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Open Access and the Complexity of Digital Rights | Global Voices

Open Access and the Complexity of Digital Rights | Global Voices | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

How do ways of thinking change through time and space?


British anthropologist Jack Goody posed this question in ‘The Domestication of the Savage Mind’, his 1997 publication covering new forms of communication within society. According to his study a culture which transmits its knowledge orally does not think in the same way as a writing-based culture.

 

Today, this is compounded by a new method of knowledge transmission – digital technology. We communicate on the internet by combining oral and written forms. Thanks to this technology, still new on the scale of human history, the transmission of knowledge – that is, data – is continually expanding as in a interconnected matrix. If this space was constructed by each of us, then there is a fundamental question to be answered. How should we use the internet? This question covers many issues. Should the sharing of all types of data be authorised? Who can access which data and under which conditions? Who should have oversight and control over it ?

 

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California Research & Education Network Gets 100-Gigabit Upgrade | GovTech.com

California Research & Education Network Gets 100-Gigabit Upgrade | GovTech.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A broadband network used by California’s research universities and schools has been upgraded to 100 gigabits per second (Gbps), officials announced this week.

The California Research & Education Network (CalREN) has almost 10,000 connection sites among K-12, community colleges, the California State University, University of California campuses and private universities such as Caltech and Stanford.

The Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) manages and operates CalREN.

Officials with the participating institutions said the new 100-Gbps network backbone will help California remain on the leading edge and bring additional capacity needed to expand the network to public libraries and other organizations.

“Frontier research is being driven today by Big Data, growing in scale at an enormous rate,” said Larry Smarr, founding director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, a UC San Diego/UC Irvine partnership. “CENIC’s backbone upgrade to 100 Gbps is coming just in time to keep California in a leadership position.”

Traffic on the 3,800-mile fiber network continues to grow, said CENIC President and CEO Louis Fox.


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Contemporary art exhibit creates national buzz | Kevin Kinder | NWAonline.com

Contemporary art exhibit creates national buzz | Kevin Kinder | NWAonline.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The numbers prove the success of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art's much-discussed "State of the Art" exhibit. The Museum is located in Bentonville, Arkansas.

The collection amassed 227 works from 102 artists. Museum curator Chad Alligood and soon-departing president Don Bacigalupi visited nearly 1,000 artists' studios, traveling more than 100,000 miles across the country to do so. The research took months, and the exhibit debuted Sept. 13.

It caused a large numerical response, too -- as of mid-December, 127,000 visitors had seen "State of the Art," making it the most-viewed exhibit in the museum's three-year history. Part of those numbers can be attributed to another number -- zero, as in the price of admission to both the museum and this special exhibit. Attendance peaked on the day after Thanksgiving, with 3,700 people visiting on that single day. Additionally, online news organization Huffington Post named "State of the Art" the second-best art exhibit of 2014.

But all those numbers, telling as they might be, fail to reflect the lasting impact of the exhibit, which runs through Jan. 19 at the museum in Bentonville.

"Oh my gosh," gushes Sara Segerlin, the museum's senior educator of public programs. "It exceeded (all expectations). With all the media coverage, it re-invigorated the interest in Crystal Bridges."

And it did so in ways that are tougher to measure or quantify. One of the goals of Alligood and Bacigalupi was to discover things as up-close and personally as they could.

"They wanted to meet the artists and bring back the human element to building an exhibit," Segerlin says.


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How Chicago is Narrowing the Digital Divide | Danielle Kim | GovTech.com

How Chicago is Narrowing the Digital Divide | Danielle Kim | GovTech.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Hoping to reinvent its image as the nation’s next tech hub, Chicago has doubled down on its investment in digital manufacturing and technology.


This summer, the global online marketplace eBay and the high-profile tech incubator 1871 pledged to expand their presence in Chicago and to add hundreds of tech-savvy jobs to the city’s growing workforce.

Notwithstanding these successes, Chicago remains plagued by an enormous connectivity gap. In the Windy City, broadband usage varies widely, ranging from just 36 percent to 94 percent for a given neighborhood.


Low-income families, minorities, people with disabilities and seniors are overwhelmingly represented in the broad swath of the city’s population who are unable to gain access to crucial information and resources. Furthermore, research has shown that neighborhood-level factors like poverty and segregation magnify existing barriers to Internet use and home adoption).


The Smart Communities initiative aspires to narrow the digital divide by providing disconnected individuals with increased access technology and the Internet. Spearheaded by the Local Initiative Support Corporation Chicago (LISC Chicago) in 2009 in conjunction with the city and a dozen community nonprofits,


Smart Communities brings digital education, outreach, Internet access, small business training, digital youth jobs and local content portals to five digitally underserved neighborhoods in the Chicago area, including Humboldt Park, Pilsen, Auburn Gresham, Englewood and Chicago Lawn.


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Feds push for equal access to quality teachers | Stephanie Simon | POLITICO.com

Feds push for equal access to quality teachers | Stephanie Simon | POLITICO.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

More than a decade ago, Congress ordered states to figure out a way to distribute qualified teachers fairly, so low-income and minority children weren’t so often stuck with inexperienced and unlicensed educators.

As it turns out, they’ve done a lousy job.

New data out from the Education Department find sizable — and in some states, huge — disparities in children’s access to fully qualified and experienced teachers.

In Pennsylvania, for instance, more than 20 percent of teachers are unlicensed in the schools with the largest concentration of minority students. In largely white schools, just 0.2 percent of teachers lack a license, the data show.

Or consider Louisiana: Nearly 20 percent of classes in the most impoverished schools are taught by teachers who don’t meet the federal definition of “highly qualified” — which generally means they lack a bachelor’s degree, are unlicensed or don’t have a strong academic background in the subject they’re teaching. In the wealthier schools, fewer than 8 percent of classes are led by a teacher who’s not highly qualified.

In New York, students in high-poverty schools are nearly three times more likely to have a rookie teacher and 22 times more likely to have an unlicensed teacher than their peers in more affluent schools.

“The inequitable distribution of teachers teaching low-income students is staggering, sobering and getting worse,” said Arnold Fege, president of Public Advocacy for Kids, an education policy group.

President Barack Obama has sought to push the issue; earlier this year, he proposed $300 million in competitive grants to spur states to develop new strategies for getting high-quality teachers in front of needy kids.

But Congress scrapped the program in the recent budget agreement. And Republicans have warned that they’ll fight any “heavy-handed approach to federal enforcement” that subverts local autonomy.


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Shaman Claus: The Shamanic Origins of Christmas | Matt Toussaint | Shamanic Evolution

Shaman Claus: The Shamanic Origins of Christmas | Matt Toussaint | Shamanic Evolution | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Have you ever wondered why in modern Christmas tradition we do the things we do? What is the origin of the Christmas tree, with the star on top, decorations about, and all the brightly wrapped presents beneath? Or the idea behind Santa Claus who jets around the globe in a magic sleigh with flying reindeer – defying both time and space – to deliver the world’s children a bounty of Christmas gifts? And since when did Santa and the birth of Jesus have anything to do with each other? Where do these stories come from – and better yet: what are we actually celebrating on Christmas morning?

There are answers to these questions. And the history is not so farfetched or even that hidden. You just have to know where to look. And the first place we look is the North Pole; seriously – in ancient Siberia, near the top of the world. The story of Santa and his likely origins begins where he supposedly lives: the frigid North.

In this wintry-wonderland, if you go searching for Santa, you may not find him or his Elvin factory – but you will find groups of indigenous people native to what we know as Siberia. Among these cultures are the northern Tungusic people, known as the Evenki. The Evenki were predominantly hunter-gatherers as well as reindeer herders. Their survival depended largely upon the health and vitality of their domesticated reindeer. The reindeer provided the Evenki and other northern tribes with everything from clothing, housing material, wares and tools from the bones and antlers, transportation (yes, they ride reindeer!), milk, as well as cultural and religious inspiration.


The Evenki were also a shamanic culture. The word “shaman” actually has its roots in the Tungus word 'saman' which means “one who knows or knows the spirits.” Many of the classic shamanic characteristics that would later be reflected in cultures all over the world were originally documented by Russian and European explorers while observing the Tungus and related people’s religious life. This includes the three-world system, the shamanic journey or soul flight, the use of altered states of consciousness, animistic belief in spirit, and so forth.


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San Antonio, TX : 73 Bexar County schools need improvement | Maria Luisa Cesar & Joshua Fechter | MySanAntonio.com

San Antonio, TX : 73 Bexar County schools need improvement | Maria Luisa Cesar & Joshua Fechter | MySanAntonio.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The number of Texas schools identified as low-performing increased this year by more than 300, partly because of a tougher state test and an the accountability system that's tied to it.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) released a list on Friday showing that 1,199 Texas schools have failed to meet accountability standards in 2011 or 2013 or have passage rates of 50 percent or lower on the state test for two of the last three years. The number for 2014 grew from the 892 campuses considered in poor shape last year.

In Bexar County, 73 schools made the low-performing list.

Locally, the three largest school districts here had 40 schools on the list this year but the San Antonio Independent School District claimed a disproportionate number of poor-performing campuses out of the three.


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Do e-readers really harm sleep? Depends what you call an e-reader | David Meyer | GigaOM Tech News

Do e-readers really harm sleep? Depends what you call an e-reader | David Meyer | GigaOM Tech News | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A new study has claimed that light-emitting e-readers “negatively affect sleep, circadian timing and next-morning alertness” when used in the evening. However, those reading the resulting coverage should look into the details before worrying too much.

The study was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), leading to scary headlines such as: “E-readers ‘damage sleep and health,’ doctors warn” (BBC); “Keep That E-Reader Out of Bed and You’ll Feel Better in the Morning” (Pacific Standard); and “Before Bed, Switch Off The E-Reader And Pick Up A Paperback” (Fast Company).

The key problem with this study and the more alarmist stories that followed, is that when it says “e-reader”, it means “Apple iPad”. An iPad at full brightness, no less. When I hear “e-reader”, I tend to think “dedicated e-reader” – an e-ink device without a backlit screen — rather than a multi-purpose tablet. And there’s a big difference.


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NASA tests gecko tech to pick up and recycle space trash | Eric Mack | GizMag.com

NASA tests gecko tech to pick up and recycle space trash | Eric Mack | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Gripping technology inspired by the force that geckos use to climb even vertical, smooth surfaces has been tested in microgravity. Researchers want to see if it might one day be used to get work done in outer space, and clean up the increasing amount of debris floating in orbit around the Earth.

Scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have modified a design (dubbed "gecko grippers") that originated with Stanford's "Stickybot" a few years back. DARPA has also modified the design to create real-life Spiderman-like abilities.

"The system could grapple objects in space that are spinning or tumbling, and would otherwise be hard to target," said Aaron Parness, NASA's principal investigator for the grippers. Parness was in graduate school at Stanford in the program that tested early prototypes of the gripper technology. It was put through over 30,000 "on" and "off" cycles without losing its adhesive strength.


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Apple Pushes Out Automatic Security Update On Macs For The First Time | HuffPost.com

Apple Pushes Out Automatic Security Update On Macs For The First Time | HuffPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Apple Inc has pushed out its first-ever automated security update to Macintosh computers to help defend against newly identified bugs that security researchers have warned could enable hackers to gain remote control of machines.

The company pushed out the software on Monday to fix critical security vulnerabilities in a component of its OS X operating system called the network time protocol, or NTP, according to Apple spokesman Bill Evans.NTP is used for synchronizing clocks on computer systems.

The bugs were made public in security bulletins on Friday by the Department of Homeland Security and the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute. Carnegie Mellon identified dozens of technology companies, including Apple, whose products might be vulnerable.


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Utah Stakeholders Contribute to E-Rate Modernization Order Changes | Utah Broadband

Utah Stakeholders Contribute to E-Rate Modernization Order Changes | Utah Broadband | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently released an updated Order on its E-Rate program, which helps schools and libraries obtain high-speed Internet access.


This new Order modifies the definition of rural, so that a school or library located in an area with a population of less that 25,000 will be considered rural to ensure E-Rate funding in those much needed areas.


This modification to the Order came after petitions for reconsideration and supporting comments were submitting by the Utah Education Network, the Utah Rural Telecom Association and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

The Order also approved a $1.5 billion funding increase for its E-Rate program, which will lift the overall spending cap, which has not been changed since it was set in 1997 from $2.4 billion to $3.9 billion a year.

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When Humans Quit Hunting And Gathering, Their Bones Got Wimpy | Nell Greenfield-Boyce | NPR.org

When Humans Quit Hunting And Gathering, Their Bones Got Wimpy | Nell Greenfield-Boyce | NPR.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Compared with other primates and our early human ancestors, we modern humans have skeletons that are relatively lightweight — and scientists say that basically may be because we got lazy.

Biological anthropologist Habiba Chirchir and her colleagues at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History were studying the bones of different primates including humans. When they looked at the ends of bones near the joints, where the inside of the bone looks almost like a sponge, they were struck by how much less dense this spongy bone was in humans compared with chimpanzees or orangutans.

"So the next step was, what about the fossil record? When did this feature evolve?" Chirchir wondered.

Their guess was that the less dense bones showed up a couple of million years ago, about when Homo erectus, a kind of proto-human, left Africa. Having lighter bones would have made it a lot easier to travel long distances, Chirchir speculated.

But after examining a bunch of early human fossils, she realized their guess was wrong. "This was absolutely surprising to us," she says. "The change is occurring much later in our history."

The lightweight bones don't appear until about 12,000 years ago. That's right when humans were becoming less physically active because they were leaving their nomadic hunter-gatherer life behind and settling down to pursue agriculture.


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In Worcester, Gov. Patrick praises youth initiative | Samantha Allen | Telegram & Gazette

In Worcester, Gov. Patrick praises youth initiative | Samantha Allen | Telegram & Gazette | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

José Vazquez of Worcester knew only a rough life.

The 21-year-old said growing up, he ran with the "wrong crowd" and got into all sorts of trouble, especially with local police.

"I've been locked up a few times," he said.

Monday morning at the Worcester Youth Center, with Gov. Deval Patrick at his side, Mr. Vazquez was instead the poster child for the success of a 2011 initiative launched by the Patrick administration to keep troubled young men on the right track. The Safe and Successful Youth Initiative — a $22.4 million investment — provides guidance and assistance to participants, most of them with violent histories. Classes for boys and men ages 14 to 24 are offered on topics ranging from carpentry to résumé crafting.

Mr. Vazquez, a new father and a student at Quinsigamond Community College, said he was a participant in the local program and the mentorship he received changed his life.

"One of the outreach coordinators just kept reaching out to me and was persistent. … That was about two years ago," he said. "I've done job readiness programs. I've been able to actually get employed."

"If I didn't have this opportunity at the time ... I don't know where I'd be," he told the crowd that gathered at the youth center on Chandler Street.

Gov. Patrick stressed in a public meeting that the initiative — in partnership with law enforcement program providers and community leaders — saves not only lives, but money for taxpayers through crime reduction.

"This is how we invest right now to make a stronger commonwealth over time," he said. "This initiative was intended to provide the brightest future for our most destructive, most disconnected and most disengaged young people."

SSYI is active in 11 cities with the highest violent crime counts in Massachusetts, including Worcester, Boston, Springfield and Lawrence, as well as Holyoke, which the state listed in 2012 as having one of the highest rates of violent crime in the state. The initiative focuses "strategically" on youths who have a proven risk for criminal behavior, have been a victim of violence or are related to someone who fits those characteristics.


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Facebook drops Microsoft's Bing from Facebook search results | Mary Jo Foley | ZDNet.com

Facebook drops Microsoft's Bing from Facebook search results | Mary Jo Foley | ZDNet.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

As first reported by Reuters on December 12, Facebook has stopped showing Microsoft Bing search results within Facebook.

Instead, Facebook is now using its own search technology, which is focused on searching Facebook content, rather than Bing.

Microsoft and Facebook officials have both confirmed the switch has happened and that Facebook is no longer showing Bing Web search results in Facebook search. Microsoft execs have said the two companies will continue to partner in other areas.

Microsoft invested $240 million in Facebook in 2007. The two companies have worked together on a variety of projects, including advertising initiatives, as well as a deal to incorporate Facebook data into Bing search results.

As of 2013, Facebook was not using Bing to power Facebook's graph search. At that time, Facebook still was using Bing to generate Web search results last year.


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Journal of Media Literacy Education | University of Rhode Island

The Journal of Media Literacy Education is an online, open-access, peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal that supports the development of research, scholarship and the pedagogy of media literacy education.

See the Aims and Scope for a complete coverage of the journal.


Click headline to access hot links to the research articles in the current issue: Volume 6, Issue 2 (2014) Media Literacy History

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A High-Tech Dance Performance Melds Human Bodies With Code | Kyle Vanhemert | WIRED.com

A High-Tech Dance Performance Melds Human Bodies With Code | Kyle Vanhemert | WIRED.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

If you’re a lover of contemporary dance or sophisticated 3-D projection mapping, I’ve got just the holiday gift for you! Oh, you’re neither? You’ll still probably like it anyway.

“Pixel” is the latest from Adrien M / Claire B, a French dance company specializing in cutting-edge physical-digital performance. The group’s choreography extends beyond its dancers—by projecting light onto the stage and backdrop behind it, the company creates dynamic virtual worlds that respond to and interact with the people among them. In this latest spectacle, dancers spin inside virtual rings; they hold umbrellas that shield them from pixelated rainfall. At its best, the distinction between the physical and digital evaporates entirely.


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12 Days of Broadband, Day 12: MCNC's flagship network celebrates 30 years | WRAL TechWire

12 Days of Broadband, Day 12: MCNC's flagship network celebrates 30 years | WRAL TechWire | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

This year marked a milestone for MCNC as the technology nonprofit celebrated the 30th anniversary of the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN).

NCREN is one of the nation’s finest statewide research and education networks available today. But, NCREN is much more just than a network. It is a broadband backbone for collaboration in North Carolina.

MCNC began as an economic development and research innovation center in the semi-conductor industry. The number of patents produced and companies incubated only tell part of the story. What MCNC really did was attract great companies and tech talent to North Carolina as well as better retain the great minds in technology innovation that were graduating from NC State, UNC Chapel Hill, Duke, NC A&T University, UNC Charlotte and many others. Finally, it allowed the organization to build out, scale and sustain NCREN.

The past 30 years have brought tremendous economic changes in North Carolina and growth in the state’s tech-based economy. In that time, MCNC has built one of the nation’s most future-proof networks serving education, research and health care for the entire state. MCNC’s backbone network efficiently and cost-effectively delivers broadband services to community institutions throughout North Carolina as high-speed connectivity continues to evolve into an essential economic asset. And, NCREN is engineered to have virtually unlimited capacity to grow with increasing bandwidth demand.

NCREN has provided the broadband infrastructure to connect North Carolina citizens to the path of success for the last three decades. The historic 2,600-mile expansion of NCREN completed in 2013 now gives even more citizens in almost every county in North Carolina access to high-speed, broadband connectivity.


Today, NCREN serves the broadband infrastructure needs of more than 500 community institutions including all K-20 public education in North Carolina. NCREN is one of the nation’s premier backbone networks, and its expanded capabilities now allows MCNC to customize services and applications for users more than ever before as they also look to further enable private-sector providers to bring cost-effective broadband infrastructure to rural and underserved areas of North Carolina.


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What Would You Have Eaten for Christmas in Medieval Times? | Iona McCleery | Truth-Out.org

What Would You Have Eaten for Christmas in Medieval Times? | Iona McCleery | Truth-Out.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

With Christmas almost upon us, there will be plenty of frenzied present shopping and meal planning. Haven't made that Christmas cake yet? Fear not. If you were preparing the festive meal 600 years ago you'd have far more on your plate.

The picture below is a calendar page from a Book of Hours, a type of prayer book popular among pious rich people in the Middle Ages. Apart from the costumes they are wearing, the people at the bottom of the page seem much like us – keeping warm and enjoying their food and drink.

It may surprise you to learn that this particular calendar month is January. The feast day celebrated by the couple is Epiphany on January 6, picked out in red (Epyphania). Our Christmases, hectic though they may be, are actually a doddle compared to the traditions of old. Medieval people celebrated all 12 days of Christmas, from December 25 through to Epiphany – the day the three kings turned up with gifts for the newborn Jesus – although they did not usually feast every day. Some households had their big feast on Christmas Day. For others it was the first of January or the 6th, depending on local custom.

There's not much detail as to what the couple ate at their winter feast. The artist was more interested in depicting the strawberries and flowers in the margins than in putting food on the table. This is typical of medieval manuscript art. Even elaborate descriptions of royal feasts say little about food. We know even less about what the poor ate, although lords probably feasted their tenants at least once over Christmas.

We do know that preparations for winter would have begun in the late autumn. Humans and animals both ate the same basic foodstuff: grain. Poorer people did not have enough grain for animals over winter so most pigs and cattle were fattened up on acorns and slaughtered. Calendars commemorate this strategic act for the months of November and December as in the images below, paired with the relevant signs of the zodiac (Sagittarius and Capricorn).

Of course, the wealthy could continue to keep their animals alive, so they had fresh meat all winter. It's not true that they used spices to liven up rotten meat: cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper were imported from India or Indonesia, so if you could afford them you could afford good meat. The rich could also afford sugar – candied fruit, sugared almonds and sweets have always been popular Christmas treats.

The poor would have eaten sausage and bacon instead, salted fish if they could get it, stored or dried apples, peas and beans, perhaps a bit of honey, and would only have had the added flavours of onion, leeks and garlic. Even salt was expensive. The hungriest time was actually not the months that we associate with winter cold, but the months of April and May. It was then that stores had run out and there would be little growing yet in the garden. Nor was there much dairy as hens naturally lay less in winter and cows don't produce milk until after they have their spring calves.


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Ireland: Archaeologists Discover Remains of New Humanoid Species | World News Daily Report

Ireland: Archaeologists Discover Remains of New Humanoid Species | World News Daily Report | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A team of archaeologists affiliated with the University College Dublin, have unearthed three skeletons from a previously unknown humanoid species of extremely small size in a wooded area of Eastern Ireland. The specimens measuring between 47 and 61 centimeters are presumably from an entirely new species of humanoid, distinct from modern humans, which would have survived until the 12th or 13th century AD.

The bones which were presumably partially unearthed by a recent rainfall, and were found by three local children who were playing in the area. The young boys immediately contacted the police, believing they had found the remains of murdered children. The medical examiner called on the site, rapidly understood that this was not a modern crime scene, but seemed instead to be an unusual archeological site. He contacted the University College Dublin to ask for help, and the institution sent Professor Edward James McInnes to analyze the discovery.

The bodies of two females and one male were discovered with a small number of artefacts in what appeared to have been a small settlement, near the banks of the river Boyne. The team of archaeologists led by Professor McInnes, has named the species Homo minusculus, which means either ‘Tiny Man’ or ‘Is small in comparison’.

This tiny axe blade was found near the body of the male individual. It is presumed to have been used as both a weapon and a tool.

Various small stone Tools and weapons were found near the bodies, including an axe, two knives, a spear point and even two miniature sewing needles. These items suggest that the Homo Minisculus had only reached a technological level comparable to human hunters-gatherers from the Paleolithic period, as no pottery or metal items have been found on the site. Many bones from various small animals including squirrels, hares, moles and hedgehogs were found near the settlement, many of which bore traces of cooking.


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Stories of Mighty Women: New Biographies for Adult Readers | Katherine Handcock | A Mighty Girl

Stories of Mighty Women: New Biographies for Adult Readers | Katherine Handcock | A Mighty Girl | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

When we share stories about famous women from history, adults in our community often comment that they’re amazed that they’ve never learned about these world-changing women. And, while people love the biographies we post for children and teens, many adults would also like to learn more about these inspiring women. To that end, in our first-ever post filled with reading recommendations for adults and older teen readers, we're sharing twenty books about incredible women of past and present.

Our recommendations are all biographies with the exception of one remarkable work of historical fiction, The Invention of Wings. Moreover, to help you discover a few of the amazing new biographies which have been recently released, all of our recommended books have been published in the past two years and several are brand new releases.

Since A Mighty Girl's website does not have a book section for adult readers, you won't find these recommendations on our site; however, we've included links below to Amazon so you can learn more or order individual titles.

So whether you're looking for a good book to delve into or a last-minute holiday gift for a friend, these women's stories are sure to inspire!


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'Sounding smart': End of Year Reflection on STEAM | Nettrice Gaskins | Musings of a Renegade Futurist

'Sounding smart': End of Year Reflection on STEAM | Nettrice Gaskins | Musings of a Renegade Futurist | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

High school art students are working on their chemistry projects in the STEAM Lab. These students are interested in the Touch Board, a sensor that converts signals from a variety of conductive materials into sound. I had to figure out a way to get them to identify the substances of which conductive material is composed. I worked with them to investigate the material properties of electric paint and the ways in which it interacts with the sensor to create sound. In this video, you can hear me posing questions to the students to engage them.

Inquiry-based learning starts by posing questions, problems or scenarios—rather than simply presenting established facts or portraying a smooth path to knowledge. In the video above, I guided the students by asking them how the electric paint worked. When the students couldn’t think of an answer I told them that graphite was used: What is graphite and how is it conductive? I gave one student a laptop but one student used her mobile phone to do research and take notes. Another listened and wrote down the answers on paper.

I had prepared myself to ask students questions to probe their thinking processes in order to assess accurately what was happening with the Touch Board, rather than leave them to figure it out on their own. Also, a lot more was going on than meets the eye with the demonstration project I showed them earlier in the term. The paint I used is not regular paint and the interaction through touch to make sound involved more than the paint or the device, itself. How to get them to dig deeper was my challenge.


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The Evolving Face of Santa, As Seen in the Smithsonian's Vast Collections | Saba Naseem | Smithsonian Magazine

The Evolving Face of Santa, As Seen in the Smithsonian's Vast Collections | Saba Naseem | Smithsonian Magazine | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Santa Claus wasn’t always the jovial white-bearded bearer of gifts that we know so well today. In fact, Santa's historical roots in America trace to the 18th-century arrival of Dutch immigrants, who would gather on December 6 to honor the anniversary of Saint Nicholas’ death.

Believed to have been born in modern-day Turkey around 280 A.D., Saint Nicholas devoted his life to philanthropy and kindness, which quickly rendered him a popular legend in European history. His Dutch nickname, Sinterklaas (a short version of Sint Nikolaas) eventually became "Santa Claus."

One of the first American Santas was the plump, jolly fella from Clement Clark Moore’s 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” better known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Later in the 1860s, political cartoonist Thomas Nast popularized Santa in his illustrations for Harper’s Weekly, which he adapted from both Moore’s poem and his German heritage.

As early as the mid-19th century, corporate America saw the need to harness a Father Christmas-style character for seasonal marketing. Department stores like Macy’s and food and drink companies publicized the Santa image in their advertising.


"A standardized visual amalgamation—white, white beard, portly, jolly, wearing an identifiable fur or fur-trimmed uniform—developed through the century," writes George McKay, a professor of cultural studies at England's University of Salford. "It was this image that was most famously exploited by the Coca-Cola Company from the early 1930s on, in the corporate company colors of red and white, as part of its campaign to increase winter sales of its soft drink. It is widely recognized that it is from this long-running campaign that Santa’s place and most familiar representation has been concretized in the contemporary Christmas imaginary."

A search of the archives collections across a number of Smithsonian museums reveals a Santa for every generation.


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TN: Lack of home Internet access hinders students with school-provided iPads | Joan Garrett McClane & Tim Omarzu | Times Free Press

TN: Lack of home Internet access hinders students with school-provided iPads | Joan Garrett McClane & Tim Omarzu | Times Free Press | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Replacing some Hamilton County students' textbooks with iPads was a move intended to boost faltering public education performance.

Tablets were more engaging that their printed predecessors, and they opened up a world wide web of opportunity. Have a question? Just Google it. Plus, they prepared students for the ever-changing work world, in which even jobs flipping hamburgers require an application online.

But school officials say there is one big problem. Many of the students, once home with their brand-new devices, don't have Internet access and likely won't get it.

"For some time now, we've identified ourselves as a technological community," Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Rick Smith said. Still, he said, "there's going to be lots of kids that don't have access at home."

Roughly 3,380 tablets and laptop computers have been assigned to county school students, covering about 8 percent of the total student population. The devices, funded through grants and foundations, are being tested to assess the value of their broader use.

But school officials are finding that low-income students in particular can't connect at home. Motivated kids find Wi-Fi access by visiting a neighbor's house, business or recreation center, Smith said, but many do not.

In the downtown area, for example, only 7 percent of potential customers subscribe to high-speed broadband Internet. In economically depressed areas such as Alton Park and East Lake, only 15 percent of residents have high-speed Internet, according to EPB.

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The Khoisan Once Were Kings Of The Planet. What Happened? | Diane Cole | NPR.org

The Khoisan Once Were Kings Of The Planet. What Happened? | Diane Cole | NPR.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Some 22,000 years ago, they were the largest group of humans on earth: the Khoisan, a tribe of hunter-gatherers in southern Africa.

Today, only about 100,000 Khoisan, who are also known as Bushmen, remain. Stephan C. Schuster, professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, has published new research about the tribe, many of whom now live in poverty, their cultural traditions endangered.


We spoke to Schuster about his study and the lives of the Khoisan.


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GA: Hall County teacher builds student a prosthetic hand | Kristen Oliver | GainesvilleTime.com

GA: Hall County teacher builds student a prosthetic hand | Kristen Oliver | GainesvilleTime.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A boy bends his wrist and watches his blue metal fingers curl.

The fifth-grader at Tadmore Elementary School, who was born without some of the fingers on his left hand, received a prosthetic hand Friday that was built by Darrell Skogman, a teacher at Chestatee High School.

Skogman constructed the hand on his own time and dime, using the 3-D printer at the high school.

“I think that’s the cool part, that Darrell has done this all on his own time,” Tadmore Principal Robin Gower said. “It’s not a school thing, it’s just a being-a-wonderful-human-being thing.”

Skogman was first contacted in May by Tadmore psychologist Veronica Humphrey, who got the idea for a 3-D-printed prosthetic from the news.

“I had never done anything like that before, so I told her I would see if I had some students who might be able to take it on over the summer,” Skogman said.

The project proved to be difficult, however. By August, the students had not successfully come up with a plan. That’s when Skogman took on the project himself.

He found enablingthefuture.org, a nonprofit network of volunteers creating “Helping Hands,” or 3-D-printed prosthetic hands specifically for children. He was able to download “the Cyborg Beast” design for the student.

“That was awesome, finding out that there’s a whole community out there,” Skogman said. “With that, it was a lot less about designing it than it was about getting it printed and assembled.”

Skogman worked with Adam Perillo, special-education teacher at Tadmore. Perillo works closely with the student, whose placement in the foster care system means his name cannot be released.

“This has been probably a four-month process,” Perillo said. “He’s been sending me pieces back and forth and I’ve been doing measurements, sending him videos. We’ve had great communication.”

It cost Skogman approximately $50 to purchase a kit for “the Beast,” and another $10 for the plastic materials for printing.

Providing a child with a prosthetic is a new advancement, thanks to 3-D-printing technology.


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Worcester's 'school for gifted' to be located at city's 'most middle class and most white school' | Noah Bombard | MassLive.com

Worcester's 'school for gifted' to be located at city's 'most middle class and most white school' | Noah Bombard | MassLive.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A new academy for about 250 high school students identified as advanced or gifted learners would be located in the city's most middle class and most white school.

That was an observation made by School Committee member Tracy O'Connell Novick Thursday as school committee members had their first real chance to discuss the proposed academy, first mentioned by Superintendent of Schools Melinda Boone in October.

"The most middle class and the most white school seems like an interesting choice," O'Connell Novick was quoted saying in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

Boone told the committee last night the decision to locate the academy at the city's Doherty High School was about accessibility.

The school, located on Newton Hill, is right in the middle of the city.

In a presentation to the committee earlier this month, Boone said the target population of the new academy would be "students who have demonstrated exceptional interest in and ability to be successful in a rigorous high school program of studies leading to advanced college readiness."

Boone outlined a timeline for the creation of the new academy that called for a little over $200,000 to be spent in the 2015-2016 school year on planning.

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