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Bullard Elementary School students in Georgia will no longer say ‘Namaste’ during yoga practice
Georgia, US: The children of one Georgia elementary school will namaste no more during yoga practice after their parents complained to officials that it pushed the Hindu religion onto students.
Bullard Elementary School principal Patricia Moore promised parents this week that students would no longer say ‘Namaste’ or put their hands at heart center, part of the gesture, during yoga.
‘I am truly sorry that the mindfulness/de-stressing practices here at Bullard caused many misconceptions that in turn created a distraction in our school and community,’ she said in a letter to parents.
Bullard Elementary School in Kennesaw, Georgia will no longer allow children to say ‘Namaste’ or put their hands at heart center, part of the gesture, during the school’s yoga practice (file photo)
‘While we have been practicing de-stressing techniques in many classrooms for years, there have been some recent practices associated with mindfulness that are offensive to some.’
The word Namaste literally translates to ‘I bow to you’ but has also been interpreted to mean ‘The divine light in me honors the divine light in you,’ according to The Chopra Center.
In the Namaste gesture, one places their hands together at the heart, closes their eyes and bows. It is used to conclude a yoga practice and in the Hindu custom is a respectful and common way to say hello.
But some parents at the Kennesaw elementary school saw it as the equivalent of prayer in the classroom.
‘They’re pushing ideology on our students,’ Cobb County mother, Susan Jaramillo told 11 Alive.
‘Some of those things are religious practices that we don’t want our children doing in our schools.’
Bullard held a ‘Coffee and Conversations’ with parents to discuss their concerns before Moore announced the removal of the word from the students’ yoga practice.
The school will also no longer all students to color Mandalas during breaks. A mandala is a Hindu and Buddhist symbol for the universe that has become a popular pattern for coloring books
The principal added that the students would also stop using Mandala coloring pages during their ‘brain breaks’.
A mandala, loosely translated to mean ‘circle’ in Sanskrit, is a Hindu and Buddhist symbol for the universe.
It has since become a generic term for any diagram or pattern that represents the cosmos and, thanks to its intricate design, has become a popular pattern for both children and adult coloring books.
Moore said teachers would also continue not teaching students about the possible healing powers of crystals.
‘Although teachers have never used nor taught about crystals having healing powers during these breaks, we understand it has become a belief,’ she wrote.
‘Therefore we will ensure that nothing resembling this will be done in the future.’
Moore said the school also plans to form a committee of parents that will explore ‘research-based techniques and ideas for the classroom’, including when it comes to ‘mindfulness’.
With the festive season on in full swing, iconic brand Johnnie Walker, is all set to re-energize the country's after-hour culture. Through its one-of-a-kind campaign #RevibeTheNight, the brand brings together beloved music artists like Divine, Ritviz, Lisa Mishra, Taba Chake along with popular indie bands like When Chai Met Toast and Mad Boy Mink, among others to perform live across iconic community spaces in India.
The collaborative effort by Johnnie Walker aims to bring back the after-hour culture through live performances across popular hotspots in India. The brand's goal is drive social regeneration in India and bring back the vibe of socializing through local music artists and reignite the trade, driving social culture by executing the live events with Covid measures in place and a limited capacity audience capacity.
The collaborative effort by Johnnie Walker aims to bring back the after-hour culture through live performances across popular hotspots in India. | Photo by Vishnu R Nair on Unsplash
Prior to the world going into lockdown, the after-hour culture in India bloomed at celebrated community hubs, that eventually became a safe-haven for individuals, a place where they found their sense of self-expression and belonging, that fuelled progress. This community was driven through the culture of live music and enthralling performances that created their very own vibe, a vibe that built extraordinary, forever-lasting relationships. Through #ReVibeTheNight, one can reconnect with this community bringing music curated by artists who have a history of captivating crowds with their one-of-a-kind live experiences. Catch the gigs and live performances for artists in these venues/cities for the live performances.
(Artiicle originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: johnnie walker, social, #revibethenight, performances, community, artists, culture, festivity, begin
By Nikhila Natarajan
In a continuing study on the effects of machine learning (ML) on public conversation, Twitter has confirmed that its algorithms amplify right-leaning political content. "In six out of seven countries - all but Germany - tweets posted by accounts from the political right receive more algorithmic amplification than the political left when studied as a group," Twitter blogged.
"Right-leaning news outlets, as defined by the independent organisations, see greater algorithmic amplification on Twitter compared to left-leaning news outlets." Since 2016, Twitter users are able to choose between viewing algorithmically ordered tweets first in their home timeline or viewing the most recent tweets in reverse chronological order.
"An algorithmic home timeline displays a stream of tweets from accounts we have chosen to follow on Twitter, as well as recommendations of other content Twitter thinks we might be interested in based on accounts we interact with frequently, tweets we engage with, and more. "As a result, what we see on our timeline is a function of how we interact with Twitter's algorithmic system, as well as how the system is designed."
The new research is based on tweets of elected officials of House of Commons members in Canada, the French National Assembly, the German Bundestag, House of Representatives in Japan, Congress of Deputies of Spain, House of Commons in the UK, and official and personal accounts of House of Representatives and Senate members in the US, as well as news outlets, from April 1 to August 15, 2020.
Tweets about political content from elected officials, regardless of party or whether the party is in power, do see algorithmic amplification when compared to political content on the reverse chronological timeline. | Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash
The study was conducted by Ferenc Huszar (Twitter, University of Cambridge), Sofia Ira Ktena (now at DeepMind Technologies), Conor O'Brien (Twitter), Luca Belli (Twitter), Andrew Schlaikjer (Twitter), and Moritz Hardt (UC Berkeley).
The questions probed were:
How much algorithmic amplification does political content from elected officials receive in Twitter's algorithmically ranked Home timeline versus in the reverse chronological timeline? Does this amplification vary across political parties or within a political party?
Are some types of political groups algorithmically amplified more than others? Are these trends consistent across countries?
Are some news outlets amplified more by algorithms than others? Does news media algorithmic amplification favour one side of the political spectrum more than the other?
Tweets about political content from elected officials, regardless of party or whether the party is in power, do see algorithmic amplification when compared to political content on the reverse chronological timeline. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: algorithmically, timeline, algorithmic, tweets, political, survey, twitter, study, germany, skew
Even as India celebrates reaching a milestone of 100 crore Covid vaccine doses, Snapdeal co-founder and COO Rohit Bansal on Friday lauded a man who facilitated 64 registrations for the vaccine on the CoWin portal. In a video shared on his Facebook and Twitter page, Bansal hailed Sonu Kumar as a "citizen celebrity".
Bansal said that Kumar not only helped "just co-workers and family but complete strangers too. With patience, empathy and uncanny jugaad". He added that Kumar joined him "many moons ago" and completed his open school from a parking lot.
"Education has helped this wonderful man enable others to get India back on track. Bravo! The CoWin portal on Thursday mentioned that a total of 100 crore vaccine doses has been administered so far to the eligible population under the vaccination drive in India, nine months after the nationwide inoculation programme was started to protect the people against Covid-19.
"It's a cause of significant celebration and happiness," Bansal said in the video. He said that while people just help a few around them, Kumar "bridged the digital gap" for 64 people, who were finding it difficult to register themselves online on the vaccine portal. Kumar said he doesn't feel that he has contributed much towards the 100 crore vaccine dose count. "I have been able to help only 64 people, if I was able to help more I would have been happier." (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: cowin, covid, india, people, Rohit bansal, Sonu kumar, vaccine, snapdeal, registrations