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Social media genie won’t go back in the bottle, so we must teach youngsters to use it wisely

Sábado, 2 Diciembre 2017

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If children and teenagers are comfortable with social media, we should use it as a means to reach them and ensure they understand the do’s and don’ts.

Teenagers in Britain are fortunate to have access to computers, laptops and smartphones from an early age. A child in the UK receives a smartphone at around the age of 12 – among the earliest in Europe. The natural consequence of this is that children spend a significant amount of their time on the Internet.

A recent report found that teenagers value social networks as a way of connecting with friends and family, maintaining their networks of friends, and long distance connections. Teenagers see social networking as a comfortable medium for sharing their issues and finding solutions to problems such as social isolation and loneliness. They are also more likely to seek help in areas such as health advice, unknown experiences, and help with exams and study techniques.

Social networks afford the opportunity to find people with similar interests, or to support teamwork in school projects. In unsettled economic and political times, teenagers use social networks as a means to be heard and to get involved in political activism, as well as volunteering and charitable activities.

Teenagers also leverage social networks to engage with creative projects, and many young artists are first noticed through the exposure offered by the rich networking opportunities of social media, such as musicians on MySpace or photographers on image-sharing sites Flickr or Behance. Teenagers looking to pursue careers in art or other creative industries turn to social platforms in order to create their portfolios as well as to create with others.

These opportunities have a positive impact on adolescent character formation and the development of their individual identity, and help them toward choosing a career path. These choices are made at an early age and to this end social networks are enriching young people’s lives.

On the other hand the report was able to list a substantial list of negative influences stemming from social media use, ranging from time wasting and addictive, compulsive use, to cyber-bullying, radicalization, stress and sexual grooming to name just a few.

It has been shown that teenagers increasingly use social networks in private, leaving parents outside environments where children are exposed to real-time content and largely unguarded instant communications. While schools are tasked with educating teenagers about the risks of social media, very few parents are able to effectively introduce controls on the content their children access and monitor the evolving threats that operate online.

Ignacio Bravo Martín

Viernes, 1 Septiembre 2017

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10 Top Tourist Attractions in Switzerland

Jueves, 3 Agosto 2017

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Chef Jamie Oliver Proves McDonald’s Burgers “Unfit for Human Consumption”

Martes, 4 Julio 2017

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Hamburger chef Jamie Oliver has won his long-fought battle against one of the largest fast food chains in the world – McDonalds. After Oliver showed how McDonald’s hamburgers are made, the franchise finally announced that it will change its recipe, and yet there was barely a peep about this in the mainstream, corporate media.

Oliver repeatedly explained to the public, over several years – in documentaries, television shows and interviews – that the fatty parts of beef are “washed” in ammonium hydroxide and used in the filling of the burger. Before this process, according to the presenter, the food is deemed unfit for human consumption. According to the chef and hamburger enthusiast, Jamie Oliver, who has undertaken a war against the fast food industry, “Basically, we’re taking a product that would be sold in the cheapest way for dogs, and after this process, is being given to human beings.”

Besides the low quality of the meat, the ammonium hydroxide is harmful to health. Oliver famously coined this “the pink slime process.”

“Why would any sensible human being put meat filled with ammonia in the mouths of their children?” Oliver asked.

In one of his colorful demonstrations, Oliver demonstrates to children how nuggets are made. After selecting the best parts of the chicken, the remains (fat, skin and internal organs) are processed for these fried foods.

In reply to all of the bad press this process has received from Oliver, the company Arcos Dorados, the franchise manager for McDonalds in Latin America, said such a procedure is not practiced in their region. The same, it should be noted, applies to the product in Ireland and the UK, where they use meat from local suppliers.

In the United States, however, Burger King and Taco Bell had already abandoned the use of ammonia in their products. The food industry uses ammonium hydroxide as an anti-microbial agent in meats, which has allowed McDonald’s to use otherwise “inedible meat.”

Most disturbing of all is the horrifying fact that because ammonium hydroxide is considered part of the “component in a production procedure” by the USDA, consumers may not know when the chemical is in their food.

On the official website of McDonald’s, the company claims that their meat is cheap because, while serving many people every day, they are able to buy from their suppliers at a lower price, and offer the best quality products. But if “pink slime” was really the “best quality” that McDonalds can muster in the US, then why were they able do better in Latin America and Europe? More to the point, why can they apparently do better now in the United States?

These questions remain unanswered by the franchise which has denied that the decision to change the recipe is related to Jamie Oliver’s campaign. On the site, McDonald’s has admitted that they have abandoned the beef filler from its burger patties.

What is the Blue Whale online suicide game?

Jueves, 1 Junio 2017

The Blue Whale suicide game is believed to be an online social media group which is encouraging people to kill themselves.

There are hundreds of thousands of posts relating to the sick trend on Instagram.

It’s thought a group administrator assigns daily tasks to members, which they have to complete over 50 days.

The horrific tasks include self-harming, watching horror movies and waking up at unusual hours, but these gradually get more extreme.

On the 50th day, the controlling manipulators behind the game reportedly instruct the youngsters to commit suicide.

Authorities say children should remember not to follow the crowd and not feel pressured into doing anything that makes them feel unsafe.

A spokesperson said: “Children can find it difficult to stand up to peer pressure but they must know it’s perfectly okay to refuse to take part in crazes that make them feel unsafe or scared.

“Parents should talk to their children and emphasize that they can make their own choices and discuss ways of how to say no.

“Reassuring a child that they can still be accepted even if they don’t go along with the crowd will help stop them doing something that could hurt them or make them uncomfortable.”

FOR KIDS: How to say no

It can sometimes be hard to stand up to your friends, but we offer the following tips on how to say no:

1) Say it with confidence.
Be assertive. It’s your choice and you don’t have to do something which makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable.

2) Try not to judge them.
By respecting their choices, they should respect yours.

3) Spend time with friends who can say ‘no’.
It takes confidence and courage to say no to your friends. Spend time with other friends who also aren’t taking part.

4) Suggest something else to do.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing what your friends are doing, suggest something else to do.

Any child worried about peer pressure or online worries can tell an adult.

Fidget Spinner

Domingo, 14 Mayo 2017

How to make a Fidget Spinner.

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How it works.

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Introducing Zealandia

Jueves, 2 Marzo 2017

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Scientists think New Zealand might be part of a lost underwater continent.

New Zealand is made up of many small islands, but geologists say they’re all connected by one underwater continent.

A group of geologists believes New Zealand and several surrounding islands, including New Caledonia, should be reclassified as part of an eighth continent called Zealandia. The archipelago, or group of islands, is currently grouped with Australia in the Australasia region. But scientists think there is enough geological evidence to give New Zealand its own continent designation.

The islands are connected by submerged continental crust. That crust, or outermost layer of earth, is separate and distinct from Australia and Antarctica. About 94% of that 1.9 million-square-mile land mass  is underwater. Still, the geologists argue that the area should count as its own continent.

The geologists spent more than two decades gathering enough data to make the case for Zealandia.

They argue that if Earth’s surface was mapped the way other planets have been—that is, without massive oceans to obscure landforms - Zealandia would long ago have been recognized as a continent.

Swedish Taxi-pod

Domingo, 8 Enero 2017

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Students in Goteborg’s busy city centre do not need to take a bus or a traditional cab to travel through the city anymore. They can use a new service – a Taxi-pod, a three-wheeled yellow slightly miniature and battery-powered car.

The company Burst was founded in November 2014 with the idea to beat traffic. The idea is to solve the problem for traffic in centres in big cities. The company would like to provide a perfect service for short trips within the city from A to B. The idea is also to reduce vehicle emissions in central areas.

People using the bus travel probably for longer distances, they do not need to be in a hurry, and they do not need to get straight to their final destination. But for lots of people, traveling quickly is very important.

However, it is not just speed that concerns the makers of these cars, but improving the quality of air. They see a huge potential for solving congestion problems and problems with air quality in pretty much all cities across the globe.

One of the passengers finds that the Taxi-pods are environmentally friendly, cheap, easy to get by in the city and fun.

 

Leonard Cohen’s Speech - Prince of Asturias Awards 2011

Jueves, 1 Diciembre 2016

Leonard Cohen

Italy earthquake: Why did no-one die in the latest disaster in Norcia?

Miércoles, 2 Noviembre 2016

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When Italy suffered its strongest earthquake in decades on Sunday, multiple buildings collapsed and a number of people were injured. Yet so far there have been no reports of any fatalities.

So why did the villagers in central Italy escape relatively unscathed, even though many lost their homes and belongings?

The magnitude 6.6 quake was far stronger than the 6.0 disaster on 24th August that claimed 298 lives, many of them in the town of Amatrice, an hour’s drive from Norcia.

Thirty-six years earlier, in 1980, a 6.9 magnitude quake near Naples left almost 2,500 people dead, with many more injured and homeless.

The answer, according to a seismologist, is memory and fear.

There was no such gap for Norcia, which has felt the devastating effects of two large earthquakes - including a 6.1 magnitude earthquake that hit the Umbria and Marche regions in 1997 - in the past 40 years. Each time, its buildings were strengthened, its residents reminded of the devastation the earth could cause.

By the time the quake struck Norcia at 07:40 on Sunday, there was no-one in the area who did not remember.

The region has been rocked by four aftershocks since 24th August - two in the last week alone.

Thousands of people have already fled to the safety of relatives’ homes, shelters and hotels on the coast, far away from the towns filled with historic - and more vulnerable - buildings. Others were living in their cars, terrified of their homes collapsing on them as they slept.

Undoubtedly, this will have saved lives. In the village of Ussita, just north of Norcia, a man watched the buildings around him collapse from the safety of his car.

But there is also one other, so far unexplained, reason. Despite registering as a stronger earthquake than the one in August, it may have actually been weaker.

Geologists are trying to work out exactly why.