness

Boise Department of Arts and History grant program accepting applications | Boise, Garden City, Mountain Home | Idaho Statesman

The deadline for the Boise City Arts & History Grant Program, which supports a variety of activities and disciplines, will accept applications until 3 p.m., Friday, July 29. The program is open to individuals for arts and history-related projects and to nonprofit organizations in Boise. A panel review will evaluate the applications and determine grant awards based on the potential positive impact on the community. Panel [...] Full article at   Posted via email from Moments of Awareness

U.S. mayors: End wars in Afghanistan and Iraq -

(CNN) -- A group of U.S. mayors urged Congress on Friday to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and redirect money spent to support those conflicts to domestic interests. The call to bring a speedy end to the wars came in a resolution presented at the opening of the Annual Conference of U.S. Mayors in Baltimore. [...] Full article at   Posted via email from Moments of Awareness

3-D Printed Bikini Tests Fabricated Fashion | Shapeways | Geek Chic | LiveScience

The N-12 bikini. CREDIT: Contiuum View full size image Bespoke tailoring usually applies to men′s suits, and conjures up an image of Seville Row craftsmen doing things the old fashioned way. The introduction of the 3-D printed bikini flips that image on its head, showcasing how computer generated tailoring can produce the custom fit needed for female apparel that demands high quality in form and function. Designed by Continuum fashion, in cooperation with Shapeways 3-D Printing, the N-12 bikini tests the limits of fabricated clothing as much as it looks good on the beach. The bikini itself is composed of small nylon disks held together like pieces of armor. The nylon is laser sintered into place using Shapeways' 3-D printing machine. According to Fabbaloo , each component such as the cups, the halter and the strap are custom-designed and sold separately, for a total of $275. [...] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This story was provided by InnovationNewsDai

The growing culprit behind liver disease -

Wilson Alvarado rests at the Cleveland Clinic with his wife, Patricia, by his side. He recently had a liver transplant. (CNN) -- The first time Wilson Alvarado got lost on the way to a neighborhood park, he told his wife, Patricia, not to worry about it -- he was 62, he told her, and just getting a little forgetful. Patricia thought it was strange, considering the park was only a half-mile away, and he'd driven there every week for more than 30 years. Then Wilson got lost again on the way to the park. A few months later, he called Patricia from the supermarket, asking why he was there. "I thought, well, maybe he really is just getting old," Patricia recalls. "My mother has Alzheimer's, and I thought maybe that was it." It was easy to overlook the little memory lapses until several years later when the situation reached a head. While her husband was visiting relatives in Puerto Rico, Patricia received a phone call from his cousin saying the

How the West Was Lost | Mother Jones

Because the burn area in eastern Arizona is sparsely populated, damage to property so far has been minimal compared to, say, wildfire destruction in California, where the interface of civilization and wilderness is growing ever more crowded. However, the devastation to life in the fire zone, from microbiotic communities that hold soil and crucial nutrients in place to more popular species like deer, elk, bear, fish, and birds—already hard-pressed to cope with the rapidity of climate change—will be catastrophic. The vastness of the American West holds rainforests, deserts, and everything in between, so weather patterns and moisture vary. Nonetheless, we have been experiencing a historic drought for about a decade in significant parts of the region. As topsoil dries out, microbial dynamics change and native plants either die or move uphill toward cooler temperatures and more moisture. Wildlife that depends on the seeds, nuts, leaves, shade, and shelter follows the p

Smallpox Probe About Influence Says Chairman - CNBC

The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee told CNBC that he wants to know whether political considerations drove the government’s decision to steer a potentially multi-billion dollar contract to a company in which financier Ron Perelman's investment firm has a significant stake.   "I am concerned about it," said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) of the possibility that Perelman was involved in pushing for the contract. "We may never get to the bottom of it, but we’re going to keep asking the question." Source: U.S. Congress Rep. Darrell Issa In a brief interview Wednesday, Issa said he is investigating what he sees as a broader pattern in Washington in which Democrats have used federal machinery to reward supporters and allies. (Issa heads Congress' top investigative committee, which has been widely expected to lead a Republican effort to look for potential scandals within the Obama administration. Iss

Call Off the Global Drug War

IN an extraordinary new initiative announced earlier this month, the Global Commission on Drug Policy has made some courageous and profoundly important recommendations in a report on how to bring more effective control over the illicit drug trade. The commission includes the former presidents or prime ministers of five countries, a former secretary general of the United Nations, human rights leaders, and business and government leaders, including Richard Branson, George P. Shultz and Paul A. Volcker. The report describes the total failure of the present global antidrug effort, and in particular America’s “war on drugs,” which was declared 40 years ago today. It notes that the global consumption of opiates has increased 34.5 percent, cocaine 27 percent and cannabis 8.5 percent from 1998 to 2008. Its primary recommendations are to substitute treatment for imprisonment for people who use drugs but do no harm to others, and to concentrate more coordinated international effort on

Child porn photo in Southern California school yearbook

  BIG BEAR LAKE -- Students at a California high school were asked to turn in their yearbooks after a photo was discovered inside the memory book of two students possibly engaged in a sex act, authorities said Thursday. San Bernardino County investigators were notified Tuesday and Big Bear High School employees and detectives began collecting the yearbooks in the mountain community at Big Bear Lake, 70 miles east of Los Angeles. The background of a school dance photo shows a 17-year-old boy's hand inside the clothing of a 15-year-old girl in a way that suggests sexual penetration. "The photo was taken at a dance and the suspect and victim are not the focus of the photo. They are in the background and likely didn't know they were in the photo," said sheriff's spokeswoman Cynthia Bachman. It went unnoticed by the yearbook adviser. [...]   Full article at "Detectives were contacting students who haven't turned

San Francisco: Circumcision Ban and Religious Freedom - TIME

ENLARGE PHOTO+ Jacques Amiel, center, holds newborn Benjamin Abecassis after the baby's bris — a Jewish circumcision ritual — in San Francisco on May 15, 2011 In the 1960s and '70s, the San Francisco Bay Area was where the counterculture really started — the Free Speech Movement in Berkeley, the Summer of Love in Haight-Ashbury, gay rights in the Castro. Today, the Bay Area is challenging the larger culture in a new and controversial way: there will be a referendum on the ballot in November that would make it the first major city in the U.S. to outlaw circumcision. The San Francisco debate over circumcision initially centered on the value of the procedure itself — opponents call it barbaric, supporters point to its long tradition and say it prevents disease. But increasingly the debate is becoming one about religion, in which critics accuse backers of the referendum of bigotry and insist a ban would violate the First Amendment's religious freedoms. (Read more abou

What U.S. Economic Recovery? Five Destructive Myths - TIME

Double dip is not a term that a government keen to extricate itself from the economic-crisis-management business likes to hear. A couple of weeks ago, the Obama Administration was poised to switch to growth mode. Then the ugly data started pouring in like the overflowing Mississippi. First-quarter GDP numbers showed a measly 1.8% increase, well short of the expectations of above 3%, and second-quarter estimates are not much better. Then came a report on housing-price declines that have not been seen since the Great Depression, followed by reports of consumer spending at six-month lows and weak manufacturing surveys. The worst was unemployment figures to make you cry: a mere 54,000 jobs were created in May, less than half of what was expected and less than a third of what is needed to lower a 9.1% unemployment rate. You can hardly blame Council of Economic Advisers head Austan Goolsbee for picking this moment to retreat to his tenured university post in Chicago. The professor

Hospital: Girl survives rabies without vaccination - Yahoo! News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – An 8-year-old girl who contracted rabies — likely from a wild cat — is a rare survivor of the infection without having received the life-saving vaccine, hospital officials said Sunday. Precious Reynolds, of Willow Creek, Calif., was treated by pediatricians at the University of California Davis Children's Hospital in coordination with federal and California health officials, the hospital said in a statement. [...] Full article at Posted via email from Moments of Awareness

Hike Naked: Germany Opens New Nude-Friendly Nature Trails - TIME

A group of hikers open this year's naturist hiking season in Wippra, Germany, May 28, 2011 This post is in partnership with Worldcrunch , a new global-news site that translates stories of note in foreign languages into English. The article below was originally published in Tages Anzeiger . When "Germany's first hiking trail for nudists" opened on May 29, 2010, near the town of Dankerode, enthusiasm was running high — and not just among those who enjoy braving nature in the buff. Mayor Monika Rauhut hailed the trail as "the latest attraction here in beautiful Wippertal." (See eight new natural wonders of the world.) The trail was an instant hit, which got us wondering if such a thing might be a good idea in Switzerland, where the issue of nude hiking will soon be taken up by the Supreme Court. The "unofficial spokesperson" for Swiss lovers of the outdoor activity isn't so sure. But Puistola Grottenpösch (not his real name) does

Multiracial Students Face Quandary on College Application

HOUSTON — At the beginning of the college application season last fall, Natasha Scott, a high school senior of mixed racial heritage in Beltsville, Md., vented about a personal dilemma on College Confidential, the go-to electronic bulletin board for anonymous conversation about admissions. “I just realized that my race is something I have to think about,” she wrote, describing herself as having an Asian mother and a black father. “It pains me to say this, but putting down black might help my admissions chances and putting down Asian might hurt it.” “My mother urges me to put down black to use AA” — African-American — “to get in to the colleges I’m applying to,” added Ms. Scott, who identified herself on the site as Clearbrooke. “I sort of want to do this but I’m wondering if this is morally right.” Within minutes, a commenter had responded, “You’re black. You should own it.” Someone else agreed, “Put black!!!!!!!! Listen to your mom.” [...] Full article at  nytimes.

Opossums - A Fast Life and Success That Starts in the Pouch

Alerted by the cries, the mother opossum quickly nosed in from the side. As she struggled to calm her babies, to mop up the bright chaos we’d inadvertently thrown her way, we quietly retreated and closed the garage door. A few weeks later, we were saddened to see, in the middle of our driveway, the corpse of the mother opossum. There were no signs of injury or disease. As it turned out, the opossum had simply followed her species’ ruthless recipe for success in an overwhelmingly placental world: grow up fast, give birth to one or two large broods, and then, at a time of life when most comparably sized mammals have just reached their prime, stop playing possum — and die of old age. The Virginia opossum, Didelphis virginiana, is one of the more familiar and widespread mammals in the United States, found coast to coast, up into Canada and down into Costa Rica, in fields and sheds, city parks and the alleys of Brooklyn, and all too often as roadkill on the sides of highways. The

Creeping Landslide Puts N.Y. House on Precipice

KEENE VALLEY, N.Y. — On May 6, the iris garden alongside Jim and Charity Marlatts’ house on a mountain two hours north of Albany was cleaved by a small crack only two inches wide. It was the start of a natural catastrophe, one that is still unfolding at an excruciatingly slow pace. The Marlatts’ treasured glass-and-wood retirement home is now on the scarp — the geologic term for the edge above — of the largest landslide in New York State history. About 82 acres of earth is slipping downhill and taking trees, rocks and houses with it. But unlike the landslides that occur in a rush as debris breaks free, usually after a torrential rain or earthquake, this one is occurring incrementally, moving from two inches to two feet per day. “It is like Chinese water torture,” Ms. Marlatt said, “drip by drip.” Within weeks, the crack in the garden extended nearly a mile and as the land on the downhill slope began sliding away toward the valley, it created a step that is now a 20-foot ver

Much More to Jellyfish Than Plasma and Poison

BALTIMORE — Until I met Doug Allen, the wiry, ponytailed senior aquarist who guided me through the extremely popular  jellyfish exhibit at the National Aquarium, my personal experience with jellyfish consisted mainly of using them as yet another excuse not to go swimming: “Hey, I could get stung by a jellyfish!” Isn’t that  what happened to 1,800 people  off the coast of Florida last week? So when Mr. Allen suddenly stopped, clambered a ladder to the top of one of the tanks and called down, “You want to try holding a  moon  jelly?” my first impulse was to knock a few schoolchildren out of the way as I bolted for the door. My second impulse ... Too late. A three-inch-wide moon jellyfish had been plopped in my hands, and my fear quickly dissolved into fascination. The jellyfish shimmered and glowed. With its tendrils retracted, it looked like a round bar of glycerin soap, or maybe a translucent diaphragm, and it felt equal parts firm, jiggly and slimy, like a slice of liver coate

In a ‘Perfect Storm,’ One Case of Equine Herpes Becomes Many

FORT LUPTON, Colo. — The death of Chief, a highly trained performance horse found here last month in his stall, unable to stand, the victim of a raging neurological infection, was certainly a major emotional and financial loss for his owners. But his death was also a signal event for animal epidemiologists, almost certainly the first confirmed fatality in a highly unusual outbreak of equine herpes virus that apparently began at a cutting horse competition in Ogden, Utah, held in early May. Since then at least 88 animals have been infected in 10 states, including 12 that were euthanized when the virus attacked their nervous systems, as it did Chief’s. The equine herpes virus, or E.H.V.-1, is well known, a scourge believed to have existed at least since the 1700s, although some researchers contend a newer variant may be causing the more serious neurological illnesses seen in recent years. The virus, which infects only horses, can be spread through the air or contaminated equip

What Does the Journalism of the Future Look Like?

We’ve spent so long consuming the news in fairly predictable formats — the short story, the long feature, the four-part series designed to win awards, the TV documentary, and so on — that the new forms of journalism we’re seeing can be confusing. Perhaps not surprisingly, there is also some controversy over whether one form is replacing or usurping another form. Frederic Filloux revisits this debate in a Monday Note post , in which he takes issue with Jeff Jarvis’s stance on real-time journalism. But all of these new forms have the potential to broaden the field of journalism and media immensely, and that’s a good thing. Filloux’s blog post, entitled “ Jazz Is Not a Byproduct of Rap Music ,” is a response to something Jarvis wrote several weeks ago, in which the author and New York University City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism professor argued that the news article — the central unit of storytelling that we have become familiar with in newspapers and o

Climate Change You Can See | Mother Jones

Liam Gumley /Wikimedia Ever come across someone who wants visual proof that climate change is real? Well, now it's at your fingertips. Thanks to a joint effort by California universities and research centers , the California Energy Commission , and Google, Golden State residents now have access to a brand new interactive tool that showcases the effects of climate change. The website, , culls a wealth of information from the the state's scientific community and reformats it into easy-to-use charts and maps.  You can tailor the data to your specific location and voilá: The website will generate personalized local climate snapshots, wildlife risk areas, and sea level changes. Adjust the scale at the top of the tools section and you'll see changes between decades. The site's aim is to make the information publicly available, so your results can be easily downloaded . I gave the eight climate tools a whirl by using my own address: [...] Full

From annawalnut/Thanks, Darcy! :)

Posted via email from Moments of Awareness

Stereo Blindness Allows Some to See a Masterpiece

In learning to draw or paint, it helps to have a sense of composition, color and originality. And depth perception? Maybe not so much, neuroscientists are now suggesting. Instead, so-called stereo blindness — in which the eyes are out of alignment so the brain cannot fuse the images from each one — may actually be an asset. Looking at the world through one eye at a time automatically “flattens the scene,” said Margaret S. Livingstone, an expert on vision and the brain at Harvard Medical School who helped carry out a study on stereo vision . That appears to give people with stereo blindness a natural advantage in translating the richly three-dimensional world onto a flat two-dimensional canvas, she said. They use monocular depth cues like motion, relative size, shadows and overlapping figures to stimulate a 3-D world. For one experiment in the study, published in the journal Psychological Science, the researchers measured stereoscopic ability in 403 students from two art

Contractors begin installing solar power system on Whitney Elementary | Education | Idaho Statesman

Work has begun on a solar power system on Boise's Whitney Elementary School, which when completed will be the largest in the state. Aurora Power & Design and Andersen Construction have begun installing 363 solar panels on the roof of Whitney with funds from a $432,076 grant from the Idaho Office of Energy Resources to the Boise School District Whitney's solar panels will connect [...]  Full article at " Data collected from the solar panels over a web-based monitoring system will be used as 'real time' teaching for the students. "   Posted via email from Moments of Awareness

In Fukushima Nuclear Plant Crisis, Crippling Mistrust

At this crucial moment, it became clear that a prime minister who had built his career on suspicion of the collusive ties between Japan ’s industry and bureaucracy was acting nearly in the dark. He had received a confusing risk analysis from the chief nuclear regulator, a fervently pro-nuclear academic whom aides said Mr. Kan did not trust. He was also wary of the company that operated the plant, given its history of trying to cover up troubles. Mr. Kan did not know that the plant manager had already begun using seawater. Based on a guess of the mood at the prime minister’s office, the company ordered the plant manager to stop. But the manager did something unthinkable in corporate Japan: he disobeyed the order and secretly continued using seawater, a decision that experts say almost certainly prevented a more serious meltdown and has made him an unlikely hero. The convoluted drama has exposed the underlying rifts behind Japan’s handling of the worst nuclear disaster since

BBP Break-In, $1,000 Stolen From Fundraising Effort | citydesk

The staff at Boise Bicycle Project is still reeling following a weekend break-in in which all of the proceeds from the recent "Helladrome" fundraiser were stolen. More than a $1,000 in cash and merchandise were taken, the majority of which were receipts from the Friday fundraiser, part of BBP's Pedal 4 the People campaign. BBP is trying to raise $115,000 to buy the 1027 Lusk Street building the [...] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Read more about the incident in this Wednesday's BW. Full article at Give it back. If ya know who did it, urge them to give it back. And if you're the person they give it back to get 'em to do some community service, so they can figure out there's more to life than this cycle so many are fallin' into of doin' stupid shit, goin' to jail, doin' more stupid shit, goin' to jail again, doin' somethin' really stupid, goin' to prison, doin' somethin' stupid in prison and ens

Tracy Morgan and the limits of comedy -

Editor's note: Roland S. Martin is a syndicated columnist and author of "The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House." He is a commentator for TV One Cable network and host/managing editor of its Sunday morning news show, "Washington Watch with Roland Martin." (CNN) -- Whenever there is an issue dealing with race, misogyny, sexual orientation or some other hot-button issue, we often hear the cry that we need to have a national discussion about it, whether in the media, in our homes or in our churches. Yet what always seems to happen is that the discussion ends up being you take your side, I take my side, and we express our righteous indignation. Then what was supposed to have started as a conversation turns into a knockdown, drag-out fight, with folks cussing one another out, naturally causing others not to talk, to discuss or to think. Case in point: Tracy Morgan's graphic and violent anti-gay "rant" or "bit&q

When Food Kills

The  deaths of 31 people  in Europe from a little-known strain of E. coli have raised alarms worldwide, but we shouldn’t be surprised. Our food often betrays us. Just a few days ago, a 2-year-old girl in Dryden, Va., died in a hospital after suffering bloody diarrhea linked to another strain of E. coli. Her brother was also hospitalized but survived. Every year in the United States, 325,000 people are hospitalized because of food-borne illnesses and 5,000 die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s right: food kills one person every two hours. Yet while the terrorist attacks of 2001 led us to transform the way we approach national security, the deaths of almost twice as many people annually have still not generated basic food-safety initiatives. We have an industrial farming system that is a marvel for producing cheap food, but its lobbyists block initiatives to make food safer. Perhaps the most disgraceful aspect of our agricultural system

Tiny Newcomb, N.Y., Recruits Students Worldwide

When Clark Hults was hired to be the school superintendent here in 2006, Newcomb was just another dying mining town in the Adirondacks North Country. The population had dropped to 477 from a high of 1,500 in the 1980s. Young people who could get out, did; the median age was 55. Enrollment in the Newcomb Central School District — actually a single brick building along Route 28N — was at an all-time low, 55 students from prekindergarten to 12th grade. And George H. Canon, the town supervisor, feared the worst: “If the school died, the town would lose its purpose.” The school system, with 35 jobs, is Newcomb’s biggest employer. Then Mr. Hults, known as Skip (who is also principal, assistant principal and van driver, and who answers the phones when Pam Bush, the receptionist, steps away) had a bright idea. America is known around the world for its education system, he reasoned. Newcomb needed a niche to stand apart from other dying towns. Why not bring in students from all over the