Absolutely amazing, riveting, and breathtaking. Our bodies are capable of such feats.
Variations on Sun Salutations
Philip Askew and Lydia Walker
The Canadian government has set up the Philippines crisis fund to address the needs of affected populations in the Philippines, and will match individual donations to charities.
My people are one of the kindest in the world, and now they need the world. If you have a few dollars to spare, please kindly consider contributing to the Philippines relief efforts in whichever way you prefer. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
A humble Filipina yogi.
A University at Buffalo education professor has sided with the environment in the timeless “nurture vs. nature” debate after his research found that a child’s ability to read depends mostly on where that child is born, rather than on his or her individual qualities.
“Individual characteristics explain only 9 percent of the differences in children who can read versus those who cannot,” says Ming Ming Chiu, lead author of an international study that explains this connection and a professor in the Department of Learning and Instruction in UB’s Graduate School of Education.
“In contrast, country differences account for 61 percent and school differences account for 30 percent,” Chiu says.
Therefore, he concludes, the country in which a child is born largely determines whether he or she will have at least basic reading skills. It’s clearly a case where “nurture” — the environment and surroundings of the child — is more important than “nature” — the child’s inherited, individual qualities, according to Chiu.
More than 99 percent of fourth-graders in the Netherlands can read, but only 19 percent of fourth-graders in South Africa can read, Chiu notes.
“Although the richest countries typically have high literacy rates exceeding 97 percent,” he says, “some rich countries, such as Qatar and Kuwait, have low literacy rates — 33 percent and 28 percent, respectively.”
The study, “Ecological, Psychological and Cognitive Components of Reading Difficulties: Testing the Component Model of Reading in Fourth-graders Across 38 Countries,” analyzed reading test scores of 186,725 fourth-graders from 38 countries, including more than 4,000 children from the U.S. Chiu and co-authors Catherine McBride-Chang of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Dan Lin of the Hong Kong Institute of Education published the study in the winter 2013 issue of the Journal of Learning Disabilities.
The educators used data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Program for International Student Assessment.
Besides showing that the country of origin was a better predictor of reading skills than individual traits, the study also showed that other attributes at the child, school and country levels were all related to reading.
First, girls were more likely than boys to have basic reading skills, Chiu says. Children with greater early-literacy skills, better attitudes about reading or greater self-confidence in their reading ability also were more likely to have strong basic reading skills.
“Children were more likely to have basic reading skills if they were from privileged families, as measured through socioeconomic status, number of books at home and parent attitudes about reading,” says Chiu. “Also, children attending schools with better school climate and more resources were more likely to have basic reading skills.
“Our U.S. culture values ‘can-do’ individualism, but we forget how much depends on being lucky enough to be born in the right place,” he says.
paul souders spent two weeks in the hudson bay looking for polar bears, but spotted only two. luckily, this one, photographed thirty miles offshore of churchill, manitoba, felt comfortable enough to get “very, very close. scary close,” as he put it. “i couldn’t believe i was doing something this crazy close. …i could hear her slow, regular breathing as she watched me below the surface, increasingly curious. it was very special.”