Posts tagged with "social"

Eamonn Burke illustrates a rock music video article for 360 MAGAZINE

2022 Interstate Music Award Nominations

Nominations For 2022 Interstate Music Awards Now Open

U.S. solo artists, garage bands, songwriters, and musicians can submit a music performance in six award categories thru Nov. 30, 2021. Educators and small music venues can be nominated for a recognition award.

Interstate Music announced today that nominations for the annual Interstate Music Awards (IMA) are now being accepted. In its second year, the online event features up-and-coming musicians, singers, songwriters, and artists from around the country.

The IMAs are way more than just selecting the best. These music awards are about giving everyday artists and industry influencers a chance to showcase their talent, inspire others, and prove that anything is possible, said Jeff Peterson, CEO at Interstate Music. We are ready to help these musicians, educators, and venues get noticed. Could it be you?

All genres, artists, musical talents, and influencers such as educators and small U.S. music venues are encouraged to submit nominations at Interstate Music Awards’ website now thru Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. Public voting will begin on Jan. 3, 2022, and end on Jan. 31, 2022. Online votes will then be tallied to choose the top contender in each category.

Nominees can self-submit in one or more of the six categories and be considered for multiple Interstate Music Awards.

Best Cover Song, Best Original Song, Best Band or Group, Best Male Artist, Best Female Artist, Artist of the Year

New this year is the inclusion of two recognition award categories to support music educators and music venues, Music Educator of the Year and Best Small Music Venue

Educators should be nominated for their impact on students, the industry, or through music innovation. In addition, nominations to honor small U.S. music venues that have positively shaped the music community, entertainment, and support music artists will also be welcomed.

2021 awardees included Card Reader (Long Island, New York), The Stephen Hull Experience (Racine, Wisconsin), and Billie Jo (Grand Saline, Texas).

Winning the IMAs last year was a massive accomplishment for Card Reader. The experience has opened new doors and puts our goals as musicians within reach – two things we don’t take for granted, said Card Reader band leader Tom Petito. We are ready to be on the road, playing at festivals and concerts, and living out our dreams. When that happens, we’ll be proud to say it all started when we entered the Interstate Music Awards.

The 2022 Interstate Music Award Show is scheduled for Thursday, March 3, 2022, and will be live-streamed at their website. The event will include live performances by music influencers and interviews with nominees and awardees, with support from more than 20 sponsorship partners.

Interstate Music 

The roots of Interstate Music were founded in 1946 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, earning a five-star reputation by musicians and educators for over 75 years. Today, Interstate Music embodies both social and experiential opportunities for music lovers and musicians. We do this through information, instruments, and all things trending and with a relentless mission to develop a movement of people, ideas, cultures, and, most importantly, connect artists with everything they need to feel creative, supported, and needed.

AREA15 Vaccines After Dark event poster from Desiree Webb from The Vox Agency for use by 360 Magazine

AREA15 Announces June Entertainment + Events

AREA15, the art and entertainment district located minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, announces new and ongoing events and entertainment taking place this month.

AREA15 is open to the public at 12 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Mondays, 12 p.m. to 12 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to midnight on Sundays. Admission to AREA15 is free and will be limited to guests ages 21 and older after 10 p.m. every day.

“Vaccines After Dark” Vaccination Site

Date: Monday, June 14

Time: 7 to 10 p.m.

Cost: Free. All visitors who receive a shot will be given complimentary ice cream from Emack & Bolio’s.

Description: In partnership with Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones and Touro University, AREA15 will host “Vaccines After Dark” – a COVID-19 vaccination site for Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. The event is offered for first and second dose vaccinations and will take place outdoors in the shade, located in AREA15’s outdoor venue, A-Lot. Guests are also encouraged to stay late for Industry Night and enjoy 25 percent off experiences and activations after 10 p.m. Those who plan to stay after receiving their vaccines can enjoy Industry Night entertainment at Oddwood featuring DJs GRECO, GMBT and 530 beginning at 10 p.m. Must present a valid Nevada I.D. to receive the discount. After 10 p.m. AREA15 is 21 years or older only.

Summer DJ Series: 4B + Disco Fries

Date: Saturday, June 19

Time: Doors at 9 p.m. Show starts at 10 pm.

Cost: General admission for ages 21+ are $15; General admission for ages 18-20 are $20. Click here to purchase tickets.

Description: Part of AREA15’s “A Series”, 4B and Disco Fries will perform live in the 32,000-square-foot, outdoor A-Lot. All shows are 18 years or older, with an outdoor beer garden open for guests ages 21 years and older.

About 4B: At 24 years old, DJ and producer Bobby McKeon, known as “4B”, has already spent 11 years relentlessly pursuing his sound and vision. During this period, he’s garnered significant support from industry heavyweights such as Skrillex, Diplo, Tiesto and DJ Snake.

About Disco Fries: Disco Fries, comprising Nick Ditri and Danny Boselovic, have become a staple in modern dance music by walking the sonic tightrope between mainstream and club-stream. Their music has been championed by some of the biggest names in dance: from artists such as Kaskade, Diplo, Steve Aoki and Hardwell to popular media outlets such as Billboard, MTV, Rolling Stone and Dancing Astronaut.

Father’s Day Whiskey Crawl

Date: Sunday, June 20

Time: 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Cost: $32

Description: Treat Dad to a drink – or three – throughout AREA15. Guests can enjoy Toki Japanese Whisky at Oddwood, Jim Beam at The Beast by Todd English and Makers Mark outside in AREA15’s new Art Garden. For more information and tickets visit here.

Summer DJ Series: Morgan Page

Date: Saturday, June 26

Time: Doors at 9 p.m. Show starts at 10 pm.

Cost: General admission for ages 21+ is $20; General admission for ages 18-20 is $25. Click here to purchase tickets.

Description: Part of AREA15’s “A Series”, Morgan Page will perform live in the 32,000-square-foot, outdoor A-Lot. All shows are 18 years or older, with an outdoor beer garden open for guests ages 21 years and older.

About Morgan Page: Morgan Wolf Page is an American DJ and music producer. Page has received two Grammy Award nominations: a personal nomination for best remix with Nadia Ali and best remix for “The Longest Road” (deadmau5 Remix) in 2009.

Draganza: A FIERCE VARIETY SHOW

Date: Every Friday night

Time: Shows at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Doors open an hour before the show begins.

Cost: General admission tickets are $20; V.I.P. Queen Meet and Greet tickets are available $45 which include general admission seating and one photo with one of the Queens performing in the show; VIP table packages are available and require $300 beverage minimum. Click here to purchase tickets.

Description: Draganza is Las Vegas’ newest and fiercest drag variety show featuring the city’s most fabulous queens: Alexis Mateo, Coco Montrese, Kahanna Montrese and special guest Elliott with 2 T’s. Guests can join the queens every Friday in The PORTAL, AREA15’s 360-degree projection-mapped entertainment space, for a night of epic lip syncs, celebrity impersonations, surprise performances, friendly audience competition, drink specials and more. Must be 21 years of age or older. Valid ID required upon check-in.

AREA15 Industry Night

Dates: Every Monday

Time: 10 p.m. to closing

Description: Feel the beats from a variety of DJs on the decks and underneath the glow of Oddwood. Industry locals will enjoy a 25 percent discount on activations, experiences and libations inside AREA15 with a local I.D. every Monday night. Discounts during Industry Night include Wink World: Portals Into The Infinite, Museum Fiasco, Five Iron Golf, Dueling Axes as well as off food and drinks at The Beast by Todd English and Oddwood Bar. More information here. After 10 p.m. AREA15 is 21 years or older only.

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience

Date: Throughout the month of June (dark on Fridays and after 6 p.m. on Saturdays)

Time: 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.; ticket times are every half hour.
Cost: Click here to purchase tickets.

  • General admission adult tickets are $35; seniors 65 years and older and military are $28; children 12 years and under are $19.
  • VIP adult tickets are $45; seniors 65 years and older and military are $38; children 12 years and under are $29.
  • Discounts are available for Nevada residents with valid I.D.

Description: On view through July 30, Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience is a timed experience encompassing 35 minutes and mapped specifically to fit the nearly 7,000-square-foot PORTAL. Guests take an awe-inspiring journey into the incomparable universe of Van Gogh, one of the greatest artistic geniuses of the 19th century. Explore his life, his work, and his secrets as never before through cutting-edge 360-degree digital projections, a one-of-a-kind VR experience, and a uniquely atmospheric light and sound show. The exhibition is brought to you by the organizers of a collection of widely successful exhibitions present in cities across Europe, Asia and the Americas. General admission tickets include lounge seating where guests are enveloped in sensational artistry, while VIP tickets will include VR goggles to experience “A Day in the Life of the Artist in Arles, France,” a virtual stroll alongside Van Gogh himself to explore the countryside settings that inspired his artwork.

Starry Light Package: An Immersive Art Ticket Package

Date: Monday through Wednesday in June

Time: 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Cost: $50 per person (equaling $20 off the full retail price). To book this package, click here.

Description: Enjoy all the art AREA15 has to offer with a bundled ticket package. Guests can experience Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, Wink World: Portals Into The Infinite and Museum Fiasco for one price.

Van Gogh Family Ticket Package:

Cost: $21.25 per person

Description: Includes tickets for two adults and two children ages 12 and under. Family Ticket Packs will be validated upon entry. No substitutions may be made.

Van Gogh Nevada Resident Family Ticket Package:

Cost: $15 per person

Description: Includes tickets for two adults and two children ages 12 and under. Must present a valid Nevada I.D. to receive entry. Family Ticket Packs will be validated upon entry. No substitutions may be made.

Kappa Toys Pop-Up:

Description: New to AREA15 is Kappa Toys. Kappa Toys is a design-minded toy store, with a wide selection of never-before-seen oddities combined with a carefully curated selection of nostalgic classics. This special edition Kappa Toys Glow location is dedicated to illuminated playthings for youngsters and the young at heart, from lava lamps to glow in the dark stars – if it is awesome and glows in the dark you’ll find it here! Visit Kappatoys for additional details.

About AREA15

AREA15, located minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, is the world’s first purpose-built experiential entertainment district offering live events, immersive activations, monumental art installations, extraordinary design elements, unique retail, ground-breaking technology, bars and eateries and much more. With a growing collection of dynamic destinations including Dueling AxesEmporium Arcade BarLost Spirits DistilleryOddwood Bar, “Wink World: Portals Into The Infinite,” Museum FiascoRocket FizzFive Iron GolfThe Beast by Todd EnglishOZ Experience and anchor experience, Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart, AREA15 is an ever-changing art, retail and entertainment attracting locals and tourists of all ages.

AREA15 represents a collaborative venture between real estate development firm Fisher Brothers and creative agency Beneville Studios, both of New York.

Public Health Notice

AREA15 and all its experiences follow the latest recommendations of leading health experts and government authorities, including the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. AREA15 will no longer require face masks to be worn by guests who are fully vaccinated. For guests that are not fully vaccinated, AREA15 strongly encourages that masks continue to be worn. AREA15 employees will still be required to wear masks until further notice.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: @AREA15LasVegas

Instagram: @AREA15Official

Twitter: @AREA15Official

YouTube: AREA15

Hashtag:

#AREA15

Art by Mina Tocalini of 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

PornHub Announces ‘Remastured’ Archive Collection

Pornhub Announces Remastured, An Initiative That Restores Century-Old Erotic Films to Titillating Technicolor with Modern AI Technology, The adult entertainment platform used machine learning and over 100,000 adult videos and images from its library to educate the AI in the subtleties in colorizing vintage porn for the modern age

Pornhub, the premier online destination for adult entertainment, today announced the launch of Remastured, an innovative project that employs the latest AI (artificial intelligence) technology to restore some of the oldest – and steamiest – erotic films ever produced. The company used machine learning and over 100,000 adult videos and images from its library to colorize vintage porn for today’s modern audience. Viewers are transported back in time to experience 20th century-old erotic films featuring voluptuous Victorians and silent seductors in titillating technicolor with The Remastured Film Library.    

Since the moment someone figured out how to record moving images, people have been making adult movies, said Pornhub. We thought it was important to not only preserve but modernize these films, and we are very excited to include this selection of artfully restored vintage material to our library, allowing users to indulge in old school erotica from a bygone era.

View the SFW Remastured campaign video here.

It is common practice in film to colorize and restore even the most antique footage. However, the algorithms generally available are lacking since standard deep-learning models are trained with millions of SFW images, not nude or even pornographic ones.

By introducing the AI to Pornhub’s massive content library, it learned a naughty new trick; how to detect the subtle shades of penises, nipples, and turn-of-the-century bush. Transforming these centennial masterpieces into modern content resulting in The Remastered Film Library; A collection of 20 visually stunning scenes ranging from the 1890’s to the 1940’s, featuring the work of film pioneers like Thomas Edison and George Méliès and elaborate plots of the modern porn aficionado’s favorite categories:  co-eds, masseurs, orgies, threesomes, foursomes, spankings, cosplay, strap-ons, and more. The variety is impressive, but it’s the kinky content that will keep you coming back for more.

The process – which utilized several AI algorithms with limited human intervention – included:

  • Preparation of images: noise reduction, sharpening and contrasting
  • Colorizing using deep learning
  • Boosting to 60 frames per second (fps)
  • Rescaling to crisp 4K resolution
  • Digital remastering: cleaning artifacts, stabilization, and flickering reduction
  • Remastering audio or adding a new audio track

To develop the machine-learning algorithm, we paired black and white images, along with the colorized version. Through testing, the AI was able to generalize its comparative findings and colorize images provided previously to colorizing images it had never seen.

Pornhub’s Remastured campaign is a collaborative initiative with creative agency Officer & Gentleman and creative studio Espada Santacruz.

Pornhub has a history of supporting the preservation of early erotic films. The company previously partnered with the Museum of Sex in New York City in 2019 to present STAG: The Illicit Origins of Pornographic Film. Exclusively curated by the Museum of Sex, the interactive exhibition featured films demonstrating the major aesthetic and thematic trends that shaped the early history of illicit film. Later that year, Pornhub partnered with Maccarone fine art gallery in Los Angeles to present The Pleasure Principle, a multi-disciplinary and pan-generational all female art show where artists were invited to share work depicting their respective interpretations of pleasure. The show included work from Marilyn Minter, Louise Bourgeois, Tracey Emin and more. Most recently, Pornhub hosted the online premier of SHAKEDOWN, the critically-acclaimed documentary art film centered around the Black lesbian stripper scene in early Los Angeles by filmmaker and vanguard artist Leilah Weinraub. The digital event included a viewing of  the documentary and a series of Q&A live chats with Weinraub to simulate the experience of watching the film together. 

About Pornhub

Founded in 2007, Pornhub is the leading free, ad-supported adult video streaming website, offering viewers the opportunity to upload and share their own videos. With over 3 million videos and over 130 million visitors a day, Pornhub truly is the best adult site in the world. Pornhub has built the largest dedicated membership base in the adult community, averaging over 76 million monthly active members, offering viewers a fun and sophisticated social experience directly insite, complete with messaging, photos, achievement badges, and much more.

Mental Health Awareness illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Mental Health Awareness

Many people, including children and adults across diversity backgrounds, can struggle with social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral health. These challenges can be situational, present for a season of life, or be a struggle across a lifetime. The symptoms may also turn on and turn off, be persistent every day, or resolve just to pop back up again.

Even though having complications with mental or behavioral health is common, it does not necessarily mean a person is functioning at their best or the symptoms should be left unaddressed. Early intervention can be more effective, than the choice to put off addressing a mental health concern for another time.

Awareness of mental health signs and symptoms are important. The first step is recognizing when we need support. Let’s set aside labels such as depression, anxiety, addictive behaviors, and disorders for a moment. Instead, let’s consider observations. Below is a clustered list of commonly experienced struggles we can lookout for to monitor our mental health:

Socially

  • Noticing a pattern of withdrawing or avoiding friends, family, or activities
  • Having interpersonal conflicts with friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, or even strangers
  • Having a difficult time understanding and/or relating to others or common life scenarios
  • Feeling disconnected from others or struggling to get close to others
  • Feeling lost about knowing who you are

Emotionally

  • Experiencing sadness, despair, distress, prolonged sorrow
  • You or others noticing changes in your mood from high to low
  • Enduring excessive worry, fears, or discomfort with the unknown
  • Experiencing extreme guilt, self-blame, or negative self-talk
  • Having bouts with excessive or persistent anger

Cognitive/Thinking

  • Noticing thought patterns that are confused, conflicted, indecisive, repetitive, or forgetful
  • Having a lowered ability begin or maintain focus
  • You or others noticing a disconnect between your thoughts and the world around you
  • Feeling fearful such as paranoia
  • Having repeat unpleasant or worrisome thoughts or images
  • Hearing, seeing, or feeling something that is not truly there
  • Thoughts of hurting or killing yourself or someone else

Behavioral

  • Having a reduced ability to cope or resolve daily living complications or stress
  • Struggling with adjustment to life changes
  • Experiencing problems related to alcohol, tobacco, and/or legal or illegal substances
  • Noticing changes in eating habits such as too much, too little, overly focused on eating
  • Observing patterns of overexercise
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Having episodes of violence towards others, yourself, animals, or objects
  • Challenges with impulsive decisions or risk taking

Physical

  • Seeing trends in energy level such as significant tiredness or grand amount of energy
  • Struggles falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up, or low quality of sleep
  • Having physical symptoms such as stomach pain, back pain, headaches, heart pounding, shortness of breath, or other unexplained physical symptoms
  • Experiencing medical providers do not take your symptoms seriously enough

Experiencing one or a few of these symptoms at one time may be a part of life based on the amount of lemons life just handed you. However, there may be a mental health concern worth seeking proper care for if you experience one or more of these symptoms for a short or an extended period of time. Due note, some symptoms are more serious than others, such as harm to yourself or someone else, that should not be ignored and need care immediately.

Another element we can use to monitor our mental health is awareness of how our mental health symptoms interact with our daily lives. Sometimes mental health struggles can become disruptive to daily life such as negatively impacting relationships with others, how you think or feel internally about yourself, employment, housing, finances, and/or legal issues. Other symptoms are manageable and do not cause a large disruption; however, beware some symptoms can fly under the radar, but that does not necessarily indicate all is well.

If you are unsure if you are experiencing mental health concerns and would like a better understanding, then consider completing a screener. Mental Health America provides a free, quick, screening tool that provides mental health you can use to make decisions about next steps for care. The results can also be used to start the initial discussion with a mental health provider.

There is hope! In most circumstances, symptoms can be managed, reduced in intensity, and relief increased when working with a mental health provider. There are various forms of care, and you can find the right fit for you such as talk based therapy in-person or online, activity-based therapy, and collaboration with medical providers for mediation as needed.

If you are ready to take the next step, then there are multiple resources available to help you find the right provider. In emergency situations such as thoughts of harming yourself or someone else as well as severe mental illness, then calling 9-1-1, going to a local emergency room, or contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or using live chat on Suicide Prevention Lifeline  may be the best routes.

In non-emergency situations there are options such as contacting a primary care provider for a referral, reaching out to loved ones, connecting to your religious or spiritual community, or finding a professional provider. Below is a list of resources for locating a provider in your area:

Mental health is just like it sounds….health. It can be scary or there can be a stigma to seek out care. However, removing the stigma, overcoming fear, seeking care, and taking steps to improving life takes courage. But you are worth it, and you deserve a better tomorrow.

Michelle Perepiczka, PhD, LPC (CO), LMHC (NY), RPT-S, NCC

Core Faculty

University of Phoenix

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Digital Divide illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Digitally Disconnected

DIGITALLY DISCONNECTED

13 TIPS FOR HELPING BRIDGE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE FOR CHILDREN DURING COVID-19

While social, racial, and economic disparities have always existed within the educational system, the COVID-19 pandemic is exasperating these inequities and widening gaps between students at a drastic rate. For families who can’t afford home computers, laptops, or high-speed internet access, remote learning is nearly impossible, and for students who already found themselves struggling before the pandemic, the prospect of more than a year of lost classroom time is a devastating blow. However, there are steps parents can take to shrink this digital divide, and there are resources available via schools, non-profits, and government initiatives that can help children access the technological tools they need to succeed. Indeed, Dr. Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, President and Founder of Children and Screens, notes that “the inclusion of 17.2 billion dollars for closing the ‘homework gap’ in the recently passed American Rescue Plan is a watershed moment for digital equity.”   
 
Several of the leading figures in the fields of public health, education, psychology, and parenting have weighed in with their suggestions on the best ways to combat the digital divide, and many will participate in an interdisciplinary conversation and Q&A hosted by Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development on Wednesday, March 24, at 12pm ET via Zoom. Moderated by the Director of Internet and Technology Research at the Pew Research Center Lee Rainie, the panel will engage in an in-depth discussion about the digital divide and actionable steps we can all take to bridge the gap. RSVP here.
 
1. DON’T WAIT, ADVOCATE 

While schools across the country are doing everything they can to make sure that children have access to the technology and connectivity they need for remote learning, the unfortunate reality is that many families still lack adequate resources. If your family is among them, says author and MIT Assistant Professor of Digital Media Justin Reich, know that you’re not alone and that there are steps you can take to advocate for what your children need. “Start with your school staff,” Reich recommends. “They’re often overwhelmed during this challenging time but be polite and persistent. If you run into a dead-end with your school system, consider reaching out to school libraries and youth organizations like The Boys and Girls Club or the YMCA to see what kind of support they might be able to offer.”
 
2. SCALE DOWN 

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Professor Dr. Wayne Journell agrees, pointing out that sometimes, despite their best efforts, teachers and administrators may not always know which students are struggling with connectivity issues. “Let teachers know if you have slow internet at home,” says Journell. “Sometimes detailed graphics and animations that look cute but have little relevance to the actual lessons being delivered can cause problems for students with unreliable internet. If teachers are aware, then they can scale down the ‘frilly’ stuff and still get the important content across.”
 
3. STAND UP FOR YOURSELF  

While it’s important for parents to speak up on behalf of their children, RAND Senior Policy Researcher Julia Kaufman, Ph.D., highlights the importance of encouraging children to express their needs, as well. “If your child does not have access to technology at home and is falling behind, make sure your child’s teacher knows the obstacles they’re facing and ask what accommodations will make it easier for your child to do assignments offline,” says Rand. “At the same time, help your child feel comfortable expressing any technology concerns or confusion to their teachers, including cases where they have the technology but cannot use it well.”
 
4. CHECK YOUR ASSUMPTIONS 

One critical step that educators and policymakers can take in addressing the digital divide is to check their assumptions. They cannot – and should not – assume that students do or do not have access based solely on demographics such as family income level. “In addition, they cannot assume that providing access alone creates equity,” adds Dr. Beth Holland, a Partner at The Learning Accelerator (TLA) and Digital Equity Advisor to the Consortium of School Networking (CoSN). “This is a complex and nuanced challenge that needs both a technical and a human solution to ensure that students not only have access to sufficient high-speed internet and devices but also accessible systems and structures to support their learning.”

5. SURVEY AND MODIFY  

For teachers who are on the ground and in the classroom, checking your assumptions can be as simple as asking a few basic questions at the start of the term. “Survey students to determine the percentage of your population that doesn’t have home Internet access,” recommends former AAP President Dr. Colleen A. Kraft, MD, MBA, FAAP. “Once you know the divide, you can address it,” adding, “When planning 1:1 projects and choosing devices, for example, you can consider a device’s capacity for offline use. For those without Wi-Fi, a public library in the child’s neighborhood can also be an excellent resource.”

6. VOTE FOR CHANGE 

That parents and teachers need to worry about the digital divide at all is a failure on the part of our elected leaders, says Bates College Associate Professor of Education Mara Casey Tieken. “Contact your elected officials—local, state, and federal—and complain,” she suggests. “Write letters, call their offices, attend their legislative sessions, and make your voice heard. Join with other families whose children are impacted by this divide to amplify your message and use your vote to support lawmakers who understand the impacts of this divide, have a clear plan to address it and are willing to take action.”
 
7. MAKE BROADBAND A UTILITY  

Reich agrees, reminding those families who already have their needs met that they share in the responsibility to advocate for the less fortunate. “It’s our job as citizens to demand that we as a society give families and children the tools and resources that they need for remote learning now and in the future,” says Reich. “We need to advocate for a society where broadband is treated as a utility rather than a luxury good, and young people enrolled in schools and educational programs have access to computers for learning.”

8. CONCRETE INITIATIVES  

Angela Siefer, Executive Director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, advocates four concrete initiatives. “Establish a permanent broadband benefit, increase access to affordable computers, digital literacy and technical support, improve broadband mapping (including residential cost data), and support local and state digital inclusion planning.” By implementing these changes, Siefer says, policymakers can start to mitigate the digital divide. 

9. USE TECH FOR GOOD 

There are many reasons to consider equitable solutions along a “digital continuum” rather than the “digital divide;” a binary description leaves less room for nuanced and customized interventions. It may be imperative to fortify existing institutions, implement new governance structures and promulgate policies to confront disparities regarding working families. Antwuan Wallace, Managing Director at National Innovation Service, suggests that legislators consider a Safety and Thriving framework to increase family efficacy to support children with protective factors against the “homework gap” by utilizing technology to train critical skills for executive functioning, including planning, working memory, and prioritization. 
 
10. LEVEL THE FIELD 

Emma Garcia of the Economic Policy Institute emphasizes that guided technology education will be of great value after the pandemic. She says, “it will need be instituted as part of a very broad agenda that uses well-designed diagnostic tests to know where children are and what they need (in terms of knowledge, socioemotional development, and wellbeing), ensures the right number of highly credentialed professionals to teach and support students, and offers an array of targeted investments that will address the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on children’s learning and development, especially for those who were most hit by the pandemic.”
 
11. APPLY FOR LIFELINE 

Research also shows that the digital divide disproportionately affects Latino, Black, and Native American students, with the expensive price of internet access serving as one of the main obstacles to families in these communities. “Eligible parents can apply for the Lifeline Program, which is a federal program that can reduce their monthly phone and internet cost,” suggests Greenlining Institute fellow Gissela Moya. “Parents can also ask their child’s school to support them by providing hotspots and computer devices to ensure their child has the tools they need to succeed.”
 
12. GET INVOLVED 

Learning remotely can be difficult for kids, even if they have access to all the technological tools they need. Research shows that parental encouragement is also an important aspect of learning for children, notes London School of Economics professor and author Sonia Livingstone. “Perhaps sit with them, and gently explain what’s required or work it out together.” She adds that working together is a great way that parents with fewer economic or digital resources can support their children. “And if you don’t know much about computers, your child can probably teach you something too!”
 
13. NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL 

When it comes to encouraging your children, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. “Reflect on the more nuanced ways your children learn and leverage accessible resources (digital and non-digital) to inspire their continued curiosity,” says University of Redlands Assistant Professor Nicol Howard. Leaning into your child’s strengths and interests will help them make the most of this challenging time.
 
While the move to remote learning may seem like an insurmountable obstacle for families that can’t afford reliable internet or dedicated devices for their kids, there are a variety of ways that parents can help connect their children with the tools they need. For those privileged enough to already have access to the necessary physical resources, it’s important to remember that emotional support is also an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to children’s educational success, especially during days as challenging as these. Lastly, it falls on all of us to use our time, energy, and voices to work towards a more just world where the educational playing field is level and all children have the same opportunity to thrive and succeed, regardless of their social, racial, or financial background.
 
About Children and Screens
Since its inception in 2013, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, has become one of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing and supporting interdisciplinary scientific research, enhancing human capital in the field, informing and educating the public, and advocating for sound public policy for child health and wellness. For more information, visit Children and Screens website or contact by email here.
 
The views and opinions that are expressed in this article belong to the experts to whom they are attributed, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, or its staff. 

All Good Just A Week Ago

If you’re feeling a little bit lonely as a single person during quarantine, there might be a perfect book for you.

For both men and women, “All Good Just A Week Ago: Funny Dating Stories to Help You Keep Your Head in the Game” is chock-full of funny, relatable dating stories put together from interviews.

With teachable moments and unimaginable scenarios, “All Good Just A Week Ago” helps single people keep their heads in the game.

Erika McCall and Niesha Forbes, two best friends, wanted to put their quarantine time to good use, so they set up 50 interviews to gather data and stories for the book.

These stories prove that relationships can make you laugh and roll your eyes instead of cry, all while showing us that we’re not alone.

In 1950, only 22% of Americans were without a romantic partner. In 2019, 124 million Americans were without a partner.

Though the percentage of people in relationships has gone down, the desire to find love and companionship has not.

McCall said, “It’s the year of 20/20 vision, and it’s time for a dating and love revolution.”

Both authors agreed that the revolution begins with this book. With a goal to understand romantic communication and expectations, “All Good Just A Week Ago” uses stories to heal relationships and foster close, loving, committed relationships in a generation obsesses with “hook up culture.”

McCall and Forbes even get into a few of their own stories. McCall herself is single and wants to clear the way for her future husband to enter her life while Forbes is on her way to her third wedding anniversary and hopes that sharing her experience can help bring about mutual respect, kindness and traditional courtship in relationships.

McCall said her story is every woman’s story while Forbes said, “It is critical to know that once you get to a certain age, things you did in your early twenties, all those toxic behavior patterns where you’re not putting your worth above your desire to be with someone, if you don’t do the work on yourself, you will find yourself in your thirties, forties and even fifties, having not learned the important lessons or found true love.”

Following the laughs in the beginning of the book, readers will reach a call to action that encourages men and women to think critically about how to move forward with healthier relationship dynamics.

For more information about the book or to order it, you can click right here.

Rita Azar Illustrates a Video Games Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Colin Kaepernick x Madden 21

by Justin Lyons

Colin Kaepernick is officially back in Madden.

For the first time since 2017, football fans and Colin Kaepernick fans will have the chance to use the ex-49ers quarterback in the signature football game from EA SPORTS.

The announcement came from EA SPORTS themselves, saying, “Colin Kaepernick is one of the top free agents in football and a starting-caliber quarterback. The team at EA SPORTS, along with millions of Madden NFL fans, want to see him back in our game.”

Though Kaepernick is not signed to a team in real life or in Madden, he is available to sign to any team in Franchise mode. He’s also available in Play Now mode.

His jersey is also available in The Yard, a mode new to Madden this year that allows users to express themselves creatively. His signature celebration, which is available upon scoring with Kaepernick, depicts the quarterback raising his fist in the air to signify Black Power.

Kaepernick has been rated 81 overall, which is good for the 15th best quarterback in the league, tied with Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

According to EA SPORTS, that number was determined using data-driven simulations. They did take into account the fact that Kaepernick has not played since 2016, but his mobility and big play ability earned him the 81 overall rating.

EA SPORTS also said players looking to have complete control over their Franchise mode can change his rating however they see fit, including bringing him up to 99 overall. Adjusting his stats to 99 overall would make his only company the likes of Aaron Donald, Christian McCaffrey, Michael Thomas, Stephon Gilmore and the only 99 rated quarterback in the game, Patrick Mahomes.

Kaepernick was among the first in professional sports to kneel during the American National Anthem in protest of police brutality. Kaepernick opted out of his contract after the 2016 season, and not one of the 32 NFL teams has made a move to acquire him.

Largely suspected of being a victim of blackballing, Kaepernick has since worked as an activist in the community, especially with children. He has led rights campaigns and camps and was the face of a Nike campaign in 2018 that carried the slogan “Believe in something. Even if means sacrificing everything.”

Roger Goodell encouraged teams to sign Kaepernick in a conversation on ESPN in June, just weeks after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis.

The killing of George Floyd seemed to awaken large corporations throughout the United States, leading many to make statements, including the NFL.

Though criticized for not speaking out sooner, the NFL and Commissioner Goodell released a statement via Twitter on June 5 saying, “We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter.”

NFL teams cancelled practices and scrimmages in the past month after the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Action taken after these events could remove the stigma NFL owners appeared to have when it came to signing Kaepernick, and fans who believe in his message and talent would love to see him on the field again soon.

Kamala Harris illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Win With Black Women

Back in 2016, while campaigning for the office of President of the United States, Donald Trump asked black voters, “What do you have to lose?”

He asked in reference to generations of oppression, violence and inequality, saying, “You’re living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs. 58% of your youth is unemployed.”

The obvious implication is that things couldn’t possibly get worse for black voters, and Trump thought he had a chance to be the solution to the problem.

Well, in Sept. 2020, it seems that President Trump has his answer, and it comes in the form of a letter penned by Win With Black Women and co-signed by over 1,000 black female leaders.

The letter opens with a direct response to the question posed by Trump.

“Our answer, evidenced by increasingly poor economic outcomes, high racial tensions and hate incidents, the coronavirus, and an overall lack of dignity and respect in the White House, is a lot. And for Black women in particular, it’s too much,” the letter said.

It went on to discuss “sycophantic rhetoric” at the RNC that would lead watchers to believe that black life in America is in a healthier place now than it was prior to Trump’s election. Furthermore, the letter said that rhetoric insisted that anyone challenging that notion was brainwashed.

To refute the points set forth at the RNC, the letter cited the State of Black America, saying black households bring in 41% less than white households, and 60% of the black population lives below the poverty line. The letter also said that black unemployment is double the percentage of white unemployment.

The letter covered the cause of the recent protests throughout the country, saying, “Our lives are in constant threat under your Administration. If you are Black in America, you are three times more likely to be shot by the police,” going on to name Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Jacob Blake as evidence that justice has gone unserved.

It also mentioned that black people are dying disproportionally from COVID-19 while black women, specifically, “lag behind in life expectancy, and maternal and infant mortality.”

Win With Black Women finished by saying that they will fight against attacks on Kamala Harris and proposed a call to action.

“We call on voters, no matter their background, to join us in setting the record straight and to reject your distracting antics, lies and attacks. We call on you and the GOP to focus on the crises afflicting the American people and not to insult every American with petty diversions, outright lies, and by sweeping problems under the rug.  We call on voters to stand in solidarity with Black women and reject your derogatory sexist, racist rhetoric aimed at undermining our credibility, our character, and our achievements,” the letter said.

Before closing the letter, Win With Black Women said they “vow to continue to uplift the issues most important to our families and our communities, keep our eyes and ears open, and to work to restore what is true, just, and decent to this election and to this monumental time in history.”

Win With Black Women has published the letter on Change.org, asking signees of the petition to stand with them in unity. To sign the letter and to see a complete list of co-signing leaders, you can click right here.

Rita Azar illustrates a photojournalism article for 360 MAGAZINE

Thomson Reuters Foundation x Omidyar Network

The Thomson Reuters Foundation has joined forces with Omidyar Network to document the devastating effects of COVID-19 on millions of people around the globe.

Using photography and journalism, COVID-19: The Bigger Picture aims to tell the stories of those most affected and most vulnerable to the pandemic that has changed the lifestyles of each person on the planet.

Antonio Zappulla, the CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, said, “This pandemic is a global crisis like no other, affecting every person on the planet. The world is grappling daily to understand its scale and severity against an onslaught of information and misinformation. It has never been more critical to lean on the power of journalism excellence to cut through the noise with accurate and impartial storytelling.”

The Thomson Reuters Foundation works to advance media freedom and promote human rights while Omidyar Network is committed to building inclusive and equitable societies. Though the impact has been widespread, the goal of the project is to show how social inequality that existed before the inception of the virus has only been magnified by the spread of the pandemic.

“This virus has devastated lives and livelihoods across the globe. By combining the storytelling capabilities of the Thomson Reuters Foundation with photos from people whose lives have been upended by the pandemic, we will not only see the impacts on everyday life but also the systemic inequalities that brought us to this dire moment,” said Mike Kubzansky, the CEO of Omidyar Network.

COVID-19: The Bigger Picture, consists of two parts. First, a photojournalism competition allows anyone to submit a photo capturing the devastation of the coronavirus. Entrants may submit one photo with the prize being a photojournalism class taught by Thomson Reuters Foundation’s trainers. Photos may be entered beginning August 12th.

The documentation also includes a series of photo essays focusing on the United States. Experienced and decorated journalists will uncover the stories of workers assisting the elderly in Florida, caretakers of children in North Carolina and more. The photoessays will be released over the next three months, and readers can sign up to be notified when each essay is published.

“By capturing individual experiences, The Bigger Picture will document a wider story. It is only then, that we can truly change the narrative,” Zappulla said.

Dalai Lama illustration by Mina Tocalini

Dalai Lama –  Inner World

Today, Hitco Entertainment and Khandro Music released a unique album of mantras and teachings by The Dalai Lama set to music, entitled Inner World. Released to honor his 85th birthday celebrations on July 6th, 2020, the album is be a great dedication to the decades of his vision and work for world peace and educating the heart. When asked why he accepted the request to make the album, he answered, “The very purpose of my life is to serve as much as I can.” He also added, “Music can help people in a way that I can’t.”

Inner World is an offering of the Dalai Lama reciting mantras and giving short teachings all woven to a bed of music. The album has been released in conjunction with an Inner World companion booklet, revealing the benefits of the mantras written by Venerable Robina Courtin, and exclusive, stunning artwork; a collaboration between the acclaimed New Zealand duo of Ella Brewer (classically trained Thanka Painter) and Tiffany Singh (an award-winning visual artist). This particular work of theirs is a combination of traditional Tibetan and contemporary art.

In addition to the album’s release today, Inner World will be sharing an 85th Birthday Celebration for The Dalai Lama. This dedication will be live-streamed twice, at 9am IST (Delhi) and 5pm BST (London), and will be streamed on both the Inner World YouTube channel and Facebook page. The program will include longtime student and friend of The Dalai Lama, Richard Gere as well as other special guests, birthday messages, and musical performances, including one by Anoushka Shankar, who will debut a performance of Ama La, the track from the album that she features on.

The origins of Inner World began in 2015, when one of the project’s co-executive producers and a longtime student of The Dalai Lama, Junelle Kunin, wrote to him requesting his participation, by fervently explaining her feelings that an album by such a compassionate and wise being would help people particularly who struggle with emotional stress. After reading her letter, his response was enthusiastic, saying, “This will benefit many people!”. She and her husband Abraham Kunin, both from New Zealand, spent the next five years working with a small team to bring the project to life. The Dalai Lama’s recordings have been thread through music produced by Abraham and performed on thirty-plus instruments by himself and a cast of collaborators from around the world, including a special guest performance from Anoushka Shankar on “Ama La.” The composer integrated the live performances with artful programming and production, building a peaceful bedrock for these sacred offerings.

Net proceeds from the sales of Inner World will go to The Gaden Phodrang Foundation of the Dalai Lama (Switzerland) chosen program: Social, Emotional and Ethical Learning (SEE Learning), an international K-12 education program and part of an academic collaboration between Emory University and His Holiness; and Mind and Life Institute, which brings science & contemplative wisdom together to better understand the mind & create positive change in the world.

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