Saturday, July 26, 2014

Children 12 and under are fastest growing group of unaccompanied minors at U.S. border

.

Excerpts:
The new data show a 117% increase in the number of unaccompanied children ages 12 and younger caught at the U.S.-Mexico border this fiscal year compared with last fiscal year. By comparison, the number of apprehensions of unaccompanied teenagers ages 13-17 has increased by only 12% over the same time period.

Even though the growth is higher among younger children, the bulk of unaccompanied children caught at the border remain teenagers. In fiscal year 2013, nine-in-ten minors apprehended at the border were teens. This share has dropped as the number of younger children making the dangerous trip has risen dramatically: In the first eight months of fiscal year 2014, 84% were teens.
.

Child Migrants Have Been Coming to America Alone Since Ellis Island

.

Excerpt:
An unaccompanied child migrant was the first person in line on opening day of the new immigration station at Ellis Island. Her name was Annie Moore, and that day, January 1, 1892, happened to be her 15th birthday. She had traveled with her two little brothers from Cork County, Ireland, and when they walked off the gangplank, she was awarded a certificate and a $10 gold coin for being the first to register. Today, a statue of Annie stands on the island, a testament to the courage of millions of children who passed through those same doors, often traveling without an older family member to help them along.
.

What’s The Real Deal About The Atacama "Alien"?

.

Excerpt:
Researchers made a mysterious discovery in Chile’s Atacama Desert in 2003. This tiny skeleton looked human, but had many features that left scientists scratching their heads. When the images hit the internet, many people assumed the only explanation could be aliens. Thankfully, more reasonable heads prevailed and the remains were subjected to a battery of forensic testing in order to identify how this anomalous skeleton, nicknamed Ata, came to be.

So what made this specimen so peculiar? For starters, the skeleton was only 15 centimeters (6 inches) long. Many initially speculated that the remains were from a premature birth or miscarried fetus, though others disregarded the whole thing as a hoax.

Ata’s size isn’t the only thing that perplexed researchers; a host of physical deformities did not make it entirely clear if the skeleton is human or a non-human primate. Humans have 12 ribs, but this individual only had 10. The skull indicated the organism could have had turricephaly, which gives the head a cone-shaped appearance (which really didn’t help dissuade people from thinking Ata was an alien). Additional deformity of the face and jaw made the head look squished, giving it an appearance that was even further away from a typical human.
.

15 states with the highest share of immigrants in their population

.

Excerpt:
The 15 states where immigrants made up the biggest share of the population in 2012 account for about eight-in-ten (79%) of the nation’s immigrants. Although the rankings have changed over the past few decades, almost all of the states that have the highest immigrant population shares have remained the same.
.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Listen to the Oldest Song in the World: A Sumerian Hymn Written 3,400 Years Ago

.

Excerpts:
In the early 1950s, archaeologists unearthed several clay tablets from the 14th century B.C.E.. Found, WFMU tells us, “in the ancient Syrian city of Ugarit,” these tablets “contained cuneiform signs in the hurrian language,” which turned out to be the oldest known piece of music ever discovered, a 3,400 year-old cult hymn. Anne Draffkorn Kilmer, professor of Assyriology at the University of California, produced the interpretation above in 1972. (She describes how she arrived at the musical notation—in some technical detail—in this interview.) Since her initial publications in the 60s on the ancient Sumerian tablets and the musical theory found within, other scholars of the ancient world have published their own versions.

The piece, writes Richard Fink in a 1988 Archeologia Musicalis article, confirms a theory that “the 7-note diatonic scale as well as harmony existed 3,400 years ago.” This, Fink tells us, “flies in the face of most musicologist’s views that ancient harmony was virtually non-existent (or even impossible) and the scale only about as old as the Ancient Greeks.” Kilmer’s colleague Richard Crocker claims that the discovery “revolutionized the whole concept of the origin of western music.”

Author, N. Va. native Helen Wan on the ‘bamboo ceiling’

.

Excerpts:
Ingrid Yung is a made-up character, but her story seems to resonate with the real-life Asian American lawyers gathered for a book reading in the Washington offices of the corporate law firm Wiley Rein. Ingrid, a minority and a woman, is a “two-fer” in the parlance of her fictional firm, where her impatience with its clumsy approach to diversity threatens her promising career. “We didn’t need [expletive] Dumpling Day in the firm cafeteria,” Ingrid fumes in the new novel “The Partner Track,” published by St. Martin’s Press. “We needed decoder rings for all of the unwritten rules of survival here.”

Ingrid’s creator is lawyer and novelist Helen Wan, who grew up in the Northern Virginia suburb of Burke. Her debut book, a witty yet pointed exploration of the difficulties Asian Americans have advancing in corporate culture, has clearly exposed a nerve. The eager response from readers sent it back for a second printing after an initial run of 50,000 in September, a rare achievement for a first-time author. A Wall Street Journal reviewer called the book engaging and suspenseful and praised Wan’s realistic depiction of law firm culture. Law firms and law schools across the country have invited Wan to speak to groups such as the one at Wiley Rein, organized by the D.C. chapter of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

'Bamboo ceiling' blocking Asian Australians, says commissioner

.

Excerpts:
A ''bamboo ceiling'' is preventing Asian Australians from taking their share of leadership positions, the Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, has suggested. In a speech delivered in Perth on Thursday, Dr Soutphommasane said while children of Australians of migrant backgrounds outperformed the children of Australian-born parents in education and employment, the nation's cultural diversity was not represented in positions of leadership.

''Equality of opportunity isn't enjoyed in equal measure in all spheres,'' Dr Soutphommasane said. ''Our efforts in opening the doors of power to all who knock are more questionable.'' Dr Soutphommasane said while nearly half of all Australians were either born overseas or had a parent who was born overseas, and about one in 10 Australians had an Asian background, only a handful of members of Federal Parliament had non-European ancestry, and less than 2 per cent had Asian ancestry. Of 83 secretaries and deputy secretaries of federal government departments, only three had Asian origins. Asian Australian were also badly underrepresented among the management ranks of business and executive positions at leading universities, he said.

You May Not Know About The First Chinese Americans, But You Should

.

Excerpts:
It wasn't easy being Chinese American in the early days. From exclusionary laws to the racist caricatures that dotted newspaper comic pages, America wasn't exactly laying down the welcome mat. And yet, there were success stories. The Chinese American, a newspaper founded by the activist and journalist Wong Chin Foo, hit stands before the end of the 19th century. The actress Anna May Wong, born in Los Angeles to Chinese parents, beat the odds and wound up starring in silent films a few decades later.


Monday, July 7, 2014

Parent-reported measures of child health and wellbeing in same-sex parent families: a cross-sectional survey (BMC Public Health)

.
Parent-reported measures of child health and wellbeing in same-sex parent families: a cross-sectional survey (BMC Public Health 2014, 14:635 DOI :10.1186/1471-2458-14-635 Published: 21 June 2014)

Abstract:
Australian children with same-sex attracted parents score higher than population samples on a number of parent-reported measures of child health. Perceived stigma is negatively associated with mental health. Through improved awareness of stigma these findings play an important role in health policy, improving child health outcomes.
Links:

Selected News Reports on the Study:
.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fascinating graphics show who owns all the major brands in the world

.

Abstract:
All the biggest product brands in the world are owned by a handful of corporation. Food, cleaning products, banks, airlines, cars, media companies... everything is in the hands of these megacorporations. These graphics show how everything is connected.
.

Behind the Civil Rights Act: How it was made and what it means today

.

Abstract:
It’s been 50 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. Since then, the country’s demographics have shifted, and the conversations about race and culture have continued. In this project, journalists, lawyers and civil rights activists explore the historic legislation— pulling the language out of history and telling us how it’s relevant today.
.