Hidden Figures

The film Hidden Figures reveals the untold true story of a team of African-American women mathematicians, or “human computers” who helped the success of the Apollo Moon landings program in the 1960s. This is about three African-American women working in segregated NASA in 1961, 62 and 63.

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After I have watched the trailer I have decided on two characters from the movie that I want to know more about, John Glenn and Katherine Johnson.

John Herschel Glenn (1921-2016) was a United States Marine Corps aviator, engineer, astronaut, and United States Senator from Ohio. In 1962 he was the first American to orbit the Earth, circling it three times. Before he joined NASA, Glenn was a distinguished fighter pilot in World War Two, and Korea with six Distinguished Flying Crosses and eighteen clusters on his Air Medal.

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What happened to the three African-American women, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson, after the period described in the movie?

 

Katherine Johnson added another extraordinary achievement to her long list: President Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor.

Dorothy Vaughn became an expert FORTRAN programmer, and she also contributed to the Scout Launch Vehicle Program. She retired from NASA in 1971. She sought, but never received, another management position at Langley.

Mary Jackson retired from Langley in 1985. Among her many honors were an Apollo Group Achievement Award, and being named Langley’s Volunteer of the Year in 1976.v

 

 

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The global challenges of gender inequality

“Gender inequality refers to unequal treatment or perceptions of individuals based on their gender It arises from differences in socially constructed gender roles.” 

Gender inequality remains a major barrier to human development. Through the Global Gender Gap Report, the World Economic Forum quantifies the magnitude of gender disparities and tracks their progress over time, with a specific focus on the relative gaps between women and men across four key areas: health, education, economy and politics.  Below there is a map of countries ranked according to calculated gender gaps.The darker the blue is, the less of a gap there is between men and women.

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The map is from the The global gender gap report 2016 and it covers 144 countries. Despite massive progress, women’s rights remain a critical issue throughout the world especially in regions like North Africa and the Middle East. Gender inequality is a global challenge.

Girls and woman made major strides and has gotten more rights ever since 1990, but have not yet gained gender equality. Way too often women and girls are discriminated, when it comes to health, education, political representation, labour market and so on.

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Gender equality is necessary for us to be able to live in a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. To provide women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent, work, and representation in political and economic discussions, sure will benefit all societies and the worlds humanity.

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Study Abroad

One of the competency goals for todays lesson is t locate, elaborate on and discuss international educational options and employment option.

In class today we wrote a CV. You can read it here: cv. Then we were told to look up places to study abroad. We had to pick one volunteer program and one school program in two continents and to write down and explain your choices on your blog. Here are my choices.

 

Volunteer program

I have chosen to volunteer in South Africa with International Volunteer HQ. It is the world’s most affordable and trusted volunteer organization. IVHQ has a wide range of volunteer abroad projects available in South Africa, including Teaching, Childcare, Surf Outreach, Sports Development and Computer Training. I want to work with children, and the project i chose is “Childcare”. On the Childcare project in South Africas top priority is to provide care and education for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. This sounds to me as an interesting and giving project to be a part of. If I were to be apart of this pork´sect i would be placed in day care centers attended by children from poor backgrounds and broken homes. Some of the children have lost their parents to crime, alcohol or drug abuse, and HIV/ AIDS, forcing them to live with their relatives or neighbors, who often do not have the means to take proper care of them. This project is very important, and i would truly love to be apart of something that could make children life better.

 

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School program

Boston City Campus and Business College – Get on course to be BOSS.

Boston City Campus and Business College claims to give the right start to a successful career. They are guaranteed to give the guidance you need to obtain your qualification. A Boston qualification will give the recognition you want and place you ahead of the pack. This school sounds very interesting to me. I am interested in working with business, and Boston City Campus and Business Collage seems like a solid school that can get me “ahead of the pack”.

 

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Thank you so much for reading my post,
-Ingrid.

Varieties of English

There are many varies of English in the world. The two best known are British and American English, but there are also African, Asian, Pacific and Caribbean varieties. English as a widely used language has through its contact with other languages developed regional distinctiveness in many countries. In this blogpost I am going to give tree examples of other varieties of English than those that are used in the Anglo-American core area and I am going to reflect on their distinctive character.

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I have chosen to write about Indian English, Malaysian English and Singapore English.

  • Indian English

Indian English is one of the two official languages in India, the other language being Hindi. The language that the people choose to speak in India often reflects their socioeconomic standpoint. When they speak Indian English instead of Hindi it’s often because of the use of the language in trading, also known as a lingua franca. This gives the Indian English speakers a great advantage when it comes to trading, but also with sharing cultural beliefs to non-native speakers, using Indian English as a bridge between languages. The clear difference between English and Indian English is that the Indian English has almost phonetic spelling. For example, “jewelry” is pronounced /dʒʋeləriː/, and “jewel” is pronounced /dʒʋel/. English is a stress-timed language which means that only certain words are stressed in a sentence. Whereas Indian English speakers often speak in a syllabic rhythm. This causes, of course, a different rhythm when the Indians speak, and plays a major part in dividing the two languages. Furthermore, when English speaker stress syllables they tend to go high pitched, whereas Indian English speakers go low pitched when they stress syllables. Thus creating a whole other pronunciation to English words.

 

  • Malaysian English

Manglish or Mangled English is not to be confused with Malaysian English. Manglish consists of words originating from languages such as English, Malay, Hokkien, Mandarin, Cantonese, Tamil, and Malayalam. Even though Manglish resembles some southern variants of mandarin some American and Australian slang has impacted the language. These slang terms have probably been imported from American and Australian television. Manglish differs from geographical locations in Malaysia and on the west coast of West-Malaysia the language is almost identical to Singlish. There are large amounts of similarities between Singlish and Manglish, although they are seemingly similar there are some differences. The most distinct difference is found in the vocabulary seeing as the slang from American English is strong, especially in the Malaysian youth. The reason that Singlish and Manglish are so similar, is because they were both British colonies, during the same time period.

 

  • Singapore English

Singapore English is the English language spoken in Singapore. There are two main forms, Standard Singapore English and Singapore Colloquial English, also known as Singlish. Although Standard Singapore English is mainly influenced by British English and, recently, American English, there are other languages that also contribute to its use on a regular basis, such as Chinese, Indian and Malay.  Most of the educated Singaporeans speak Standard Singapore English, mostly because it is not too far from British English grammatically. Unlike Standard Singapore English, Singlish includes conversation particles and loan words from Malay, Mandarin and Hokkien, and isn’t used in formal communication.

Singaporeans, even those of the same ethnic group, have many different first languages and cultures.Within the Singaporean Chinese group almost a third speaks English as their home language while nearly half speak Mandarin as their home language. The rest of the Singaporean Chinese group speaks various mutually intelligible Chinese dialects as their home language.

 

I recommend you to watch the video below.  Try to see how well you understand Singlish!

 

 

 

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Thank you for taking the time to read. I hope you learned something.

-Ingrid.

Gran Torino

Today in class we watched the movie “Gran Torino”. Gran Torino is directed by Clint Eastwood who also has the lead role in the movie. It raises a number of issues, including ethnic relations, immigration, economic changes in America, life in urban America, individual violence and conflict resolution.

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After we watched the movie we were told to open a pdf file and choose 5 questions to answer and write about on our blogs. The questions should be important to the understanding of the movie. Here are the 5 questions i choose to answer:

 

  • How would you describe Walt’s relationship with his family?  At the start of the movie, Walt is seen at his wife’s funeral. What impression does he have of his son’s family from these scenes?

I would say Walt relationship with his family is cold. There is no empathy from his sons’ side, therefore also the grandchildren have no respect for their grandfather. They show no respect, and respect is important to Walt so I think he is disepointed in his family.

 

  • How does the physical state of the neighborhood impact the movie? What does the condition of the homes say about the neighborhood? How has the neighborhood’s population changed over the years and why? Why has Walt stayed?

Walt Kowalski is a cantankerous, retired polish American assembly line worker ans Korean War veteran. He has recently lost his wife, after a 50 years long marriage. He lived in the Highland Park neighborhood in the Detroit area of Michigan. The neighborhood`s population changed over the years. It used to be populated by working-class white families, but is now dominated by poor Asian immigrants. Gang violence is very usual. The houses in the street are old, broken and some are abandoned. So why has Walt stayed? Walt rejects a suggestion from one of his sons to move to a retirement community. This is because he is sensing that his son just wants his home and possession. I also think Walt stays because he has lived there for a long time, and probably has many good memories from there. He has lived there over 50 years, with his wife and maybe it feels like the he feels like he is closer to her when he lives where they used to live together. Walt ends up staying and lives alone with his elderly dog, Daisy.

 

  • Walt locks Thao up. Why does he do this? Was locking him up the right thing to do? Have you ever tried to protect someone from themselves?

Spider’s gang, the mean boys, kidnap and rape Thao’s sister Sue. There are no other witnesses, while the community members, including the victims, refuse to assist the police to incriminate the assaulters. The next day, Thao seeks Walt’s help to exact revenge, whereas Walt tells him to return later in the afternoon. When Thao returns, Walt takes him to the basement, and locks him up, until the revenge is over, to make sure the boy will never be haunted by killing someone. Walt sure knows how that feels. I think this was a very caring thing to do of Walt. It shows that Walt truly was a good man.

 

  • At the end of the movie, Walt sacrifices himself for Thao’s family and the neighborhood. Why did Walt do what he did? Would he have done the same for his family? What makes or allows a person to make such a sacrifice for someone else?

Walt got very close with Thao and his family, and he respected them. After the Spider`s gang attack Walt felt like he had to make it up to the Hmong family. Walt offered his life, so that the attackers could be caught red handed, on the eyes of dozens of neighbors. His plan was well thought through, as he didn’t even have a gun on him- this makes him innocent and clears him of all charges. I think what makes or allows us to make such a sacrifice for someone is the love. Walt really cared about the Hmong family, and justice was very important to him. He was brave and sacrificed himself.

 

  • At the end of the film, Walt bequeaths the car to Thao instead of a family member. Was this unexpected? The last scene shows Thao driving the car down the road. The car has not been modified. What does this scene signify?

The scene that shows Thao driving the car down the road shows that he finally is free, because Walt saved him from the Spider`s gang. I expected that Walt would give Thao the car. They became close throughout the film and they respected one another. I think Walt gave Thao the car because of this, Thao turned out to be like a son to Walt. The son he never had.

Thao respected Walt, and for Thao to being given one of Walt`s most beloved things must have been a great pleasure. The Gran Torino was the only thing Thao had left from Walt, and it makes sense that Thao wants to keep it just the way it was when Walt lived. To honor his memory.

 

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-Ingrid

FAKE NEWS

In class today we have learned about fake news and how they can be very convincing. We have explored the dangers of believing things we read, and how the internet and newspapers are fooling us into believing things that may not be true. Fake news has gained a lot of attention internationally, and it has turned out to be a global challenge. It is a problem for our democracy and it can make people doubt and question what they read about things such as politics. In this blogpost I will discuss and how fake news affects us and our democracy.

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Over the years there has been made increasingly more fictitious websites and articles.The problem with fake news is that they leaves so much room for people to greatly impact other people’s opinion without having to convince them through arguments and facts.

We live in a digital world, were everyone has access to posting whatever they want. This makes it easy for people to spread things, such as news,  that aren’t true. It is incredibly easy to make fake news. There are meny sites to use making them. One site is breakyourownnews.com. To prove how easy it is to make them I made a fake news myself!

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In the heated discussions over the effects of fake news on democracy and civil society, Trump has often taken center stage. “He has used false claims to attack his political opponents, question the legitimacy and loyalty of the Obama administration and other Democrats, and undermine the news media, the federal government and other institutions that many of his supporters do not trust.” 

We have cooperated with som Australian students to hear their opinion on the topic. I read though the padlet and I agree with Tony Ferazzoli. He says “For news to be effective and factual, all statements must be backed up with evidence and the evidence must be explained accurately, or it can be skewed or manipulated. There is no excuse for people to be so ignorant and blinded by fake news when everyone has easily access to the internet and a quick search. Most websites and newspapers should be verified, and all statements should be checked before they are incorporated into someone’s political opinion.” I think everyone have a responsibility to do research to make sure the news for instants are real. Like Ferazzoli says, its just a quick search. But it may not always be easy. Sometimes the fake news can be very reliable. So what can you do to empower yourself against misinformation?

  1. Fact check every statement and headline.
  2. Report inaccuracies and misinformation on social media.
  3. Inform yourself about trustworthy sources.
  4. Check browser extensions for unreliable sources.
  5. Refer to a list of fake news outlet.
  6. Be curious and ask questions, you don’t have to belive or agree with everything you read- be critical!

 

We have been getting input on this topic from other countries trough Skype. Today we skyped with South-African students, to hear what they had to say about fake news. We have also made a Padlet, where students from my class, Australia, USA and Bergen has commented on the topic. It seems like most students shares the same opinion that fake news are negative. For instance, Ariana from Australia, writes that “Fake news can influence our society and change people’s opinion towards a subject. In research project, fake news can have a important influence to the reliability of the source.”  I agree with this, and so does Jefferson from USA too. “…The point is really to certify that what you are reading is factual and not opinion by using several sources and to not believe the first thing you see. If you do happen to see an image of news with a title that seems questionable, analyze the details that are on the photo, like the photo with the person holding the flag from Venezuela at a supposed anti-Trump rally in Los Angeles when it actually involved an event in Venezuela. The image of news should have immediately given a red flag when a Venezuelan flag popped up because, generally, seeing that in an event like that one makes no sense and breeds suspicion. Just be cautious when reading or viewing something that claims to be news.” Here you can read more interesting points on the topic: https://padlet.com/annmic13/kanf1ktcf8dc.

 

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-Ingrid

The Joy Luck Club and The White Tiger

In class today we got a task to, In groups of 2, work together on finding information about the two authors Aravind Adiga and Amy Tan. We are making a list of 5 interesting facts about each to present in our group. Using Twitter as one of our sources by following the authors and reading their tweets.

 

Amy Tan, born in 1952, is an best selling American writer whose works explore mother-daughter relationships and the Chinese American experience. Her best known work is The Joy Luck Club. In 1993, director Wayne Wang adapted the book into a film. The Joy luck Club is a 1989 novel. It focuses on four Chinese American immigrant families in San Francisco who start a club: The Joy Luck Club. The book follows the immigrants and their life in America.

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Aravind Adiga is an Indian writer and journalist who was born in 1974. The White Tiger was his debut novel and it was published in 2008. He won the 40th Man Booker Prize the same year. The novel supply a darkly humorous perspective of India’s class struggle in a globalized world. It is told through a retrospective narration from a village boy.

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We chose to go further on our research on Aravind Adiga and Amy Tan. We watched a video on each author. Based on the videos and our research we are going to write two short paragraphs about our impression of the authors.

After watching the video on Amy Tan I must say she is an inspiring author. She has written her books and novels based on her own experiences. The mother and father figures in her books are inspired by her own parents.For instance Amy learning about her mother’s former marriage to a man in China, and of their four children, and how her mother left her children from a previous marriage behind in Shanghai was the basis for The Joy Luck CLub.  I think this makes her books way more touching and interesting.

My first impression on Aravind Adiga after watching the video is that he is concerned about freedom. In his first sentence he says “The White Tiger is a story about a man’s quest for freedom”. It also seems like he is concerned about equality because he talks a lot about the difficulties with the class system in India. The book The White Tiger seems like an interesting, enjoyable and globalized book.

 

Based on this research I have chosen to read the book The joy Luck Club. It seems like a good book that I can learn a lot from. I am looking forward to reading it!

 

Thank you for reading our post,
-Ingrid and Marthe

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