July 29th, 2012

garf tired

Bullied Teen Given Free Plastic Surgery

Nadia Ilse, Bullied Georgia Teen, Receives Free Plastic Surgery From Little Baby Face Foundation

Nadia Isle

Nadia Ilse is looking forward to the new school year, when she will no longer be called "Dumbo" by her peers for her "elephant ears."

To ward off school bullies who began taunting her in the first grade for her ears, Nadia begged her mother at the age of 10 for an otoplasty -- an operation to pin her ears back.

The teen, now 14, was recently granted her wish by the Little Baby Face Foundation, a charity that provides free corrective surgery to children born with facial deformities.

Nadia told CNN that the bullying turned her talkative self into a withdrawn, antisocial girl. The taunting "hurt so much," she told CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

nadia isle

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Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/28/nadia-isle-bullied-georgi_n_1712548.html


Idaho Billboard Compares Obama To Aurora Shooting Suspect James Holmes

An electronic billboard in Caldwell, Idaho that compares President Obama to James Holmes, the 24-year-old man accused of killing 12 people in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater on July 20, has sparked outrage in the community, reports The Idaho Statesman.

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Rare White Bison Calf Given Official Name

Hundreds of Native Americans attended ceremonies at the Mohawk Bison farm in Goshen, Connecticutt farm Saturday, July 28, to name a rare white baby bison, revered as a symbol of peace and unity. The miracle calf was officially named "Yellow Medicine Dancing Boy." The baby bison was born June 16. Experts have said one in 10 million bison are white, but a few other white bison births in recent years suggest the rate is somewhat higher

For those to whom the bison is an iconic part of the American experience, the birth is, at the least, a remarkable coincidence, coming at a time that wildlife, tribal and producer groups are lobbying Congress to have the bison officially designated as the national mammal and a national symbol alongside the bald eagle. (The words buffalo and bison are often used interchangeably).

Mr. Fay, who is the white bison calf's owner, has an elaborate bison tattoo on his right shoulder and another above his heart, and comes from four generations of dairy farmers. He began raising bison as a hobby four years ago, capitalizing on a growing appetite for bison as a leaner alternative to beef, and then became increasingly excited about the animals, building his herd to more than 40 until he sold off about half of them two months ago.

Mr. Fay said his Indian friends had told him that a white bison was considered the most sacred thing imaginable — its birth viewed as something like the Second Coming. Yellow Medicine Dancing Boy is not an albino, and Fay said DNA testing confirmed the animal's bloodlines are pure and there was no intermingling with cattle.

Mrs. White Mouse, a member of the Oglala Lakota people, said a white bison was believed to be a manifestation of the White Buffalo Calf Maiden, or Ptesan Wi. She is revered as a prophet, who in a time of famine taught the Lakotas seven sacred rituals and gave them their most important symbol of worship, the sacred pipe.

“They are very rare, and when a white bison is born there is a reason for each one to be here,” Mrs. White Mouse said. “It’s such a blessing for someone to take care of a bison like Peter Fay will. I told him when it was born, ‘You don’t even know what you have on your hands here.’

Mr. Fay said he was getting the idea, and being very careful. A white bison in Texas was slaughtered a year ago in what some believed could be an anti-Indian hate crime. Mr. Fay said either he or someone else watched the field day and night. He said that he was prepared for what could be four days of festivities, with the naming ceremony scheduled for July 28, and that he had no interest in selling the bison.

This weekend, Lakota tribe members from South Dakota were among the hundreds of people who gathered at the celebration. Other tribal elders from the Mohawk, Seneca and Cayuga tribes participated. Collapse )

Forget Romney's gaffes – the real worry is he has got nothing to say.

Romney has stripped himself of reason, personality and sense in his bid to become the next US president.

How is it possible for a competent and fluent person such as Mitt Romney, a man who founded a successful private equity business, saved the Salt Lake Olympics, and was governor of a state, Massachusetts – turning round its finances and, in the process, showing glimmers of enlightenment in health and gun control – to make such a complete and utter Horlicks of his visit to London on the eve of the Olympics? All that is required of any foreign personage is to speed along the line of greeters, murmuring: "Jolly good show – carry on."

Instead of which, in an interview with CBS, the soon-to-be-crowned Republican candidate cast doubt about the security in London (old story); raised the possible strike of customs and immigration officers (becoming a dead story at that moment) and questioned whether the British public was fully behind the event. He displayed the sure touch of a Tourettes sufferer.

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Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/29/henry-porter-mitt-romney-cant-say-anything-right

OP: Interesting and thoughtfully-put opinion piece I thought.
Akuma River

#NBCfail on covering the Olympics

It has been a while since I posted here and I had checked to see if anyone has posted on this, but no one else has so I will. There are a couple of other sources on NBC's utter failure but this one has a direct quote from them on WHY they cut it. It will enrage you.

NBC Hit For Editing Opening Ceremony Segment Seen As 'Victims Tribute'

NEW YORK -- NBC has come under fire in the British press for editing out a performance during the London Olympics opening ceremony that has been interpreted by some as a tribute to victims of the "7/7" terrorist attacks that rocked that city in 2005.

The network, which has exclusive U.S. broadcast rights to the London games, cut instead to a taped interview between Ryan Seacrest and gold-medalist swimmer Michael Phelps.

The Daily Mail scoffed that NBC replaced a "tribute to 7/7 victims with bland Michael Phelps interview."

The Guardian, in a piece headlined "Row after NBC drop opening ceremony '7/7 tribute,'" said that section of Friday night's performance has been "widely interpreted" as a tribute to the 52 victims of the 2005 bombings.
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Which Mother for Isabella? Civil Union Ends in an Abduction and Questions

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Lisa A. Miller and her daughter, Isabella, started their fugitive lives here in the fall of 2009, disguised in the white scarves and long blue dresses of the Mennonites who spirited them out of the United States and adopting the aliases Sarah and Lydia.

“We wanted to have a family and spend the rest of our lives together,” said Janet Jenkins, whose former partner, Lisa A. Miller, underwent a born-again conversion to conservative Christianity and took their child to Nicaragua.

Now 10, Isabella Miller-Jenkins has spent her last three birthdays on the run, “bouncing around the barrios of Nicaragua,” as one federal agent put it, a lively blond girl and her mother trying to blend in and elude the United States marshals who have traveled to the country in pursuit.

She can now chatter in Spanish, but her time in Nicaragua has often been lonely, those who have met her say, long on prayer but isolated. She has been told that she could be wrenched from her mother if they are caught. She has also been told that the other woman she once called “Mama,” Ms. Miller’s former partner from a civil union in Vermont that she has since renounced, cannot go to heaven because she lives in sin with women.

Isabella’s tumultuous life has embodied some of America’s bitterest culture wars — a choice, as Ms. Miller said in a courtroom plea, shortly before their desperate flight, “between two diametrically opposed worldviews on parentage and family.”

Isabella was 7 when she and Ms. Miller jumped into a car in Virginia, leaving behind their belongings and a family of pet hamsters to die without food or water. Supporters drove them to Buffalo, where they took a taxi to Canada and boarded a flight to Mexico and then Central America.

Ms. Miller, 44, is wanted by the F.B.I. and Interpol for international parental kidnapping. In their underground existence in this impoverished tropical country, she and Isabella have been helped by evangelical groups who endorse her decision to flee rather than to expose Isabella to the “homosexual lifestyle” of her other legal mother, Janet Jenkins.

I only posted the first part of the article here because it is quite long. You can read the entire thing at the source
Steve At College

this is when science didn't have to have any specific purpose

Is Algebra Necessary?

A TYPICAL American school day finds some six million high school students and two million college freshmen struggling with algebra. In both high school and college, all too many students are expected to fail. Why do we subject American students to this ordeal? I’ve found myself moving toward the strong view that we shouldn’t.

There are many defenses of algebra and the virtue of learning it. Most of them sound reasonable on first hearing; many of them I once accepted. But the more I examine them, the clearer it seems that they are largely or wholly wrong — unsupported by research or evidence, or based on wishful logic. (I’m not talking about quantitative skills, critical for informed citizenship and personal finance, but a very different ballgame.)

This debate matters. Making mathematics mandatory prevents us from discovering and developing young talent. In the interest of maintaining rigor, we’re actually depleting our pool of brainpower. I say this as a writer and social scientist whose work relies heavily on the use of numbers. My aim is not to spare students from a difficult subject, but to call attention to the real problems we are causing by misdirecting precious resources.

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I've seen a lot of reaction to this article as basically unfettered anger that doesn't do much to address the points raised. I hope we can have a rational discussion about practical issues and real problems that real students have in the education system instead of a lot of talk about stupid Americans and competing with South Korea in the international standardized test championships.