Browsing articles from "August, 2014"

At 71, Elvin Bishop Is Still Vigorous, And Can Do Wrong Right

Aug 26, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on At 71, Elvin Bishop Is Still Vigorous, And Can Do Wrong Right

The white bluesman whose corny jokes have made his music enduring and fun has a new album Can’t Even Do Wrong Right. He has a raspy chuckle in his singing, and he plays the guitar precisely.

Nickel Creek: Tiny Desk Concert

Aug 26, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Nickel Creek: Tiny Desk Concert

Nickel Creek was made to sing and play around a single microphone, so a Tiny Desk Concert seemed inevitable. All it took was a reunion tour — celebrating 25 years of Nickel Creek — to make it happen.

All three of the band’s remarkably talented core members have been to the Tiny Desk before. Chris Thile is a veteran, having played the Tiny Desk with friend and guitarist Michael Daves, then later in the same year with Yo-Yo Ma and others in a project known as Goat Rodeo. When The Decemberists performed a Tiny Desk Concert, Sara Watkins was there to play her fiddle and sing. Her brother, Sean Watkins, was also at the NPR offices earlier this year with the marvelous singer Tom Brosseau.

The trio, backed here by bassist Mark Schatz, has no equal. Nickel Creek has been doing this on and off since its members were kids, and what blows me away is the comfort and ease with which they navigate their instruments. That skill, and the creative force behind it, is a joy and a thrill to witness.

Set List

  • “Destination”
  • “Rest Of My Life”
  • “21st Of May”
  • “Elephant In The Corn”

Credits

Producers: Bob Boilen, Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Colin Marshall; Production Assistant: Maggie Starbard; photo by Sarah Tilotta/NPR

Naked Campers Told To Put Clothes On

Aug 26, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Naked Campers Told To Put Clothes On

Heavy rain closed an entrance to Burning Man, the annual counterculture event in Nevada. Some campers went to Pyramid Lake, where unlike Burning Man, it is not OK to be naked.

Is Google’s Free Software A Good Deal For Educators?

Aug 26, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Is Google’s Free Software A Good Deal For Educators?

Google Classroomi
i

Google Classroom

Kaitlin Morgan says, this year, her school district is going “full Google.”

Morgan teaches U.S. and world history and advises the yearbook at Woodlake Union High School in California’s Central Valley. At Woodlake, “full Google” means a plan to have one Google Chromebook for every two students by the spring, running Google Apps.

The Chromebook is a relatively cheap, stripped-down laptop that runs the Android operating system. It’s become popular in the education world, with 85 percent of its U.S. sales last year going to the ed market.

And the Chromebook is just the beginning. Already, Google Apps for Education claims 30 million active users around the world. The free, web-based software works on any device and allows teachers and students to use Gmail with their own .edu address.

It’s the beginning of what Google calls the “paperless classroom” — moving assignments, class discussions, feedback, tests and quizzes online.

Now comes Google’s latest education offering, launched last week: Google Classroom.

Classroom enables a teacher to create a “class” at the touch of a button. She or he can upload syllabus materials, whether text, audio, or video, and send out assignments on the class news feed.

Teachers see instantly who has turned in their homework. They can start a class discussion and provide feedback and grades; students can see what’s due and what’s late. The whole package integrates with the rest of Google’s apps, like Google Docs.

Zach Yeskel, product manager for Google Apps for Education, says Google “worked with innovative teachers to build their best practices and workarounds into the product. We really see Classroom as a tool that should be usable in any class setting to streamline universal workflows.”

While it’s too soon to tell how Classroom will be received, Google Apps for Education is already changing how early adopters teach — and raising some important questions about the transition to tech-enabled classrooms.

Heidi Berlusconi teaches biology at Clarkstown Central High School in New City, New York. She was a Google Apps for Education user and provided feedback on Google Classroom while it was being developed.

“One of the issues I had with students was their not citing correctly,” Berlusconi says. “There was a lot of plagiarism.” With Google Docs, she can figuratively look over a student’s shoulder and flag improper citation even before they turn in an assignment. Plus, she says, when students are collaborating, a glance at the revision history “allows you to see who really is doing the work” by who contributed what edits.

The most important impact, she says, is that Google extends her teaching time. Students hold discussions online and offer each other homework help in the wee hours after she’s gone to sleep.

History teacher Kaitlin Morgan, meanwhile, got professional development in Google and went all in with her summer school economics course.

“We used Docs for notes, Draw for projects like collages. They created their own websites through Sites for a budget project, and I built quizzes and tests on Google Forms.” Morgan also used Pear Deck, an app written to work with Google Drive, to quickly check students’ understanding during class.

“The kids love it,” she says. “They’re really engaged.”

Still, not everyone is ready to embrace Google’s free education applications.

A familiar charge is that the paperless classroom creates a digital divide. At schools like Woodside, Morgan says, “we’re not at the point where every student has a device and Wi-Fi at home.” She had to print out some assignments for students, or else cut back on homework — not exactly what was promised.

Another big concern is commercialization and student privacy. As Yeskel has mentioned in other interviews, Google’s business motive here is to expose young users to the Google brand. To hook them early.

Khaliah Barnes, director of the Student Privacy Project of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), warns, “When you’re using free services, if you don’t know what the product is, you are the product.”

In March, as part of a federal lawsuit, Google admitted it had been data-mining student email messages to potentially improve its targeted advertising, among other reasons. As of late April, says Yeskel, “We no longer show any ads to students or use any information in any other Google products. We take ownership of any user data extremely seriously.”

Still, users of Google Apps for Education are subject to Google’s terms of service, which is subject to change.

The need to decipher service agreements to protect student privacy is a big responsibility for teachers. And that’s part of a larger dilemma as schools go digital — teachers and districts are being asked to make significant decisions about, and investments in, technology use without much help.

“The thing about Google is they’re a technology company, not really a solution company,” says Phil Hill, an educational technology consultant and market analyst. “Rather than understand needs and build a holistic solution, Google has the ability to throw stuff out and see what happens.”

A school that takes the trouble to train its teachers and switch up their workflow is taking a risk that Google might not keep supporting a product, as with Orkut, Wave, and Buzz, to name a few.

Andrew Jensen, a colleague of Kaitlin Morgan’s, is excited about the possibilities of Google Classroom. But, he says, “sometimes the amount of time it takes to set these things up ends up being more than it’s worth. A few years back our districts spent many thousands of dollars on interactive whiteboards and it was a waste of money.”

Unlike the enthusiastic early adopters, teachers like Jensen are more skeptical about being asked to adapt to a constantly changing set of tech tools.

Morgan agrees. “Some have just now got the hang of Google Apps,” says Morgan, who has been involved in training her colleagues with the transition to Google Classroom. “Now we’re saying, ‘Everything we just taught you? Just kidding, now there’s something new.’ “

Seth Meyers’ ‘Late Night’ Challenge: What To Do With His Hands

Aug 25, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Seth Meyers’ ‘Late Night’ Challenge: What To Do With His Hands

Hear The Original Interview

Seth Meyers hosts the premiere of his talk show, Late Night with Seth Meyers, in February. The trickiest part of this job the first week was just figuring out what to do with my hands, says Meyers, who was used to holding a microphone during standup. Remembering that he had pockets was key.

Meyers is hosting the Emmys Monday. In April, he told Fresh Air why he left a dream job at Saturday Night Live‘s Weekend Update to take over Late Night from Jimmy Fallon. Meyers says not having a mic in hand — like he did in standup — took some adjusting.

Originally broadcast April 23.

Allison Janney On Sex, Sorkin And Being The Tallest Woman In The Room

Aug 25, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Allison Janney On Sex, Sorkin And Being The Tallest Woman In The Room

Hear The Original Interview

On Masters of Sex, Allison Janney plays Margaret Scully. Janney was nominated for an Emmy as outstanding guest actress in a drama series for her performance.

Allison Janney has been nominated for Emmys for her roles on Masters of Sex and Mom. She says her relationships with her family members helped inform her characters.

Originally broadcast Aug. 4.

Captured Bees In Queens Moved To A Farm

Aug 25, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Captured Bees In Queens Moved To A Farm

Frieda Turkmenilli says she noticed a few bees flying around her Queens, N.Y., apartment. Beekeepers were called to investigate and found 50,000 bees living in her ceiling.

Book News: First Superman Comic Soars To $3.2 Million At Auction

Aug 25, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Book News: First Superman Comic Soars To $3.2 Million At Auction

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • A copy of 1938’s Action Comics No. 1, which features the first appearance of Superman, sold for a record-breaking $3,207,852 to an unnamed buyer on Sunday. Darren Adams, the owner of Pristine Comics, posted it on eBay on Aug. 14. The only other comic to sell for anything close to as much was a copy of Action Comics No. 1 that had been owned by Nicolas Cage, which sold for $2.16 million in 2011. The Washington Post explains, “Adams’s Superman book is graded at ‘9.0,’ an almost unheard-of condition for this issue, which hit newsstands in the summer of 1938.” Adams told the Post, “I actually held it for a few years — I was so excited about this book. And equally exciting to having a book of this condition is the fact that nobody knew it existed. Most books have a history … but this book was totally off the grid, and nobody knew about it till I made it known.”
  • The New Yorker has an excerpt of Lena Dunham’s forthcoming book, Not That Kind of Girl. On childhood anxiety, she writes: “My parents are getting worried. It’s hard enough to have a child, much less a child who demands to inspect our groceries and medicines for evidence that their protective seals have been tampered with. I have only the vaguest memory of a life before fear.”
  • For T magazine, three writers consider the enigma of Elena Ferrante, the pseudonymous Italian novelist. Gideon Lewis-Kraus writes: “Part of the point of her withdrawal is to show her country, with its reality shows and cult-of-personality politics, that celebrity — the universal, wrathful demand of the public for complete disclosure — might be graciously declined.”

Notable Books Coming Out This Week:

  • Jacqueline Woodson was born “brown-skinned, black-haired / and wide-eyed” in 1960s America, “a country caught / between Black and White.” Brown Girl Dreaming is her memoir-in-verse, a collection of lovely poems aimed at young adults. The shortest poems are often the most piercing. One, “ghosts,” reads:

“In downtown Greenvillle,

they painted over the WHITE ONLY signs,

except on the bathroom doors,

they didn’t use a lot of paint

so you can still see the words, right there

like a ghost standing in front

still keeping you out.”

Woodson is a warm, graceful poet, and this collection should be read by young people the country over, brown or not, girls or not.

Aid Workers In Short Supply As Ebola Grips Liberia

Aug 24, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Aid Workers In Short Supply As Ebola Grips Liberia

After arriving by ambulance, people with suspected Ebola virus lie on the ground before being admitted to the Doctors Without Borders Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia. The 120 beds in the center were filled almost immediately.i
i

After arriving by ambulance, people with suspected Ebola virus lie on the ground before being admitted to the Doctors Without Borders Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia. The 120 beds in the center were filled almost immediately.

John Moore/Getty Images


hide caption

itoggle caption

John Moore/Getty Images

After arriving by ambulance, people with suspected Ebola virus lie on the ground before being admitted to the Doctors Without Borders Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia. The 120 beds in the center were filled almost immediately.

After arriving by ambulance, people with suspected Ebola virus lie on the ground before being admitted to the Doctors Without Borders Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia. The 120 beds in the center were filled almost immediately.

John Moore/Getty Images

Sheldon Yett is UNICEF’s lead man in Liberia. Over a long career he’s been in the thick of all sorts of crises — wars, earthquakes, epidemics. He’s seen firsthand how, when disaster strikes a poor country, aid workers and experts from all over the world flood the zone.

But with the Ebola epidemic, almost no one is answering the call.

“I’m astounded by how difficult it has been to get the partners we need,” Yett says. “People are afraid. I can’t convince my own staff to come. It’s extremely, extremely difficult. We need skilled, qualified people here.”

With the number of Ebola cases in Liberia now topping 1,000 and many more cases thought to be unreported, the need for international support has become acute. Liberian officials and aid groups say they desperately need health workers and experts in disease management.

“The effects of this outbreak will be with us for many, many, many months to come, and we need qualified people here, and we need the funds to address it,” Yett says. “The needs are enormous.”

But something about this virus — maybe the fact that it’s so deadly, or maybe it’s the images of health workers putting on full-body protective suits to avoid getting infected — seems to have unnerved the sort of experts Liberia needs.

Hunting For Doctors

One of biggest shortages has been in care centers for people with Ebola. Last weekend the aid group Doctors Without Borders opened a new center in Monrovia with 120 beds. They were filled almost immediately. The United Nations is promising to help add another 500 beds — but not for another six weeks, and it’s still on a hunt for doctors.

“The biggest concern has been, as long as I’ve been here, is to get international staff with Ebola experience,” says Lindis Hurum, Doctors Without Borders emergency coordinator for Monrovia. “That’s what’s been stopping us.”

She says they’ve already brought in every available person they can. But they don’t actually need that many more international experts to expand the treatment centers, just enough to train the Liberians who would do most of the work.

Even though working with Ebola patients is extremely dangerous, Brett Adamson, coordinator of the new Doctors Without Borders center, says he’s had no problem finding Liberians willing to step up.

“It was quite surprising, considering the number of health workers that have died, and so they’ve been amazing,” Adamson says. “We recruited 50, 60, 70 staff in a day.”

‘We Need Brave People’

One of the new hires, Amos Togba, helps disinfect gear and equipment at the center. He says he knows the risks.

“Well, yes, I have some fear, but I have to be brave to do it,” Togba says. “That’s the only way we can attack the virus. We need brave people to do it.”

Then there are the jobs that aren’t hazardous, but are nonetheless essential.

Protective equipment is in short supply. Here, a Liberian burial team carefully disinfects its gloves before disposing of them.

Joanne Liu, MSF International President, gets suited up at an Ebola treatment center in Kailahun, Sierra Leone.

Jude Law prepares for the looming pandemic in the 2011 movie Contagion. There are huge differences between viruses in movies and Ebola in real life.

Liberia’s government recently set up an Ebola hotline for people to call with questions or ask for help. Barkue Tubman, who runs a public relations firm, helped set up the center with a Facebook call-out for workers.

On hiring day, Tubman says, “We walked out the gates and we saw about 1,000 people in pouring rain,” she says.

It’s rainy season here, and when it comes down, it really comes down. Tubman says they had to turn hundreds of people away.

Liberians are also at forefront of the work that experts say is the real key to quashing the outbreak: going door-to-door through every community to find out who is sick, help them get tested, and encourage those who came in contact with a sick person to stay away from others during the 21 days it takes to find out if they’ve been infected.

Barely Making A Difference

Joyce Kilpo does this by delivering supplies such as rice, salt, cooking oil and sanitary pads to people under quarantine. Kilpo makes these runs every day in partnership with an NGO called Action Aid. But she feels like she’s barely making a difference.

“We say, ‘Sorry for everything that happened,’ ” Kilpo says. “There are a lot of people that are not getting food, and what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.”

Experts also say the information being gathered by people like Kilpo is of limited use, unless it’s fed to people with direct experience coordinating disease emergencies. That expertise is missing, too.

Hurum says she thinks experts don’t step forward because they fear they would be putting themselves in immediate danger, which is not necessarily true. The reality, she says, is that working in Liberia during this outbreak is a lot like working in any other disaster.

“There’s a lot of things you can do in this response that [are] not high-risk,” she says. “You do not have to put on that astronaut equipment that you see in all the pictures to respond to this crisis.”

British Ambassador: ‘We Are Close’ To Identifying Foley’s Killer

Aug 24, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on British Ambassador: ‘We Are Close’ To Identifying Foley’s Killer

James Foley in a photo taken in Aleppo, Syria, in November, 2012.i
i

James Foley in a photo taken in Aleppo, Syria, in November, 2012.

Nicole Tung/AP


hide caption

itoggle caption

Nicole Tung/AP

James Foley in a photo taken in Aleppo, Syria, in November, 2012.

James Foley in a photo taken in Aleppo, Syria, in November, 2012.

Nicole Tung/AP

The U.K.’s ambassador to the United States says that Britain is close to being able to identify the Islamic State militant who carried out last week’s beheading of American journalist James Foley.

“We are close,” Peter Westmacott tells CNN today.

Foley’s murder was shown in a video released by the Islamic State, an al-Qaida-inspired group that is also referred to as either ISIS or ISIL. The voice of the masked kidnapper has a distinctly British accent, leading intelligence officials to surmise he may have ties to the U.K.

“We’re putting a great deal into the search,” Westmacott said, referring to the use of voice analysis and other methods.

CNN reports: “Linguists said that based on his voice, the man appears to be young, most likely under 30. He also appears to have been educated in England from a young age and to be from southern England or London.”

The Associated Press says: “British newspapers reported Sunday that investigators were looking at several British jihadi thought to be in the Raqqa area of Syria.

AP says one among the possibilities is Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, who is a former rapper from London.

He “reportedly has joined militants in Syria. He is the son of Abdel Abdul Bary, an alleged al-Qaida operative who was extradited from Britain to the U.S. in 2012 to face terrorism charges,” the news agency says.

Meanwhile, The Telegraph reports that a British-based video and photo analyst believes he has pinpointed the exact spot where the beheading of Foley took place.

Pages:«1234567...13»

Categories

Current Times

  • NPT: 2019-04-24 06:42 PM
  • EDT: 2019-04-24 08:57 AM
  • PDT: 2019-04-24 05:57 AM