Showing posts with label Youth Related. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Youth Related. Show all posts

14 December 2020

Emerging Canadian Artist Alicja Hlibowicka’s Art Rules the Roost

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Emerging Canadian Artist Alicja Hlibowicka’s Art Rules the Roost
"David" by Alicja Hlibowicka
Move over COVID-19, Alicja Hlibowicka’s bright and colourful bird art is ready to reinvigorate 2021 with positivity. Currently settled in Luxembourg, she has found a niche in her work that is as vibrant and fun as her own personality. Her roosters and chickens are displayed in bright, energetic and reflective images, each with their own distinct character.
Alicja hopes people who see her art will enjoy the colourful, fun elements and tap into the more rounded characters she gives her birds. In fact, the artist stumbled upon her art-form by accident, after looking for an animal that represented a close friend.
My friend David is such a distinct, flamboyant character - I knew there had to be an animal that reflected his personality. A rooster seemed the perfect fit. These animals are proud but colourful and form such a part of our culture that it was easy to start seeing how I could paint other people and icons who have influenced me as roosters and chickens.” Alicja said.
Emerging Canadian Artist Alicja Hlibowicka’s Art Rules the Roost
"Mini Jackson Solo" by Alicja Hlibowicka
Ever since the history of mankind, roosters have symbolised so much: observance, masculinity, bravery, honesty, prudence, pride, strength, positivity, enthusiasm, and sexuality, all things that we as humans look for. But what is defines Alicja’s work is from others, is the story element which plays a vital component to her inspiration and final work. Often, this is reflected through a vignette of the real person’s life which she captures as a chicken or rooster (i.e. woman or man). 

  • Alicja also incorporates everyday items into the rooster or chicken’s universe that is identified with the original subject. In her original artwork for David for instance, the real person was rarely without a cigarette, Alicja just could not paint the rooster any other way but with a cigarette between his beak.
Emerging Canadian Artist Alicja Hlibowicka’s Art Rules the Roost
"David - LED" by Alicja Hlibowicka
Since the first painting of David, Alicja has now a collection of over 15 originals based on friends’ colleagues, idols and icons, all themed as roosters or chickens. Her work has also expanded to LED and neon lamp versions, which have become favourites among her followers on platforms such as Etsy and Instagram as well as the attendees of her two art exhibitions held in Luxembourg before COVID-19. The lamps are as brightly coloured as her original art which inspired them.
My painting ‘David’ is so popular I turned him into a LED version lamp, which shines beautiful colours. The colour, positivity and optimism told through my art would hopefully lift anyone, especially in these days where there have been so many restrictions on life.” Alicja said.
Emerging Canadian Artist Alicja Hlibowicka’s Art Rules the Roost
Alicja Hlibowicka

About Alicja Hlibowicka:

Alicja Hlibowicka is an emerging artist and the founder of Roosters and Art. She creates contemporary rooster art. She also works for a European Institution. Born in Tunisia to Polish parents, Alicja was raised in Canada. She has been painting for fun since she was a young child.

Alicja first created an art collection during secondary school. Later as a student, she continued to paint based on her mood and inspirations in life. She is chiefly inspired by people's personalities, fashion and colours. Her art depicts animals that emit human psychology. Alicja keeps it fun and colourful so it emits good energy.

"Chicken on White" by Alicja Hlibowicka

10 December 2020

Ho Ho Ho! Santa Claus Plans Socially Distant (and Out of this World) Visit to the International Space Station

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Ho Ho Ho! Santa Claus Plans Socially Distant (and Out of this World) Visit to the International Space Station
Santa's sleigh flying past the International Space Station on a precise digital twin of the Earth built by Cesium, a Philadelphia-based tech startup.
The North Pole has confirmed that Santa's sleigh will perform a ceremonial fly-by of the International Space Station (ISS) on December 24. The out-of-this world visit will honor the 20th anniversary of continuous life on the ISS, a milestone achieved in November.
The official NORAD Santa Tracker at NoradSanta.Org enables users to track Santa's journey all day on December 24. New for this year, visitors will be able to see the ISS orbiting the planet in its precise real-time location by zooming out on the 3D Santa Tracker app. 

  • Other updates include additions to Santa's traditional garb, including a face mask, and for part of the journey - a space helmet.
NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, is a United States and Canada bi-national organization that defends North America by tracking objects flying in and around its airspace 24 hours a day using radar, satellites and fighter jets. Each year, it joins corporate partners in taking on a special mission to also track Santa's sleigh. 

  • The app shows Santa's position reflected on a highly accurate digital twin of the Earth provided by Cesium, a Philadelphia-based geospatial software company.
"Cesium is rooted in aerospace, so it's especially meaningful to us that our technology will allow millions of people to enjoy this event in real-time from the safety of their homes," said Cesium CEO Patrick Cozzi.
"The ISS is a spectacular example of what humans can accomplish when we work together," said Hannah Pinkos, lead developer of the app. "2020 has been a tough year, but I think this special trip is Santa's way of reminding us to believe in ourselves."
Ho Ho Ho! Santa Claus Plans Socially Distant (and Out of this World) Visit to the International Space Station
Santa Claus Plans Socially Distant Visit to the International Space Station (Photo by cottonbro)

About Cesium - The Platform for 3D Geospatial:

Cesium has been providing the 3D geospatial platform that powers the NORAD Tracks Santa app since 2012. Born at aerospace software company AGI, an Ansys Company, Cesium became independent in 2019. Its open platform is used across industries to build applications using 3D location data collected from sensors like satellites and drones. By creating precise digital twins of the Earth with Cesium, users can understand the operations of smart cities, measure piles of soil on construction sites from thousands of miles away, and even track the location of Santa's sleigh in real-time as he travels around the globe. 

SOURCE: Cesium

8 December 2020

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Researchers Find Elevated Biomarker Related to Blood Vessel Damage in All Children with SARS-CoV-2 Regardless of Disease Severity

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Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Researchers Find Elevated Biomarker Related to Blood Vessel Damage in All Children with SARS-CoV-2 Regardless of Disease Severity
Silhouette of a boy during sunset (Photo by Orlando Vera)
Researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have found elevated levels of a biomarker related to blood vessel damage in children with SARS-CoV-2 infection, even if the children had minimal or no symptoms of COVID-19. 
  • They also found that a high proportion of children with SARS-CoV-2 infection met clinical and diagnostic criteria for thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA). TMA is a syndrome that involves clotting in the small blood vessels and has been identified as a potential cause for severe manifestations of COVID-19 in adults.
"We do not yet know the clinical implications of this elevated biomarker in children with COVID-19 and no symptoms or minimal symptoms," said co-senior author David T. Teachey, MD, an attending physician, Co-Leader of the Immune Dysregulation Frontier Program, and Director of Clinical Research at the Center for Childhood Cancer Research at CHOP. "We should continue testing for and monitoring children with SARS-CoV-2 so that we can better understand how the virus affects them in both the short and long term."
Most children infected with SARS-CoV-2 have mild or minimal symptoms, although a small proportion develop severe disease or Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), a post-viral inflammatory response to COVID-19. Researchers have identified TMA mediated by the complement cascade as a potential cause for severe manifestations of COVID-19 in adults. The complement cascade is part of the immune system that enhances the immune response but also promotes inflammation. However, the role of complement-mediated TMA has not been studied in children.

To assess the role of complement activation in children with SARS-CoV-2, the Immune Dysregulation Frontier Program, including co-senior authors Edward Behrens, MD and Hamid Bassiri, MD, PhD and co-first authors Caroline Diorio, MD and Kevin McNerney, MD, analyzed 50 pediatric patients hospitalized at CHOP with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection between April and July 2020. Of those 50 patients, 21 had minimal COVID-19, 11 had severe COVID-19, and 18 were diagnosed with MIS-C. The researchers used soluble C5b9 (sC5b9) as a biomarker for complement activation and TMA. sC5b9 has been implicated as an indicator of severity in TMA after hematopoietic stem cell transplant; transplant patients with markedly elevated sC5b9 have increased mortality.

The researchers found elevations of C5b9 in patients with severe COVID-19 and MIS-C, but to their surprise, they also found that C5b9 was elevated in patients with minimal or asymptomatic disease. Although the study was prospective, meaning patients were enrolled and data collected from the time of hospitalization, the researchers obtained some of the laboratory data retrospectively when it came to evaluating whether they met the clinical criteria for TMA. Of the 22 patients for whom complete data were available, 19 (86%) met the criteria for TMA. Additionally, sC5b9 levels were elevated both in patients who did and did not meet criteria for TMA.
"Although most children with COVID-19 do not have severe disease, our study shows that there may be other effects of SARS-CoV-2 that are worthy of investigation," Dr. Teachey said. "Future studies are needed to determine if hospitalized children with SARS-CoV-2 should be screened for TMA, if TMA-directed management is helpful, and if there are any short- or long-term clinical consequences of complement activation and endothelial damage in children with COVID-19 or MIS-C. The most important takeaway from this study is we have more to learn about SARS-CoV-2. We should not make guesses about the short and long-term impact of infection."
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Researchers Find Elevated Biomarker Related to Blood Vessel Damage in All Children with SARS-CoV-2 Regardless of Disease Severity
Dr. David Teachey (right) and Dr. Edward Behrens (left), co-senior authors of the study.

The findings were published today in Blood Advances:

About Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: 

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals, and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 595-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. 

5 December 2020

The Elves Are Flying Off the Shelf - 'The Elf on the Shelf' and 'Elf Pets' Are Scarce but Can Still Be Found in Select Locations

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The Elves Are Flying Off the Shelf - 'The Elf on the Shelf' and 'Elf Pets' Are Scarce but Can Still Be Found in Select Locations
The Elf on the Shelf® and Elf Pets® Are Scarce but Can Still Be Found in Select Locations (PRNewsfoto/The Lumistella Company)
Breaking news from the North Pole Press Room! Santa is aware that families are having difficulty finding The Elf on the Shelf Scout Elves and the Elf Pets this holiday season.
 "The Scout Elves really are flying off store shelves this season," states The Lumistella Company president, Mike Champion. "But Adoption Centers across the nation remain open and a few still have Scout Elves and Elf Pets ready to be taken home."
"More families are searching for safe and innovative ways to provide entertainment for their children or to lighten the family's mood this year," notes The Lumistella Company Co-CEO Christa Pitts. "Though it might be difficult to find our products, I encourage families to look at Party City, Michael's, Target, and Barnes and Noble. Those retailers still have available but limited supply. I also suggest visiting elfontheshelf.com to find out how to support community businesses and shop locally. Our website lists all of our adoption centers through a store locator feature."
  • There are lots of ways to engage with The Elf on the Shelf this season. Families can visit the official The Elf on the Shelf YouTube channel for music videos and shorts, watch the Elf Pets movies on streaming services, or visit the website for fun, engaging Christmas recipes or elf inspiration. "We are devoted to helping families create more joyful family moments this holiday season," Ms. Pitts added.
The Elf on the Shelf Scout Elves and the Elf Pets are Santa's official helpers from the North Pole. With over 17 million Scout Elves and Elf Pets adopted worldwide, and with this year marking their 15th year in business, The Lumistella Company's banner of Christmas-inspired brands proves once and for all that while their products might be tricky to find, Christmas spirit is soaring higher than ever.

30 November 2020

Marvel’s First On-Screen Muslim Superhero — Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel's Alter-Ego — Inspires Big Hopes

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Marvel’s First On-Screen Muslim Superhero — Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel's Alter-Ego — Inspires Big Hopes
Some Ms. Marvel comic storylines have revealed her as a well-rounded character while others have advanced Islamophobic themes. (Marvel)

Amid the stress of a rising second wave of COVID-19, comic book fans found something to celebrate this September. Marvel Studios announced the casting of its first on-screen Muslim superhero, Kamala Khan, the alter-ego of Ms. Marvel.

Much like Canadian teen actress Iman Vellani who was plucked for this role, Kamala has been a virtual unknown outside of comic fandom despite being a sensation since her series debut at the top of comic book sales charts in 2014.

It should be no surprise then that Marvel Studios decided to capitalize on this success and signed Kamala for her own TV series on Disney+ for an anticipated debut in late 2021 or early 2022.

As a researcher who has examined Muslim superheroes in American comics, I find Kamala to be the most intriguing of all American Muslim superheroes. She has an ability to destabilize stereotypes of Muslims while reinforcing ideas about American exceptionalism. In the hands of different writers in various comic iterations, she has appeared as multi-dimensional and stereotype-breaking, but also as a one-dimensional figure that advances Islamophobic themes.

Marvel’s First On-Screen Muslim Superhero — Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel's Alter-Ego — Inspires Big Hopes
Kamala Khan is a Pakistani American who speaks Urdu. Panel from Volume 1, digital edition. (Marvel)

Muslim characters post 9/11

It may seem that Marvel Studios is taking a big risk spotlighting a Muslim character when we are living in a time of rising anti-Muslim hatred in the West. But while there has been a resurgence of Muslim superheroes in American comics after 9/11, some of these representations reiterate stereotypes.

Muslim characters underwent a mini-makeover in popular culture after 9/11. Characters emerged from being buffoonish villains to figures who gave off the appearance of depth while simultaneously regurgitating stereotypes. American studies and ethnicity scholar Evelyn al Sultany coined the term “simplified complex representation” to describe this approach in her book, Arabs and Muslims in the Media: Race and Representation After 9/11.

Certainly, Muslim superheroes were a thing before 9/11. But after 9/11, a spate of Muslim superheroes emerged, including characters like the orientalized Sooraya Qadir (Dust), who appeared in New X-Men in 2002, Simon Baz, member of the Green Lantern Corps featured in Green Lantern, and Josiah X who first appeared in The Crew. This is fascinating to me since superheroes often function as patriotic symbols, and Muslims are regarded as the quintessential “other” because Islam is usually framed as incompatible with the West.

After reading Sooraya Qadir’s debut, it became obvious to me that comics found a new way to sensationalize Muslim representation.

Enter Kamala Khan

To me, Kamala seemed to be the rare glimpse of hope that existed on the other side of the rainbow if we just characterized Muslims — who make up almost one-quarter of the world’s population — as something more nuanced. And she delivered on that front, particularly in her early days.

Readers met her as a Pakistani American that spoke Urdu. This means we saw representation of Muslims in the West escape the frequent stereotypical assumption that all Muslims are Arabs and vice versa.

Marvel’s First On-Screen Muslim Superhero — Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel's Alter-Ego — Inspires Big Hopes
This panel from Ms. Marvel, Volume 1, digital edition, written by G. Willow Wilson and illustrated by Adrian Alphona, depicts Kamala Khan as a believable character in a possible real-world setting. (Marvel)

Later in Magnificent Ms. Marvel #13, written by the Arab American writer, Saladin Ahmed, the sole focus shifted away from Kamala Khan when an Arab American sidekick named Amulet was introduced.

Successful sales, popularity

In Ms. Marvel’s earlier volumes written by the Muslim writer, and white Muslim convert, G. Willow Wilson, we saw Kamala anointed with her superhero mantle to the tune of Amir Khusro’s poetry. We saw her juggle her schedule between battles and mehendis, and even got a glimpse of her great-great grandmother’s move from India to Pakistan during Partition.

Back then, I remember comic book store clerks telling me how popular Ms. Marvel was with customers. The print collection of the series sold half a million copies alone. As Wilson notes, the first issue had had eight separate printings and its digital edition became Marvel’s best-selling digital comic of all time. Its first volume, released in 2014, was ranked again amongst the top five in sales rankings in September 2020.

I remember thinking that this Urdu-speaking Muslim powerhouse could be the start of a new type of Muslim character. She was proof that creators didn’t need to recycle the tireless oppressed Muslim woman or terrorist Muslim male tropes for sales.

G. Willow Smith discusses Kamala Khan as ‘A Superhero for Generation Why.’

Introducing Islamophobic themes

But following the success of the Ms. Marvel series, Kamala appeared in Marvel’s Champions series about a team of teenage superheroes. Perhaps Marvel intended to further boost the popularity of the already-successful Ms. Marvel series by bringing in Mark Waid, a high-profile non-Muslim white writer, who authored the popular comic series (and award-winning graphic novel) Kingdom Come and others.

In Champions, some tired stereotypes surfaced. In the third issue, the team flies to a fictional South Asian country. There, they rescue hijabi Muslim girls from violent men who conform to stock villain Muslim stereotypes like the terrorists seen in Hollywood movies such as True Lies.

Here, Kamala is effectively used as a racist weapon against brown men and is depicted to suggest proof of western superiority. Sadly enough, I was concerned she could be used this way before she actually was.

I was reminded that such tropes may exist simply because of implicit bias as opposed to profitability.

Celebrate and watch

Marvel’s First On-Screen Muslim Superhero — Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel's Alter-Ego — Inspires Big Hopes
Kamala’s selfie with Wolverine, from ‘Ms. Marvel’ Volume 2, digital edition. (Marvel)

For now, we should celebrate the debut of Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first Muslim superhero. I have hope that the Disney+ series will do her justice as its showrunner is the stand-up comedian and writer Bisha K. Ali, known for incisive commentary.

However, Marvel plans to move Kamala eventually to the silver screen and there’s already talk of a Champions type of superhero team series featuring Kamala.

If anything of the likes of Kamala as a racist weapon to prove western superiority is featured, I can’t say there will be much cause for celebration.

About Today's Contributor:

Safiyya Hosein, PhD Candidate in Communication and Culture, Ryerson University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

20 November 2020

'Tis the Season to Be Safe: Top Tips for Your Family During COVID-19 [Video Included]

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'Tis the Season to Be Safe: Top Tips for Your Family During COVID-19
'Tis the Season to Be Safe: Top Tips for Your Family During COVID-19 - Poster
The holidays normally are a time to get together in person with friends and family. However, the pandemic may mean virtual celebrations this year. Regardless of how you celebrate, it's important to protect yourself from possible dangers associated with holiday trees, candles, and cooking fires, as well as unsafe toys.

To keep the season safe, here's what you need to know:

'Tis the Season to Be Safe: Top Tips for Your Family During COVID-19
'Tis the Season to Be Safe: Top Tips for Your Family During COVID-19 ( Photo by Polesie Toys)

Toys:

Data:
  • Choking on small parts and riding toy injuries: CPSC reports that in 2019, there were an estimated 162,700 toy-related, emergency department-treated injuries and 14 deaths to children younger than 15, with most of the deaths associated with choking on small parts, like small balls and small toy parts and riding toys.
  • Toy recalls: continue to decline, with nine toy recalls in fiscal year 2020, three involving a lead violation, compared to 172 recalls in 2008, with 19 involving lead violations. Toys were also recalled for defects, such as choking, entrapment, ingestion and laceration hazards. Recalled toys present choking, entrapment, ingestion and laceration hazards, among other hazards that pose the threat of death or injury to a child.
  • Scooters: The number of injuries associated with non-motorized scooters significantly decreased from 2015 to 2019 for children younger than 15, from about 45,500 to about 35,600 injuries.
Tips:
  • Follow age guidance and other safety information on the toy packaging, and choose toys that match your child's interests and abilities.
  • Get safety gear, including helmets for scooters and other riding toys–helmets should be worn properly at all times and be sized to fit.
  • Keep small balls and toys with small parts away from children younger than age 3, and keep deflated balloons away from children younger than 8 years old (discard broken balloons at once).
'Tis the Season to Be Safe: Top Tips for Your Family During COVID-19
'Tis the Season to Be Safe: Top Tips for Your Family During COVID-19 (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio)

Cooking:

Data:
  • Cooking fires are the # 1 cause of residential fires.
  • An average of 1,700 cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving Day each year, more than three times the average number on any other day of the year.
  • In the last two decades, there were 220 fire or scald/burn incidents involving turkey fryers, resulting in 81 injuries and $9.7 million in property loss.
Tips:
  • Never leave cooking food unattended on the stove.
  • Keep children away from the cooking area, and keep flammable items, like potholders and paper or plastic bags, away from the stove and oven.
  • Only fry a turkey outside and away from your home–not inside your garage, or on your porch. Do not overfill the oil in the turkey fryer and follow the manufacturer's instructions on use, including thawing your turkey thoroughly and maintaining control of the oil temperature.

'Tis the Season to Be Safe: Top Tips for Your Family During COVID-19
  'Tis the Season to Be Safe: Top Tips for Your Family During COVID-19 (Photo by Jonathan Borba)

Decorating:

Data:
  • On average, there are about 200 decorating-related injuries each day during the holiday season, with about half of the incidents involving falls. And in the 2018 holiday season, about 17,500 people were treated in emergency rooms due to holiday decorating-related injuries.
  • In the 2019 holiday season, there were six deaths associated with holiday season decorations.
  • From 2015 to 2017, on average, there were about 100 Christmas tree fires and about 1,100 candle fires (in November and December), resulting in 20 deaths, 160 injuries and nearly $50 million in property damage each year.
Tips:
  • Make sure your live Christmas tree has plenty of water, and look for the "Fire Resistant" label when buying an artificial tree.
  • Place burning candles in sight, away from flammable items, and blow them out before leaving the room.
  • Only use lights tested for safety by a national recognized testing laboratory. Throw out sets with broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.

The Video:

About the U.S. CPSC:

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.

  • Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.

13 November 2020

The Knight Bros. Slay COVID-19 [Video Included]

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The Knight Bros. Slay COVID-19
Wee Beasties - Written and Illustrated by Dr. David Knight, Music by Bradford Knight (The Knight Bros.) - a handwashing book and song for kids
Amid ongoing pressure from COVID-19 to keep kids and communities healthy, The Knight Bros. have created an illustrated children's book and song called Wee Beasties, that uses humor, art and rhyming verse to encourage good handwashing habits for early learners age 2 – 8, releasing November 16, 2020.
Wee Beasties is the first in a series of new illustrated books and songs by two brothers. Author and illustrator, Dr. David Knight, is a professor from Colorado State University who was en route to help lead an international program in Wuhan, China when the coronavirus effectively changed the world and put everyone on lockdown. His brother, Bradford Knight, is a singer-songwriter-musician living in southern California. 

  • In an unexpected twist of fate, the brothers found themselves quarantined together for five-months, giving rise to a steady stream of creativity and the launch of The Knight Bros. Their works now include more than two dozen titles.
The Knight Bros. Slay COVID-19
The Knight Bros. (image via theknightbros.com)
Commenting on Wee Beasties, Colleen Fracisco, a veteran nurse of 25 years' experience, said, "This book and song are great tools for parents and teachers to make handwashing meaningful for children. The book takes a hilarious look at germs and how they need to be washed away. It will help build quality hand hygiene skills that will last!
Preschool teacher, Kelly Gross, who has two decades of teaching experience at Los Angeles Unified School District, said, "Wee Beasties is an adorable picture book bound to inspire my preschoolers to wash their hands. The author's peppy and engaging rhyming text, combined with the bright and vibrant illustrations, and a creative song, lead to a fun reading and singing experience."

The Video:


Five more titles from The Knight Bros. collection will be released November 23 and December 12, building on safe, clean themes that both entertain and educate
  • BONNIE McBOWER is about a girl who has an insatiable showering experience 
  • BRUSHING brings attention to oral hygiene 
  • SMELLY FEET focuses on cleaning relentlessly stinky feet
  • BALLOON and ROLLER COASTER promote safety
Imparting important life lessons in a humorous way is the common thread woven through The Knight Bros. stories. While the primary audience is younger, the big kid in many of us will also enjoy it. 


SOURCE: The Knight Bros.

Related Stories:

6 November 2020

UNICEF and WHO Call for Emergency Action to Avert Major Measles and Polio Epidemics

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UNICEF and WHO Call for Emergency Action to Avert Major Measles and Polio Epidemics
A baby is being weighted and vaccinated in the health center of Gonzagueville, a suburb of Abidjan, in the South of Côte d'Ivoire. (CNW Group/Canadian Unicef Committee)
UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) have issued an urgent call to action to avert major measles and polio epidemics as COVID-19 continues to disrupt immunization services worldwide, leaving millions of vulnerable children at heightened risk of preventable childhood diseases.
  • The two organizations estimate that US$655 million (US$400 million for polio and US$255 million for measles) are needed to address dangerous immunity gaps in non-Gavi eligible countries and target age groups.
"COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on health services and in particular immunization services, worldwide," commented Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. "But unlike with COVID, we have the tools and knowledge to stop diseases such as polio and measles. What we need are the resources and commitments to put these tools and knowledge into action. If we do that, children's lives will be saved."
"We cannot allow the fight against one deadly disease to cause us to lose ground in the fight against other diseases," said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. "Addressing the global COVID-19 pandemic is critical. However, other deadly diseases also threaten the lives of millions of children in some of the poorest areas of the world. That is why today we are urgently calling for global action from country leaders, donors and partners. We need additional financial resources to safely resume vaccination campaigns and prioritize immunization systems that are critical to protect children and avert other epidemics besides COVID-19."
A 3-year-old girl receives a vaccine shot at a community health centre in Beijing, China, on 26 March 2020. Provinces other than Hubei, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, gradually resumed full vaccination services that had been halted due to the outbreak. (© UNICEF/UNI315081/Yuwei)
In recent years, there has been a global resurgence of measles with ongoing outbreaks in all parts of the world. Vaccination coverage gaps have been further exacerbated in 2020 by COVID-19. In 2019, measles climbed to the highest number of new infections in more than two decades. Annual measles mortality data for 2019 to be released next week will show the continued negative toll that sustained outbreaks are having in many countries around the world.

At the same time, poliovirus transmission is expected to increase in Pakistan and Afghanistan and in many under-immunized areas of Africa. Failure to eradicate polio now would lead to global resurgence of the disease, resulting in as many as 200,000 new cases annually, within 10 years.

New tools, including a next-generation novel oral polio vaccine and the forthcoming Measles Outbreak Strategic Response Plan are expected to be deployed over the coming months to help tackle these growing threats in a more effective and sustainable manner, and ultimately save lives. The Plan is a worldwide strategy to quickly and effectively prevent, detect and respond to measles outbreaks.

UNICEF & WHO's Call for Emergency Action to Avert Major Measles and Polio Epidemics - front cover
Generous support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has enabled previous access to funding for outbreak response, preventive campaigns and routine immunization strengthening, including additional support for catch-up vaccination for children who were missed due to COVID-19 disruptions in Gavi-eligible countries. However, significant financing gaps remain in middle-income countries which are not Gavi-eligible. This call for emergency action will go to support those middle-income countries that are not eligible for support from Gavi.

27 October 2020

#TeamZander or #TeamTakedown? - Interactive Film Releases Across Social Media Alongside A Universe of "Real" Characters [Video Included]

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#TeamZander or #TeamTakedown? - Interactive Film Releases Across Social Media Alongside A Universe of "Real" Characters
"Dared My Best Friend To Ruin My Life" (PRNewsfoto/DefinitelyReal.com)
Alternate Reality Cinema company This Is Definitely Real debuts the world's first alternate reality cinema project. 
Built around an extended-release movie in the style of Scott Pilgrim meets Fight Club, the story "Dared My Best Friend To Ruin My Life" extends through over a dozen narratives, interactive experiences, and fictional characters who respond to the 9 episodes with their own content and interact with the audience. 

  • In a world that feels increasingly like an alternate reality game, this first-of-its-kind asks its young adult audience to question what is real, play with their own online personas, and participate in the storytelling.
Based on a viral Reddit story of the same name, the experience begins when Team Takedown, an anarchist hacker group, bent on canceling everyone in power, hacks influencers. The protagonist Zander Jones hacks them back, sending a plea to the internet to help them find his kidnapped sister. 

  • As Zander's team grows, the audience can view the episodes or go down the rabbit hole, pick a side, and search for the truth.
"If you look at the comments on YouTube, people keep asking whether this is real. It looks fake, but is it real? The line has become so blurred that it's hard to define real any more. And we're getting people to ask those questions," said Michael Morgenstern the film's producer.
The story universe is populated with characters (all from the town of Emet's Crossing) with real social handles, websites, video series, and interactive experiences of their own, creating an explosion of content and a web to explore. 
Participants can message the characters and receive replies and watch videos from the local news show, alien puppet invaders, a beauty queen named Miss Information, a brutally satirical revenge-based fitness influencer, and Zander's mom, a technically illiterate boomer who drops her phone number [406-284-0565] all over the comments and will text back.
"Our fictional story is put together the way some news events are put together; the way conspiracy theories are put together. Social media is a place where stories are being told — some designed to manipulate us, and our audience is delighting in exploring these themes," says Morgenstern.
  • The audience is invited to take sides in the feud between two friends, becoming live participants in the internet-based thriller, or watch and enjoy as a fly on the wall..
"It's inevitable that stories will move out of movie theaters and into the world we live in, with the audience being invited to join in. It's just taken a few years for movies to catch up and really use the medium of the internet," says Morgenstern.
"The project is built exactly like QAnon, except we tell you we're fictional," Morgenstern said. Who hopes that the story leads to experiential understanding about how controversies and stories are incepted into the public consciousness.
 "This type of storytelling is used already politically, but this is the first time it's been used to tell a stylized, overtly fictional story at this scale.".
  • An independent team of over 400 immersive theater artists, marketers, technologists, and filmmakers have built the narrative machine that powers the experience.
On the eve of a polarized election, in a world where disinformation spreads rampant, the story's audience is engaging deeply with the story's questions: when is it right to cancel someone? Who really controls the stories we tell? Is there a good and a bad team, and which one am I on?

The Video:

Follow the story here: 


SOURCE: DefinitelyReal.com

#HalloweenIsHappening - 66% Of Americans Admit To Stealing From Their Halloween Candy Stash

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#HalloweenIsHappening - 66% Of Americans Admit To Stealing From Their Halloween Candy Stash
#HalloweenIsHappening - 66% Of Americans Admit To Stealing From Their Halloween Candy Stash (Photo by Karolina Grabowska)
Do you open the bag of mini Halloween treats as soon as you get it home from the store? About two-thirds (66%) of people admit to enjoying a few pieces of Halloween chocolate and candy before handing the treats out to trick-or-treaters or using them for other Halloween activities, according to a recent poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the National Confectioners Association.

Consumer Attitudes & Behaviors On Halloween:

  • 74% of millennial moms and young parents say that Halloween 2020 is more important than ever. (The Harris Poll)
  • 80% of the general public and 90% of millennial moms and young parents say they can’t imagine Halloween without chocolate and candy, and that trick-or-treating is irreplaceable. (The Harris Poll)
  • 2/3 will participate in trick-or-treating, whether handing out the candy or going out with their children. (NCA)
79% of parents indicate they have taken candy from their children
  • 79% of parents indicate they have taken candy from their children after a night of trick-ortreating. (Morning Consult)
66% of people enjoy at least some of their pre-purchased Halloween candy before using it for Halloween-related activities
  • 66% of people enjoy at least some of their pre-purchased Halloween candy before using it for Halloween-related activities, like passing it out to trick-or-treaters. (Morning Consult)
80% of people believe that they will find creative and safe ways to celebrate the Halloween season this year
  • 80% of people believe that they will find creative and safe ways to celebrate the Halloween season this year. This is up from just 63% in July. (NCA/Morning Consult)

Fun Facts:

Most people in the U.S. enjoy chocolate and candy 2-3 times per week, averaging about 40 calories per day and just one teaspoon of added sugar per day.
  • Most people in the U.S. enjoy chocolate and candy 2-3 times per week, averaging about 40 calories per day and just one teaspoon of added sugar per day. (NHANES)
What’s the right way to eat candy corn? Who enjoys candy corn the most
  • What’s the right way to eat candy corn? 
Who enjoys candy corn the most?
  • Who enjoys candy corn the most? 
Visit AlwaysATreat.com/HalloweenCentral for ways to celebrate a socially distanced but not socially awkward Halloween and join the conversation on social media with #HalloweenIsHappening.

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