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Jenny Depew
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Jenny Depew

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Autism diagnosis at a rate of 1 in 68 will have an impact on everyone not just the families with an autistic child. It may be a problem that is preventable during pregnancy but only manageable after birth. Improving symptoms may be possible with identification and management of special dietary needs but preventing the problem prenatally would be preferable as this father's story shares. Genetic defects in the methylation cycle may affect more women and their pregnancies than is recognized at this time. Defects in methylation may make standard vitamin supplements containing folic acid more harmful than helpful.
#autism_awareness   #autism  

via +Derek Pennycuff  and +God Emperor Lionel Lauer 
So I never keep up with this Awareness Day and that Awareness Month. Thing is, most people don't unless they are personally affected by it. Domestic abuse is your problem, not mine. His family is fighting cancer, not yours. Well, Autism is the thing that's affecting my family and not necessarily yours.

This is Faith. She is the physical manifestation of how our lives are affected by Autism...and make no mistake, our lives are very dramatically affected by Autism.

She is seven years old, non-verbal and she's not potty trained. We have to struggle to get her to keep clothes on when company is coming over, and most of the time we choose not to fight her on it when it's just us here. Combine that with the lack of potty training, and we wind up with lots of frustrating messes to clean up.

When she doesn't feel well, she can't tell us what's wrong. If she's hungry, she can't tell us what for (though, if it's where she remembers it at, she will take us there).

In seven years of life (almost eight), I have never heard my daughter say "I love you" or even "Daddy". Just keep that in mind the next time you wish your kid would shut up.

There is a very real chance that my daughter will never go out on a date, get married, have kids of her own, or even move out of my house. Yes, her Autism is that severe.

She is a very large reason why my wife is a stay at home Mom and we have learned to survive as a single income household. See, when she has a very bad day at school, my wife has to go get her. When her aide is sick (or home with her own kids), my wife has to keep her home from school.

Her Autism isn't like you see on TV. She's not a child prodigy. I see the intelligence in her eyes, and she has some great problem solving skills, but since we haven't been able to break the communication barrier, she has essentially been a baby for her entire life.

If becoming parents fundamentally altered our lives, becoming the parents of an Autistic child completely flipped our lives on their heads. Because of Faith and the challenges she presents, I am terrified of the possibility that our upcoming child will be Autistic as well, because it is not easy. It is not easy knowing you are buying her the same toys for Christmas year after year because she rarely shows interest in anything else, and you are actually going to sit and unwrap the presents for her because she's going to lose interest a few minutes in. It is not easy watching her scream and cry because a new front is blowing in and there is literally nothing you can do to help her deal with it. It is not easy keeping locks on half the doors in the house so she doesn't go into some rooms when you aren't looking and destroy everything. Or keeping a lock on the refrigerator so she doesn't break all of the eggs. It's not easy keeping the exits locked constantly so she doesn't slip outside while you have to use the bathroom and disappear.

If I could afford it, I would find her a specialized school, but that isn't an option for us. However, her school, including most of the staff and students, have been very supportive and helpful, and her Occupational Therapist is amazing. Through the efforts of a great many people, Faith will now sit at a table and eat with us when we go out, instead of having to be strapped into a high chair, and sit with the other kids in her class (most of the time) when she's supposed to.

She doesn't say "I love you", but sometimes she crawls up onto the couch with me and lays on me until she falls asleep, and when I was gone for an out of state trip recently, she spent all day hugging on me and laughing when I came home.

I'm not telling you all of this to make you feel sorry for me and Amy or make you feel bad or to make you feel good. You have your challenges. We have ours. I'm telling you this so you understand, in case you didn't know, that Autism is a very real thing and not just some new trend that people are suddenly talking about because someone wrote a book or something, and Autism affects someone that you know very, very deeply.

Honestly, all of the stuff I have mentioned above are just things that my wife, my son and I have learned to adjust to, because that's what Faith needs in order to function and be happy. It's not an imposition, it's just the facts of our lives.

Today is Global Autism Awareness Day. I wore blue today, but that doesn't really make you aware. Maybe this will. I would suggest, however, that if you have a child and you are frustrated with something that say or do, and you can communicate with them...I would recommend that you do.

And don't ever take hearing "I love you" for granted.
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nice info.
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A legal aid fund is being established to help poor countries fight law suits by large tobacco companies.
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A religious organization fighting same-sex marriage in Ireland has been telling outrageous lies.
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You can't fix stupid sad to say 
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The history that we are familiar with is what is commonly in the history books. Learning the history that isn't commonly in the texts and considering why it isn't in them may also be important. 

via +Keith Hall 
“How Do You Kill 11 Million People?” The answer is is so Simple it will give you Chills.
Lie to Them.
by Andy Andrews.

“What we need to understand is how 11 million people allowed themselves to be killed.

Obviously, that is an oversimplification, but think with me here…If a single terrorist begins to shoot automatic weapons in a movie theater containing 300 people, the lone gunman couldn’t possible kill all 300. Why? Because when the shooting started, most of the crowd would run. Or hide. Or fight…

So why, for month after month and year after year, did millions of intelligent human beings – guarded by a relatively few Nazi soldiers – willingly load their families into tens of thousands of cattle cars to be transported by rail to one of the many death camps scattered across Europe? How can a condemned group of people headed for a gas chamber be compelled to act in a docile manner?

The answer is breathtakingly simple. And it is a method still being used by some elected leaders to achieve various goals today. How do you kill 11 million people? Lie to them.

According to testimony provided under oath by witnesses at the Nuremberg Trials…the act of transporting the Jews to death camps posed a particular challenge for the man who had been named operational manager of the Nazi genocide, Adolf Eichmann…set ambitious goals, recruited enthusiastic staff, and monitored the progress…

An intricate web of lies, to be delivered in stages, was designed to ensure the cooperation of the condemned (but unknowing) Jews. First, as barbed wire fences were erected…Eichmann or his representatives met with Jewish leaders to assure them that the physical restrictions being placed upon their community (in what became later known as the ghetto) were only temporary necessities of war. As long as they cooperated, he told them, no harm would come to those inside the fence.
These first two stages of deception were conducted to prevent uprisings or even escape.

Finally, Eichmann would appear before a gathering of the entire ghetto. Accompanied by an entourage of no more than thirty local men and officers of his own – many unarmed – he addressed the crowd in a strong, clear voice. According to sworn statements, these were very likely his exact words:

‘Jews: At last, it can be reported to you that the Russians are advancing on our eastern front. I apologize for the hasty way we brought you into our protection. Unfortunately, there was little time to explain. You have nothing to worry about. We want only the best for you. You will leave here shortly and be sent to a very fine place indeed. You will work there, your wives will stay at home, and your children will go to school. You will have wonderful lives. We will all be terribly crowded on the trains, but the journey is short. Men? Please keep your families together and board the railcars in an orderly manner. Quickly now, my friends, we must hurry!’

,,,At that moment they were lost. The trains rarely stopped until well inside the gates of Auschwitz. Or Belzec. Or Sobibor. Or Treblinka…

A list drawn up by the German Ministry in 1967 names more than 1,100 concentration camps and subcamps accessible by rail…

The National Socialist German Workers’ Party, led by Adolf Hitler, rose to power during a time of economic uncertainty in a nation of people longing for better times. Germany was a modern, industrialized nation whose well-informed citizens enjoyed ready access to information by way of print and radio broadcast media.

Hitler was a man of the common people…and his speeches were exciting and passionate. He promised more and better and new and different. He vowed rapid change and swift action…

In working-class neighborhoods, he talked about ‘redistribution of wealth’ (direct quote of Hitler’s) and attacked the high profits generated by business owners…

‘How fortunate for leaders,’ Hitler said to his inner circle, ‘that men do not think. Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.’…

It is a fact that fewer than 10% of Germany’s population of 79.7 million people actively worked or campaigned to bring about Hitler’s change…

So the remaining 90% of Germans – teachers and doctors and ministers and farmers – did…what? Stood by? Watched?

Essentially, yes.

Mothers and fathers held their voices, covered their eyes, and closed their ears. The vast majority of an educated population accepted their salaries and avoided the uncomfortable truth that lingered over them like a serpent waiting to strike. And when the Nazis came for their children, it was too late…

You see, it wasn’t only the Jews who were persecuted. Today, most people are unaware that of the 11 million people exterminated, 5 million were not even Jewish…

We’ve all heard of the yellow triangles the Jews were forced to wear for identification. Do you know the other colors that were used?

Brown triangles identified gypsies and those of Roman descent. Purple triangles were worn by Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholic priests and Christian leaders who ran afoul of the government.

Black triangles marked one as a vagrant – worn by any person lacking documentation when asked for proof of a permanent address. Blue triangles were forced on those who had moved to Germany from other countries…

Red triangles were worn by a large and diverse group. You wore red if you were a member of a trade union, Democrat, Freemason, or any number of categories labeled as a ‘political nonconformist.’ Pink badges identified homosexuals…any suspected perpetrator of a sexual offense such as rape or pedophilia…

Green badges were given to common thieves and murderers. And since they were not suspect politically, these prisoners…were often in charge of others…

All worn by mothers and fathers and children who were not the first to be selected for the camps. Their badges were worn – their fates altered – well after they got a good look at the yellow ones…

The most dangerous thing any nation faces is a citizenry capable of trusting a liar to lead them….

Have you ever wondered why American doesn’t have a balanced budget? Have you ever in your life heard of a politician who wasn’t for a balanced budget?

Have you ever heard a politician speak in favor of a complicated tax code that ordinary citizens would find difficult to understand? Then why do we have a complicated tax code that ordinary citizens find hard to understand?

By the way, have you ever noticed that if any of us (citizens) lies to them (politicians), it is a felony? But if any one of them lies to us, it is considered politics…

Can 311 million Americans ever hope to wrestle the power away from 545?…”

It goes on with more and more chilling, yet provoking thoughts. And yes, there is a bibliography provided to back up each fact. The last section is an interview with the author. In answer to the question, “Why did you choose to write this book now?” Andrews answers:

“Our nation is at a tipping point. Regardless of political views, people everywhere can sense it. Did you know that the United States of America is now the longest tenured government in the world? There are countries far older than us, but as far as one continuous form of government, we are the oldest. Or the last, depending how you look at it.

If we don’t demand honesty and integrity from America’s leadership now – and reward that integrity with our votes – our leaders will lack the fortitude to make the hard decisions that must be made to change course.

If indeed our nation is in a state of crisis, then we need to change before it is too late to choose the direction of that change. We need the correct, and best possible, people in office to make this happen. Some of them, of course, are already in office, but they need our help to surround them with men and women who will do what they believe is right and true. “

Also later in the interview, he talks about the warning that America has already received to take action:

“Few remember the instance, but in retrospect, it is chilling to note the accuracy with which it was delivered. On the occasion of our nation’s 100th birthday, in his centennial address to Congress in 1876, President James A. Garfield issued a warning widely reported in the press at that time. He said, ‘Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature.’ Then, he added, ‘if (100 years from now) the next centennial does not find us a great nation…it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.'”

In answer to the question, ‘Do you have a political agenda?’ Andrews’ honest response made me chuckle:

“Of course. And I sure hope you have one too. Here’s mine: I want America’s present and future leadership to embrace and live up to America’s core principles as written by our Founding Fathers and set forth in our Constitution. In addition, I want the public to vigilantly hold them accountable for doing so. That is my political agenda.”

This brings to mind all kinds of cliches that fit the times we are now living in. But it really makes one stop and think…if “hindsight is 20/20″ and “history repeats itself,” what excuse do we have if we choose to do nothing now?

What about it, America? Are we going to cover our ears and shut our eyes to what is going on around us? Or will such adversity awaken the American Spirit slumbering within each of us, just waiting for the match to ignite the flame that will make our great-great-great-great grandparents proud?

What will you do after reading this? Walk away and forget and therefore, be party to killing another 11 million people? Or will you do something? Will you hold those in power accountable? After all, the saying is true: “A choice to do nothing is still a choice. " 
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#k12education  A free game designed to help children learn negotiation skills.
Game: World Domination
Teaching kids principled negotiation

Let's face it: at some point in life, everyone needs to negotiate. But not all of us negotiate effectively - repeating yourself even louder until you get something is, for example, not a very helpful strategy. Most children grasp onto this and change their strategy from crying to talking when they want something, for example. But some people don't seem to grasp that being too pushy isn't always good - even in adulthood. Perhaps you've had to work together with an uncooperative know-it-all who was in charge of a project you're on? Well, then you know what I'm talking about. Those are people who still haven't learned how to negotiate. But, perhaps negotiation is something that we can learn - and also teach kids to do before they hit the job market? Let's give it a try...

What is principled negotiation?
In Getting to Yes, Fisher and Ury describe the art of principled negotiation, a negotiation tactic centered around four considerations:

1) People: Separate people from the problem
2) Interests: Focus on soliciting and speaking to interests, not positions
3) Options: Generate a variety of possibilities before deciding what to do next
4) Criteria: Base the result on objective standards. Produce a wise agreement, if an agreement is possible, in an efficient manner that improves or maintains the existing relationship.

In general, there are two main approaches to negotiation: 

1) Competitive negotiation typically employs positional bargaining to create confrontational, unfriendly constellations and results in a win-lose situation. It is characterized by communication patterns with higher opening demands than the targeted goal, forceful speaking, manipulative intentions and distorted information.

2) Collaborative negotiation typically employs interest-based solution building to build friendly, supportive constellations and creates a win-win  situation. Characterizing communication patterns include disclosure statements, supportive remarks, accepting responsibility, identifying top priorities, non-specific compensation, and inventing new options to meet the other side’s needs.

Each negotiation strategy has its benefits and disadvantages – and there are times in the game during which one strategy works better than the other. 

Introducing World Domination

Recommended ages: Grade 4 and upwards.
Players: 3 to 5 players. Two players can play, but that doesn't work as well, because there's no incentive to try collaborative negotiation.

Each player starts with a character, a region, and two resources. Players take turns rolling the die and performing the action on the die - allowing them to collect resources, ask questions, form alliances, steal resources, and ultimately attain their goals before anyone else does in order to win the game.

Download Links
You can download the game here:
English Version:
German Version:

How it teaches principled negotiation
This game provides players with people in the form of characters, interests in the form of hidden goals, a number of options listed on the die and in the chance cards, and objective criteria for winning. The game actions guide the player through the steps of principled negotiation. Players are thus forced to use these considerations in collaborative as well as competitive negotiation throughout the game, have the opportunity to explore how different negotiation tactics invoke different responses, and are forced to develop their own negotiation style within the framework of principled negotiation.

Disclaimers and other notes
- Character names are completely random - no relation to actual people is intended.
- Business names include altered versions of actual company names; I hope (but haven't checked) that they are not actual registered company names.
- Australia and Africa aren't represented. I know! It sucks! I did try hard to find some economic statistics and major company revenues, but their economies are currently too small when put next to the 'big players' driving industry in the other regions of the world.
- I've added the age recommendation because some parents may not want to expose younger children to the existence of certain criminal activities before then. I've been asked if it is possible to change the names of the criminals to more child-friendly things, such as bubble gum thief... but I decided not to, because the represented criminal activities and businesses actually are based on real-life dimensions (but scaled to make the game more playable).
- Reality check aside, anyone who can read and add should be able to play - my 5-year-old son has grasped the game quite well. :)

This post is part of a series of games I'm designing intended to teach children soft skills that schools seem to neglect, and that I believe are essential for every person's success.

#Geist #Learning #Negotiation #Game
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Daleks take an interest in the game

(It's a joke)
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Jenny Depew

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Thanks for the world hug.
Doreen Virtue
Group hug time! 

Please join me in sending hugs to everyone here, and receiving hugs for yourself.

Your love, prayers, and positive actions are making a much-needed difference. Although there are still problems in our world, it's important for us to also focus upon all of the good in the world. Please keep the faith, and keep up the good work that you're doing! Here's a hug for you! {{{}}}
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+Jenny Depew, ah, but see, oxytocin makes you more xenophobic! My point stands :)

(i.e. it makes ingroup bonds stronger, and outgroup hatred stronger too...)
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Eshima Ohashi Bridge in Matsue, Japan ... "The Eshima Ohashi Bridge is a two-lane concrete road bridge that links the city of Matsue in Shimane Prefecture to Sakaiminato in Tottori Prefecture, in Japan. At a total length of 1.7 km, of which the bridge part is 1.44 km long, and a width of 11.3 meters, it is the largest rigid frame bridge in Japan and the third largest in the world.

In recent months, the bridge has received unusual attention since it was used in a commercial for Daihatsu Motor Co.'s Tanto minivan. The commercial shows the bridge from an angle that exaggerates the slope of the bridge’s approach. Perspective compression by a telephoto lens makes the viewer believe that the bridge is extraordinarily steep. Daihatsu Motor wants you to believe that the bridge is frighteningly steep because it wants to show off its car's strength. Actually, the bridge has a pretty comfortable gradient of 6.1% on Shimane Prefecture side and 5.1% on Tottori Prefecture side, nothing an average car can’t handle. Some websites report that driving over the bridge is “like a roller-coaster ride” which is all media hyperbole. ..."

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 A team running in the U.P. 200 race.
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The Garden of Cosmic Speculation is a sculpture park created by architect Charles Jencks.  Opened once a year for public tours, or the landscaping and sculpture can also be seen in photographs by Charles Jencks.

#bucketlist even if it's a virtual tour
Words cannot begin to articulate the praise I have for the vision, wisdom, skill and ambition of many of the world's greatest scientists which would lead to the creation of the Garden of Cosmic Speculation. As the garden is only open for 5 hours each year, I decided to write this article giving people both advance notice and also directions.
I thought I would post this short note as there seem to be quite a few people now coming to my blog looking for information on how to visit The Garden of Cosmic Speculation in 2015. The reason is t...
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This reminds me of an M.C. Escher drawing, stairs going every which way but down.
#asynchronousdiagonals   #stairs   #library   #blackandwhitephotography  +Asynchronous Diagonals 
 via +Anthony Owen-Jones and +STARK-Magazine 
Under the dome

Taken in Liverpool Central Library.
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Gives convoluted a whole new meaning !!
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Morning Glory by Stephen Emerson:
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That is very beautiful +Jenny Depew, thanks for sharing it :)
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Health care is a personal choice.

We can restore wellness if our bodies are given the nutrients. Single nutrient or medicine type solutions can not provide all the nutrients needed during health or for a weakened body. Choosing more whole foods and regular daily meals and snacks can help deliver health at a reasonable price with few side effects beyond dirty dishes. 

Minimally processed foods can also help restore immune function. White blood cells, when supplied with a variety of trace nutrients, are able to direct our own stem cells to become replacement cells of any type needed. 

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