Wednesday’s historic deal between the United States and Cuba was noteworthy for a lot of reasons—and a fascinating one that’s emerged has been the role of Pope Francis. It’s been reported that the Pope sent personal letters to President Obama and President Raul Castro enjoining them to reconsider the situation; then, he invited US and Cuban officials to the Vatican in October to talk things out. In the days since the announcement—which His Holiness greeted with “warm congratulations”—the Vatican has enjoyed wide credit as one of the biggest influences in breaking the decades-old standoff.
via The Pope Just Helped the US and Cuba Make Up. What International Conflict Will He Fix Next? | Mother Jones.
Contact Time with StudentsIt has been a great debate over the years for our nation’s teachers to spend more time in the classroom. Our Ministry of Education, over the last three years, has hemorrhaged the teachers’ holiday/recuperation period by adding two more teaching days per term. This year is no different and now not only are they trying to shorten the days of rest for teachers, but are now mandating them to go to professional development seminars conducted by education officers who themselves are exhausted with work.All this, because there is the perception that teachers have too much time on their hands to find additional funds to improve their standard of living. One talk show host mentioned about the amount of teachers who are driving better cars and living in luxurious houses and that teaching seemed to be a money making business instead of that of educating the population. There were mentions of teachers having after school classes where students must pay a cost. Investigations were secretly conducted to find out the cost of these services and publishing how much money a teacher makes conducting private classes.
via Educational Issues, Current Affairs and Articles: Contact Time with Students.
How do you help a friend who is chronically ill?So frequently we hear what NOT to say. . . but here are some things that most people would like to hear. Sometimes it really is all about how you word it. Click the link below each graphic to find a short article explaining in more depth why this matters and how it can help a friend. If you would prefer to tweet these, we have a list all ready for you here.Thanks to everyone who is pinning this for us! Want to pin some of the images on this page other than the default image? You can click on any article to get the specific image or you can use your Pinterest bookmarklet if you have it installed.
via How to Help a Friend Who Has an Invisible Illness – loads of ideas.
THEY are everywhere in north Australia, and nowhere. They are real and unreal; mythical and historical. They are depicted in the rock art, they are in the stories, they are in the minds of men and women from Cape York and the Top End right across to Broome on the distant Indian Ocean’s shore — the Little People. They have a hundred local names — Rai, Janjarri, Mimih — yet the picture we have of them is strikingly consistent. We know they are slight, elusive, magical, mischievous. We are told that they are always nearby, listening, hovering, poised just beyond the edge of our field of vision: they are the necessary companion beings to complete and populate the vast, empty-seeming country of the remote north. Of course we hear about them most often in old, remembered song-cycles: they serve as the puzzling trickster-heroes of many a wildly ramifying Aboriginal narrative. But are those stories simply tales, legends — or do they point to a time now gone when there were diminutive people spread through the lush rainforests and up and down the coastlines of the north? Were the Little People real? Are they still?
via In search of the indigenous little people of northern Australia | The Australian.
Call them rebel songs, slave songs, songs of freedom, work songs, songs of dissent, songs of struggle, protest songs, liberation songs, labour songs, labor songs, workers songs, industrial folk songs, environmental songs, songs of equality, peace songs.For over two centuries working people across the world have built trade unions. This site documents the songs and poems that they made in the process, union songs. It includes songs and poems that are being written today, as the process of union building continues all around the world.Such songs are the work of famous poets as well as men and women whose names have been forgotten. They stretch back to ancient times and are being created today.”People all over the world, and particularly ordinary working people in factories, mines, fields, and offices, are rebelling every day in ways of their own invention … Their strivings, their struggles, their methods have few chroniclers.” (CLR James in Facing Reality)”Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
via Union Songs.
We’re Better Than ThisAustralian celebrities, sport stars and media personalities have joined forces for an online and television campaign calling the Australian Government to end the mandatory detention of children. The “We’re Better than This” Campaign invites the public to write on an electronic postcard that will be sent to their local MP or upload a video in support of the action. You can visit the campaign page at http://www.wbttaus.org and watch the video below.
via End Child Detention.
AcknowledgementsThis Project was made possible through the support and cultural authority of the Coffs Harbour Local Aboriginal Land Council. Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance would like to express our gratitude to Sue Hoskins for her time, commitment and for sharing the community cultural knowledge and stories with all of u
via Aboriginal Stories | Coffs Coast / Gumbaynggirr – The Legendary Pacific Coast.
CHRISTMAS IS A STUDY IN CONTRASTS, OF MANY DIALECTICS WHICH WE EMBRACE AS INDIVIDUALS AND AS A SOCIETY. IT IS HAPPY AND SAD, INGENUOUS AND CYNICAL, SPIRITUAL AND CRASS, SELFISH AND ALTRUISTIC, A CELEBRATION OF GOD, A DEIFICATION OF MAMMON.” ELIZABETH C. HIRSCHMAN AND PRISCILLA A. LABARBERA
via “Christmas is a study in contrasts, of many dialectics which we embrace as individuals and as a society. It is happy and sad, ingenuous and cynical, spiritual and crass, selfish and altruistic, a celebration of God, a deification of Mammon.” Elizabeth C. Hirschman and Priscilla A. LaBarbera | THE OLD PROVERBIAL RECOVERY.
I first heard of track that followed the route of an old Hoop Pine tramway from an old farmer while photographing the beautiful landscape of Gleniffer, west of Bellingen. It remained one of those things that the mind recollects but the body does nothing about for many months. Recently I made time to get out into the bush and take on the challenge of the Syndicate Track. A full days walk, the track begins at the end of Slingby’s Track 15kms north of Dorrigo and ends in Gleniffer, 10 west of Bellingen in the Bellinger Valley. The track traverses the country of the Dorrigo Plateau and the very steep descent into the Bellinger Valley, all the while taking in a wide range of environments, that are all part of the Dorrigo National Park and also part of the World Heritage listed Gondwana Rainforests
via The Syndicate Tramway | xdarkxlightx.