Monday, May 27, 2013

the meaning of Memorial Day....

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873.
Traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.
There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50's on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing.
"National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to 'Taps." The Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to returning the meaning back to the day. What is needed is a full return to the original day of observance. Set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country.

Why red poppies?   The idea to wear red poppies on Memorial Day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war was begun by Ms. Molina Michael. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms.Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children's League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans' organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their "Buddy" Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

'Big Bang Theory' Star Talks STEM. See how Tutor Doctor can spark your interest in STEM-- advanced science-- with in home tutoring!

Actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik interacts with local high school students at a HerWorld event in New York City in March.
Actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik interacts with local high school students at a HerWorld event in New York City.

'Big Bang Theory' Star Talks STEM

Art imitates life for Mayim Bialik. The former child star (see: "Blossom") earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of California—Los Angeles in 2007, and now plays neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler on the CBS sitcom "Big Bang Theory."
But Bialik doesn't just hold a degree or play a role. The actress teaches science to home-schooled students, and just wrapped up a monthlong stint as the face of National HerWorld Month, an initiative designed to educate high school girls about opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math.
[Find the best high schools for STEM.]
High School Notes talked with the actress, scientist and teacher about her experiences as a woman in a male-dominated STEM field and her advice for aspiring female scientists.
Q: You credit a former tutor with sparking your interest in science. What was it about that tutor's style or approach that made you view the subject differently?
A: The first thing that was special about her, that spoke to me, was that she was female. Growing up in a really boy-centered schooling system, where I thought science and math were for boys and the boys were happy to agree, it really helped for me to see someone female.
Also, the fact that she was so young and so enthusiastic; it seemed like that could be me. I think for a lot of girls that's something that's missing.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced as a woman studying in a male-dominated field?
A: I was really shocked that grown-up female professors that I was so honored to be working with and learning from were still whispered about by people, in terms of what they look like and how they dress. You really do have to ignore that.
I looked especially to the "classically attractive" female professors to see how they handled it. A lot of it involved really trying to be appreciated for your work, and not getting into it about all the other aspects of your physical appearance.
Q: Some critics say the "Big Bang Theory" perpetuates some of the stereotypes about both men and women in science. What's your take on this?
A: I'm very proud to play a female scientist. Obviously, Amy is much more of a frumpy, quirky, social misfit, but she's in a really interesting and emotionally satisfying relationship that is not sexual, which I think is fascinating for a sitcom to show.
We also have the Bernadette character, that's really more adorned - she always wears flowery dresses - but she's also a woman who loves being a scientist. There's a line in an upcoming episode where she talks about the first time she looked under a microscope, and it was so neat to have a female character saying, "I loved it. I fell in love with science."
Q: What do you hope young girls take away from the show?
A: One of the greatest fears for anyone who's ever been a nerd is that you'll never find someone - to live with, to be friends with and to have that kind of social community. I think it's really awesome to see a show depicting a "Friends" sort of cast, where all of them are quirky and enjoy Dungeons & Dragons and all sorts of things that "aren't cool."
Q: What is your advice for high school girls who are worried they'll be deemed "nerds" or "geeks" because of their interest/ability in STEM subjects?
A: There's no better population of young people to reach with the message: You don't have to be one thing. If there are things that interest you, it's in your best interest to pursue them. To get this kind of training, and to have this kind of knowledge and wisdom, really makes for a more creative and a more exciting possibility for all those other arenas of your life.

Q: Many students have that "I'm never going to use this" attitude toward advanced science and math. Acting isn't exactly a STEM career, but you've made it into one.
A: The training, and the knowledge and all of the things that come from learning about these subjects never leave you, no matter what you do. I view the world differently as a scientist now than I ever could have imagined I would.
It's not that you have to pursue a life in a STEM career if you train in it, though the fact is, the journey of this knowledge will likely make you want to pursue one of these fields. Even if you don't … math is everywhere. Science is everywhere. Having that knowledge is a wonderful, wonderful way to look at the world.