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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Northern Lights in Maine

Northern Lights in Maine


Northern Lights in Maine

Posted: 13 Sep 2014 10:33 AM PDT

"Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, I've just seen a Northern Lights."

So started from yesterday when I've heard that Aurora Borealis or most often called Northern Light coming to New England area this weekend, I was so thrill I can't really sleep as I was wanting so bad to get out and see it for the first time in my life, and now here it is such a beautiful amazing phenomena that I will remember for life. More pictures to come.

Taken at Acadia National Park around 9PM EST

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Canadian Rockies

Posted: 13 Sep 2014 09:56 AM PDT

Mountains Glacier and lakes in the Canadian Rockies.

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Hip-Hop Artist Donny Goines Shares His Personal Battle With Depression...

Posted: 13 Sep 2014 08:02 AM PDT

The feeling of depression can only be described as a suffocating cloud of darkness and sorrow, one that comes and goes without warning. It hovers over me and follows me no matter where I go. I can't seem to escape it. It pursues me relentlessly.

 

Drug abuse, violence and sadness were all part of my life growing up. Around the age of 7 or 8, my mother left my two younger brothers and me at my grandmother's home in the Bronx. I cried the entire night. I wouldn't see my mother again for a few years, but at the time I thought she just didn't want us.

 


We all lived together, along with my older cousin who was mentally disabled, and my aunt on the floor above us, in an old, run-down building. The neighborhood was poverty-stricken; many of the residents, like us, survived on food stamps and welfare. I had a very hard time fitting in. My father was not a part of my life, and a few years later I found out he had been incarcerated for several years. I didn't have any male influences during that time.

 

This is when I began to notice certain things about myself. I was highly intelligent. I scored off the charts in reading and writing when I was registered for school. I seemed to absorb information effortlessly. I began to realize how creative I was. Most kids I knew wanted action figures or dolls, but I yearned for typewriters and books. I started to understand I was different from most children.

 

I was also very introverted. I always stayed in my room, reading, writing or studying. The only drawback was I became fully aware of the world around me, and it made me sad. As the years passed, I began to notice this feeling more and more. I felt like an outcast. I immersed myself in the depression's solitude....

 

Read the rest here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/08/donny-goines-depression_n_5768442.html?1410179460

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Teaching Students Digital Advocacy using iReports and Twitter

Posted: 13 Sep 2014 04:40 AM PDT

This has been a very difficult summer.

I live on a kibbutz on the border with the Gaza Strip, and my home was in a war zone. I remained in my home all summer, with a new purpose: to help my country by granting interviews to foreign journalists, writing reports on CNN iReport. As part of this mission, I found myself dragged into the world of Twitter.

We had NO summer - the war ended on August 26th, the day two of my friends were killed here on my kibbutz, and another lost his legs, all hit by the same mortar, as they were supporting electricians who were trying to restore electricity, which had been knocked out during the rocket barrage that morning - the same one that sent shards of mortar into my home. (See my previous reports)

Before my first lesson of the year, I went to a psychologist for a chat, and explained my situation: I am an English teacher, who has functioned as a war correspondent for the past 2 1/2 months - and I cannot understand how I was going to make the metamorphosis back into teacher/teacher-trainer. His response was simple: "Bring the war correspondent into the classroom with you."

That is just what I did. I spoke to the students about what I did all summer, showed them CNN iReports (explaining to them that this is a place where ANYBODY can write or post photos of events, and let their stories be shared with the world. iReport can be used as an opportunity for encouraging descriptive writing, digitally. If I take this one step further, and have my students write and publish their descriptions, I will share them here.

I also realized the potency of Twitter during this period of time. Through my interviews with Sky News, I had been approached to find a teenager who could respond on Twitter to questions, as they had done with Farah Baker, a 16 year old from Gaza who tweeted about the war. I contacted my students, and, although most of them either did not respond at all, or were simply not in the area, some of them were willing to try. The problem was, NONE of them had a Twitter account. In fact, I sent out a call via social networks to which I am connected, calling for teachers to help me find a student who could do this. None were found. Sky News then asked me to fill the slot - and I participated in a 30 minute Q&A session, that was promoted by Sky News live, internationally, using #AskAdele. I was warned that there would be people popping up saying horrible things, but that I should only address questions that I felt were appropriate. I was thrown into the deep end, and told to swim - with the help of a platform called TweetDeck (which I have found comfortable and continue to use, when I am on Twitter from my PC), communicating with people who had questions about the conflict, what it is like to live on the border, and other related issues. It was a fascinating experience! One of authentic use of digital tools and the English language.

So as part of my "coming-back-to-school", I brought a Twitter expert from Tel Aviv (Hen Mazzig from @standwithus) into my classroom, to teach the students why Twitter has become so important as an international platform for conversation, and how to use it to their advantage.

My aim in exposing the students to these platforms, is to attempt to encourage them to use English, and digital technology for purposes of advocacy. It can be to advocate our situation here in Israel, on the border with the Gaza Strip - or anything else about which the students feel they have something to say.

I plan to continue with this experiment during the year, and am looking for different ways to authentically engage my students on Twitter. If any of you out there read this, and have ideas for how to engage students of a foreign language to use that language authentically with CNN iReports or Twitter as a means of advocacy for what they believe in, please share your ideas, below.

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Another Ship Wreck

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 11:08 PM PDT

Another secluded bay in Kamchatka and another ship wreck. So goes our travels in Kamchatka. This cove revealed the wreck of a Japanese fishing vessel which ran aground 30 years ago. Rusting and disintegrating, soon to be reclaimed by the sea.

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Aurora Borealis from Maine

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 09:36 PM PDT

"Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god I've just seen a Northern Light".

So started from yesterday when I've heard that Aurora Borealis or most often called Northern Light coming to New England area this weekend, I was so thrill I can't really sleep as I was wanting so bad to get out and see it for the first time in my life, and now here it is such a beautiful amazing phenomena that I will remember for life. More pictures to come.

Taken at Acadia Nation Park around 9PM EST

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Commercial Fishing Vessel Captures Rocket Launch Failure

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 12:09 PM PDT

A commercial fishing boat off the coast of Kodiak Island, Alaska captures a military rocket launch that fails immediately with devastating impact on the launch facility. Low quality but the sound captures the concussion wave seconds later.

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The mysterious and magical Machu Picchu

Posted: 11 Sep 2014 06:04 PM PDT

As the mist rises, the ground stands in worship of the Sun who fills that moment with life.

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