Bringing together articles, blogs, and discussion of social issues affecting the world at large. Minority, Civil Rights, LGBT, Feminist, and Social Justice issues are highlighted to show the hope and despair of humanity.
Sexuality isn’t a choice. So it may seem confusing to some when people say they don’t label their sexuality or feel that their sexuality is fluid.But being sexually fluid doesn’t mean a person is confused. For a person to know and accept their sexuality as fluid, they must be self-aware.This isn’t to say that there aren’t some people, like barsexuals, who use the idea of sexual fluidity to play at homosexuality without having to deal with the stigma. But this article isn’t about them.This article is about those who identify as bi, pan, queer, no labels, genderqueer, or any other identity that goes beyond the sexual identities normally covered by “gay” and “straight”.
Via Pete, Gracie Passette
The backlash against no-excuses discipline in (charter) high schools"Over the past two decades, hundreds of elementary and middle schools across the country have embraced an uncompromisingly stern approach to educating low-income students of color. But only more recently have some of the charter networks that helped popularize strictness, including the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), opened high schools—an expansion that has tested the model in new, and divisive, ways. There’s no official name for this type of school, and not all of the informal terms please the educators in charge: the ethos is often described as “no excuses,” “paternalistic,” or devoted to “sweating the small stuff.” The schools, most of them urban charters, share an aversion to even minor signs of disorder and a pressing need to meet the test-based achievement standards of the No Child Left Behind era or else find themselves shuttered. Front and center in their defense of intensive regimentation for their predominantly minority students is a stirring goal beyond that bottom line: to send all their graduates, many of them first-generation college aspirants, on to higher education."
Via Mel Riddile
“California high schools with high-poverty students lose nearly two weeks of learning time annually because of teacher absences, testing, emergency lockdowns and other disruptions compared with their more affluent peers in other schools, according to a new UCLA study.”Study: California Students In High-Poverty Schools Lose More Learning Time.The Los Angeles Times (11/18, Watanabe) reports a new UCLA study found 30 minutes of daily learning time is lost in high-poverty California schools due to poor-quality substitutes, testing, tardiness from insufficient transportation, emergency lockdowns, and other demands on schedules (such as additional financial, college, healthcare, and career counseling) more pronounced in high-poverty schools. The study surveyed 793 teachers in 193 high schools last winter, assessing poverty by student eligibility rates for Federal school meal plan subsidies. The piece frames the issue of lost learning time in high-poverty Jefferson High School in Los Angeles, where a malfunctioning schedule system cost students days of lost instructional time. The piece also includes additional research for earlier decades evidencing unequal instruction time.
Via Mel Riddile
Religion through snowpocalypse and snowmageddon? What if Muhammad had ... Religion News Service In reading through the Qur'anic descriptions of Paradise, we get beautiful tales of a place with shade, a garden where cool rivers flow.
AmmoLand.com The key is our relationship with God, not religion Enumclaw Courier-Herald In parts of the Internet these days there is a lot of ranting about religion being the No. 1 problem in the world.
“ A newly discovered microbe that survives on very little to eat has been found in only two places on Earth: spacecraft clean rooms in Florida and South America.” The microscopic image shows dozens of individual bacterial cells of the recently discovered species Tersicoccus phoenicis. This species has been found in only two places: clean rooms in Florida and South America where spacecraft are assembled for launch. Spacecraft clean rooms are one of the most thoroughly checked environments on Earth for what microbes are present. The monitoring provides an indication of what species might get into space aboard a spacecraft. The image includes a scale bar showing that each of the bacterial cells is about one micrometer, or micron, across (about 0.00004 inch). Microbiologists often do thorough surveys of bacteria and other microbes in spacecraft clean rooms. Fewer microbes live there than in almost any other environment on Earth, but the surveys are important for knowing what might hitch a ride into space. If extraterrestrial life is ever found, it would be readily checked against the census of a few hundred types of microbes detected in spacecraft clean rooms. The work to keep clean rooms extremely clean knocks total microbe numbers way down. It also can select for microbes that withstand stresses such as drying, chemical cleaning, ultraviolet treatments and lack of nutrients. Perversely, microbes that withstand these stressors often also show elevated resistance to spacecraft sterilization methodologies such as heating and peroxide treatment. "We want to have a better understanding of these bugs, because the capabilities that adapt them for surviving in clean rooms might also let them survive on a spacecraft," said microbiologist Parag Vaishampayan of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., lead author of the 2013 paper about the microbe. "This particular bug survives with almost no nutrients." This population of berry-shaped bacteria is so different from any other known bacteria, it has been classified as not only a new species, but also a new genus, the next level of classifying the diversity of life. Its discoverers named it Tersicoccus phoenicis. Tersi is from Latin for clean, like the room. Coccus, from Greek for berry, describes the bacterium's shape. The phoenicis part is for NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander, the spacecraft being prepared for launch in 2007 when the bacterium was first collected by test-swabbing the floor in the Florida clean room. Some other microbes have been discovered in a spacecraft clean room and found nowhere else, but none previously had been found in two different clean rooms and nowhere else. Home grounds of the new one are about 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometers) apart, in a NASA facility at Kennedy Space Center and a European Space Agency facility in Kourou, French Guiana.
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
"Note: This post is based on “We Talk, You Listen” (1970) by Vine Deloria, Jr (pictured), a Native American (Sioux) writer. His ideas, my words: By 1970 it was clear to most people that American history was too white as commonly taught at schools and universities. There were two main schools of thought about how to set it right:"
Via Community Village Sites, Thabo Mophiring
“ Mister Cee, the popular New York City-based HOT 97 DJ who was forced to resign after his solicitation of a male prostitute was leaked to the public, Tweeted later that day that he may be “better off dead.” The scandal began on Wednesday, according...”
Via Jay H
The Indypendent The Resurgence of White Supremacy in Postracial America The Indypendent Its light sweeps the buildings, a small circle of visibility, searching in the darkness. The Many .... of them raise their hands.
Dear Son, I think it’s safe to say that your announcement last month took everyone by surprise. And by the silence from your father, I can assume the conve ... (An Open Letter To My Black Gay Son: I'll Always Worry.
“Last night, social media was flooded with images of Paper Magazine’s Winter 2014 cover featuring Kim Kardashian’s glistening posterior. The response was both explosive and polarizing. Some rolled t...”
Via Gracie Passette
",... I insisted that he report the incident to the school. His chief concern was not wanting the white students and administrators to think of him as being special, different, or “racial.” That was his word. “If the other kids around here find out that I was called a nigger, and that I complained about it,” my son pleaded, “then they will call me ‘racial,’ and will be thinking about race every time they see me. I can’t have that.”
Via Community Village Sites
Names of Kappa Alpha Psi members charged with hazing to be released Red and Black Kourtland Jones, president of the Zeta Iota chapter of the fraternity, declined to comment to The Red & Black. Police are treating ...
Smartphones Are Fundamentally Changing Human Sexuality Business Insider The ironic thing is that we aren't even aware of the soft and slippery pull that our devices have on our collective sexuality. You know, as a species.
“More low-income students are clustered at public, two-year and for-profit, four-year colleges and high-income students continue to graduate at higher rates, according to new analysis of federal data.”
Via Mel Riddile
Many men who have sex with men aren't gay or even bisexual. Although their mental and emotional state resembles that of the initial stages of coming out, gay and bisexual men go on to develop a gay or a bisexual identity, whereas these men don't.
Via Thabo Mophiring
From Official Website: "Tame analyzes the last 24 hours of your timeline and crunches it down to a top 10 overview of the most relevant hashtags, users and links. Then you can use Tame like a search engine—and get the most relevant topics, people and content.
Use cases: - Get a quick overview of your Twitter timeline; - Keep up with topics you care about; - Find specific hashtags on certain topics; - Find opinion leaders and key communicators; - Keep up with your constituency; - Take Tame with you..."
From review article on TechCrunch: "Tame is described as a "context search engine" for Twitter, the mobile and tablet-friendly web app analyses content from your Twitter followers or based on a specific search to algorithmically surface the top hashtags, the Twitter users most mentioned, and the top links shared over the past 24 hours. The idea is to give you an at-a-glance overview of content populated on Twitter via your own Twitter feed or topics that you explicitly wish to delve into, without having to do much upfront work.
In practice, Tame appears to work quite well out the gate. The UI offers a simple three column view consisting of Links, Topics, and People. These are either based on your Twitter timeline — the users you follow — or specific searches that you enter. A slider lets you adjust the time span from 1-24 hours. Clicking on a link, topic or person opens up a panel displaying the originating tweet (or tweets)..."