Posts filed under ‘Current Events’
Avast, me hearties! Once a goofy idea celebrated by a handful of friends, “Talk Like A Pirate Day” has turned into an international phenomenon that shows no sign of letting up. From South Africa to the South Pole, from New York to the Pacific Northwest, everyone now has their own personal excuse to party like pirates every September 19th.
How It All Began
Once upon a time, in June 6, 1995, to be precise, John Baur and Mark Summers came up with this idea over a game of racquetball – they were not playing very well. Their calls of friendly encouragement to each other quickly turned into pirate slang: they are still not entirely sure how it all started. Anyway, whoever let out the first “Arrr!” started something. One thing led to another. “That be a fine cannonade,” one said, to be followed by “Now watch as I fire a broadside straight into your yardarm!” and other such helpful phrases.
After their hour on the court was over, they realized that lapsing into pirate lingo had made the game more fun and the time pass more quickly. They decided then and there that what the world really needed was a new national holiday, Talk Like A Pirate Day. Since then, for seven years the two celebrated Talk Like a Pirate Day pretty much on their own with a few friends. This particular day of pirate slang, however, might have remained virtually unknown if it had not been for one happy accident. One day in early 2002, John Baur chanced upon Dave Barry’s e-mail address. Dave Barry is a syndicated columnist, Pulitzer Prize winning author, and humorist.
After contacting him, John Baur and Mark Summers assumed a famous guy like Dave Barry would have more important things to do than read the e-mail of a couple of goofy guys with a hare-brained idea. It turns out, it was perfect material for his column and the idea exploded. Chat rooms all over the Web have been deluged with “Arrs” and “me hearties” and such. Radio stations were abuzz with the story and the two even interviewed with NPR’s All Things Considered. They tapped into something big, much bigger than anyone had ever anticipated: the world was finally introduced to Talk Like A Pirate Day.
What’s The Point?
The point is, there is no point: and that is what’s fun about Talk Like a Pirate Day specifically, and talking like a pirate in general. It gives your conversation a swagger, an elán, denied to landlocked lubbers and the like. The silliness is the holiday’s best selling point and embraces the mere image of swaggering pirateness. So when Sept. 19 rolls around and suddenly tens of thousands of people are saying “arrr” and “Weigh anchor or I’ll keelhaul the lot of you,” it staggers us. They are talking like pirates — not because two guys from the Northwestern United States told them to, but simply because it’s fun.
Basic Pirate Speak
Pirate lingo is rich and complicated. There are several sites online that offer glossaries of vernacular that will assist any aspiring pirate. But if you just want a quick reference, a “pirate patina,” if you will, here are the five basic words that you cannot live without. Master them, and you can face Talk Like a Pirate Day with a smile on your face, a swagger in your step, and a parrot on your shoulder.
Ahoy! – “Hello!”
Avast! - Stop and give attention. It can be used in a sense of surprise, “Whoa! Get a load of that!” which today makes it more of a “Check it out” or “No way!”
Aye! – “Why yes, I agree most heartily with everything you just said or did.”
Aye aye! – “I’ll get right on that sir, as soon as I adjust the hook.”
Arrr! – This one is often confused with arrrgh, which is of course the sound you make when you sit on a belaying pin. “Arrr!” can mean, variously, “yes,” “I agree,” “I’m happy,” ” “My team is going to win it all,” and “That was a clever remark you or I just made.” And those are just a few of the myriad possibilities of Arrr!
So be sure to enjoy Talk Like A Pirate Day this September 19th, and embrace the silliness. And be sure to follow the piratical John Baur and Mark Summers on their Facebook Fan Page – more than 15,000 fans strong – complete with a live feed of The Poopdeck newsletter. Or check them out on Twitter under “thecapnslappy“.
These days, most people are concerned about protecting the environment and “going green.” Individuals are recycling, reusing and reinventing more than ever. There seem to be thousands of eco-friendly tips and techniques out there for earth-conscious adults to use, but today’s teenagers are also looking for new ways to be green.
Today’s teens are more wired up, plugged in, worldly and savvy than ever. Many care deeply about the threats facing our environment, and are committed to making difference. To help in this earth-friendly endeavor, here are some green lifestyle tips geared to teens and tweens.
To help save the environment and their budgets, teens are purchasing distinctive, stylized clothing from area resale stores. Getting bargains on name brands and gently worn clothing at a fraction of the cost, teens are being economically responsible and following fashion trends. Their one-of-a-kind garments, accessories, and jewelry can really make a fashion statement and add personal style to their wardrobe. Plus, they are saving thousands of garments from ending up in landfills.
Teens are looking at product labels now more than ever, looking for “green” alternatives. The purchases they make on their beauty, hair, or personal care products, feature all-natural or organically certified ingredients. Many commercial shampoos, conditioners, skin cleansers, moisturizers, makeup and other products contain a host of chemicals, additives and generally bad-for-the-environment ingredients. Natural and organically certified personal care products do not contain these harmful ingredients and still come in all of the fresh, fruity scents, colors and shades that teens like. In fact, many are made from recycled, reclaimed or organically grown materials and are manufactured using methods that save natural resources.
When toting school supplies, teens are choosing an earth-friendly backpack or tote made from reclaimed or organic fabric. There are countless styles out there, from stylish messenger bags to traditional slingback bags. Also think about the supplies that are put in those bags. Notebooks, paper, pencils, pens, markers, rulers, folders and book covers are all available in green versions that have been recycled, reclaimed or revamped in some way to save resources and materials.
As teens start thinking about their future, they are considering pursuing a green careers. Now more than ever, many different career fields are expanding to include green branches or offshoots for environmentally conscious individuals. Eco-friendly careers include environmental biologists, sociologists, social movement organizers, earth-friendly business owners, environmental attorneys, public relations professionals, educators, science teachers, green construction builders and architects, green city planners, environmental fundraisers and grant writers, community affairs managers and foresters, to name just a few.
Global warming is at the forefront of serious issues concerning America and the World, and topics such as alternative fuels, recycling, and environmentally friendly products are being discussed more and more. Although environmental issues are a serious matter, it seems that they will affect future generations more than any others. Teens are becoming more familiar with the “green” movement and developing opinions of their own about the state of the environment. The above tips, and more, are ways teens are beginning to “Go Green”.
For more on how teens can go green, check out Teens Turning Green.
Riley Carney is just 16 years old, but she realized early on the link between literacy and poverty. At 14, she founded Breaking the Chain, an organization that strives to provide educational opportunities for children living in poverty, both in the United States and abroad. Her activism has helped to build two schools in Africa and create a literacy center for children in a battered women’s shelter in her hometown of Englewood, Colo.
Riley, who has raised more than $90,000 for her charitable projects, is a Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes finalist. Now in its seventh year, the program recognizes outstanding kids for their contributions and community service by awarding 10 children a $7,500 scholarship each and another $2,500 to donate to their pet charitable causes.
Riley accomplished this by making two different videos to create awareness about literacy, which she showed at her high school/middle school. Also she began selling T-shirts which she designed herself, and by conducting a “jeans day” at school — students paid to wear jeans for the day — and by mailing out a large number of letters to members of the community. Today, her fund-raising efforts, and the two novels she has written, shows how much Riley, and literacyTee has changed the world.
“I’ve always been concerned with the welfare of children, since they can’t advocate for themselves.” says Riley. ” There are so many tragic things that happen to children around the world and they have no control over their own destinies. The cycle of exploitation and poverty can be broken through education, and the most important thing we can do to help children take control over their own lives is to provide them with the ability to read. Because there is a correlation between literacy and poverty, creating literacy opportunities is the key to eradicating poverty and exploitation.”
Teen Philanthropy is on the rise. Youth voice, youth involvement, youth participation, youth-centered programs, community youth development, meaningful youth engagement, youth civic engagement, child-friendly communities… Each of these titles are meant to summarize initiatives that are active, empowering, and democratic experiences for young people as they create change in their own lives, as well as the lives of others in the organizations, institutions, and communities they belong to. Stories such as Riley’s are not only inspiring, but prove that big change is possible.
Across the United States and around the globe, young people have joined a movement of mutual respect and human dignity called Spread the Word to End the Word. The goal: get people to stop and think about their hurtful and disparaging use of the word “retard” and pledge to stop using it.
Spread the Word to End the Word was created by youth with and without intellectual disabilities who participated in the Special Olympics Global Youth Activation Summit at the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games. The motivation for the campaign was driven by a united passion to promote the positive contributions people with intellectual disabilities make to communities around the world combined with a simple call to action – a pledge to stop using a word – that also symbolizes positive attitude change and a commitment to make the world a more accepting place for all people.
We found that almost all youth have heard the r-word and most have heard it used by a friend or a student at school. We also found that youth react differently to the r-word if it is directed at a person with a disability or if a friend says the word.
Half of youth (51%) said that they felt bad or sorry for the person being picked. Some responded that they either laughed or didn’t care when they heard the r-word and many (39%) said that they did nothing. Some youth (33%) took a stand and told the person it was wrong to say the r-word.
What YOU Can Do
Join he cause and the Spread the Word to End the Word’s Project UNIFY movement in schools around the U.S. Motivate your friends to get involved with a variety of fun youth activities. You can even contribute five minutes to take the Spread the Word to End the Word pledge.
Get in the game by joining Special Olympics Unified Sports®, where people with and without intellectual disabilities train and compete together on the same team.
Know someone with an intellectual disability? Refer them to a Special Olympics program nearby, and for more information, go to http://www.specialolympics.org/.
Post by Beth Carls, CEO, OneSeventeen Media & Co-Founder, KidThrive.org
Good Morning America reported Sunday morning on 16-year old Australian Jessica Watson’s quest to be the youngest person to sail solo, non stop, unassisted around the world. Jessica reports on her web site that her inspiration came from two pioneer sailors: Kay Cottee, the first woman to sail solo non-stop and unassisted around the world, and fellow Australian, Jesse Martin, the youngest person to do so.
While many of us might not set our sights on a goal like sailing around the world, we can take inspiration from the goal of this young woman. Even when it seemed her trip may not happen when, less than 24 hours before her departure, her yacht, Ella’s Pink Lady, was struck by a 63,000 tonne bulk carrier and sustained considerable damage, Jessica did not give up. What an inspiration she can be to us and our youth on the importance of goal setting! She shares her route and rules on her site and reported today the weather seems to be cooperating for her to depart Sydney, Australia toward Northern New Zealand around the middle of the coming week.
Jessica was born May 18, 1993 on the Gold Coast and currently lives in Buderim, Australia. Her mantra is: Always make the best of everything, Positive, ask questions, lots of questions. Her interests include: Anything outdoors and on the water, camping, the beach, reading, cooking, weather, fencing, dingy sailing, boat design and CHOCOLATE!
If you’d like to follow her 8-month journey, you can find her blog and other information on her web site.
Good luck, Jessica!
Registration is now open in the Young Minds Digital Times Film Competition (YMDT) 2009-2010! “Studio Chief” Converge magazine has a fantastic article about the competition on their website – “Lights, Camera, Interaction.” You can also check out the official YMDT Filmmaker Blog Buzz where you’ll find weekly tips, tricks, advice and news related to the competition.
There are new categories, prizes and sponsors in this year’s competition, and we hope you’ll choose to join YMDT as a student participant or by encouraging kids you know to sign up for this great opportunity. They competition also makes an excellent class project!