World Meteorological Day – 23 March 2017 Clouds play a pivotal role in weather forecasts and warnings. They help to drive the water cycle and the entire climate system. Throughout history, they have inspired artists, poets, musicians, photographers and countless other enthusiasts. Understanding Clouds is the theme of World Meteorological Day 2017 to highlight the enormous importance of clouds for weather climate and water. Clouds are central to weather observations and forecasts. Clouds are one of the key uncertainties in the study of climate change:  we need to better understand how clouds affect the climate and how a changing climate will affect clouds. Clouds play a critical role in the water cycle and shaping the global distribution of water resources. ¨ On the lighter side, World Meteorological Day will provide an opportunity to celebrate the inherent beauty and aesthetic appeal of clouds, which has inspired artists, poets, musicians, photographers and countless other enthusiasts throughout history. World Meteorological Day marks the launch of a new edition of the International Cloud Atlas after the most thorough and far-reaching revision in its long and distinguished history.  The new WMO Atlas is a treasure trove of hundreds of images of clouds, including a few newly […] Read more
In this talk from RSA Animate, Sir Ken Robinson lays out the link between 3 troubling trends: rising drop-out rates, schools’ dwindling stake in the arts, and ADHD. An important, timely talk for parents and teachers. This RSA Animate was adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA’s Benjamin Franklin award. The RSA is a 258 year-old charity devoted to driving social progress and spreading world-changing ideas. Follow the RSA on Twitter: Like the RSA on Facebook:… Listen to RSA podcasts: See RSA Events behind the scenes: —— This audio has been edited from the original event by Becca Pyne. Series produced by Abi Stephenson, RSA. Animation by Cognitive Media. Andrew Park, the mastermind behind the Animate series and everyone’s favourite hairy hand, discusses their appeal and success in his blog post, ‘Talk to the hand’: You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this content. Read more
España and Violence Against Women ANGELA LONG observes an unflagging commitment to victims of gender violence in the land of machismo • The United Nations defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.” – Violence Against Women The • Every other night, there it is on Spain’s TV news: ‘mujer asesinada, machista violencia’. Woman killed, machisto violence: there’s no real equivalent of machista/machismo in English, but we all know what it is. Yet something has been lost in the translation to English usage. ‘Machismo’, discovered in the 1960s, was equated with robust masculinity, a hairy chest, muscled arms, the dark hair and glinting eyes of a Latin lover. _ Way too benign. In the heart of Spain, machista indicates hatred, an ancient disgust and cruelty towards women. The figures for women killed by their partners are shocking, around one death a week, both in their cumulative total and in each individual tragedy, as they are recounted heartbreakingly by the news cameras. This year, after not even two months, 16 women […] Read more
  • Free learning from The Open University For more like this subscribe to the Open University channel… Published on YouTube Dec 1, 2015   You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this content. Read more You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this content. Read more
• Tate’s conservation team investigate whether Picasso completed this painting in a day. The back of the canvas of this Picasso painting is inscribed with the words ’Boisgeloup 27 Juillet 1932’ leaving some experts to question whether the painting was completed in a day. In Tate’s conservation lab the team examined the painting and made some interesting discoveries about Picasso’s technique and use of paint. This work itself belongs to the remarkable sequence of portraits that Picasso made of Marie-Thérèse Walter at his country property at Boisgeloup. Marie-Thérèse is presented here – as in most of her portraits – as a series of sensuous curves. Even the scrolling arms of the chair have been heightened and exaggerated to echo the rounded forms of her body. The face is a double or metamorphic image: the right side can also be seen as the face of a lover in profile, kissing her on the lips. Subscribe for weekly films: Published on YouTube Feb 3, 2017 You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this content. Read more
• Sometimes it’s easier to start your own country than to change the one you’re in. According to the internationally recognized law of terra nullius (“nobody’s land”), if no one has a claim on land, anyone at all can claim it as their own. Or at least they can try. This is how Czech politician and activist Vít Jedlička founded Liberland, a sliver of land along the Danube River between Croatia and Serbia that went unclaimed after Yugoslavia was dissolved in the 1990s. Essentially, Jedlička called terra nullius and declared the land to be Liberland, a Libertarian utopia in the heart of Eastern Europe. Although Serbia seems okay with the idea, Croatia has been less receptive. It’s been arresting wannabe Liberlandians for trespassing — including Jedlička. But that hasn’t stopped him from pursuing recognition for his country. One year after planting the flag, Vit has called together a conference to mark the first anniversary of Liberland. But best laid plans fall apart when Vit tries to attend.   You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this content. Read more
It can feel impossible to move toward your dreams. You know exactly what you want to do, but there are endless obstacles in your way. • How to Become the Best in the World at What You Do It can feel impossible to move toward your dreams. You know exactly what you want to do, but there are endless obstacles in your way. There is so much competition — thousands or millions of people competing to do exactly what you want to do. How do you get out of the rat race? How do you advance quick enough to not have your dreams smashed into submission by society and imploded by “reality”? How do you make the needed leaps to move beyond the masses vying for a similar position? After all, you have bills to pay and tons of other responsibilities. You only have a limited amount of time each day. After work and everything else you’ve got going on, it’s easy to justify waiting until tomorrow. Even if you have the raw energy to do your work, you may feel guilty breaking from your relational obligations. It truly can feel hopeless and overwhelming. There’s so much to learn. It can be easy […] Read more
Published on YouTube Jul 19, 2016 • What makes you, you? Psychologists like to talk about our traits, or defined characteristics that make us who we are. But Brian Little is more interested in moments when we transcend those traits — sometimes because our culture demands it of us, and sometimes because we demand it of ourselves. Join Little as he dissects the surprising differences between introverts and extroverts and explains why your personality may be more malleable than you think. TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more. Find closed captions and translated subtitles in many languages at Follow TED news on Twitter: Like TED on Facebook: Subscribe to our channel:…     You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this content. Read more
A fresco inside the catacomb of Priscilla in Rome, November 2013. The catacomb was used for Christian burials from the late 2nd through the 4th century CE. Photo by Reuters/Max Rossi Christians were strangers The Roman empire became Christian during the fifth century CE. At the century’s start, Christians were – at most – a substantial minority of the population. By its end, Christians (or nominal Christians) indisputably constituted a majority in the empire. Tellingly, at the beginning of the century, the imperial government launched the only sustained and concerted effort to suppress Christianity in ancient history – and yet by the century’s end, the emperors themselves were Christians, Christianity enjoyed exclusive support from the state and was, in principle, the only religion the state permitted. Apart from the small and ethnically circumscribed exception of the Jews, the ancient world had never known an exclusivist faith, so the rapid success of early Christianity is a historical anomaly. Moreover, because some form of Christianity is a foundational part of so many peoples’ lives and identities, the Christianisation of the Roman empire feels perennially relevant – something that is ‘about us’ in a way a lot of ancient history simply is not. Of […] Read more
Are you interested in writing or contributing to Sparky, or writing blog posts or articles for any online publication or platform? Here is a quick guide with hints and tips for producing good copy that caters for the short attention span of most online viewers. • Your Quick Guide to Writing for Sparky … and beyond. One thing the internet has taught us about is the human desire to publish. A big percentage of us want to broadcast our thoughts, to see our activities and opinions right out there: published and public. To me as a media professional, a “legacy” newspaperwoman, this was one of the surprises of the digital revolution. Back in the day, in the news offices, we were rather proud of ourselves as the keeper of the flame, not only of news but of putting ourselves out there to tell it. Guess what – everyone (more or less) wanted to do it, and once the tools were universally available, a lot of that “everyone” did. But – if you aren’t content just with your own twitter feed or blog, maybe a few hundred followers, and would like to be published on an established platform with a regular big audience, there […] Read more
  • Scientists Put On Lockdown Under Trump Published on YouTube – Jan 24, 2017 Trump doesn’t want government scientists talking to the public. Facts can be annoying when you’re trying to pillage the country. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, discuss. Tell us what you think in the comment section below. “The US Department of Agriculture has banned scientists and other employees in its main research division from publicly sharing everything from the summaries of scientific papers to USDA-branded tweets as it starts to adjust to life under the Trump administration, BuzzFeed News has learned. According to an email sent Monday morning and obtained by BuzzFeed News, the department told staff — including some 2,000 scientists — at the agency’s main in-house research arm, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), to stop communicating with the public about taxpayer-funded work. “Starting immediately and until further notice, ARS will not release any public-facing documents,” Sharon Drumm, chief of staff for ARS, wrote in a department-wide email shared with BuzzFeed News. “This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content,” she added. Indeed, the last tweet from ARS’s official account […] Read more

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