"As Czechoslovakia’s first democratically elected president after the nonviolent revolution that ended decades of repression, Vaclav Havel oversaw a bumpy transition to democracy and a free-market economy." "Shy and bookish, with wispy mustache and unkempt hair, Mr. Havel came to symbolize the power of the people to peacefully overcome totalitarian rule. “Truth and love must prevail over lies and hatred,” He famously said. It became his revolutionary motto which he said he strove to live by. Mr. Havel was nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize, and collected dozens of accolades worldwide for his efforts as a global ambassador of conscience, defended the downtrodden from Darfur to Myanmar. Among his many honors were Sweden’s prestigious Olof Palme Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest United States civilian award, bestowed on him by President George W. Bush for being “one of liberty’s great heroes.”"
“A new study from the University of New Hampshire Crimes against Children Research Center finds declines in two kinds of youth Internet sexual encounters of great concern to parents: unwanted sexual solicitations and unwanted exposure to pornography. The researchers suspect that greater public awareness may have been, in part, what has helped.
The study found that the percentage of youth receiving unwanted online sexual requests declined from 13 percent in 2005 to 9 percent in 2010. Youth experiencing unwanted pornography exposure declined from 34 percent to 23 percent over the same period.
On the other hand, youth reports of online harassment increased slightly from 2005, up from 9 percent to 11 percent.
The study, “Trends in Youth Internet Victimization: Findings From Three Youth Internet Safety Surveys 2000–2010,” was published today online in the Journal of Adolescent Health. It is based on national surveys of youth ages 10 through 17 conducted in 2000, 2005, and 2010."
I think the only effective reform is to get a system where the money that funds congress, the “funders,” are basically the people, as opposed to the funders being separated from the people. So systems that try to push for small-dollar funded elections and make those effective. I lay out my own voucher program that tries to do that, but the challenge isn’t as much to imagine the solution as much as it is to imagine the process to bring about the solution, given how entrenched the cancer is and how much the very people we need to reform the system depend upon the existing system.
So you even propose a constitutional convention.
Yes, really as a way to emphasis that we need an outside the beltway strategy. I’m not sure that any of these strategies would work, but if there is one that will work, it will have to be on different territory than the one lobbyists and members of congress now control. I think that the real challenge is we’re not used to exercising power as citizens anymore. We’ve been passive listeners to television commercials for too long, and not really active producers of democracy. So we might be inspired by other countries around the world that are doing this right now, because I don’t yet see in our own will the ability to exercise that energy and demand the fundamental change that’s needed here.
Watch the full film of Rupert Goold’s Macbeth starring Sir Patrick Stewart and Kate Fleetwood.
"Following a London West End run in December 2007, a sold-out limited engagement at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in March 2008, and a subsequent eight-week run on Broadway, director Rupert Goold’s gripping stage production of Macbeth was filmed for television at the end of 2009. Patrick Stewart in his triumphant, Tony-nominated performance as the ambitious general, and Tony-nominated Kate Fleetwood as his coldly scheming wife. On March 31, 2011, Macbeth was the proud recipient of a George Foster Peabody Award."
Some recent surveys seem to suggest that many Americans are in denial about the seriousness of the gap between the rich and poor.
"Is income inequality becoming the new global warming? In other words, is this another case where the facts of an existential threat lose traction among a weary American public as deniers attempt to reduce them to partisan opinions?
It’s beginning to seem so.
A Gallup poll released on Thursday found that, after rising rather steadily for the past two decades, the percentage of Americans who said that the country is divided into “haves” and “have-nots” took the largest drop since the question was asked.
This happened even as the percentage of Americans who grouped themselves under either label stayed relatively constant. Nearly 6 in 10 Americans still see themselves as the haves, while only about a third see themselves as the have-nots. The numbers have been in that range for a decade.
This is the new American delusion. The facts point to a very different reality."
Anger at a possible land deal boiled over in Wukan, China, after a popular villager chosen to negotiate a solution died in police custody.
"WUKAN, China — Each day begins with a morning rally in the banner-bedecked square, where village leaders address a packed crowd about their seizure of the village and plans for its future. Friday’s session was followed by a daylong mock funeral for a fallen comrade, whose body lies somewhere outside the village in government custody.
It has been nearly a week since the 13,000 residents of this seacoast village, a warren of cramped alleys and courtyard homes, became so angry that their deeply resented officials — and even the police — fled rather than face them. Now, there is a striking vacuum of authority, and the villagers are not entirely sure what to make of their fleeting freedom.
'We will defend our farmland to the death!' a handmade banner proclaims, referring to a possible land deal they fear will strip them of almost all their farmland. 'Is it a crime,” another muses, “to ask for the return of our land and for democracy and transparency?'"
"The protester" has been named Time's Person of the Year. The magazine unveiled the choice on Wednesday morning. Managing editor Richard Stengel also revealed the decision on the "Today" show. Stengel said that finalists included Kate Middleton, Admiral William McRaven and Congressman Paul Ryan.
"Scientists assessing mammal diversity on Costa Rican coffee farms puzzle over why some sample sites yield more mammal captures than others."
"S. Amanda Caudill, a doctoral student at the University of Rhode Island, writes from Costa Rica, where she is assessing mammal diversity on coffee farms.
Thursday, Dec. 8
There are many advantages to living on the Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza campus. In addition to having potable drinking water, access to a laundromat and the ability to swing by Fabrice DeClerck’s office (my adviser here) whenever I have questions, there is a ton of wildlife on campus. We have seen many different species of birds, caiman, armadillos and most recently a two-toed sloth that was walking beside the roadway. We watched the sloth slowly make its way up a tree and even had time to run back to the house and get cameras before it was out of sight.
Freshly picked ripe coffee berries from the Catie farm. We started on our third round of sampling for the sites. The first site in line is the Catie farm. On the very first day of checking the traps, we had two captures in the sun coffee! At this site, we barely get any captures in the coffee, much less in the portions of coffee without many shade trees. Theoretically, we would expect that the highest amount of captures would be in the organic coffee, followed by the shade coffee, then the sun coffee. Both of the animals were pygmy rice rats (Oligoryzomys fulvecens). I started to think that maybe we would begin to see more mammals in coffee habitat and at the Catie site in general, but unfortunately that was not to be the case."
As the afternoon round of talks were scheduled to begin at the U.N. Climate Change Conference, delegates from some of the world's most vulnerable countries joined Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International, and more than 150 youth climate activists in occupying the main plenary. They continued to march throughout the conference center during our live broadcast. As security officers closed in on the protest, the president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, addressed the crowd. Democracy Now! was on the scene and brings you this report.
"Young people press delegates as the latest round of climate talks grinds to an end."
"One reality is that current trajectories for human population and resource appetites, when gauged against the current suite of energy choices, do not add up to prosperous societies in a predictable climate later in this century. Another is that nearly all growth in emissions is coming in countries where the real-time imperative of economic growth will long dominate the long-term concern about greenhouse-driven climate change.
The United States can do far more than it is to made a difference even in light of those realities, so I'm glad the students were applying pressure.
Overall, though, I see little prospect that the 20th-century pollution-style approach to greenhouse gases that is deeply embedded in the foundation agreements underlying the climate talks will produce meaningful breakthroughs."
"An interactive, crowd-sourced timeline looks into the future and envisions a wealth of life-altering technological innovation." "The future, it turns out, starts in 2020. Far enough in the distance to dream, yet seemingly within arm’s reach, that year was attached to more predictions of technological innovations from readers than any other in the interactive, crowd-sourced timeline published online with “The Future of Computing,” last week’s special issue of Science Times. Holographic displays. Robotic restaurants. Computers that replace doctors, translators and drivers. If it’s proximate science fiction you want, you’ll have it, it seems, at the end of the decade. Looking at 2020 and beyond, readers imagined a future with cures for intractable diseases, direct links between brain and computer, automated everything, contact with alien life forms, sentient machines and no language barriers."
"'One thing we’ve seen is that the best learning experiences come when people are actively engaged in designing things, creating things, and inventing things – expressing themselves. It’s not just a matter of giving people opportunities to interact with technologies or using technologies, but if we want people to really be fluent with new technologies and learn through their activities, it requires people to get involved as makers – to create things.
A lot of the best experiences come when you are making use of the materials in the world around you, tinkering with the things around you, and coming up with a prototype, getting feedback, and iteratively changing it, and making new ideas, over and over, and adapting to the current situation and the new situations that arise.
I think there are lessons for schools from the ways that kids learn outside of schools, and we want to be able to support that type of learning both inside and outside of schools. Over time, I do think we need to rethink educational institutions as a place that embraces playful experimentation.'"
Mitch Resnick: The Role of Making, Tinkering, Remixing in Next-Generation Learning (http://wp.me/Klio) ... as quoted on the User Generated Education blog.
Experts worry that if the permafrost thaws in the Northern Hemisphere, huge amounts of carbon will be released into the air, greatly intensifying global warming.
"In the minds of most experts, the chief worry is not that the carbon in the permafrost will break down quickly — typical estimates say that will take more than a century, perhaps several — but that once the decomposition starts, it will be impossible to stop.
'Even if it’s 5 or 10 percent of today’s emissions, it’s exceptionally worrying, and 30 percent is humongous,' said Josep G. Canadell, a scientist in Australia who runs a global program to monitor greenhouse gases. 'It will be a chronic source of emissions that will last hundreds of years.'
A troubling trend has emerged recently: Wildfires are increasing across much of the north, and early research suggests that extensive burning could lead to a more rapid thaw of permafrost."
There is a feeling today among too many Americans that we might not make it. Not that the end is near, or that doom is around the corner, but that a distinctly American feeling of inevitability, of greatness— culturally, economically, politically— is gone. That we have become Britain. Or Rome. Or Greece. A generation ago Ronald Reagan rallied the nation to deny a similar charge: Jimmy Carter’s worry that our nation had fallen into a state of “malaise.” I was one of those so rallied, and I still believe that Reagan was right. But the feeling I am talking about today is different: not that we, as a people, have lost anything of our potential, but that we, as a republic, have. That our capacity for governing— the product, in part, of a Constitution we have revered for more than two centuries— has come to an end. That the thing that we were once most proud of— this, our republic— is the one thing that we have all learned to ignore. Government is an embarrassment. It has lost the capacity to make the most essential decisions. And slowly it begins to dawn upon us: a ship that can’t be steered is a ship that will sink.
A recent Times editorial called for changes to legal education. It argued for “apprentice-style learning” and “more courses that train students” for roles as “advocates and counselors, negotiators and deal-shapers, and problem-solvers” instead of a curriculum where professors grill “students about appellate cases.”
Does the Socratic method still have a role in law school?
On Jan. 1, American workers may lose their right to be represented by a union.
"UNLESS something changes in Washington, American workers will, on New Year’s Day, effectively lose their right to be represented by a union. Two of the five seats on the National Labor Relations Board, which protects collective bargaining, are vacant, and on Dec. 31, the term of Craig Becker, a labor lawyer whom President Obama named to the board last year through a recess appointment, will expire. Without a quorum, the Supreme Court ruled last year, the board cannot decide cases.
What would this mean?
Workers illegally fired for union organizing won’t be reinstated with back pay. Employers will be able to get away with interfering with union elections. Perhaps most important, employers won’t have to recognize unions despite a majority vote by workers. Without the board to enforce labor law, most companies will not voluntarily deal with unions.
If this nightmare comes to pass, it will represent the culmination of three decades of Republican resistance to the board — an unwillingness to recognize the fundamental right of workers to band together, if they wish, to seek better pay and working conditions. But Mr. Obama is also partly to blame; in trying to install partisan stalwarts on the board, as his predecessors did, he is all but guaranteeing that the impasse will continue. On Wednesday, he announced his intention to nominate two pro-union lawyers to the board, though there is no realistic chance that either can gain Senate confirmation anytime soon."
"Watching videos online is usually considered fun, but generally a waste of time. Not so with TED videos, which are uniformly interesting, educational, inspiring, and enjoyable." Here are three descriptions of the ten. "How I Became 100 Artists You don't need to be an artist to appreciate Shea Hembrey's "How I became 100 artists," but if you are it's even more amazing. Hembrey talks about his experience staging an "international art show" with 100 different artists. That would be daunting, but Hembrey decided to invent the 100 artists and create their biographies, passions, and art himself. A fascinating and inspiring piece. A Modern Take on Piano, Violin, Cello If music is more your thing, then the "Modern Take on Piano, Violin, Cello" entry from the Ahn Trio is a must-watch (and listen). The Ahn sisters (Maria, Lucia, and Angella) don't spend much time talking, but you won't be disappointed. 3 Things I Learned While My Plane Crashed Learning experiences like this, I could do without. But Ric Elias' talk "3 things I learned while my plane crashed, details the experience of being on flight 1549 as it crash-landed in the Hudson River in January 2009."
"Scientists claimed progress in the quest for the elusive Higgs boson, a theorized particle that could explain how the universe is built." Scientists are making tantalizing progress in the hunt for the elusive Higgs boson, a theoretical particle that could explain how the universe is built, though their data aren't robust enough yet to claim a conclusive discovery. On Tuesday, physicists at the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, near Geneva, Switzerland, said that data from two independent experiments had narrowed the range of the would-be particle's likely mass. The Higgs boson is the only particle that the standard model of physics says should be there but hasn't been observed in an experiment. The model describes how matter is built and particles interact. Proof that the particle exists would help explain a big puzzle: why some objects in the universe—such as the quark, a constituent of protons—have mass, while other objects—such as photons, the constituent of light—possess only energy. By extension, its discovery would help explain the presence of stars, planets and humans, and thus rank as one of the biggest coups for modern-day physics."
What are your thoughts about the movement? Do you agree with the protesters methods?
The Occupy Wall Street protests continue to spread around the country, highlighting grievances some Americans have about banks, income inequality and a sense that the poor and middle class have been disenfranchised. A recent New York Times/CBS News poll found that almost half of the public thinks the sentiments at the root of the movement generally reflect the views of most Americans. What are your thoughts about the movement? Do you agree with the protesters’ methods? Please note you must be logged in to post a comment.
A number of protests are being held today at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban to protest the failure of world leaders to agree to immediately agree to a deal of binding emissions cuts. Anjali Appadurai, a student at the College of the Atlantic in Maine, addressed the conference on behalf of youth delegates. Just after her speech, she led a mic-check from the stage -- a move inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protests. "It always seems impossible until it's done. So, distinguished delegates and governments around the world, governments of the developed world: Deep cuts now. Get it done," Appadurai says.
"YouTube is launching "YouTube for Schools" is a portal that helps curate education materials and videos." "YouTube is launching a brand new tool to help teachers and students get their learn on. “YouTube for Schools” is a portal that helps curate education materials and videos on subjects such as history and math while filtering out potentially offensive or distracting content. YouTube for Schools was created thanks to demand from teachers and schools across the country. “YouTube for schools is a technical solution to allow schools that normally restrict access to YouTube to gain access to it,” says Angela Lin, head of YouTube EDU. A blog post on YouTube further explains: We’ve been hearing from teachers that they want to use the vast array of educational videos on YouTube in their classrooms, but are concerned that students will be distracted by the latest music video or cute cat, or a video that wasn’t appropriate for students. While schools that restrict access to YouTube may solve this distraction concern, they also limit access to hundreds of thousands of educational videos on YouTube that could help bring photosynthesis to life, or show what life was like in ancient Greece. The site will also act as a network setting that allows schools to only grant access to education materials on YouTube EDU as opposed to, say, movie trailers or other esoterica. The setting also does away with comments and related video recommendations. It won’t, however, stop students from watching that content via an external 3G or 4G network connection."
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.