Use Your Voice

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This week I posted the following:

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Using your voice is a political choice | Amanda Gorman


On January 20, 2021, President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris were sworn into office. At the Inauguration ceremony, U.S. Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman made history in being the youngest Inaugural poet with her work, The Hill We Climb.

Here are several ways you can bring this into your life. Use this to talk with students about creative expression as a commentary on democracy.

You may consider picking up Gorman’s upcoming picture book, Change Sings.

Media Literacy Standards to Counter Truth Decay

This week, the RAND Corporation released a new set of media literacy standards designed to support schools in this task.

The standards are part of RAND’s ongoing project on “truth decay”: a phenomenon that RAND researchers describe as “the diminishing role that facts, data, and analysis play in our political and civic discourse.”

Banning Trump won’t fix social media: 10 ideas to rebuild our broken internet – by experts

Away from the vitriol, researchers are investigating concrete steps companies, officials and the rest of us can take to tackle the crisis.

Joan DonovanHire 10,000 librarians for the Internet.

Whitney PhillipsFund training for teachers, our “informational first responders”

malkia devich-cyril – Understand the limitations of the first amendment.

Increasingly militant ‘Parler refugees’ and anxious QAnon adherents prep for doomsday

Conspiracy theorists have enjoyed the Trump presidency. Wild false notions about the deaths of high-profile American figures and what was really going on behind closed doors in Washington and Hollywood took over certain sections of the internet.

It all came to a head when insurrectionists, who believed the president’s lie that the election had been stolen, stormed the Capitol building while Congress was certifying the electoral votes for the 2020 election.

QAnon followers have become more divorced from reality since the Capitol riots as some are targeted by extremists who try to radicalize them further.

Extremism researchers are calling some of the accounts “Parler refugees,” named for the conservative social media network whose users are stumbling upon increasingly militant and radical information streams on smaller, unmoderated messaging apps and online forums.

Fired Florida data scientist Rebekah Jones turns herself in to jail and tests positive for Covid-19

Rebekah Jones, the former Florida data analyst who has accused state officials of covering up the extent of the pandemic has turned herself in, days after a warrant was issued for her arrest, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) said.

A relatively quick timeline of the events up to now:

  • Jones was fired from the Florida Department of Health in May and has repeatedly criticized Gov. Ron DeSantis’ handling of the Covid-19 crisis. State officials said Jones was terminated because she “exhibited a repeated course of insubordination” and modified a state data portal without input or approval from epidemiologists or her supervisors. Jones said she was fired after she refused to falsify state Covid-19 data.
  • Jones filed a whistleblower complaint in July with the Florida Commission on Human Relations.
  • After her firing, Jones published her own dashboard of Covid-19 stats. She said she received internal records from people who worked for the state, including what she said was proof that state officials “were lying in January (2020) about things like internal reports and notices from the CDC.”
  • On December 7, Jones’ home was raided. Jones has filed a lawsuit, alleging FDLE officials violated her First Amendment rights, deprived her of due process, and unlawfully seized her computers, cell phone, and storage media during a search of her home.

This week Jones turned herself in to authorities to protect her family from continued police violence.

“The Governor will not win his war on science and free speech. He will not silence those who speak out.”

Turn off that camera during virtual meetings, environmental study says

Just one hour of videoconferencing or streaming, for example, emits 150-1,000 grams of carbon dioxide. Leaving your camera off during a web call can reduce these footprints by 96%.

H/T to Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel newsletter for this link.

The Right Way To Cut A Round Cake

The triangular slice is not the “scientific” way to cut a cake.

Alex Bellos recommends a different approach, which helps keep any leftovers fresher longer. He cites a Letter to the Editor from Nature, a weekly science magazine, that dates back to December 1906.


Failure is a part of success. There is no such thing as a bed of roses all your life. But failure will never stand in the way of success if you learn from it.

Hank Aaron

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