Tom Cruise debates psychiatry on NBC’s Today show

Saturday, June 25, 2005

In an interview on NBC’s Today show with Matt Lauer, Tom Cruise aggressively defended his opposition to psychiatry and anti-depressive drugs. This occurred after being asked questions about his criticism of Brooke Shields, who has been taking drugs, including Paxil, for postpartum depression. Cruise is usually known for keeping his cool in interviews, but recently he has been slightly more unbound.

Cruise’s statements, including “Psychiatry is a pseudoscience“, and “There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance in a body”, reflect the beliefs of the Church of Scientology, of which he is a member. The interview became particularly tense when Lauer mentioned that he knew people who had been helped by taking Ritalin, an attention-deficit disorder drug.

“Matt, Matt, you don’t even — you’re glib,” Cruise responded. “You don’t even know what Ritalin is. If you start talking about chemical imbalance, you have to evaluate and read the research papers on how they came up with these theories, Matt, OK. That’s what I’ve done.”

Cruise went on to say: “You don’t know the history of psychiatry, I do.”

Cruise has not formally studied medicine beyond a high school education, having dropped out in his senior year (1980) to pursue an acting career. In light of this, some members of the psychiatric community have refuted Cruise’s controversial statements. Dr. John Scully, medical director of the American Psychiatric Association, has said “The illnesses we treat – anxiety, depression – are very real illnesses…The treatments work. We have demonstrated that through robust scientific study.”

Lauer insisted that Ritalin helped people: “You’re telling me what’s worked for people I know or hasn’t worked for people I know. I’m telling you, I’ve lived with these people and they’re better,” Lauer said.

Cruise hinted that Lauer was promoting Ritalin and Lauer scoffed: “I am not. I’m telling you in their cases, in their individual case, it worked.”

The exchange ended when the two basically agreed to disagree. Cruise, who is 42, did admit that one of his goals is to speak more about Scientology in an effort to get people to understand it better.

Scientology has historically been at odds with the established medical and mental health community. The rift dates back to the 1950s and Scientology’s founding father L. Ron Hubbard. In his book, “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health”, published in 1950, Hubbard claims that Dianetics (later called Scientology) could cure the majority of human ailments. These claims were sharply disputed by a variety of mainstream science and medical professionals including psychiatrists.

On Monday, June 27, 2005, the American Psychiatric Association released a statement that stated the following:”It is irresponsible for Mr. Cruise to use his movie publicity tour to promote his own ideological views and deter people with mental illness from getting the care they need…Rigorous, published, peer-reviewed research clearly demonstrates that treatment (of mental illness) works…It is unfortunate that in the face of this remarkable scientific and clinical progress that a small number of individuals and groups persist in questioning its legitimacy.”

The APA represents nearly 36,000 physicians specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.

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OpenSync Interview – syncing on the free desktop

Friday, May 19, 2006

This interview intends to provide some insight into OpenSync, an upcoming free unified data synchronization solution for free software desktops such as KDE, commonly used as part of the GNU/Linux operating system.

Hi Cornelius, Armin and Tobias. As you are now getting close to version 1.0 of OpenSync, which is expected to become the new synchronisation framework for KDE and other free desktops, we are quite interested in the merits it can provide for KDE users and for developers, as well as for the Open Source Community as a whole. So there’s one key-question before I move deeper into the details of OpenSync:

What does OpenSync accomplish, that no one did before?

Cornelius:

First of all it does its job of synchronizing data like addressbooks and calendars between desktop applications and mobile devices like PDAs and cell phones.
But the new thing about OpenSync is that it isn’t tied to a particular device or a specific platform. It provides an extensible and modular framework that is easy to adopt for application developers and people implementing support for syncing with mobile devices.
OpenSync is also independent of the desktop platform. It will be the common syncing backend for at least KDE and GNOME and other projects are likely to join. That means that the free desktop will have one common syncing solution. This is something really new.

How do the end-users profit from using synching solutions that interface with OpenSync as framework?

Cornelius:

First, the users will be able to actually synchronize all their data. By using one common framework there won’t be any “missing links”, where one application can sync one set of devices and another application a different one. With OpenSync all applications can sync all devices.
Second, the users will get a consistent and common user interface for syncing across all applications and devices. This will be much simpler to use than the current incoherent collection of syncing programs you need if you have more than the very basic needs.

How does OpenSync help developers with coding?

Cornelius:

It’s a very flexible and well-designed framework that makes it quite easy for developers to add support for new devices and new types of data. It’s also very easy to add support for OpenSync to applications.
The big achievement of OpenSync is that it hides all the gory details of syncing from the developers who work on applications and device support. That makes it possible for the developers to concentrate on their area of expertise without having to care what’s going on behind the scenes.
I have written quite a lot of synchronization code in the past. Trust me, it’s much better, if someone just takes care of it for you, and that’s what OpenSync does.

Tobias:

Another point to mention is the python wrapper for opensync, so you are not bound to C or C++, but can develop plugins in a high level scripting language.

Why should producers of portable devices get involved with your team?

Cornelius:

OpenSync will be the one common syncing solution for the free desktop. That means there is a single point of contact for device manufacturers who want to add support for their devices. That’s much more feasible than addressing all the different applications and solutions we had before. With OpenSync it hopefully will become interesting for manufacturers to officially support Linux for their devices.

Do you also plan to support applications of OpenSync in proprietary systems like OSX and Windows?

Cornelius:

OpenSync is designed to be cross-platform, so it is able to run on other systems like Windows. How well this works is always a question of people actually using and developing for this system. As far as I know there isn’t a real Windows community around OpenSync yet. But the technical foundation is there, so if there is somebody interested in working on a unified syncing solution on Windows, everybody is welcome to join the project.

What does your synchronisation framework do for KDE and for KitchenSync in particular?

Cornelius:

OpenSync replaces the KDE-specific synchronization frameworks we had before. Even in KDE we had several separate syncing implementations and with OpenSync we can get replace them with a common framework. We had a more generic syncing solution in KDE under development. This was quite similar from a design point of view to OpenSync, but it never got to the level of maturity we would have needed, because of lack of resources. As OpenSync fills this gap we are happy to be able to remove our old code and now concentrate on our core business.

What was your personal reason for getting involved with OpenSync?

Cornelius:

I wrote a lot of synchronization code in the past, which mainly came from the time where I was maintaining KOrganizer and working on KAddressBook. But this always was driven by necessity and not passion. I wanted to have all my calendar and contact data in one place, but my main objective was to work on the applications and user interfaces handling the data and not on the underlying code synchronizing the data.
So when the OpenSync project was created I was very interested. At GUADEC in Stuttgart I met with Armin, the maintainer of OpenSync, and we talked about integrating OpenSync with KDE. Everything seemed to fit together quite well, so at Linuxtag the same year we had another meeting with some more KDE people. In the end we agreed to go with OpenSync and a couple of weeks later we met again in Nuernberg for three days of hacking and created the KDE frontend for OpenSync. In retrospect it was a very pleasant and straightforward process to get where we are now.

Armin:

My reason to get involved (or better to start) OpenSync was my involvement with its predecessor Multisync. I am working as a system administrator for a small consulting company and so I saw some problems when trying to find a synchronization solution for Linux.
At that point I joined the Multisync project to implement some plugins that I thought would be nice to have. After some time I became the maintainer of the project. But I was unhappy with some technical aspects of the project, especially the tight coupling between the syncing logic and the GUI, its dependencies on GNOME libraries and its lack of flexibility.

Tobias:

Well, I have been a KDE PIM developer for several years now, so there was no way around getting in touch with synchronization and KitchenSync. Although I liked the idea of KitchenSync, I hated the code and the user interface […]. So when we discussed to switch to OpenSync and reimplementing the user interface, I volunteered immediately.

Can you tell us a bit about your further plans and ideas?

Cornelius:

The next thing will be the 1.0 release of OpenSync. We will release KitchenSync as frontend in parallel.

Armin:

There are of course a lot of things on my todo and my wishlist for opensync. For the near future the most important step is the 1.0 release, of course, where we still have some missing features in OpenSync as well as in the plugins.
One thing I would really like to see is a thunderbird plugin for OpenSync. I use thunderbird personally and would really like to keep my contacts up to date with my cellular, but I was not yet able to find the time to implement it.

Tobias:

One thing that would really rock in future versions of OpenSync is an automatic hardware detection mechanism, so when you plugin your Palm or switch on your bluetooth device, OpenSync will create a synchronization group automatically and ask the user to start syncing. To bring OpenSync to the level of _The Syncing Solution [tm]_ we must reduce the necessary configuration to a minimum.

What was the most dire problem you had to face when creating OpenSync and how did you face it?

Cornelius:

Fortunately the problems which I personally would consider to be dire are solved by the implementation of OpenSync which is well hidden from the outside world and [they are] an area I didn’t work on 😉

Armin:

I guess that I am the right person to answer this question then 🙂
The most complicated part of OpenSync is definitely the format conversion, which is responsible for converting the format of one device to the format that another device understands.
There are a lot of subsystems in this format conversion that make it so complex, like conversion path searching, comparing items, detection of mime types and last but not least the conversion itself. So this was a hard piece of work.

What was the greatest moment for you?

Cornelius:

I think the greatest moment was when, after three days of concentrated hacking, we had a first working version of the KDE frontend for OpenSync. This was at meeting at the SUSE offices in Nuernberg and we were able to successfully do a small presentation and demo to a group of interested SUSE people.

Armin:

I don’t remember a distinct “greatest moment”. But what is a really great feeling is to see that a project catches on, that other people get involved, use the code you have written and improve it in ways that you haven’t thought of initially.

Tobias:

Hmm, also hacking on OpenSync/KitcheSync is much fun in general, the greatest moment was when the new KitchenSync frontend synced two directories via OpenSync the first time. But it was also cool when we managed to get the IrMC plugin working again after porting it to OpenSync.

As we now know the worst problem you faced and your greatest moment, the only one missing is: What was your weirdest experience while working on OpenSync?

Cornelius:

Not directly related to OpenSync, but pretty weird was meeting a co-worker at the Amsterdam airport when returning from the last OpenSync meeting. I don’t know how high the chance is to meet somebody you know on a big random airport not related at all to the places where you or the other person live, but it was quite surprising.

Tobias:

Since my favorite language is C++, I was always confused how people can use plain C for such a project, half the time your are busy with writing code for allocating/freeing memory areas. Nevertheless Armin did a great job and he is always a help for solving strange C problems 🙂

Now I’d like to move on to some more specific questions about current and planned abilities of OpenSync. As first, I’ve got a personal one:

I have an old iPod sitting around here. Can I or will I be able to use a program utilizing OpenSync to synchronize my calendars, contacts and music to it?

Cornelius:

I’m not aware of any iPod support for OpenSync up to now, but if it doesn’t exist yet, why not write it? OpenSync makes this easy. This is a chance for everybody with the personal desire to sync one device or another to get involved.

Armin:

I dont think that there is iPod support yet for OpenSync. But it would definitely be possible to use OpenSync for this task. So if someone would like to implement an iPod plugin, I would be glad to help 🙂

Which other devices do you already support?

Cornelius:

At this time, OpenSync supports Palms, SyncML and IrMC capable devices.

Which programs already implement OpenSync and where can we check back to find new additions?

Cornelius:

On the application side there is support for Evolution [GNOME] and Kontact with KitchenSync [KDE] on the frontend side and the backend side and some more. I expect that further applications will adopt OpenSync once the 1.0 version is released.

Armin:

Besides kitchensync there already are a command line tool and a port of the multisync GUI. Aside from the GUIs, I would really like to see OpenSync being used in other applications as well. One possibility for example would to be integrate OpenSync into Evolution to give users the possibility to synchronize their devices directly from this application. News can generally be found on the OpenSync web site www.opensync.org.

It is time to give the developers something to devour, too. I’ll keep this as a short twice-fold technical dive before coming to the takeoff question, even though I’m sure there’s information for a double-volume book on technical subleties.

As first dive: How did you integrate OpenSync in KitchenSync, viewed from the coding side?

Cornelius:

OpenSync provides a C interface. We wrapped this with a small C++ library and put KitchenSync on top. Due to the object oriented nature of the OpenSync interfaces this was quite easy.
Recently I also started to write a D-Bus frontend for OpenSync. This also is a nice way to integrate OpenSync which provides a wide variety of options regarding programming languages and system configurations.

And for the second, deeper dive:

Can you give us a quick outline of those inner workings of OpenSync, from the developers view, which make OpenSync especially viable for application in several different desktop environments?

Cornelius:

That’s really a question for Armin. For those who are interested I would recommend to have a look at the OpenSync website. There is a nice white paper about the internal structure and functionality of OpenSync.

Armin:

OpenSync consists of several parts:
First there is the plugin API which defines what functions a plugin has to implement so that OpenSync can dlopen() it. There are 2 types of plugins:
A sync plugin which can synchronize a certain device or application and which provides functions for the initialization, handling the connection to a device and reading and writing items. Then there is a format plugin which defines a format and how to convert, compare and detect it.
The next part is a set of helper functions which are provided to ease to programming of synchronization plugins. These helper functions include things like handling plugin config files, HashTables which can be used to detect changes in sets of items, functions to detect when a resync of devices is necessary etc.
The syncing logic itself resides in the sync engine, which is a separate part. The sync engine is responsible for deciding when to call the connect function of a plugin, when to read or write from it. The engine also takes care of invoking the format conversion functions so that each plugin gets the items in its required format.
If you want more information and details about the inner workings of OpenSync, you should really visit the opensync.org website or ask its developers.

To add some more spice for those of our readers, whose interest you just managed to spawn (or to skyrocket), please tell us where they can get more information on the OpenSync Framework, how they can best meet and help you and how they can help improving sync-support for KDE by helping OpenSync.

Cornelius:

Again, the OpenSync web site is the right source for information. Regarding the KDE side, the kde-pim@kde.org mailing list is probably the right address. At the moment the most important help would be everything which gets the OpenSync 1.0 release done.
[And even though] I already said it, it can’t be repeated too often: OpenSync will be the one unified syncing solution for the free desktop. Cross-device, cross-platform, cross-desktop.
It’s the first time I feel well when thinking about syncing 😉.

Armin:

Regarding OpenSync, the best places to ask would be the opensync mailing lists at sourceforge or the #opensync irc channel on the freenode.net servers.
There are always a lot of things where we could need a helping hand and where we would be really glad to get some help. So everyone who is interested in OpenSync is welcome to join.

Many thanks for your time!

Cornelius:

Thanks for doing the interview. It’s always fun to talk about OpenSync, because it’s really the right thing.

Armin:

Thank you for taking your time and doing this interview. I really appreciate your help!

Tobias:

Thanks for your work. Publication and marketing is something that is really missing in the open source community. We have nice software but nobody knows 😉

Further Information on OpenSync can be found on the OpenSync Website: www.opensync.org


This Interview was done by Arne Babenhauserheide in April 2006 via e-mail and KOffice on behalf of himself, the OpenSource Community, SpreadKDE.org and the Dot (dot.kde.org).It was first published on the Dot and is licensed under the cc-attribution-sharealike-license.A pdf-version with pictures can be found at opensync-interview.pdf (OpenDocument version: opensync-interview.odt)

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

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Overseas Opportunities For Your Non Teaching Partner

Submitted by: Candace Davies

So you ve decided to make the leap to teach overseas. Good for you! This will be a very exciting and rewarding experience. But now that you ve made this immense decision to teach abroad, it s time to come up with a plan for your partner as well.

There are always opportunities overseas for non-teaching partners, but they may not be what your partner is accustomed to. If he/she is willing to branch out a bit, then there will be lots of different jobs for him/her to choose from. The key is to keep an open mind, and remember that this is meant to be a once in a lifetime experience where you and your partner will experience new things. And for your partner, that may mean a whole new career experience.

Often there are opportunities for your partner right under your nose. For instance, the school you are teaching at will have openings for non-teachers. Some of the employment opportunities that may exist at your school are:

Classroom/special needs teaching assistant

Sports coach

Admissions office

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Buildings manage

Sports/music coordinato

Outdoor activities coordinato

If your spouse has the transferable skills necessary to take on one of these roles, it would be incredibly convenient, and you would get to see one another often. However, it is not always this simple. But there is a whole world outside of your school, and that means a list of possibilities for your partner.

If you look outside your school, there are many possible jobs for your partner. Some employment opportunities that might arise in the surrounding area are:

Private language tuto

Translato

Edito

Restaurant host

Journalist

To help find work, your partner might consider joining national societies, hobby groups, or a gym to make contacts. There are many expatriates living abroad, and many times there will be whole sections of cities where expatriates are numerous. Your partner can utilize this resource by joining a club or sport for expatriates, or even just by going to a pub or local hangout popular with expatriates to help him/her network and make contacts. You can also try contacting your embassy or asking the recruiter to assist you in making contacts.

Another great idea for your partner, if he/she is so inclined, is to take this time to write a novel. Writing a book while taking a year off and being supported by you may seem like a great idea to them. If you re going to be doing a lot of travelling, your partner could also make back the cost of your holidays by selling travel stories. You d be amazed at the number of magazines that will pay you to write freelance for them.

If your partner is not the writing type, you could look into starting up a home-based business. Your partner could develop and run it out of your new home. You can search on the internet about how to go about building your own home-based internet business.

There is still the possibility that they may not find a position, or it may be the case that it takes some time to make useful contacts in your new community. Just remember that it may take some unorthodox searching in fields that are not typically your partner s specialty. As long as he/she keeps a positive attitude, they could end up having quite the rewarding experience.

About the Author: Candace Davies is the owner of A+ Resumes for Teachers and is a Certified Resume Writer and Interview Coach Strategist who is dedicated to assisting teachers, administrators and other professionals within the education sector. Let her help you land your dream job:

resumes-for-teachers.com

.

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=1070375&ca=Business

Obama cabinet nominees withdraw over tax issues

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

On Tuesday, United States President Barack Obama saw two of his cabinet nominations withdraw from consideration after issues with their taxes became public knowledge.

I think I screwed up.

Former Senator Tom Daschle from South Dakota withdrew after it was revealed he failed to pay US$128,203 in taxes. He has since made the payment including a $11,964 interest payment. Obama had nominated him as the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Nancy Killefer, whom Obama had appointed to the newly created position of Chief Performance Officer, withdrew her nomination because she had failed to pay payroll taxes on a household employee.

“I think I screwed up,” Obama said in an interview with CNN. “And, I take responsibility for it and we’re going to make sure we fix it so it doesn’t happen again.”

Last week, Timothy F. Geithner survived his nomination and was confirmed as Secretary of the Treasury, even though it was revealed that he had failed to pay $34,000 in taxes on income earned while working for the International Monetary Fund.

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Influential rock drummer Ginger Baker dies at age 80

Monday, October 7, 2019

Yesterday morning, English drummer Ginger Baker died in a hospital at the age of 80. The news came from the Twitter account in his name and was independently confirmed by Associated Press with his daughter Nettie Baker. On September 25, it was reported Baker was hospitalized in critical condition. Baker was widely known as the drummer and co-founder of the rock band Cream, an early supergroup.

Baker, a life-long smoker and former heroin addict, suffered from health problems for years. The list of ailments included hearing loss, osteoarthritis, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as heart problems for which he had surgery in 2016. Although known to have lived his latter years in South Africa, his daughter said he died in Britain without elaborating.

Ginger Baker was born Peter Edward Baker in Lewisham, London, in 1939. His father was killed in combat in 1943 during World War II. Baker — who was reportedly nicknamed Ginger due to his red hair — began playing drums in his teens. In a story he sometimes told, he had a habit of tapping on school desks. When an opportunity arose at a party, his classmates encouraged him to sit down at a drum set. “I’d never sat behind a kit before, but I sat down — and I could play! One of the musicians turned round and said, ‘Bloody hell, we’ve got a drummer’, and I thought, ‘Bloody hell, I’m a drummer’?”, he recalled in a 2009 retelling of the story to the The Independent.

Baker began his career as a drummer in jazz bands. He played with Acker Bilk and Terry Lightfoot. In 1962, when fellow drummer Charlie Watts was leaving Blues Incorporated for The Rolling Stones, Watts recommended Baker to be his replacement. Later, Baker found early success with rhythm and blues band The Graham Bond Organisation where he met bassist Jack Bruce.

In 1966, Baker, Bruce and singer/guitarist Eric Clapton, who was known from The Yardbirds, formed Cream. The rock trio was a massive success, selling tens of millions of records, including the first ever platinum certified album Wheels of Fire. Cream recorded four albums, then in 1968 disbanded with Baker and Bruce having developed a volatile relationship. Clapton and Baker were subsequently in another supergroup Blind Faith with Steve Winwood and Ric Grech. Blind Faith recorded only one studio album but notably played before a crowd of a hundred thousand at a free concert in London’s Hyde Park.

In the 1970s, Baker moved to Nigeria where he established a studio and began playing polo. Here he collaborated with Fela Kuti and worked on Wings’s album Band on the Run with Paul McCartney of The Beatles fame. Later, he recorded with John Lydon’s Public Image Ltd.

Cream was inducted in 1993 into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band reunited in 2005 for several London and New York concerts. Afterwards he moved to South Africa, and still lived there when the 2012 documentary Beware of Mr. Baker was filmed. Baker’s last recording was 2014’s Why? solo album. Baker retired from live performances in 2016 due to his ill health.

Paul McCartney wrote on Twitter, “Ginger Baker, great drummer, wild and lovely guy. We worked together on the ‘Band on the Run’ album in his ARC Studio, Lagos, Nigeria. Sad to hear that he died but the memories never will.”

“A very sad loss, and my condolences to his family and friends. A loss also for his contribution to music. He was well-grounded in jazz from very early on,” wrote Steve Winwood in a statement. “Beneath his somewhat abrasive exterior, there was a very sensitive human being with a heart of gold. He’ll be missed.”

Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones also reacted on Twitter, “Sad news hearing that Ginger Baker has died, I remember playing with him very early on in Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated. He was a fiery but extremely talented and innovative drummer.”

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New South Wales government announces ‘Bradfield’ as name for third city of Greater Sydney

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Yesterday, the state government of New South Wales (NSW), Australia announced “Bradfield” as the name for the planned third city in Greater Sydney.

Bradfield is located at west of City of Parramatta and Sydney, in vicinity of the then currently in construction Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport. The city is to be named in honour of John Bradfield, the engineer who designed the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney rail line. The name came after a public consultation earlier last year.

In a press release on the New South Wales official website, Premier Gladys Berejiklian commented on the significance of the chosen name, “Bradfield was a renowned engineer who designed and oversaw the construction of both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney’s original railway network”. “The name Bradfield is synonymous with delivering game-changing infrastructure and it sets the right tone for the area we have referred to as the ‘Aerotropolis Core’ until now”, Berejiklian added.

According to the announcement, the planned city area is more than 1 km2 (100 hectares) positioned to the north of the Bringelly suburb. In the official announcement, Premier Gladys Berejiklian wrote the city would be a “high-tech manufacturing and research hub” and it would create 200 thousand jobs. Premier Gladys Berejiklian clarified the scope of the planned city, saying “[t]his area will be transformed into a thriving city centre, home to advanced manufacturing, research, science and education and we want Bradfield to be as iconic as the existing major city centres of Sydney and Parramatta. […] What are paddocks now will be a thriving, bustling city centre offering the best job opportunities anywhere in Australia.”

Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres commented on the prior public consultation and the large community involvement, saying “The number of suggestions the community put forward to ‘Name the Place’ was overwhelming and we are thrilled with the level of participation and interest this project attracted. […] We thank everyone for having their say and want to assure the community the remaining suggestions will be considered as names for streets, parks and other landmarks in the new city centre. […] I look forward to Bradfield being the first name that people think of when starting a new job, creating a new business, learning a new skill and investing in NSW.”

Per a report from Sydney Metro published in June 2020, the Western Sydney International project of the airport and the metro is planned to be inaugurated in 2026.

With some comments on social media having indicated concerns over the hotter climate in the area, Wikinews has retrieved the mean maximum temperatures for the three areas — Sydney, Parramatta, and Badgerys Creek location — and has found arithmetic mean of annual of monthly mean maximum temperatures for these locations to be 23.13, 23.8 and 24.04° Celsius, according to the data from 1996 to 2020 from the Bureau of Meteorology.

According to official data from local authorities, City of Sydney was founded in 1842 and has an area of 26.15 km2; while Sydney was converted from a penal colony in the year of 1788. Parramatta was also founded in 1788, and has an area of 84 km2.

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Sine Curve Theory Of Lesson Planning

Submitted by: Will Lin

I’ve been thinking a lot about why some lesson plans succeed beautifully and why others fail. At times, the key factor is the “Age + 2” rule, where kids stay in the same learning modality for an excessive amount of time or activities last longer than 15 minutes. Yet, sometimes when we vary the activities in a lesson, it can still go horribly wrong. Hence, my new corollary to “Age + 2” (a person’s attention span is approximately their age in years plus two): the Sin-Curve Theory of Lesson Planning.

Here’s the theory: if we think of lesson activities as either active or passive, activities should fluctuate between active and passive (and active and passive) every 12 minutes or so. If there are two (or three) active activities in a row – games, find a partner…, kinesthetic exercises, group work – the class’s energy level shoots off the charts and kids may become unruly. If there are two (or three) passive activities in a row – independent reading, note-taking, seat work – the class grows bored and kids will become unruly. Ideally, lessons should alternate between active and passive activities every 12-15 minutes or so. Mathematically, this is like a sine curve.

Teachers are historically good at direct instruction and lecture. Many of our high schools and higher education institutions function with heavy amounts of both. However, teachers often struggle the most with coming up with ideas for active lesson activities. Here are eight simple, active activities that are applicable to any content area:

1) Guess my word – The teacher thinks of a word (usually a vocabulary word). Students start guessing. Teacher responds with ‘before’ or ‘after’ based on the guessed word’s relative alphabetical placement in the dictionary.

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2) ABC cards – Create a set of 26 cards with a problem on one side. Each group of 3-4 has to answer all 26 cards on one answer document. The name refers to labeling the cards with letters A-Z (or the names of countries that start with A-Z. Robert scores groups who solve correct answers sequentially. In other words, a group with correct A and B but incorrect C earns two points.

3) Around the World – One student volunteer stands next to another student. The teacher asks a question. The student who calls out the correct answer first moves on and goes “around the world.”

4) I Have… – Each team has a set of “I Have…” cards. In one version, groups need to put them in the correct sequential order. In another iteration, every student gets one or two cards; as a class, kids have to read their cards in the correct order.

5) Knock out – Everyone stands behind their desks with a partner. The teacher asks each pair a question and gives them 10 seconds to answer. If they answer correctly, the teacher moves on. If they answer incorrectly, the teacher moves on to the next partner who can “knock out” the pair that made the mistake.

6) Category Pyramid – Create 10 boxes in a pyramid formation (4 in the 1st row, 3 in the 2nd, etc.). Each box has the name of a different category (States that border Mexico, things that fly, adverbs, renewable resources, etc.). Break kids into groups of 3-4. One person in each group is the clue-giver. S/he must call out objects within each category starting with the first row. The other group members must guess the six categories in two minutes. The catch is that they can only move to the second row after they’ve guessed the four categories in the first row.

7) Numbered Heads Together – Break kids into groups of 2-4; each student numbers off within his group. Ask a question; kids discuss for 5-10 seconds. Then, the teacher calls out a number; kids with that number can raise their hands.

8) Round Table – Break kids into teams of 3-4. Each team is given a Roundtable handout with a prompt (i.e. Write out fruits starting with different letters in alphabetical order”) and takes out one pencil. One student makes a contribution, then passes the paper and pencil to the student on their left (clockwise). The paper and pencil go around the table.

About the Author: I have been in the educational sector for over 7 years. My students have grown by two grade levels each year, and I have been the School Leader of a Title 1 Academically Distinguished School. Please visit my website (

lulu.com/alastingwill

) for eBooks and FREE videos for teachers

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=1409557&ca=Parenting

Iran’s morality police crack down on un-Islamic dress

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Iranian police forces have faced criticism from Ayatollah Hashemi Shahrudi, the head of the judiciary who was appointed by Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, for their re-invigorated campaign to do away with un-Islamic dress.

Ayatollah Shahroudi proclaimed, “Tough measures on social problems will backfire and have counter-productive effects.” Others have, of course, made it clear that un-Islamic dress can lead to moral corruption, engender innumerable vices, and hurt the Islamic character of the nation.

Some believe that no one had any issue with the creation of an Islamic atmosphere. The core of the matter revolves around the implementation of the Islamic dress code; additionally, heavy-handed measures should be shunned. For instance, Mehdi Ahmadi, information head of Tehran’s police, told Al Jazeera: “Some citizens may complain about the way the law is being enforced but they all agree with the plan itself.”

According to one student, “You simply can’t tell people what to wear. They don’t understand that use of force only brings hatred towards them, not love.” Nevertheless, Hojatoll-Islam Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, Iran’s interior minister who is in charge of policing, prognosticated positive feedback from the populace when he said, “People are unhappy with the social and moral status of the society. They expect that the fight against social insecurity be properly implemented.” Thus, Hujjat al-Islam Pour-Mohammadi re-iterated the necessity of proper implementation and methodology towards the restoration of morality in the Islamic Republic. Islamic officials and religious people affirm that this is indispensable to promote righteousness, curb sin, and bring open sinners to justice.

Following the Islamic Revolution in 1979, hijab became mandatory in Iran for every woman including foreigners after over 98% of citizens voted for an Islamic government. Women may face caning up to 74 strokes for failing to observe hijab. In this recent crackdown, the authorities have arrested many citizens throughout the country. Not only have women been taken into custody for their hair being uncovered on their foreheads and tight clothes that show body shapes, For men they need to cover from knee to their waist as according to Sharia. Even a foreign journalist was detained because the photograph on her press card was indecent.

It has not been clear whence the directive for the re-newed clampdown emanated. Some have blamed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad while Gholam Hossein Elham, the government spokesman, stated to reporters, “The police work as agents of the judiciary to confront crimes. The government as an executive body does not interfere in the affairs of the judiciary.” The following pre-election speech seems to corroborate this latter statement:

“ In reality, is the problem of our people the shape of the hair of our children? Let our children arrange their hair any way they wish. It doesn’t concern me and you. Let you and me overhaul the basic problems of the nation. The government should fix the economy of the nation and improve its atmosphere…[It should] better psychological security and support the people. People have variegated tastes. As if now the arch obstacle of our nation is the arrangement of our kids’ hair and the government disallowing them <He chuckles>. Is this the government’s responsibility? Is this the people’s merit? In actuality, this is the denigration of our people. Why do you underestimate and belittle the people? It is the real issue of our nation that one of our daughters donned a certain dress? Is this the issue of our nation and the problem of our nation? ”
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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Mark Grenier, Welland

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Mark Grenier is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Welland riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Minor alterations not affecting the content have been made to this interview; the original text is available by clicking on the tab marked “Collaboration” for.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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Al-Jazeera airs new video of Ayman al-Zawahri

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Qatar-based Arabic language television network al-Jazeera has aired a new tape of al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahri. In his first video appearance to mention the Peshawar province missile attack in Pakistan, Al-Zawahri refers to the alleged strike on himself and calls United States President George W. Bush, a “butcher” and a “failure”.

On the tape, al-Zawahri says he survived an American air strike targeting him in eastern Pakistan on January 13. The air strike killed 13 villagers and led to widespread demonstrations in Pakistan for the alleged deaths of civilians. The U.S. has made no official claim of responsibility for the cross-border attack from Afghanistan.

“Butcher of Washington, you are not only defeated and a liar, but also a failure. You are a curse on your own nation and you have brought and will bring them only catastrophes and tragedies,” Zawahri said, referring to President Bush. “Bush, do you know where I am? I am among the Muslim masses.”

al-Zawahri also threatened the citizens of Britain and the U.S.A. in the tape; “The lion of Islam, Sheik Osama bin Laden, may God protect him, offered you a decent exit from your dilemma. But your leaders, who are keen to accumulate wealth, insist on throwing you in battles and killing your souls in Iraq and Afghanistan and — God willing — on your own land.”

A U.S. counterterrorism official said to AP reporters on condition of anonymity, that the message broadcast by al-Jazeera indicates that al-Qaeda believed it was important to show that al-Zawahri is alive. The U.S. official also noted that the video was delivered quickly, demonstrating al-Zawahri’s ability to get his message out even faster than bin Laden. As al-Zawahri make a reference to Osama Bin Laden’s offering of a truce, it appears this tape is recorded not more than 12 days ago, which make a very short time according to al-Qaeda standards.

It has been widely reported, but not confirmed, that some al-Qaeda operatives were killed by the U.S. airstrike on the village of Damadola in Pakistan.

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