Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Breakfast at Ginger's

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Ginger enjoys a leisurely breakfast.


...And Ginger's Late-Night Snack:



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Newsy: Critics: Obama Call for Extended School Year 'Impossible

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President Obama's call to extend the school year has critics saying budget realities will make the proposal impossible.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: “We now have our kids go to school about a month less than most other advanced countries. And that month makes a difference. ... So the idea of a longer school year, I think, makes sense.” (NBC)

It’s a comment that isn’t likely to gain President Barack Obama many friends among American students -- but his call to extend the school year has school districts across the country doing the math. Critics say -- good idea, but who’s going to pay for it?

We’re analyzing coverage from NBC, WTVG, WXXA, WDAF and the American Enterprise Institute.

The comments came as President Obama announced a series of initiatives aimed at addressing what some call America’s “education deficit.” Northwest Ohio’s WTVG portrays the idea of longer school years in a largely positive light, comparing average U.S. school years, to those of other countries: “In Japan students go to school 243 days out of the year. In Israel students go to school 216 days out of the year, and in England students go to school 192 days out of the year. And finally, in the U.S., students go to school 180 days out of the year.”

PARENT: “I think we’re clearly in a situation where education isn’t working, and if other countries are doing things that seem to be working, then probably our best posture is to learn from them.”

But Albany, New York’s WXXA features students and school officials who don’t like the idea of an extended school year. The Fox-affiliate spoke with a school administrator who says it might not work for everyone.

MARIA NEIRA: “Research doesn’t bear out that a longer school year will necessarily give you more student achievement, so we have to figure out is if one size fits all, or are there communities that need an extended school year. Not everyone falls into that category.”

Kansas City’s Fox affiliate crunches some local numbers and concludes -- the proposal might end up being too costly: “If you add extra days that means adding the cost of teachers, of running the buildings and cost for transportation. ... The Kansas City Kansas School district said ... the total will be outrageous and said it's hard enough keeping schools funded during a normal year and that adding additional days will be close to impossible.”

But the American Enterprise Institute’s Frederick Hess says it would be money well-spent. He suggests the whole notion of summer vacation is outdated, and now there are better ways to use the summer months in school: “It would allow schools to include more recess and athletics throughout the year, give teachers more time to conduct rich and imaginative lessons, and provide more time for music and the arts--all without compromising academic instruction.”

So do you think an extended school year will help or hurt the American public education system?

Writer: Christina Hartman and Chance Seales


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Newsy: New U.K. Wind Farm to Cost $1.3B

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Swedish energy company Vattenfall has completed 100 turbines, which could produce, at their peak, enough electricity to power the equivalent of more than 200,000 homes.

If the wind blows just right, Britain will be able to power an entire city with just the wind. It’s the world’s largest wind turbine farm -- and it became active off the coast of southeast England.

A reporter for Sky News says the alternative energy source will have an impact on the surrounding landscape -- the turbines are 377 feet --- but will lessen the impact on resident’s energy bills: “Thanet will boost the UK off shore wind capacity by more than 30 percent. It will be capable of supplying electricity to 200,000 homes. It means that wind can now provide at least four percent of the UK’s total electricity consumption. With other renewables providing around five percent.”

Once completed, the warm farm is estimated to cost the country about $1.3 billion. Critiques tell the BBC, the government should be investing in other resources instead: “What I am a bit worried about is the government and the previous governments infatuations with off shore wind power, which is very expensive and intermittent. There are other renewables starved of support and they should be going down the route.”

But UK Energy Secretary Chris Huhne tells KY3 the ability to harness energy off Britain’s shore will decrease energy costs and create financial stability in a market where energy prices are commonly blown out of proportion: “What we are determined to do is by creating more of our own energy within the United Kingdom, to make us save from these little shocks which we’ve seen in the past from the oil market, the gas market. That’s good news for consumers, it’s good news for businesses and it’s good news for green growth.”

The wind might not be so reliable. ABC reports while the alternative source could save residents money, yet it does rely primarily on one component: “It sounds obvious but no wind no power and there is no way of storing it either. It’s also heavily subsidized, which means everyone’s bills go up.”

Britain hopes to produce 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources like wind by 2020.

So what do you think? Are wind turbines the next alternative source or is Britain just throwing money in the wind?

Writer: Matthew Hibbard


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Respect & Responsibility

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At Labor School we believe in 8 core values. During this schoolyear we are emphasizing two of them: Respect and Responsibility.

Respect yourself
Respect others
Respect the school
Respect possessions


R-E-S-P-E-C-T: I always treat my friends like I hope they treat me


Respect: denotes both a positive feeling of esteem for a person or other entity (such as a nation or a religion), and also specific actions and conduct representative of that esteem. Respect can be a specific feeling of regard for the actual qualities of the one respected (e.g., "I have great respect for her judgment"). It can also be conduct in accord with a specific ethic of respect. Rude conduct is usually considered to indicate a lack of respect, disrespect, whereas actions that honor somebody or something indicate respect.

Confucius: "Respect yourself and others will respect you"

RESPONSIBILITY: Do what you're supposed to do; Responsibility is following through!

Responsibility: The obligation to carry forward an assigned task to a successful conclusion. Every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty. A person has moral obligations in certain situations. Society generally holds people responsible for their actions, and will say that they deserve praise or blame for what they do


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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ryder Cup 2010

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The Ryder Cup (officially the Ryder Cup Matches) is a golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States. The competition is jointly administered by the PGA of America and the PGA European Tour, and is contested every two years, the venue alternating between courses in the United States and Europe. The Ryder Cup is also the name of the trophy, after the person who donated it, Samuel Ryder.


The competition began following an exhibition match in 1926 between a team comprising American professionals against a similar one drawn from the British PGA on the East Course, Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey, UK. The first competition took place in 1927.


Early matches between the two sides were fairly even, but after the Second World War, repeated US dominance led to a decision to extend the representation of the British & Irish team to include continental Europe in 1979. This change was partly prompted by the success of a new generation of Spanish golfers of the time, including Seve Ballesteros and Antonio Garrido, who, in 1979, became the first Spaniards to play in the event. Since then, Team Europe has included players from Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, and Sweden.


Following this change, the event has enjoyed more competitive matches, with Europe winning seven times and retaining the Cup once, and with seven American wins over this period.

With the exception of Spain in 1997 and Ireland in 2006, all tournaments have been held either in the US or UK.

The 38th Ryder Cup, which pits teams of professional golfers from the USA and Europe in a three-day series of matches, will be held 1–3 October 2010 at the Twenty Ten golf course in the Celtic Manor Resort in the city of Newport, South Wales. The event, of which the USA is the defending cup holder, will be played on a newly-constructed course. The team captains are Colin Montgomerie for Europe and Corey Pavin for the USA.


These are the players both teams will be fielding this year:



Flag of Europe.svg   Team Europe
NameAgeResidencePoints
rank (W)
Points
rank (E)
World
ranking
Notes
Scotland Colin Montgomerie47DunningScotlandNon-playing captain
England Lee Westwood37WorksopEngland1137th appearance
Northern Ireland Rory McIlroy21HolywoodNorthern Ireland238Ryder Cup rookie
Germany Martin Kaymer25MettmannGermany325Ryder Cup rookie
Northern Ireland Graeme McDowell31PortrushNorthern Ireland44142nd appearance
England Ian Poulter34Milton KeynesEngland75133rd appearance
England Ross Fisher29CheamEngland14628Ryder Cup rookie
Italy Francesco Molinari27TurinItaly10733Ryder Cup rookie
Spain Miguel Ángel Jiménez46MálagaSpain118264th appearance
Sweden Peter Hanson32TrelleborgSweden13943Ryder Cup rookie
Italy Edoardo Molinari29TurinItaly51016Captain's pick, Ryder Cup rookie
England Luke Donald32High WycombeEngland6169Captain's pick, 3rd appearance
Republic of Ireland Pádraig Harrington39DublinIreland81222Captain's pick, 6th appearance





Flag of the United States.svg   Team USA
NameAgeResidencePoints
rank
World
ranking
Notes
Corey Pavin50Dallas, TexasNon-playing captain
Phil Mickelson40Rancho Santa Fe, California128th appearance
Hunter Mahan28Plano, Texas2152nd appearance
Bubba Watson31Bagdad, Florida325Ryder Cup rookie
Jim Furyk40Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida467th appearance
Steve Stricker43Madison, Wisconsin542nd appearance
Dustin Johnson26Myrtle Beach, South Carolina612Ryder Cup rookie
Jeff Overton27Bloomington, Indiana749Ryder Cup rookie
Matt Kuchar32Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida810Ryder Cup rookie
Zach Johnson34Lake Mary, Florida1118Captain's pick, 2nd appearance
Tiger Woods34Windermere, Florida121Captain's pick, 6th appearance
Stewart Cink37Duluth, Georgia1435Captain's pick, 5th appearance
Rickie Fowler21Las Vegas, Nevada2032Captain's pick, Ryder Cup rook


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Thursday, September 23, 2010

ESO Classroom Rules

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1.Equipment.
You must bring your Textbook, Grammar Reference, Workbook, an A-4 sized notebook, a blue ball-pen, a pencil, a rubber, and a classroom diary everyday.
You cannot use books from older students. Students taking a grade for the second time must have a new Workbook or photocopies. You cannot write on your textbooks. You must only use a pencil to write in your workbooks.

2. Teaching method
In the classroom you will use your textbooks. At home, students should use their workbooks to revise and practise what they have been taught at school. However, you must bring your workbooks to school on English lessons days in case there are any doubts or questions.



3. Assessment
Assessment will be continuous throughout the three terms. There will be no resit tests: if students fail a term they will have to pass the next term in order to pass the term they have failed.
·        Every term you will take at least an irregular verbs test (5 minutes against the clock), always without previous notice, so that you study verbs on a daily, regular basis (1st ESO: only in the last term).
·        You will have to read a short story and take a test on it in the first and second terms.
·        Every term you will have to solve at least one PBL (Problem Based Learning) either individually or in groups.

After finishing every unit you will have a free lesson to correct your workbooks and solve doubts before the test for that unit. You must complete every unit in your workbook before taking its test. You will also take as many tests as necessary for a better progress. 
Your marks will be the average of all tests you take during a term.



4. Behaviour
You must not talk or make any comment without permission. If someone wishes to say something they must raise their hand and wait for their turn.
You cannot pack your books until the teacher tells you to, even though the bell has already rung.
You cannot bring mobile phones, mp3’s, walkmans, etc. to English class.
In class you must never chew gum.


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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

ESO Exam Schedule for 2010-11 schoolyear

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Attention, ESO students. This is the 2010-11 schoolyear exam schedule:
(Listening tests to be held during the 'Study Time" lesson before every exam)


Pre-Assessment

1st ESO – Thursday 30th September
2nd ESO – Monday 27th September
3rd ESO – Tuesday 28th September
4th ESO – Monday 27th September

1st Term
Unit 1:
1st ESO – Thursday 14th October
2nd ESO – Wednesday 13th October
3rd ESO – Wednesday 13th October
4th ESO – Friday 15th October

Unit 2:
1st ESO – Thursday 11th November
2nd ESO – Wednesday 10th November
3rd ESO – Tuesday 9th November
4th ESO – Tuesday 9th November

Unit 3:
1st ESO ­– Friday 10th December
2nd ESO – Thursday 9th December
3rd ESO –Wednesday 1st December
4th ESO – Friday 10th December



2nd Term
Unit 4:
1st ESO – Friday 21st January
2nd ESO – Thursday 20th January
3rd ESO – Wednesday 19th January
4th ESO – Friday 21st January

Unit 5:
1st ESO – Thursday 17th February
2nd ESO – Wednesday 16 th February
3rd ESO – Wednesday 16th February
4th ESO – Friday 18th February

Unit 6:
1st ESO – Friday 11th March
2nd ESO – Thursday 10th March
3rd ESO – Wednesday 2nd March
4th ESO – Friday 11th March



3rd Term
Unit 7:
1st ESO – Wednesday 13th April
2nd ESO – Monday 11th April
3rd ESO – Wednesday 13th April
4th ESO – Monday 11th April

Unit 8:
1st ESO – Friday 20th May
2nd ESO –  Wednesday 18th May
3rd ESO – Wednesday 18th May
4th ESO – Friday 20th May

You will also have irregular verbs exams, but those will be "surprise" tests, so that you study the verbs on a daily, regular basis.

After units 3 and 7 you may also have a REVISION TEST.

During the FIRST WEEK IN MAY students who have failed any subjects from previous schoolyears will have to sit for their REMEDIAL EXAMS.

As a general rule, students will take as many exams as necessary for their best possible progress.

The schedule for FINAL EXAMS will be published later in the schoolyear, but they should take place in June between Monday 13th and Thursday 14th.

Good luck to everyone!

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Lady Gaga: She turns pop music into performance art

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By Cindy Lauper (Grammy Award winning pop singer)



I first heard the name Lady Gaga through a mutual friend. He couldn't stop talking about her. Then I heard her music, and I thought 'Wow, I love this kid.'

An artist's job is totake a snapshot -- be it through words or sound, lyrics or song -- that explains what it's like to be alive at that time. Lady Gaga's art captures the period we're in right now. These days, you go to a cluband wonder who all these kids are. They don't seem to have jobs. How can they afford to be here? Her song "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich" explains that scene. It's about the New York prep-school party kids she grew up with. It's where she came from.

Gaga's lyrics are incredibly literary. When "Bad Romance" starts, the music grabs your ear immediately. Then she opens with the line "I want your ugly / I want your disease," and all of a sudden you're listening. Most of the stuff on the radio is not very clever, but Gaga presents her ideas in a sophisticated manner. She has an incredible pop sensibility.

People forget how young she is. She is barely 24 -- much younger than I was when I became famous. It's very tough being where she is right now. People are pulling her all different directions. It's hard to navigate that. Try to imagine what you were like at her age, if you still can. I can't wait to see how she grows and what she decides her next act will be. She only has two albums out, but already she is inspiring other artists to go furter in their own work.

When I see somebody like Gaga, I sit back in admiration. I'm inspired to pick up the torch again myself. I did an interview with her once, and she showed ujp with a sculpture on her head.  I thought 'How awesome.' Being around her, I felt like the dust was shaken off of me. I find it very comforting to sit next to somebody and not have to worry that I look like the freak. She isn't a pop act, she is a performance artist. She herself is the art. She is the sculpture.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Newsy: Father Threatens School Bus Bullies

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A father is charged with disorderly conduct and disturbing a school function after he allegedly threatened to kill those responsible for bullying his daughter.

An angry father threatens to kill children and a school bus driver after hearing his daughter, who suffers from cerebral palsy, was bullied on the way to school. (ABC)

The father, James Jones, told police boys had placed an open condom on his daughter's head, smacked her, twisted her ear and shouted rude comments at her.

CBS affiliate WFOR talked to one of the kids threatened by Jones. The boy and his mother say his words were hard to hear: “He said that he was going to “f” the bus driver first than he was going to do it to everybody else on the bus. What was your initial reaction? I was pissed, I was upset to the point where I wanted to cry.”

Police arrested Jones on charges of disorderly conduct and disturbing a school function. A writer for the Examiner says she can understand where the angry dad was coming from: “Consider this was your 13 year-old daughter that already is struggling with a handicap she has no control over. Consider she is being bullied, and kids are actually putting condoms on her head as they taunt her? Think of her feelings? Think of her emotions? If a tear doesn't come to your eye, or you don't have any sort of compassion for her, you are most likely in the minority.”

Children and parents tell WKMG bullying has become common on bus rides: “Some kids on there always try to bother with you. Two girls who told her to get out of the seat got in a fight with somebody else today on the bus. No I don’t feel comfortable riding the bus. I don’t want my child to get on a school bus and have to hear words like that.”

A writer from The Stir says there is a lack of communication from schools: “I get where Mr. Jones was coming from. You don't always get a full report from the school (mine came from the mouth of another 5-year-old for cripes' sakes), and all too often there's been no supervisory intervention at all.”

NBC reports a quarter of all public school kids report being bullied weekly, and experts say parents don’t hear about it until it has already happened. 

Children’s Movement of Florida’s David Lawrence tells NBC bullying is on the rise and programs need to be put in place to stop it: “It’s not going away, frankly, it’s escalating. Every school ought to have a anti-bullying program. Bullying in schools. One in three teenagers say it’s happened to them. The difficulty, getting the victims to speak up before it blows up.”

So what do you think, did the father respond irrationally or was he just being a protective father?


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Newsy: Thierry Henry Injures Keeper During Goal Celebration

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MLS soccer player Thierry Henry of the New York Redbulls is at the center of controversy again. His excessive celebration resulted in a sprained MCL for keeper Kevin Hartman of FC Dallas.

“Now look at the left side of your screen, you’ll see Henry try to smash the ball into the back of the net after the goal has been scored. He doesn’t see Hartman reaching for the ball at the same time. Now Henry catches Hartman’s foot twisting up his knee. ... To be fair to be Henry, Nathasha, he sort of does this celebration type thing one in a while, this is just an unfortunate situation." (HLN)

MLS soccer player Thierry Henry of the New York Redbulls is at the center of controversy again. This time for an excessive celebration that resulted in a sprained MCL for keeper Kevin Hartman of FC Dallas. Some are saying that he had every right to celebrate – while others say he took it too far.

We are monitoring reaction from HLN, ESPN, FanHouse, and The Washington Post.

Henry has since apologized and said it was foolish. But on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption Tony Kornheiser says that foolishness warrants a suspension: “As long as that goalie is out, Henry should be suspended for the same amount of time. What is this?”

But on Around the Horn - panelists Bill Plashke and J.A. Adande blame the keeper.

Plashke: “I always say if you don’t want to get kicked in the celebration don’t give up the winning goal. I blame Hartman for giving up the goal in the first place. Well that’s the way it is.”

Adande: “Now Thierry Henry wants to kick the ball so I give him credit. At least he wants to kick the ball. We all remember in that World Cup qualifier he had that handball goal that allowed France to move on. … So at least this time he’s kicking the ball, that’s progress.”

And on FanHouse one writer agrees with Kornheiser and says accident or not – it was a childish act: “It's a silly way to celebrate. It's showboating when you've done nothing. It draws attention to yourself rather than the goal scorer and … It's even dumber when the goalkeeper is standing right behind the ball … another moment of on-field foolishness by Thierry Henry, a 33-year-old World Cup winner who still hasn't grown up.”

And on the Washington Post – Henry’s passion is praised and one contributor on the Washington Post says no way he should be suspended: “For me, intent is an important element in a situation like this. I don't believe Henry -- intended to cause injury. Dumb, yes. But not worthy of a match ban. I'm glad to see Henry is passionate about his team's performance.”

So what do you think? Should Henry be suspended?


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