:: Should Creole replace French in Haiti’s schools?



Education third worst in the world.
Creole is the mother tongue in Haiti, but children do most of their schooling in French. Two hundred years after Haiti became the world’s first black-led republic, is the use of French holding the nation back?

“The percentage of people who speak French fluently is about 5%, and 100% speak Creole,” says Chris Low.

“So it’s really apartheid through language.”

Ms Low is co-founder of an experimental school, the Matenwa Community Learning Center, which has broken with tradition, and conducts all classes in Creole.

Educating children in French may work for the small elite who are fully bilingual, she argues, but not for the masses.

Most linguists would share her view – that education in vernacular languages is best – says Prof Arthur Spears, a linguist and anthropologist at City University in New York, and an expert on Creole.

“That is what children arrive at school speaking, and it’s obviously going to be better for them to learn in that language,” he says.

Michel DeGraff, a Haitian professor of linguistics based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, describes educating children in a foreign language as “a well-proven recipe for academic failure”



Source: BBC News Read more





:: Earth, Fire, Water & Air






:: Today’s Expert



:: Volcan Arenal, Costa Rica



Volcanoes make awesome photos




:: Pacific island sees first bank robbery

The remote Pacific island of Aitutaki in the Cook Islands has experienced its first ever bank robbery, local officials say.

The robbers, who struck last week, are said to have bagged about NZ$200,000 (£100,500; $166,000) – mostly savings from locals.

Aitutaki, Cool Is.

Police were flown in from the capital, Rarotonga, to probe the theft which shocked islanders, its mayor said.

The perpetrator is not believed to be from the 2,000-strong island.

Source: BBC News Read more.

:: Coolbox ‘car’

An Australian man has been convicted of drink-driving after turning a coolbox into a ‘car’ and taking it for a test drive.Christopher Petrie, 23, bought the parts to transform the cooler on the internet, and assembled it with a friend before taking it for a spin.

He was stopped by police in Noosa, Queensland, and subsequently lost his driving licence for nine months.

Source: BBC News

:: Iron Age road link to Iceni tribe

 A suspected Iron Age road, made of timber and preserved in peat for 2,000 years, has been uncovered by archaeologists in East Anglia.

The site, excavated in June, may have been part of a route across the River Waveney and surrounding wetland at Geldeston in Norfolk, say experts.
Causeways were first found in the area in 2006, during flood defence work at the nearby Suffolk town of Beccles.

It is thought the road is pre-Roman, built by the local Iceni tribe.
Exact dating has yet to be carried out but tree-ring evidence suggests a date of 75BC.

That dates the timber road to more than 100 years before the Roman invasion, which saw the Iceni and their leader Boudicca lead a revolt which threatened to end Roman rule.

Source: BBC News Read more

:: Something Weird for Monday

:: Star Wars coins issued in Niue

Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Yoda are among Star Wars characters who will appear on coins that will be legal tender in the Pacific island of Niue.

A collection of four silver $2 coins costs NZ$469 (£240) while silver-plated $1 coins cost NZ$23.50 (£12) each.

All Niueans are New Zealand citizens and Queen Elizabeth II, who appears on the reverse of coins, is head of state.

Locator map Coin-issuer New Zealand Mint said they were gift products and would not be used “to go buy an ice cream with”.

The first 10 silver-plated Star Wars coins will be available in November with a further 30 to be issued in the future.

A maximum of 50,000 copies of each silver-plated coin will be produced.
No more than 7,500 of each of the silver coins – which contain 1oz of the precious metal – will be produced.

:: Era of the PC ‘coming to a close’

The IBM 5150 set the standard of the pc
PCs are going the way of typewriters, vinyl records and vacuum tubes, one of the engineers who worked on the original machine has said.

The claim was made in a blog post commemorating 30 years since the launch of the first IBM personal computer.

No longer, said Dr Mark Dean, are PCs the leading edge of computing.
No single device has taken the PC’s place, he said, instead it has been replaced by the socially-mediated innovation it has fostered.

While IBM was not the first to produce a personal computer, the launch of the 5150 on 12 August 1981 established standards and a design around which many desktop machines have since been built.

‘Powerful impact’
 
“When I helped design the PC, I didn’t think I’d live long enough to witness its decline,” wrote Dr Dean, an IBM engineer who worked on the development of the 5150 and owns three of the nine patents for it.

He revealed that he had already moved into the post-PC era as his primary computer was now a tablet.

Dr Dean does not deny that PCs will still be “much used” in the future but are no longer the force for innovation they once were.

Instead, he said, it was the interaction they enable that was driving efficiencies in the workplace and changes in society.

“It’s becoming clear that innovation flourishes best not on devices but in the social spaces between them, where people and ideas meet and interact,” he wrote.

He added: “It is there that computing can have the most powerful impact on economy, society and people’s lives.”

Source: BBC News Read more

Remote Brazilian tribe threatened by ‘drug dealers’

A broken arrow believed to belong to the tribe
Guards in the Brazilian jungle protecting a tribe of Indians who have had no contact with the outside world say their guard post has been attacked by armed men.

Brazil’s Indian Affairs Department said a guard post in Acre state had been surrounded by suspected drug dealers.

It said it feared the men wanted to traffic drugs from Peru into Brazil through the area where the tribe lives.
The tribe was first photographed from the air three years ago.

The five people manning the post said they were surrounded.

“They’re coming at us from three sides, we have nowhere to run,” Carlos Lisboa Travassos, the head of the Brazilian government’s Isolated Indians Department, told local media via e-mail.

The post is on the shores of the Xinane river, just 23km (15 miles) from the Peruvian border, but more than 200km from the nearest Brazilian city.
It was set up by Brazil’s Indian Affairs Department (Funai) to protect the tribe of Panoan Indians after they were first filmed from the air in 2008.

Source: BBC News

Some Historic post intros from the original blog…

These stories have been recovered from other internet sources

Teddy Bears

Did you used to have a Teddy Bear?I did, and never thought much about him (apart that he was great to cuddle when I was a kid). Now sixty years later, I am.

How old is Teddy?

Teddy’s origins are an elephant made in 1880.The company was established by seamstress Margarete Steiff in the 19th Century. In 1880, needing a present for a nephew, she found a pattern for a toy elephant and made it from soft felt. Drawn to how soft and cuddly they were, children in the neighbourhood were soon asking for [...]

Giza, Egypt

Nazca – Giza

While I was looking at images for the story last week Do We Have Stargate? I came across this satellite image of Giza.I was immediately struck by a similarity to a place on the other side of the planet…

The famed Nazca lines in Peru. Raised the questions; what’s the connection?

Nazca Plain, Peru

Did the same folks put them there?

Remember, neither of these civilisations even had the wheel. But boy did they know about geometry… or did they? Who showed them? Why?

There’s a whole lot[...]

The famous pyramids at Giza

Do We Have Stargate?

Do we have our own stargate?

Do we indeed?

Has history has proven time and time again, the stories of the future and the genre of science-fiction are not that far removed from the truth.

What is happening?

Something big is going on at Giza, and the internet is on fire with speculation about it.

The internet is abuzz with the news about new findings in the Great Pyramid on Egypt’s Giza Plateau. It has been reported that strange markings have been found inside what many of[...]

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