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16 February 2008 U.S. college drop-out rate sparks concern

U.S. college drop-out rate sparks concern
The latest government figures say that just 54 percent of students
entering four-year colleges in 1997 had a degree six years later,
sparking a debate in educational circles about how to get students all
the way to graduation.

15 February 2008

Snuggly the Security Bear Explains: Warrantless Wiretapping Is All About Love and Freedom

Warrantless Wiretapping Is All About Love and Freedom
If you're still confused about the whole warrantless domestic spying program that the telecoms colluded with the government on (which is being conveniently shuffled away from official scrutiny, forever), Snuggly the Security Bear by Mark Fiore sums it all up in the absolute cuddliest way possible. [Mark Fiore via BoingBoing]

Fridays Links: Health Insurance for the Self-Employed - Shifting Careers - Small Business - New York Times Blog

February 14, 2008,  9:28 pm
Friday’s Links: Health Insurance for the Self-Employed
I’m often asked about where independent workers and other self-employed people can get health insurance. I would like to hear from you, readers, about how you get your insurance. What kinds of policies are you choosing, and why? Where do you get it? What does it cost? If you have a resource to share, do it in the comments...SOURCE

13 February 2008 - Prisons Warp the Vote
Prisons Warp the Vote
Brett Blank,
The Census Bureau counts people in prison where their bodies are located on census day, not where they come from and where they will return, on average, 34 months later.
Forty-eight states bar prisoners from voting, and most states have constitutional clauses or election law statutes which explicitly declare that prisoner remains legal residents of their home addresses. When states draw districts based on the Census Bureau's padded counts of prison locales, they give those districts extra representation just because the prison industry has a facility there...SOURCE

NPR: Correctional Officers Protest Inmate Work Cuts
Correctional Officers Protest Inmate Work Cuts

by Laura Sullivan
Morning Edition, February 13, 2008 · Federal correctional officers are gathering outside the Justice Department on Wednesday to protest
budget cuts and cutbacks to the federal inmate work program.
The officers say it's the only program they have left to keep inmates out of trouble...SOURCE

Better World Campaign Statement on Budget Request for UN Peacekeeping

Budget Request for UN Peacekeeping
"The United States is already more than $1 billion behind in honoring its commitments to UN peacekeeping, and the Administration's budget request would add at least another $600 million to our growing and worrisome unpaid peacekeeping assessments. UN peacekeeping is a tremendous value for the United States, ensuring that we don't have to pay all the bills or take all the risks for securing peace and stability in the world. By working with other nations, we can promote peace at a fraction of the cost. Simply put, in today's complex and dangerous world the United States can't afford to go it alone and therefore we can't afford not to pay our fair share of international peacekeeping....SOURCE

Black-on-Black Thought Crime - January 2, 2008 - The New York Sun
Black-on-Black Thought Crime
Review of: Sellout: The Politics of Racial Betrayal
Special to the Sun
The slaves who informed their masters of plans other slaves were making to rebel, for example, were alarmed at the crushing response from whites that such rebellions would attract, and saw themselves as protecting blacks, not "selling them out." Today's blacks who argue against racial preferences in admissions often bring to bear evidence that these policies harm students more than they help them: They honestly believe that they are the progressives in this case...SOURCE

Education Week: AP Scores Fall as Test-Taking Rises

Updated: February 13, 2008
AP Scores Fall as Test-Taking Rises
By Scott J. Cech
New York
More students are taking Advanced Placement tests, but the proportion of tests receiving what is deemed a passing score has dipped, and the mean score is down for the fourth year in a row, an Education Week analysis of newly released data from the College Board shows...SOURCE

12 February 2008

from Spanish Word A Day

regular = not very good / below average

Pronounced: reh-góo-lahr
Type: adjective
Example: ¿Cómo estás hoy? -Me siento regular.
Translation: How are you today? -I don't feel very good.

Ámbitos no. 34 (Bulletin of the Fundación Largo Caballero (in Spanish))

Boletín Digital de Actividades número 34 - enero de 2008 Actividades
Culturales Exposición "De la España que emigra a la España que acoge",
en Huelva --
La exposición itinerante "De la España que emigra a la España que acoge"
ha hecho parada, en esta ...

Virtual Path to Diversity :: Inside Higher Ed

Virtual Path to Diversity

At UMUC, the population of black students includes a large percentage with some previous college education, but without a bachelor’s degree, said Susan Aldridge, the president. Their experience suggests that there may be significant numbers of black people who could complete bachelor’s programs without starting from scratch, if provided with the right flexibility, which typically includes online education, she said.

Most of the black students — like most of UMUC’s other students as well — are holding down jobs and can only consider educational programs that can fit into tight schedules. The students aren’t necessarily looking for online programs, and sign up for the in-person courses that UMUC offers, but typically use a “mix and match approach” in which they rely on online education to get the required credits. “This is about giving access to students so they can take care of their work schedules,” Aldridge said.

While these students have jobs, Aldridge said that the university was also trying to reach a more disadvantaged population through new scholarships for unemployed people, and was raising money to create a fund to provide laptops for them. Most of these students are gravitating to certificate programs, not degree programs, at least at first, Aldridge said. A bachelor’s program can be “daunting,” she said...SOURCE

11 February 2008

Over Five Million Dead in Congo? How Truth is Hidden, Even When it Seems to Be Told

Over Five Million Dead in Congo? -
The International Rescue Committee in late January 2008 released a new report on the mortality in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The report caught the eye of some news agencies, who quickly whipped up trite little articles as supposed expressions of horror. Over and over the DRC has been declared "the world's forgotten crises." There are reasons why Darfur is the crises of the day, the poster crises, and why Congo is hardly mentioned....SOURCE

GroundReport | India | Benefits of Amla - Prevent Aging and Promote Longevity

Benefits of Amla - Prevent Aging and Promote Longevity
by   Nick Mutt       
February 11, 2008

Amla is one of the prestigious herbs that prevent aging and promote longevity. It has been found to be the most abundant source of Vitamin C in the plant kingdom containing as much as 20 times that of an orange. It is supposed to rejuvenate all the organ systems of the body, provide strength and wellness. It also helps us to keep away from all the diseases by boosting our immune system.

Amla is one of the widely used herbs in ayurvedic medicines. Charak and sushrut widely mention the use of amla for curative purposes. Amla due to sheet virya potency is widely used in diseases caused by pitta disorders. Well renowned ayurvedic preparations like chawanprash, triphala and amlaki rasayan possess dominance of Amla...SOURCE

10 February 2008

You've got 20 minutes to change your life in 100 ways. Go.

You've got 20 minutes to change your life in 100 ways. Go.

This is the premise of an exercise I tried once, when I was feeling stuck in life. I wasn't sure what was amiss, but the routine I had fallen into was not satisfying the inner voice in me that insisted there was something else out there for me.

After trying (forcefully) to understand what was going on, reading self-help books, filling out aptitude tests, and working with business and life coaches, I was given a suggestion that became a catalyst for some pretty big personal changes.

Here is how you can change your life in 20 minutes, step by step:

Clear all distractions. Turn off the phone, the tv, the computer. Lock your door, and go to a quiet place.
Sit down comfortably at a desk or table, with a blank piece of paper and a pen in front of you.
Set a timer for 20 minutes.
Go. Write down 100 things you want to do. Or careers you want to have. Or people you would like to meet. The sky is the limit.
Don’t be realistic. Dream big. Write down the craziest things you can think of, as well as the things that you don't even think bear mentioning because they are so simple. Write it all down.
Work quickly. 20 minutes isn't very long, and you have 100 items to get through, if you can. Don't think about whether or not to write down an idea - just write. Write everything that comes to mind, even if it doesn't make sense. Just keep on writing, and don't stop until that timer goes off.

Something happens after about 10 or 15 minutes if you employ the exercise to its full potential. You stop caring about what specifically the ideas are, and you start to release an inner creativity that may have been locked away for a while. In an effort to get through 100 things in 20 minutes, you start to write outlandish things down that you aren't even really sure you want, but that are ideas that came to you nonetheless....SOURCE


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