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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 07:34 PM
Number of posts: 6,730

About Me

Navy brat-->University fac brat. All over-->Wisconsin-->TN-->VA. RN (ret), married, grandmother of 11. Progressive since birth. My mouth may be foul but my heart is wide open.

Journal Archives

What is the best age to learn to read?

I was seven years old when I started to learn to read, as is typical of the alternative Steiner school I attended. My own daughter attends a standard English school, and started at four, as is typical in most British schools.

Watching her memorise letters and sound out words, at an age when my idea of education was climbing trees and jumping through puddles, has made me wonder how our different experiences shape us. Is she getting a crucial head-start that will give her lifelong benefits? Or is she exposed to undue amounts of potential stress and pressure, at a time when she should be enjoying her freedom? Or am I simply worrying too much, and it doesn't matter at what age we start reading and writing?

There's no doubt that language in all its richness – written, spoken, sung or read aloud – plays a crucial role in our early development. Babies already respond better to the language they were exposed to in the womb. Parents are encouraged to read to their children before they are even born, and when they are babies. Evidence shows that how much or how little we are talked to as children can have lasting effects on future educational achievement. Books are a particularly important aspect of that rich linguistic exposure, since written language often includes a wider and more nuanced and detailed vocabulary than everyday spoken language. This can in turn help children increase their range and depth of expression.

Since a child's early experience of language is considered so fundamental to their later success, it has become increasingly common for preschools to begin teaching children basic literacy skills even before formal education starts. When children begin school, literacy is invariably a major focus. This goal of ensuring that all children learn to read and write has become even more pressing as researchers warn that the pandemic has caused a widening achievement gap between wealthier and poorer families, increasing academic inequality.

Comment/personal experience below, too long for here.

Ukraine conflict: Airbus, ExxonMobil and Boeing take action over Russia ties

Airbus has joined rival planemaker Boeing and oil giant ExxonMobil on a growing list of corporate giants cutting ties with Russia.

The European manufacturer said it had stopped support and supply of spare parts for Russia's aviation industry.

Earlier, Boeing suspended operations and ExxonMobil said it would end a multi-billion dollar joint venture with Russian state-owned company Rosneft.

Firms are exiting Russia after the West imposed sanctions over Ukraine.

Airbus said on Wednesday: "In line with international sanctions now in place, Airbus has suspended support services to Russian airlines, as well as the supply of spare part to the country.

"Services provided by the Airbus Engineering Centre in Russia (ECAR) have also been suspended pending further review."

US aviation giant Boeing said it had suspended "major operations" in Moscow and temporarily closed its office in Ukraine's capital Kyiv.

"We are also suspending parts, maintenance and technical support services for Russian airlines," a Boeing spokesperson told the BBC.

Vlad, your economy is tanking and Chinese parts do not fit. What ya gonna do?

Ukrainian Citizens Are Taking It Upon Themselves To Capture Russian Military Vehicles

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may only be on its sixth day, but it’s already producing a flurry of accounts of Ukrainian soldiers and citizens alike defying the odds and standing up to their would-be occupiers. On the military side, stand-out stories so far have included the heroically futile defense of Snake Island and the mythic fighter ace known as the Ghost of Kyiv. Civilians who have grabbed headlines include Sunflower Woman, Ukrainian Tank Man, and now, a string of anonymous citizens who’ve apparently commandeered abandoned Russian military vehicles. To first get up to date on our most recent past coverage of the fighting so far, click here.

In the last few days, videos of these incidents have contributed to something of a social media phenomenon, one that’s also reflecting some of the surprising setbacks the Russian military is facing in a conflict that many had expected would be extremely one-sided. As it is, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have combined successes on the battlefield with a well-orchestrated public relations campaign that typically sets their ingenuity and heroism against the hapless Russian invaders. Though there are no clear indications one way or the other that any of this has been scripted, there are obvious propaganda and morale-boosting benefits from publicizing this imagery.

I guarantee you, this has got some of the funniest, most inspiring footage yet, including a TikTok video of an influencer showing how to drive a Russian tank she found abandoned.

Russia banned from international ice skating events after Ukraine invasion

Days after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the International Skating Union (ISU) announced it is barring all Russian ice skaters from participating in international skating competitions.

The ISU said in a statement that no skaters from Russia and Belarus "shall be invited or allowed to participate in International ice skating Competitions including ISU Championships and other ISU Events." Belarus is a close ally of Russia.

"The ISU Council will continue to closely monitor the situation in Ukraine and its impact on the ISU activity and will take additional steps if and when required," the ISU said.

The ISU said it was considering IOC's call to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from international competitions when making its decision, as well as appeals from ISU members and others. It's another hit to Russian figure skating, less than a month after 15-year-old Kamila Valieva became the subject of a doping scandal in the middle of the Beijing Winter Olympics.

FIFA and UEFA have also banned their soccer teams, and FIVB their volleyball teams. More sports federations are considering bans. Hit 'em where it hurts, right in the prestige

The Ruble Has Collapsed. Here's What It Means for Russia.

Russia’s currency collapsed after Western leaders announced unprecedented sanctions aimed at crippling Moscow, signaling an imminent crisis that experts say will deepen Russia’s isolation and fuel social discontent.

The Russian ruble has lost some 20 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar since Thursday, when Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine. This means anyone holding the currency can now buy less with their money.

Over the weekend, Western countries announced a set of new sanctions to punish Russia for its unprovoked invasion of the sovereign nation, including banning some Russian banks from the SWIFT payments system and restricting the Russian central bank from using its $640 billion of foreign exchange and gold reserves to prop up the ruble.

The measures, deemed unprecedented by many experts, are expected to deal a strong blow to the Russian economy. Anxious Russians waited in long lines outside ATMs on Sunday, worried the country would run out of cash.

“Economy and life in Russia will never be the same again,” said Alexander Titov, a Russia historian with Queen’s University Belfast.


Ukraine: what will China do? There are signs it is uneasy about Putin's methods

China’s decision to abstain on Friday night at the end of the UN security council vote condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine may be a source of deep frustration in the west, but it will also send a nervous tremor through the Russian ministry of foreign affairs that China’s protection is not unconditional.

UK-based diplomats, looking at the stance adopted by China in the middle of the week, were expecting Beijing to join Russia in voting against the US-sponsored motion, but in common with the United Arab Emirates and India, it abstained, leaving Russia isolated in deploying its veto power as a permanent member of the security council.

At one level, the vote represents the line of least resistance for China, and can be seen as a reversion to the safety of China’s long-standing support for the inviolability of borders, and advocacy of non-interference in the affairs of sovereign states. But there are tentative signs that China is uneasy at being seen to defend Putin’s methods, and the potential disruption to the world economy.

Putin may have shown his respect for China by delaying the invasion until after the Winter Olympics, but China was not consulted about the invasion. Chinese diplomats ridiculed forecasts of an invasion, and left many citizens in situ. The deeper partnership agreement signed with Russia on 4 February, the opening day of the Beijing Winter Olympics, was predicated on no invasion. China benefits from the existing world order, and finds the instability unsettling. The prospect of Russia being cut out of the Swift payment system may benefit Chinese efforts to build an alternative, but the short-term disruption is worrying.

It was noticeable, for instance, on Friday that Russia offered high-level talks with Ukraine in Minsk, albeit on unacceptable terms, after a conversation between Putin and President Xi Jinping.


This is what a REAL Commander in Chief looks like

Lt. Col. Vindman: Trump 'Absolutely' at Fault for Russia's Ukraine Invasion

The man who played a key role in then-President Donald Trump’s first impeachment says Trump’s attempts to coerce Ukraine for a quid pro quo played a big role in undercutting the country’s ability to fight off a Russian invasion.

Retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman served as the director of European affairs on Trump’s National Security Council, and was on the call when Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to “do us a favor” and dig up dirt on now-President Joe Biden.

Trump was impeached by the House in late 2019 for demanding that Ukraine investigate Biden while withholding hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of military aid the embattled country needed to defend itself against Russia. The Trump administration eventually released the aid, but not before a lengthy delay that strained the countries’ relations and clearly emboldened Putin.

Vindman was a key witness in that trial.

he puts much of the blame for Putin’s invasion squarely on Trump.


THIS is hitting them where it hurts!


The US should seize the assets of rich Russians

in the United States and its territories. Apartments, houses, yachts, etc. You know those people have got stuff here. Hold it for ransom until Vlad gets the hell out of Ukraine or out of office or both.
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