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The Faculty Funding Robotics Lessons by Promoting Its Personal Photo voltaic Power

Three nice tales we discovered on the web this week.

Photo voltaic system

A faculty in Makthar, Tunisia is incomes excessive marks for utilizing photo voltaic vitality to gentle and warmth its lecture rooms –– and, within the course of, earn some extra cash on the facet. 

Makthar school solar energy reading
A digital show on the Makthar faculty exhibits the day by day photo voltaic vitality consumption. Credit score: Wallah We Can

With an funding of about $32,250, the varsity’s photo voltaic panels produce 4 instances the facility the campus wants, permitting it to present the surplus vitality away to different faculties close by. It sells the remaining to the nationwide grid and makes use of the earnings to improve its teaching programs. Now, in a rustic the place most colleges battle to pay for fundamental schooling, Makthar has cash for golf equipment and lessons in entrepreneurship, robotics, net design and renewable vitality. “I train them how photo voltaic panels can be utilized for heating and gas on farms,” one instructor says. “They’re additionally being taught the best way to do upkeep on such photo voltaic programs.” 

Read more at Context

Child steps 

The UK has a few of the highest childcare prices on this planet, however some British dad and mom will quickly get a break. The federal government is rising funds for state-run nurseries, permitting them to supply 30 hours of free childcare per week for folks with youngsters between 9 months and 5 years previous. 

On common, a pair with two younger youngsters within the UK spends about 30 % of their revenue on childcare. In response to one childcare supplier group, the promised $350 million isn’t sufficient to deal with rising prices for nurseries. However the authorities believes the transfer will deliver 60,000 adults into the workforce over the following 5 years.

“I don’t need any dad or mum with a baby beneath 5 to be prevented from working, in the event that they wish to, as a result of it’s damaging to our financial system and unfair, primarily to girls,” Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt stated. 

Read more at Reuters

Wind funnel

US capability to generate clear electrical energy from photo voltaic and wind continued to develop in 2022 — at a tempo that researchers say retains the nation on monitor to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Texas Wind
West Texas wind generators. Credit score: Daxis / Flickr

Iowa, Oklahoma and Texas have been the leaders in wind energy technology. Even because it continues to pump oil, the Lone Star State nabs the top spot when it comes to spinning generators. The state is presently able to producing sufficient wind energy to maintain 12.2 million properties working. 

There’s nonetheless a lot work to be accomplished to harness all that energy, particularly with regard to electrical grid enchancment. However throughout the nation, there’s now sufficient wind energy technology to handle the vitality wants of one-third of all households.

Read more at Quartz

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1000’s of Native Vegetation Stay Unphotographed, However You Can Assist Fill the Gaps for Scientists

Thomas Mesaglio – UNSW

Scientists have documented plant species for hundreds of years to assist us perceive and preserve the unbelievable range of flora in our world. However in line with new analysis, many have by no means truly been photographed of their pure habitats—and Australian researchers say this can be a drawback.

A staff from UNSW Sydney and the Australian Institute of Botanical Science surveyed 33 main on-line databases of plant pictures to look at the photographic document of plant species Down Below. The findings revealed that out of 21,077 native Australian vascular plant species, nearly 20 % lack a verifiable {photograph}.

Lead writer of the study published in New Phytologist, UNSW Science PhD pupil Thomas Mesaglio, was shocked.

“It was stunning to see what number of plant species had simply line drawings, illustrations, work, and even no media in any respect.”

Dr. Hervé Sauquet, co-author of the research and Senior Analysis Scientist on the Institute based mostly on the Nationwide Herbarium of New South Wales, was additionally stunned.

“Even on this digital age the place most herbarium specimens have been scanned and are accessible on the internet, pictures of reside vegetation within the wild stay in crucial want.”

Senior writer of the research from UNSW, Professor Will Cornwell, says a scarcity of detailed pictures can have actual penalties. Many plant species which might be tough to establish within the wild might go extinct if scientists can not correctly establish them with the assistance of pictures.

“We had assumed each plant species would have merely been photographed by somebody, someplace, all through historical past. Nevertheless it seems this isn’t the case.”

“That is the place citizen scientists can are available in and assist us fill this hole with their pictures,” he said.

Gaps within the photographic document

Pictures may also help botanists and taxonomists who work with plant specimens by preserving traits like flower colour that get misplaced over time in lab samples contained in collections. They’ll additionally present further options, such because the orientation of leaves or bark look, and add ecological context by, maybe, hinting at co-beneficial relationships with surrounding vegetation.

LOOK: Otherworldly Scenes Show Plants Breathing in Close-Up Detail: A Long Sought Discovery

“Having a complete photographic set helps us to be assured in our identifications,” stated Mesaglio. “Significantly when it’s virtually difficult to gather and protect your complete plant, pictures complement the bodily voucher by displaying the soil kind, the habitat it’s rising in, and different species rising alongside it.”

The primary recognized area photograph of Olearia eremaea was taken final 12 months in Western Australia – Credit score: Thomas Mesaglio / UNSW

Nevertheless it seems, not all plant teams are photographed equally. Simply as some animals obtain much less consideration than others, there may also be a bias towards much less charismatic vegetation.

The research discovered probably the most properly–photographed plant teams are usually shrubs or timber with extra noticeable or spectacular options, comparable to colourful flowers. Banksia, for instance, is one in every of solely two Australian plant genera with greater than 40 species to have an entire photographic document. In the meantime, the household with probably the most vital photograph deficit was Poaceae – generally often known as grasses – with a whopping 343 unphotographed species.

Geography additionally affected the photographic document. Whereas most species throughout the south-eastern states of Australia have complete information, Western Australia had the most important void, with 52 % of all unphotographed species discovered there.

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“The first ‘hotspots’ for unphotographed Australian vegetation are areas with excessive plant range, however the environments are rugged and infrequently tough to entry, notably by street,” Mesaglio says. “Nevertheless it means there’s an thrilling alternative to go to these places as a result of we would seize one thing that has by no means earlier than been photographed.”

Activate your snapping

As a result of digital pictures is so accessible now, anybody also can assist make a significant contribution to science by utilizing the digicam of their pocket.

Amaranthus tricolor – Amaranthaceae household, by Kurt Stüber, CC license

Utilizing an online platform like iNaturalist, eager citizen scientists can have their snaps recognized by specialists and share the information with aggregators just like the Atlas of Living Australia and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility for use in analysis and conservation.

“Since April final 12 months, we’ve recognized almost 10 % of these beforehand unphotographed species, due to members of the general public importing their pictures and specialists who’ve kindly recognized them,” says Mesaglio. “There may very well be many extra in private collections or behind paywalls simply ready to be shared.”

“We additionally suspect extra pictures exist, however they’re hidden away on social media or behind scientific paywalls that aren’t accessible, discoverable, or searchable,” added Mesaglio, who, alongside along with his staff, is looking for all new species descriptions to be printed as Open Entry in searchable databases with Artistic Commons licensing to maximise their utilization.

CHECK OUT: This Lost Roman Era ‘Miracle Plant’ May Have Been Rediscovered

“Of the species with pictures, many have a single photograph. We not solely wish to seize these unrepresented species but additionally proceed constructing the photographic document for all species. Doing so will assist us establish, monitor, and preserve our native species for generations to come back.”

“Individuals can have interaction with, sympathies with, and get way more enthusiastic about vegetation with pictures, which is significant when our pure environments are extra in danger than ever.”

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What went proper this week: how the world obtained kinder, and extra excellent news

There was a world ‘surge in benevolence’ – report

Regardless of claiming thousands and thousands of lives, inflicting financial turmoil and prompting restrictive lockdowns, the pandemic has triggered ‘a surge in benevolence’, based on the most recent World Happiness Report.

It means that regardless of the hardships introduced on by Covid, world happiness ranges have remained resilient, with altruism rising.

“For a second yr, we see that numerous types of on a regular basis kindness, corresponding to serving to a stranger, donating to charity, and volunteering are above pre-pandemic ranges,” famous Prof Lara Aknin, director of the Happiness Lab at Simon Fraser College in Vancouver, Canada. 

Measuring world happiness is a notoriously tough enterprise as individuals have completely different definitions of what makes them completely happy. Researchers interviewed tens of hundreds of individuals and tried to establish what contributes to their satisfaction. They discovered that social help, wholesome life expectancy, the economic system, freedom to make life decisions and freedom from corruption had been the primary drivers of happiness.

This yr’s version as soon as once more ranked Finland the world’s happiest nation, adopted by Denmark and Iceland. It’s the fourth consecutive yr through which the UK has dropped down the table. It now stands nineteenth. 

Picture: Andrea Tummons

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A “Soulful 2022” Assortment (LISTEN) – Good Black Information

by Marlon West (FB: marlon.west1 Twitter: @marlonw IG: stlmarlonwest Spotify: marlonwest)

I do hope 2023 has been treating properly, up to now. I’d wish to take a this month of the 12 months to look again on nice releases of 2022.

Open in Spotify

The primary observe by Little Simz dropped within the final weeks of December. And this British Nigerian artist kicks off the actually worldwide musical journey.

Nigeria’s Burna Boy units up a string of American artists together with Compton’s personal Steve Lacy and Kendrick Lamar. The playlist options large names like Beyoncé, Lizzo, Drake, Black Thought & Hazard Mouse, although this assortment can also be heavy on comparative newcomers together with Yaya Bey, Amber Mark, Koffee, and Jensen McRae.

Right here is one of the best of hip-hop, R&B, Jazz, Afrobeat, Reggae and way more in over 5 freewheeling hours of music that options established favorites and positively a couple of new surprises.

Hope you get pleasure from this assortment of excellent music. See ya subsequent month. And till such time, keep secure, sane, and sort.

Marlon West (photograph courtesy Marlon West)

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Drag Bans Are Rooted in Conservative Tradition Wars

Drag bans just like the one handed in Tennessee depend on fearmongering tropes about “defending kids” and “conventional values.”

Tennessee just lately passed legislation that bans drag from being carried out in public areas, in addition to within the view of youngsters. Though Tennessee is the primary state to enact such a ban, it’s unlikely to be the final, as others with conservative legislatures are currently considering similar action. Some states proposing bans have explicitly targeted Drag Story Hour, which entails drag performers studying books to kids in public areas, resembling libraries.

So why does the American public immediately have to be shielded from drag?

The reply to this query has deep roots in trendy U.S. historical past.

Tennessee’s ban on drag just isn’t an remoted occasion. Moderately, it’s only the newest volley within the broader tradition struggle between American conservatives and progressives to outline the values of the nation.

A Century-Lengthy Struggle

In 1991, sociologist James Davison Hunter alerted People that the nation was within the midst of a perpetual tradition struggle that might “proceed to have reverberations not solely inside public coverage however throughout the lives of strange People all over the place.”

Examples of early tradition struggle battles embody the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, by which a Tennessee highschool science instructor was prosecuted for violating anti-evolution legal guidelines, and the 1962 Supreme Court ruling that deemed school-sponsored prayer unconstitutional.

Tradition struggle battle got here to a head within the Nineteen Eighties and Nineteen Nineties, with Senate hearings over the perceived risks of heavy metal music and obscenity in rap music.

Social scientists largely thought the tradition wars had receded on the flip of the twenty first century. Then, former President Donald Trump’s battle cry to “Make America Nice Once more” rallied troops again into motion.

As Hunter famous in his monumental tome, tradition struggle disputes normally intensify throughout instances of upheaval, resembling adjustments within the nation’s demographics and shifts within the distribution of political energy. These shifts lead folks to surprise precisely whose values, languages, religions, and alternatives are revered or promoted by the federal government, legislation, and widespread tradition.

Not surprisingly, cultural battle tends to emerge inside establishments which have sensible implications for People’ lives: household, public faculties, widespread media, public artwork, and legislation.

Ripe Circumstances for a New Battle

The primary Drag Story Hour took place in 2015. It was organized by creator and queer activist Michelle Tea and the San Francisco-based literacy nonprofit RADAR Productions. The official mission of Drag Story Hour is to have fun “studying by means of the glamorous artwork of drag” and create “numerous, accessible, and culturally-inclusive household programming the place children can categorical their genuine selves.”

As a result of these performances happen in public areas and in entrance of youngsters, they stumble on a few essential tradition struggle triggers.

First, public performances can spark cultural battle as a result of they’ll signify precisely whose values are prioritized over others. Second, artwork and performances that attain audiences of youngsters are sometimes perceived as a risk to the household as an establishment.

For instance, within the Nineteen Eighties, some activists and politicians seen profane music as a risk to the household. This led to the introduction of parental advisory labels to determine music deemed inappropriate for youngsters.

“When Librarians Had been Good Christian Girls”

As social scientists who examine gender and tradition, we just lately analyzed reactions to Drag Story Hour that have been posted on social media boards.

In our evaluation, we discovered that many grievances centered on establishments and values essential to the tradition wars.

We discovered that conservatives reminisced a few time when their values have been dominant in American society and rehashed previous tradition struggle narratives about “threatened children.”

They particularly expressed nostalgia for a time when American tradition was anchored by conservative values, and progressive views existed on the periphery of public life. As one discussion board member lamented, “After I was a child, the librarians have been good Christian women and there was an American flag exterior. My present public library [has] scary ranges of liberal posters and talks.”

Some conservatives additionally used rhetoric harking back to the “Satanic Panic” of the Nineteen Eighties and Nineteen Nineties by claiming that drag performers have been satanic pedophiles who sought to recruit, groom, and sexually abuse kids. Others argued that folks who take their kids to Drag Story Hour must be jailed or lose their parental rights.

The Security of Youngsters as Political Fodder

In our view, it’s no accident that Tennessee’s ban on drag particularly targets drag carried out in entrance of youngsters.

Emphasizing threats to kids is a well-established technique for conveying the decline of American tradition and values. As sociologists Joel Greatest and Kathleen Bogle have famous, adults usually project their anxieties and fears regarding a perceived disintegration of conventional norms onto youthful generations, whom they imagine have to be shielded.

Within the Nineteen Seventies, anti-gay activist Anita Bryant launched her “Save Our Youngsters” marketing campaign. Claiming that gays and lesbians have been “recruiting kids” to their trigger, she successfully pressed voters to oppose anti-discrimination statutes.

And within the Nineteen Eighties, fears over changing family structures, resembling rising divorce charges and an inflow of working moms, fueled an ethical panic that day care staffers were ritualistically abusing children.

Nearly half a century later, fears relating to developments in LGBTQ+ rights have produced legislation restricting discussions of gender identity in faculties and stoked claims that drag performers are satanists who terrorize kids.

The deployment of those well-worn narratives is unlikely to finish with laws like Tennessee’s drag ban. Moderately, it would proceed so long as conservatives and progressives battle to outline American values.

This text is republished from The Conversation underneath a Artistic Commons license. Learn the original article.

The Conversation


Heather Hensman Kettrey
is an assistant professor of sociology at Clemson College, and a analysis affiliate on the Peabody Analysis Institute at Vanderbilt College. Her analysis pursuits embody gender and sexuality, media and social issues, collective habits and social actions, violence in opposition to girls, household violence, and intimate relationships in adolescence and rising maturity.
Alyssa J. Davis
obtained her B.A. in Psychology from Clemson College in 2020, and her M.A. in Social Sciences from Clemson College in 2022. Her analysis pursuits embody gender, sexuality, masculinity, sexual assault, and on-line social actions. Her grasp’s thesis targeted on analyzing an internet, predominately male, hate group and their constructions of masculinity and masculine energy. Further tasks Alyssa has been on have analyzed Reddit feedback in response to Drag Queen Story Hour, evaluated of the effectiveness of SAMFEs in sexual assault trigger outcomes, and studied constructions of sexual consent on-line.

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How Washington State Redefined ‘Homeless’

This story about student homelessness was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, impartial information group centered on inequality and innovation in schooling. Join the Hechinger newsletter.

When her invoice for overdue hire topped 5 digits, Resly Suka determined it was time to inform her children they may lose their residence.

A bout with Covid in late 2020 had pressured Suka, a single mom of seven, to take break day from her job as a house hospice caregiver. That triggered a collection of economic setbacks and, by October 2021, she owed greater than $10,000 in again hire. Washington state’s eviction moratorium was set to run out the subsequent month.

Suka feared what a notice-to-vacate would imply for her kids. Her two youngest, each attending Vancouver’s Washington Elementary College, had struggled with distant studying and nonetheless lagged their friends in primary math and studying. Her older children beloved their highschool sports activities groups and she or he couldn’t think about uprooting them.

“‘Oh no, Mother. Please don’t make us go to a different faculty. We like our trainer. We love our college,’” mentioned Suka, recalling the dialog. “All I used to be considering: ‘That’s true.’”

After her main employer reduce her hours — and her medical health insurance — Suka ended up within the emergency room for a coronary heart assault. As she started to get better, Suka began making calls from her hospital mattress to a neighborhood housing hotline in search of help. She by no means bought a reply.

Then a cousin recommended she name her children’ faculty. A lady she’d by no means met requested a number of questions on Suka’s residing scenario and recommended she might get assist together with her utility invoice. Inside an hour, the girl known as again and shared information of a second examine — to cowl as much as $11,000 in overdue hire.

The help got here due to a Washington state program — one of many first of its kind within the nation — that goals to assist kids who aren’t thought-about homeless, and unqualified for assist, below a strict federal definition.

An emergency household shelter in Vancouver, Wash., which may accommodate 86 individuals in a metropolis with slightly below 100 emergency beds obtainable for households. Vancouver Public Colleges recognized 743 college students as homeless this yr. Credit score: Neal Morton / The Hechinger Report

In response to rising numbers of homeless youth right here, state legislators handed a invoice in 2016 that freed up cash to allow colleges to determine extra college students as homeless and get them into steady housing — even when they aren’t seen as homeless by the federal Division of Housing and City Growth.

In different components of the nation, although, the image for homeless college students is starkly completely different. Public colleges recognized 1.1 million kids as homeless in 2020-21, the newest faculty yr for which information was obtainable. However roughly 85 p.c of those kids didn’t qualify for public housing help. Whereas the federal Division of Training considers children homeless if they’re residing in motels or doubled up with different individuals, HUD, which controls the purse strings for federal housing support, requires that recipients dwell in shelters or on the road. That forces mother and father to maneuver their households into vehicles or danger extra harmful residing conditions earlier than they’re eligible for support.

For years, advocates for homeless youth have tried to persuade HUD and lawmakers to broaden the company’s definition to incorporate anybody who can’t afford to place a roof over their kids’s heads. Analysis continues to point out the dangerous impression of housing instability on children’ studying: Every time college students change colleges, for instance, they’re extra more likely to fall behind academically and fewer more likely to graduate.

Homeless youth advocates succeeded in getting a bill to change the law’s language earlier than Congress final yr, however the laws by no means bought a listening to. They usually should restart the legislative course of with this yr’s new congressional time period.

“We do nothing to stop the ‘hidden homeless,’” mentioned Darla Bardine, govt director of the National Network for Youth, a nonprofit that works to finish youth homelessness. “It’s important to sleep on the road for 14 days — you must put your self in peril for 2 weeks — earlier than you’re eligible” for federal support, she added. “That’s truly mandating long-term struggling earlier than you prolong a serving to hand.”

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A spokesperson for HUD mentioned the company doesn’t assist a broader definition to find out who’s eligible for housing support, which the official described as “packages of final resort.” He mentioned the regulation obligating colleges to determine homeless children was designed to assist kids who wanted extra stability at college, not who essentially want quick assist to discover a residence.

“Our focused homeless packages are grant funds, topic to annual appropriations from Congress. It’s not an entitlement program,” mentioned the spokesperson, who spoke on the situation of anonymity.

The nation’s patchwork of options to homelessness dates to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Help Act of 1987, Congress’s first vital response to the issue. However past declaring that homeless kids ought to have entry to the identical public schooling as different children, the McKinney-Vento Act contained few protections for elementary and secondary college students experiencing homelessness.

The regulation has since been amended a number of occasions; faculty districts now should determine and enroll any pupil experiencing homelessness. The schooling provisions of the regulation’s definition of homeless — “people who lack a set, common and sufficient nighttime residence” — encompasses unaccompanied and unsheltered youth, college students in homeless shelters, children residing at a resort or motel and kids staying with mates or household on account of financial hardship or comparable causes.

At Washington Elementary College, 16 college students have been recognized as homeless in 2021-22. As of October 2021, the district as a complete counted practically 750 homeless college students. Credit score: Neal Morton / The Hechinger Report

As soon as a college identifies a pupil as homeless, the federal authorities requires districts to pay to move the coed to their most well-liked faculty, no matter value or distance. Districts can also compete for federal funds — about $80 per homeless student — to cowl the price of garments, prescription glasses and different faculty provides, though funding is scant and solely a fraction of districts obtain the help.

Federal regulation prohibits colleges from spending any of that cash on housing. As a substitute, educators direct households to native housing suppliers, which regularly rely completely on HUD funding and have few or no sources for college kids the company doesn’t think about homeless.

The discrepancy in defining homelessness can go away households, educators and housing suppliers with few satisfying, or protected, choices. A shelter supervisor in Bozeman, Montana — the place a inhabitants increase has priced many locals out of housing — lied on a housing utility so a younger mom of three who’d spent her tax refund on a resort room wouldn’t have to maneuver her household into their automotive. In Vancouver,a shelter supplier needed to inform callers to its housing hotline that they may have to remain of their automotive for 2 weeks earlier than they might get assist.

Households “must get into extra determined conditions as a way to qualify for providers,” mentioned Vivian Rogers Decker, who manages the homeless pupil stability program for Washington state’s schooling division. “They gained’t have the ability to simply get it whereas doubled up. They must progress into the automotive and onto the streets or have one evening of what others would possibly name ‘literal homeless’ as a way to get these providers.”

One motive the necessities haven’t modified is opposition from some nationwide homeless organizations. The Nationwide Alliance to Finish Homelessness, an influential Washington, D.C., nonprofit, has lobbied since no less than 2015 towards increasing HUD’s definition, arguing it will additional pressure the nation’s system of housing suppliers, which already battle to serve the hundreds of thousands who rely as “literal” homeless.

“That may add hundreds of thousands of households with no further funding,” mentioned Steve Berg, the group’s vp for packages and coverage. “It form of calls on the homeless packages to have extra individuals eligible with out with the ability to assist them. It simply means saying no to much more individuals.”

Except the federal government allocates extra funding for homeless support, Berg added, the elevated competitors for already restricted providers might go away chronically homeless people with out assist.

“Folks in additional steady conditions have a better time getting assist,” he mentioned. “They will preserve appointments. They will get to them. So, it’s not simply saying no extra typically. I’m afraid it will imply individuals who need assistance essentially the most can be squeezed out.”

And a few educators fear about additional extending the function of colleges to incorporate housing navigator. Many districts are already struggling to adjust to the federal mandate to make use of a homeless liaison, and that responsibility is commonly given to highschool or district directors who don’t have time for it. Mike Carr, a retiring liaison within the Washington County College District in southern Utah, mentioned it’s arduous to not fear at evening about all of the households he can’t assist. “Each emergency can not all the time be my emergency,” he mentioned.

Related debates performed out in Washington state in 2016, when the invoice to assist alleviate pupil homelessness was earlier than the state legislature. Lawmakers questioned whether or not it made sense to spend public {dollars} on children who might end their homework at a buddy’s kitchen desk or in a resort foyer, fairly than on kids residing in a homeless shelter or on the road.

However analysis suggests any housing instability — whether or not meaning sleeping in a tent or a cousin’s basement — harms the flexibility of younger individuals to study. No matter how and the place homeless college students discover a place to sleep every evening, their tutorial efficiency suffers equally, based on a 2019 evaluation of state schooling information by the homeless advocacy group Building Changes. The Seattle-based group discovered college students experiencing any type of homelessness posted decrease charges of attendance, commencement and tutorial proficiency. Low-income housed college students, in the meantime, carried out a lot better.

“Homeless is homeless is homeless,” mentioned Liza Burrell, managing director of packages for Constructing Adjustments. “These definitions don’t matter. In terms of tutorial outcomes, any instability takes up a lot of our younger peoples’ mind vitality. That doesn’t create an incredible second for studying.”

That message resonated with state lawmakers, and the 2016 bill passed with bipartisan majorities in each chambers. This system financially incentivizes housing suppliers and college districts to companion on homeless prevention. College districts additionally obtain state grants to spice up what little, if any, cash they get from the federal authorities to search out and assist unhoused children. Funding for housing suppliers, in the meantime, can cowl rental help, emergency shelter, case administration and other services for all college students recognized as homeless — together with those that dwell in motels or couch-surf.

Early findings recommend this system has supplied stability to some households and college students, though it’s not a panacea. In accordance with a Constructing Adjustments analysis for the state, two-thirds of households that participated in this system in 2020 and 2021 stayed in or secured everlasting housing, whereas 1 / 4 ended up in much less steady conditions, reminiscent of shelters. Housing suppliers primarily used the grant cash they obtained — roughly $460,000, mixed — to assist households cowl overdue hire, landlord charges and different types of rental help or move-in prices like safety deposits and utility charges.

In Vancouver, the homeless pupil stability program lined the whole lot of Resly Suka’s overdue hire. Her children didn’t must relocate throughout town — or throughout state traces, a standard transfer alongside the Columbia River right here — and had the prospect to remain of their colleges.

“It’s arduous on homeless children,” mentioned Suka. “However no less than we will help them deal with faculty if they’ve a spot to remain.”

When Suka took her cousin’s recommendation to name her children’ faculty for assist, Elizabeth Owen picked up the telephone. Owen works because the neighborhood useful resource coordinator at Washington Elementary, serving to households navigate providers, like housing support. The varsity recognized 16 college students as homeless — out of a complete enrollment of 250 — throughout an annual rely for the 2021-22 faculty yr. The district as a complete counted practically 750 homeless college students, up from about 620 college students in the course of the 2020-21 faculty yr.

Owen has the native housing suppliers on pace dial: She is aware of which obtain the state grants that may truly assist these households. If circumstances pressured her households into neighboring Oregon, it’s a bet whether or not Owen’s counterparts at school districts there could have the identical potential to assist.

“We dwell in a system that’s extraordinarily arduous — it was set as much as be tough,” she tells mother and father and guardians. “However we’ll determine this out.”

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17-12 months-old Wins $150,000 in Science Expertise Seek for Exceptional Approach to Diagnose Pediatric Coronary heart Illness

Ellen Xu – Society for Science

Within the oldest and most prestigious younger grownup science competitors within the nation, 17-year-old Ellen Xu used a form of AI to design the primary analysis take a look at for a uncommon illness that struck her sister years in the past.

With a private story driving her on, she managed an 85% price of constructive diagnoses with solely a smartphone picture, successful her $150,000 grand for a third-place finish.

Kawasaki illness has no current take a look at technique, and depends on a doctor’s years of coaching, skill to do analysis, and a little bit of luck.

Signs are typically fever-like and due to this fact generalized throughout many various situations. Ultimately if undiagnosed, youngsters can develop long-term coronary heart issues, equivalent to the sort that Ellen’s sister was fortunately spared from because of fast analysis.

Xu determined to see if there have been a technique to design a diagnostic take a look at utilizing deep studying for her Regeneron Science Expertise Search drugs and well being undertaking. Organized since 1942, yearly 1,900 children contribute adventures.

She designed what is called a convolutional neural community, which is a type of deep-learning algorithm that mimics how our eyes work, and programmed it to research smartphone photos for potential Kawasaki illness.

2023 Regeneron Science expertise search winners – credit score Society For Science

Nonetheless, like our personal eyes, a convolutional neural community wants a large quantity of information to have the ability to successfully and shortly course of photos in opposition to references.

MORE LIFESAVING TESTS: The First African-Produced Tests to Diagnose Cancer will Cut Costs and Waiting Times Across the Continent

For that reason, Xu turned to crowdsourcing photos of Kawasaki’s illness and its lookalike situations from medical databases world wide, hoping to assemble sufficient to provide the neural community a excessive success price.

Xu has demonstrated an 85% specificity in figuring out between Kawasaki and non-Kawasaki signs in youngsters with only a smartphone picture, an indication that noticed her take a look at technique take third place and a $150,000 reward on the Science Expertise Search.

WATCH the massive winner clarify her invention…

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These are the world’s happiest international locations, in line with new analysis

Amid different insights, the most recent World Happiness Report reveals probably the most glad international locations on Earth. How did yours rank?

And the happiest nation on Earth is… Finland. Once more. For the sixth consecutive 12 months the contented Scandinavian nation has topped the World Happiness Report, printed this week. 

It’d sound a bit fluffy to some, however the annual research has change into an essential barometer for measuring international happiness. Conducting interviews with greater than 100,000 folks from 137 international locations, the teachers behind it use the outcomes to influence policymakers to place better emphasis on happiness.

The newest version of the report comes on the tail finish of the pandemic. Regardless of the hardship introduced on by Covid, to not point out overlapping crises such because the struggle in Ukraine and the local weather emergency, knowledge means that international happiness ranges have remained resilient. 

“Common happiness and our nation rankings, for feelings in addition to life evaluations, have been remarkably steady in the course of the Covid years,” stated the report’s editor, Prof John Helliwell, of the College of British Columbia, Canada. 

What’s extra, the research means that acts of human kindness have elevated globally because the pandemic, which chimes with anecdotal proof of communities coming collectively throughout lockdown, when neighbours shopped for one another and shared do-it-yourself bread over the backyard fence.

“For a second 12 months, we see that numerous types of on a regular basis kindness, comparable to serving to a stranger, donating to charity, and volunteering are above pre-pandemic ranges,” stated Lara Aknin, director of the Happiness Lab at Simon Fraser College in Vancouver, Canada. “Acts of kindness have been proven to each result in and stem from better happiness.”

Happiest countries

The highest of the desk was dominated by Scandinavian international locations, together with Denmark. Picture: Explorer Bob

The highest tier of the happiness desk is as soon as once more dominated by developed nations, notably Scandinavian international locations. Denmark and Iceland had been ranked second and third respectively, behind Finland. The UK nearly made the highest 20, however slipped down the desk for the fourth 12 months working.

Measuring international happiness is a tough enterprise as folks have totally different definitions of what makes them completely satisfied. Nevertheless, researchers recognized social help, wholesome life expectancy, the financial system, freedom to make life selections and freedom from corruption as the principle drivers of happiness. 

This could assist clarify why Afghanistan and Lebanon had been ranked the 2 unhappiest international locations. Actually, a lot of the backside half of the desk was comprised of decrease revenue nations or battle zones, additional highlighting international inequality. 

The 25 happiest nations 

  1. Finland 
  2. Denmark
  3. Iceland
  4. Israel
  5. Netherlands
  6. Sweden
  7. Norway
  8. Switzerland
  9. Luxembourg
  10. New Zealand
  11. Austria
  12. Australia
  13. Canada
  14. Eire
  15. United States
  16. Germany
  17. Belgium
  18. Czech Republic
  19. United Kingdom
  20. Lithuania
  21. France
  22. Slovenia
  23. Costa Rica
  24. Romania
  25. Singapore

The report additionally measures the ‘happiness hole’ inside international locations themselves. Afghanistan was discovered to have the smallest, owing to widespread unhappiness. Of the happiest nations, the Netherlands (ranked fifth) was discovered to have the smallest hole, making it probably the most glad nation throughout the board.

This 12 months’s report took a better have a look at the out there knowledge from Ukraine. The authors discovered that whereas wellbeing has taken successful because the struggle, the autumn was extra pronounced in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea. The battle, the report prompt, had introduced Ukrainians collectively and fostered better ranges of altruism. 

“The Russian invasion has solid Ukraine right into a nation,” stated Prof Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, director of the Wellbeing Research Centre on the College of Oxford, England. 

happiest countries

Regardless of Covid, international happiness ranges have apparently remained resilient. Picture: Oleg Mit

The information from the most recent report will now be used to influence policymakers to offer extra weight to happiness, as Wales has tried to do with its Wellbeing of Future Generations Act.

“The last word aim of politics and ethics must be human wellbeing,” stated Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute’s Center for Sustainable Development. “The happiness motion reveals that wellbeing just isn’t a ‘gentle’ and ‘obscure’ concept, however reasonably focuses on areas of lifetime of crucial significance: materials situations, psychological and bodily wealth, private virtues, and good citizenship.” 

He added: “We have to flip this knowledge into sensible outcomes to attain extra peace, prosperity, belief, civility – and sure, happiness – in our societies.”

Important picture: Helsinki, Finland. Credit score: Lindrik/iStock 

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What Black Historical past Month Means to GBN in 2023 and Past – Good Black Information

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson, GBN founder and Editor-in-Chief

Effectively, right here we’re, as soon as once more. Forty seven years after February was formally acknowledged by the U.S. authorities as Black Historical past Month, and ninety seven years after Negro Historical past Week was founded by Carter G. Woodson, “The Father of Black Historical past.”

We’re additionally, as soon as once more, deeply distressed by the homicide of a younger Black particular person (Tyre Nichols) by the hands of law enforcement officials. The truth that the officers and the police chief are Black this time round doesn’t complicate however as an alternative amplifies the grotesque, stark, paradoxically colorblind actuality of systemic racism — it’s a pernicious assemble of energy and oppression that may be upheld or enforced by anybody of any shade or gender or creed.

So, how will we reconcile the 2 — the celebration of Black individuals and their achievements whereas continuously experiencing injustice, inequity and more and more, erasure?

Should you suppose “erasure” is a hyperbolic, overused buzzword, please take a look at this PBS piece, this ACLU podcast or get your up-to-date Important Race Concept ban statuses state by state on World Population Review. You may as well Google what the governor of Florida is as much as nowadays with reference to one particular course offered in the AP curriculum. and the AP’s seeming capitulatory response.

As Editor-in-Chief of Good Black Information, a website which for over a decade has actually been devoted year-round to the celebration of Black individuals and their achievements, I’ve been wrestling with this query for some time, significantly within the final eight months.

After the murder of 10 Black people at a supermarket in Buffalo, NY by a white supremacist in Might 2022 and the continued downplaying of racially-based home terrorism, I felt depleted and bereft. Of hope, of religion, of goal. It didn’t appear to matter how a lot Black individuals achieved or prospered or protested or suffered in America — we couldn’t even purchase our groceries in peace.

And as soon as once more, the narrative of the “lone, mentally unstable shooter” was trotted out. One particular person was (rightfully) punished, however the racist political and financial system he embraced in its most violent excessive? It remained (and stays) steadfastly in place. As did the onus stay on the shoulders of Black individuals to be seen as worthy of primary human rights.

America shortly bought again to the enterprise of forgetting and shifting on, even after experiencing solely two years earlier than what appeared like a watershed second of racial reckoning after the police homicide of George Floyd.

However right here had been are once more in the present day, actually TODAY, with civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump saying throughout his name to motion throughout Tyre Nichols’ funeral: “Why couldn’t they see the humanity in Tyre?… We’ve to ensure they see us as human beings worthy of respect and justice!”

We do?

I’ll admit in some ways, I perceive the place Crump is coming from. “Present the humanity” has primarily been the GBN working philosophy since 2010 — to create a website and area the place we will see and have fun our humanity, whereas providing entry to anybody else who needs to take a gander.

However now, in 2023, I have to push myself to dig deeper and firmly problem why it ought to it ever be the accountability of any human being to persuade every other human being of their humanity. To state the apparent, as soon as, and for all:


If the phrases above should not inherently understood to be true, why is that? Why does this need to be proven? Confirmed? Over and over and over?

My reply, additionally apparent, is that they don’t. Not ever.

So, whereas I completely respect and nonetheless intend to have fun the legacies of individuals reminiscent of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, Sidney Poitier and the like, going ahead I additionally want for GBN’s Black Historical past Month and GBN basically to interact extra actively within the interrogation and disempowering any methods, establishments or public insurance policies that don’t acknowledge or uphold this fact and all the fundamental rights that ought to stream from it (e.g. respect, freedom, security, equality).

Possibly I’m not giving sufficient credit score to GBN in its previous and current kind — I acknowledge that GBN has been useful and appreciated by many for the way in which we provide data through the lens of celebration and positivity.

What I’m aiming so as to add to our current ethos is extra important considering and opinion about cultural matters and cultural content material, boosting political, financial and social insurance policies which might be actually about defending, serving and uplifting Black individuals, and dealing to upend those who don’t.

What is going to this “new GBN” appear like, you would possibly ask? Effectively, in the present day it’s wanting like me sharing this hyperlink to the NAACP Petition to Demand Educational Freedom in Florida. To cite the petition:

The School Board creates and administers the AP program. Be part of us in demanding that they:

  • Reject the slender interpretation of Florida legislation that contradicts rules of educational freedom and autonomy in figuring out what to show in lecture rooms.
  • Take swift motion to ensure Florida doesn’t modify the curriculum of the proposed AP African-American Research course designed with the assistance of revered Black students, however quite, maintains the integrity of the proposed curriculum.

Florida’s present agenda of political interference within the AP African American research curriculum immediately conflicts with the values of fairness, equity, and justice. Our college students deserve higher.

To signal it, click on here.

Moreover, I need to spotlight Nikole Hannah-Jones’ The 1619 Project sequence now streaming on Hulu in addition to promote the superb “Intersectionality Matters” podcast by legislation professor Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw whose title is among the many writers expunged from the AP African American research curriculum.

Open in Spotify

I additionally need to give props to Beyoncé for formally saying her 2023 Renaissance World Tour!  A particular brilliant spot on this primary day of Black Historical past Month, the efforts Beyoncé and her group are making through the Verified Fan system and its tiers of engagement (first precedence given to the BeyHive!) to make sure actual followers get entry to tickets over usurious resale entities is for certain value a shout out.

Frankly, I’m uninterested in us being caught on the market, and I need GBN to do extra, supply extra, share extra and communicate out extra. In our tweets, reels, tales, posts, playlists, feedback — nevertheless.

Possibly I’ll get it flawed typically, however with deep love for this group as my true north, might my religion, goal and hope by no means once more be damaged.

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Italy’s Mannequin for Renewable Power Communities

The purpose is to empower folks’s power selections and habits whereas creating neighborhood cohesion and native governance.

San Giovanni a Teduccio is a working-class neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples, Italy. As soon as an industrial middle, right this moment it’s house to deserted factories that sit in ruins by the ocean.

However the rooftop of a former orphanage factors to new beginnings for the neighborhood. There, the solar shines onto the deep-blue floor of 166 photo voltaic panels that present low-cost, clear power to twenty neighboring households, inserting San Giovanni on the helm of an equitable power transition.

San Giovanni, which launched in 2021, is one among at the least 35 renewable power communities throughout Italy, in accordance with Legambiente Campania, a number one environmental nonprofit that helped create the entity and set up the panels. 

The venture is a part of a nationwide effort to get households, companies, and native authorities to collectively generate and distribute power from renewable sources. Proponents say it’s a mannequin not only for transitioning economies away from fossil fuels, but in addition for lifting folks out of poverty.

“This neighborhood didn’t want empty phrases,” mentioned Anna Riccardi, president of Fondazione Famiglia di Maria, a grassroots youth instructional group housed within the former orphanage. Riccardi, who labored with Legambiente to deliver panels to her neighborhood, mentioned that what residents do want is an equitable power transition. 

Naples has one of many nation’s highest charges of poverty and unemployment, and but its residents have a few of its highest energy costs

In 2020, Fondazione Con Il Sud, a nonprofit that helps improvement initiatives in southern Italy, gave Legambiente and Fondazione Famiglia di Maria €100,000 (about $109,000) to put in photo voltaic panels in San Giovanni. The photo voltaic array, which began powering the neighborhood in 2021, is able to producing roughly 65,000 kilowatt-hours per yr, sufficient to energy 20 properties, in accordance with Legambiente.

Households in San Giovanni paid no upfront prices and might anticipate to pay as much as 25% less for home payments than common power shoppers, in accordance with a examine by Legambiente and Elemens. 

These so-called “prosumers” (as a result of they each produce and devour the shared power) have the choice to promote no matter extra power they produce again to the native utility and can determine amongst themselves what to do with the income. 

Leaders of those renewable power communities say the concept is to place folks on the core of the power transition and empower them of their power selections and habits, whereas creating neighborhood cohesion and proposing new power governance mechanisms at an area degree.

Italy’s renewable power communities are a part of a broader push throughout the European Union to get extra shoppers to supply their very own power. The European Federation of Citizen Power Cooperatives,, estimates there are round 1,900 power cooperatives, comprising greater than 1.25 million residents.

Combating Power Poverty

In early 2022, 13% of Italian households—about 3.5 million households—confronted energy poverty, which means they had been unable to afford primary companies, like house heating, according to Fondazione Utilitatis. 

And power costs have solely gone up within the yr since Russia invaded Ukraine and shut off its provide of pure gasoline to a lot of Europe. File numbers of Europeans put in photo voltaic panels and warmth pumps of their properties, partly to assist deal with the power disaster. 

However, in fact, inexperienced power upgrades might be costly—and out of attain for a lot of in San Giovanni a Teduccio, Riccardi mentioned. 

“The power neighborhood is a mannequin for the combat in opposition to inequalities,” mentioned Legambiente’s Mariateresa Imparato. “These low-income households will have the ability to share renewable power and lower your expenses on payments.” One other 20 households are anticipated to hook up with San Giovanni’s photo voltaic array sooner or later. 

Related efforts are additionally gaining traction in the USA. In response to the Solar Energy Industries Association, 41 states plus Washington, D.C., have at the least one energetic community solar program, with 5.3 gigawatts—sufficient to energy about 4 million properties—put in as of final yr. That determine is anticipated to just about double over the subsequent 5 years.

The Inflation Reduction Act, which additionally extends provisions on tax credit for the set up of photo voltaic power methods, is additional pushing American funding in renewable power.

A Ripple Impact

Fondazione Famiglia di Maria, which has operated within the neighborhood for over a century, mentioned its long-standing relationships locally had been central to attracting households. “The inspiration was already built-in with grassroots actions and academic initiatives for kids, serving about 120 households,” Riccardi added.

Youngsters had been drivers of change amongst their households. They attended workshops on recycling, realized the variations between fossil and renewable sources, and mapped out plans for a extra sustainable neighborhood.

Legambiente then labored with households to sort out power habits impacting their bills. They monitored power consumption, taught them the way to learn payments, and inspired using electrical home equipment through the day, when photo voltaic power is extra available.

“In a interval of disaster, renewable power communities not solely permit folks to behave virtuously, but in addition to obtain an incentive for consuming regionally produced renewable power,” mentioned Duccio Baldi, co-founder of Enco, a startup that helps teams type renewable power communities. “The patron schooling half is a vital long-term facet; we can’t proceed to devour as a lot as we wish and when[ever] we wish.”

“There are numerous households who knock on the door and who want to take part,” Riccardi mentioned. “It’s like while you throw a stone into the water. From a small circle, now we have reached a bigger one. Even when folks aren’t a part of the renewable power neighborhood, its impact is constructive for the entire neighborhood and, at giant, for your complete nation.”

Along with the 35 renewable power communities up and operating throughout Italy, dozens extra are within the planning phases, in accordance with Legambiente.

Creating Inexperienced Jobs

Renewable power communities might be an engine of job creation. 

“Creating an power neighborhood includes designers, installers, and companies, tremendously impacting the native financial system,” mentioned Sergio Olivero, an digital engineer on the Power Heart Lab of the Polytechnic College of Turin and president of Magliano Alpi’s scientific committee. The variety of folks employed for “inexperienced jobs” in Italy—principally in technical design, planning, and improvement for the nation’s transition to renewable power—grew by 38% in 2021 from the earlier yr, in accordance with a report from the Symbola Basis, to a complete of more than 3 million folks.

“In San Giovanni a Teduccio, we arrange workshops for teenagers with orientation in the direction of these jobs,” Imparato mentioned. “Specialised employees and power engineers will likely be wanted within the power transition.”

Small cities throughout Italy might quickly get a lift. The 2021 European Nationwide Restoration and Resilience Plan allotted €2.2 billion to renewable power communities in cities beneath 5,000 residents.

“Probably tens of 1000’s of individuals can grow to be a part of a renewable neighborhood,” mentioned Baldi, who described the communities as a method to “democratize” power entry. “This is able to be a rare turning level.”

This text initially appeared in Nexus Media News and was co-published with Next City as a part of its “Fairer & Greener” collection. Nexus Media News is an editorially impartial, nonprofit information service masking local weather change. Comply with @NexusMediaNews.


Lucrezia Lozza
is a contract journalist and documentary maker, specializing in social and environmental points.