wyn: (Default)
From the loverly [livejournal.com profile] nalidoll:

Yesterday, I asked people to take a few moments and vote for a school a dear friend of mine works (and struggles) at in order to help it receive a grant, and asked that people pass along the word. You are allowed to vote for the school once a day. I also posted this to facebook. If you can please take a minute to do this.

The school we are talking about is severely underfunded. It is in AZ, which already has education funding Issues, and it is also located in a poverty stricken area right by the border, which is even more neglected and overlooked in regards to the allocation of what funding does exist. The teachers there end up paying out-of-pocket for so much, just to give their kids the basics, while struggling to get by themselves and crossing their fingers that their jobs will not be cut.

One of the areas that schools like this end up falling so far behind in is technology. In spite of the fact that exposure and training from early on is becoming more and more necessary just to assure a fighting chance in the job market, these schools often do not even have the basics AV equipment, much less the newer tools now becoming such a regular part of everyday life in so many ways. These students will be entering a world where technology plays a bigger and bigger role, and they will be doing so way behind their peers, dooming them to a cycle of poverty.

This school is in a district where a large number of the community is not connected online, and where many do not even own a computer. Unlike better-off districts, they do not have the voting support on a local level that others take for granted. Ironically, this means that those areas already at an advantage over this one are more likely to receive additional money. This is not the most fair way to decide things like this, as it turns it into a bit of a popularity contest, with the prize going to the schools best connected and with more support already, rather than to the schools with the greatest need.

By taking a few moments each day to click a couple links, there is a chance here to make a real and immediate difference in what will amount to thousands of lives. We can all go on about the failures in education funding and policy, but this is a chance to help out that costs you nothing but a few moments of your time. Each person gets up to ten votes per day (one vote per school), allowing you to vote for up to ten ideas daily. If you would like to go through the ideas and find one in your area, or support something you feel passionate about as well, you can do that.

An important part of this is spreading the word. I have been disappointed, quite frankly, that nobody has taken a moment to do this. We pass along memes and quizzes and lolcats and and youtube videos and such without thinking. On facebook, we post app requests and links and anything and everything that strikes our fancy, and will copy and paste a status "to raise awareness" of something new every ten seconds. People will spend an inordinate amount of time posting to Twitter everything they do, say listen to, see... as well as commenting on what everyone else does, says, listens to and sees. We're all so incredibly connected and plugged in... and this is a chance to use that to help out those who do not have the luxury of such easy access to the world and to information.

I am flooded, daily, by requests to sign petitions, show support, pass on awareness of so many causes. I see, constantly, pleas for help for this person or that person who is having a hard time/being treated unfairly by life/in a tight spot.
I regularly see requests to give money to help some complete stranger pay for their CAT'S vet bill.

And yet... this would help thousands of students over the next couple of years. It is a direct and immediate difference, which will have a wide-spread benefit for our next generation, which will also affect *us*. It is a chance to do something Good, and it will cost you nothing.

So... please. Click to vote. If you have a Facebook, you can use that to sign in, or you can register in about 30 seconds at the site. They are not asking for your social security number, bank account, keys to your car, or your firstborn. It's a simple registration to help keep track of who has voted already that day. It's a chance to actually do something about a situation we all shake our heads and declare "such a shame". Something needs to be done, and this is one moment when you have to power to actually make it happen.
wyn: (Default)
"People keep saying LJ is dying, one way or the other. Because people who really never wanted to fully blog in the first place are over at Twitter and Facebook now, because LJ is Russian and sucks now, because Dreamwidth is better (ugh), because the sky is blue, because social media moves on.

This hurts me. I've invested almost a decade of my life into the work I've created on this site. I love it here. My friends are here. I met my husband here. I met so many people I love on this site, so much good has come of it. I don't want to be one of the olds that's like IN MY DAY THE INTERNET WAS DOWNHILL BOTH WAYS AND WE ALL GOT FREE ICE CREAM EVERY TIME WE POSTED, but I want Livejournal to survive. I love the community here. It makes me sad when, despite my protestations, I see that skip=100 will show me my entire flist for the last two days, when once it went hundreds of entries deep. That I no longer participate in any communities, really. That so many of my real life friends have just stopped posting entirely. Does LJ screw up as a company? Yes, so do all companies. As MacHeads might say, it's about the people. For everything LJ has done that's dumb, it has given me so much good in my life it beggars the heart to tally up. I don't give a toss about LJ the corporate brand. I care about us, here, our home, our family. I am not too good for my home, like unto a cheeky golf ball.

And I realized the other day that I'm part of the problem. I'm not posting nearly as much as I used to. My shallow observations are over on Twitter, and I'm tired a lot, and I'm just not being a good little blogger. How can I complain that Livejournal isn't what it used to be without, you know, lookin' at the man in the mirror, askin' him to change his ways?

So here's my happyfunstunt. For the next 30 days, I'm going to post a substantive essay-type thing on my LJ. Not a "it's too hot, also knitting" post, but something thoughtful or funny or critical. Substantial. That shouldn't seem as Heruclean as it does right now, but I'm going to do it, as a testament to how much I want to keep on keeping on here, and how much I want you guys to as well. I do think it will be interesting for my own processes as well, and now that I've told you all about it, if I slack, I become a loser. (And yes, the Mac post counts for today.)

Now, that is a lot of essays, so if you have something you specifically want me to post about, personal, professional, or otherwise, let me know in the comments and I'll very likely ramble on about it at leisure.

See you on the flip side. Viva LJ. By which I mean: Viva Us."
-----------------

I really, truly love this idea.

I remember back in the day when LiveJournal was home to me. When I would jump online and see how my friends and online family were doing and could actually read about what was going on in their lives. It was a system of support, and it was honest social networking- not like the one quick blurb every two minutes that sites like twitter and facebook have people so enormously buying into.

I really don't want to hear about how you just shit out a turd that looks like Abraham Lincoln. Nor about how fucked up drunk you got last night to the point you couldn't even remember your own name ("Wooo! Paaaar-taaaay!")

But I do want to hear about your growth as a being on this earth. I want to hear about your hopes and dreams and fears and worries once more. I want to read about what's important to you, campaigns you've signed up for, action you're taking to right different wrongs... I want to hear about you again.

And in return, I promise to write more about me. My dreams, my hopes and fears and aspirations. I don't know if I can actually swing thirty days of serious journal entries right a-going (weekends are kinda difficult what with my work schedule), but I do promise that there will be an influx of meatier posts and topics on here for the next month or so. And maybe after that, it'll stick. I'll try like hell to make it so at any rate.

So there you have it.

Jump on board if you wish. Or stay there and tread water. Whichever works better for you. Me? I know where I want to be and go, so if you decide to join me, I'll see you on the flip-side ;)

Like [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna said: Viva la LJ. Viva us.
wyn: (Default)


While perhaps being considered a "humorous" take on the United States Government, this video is sadly accurate in the government's dealings and outlooks on Society's Debt to the Government- at least in the government's eyes.

What's sadder yet is that while people may laugh and get a chuckle out of the video while saying that it is fairly accurate, they feel no compulsion nor need to change the way the government system works.

What ever happened to the Servant's of Men? The Government of the people, by the people, for the people? What happened to those in power's Duty to Protect, Honor and Care for those underneath them? Without the regular Joe's of society, the government would have no one to govern, yet we're constantly looked upon as being something... unintelligent... plebeian... moronic.

Perhaps we are. But then, this gives me hope that there may be some humans capable of intelligence left in this country, despite the fact that it's still a very slim sense of hope...
wyn: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] fireez should like this one...

From Guardian.co.uk:

A lost world populated by fanged frogs, grunting fish and tiny bear-like creatures has been discovered in a remote volcanic crater on the Pacific island of Papua New Guinea.
'A giant woolly rat never before seen by science' Link to this audio

A team of scientists from Britain, the United States and Papua New Guinea found more than 40 previously unidentified species when they climbed into the kilometre-deep crater of Mount Bosavi and explored a pristine jungle habitat teeming with life that has evolved in isolation since the volcano last erupted 200,000 years ago. In a remarkably rich haul from just five weeks of exploration, the biologists discovered 16 frogs which have never before been recorded by science, at least three new fish, a new bat and a giant rat, which may turn out to be the biggest in the world.

The discoveries are being seen as fresh evidence of the richness of the world's rainforests and the explorers hope their finds will add weight to calls for international action to prevent the demise of similar ecosystems. They said Papua New Guinea's rainforest is currently being destroyed at the rate of 3.5% a year.

"It was mind-blowing to be there and it is clearly time we pulled our finger out and decided these habitats are worth us saving," said Dr George McGavin who headed the expedition.

The team of biologists included experts from Oxford University, the London Zoo and the Smithsonian Institution and are believed to be the first scientists to enter the mountainous Bosavi crater. They were joined by members of the BBC Natural History Unit which filmed the expedition for a three-part documentary which starts tomorrow night.

They found the three-kilometre wide crater populated by spectacular birds of paradise and in the absence of big cats and monkeys, which are found in the remote jungles of the Amazon and Sumatra, the main predators are giant monitor lizards while kangaroos have evolved to live in trees. New species include a camouflaged gecko, a fanged frog and a fish called the Henamo grunter, named because it makes grunting noises from its swim bladder.

"These discoveries are really significant," said Steve Backshall, a climber and naturalist who became so friendly with the never-before seen Bosavi silky cuscus, a marsupial that lives up trees and feeds on fruits and leaves, that it sat on his shoulder.

"The world is getting an awful lot smaller and it is getting very hard to find places that are so far off the beaten track."

Please check out our new environment website.
wyn: (Default)


The truth this guy speaks is not only inspiring, but rare for today's age. His passion and conviction is beautiful for the soul to see, and his honesty hits home with more power than one could believe...

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