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John Thomas
Works at DET/DEECD
Attended Marian College, Ararat
Lives in Victoria, Australia
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John Thomas

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Einstein's Cross

"Because of the way gravity bends light, the light can take many different path through the gravitational lens, arriving at Earth at different times."
An exploding star directly behind a cluster of enormous galaxies has been split into four images by the light-bending properties of the cluster's gravity.
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Isn't that how an eye would evolve? Trying to figure out what was happening? 
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John Thomas

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Facebook Rolls Out Suicide Prevention Tool

Facebook has begun rolling out a new set of tools aimed at preventing suicide. If you fear that someone in your stream may be suicidal, you can report their post to Facebook and a third party will review it before deciding whether to reach out to the user with advice and support.
The social network began rolling out a new set of tools on Wednesday that aim to help prevent suicide.
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John Thomas

Morality  - 
Secular vs Religious Moral Education

Are children raised in secular families without prayers before bed, moral lessons at Sunday school or Religious Education classes at school at risk of growing up without a moral compass? 

It seems that many people assume so, but Phil Zuckerman suggests that the reverse is the case, and secular kids have a moral edge.

Interviewed yesterday by Patt Morrison of the LA Times (video below), Zuckerman cites a growing body of research, including his own, that suggests children reared in secular homes stand a better chance of turning out with a wider range of positive moral attributes than their counterparts reared in religious homes. This research suggests, among other things, that they are less likely to be racist, authoritarian, nationalistic and susceptible to peer pressure, and more likely to be accepting of diversity, and caring towards animals. 

Children raised in secular homes are also likely to be more coherent and passionate about their ethical principles. Zuckerman suggests that religious people tend to “outsource” their moral thinking to an authority figure, whereas non-religious people have to figure out moral questions for themselves. They need to think more about their moral judgements than their religious counterparts who already have the answers to many questions based on a set of rules handed down by a religious authority.

Zuckerman points out that, when religious people behave morally in order to avoid God’s punishment, they are merely being prudent, not moral. Secular people who behave morally, on the other hand, often do so merely out of care for others and in a way that does not privilege their own self interest. Impartiality and care for others epitomizes moral behaviour. Looking after number one does not.

In the video below Zuckerman says, “The facts are in. Sociologically the most religious countries today have the most violent crime, the most corruption, the most chaos. The least god believing societies today are the most peaceful, harmonious …”

He is interrupted by Morrison with the question, “But is that because of their religious beliefs or lack of them.” 

Zuckerman answers, “No … But it does put aside the notion that we must have God in order to have these things. So, if in Japan or Scandinavia they’re not going around killing each other, that may not be because they’re secular, but clearly being secular doesn’t create all the problems that my religious friends might argue.”

Zuckerman’s work has been generating some heat in the religious blogosphere. Examples include:

Ken Ham - Secular Family Values - What’s the Point?

Hans Fiene - Do Secular Family Values Even Exist?

Pastor Ken Hagler - Observations on the Op-ed "How Secular Family Values Stack Up."

Natasha Crain - How secular values stack up - a response

What do you think? Who is right, Zuckerman or his religious critics?

(Thanks +Inzan Gartland​​​ for spotting this event in advance.)
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IT worked!!!  Ohhhhhh boy!!!

Peace~ and thank you so much again +John Thomas 
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Romans offer ISIS travel advice?

A hashtag first tweeted by ISIS supporters has been swamped by humorous responses from Italians. Traffic traffic warnings, restaurant advice, deals "too good to refuse" and more. Check out  #We_Are_Coming_O_Rome on Twitter. #humor  
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Maybe, "Rome" means Rome.
Good share!!
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John Thomas

commented on a video on YouTube.
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That's a primitive view of the world where a wrathful God rains down fire, floods and destruction on innocent children, and where nonbelievers are given four months to believe or suffer the consequences.
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+John Thomas​​​​ I share the same opinion.
It is not us, who the good muslims should try to convince, that islam is a peaceful religion.
They have to confront the radicals and defeat them in a theological debate.
So far I have yet to see any progress in that direction.
It has come to a stage where the peace loving Muslims have to be protected by the unbelievers from Isis and Alqaeda.
But their books tells them that the unbelievers are not to be trusted.
Hope this post is not lengthy enough to be declared a spam😉.
Looks like @alex konig has blocked me for some mysterious reason.
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Why are so many Americans in jail?

A sobering piece that helps explain why the US has the highest rate of incarceration in the world.
The United States has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world, and a disproportionate number of those in jail are African-Americans. Why are so many Americans in jail and what’s wrong with the criminal justice system? Annabelle Quince investigates.
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+P Mitch just one of many reasons, isn't it? Therefore the reasoning is identifying symptoms instead of cause. 
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John Thomas

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In search of gravity waves

A new satellite under construction for the European Space Agency aims to "achieve and then measure a pure geodesic motion. That is, a motion subject only to the Riemann tensor - to the curvature of space-time".
Lisa Pathfinder - Europe Mission to Understand Gravitational Waves
As human race is making strides to explore space, it is important to know that what holds the whole universe together and understand the unseen forces of universe. ESA is sending "Lisa Pathfinder" to space to learn more about black holes, wormholes and gravitational waves. Scientist think this will help us learn more about space and it enigmatic phenomenons.

Source: BBC News ( )

‪#‎lisapathfinder‬ ‪#‎esa‬ ‪#‎blackholes‬ ‪#‎gravitational‬ ‪#‎space‬
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Robotics Competition Mar 13-14

The FRC Australia Regional Robotics Competition is coming to Sydney on Fri 13 and Sat 14 March - a great opportunity for Australian teachers and students interested in robotics.
AU-based educators: Want to inspire kids in STEM? Come along to the FIRST regional event - it's free  #aussieED #edtech #startupaus
Welcome to the FIRST Robotics Competition The varsity Sport for the MindTM, FRC combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors.  It’s as close to "real-world engineering" ...
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Kansas Republicans to Hold Teachers Liable for Learning Materials

Interesting move in Kansas to hold teachers responsible for 'harmful' material presented to students. I suppose teachers will be fine as long as they don't share any information about any subject that might upset any parent. :P
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There already studies showing your less likely to be promiscuous if you learn about sex in school.
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John Thomas

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Google Docs Gets First Page Headers & Footers 

At last!
Headers and Footers - the way you want them
One of your biggest requests (especially those of you who use Docs to write academic papers) is to be able to customize how headers and footers appear on the first pages of your documents. 

With today’s updates, you can now use different headers and footers on the first pages of your documents, which comes in handy for:
> Following academic formatting guidelines (e.g. MLA, CMS, APA)
> Starting page numbering on the second page
> Making a title page without headers or footers

After inserting a header or footer in your document you’ll see a new checkbox--just tick it and you’ll be able to set a different header and footer on the first page.

There’s also a new Insert > Page Number menu that lets you customize how and where you start your page numbers--like on the bottom of the second page, for example.

These updates are now live for the majority of users and will be rolling out to Google Apps for Education and Google Apps for Work customers in the coming weeks. 
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Google faces entrenched players in UK EDU market

The battle for the education market in the UK, like many other places, sees Microsoft, Apple and Google (in that order) battling it out for market share. With the recent launch of Google Play for Education in the UK, it will be interesting to see whether Android can make some headway.
Liz Sproat, Google's head of education in Europe, believes Google products can play a key role in our schools, but it faces tough competition
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Have him in circles
23,773 people
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    Teacher, Consultant, Professional Developer, 2009 - present
  • DWA Australia Pty Ltd
    Founder & Sole Director, 2007 - present
  • Easy2Learn Pty Ltd
    Founder & Managing Director, 2000 - 2006
  • Dataworks International Ltd
    Founder & Managing Director, 1997 - 2001
  • Dataworks Australia Pty Ltd
    Founder & Managing Director, 1990 - 2007
  • CP Softime
    Manager, 1989 - 1990
  • Dataworks
    Partner, 1985 - 1990
  • Dept of Ed/Ministry of Ed
    Teacher, 1977 - 1989
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Victoria, Australia
Australian elearning pioneer - part entrepreneur, part teacher & part geek. Google Certified Teacher.
Australian elearning pioneer, teacher and entrepreneur. Founded Dataworks in 1985 - a company which grew to become Australia’s leading curriculum software publisher. Brought Australia’s best loved children’s characters to interactive format including The Wiggles, Bananas in Pyjamas, Hi-5, Play School and others. These award winning titles broke local sales records and were licensed for resale in more than 50 countries worldwide. Sold business in 2007 and moved to Victoria's Central Highlands. Focused on helping teachers, students and school communities make the most of the transformative potential of new technologies.
  • Marian College, Ararat
  • University of Ballarat
    Diploma of Teaching
  • Monash University, Clayton
    Bachelor of Arts - Philosophy
  • Monash University, Clayton
    Master of Educational Studies - Educational Computing
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John Thomas's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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The ability to make the header different on the first page is necessary ...

Categories: Docs : Report an issue : Desktop (specify browser/OS) : The ability to make the header different on the first page is necessary

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Gestão Inteligente de DocumentosCamScanner é uma solução de Gestão inteligente de documentos para pessoas, pequenos empresários, organizaçõe

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Great family fun, especially for those with kids aged 4 to 15.
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