Tuesday, 28 February 2017

the recycled orchestra of cateura paraguay

How can you make classical music interesting to children?
Jay Doubleyou: opening up the world of classical music to children

In Venezuela they are doing something:
Jay Doubleyou: what does your taste in music say about you?

And in Paraguay:

Tunes from the Trash

Just outside the Paraguayan capital city of Asuncion lies the town of Cateura. It's an impoverished settlement ranged along the banks of a stinking, polluted river, in the shadow of a giant landfill site. Many of its inhabitants scratch a living by reclaiming objects from the endless ocean of garbage to sell. Recycling of a kind. But for the last ten years the residents of Cateura have been part of a recycling project of a much sweeter sort.

La Orquesta de Instrumentos Reciclados de Cateura -- the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura -- use materials from the landfill site to create musical instruments. An oil drum for a cello, a pipe for a flute, a tin can for a guitar. They've toured the world and recorded with the likes of Metallica.

As the Orchestra leader Favio Chávez says, "The world sends us garbage. We send back music."

The BBC's South America Correspondent Wyre Davies visits Cateura, meets Favio Chávez and other members of the Recycled Orchestra and learns how trash, and lives, are being transformed by music.

BBC Radio 4 - Tunes from the Trash

The Recycled Orchestra have been the subject of a recent documentary film:

The Landfillharmonic

And an illustrated children's book: Ada's Violin | Book by Susan Hood, Sally Wern Comport | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster UK

For more information about the Recycled Orchestra:

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

the tip of the iceberg lettuce

Public Radio International looks at food issues in the UK:

Why the shortage of veggies in UK shops? Lettuce find out.

First it was the zucchinis.  

Player utilities

Listen to the Story.
Then the iceberg lettuce. 
Then even the satsumas, those small mandarin oranges. 
That's when The World's reporter in London, Leo Hornak, says he really got hungry: "I'm at the epicenter of a zucchini famine. An iceberg lettuce drought."    
Britain is in the middle of a vegetable crisis due to poor growing conditions in southern Europe, where many of these vegetables are cultivated during the winter months.  
A combination of flooding, storms and frost have damaged crops in southern Spain, which supplies half the vegetables throughout Europe. 
Some of the UK's largest supermarkets have rationed the amount of iceberg lettuce shoppers can buy. 
"You cannot buy more than three iceberg lettuce[s] at once. And everything from eggplant to celery to cucumbers to artichokes, even broccoli have been affected by this."  
It's like a throwback to WWII, when Britons were forced to ration their food. 
Suppliers have warned that if the weather does not improve in coming weeks, the shortage may continue through March — meaning customers could be hit with higher prices for the produce. 
Add to that anxiety about the expected fallout from Brexit, when Britain withdraws from the European Union. 
"Although this [shortage] is attributed directly to the weather, it could be a taste for the future," Hornak says. "In Britain, we're used to having free trade with the rest of Europe, that's the basic privilege we have as part of the European Union. But, no one knows what the conditions for trade will be when Britain leaves the European Union. So, I think people are worried that this could be a forewarning of what we should get used to." 

Why the shortage of veggies in UK shops? Lettuce find out. | Public Radio International

Monday, 6 February 2017

fake news

It's the latest thing in the news:
Fake news - Wikipedia
Fake news websites in the United States - Wikipedia
Fake news website - Wikipedia

Here's a debate from tonight's Channel Four News:
Fake news debate – Channel 4 News

Also from Channel Four, from last month:
Jon Snow hosts debate on Fake News - Channel 4 News - YouTube

The President isn't listening:
Donald Trump says all negative polls about him are fake news | The Independent

Here's a helpful guide:

What is fake news? How to spot it and what you can do to stop it

‘Fake news’ has rapidly become a catch-all term to discredit all kinds of stories. We need to be smarter at recognising and combating outright fabrication

Fake news reports soar on social media, where links are given the same weighting regardless of source, and particularly on Facebook, where there is a potential audience of 1.89bn. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Elle Hunt @mlle_elle

Saturday 17 December 2016

Until recently, there was news and “not news” – as denoted by comments of “that’s not news” below the line on more light-hearted stories or features. Now there is “fake news”, said to be behind the election of Donald Trump as US president and a recent incident involving a gunman at a Washington pizzeria.

The term has become widely used – too widely. But it’s understandable there’s confusion when some fake news is only a bit fake, or fake for an arguably legitimate reason (such as satire).

Can we still make a useful definition of fake news? And should we even be worried about it at all?

Definitely real fake news

First the most famous example of an indisputably (or so you would think) fake news story that has had real-world consequences.

On 4 December, a North Carolina man opened fire at the Washington pizzeria Comet Ping Pong, which an online conspiracy theory purports to be the headquarters of a child sex ring run by Hillary Clinton.

Subscribers to “Pizzagate” point to apparent “code” within the hacked emails of John Podesta, the Clinton campaign chair, and the fact the restaurant has the same initials as “child pornography”. (Googling Pizzagate is not advised. The background to this extraordinary story has been explored in detail on the Reply All podcast.)
From 4chan and Reddit, the online message board where the story took root, the story gained sufficient momentum for a poll of 1,224 registered voters in late September to find that 14% of Trump supporters believed it to be true.

A significant 32% of respondents were “not sure” – just like the 25-year-old gunman who, though not convinced of the theory, felt there were sufficient grounds to pay a visit to the restaurant to “self-investigate”.

Yes, it stretches the boundaries of belief – but a lot of fake news does. And yes, people nonetheless think it’s true.


why schools don't produce well-educated minds

Why are school children doing so badly?
Jay Doubleyou: the most schooled generation in history is miserable

Or: why are school children doing so well at school but not in the 'real world'?
Jay Doubleyou: good exam results won't get you a good job

John Taylor Gatto has looked at this:
Jay Doubleyou: the purpose of education: from china to prussia to the united states
Jay Doubleyou: john taylor gatto - best teacher ever

Celebrated Teacher 

Explains Why Schools 

Don't Produce 

Well-Educated Minds

Annie Holmquist
In recent years, a number of Americans have been awakening to the realization that today’s children are not receiving a high-quality education. The nation’s test scores in everything from reading to science are evidence of that.
But while many Americans now recognize what a good education is not, many are unsure exactly what it is.
Former New York school teacher of the year John Taylor Gatto once answered that question in his book Weapons of Mass InstructionAccording to Gatto, the sign of a well-educated mind is one that can make connections and is connected to four different things:
  1. Connected to Different Human Styles
  2. Connected to Complex Experiences
  3. Connected to Intellectual Ideas
  4. Connected to Itself (i.e. self-knowledge)
These four connections, Gatto noted, are not a part of the normal educational system. In fact, today’s education system seeks to do just the opposite:
School disconnects, as it was charged to do. It is Caesar’s "divide and conquer" strategy brought to peak efficiency. Children are divided from their families, their traditions, their communities, their religions, their natural allies – other children – their interests and on ad infinitum. They are, as Walter Lippman deplored, disconnected from the entire Western intellectual tradition which gave societies the greatest gift of personal liberties they had ever seen, disconnected from the experiences of risk-taking and adventure in which the grand discoveries of history have been fashioned; young men and women emerge from school unable to do much of anything …
The “disconnection” strategies of public schools are almost the exact opposite of those practiced by homeschool families, who, incidentally, seem to be doing quite well when it comes to churning out well-educated minds.
Given that, perhaps it’s time we stop pretending the public school system can be the surrogate parents for the nation’s children. Perhaps children have been provided with the best educators they can have from the moment they were born.
Republished from Intellectual Takeout.

Celebrated Teacher Explains Why Schools Don't Produce Well-Educated Minds | Foundation for Economic Education