Philadelphia, Aug 25 (AP/UNB) — Hundreds of bicyclists have been caught with their pants down — and their shirts and underwear off, too.
The cyclists gathered in a Philadelphia park on Saturday to disrobe before saddling up and setting off on the annual Philly Naked Bike Ride.
About 3,000 riders pedal a 10-mile (16-kilometer) course around the City of Brotherly Love while taking in sights including Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, organizers say. Some riders wear their birthday suits while others flaunt their underwear or sport just a splash of body paint and glitter.
Melanie and James O'Connor, who painted each other's nude body in multiple colors, were riding for the seventh time.
"We run around naked a lot," he said.
The couple met at the 2012 ride and have been together since.
"I took a picture of him the moment we met, and seven years later we're still naked," she said.
The ride is to promote positive body image, advocate for the safety of cyclists and protest dependence on fossil fuels, a major issue for Oren Roth-Eisenberg, who participates every year.
"I call it my Christmas, the happiest day of the year," he said, while having a message advocating for less gas consumption painted on his torso by his wife. "It's the intersection of the happiest day and the most important thing."
The Philly Naked Bike Ride used to be held in September but was moved up to August because the nude and scantily clad participants complained about chilly weather.
Dhaka, Aug 22 (AP/UNB)- Amanda Blum enjoys trying new recipes and experimenting in the kitchen, but like many home cooks she’s reluctant to buy expensive and bulky kitchen appliances.
So she was delighted to learn about Kitchen Share, a nonprofit near her home in Portland, Oregon, that loans out kitchen equipment. Bloom, who likes to preserve fruits and vegetables at this time of year, found a name-brand pressure canner there that makes the task easier and safer.
Since then, she’s become a regular borrower, checking out Kitchen Share’s blender, ice cream maker and pressure cooker.
“This is such a huge resource,” she said. “It solves the problem of having to buy all these things.”
Around the country, traditional libraries and a small number of non-profit lending operations loan out collections of household items: cake pans in Akron, Ohio; paintings in Minneapolis; telescopes in St. Louis; sewing machines in Rochester, New York.
For traditional libraries, such items are a natural extension of their mission to provide resources to the community. Many of the other institutions see lending programs as a way to help people save money or lead more sustainable lives by owning fewer things.
As with books, “it’s the idea of collections that are purchased by a group and used by multiple people over and over again,” said Jen Lenio, collections manager of the Rochester Public Library.
The Rochester library system’s offerings are driven by patron interests, as well as a desire to assist low-income people, she said. The success of library craft classes inspired the staff to create borrowable knitting and crochet kits. Recognizing that the ability to make or repair clothes could be useful, the team purchased sewing machines that patrons can check out.
“We’re trying to fill needs that the community has,” Lenio said.
The Akron-Summit County Public Library’s cake pan lending program was so popular, the institution decided to buy kitchen tools to circulate too. The items — including measuring cups, kitchen scales and baking dishes — appeal to the area’s large student population and younger patrons setting up households, among others, said Monique Mason, manager of the libraries’ science and technology division.
The collection includes utensils that people might use only rarely, like a cherry pitter, candy molds and holiday cookie cutters, and bulky items they might not have room for.
“When you look how much space a pasta maker or a food dehydrator takes up — do you really want to have to store these items?” Mason said.
The library treats the items like books, allowing people to reserve them online and sending them to various branches for pickup, she said. Patrons are required to return the kitchen items clean, and are advised to wash them before using.
St. Louis County Library in Missouri has a telescope lending program, which was suggested by the St. Louis Astronomical Society. It began in 2014 and was an “instant hit,” said director Kristen Sorth said. “People seem very appreciative of the opportunity and treat them very well,” Sorth said.
Loaning telescopes aligns with the library’s interest in promoting science education, she said, by giving people access to cool equipment.
“I’ve done it a couple of times. I had one as a kid and I like to see what I can see in the night sky,” said Craig Williams of St. Louis, who hopes to own one someday.
In the twin cities, the Minneapolis Art Lending Library, a non-profit group, promotes art appreciation by lending out original works that borrowers can hang on their walls at home.
Part of a library’s mission is to help patrons learn, and that isn’t limited to books, says Christine Feldmann, a spokeswoman for the Anne Arundel County Public Library in Annapolis, Maryland, which loans out fishing poles and ukuleles, among other items.
“The library is really about connecting people with resources,” she said. “These programs are just an extension of that.”
Dhaka, Aug 22 (AP/UNB) -Parents and teachers know that reading to their children in preschool and kindergarten is important. But how can parents and teachers support young children’s mathematics knowledge?
One often overlooked activity is patterning, or thinking about patterns. Patterns are predictable sequences, such as stripes (for example, a yellow-green striped shirt) and rhythms (for example, da-de-dum). Young children like to make patterns when they draw and play.
Patterning encourages children to look for regularity and rules – a critical component of mathematical reasoning. For example, in the color pattern red-blue-blue-red-blue-blue, the rule is the part that repeats over and over (red-blue-blue in this pattern).
My own research shows that early pattern knowledge can support later mathematics achievement. And parents and teachers can work with their children from an early age to get them to think more deeply about patterns.
What parents and teachers typically do
Parents and teachers most often ask preschool children to copy and extend patterns.
For example, they ask children to extend a pattern by deciding what comes next in the pattern. Although a good start, these tasks do not push children to think about rules and regularities.
In contrast, parents and teachers are less likely to encourage their children to do more sophisticated tasks that promote more attention to rules and regularities.
For example, they rarely ask children to make the same kind of pattern using different objects or sounds (we call this abstracting a pattern) or to name the part of the pattern that repeats (identify a pattern’s rule).
This means parents and teachers are missing out on opportunities to support children’s pattern knowledge and mathematical reasoning.
Kids get better with patterns
We have found that many preschool children (ages 4 to 5) are able to abstract patterns when prompted to do so. Further, their ability to abstract patterns over the course of the pre-kindergarten year also improves. However, most have difficulty identifying a pattern’s rule.
One effective way to support attention to the pattern rule is for adults to label patterns using common, general terms. For example, preschool children learn better when alphabet letters are used to explain a pattern.
So, a red-blue-blue-red-blue-blue pattern could be labeled as an “ABB pattern,” rather than labeled using the color names. A new yellow-green-green-yellow-green-green pattern could be labeled as an “ABB pattern” too. This helps children see that the two patterns share a common rule.
If special attention is given to patterning, it can help improve pattern knowledge. For example, research has found that when preschool children were encouraged to create new patterns over a period of six months, using different materials and with encouragement to identify a pattern’s rule, they were able to explain patterns better a year later.
Patterning supports math achievement
When special attention is given to patterning, it also improves children’s general mathematics achievement. Special attention to patterning in preschooland in first grade led to better general math knowledge at the end of the school year.
And this early pattern knowledge matters for mathematics achievement in fifth grade as well. Children with better pattern knowledge at age seven had better mathematics achievement at age 11. Early pattern knowledge was found to be important for building later knowledge across a variety of mathematics topics, including number, algebra and geometry.
This also raises the issue of adding this to the Common Core State Standards, which currently do not include patterning as a math content standard at any grade level.
There was limited evidence available when the standards were written, but now that we know that patterning supports important mathematical reasoning and achievement,
I believe it should be made part of the Common Core standards.
At the same time, teachers and parents should consider how to support patterning in preschool and the early grades. They should help children look for regularities and rules in patterns by asking them to make the same kind of pattern using different objects or sounds and to name the part of the pattern that repeats, so as to identify its rule.
This will help provide a foundation for future math learning and reasoning.
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here: http://theconversation.com/dont-know-how-to-get-your-kid-to-do-math-try-patterns-39417.
Tokyo, Aug 22 (AP/UNB) — Having trouble getting tickets for next year's Tokyo Olympics?
That's no problem if you have $60,000 to spare.
Tokyo Olympic organizers are offering high-end hospitality packages to Japan residents with prices soaring to 6.35 million yen — about $60,000. This is good for the opening and closing ceremony, nine days of track and field with luxury seating and sumptuous dining. Low-end packages dip down to about $1,500 for one session at a less popular event.
Tokyo is shaping up as a very pricey Olympics.
Ticket demand is unprecedented, so unofficial re-selling likely will flourish. Hotel rates are soaring. And getting here will be costly, particularly for people traveling from the Americas and Europe.
"I don't know if I can afford to go to the Olympics," Brant Feldman, a Los Angeles-based sports agent, told The Associated Press. He's attended seven straight Olympics and represents American and Canadian athletes for AGM Sports. "For the average family right now to head to the Olympics, it's going to be the most expensive in history."
Tokyo organizers say the luxurious hospitality packages are an "opportunity for family, friends and business contacts" to enjoy the Olympics. In the words of organizers, here's what's included with the tickets:
— specially selected Champagne, sake and beers
— gourmet dining menu prepared by top international chefs
— fine wines chosen by our sommelier
— elegant commemorative souvenir VIP access pass
— first-class personal service capable of dealing with any request
— event host and celebrity guests appearances.
Hospitality packages, of course, are aimed at the wealthy, targeting executives who treat the Olympics as a venue for doing business and schmoozing with sports as an alluring sideshow.
There's also an old-fashioned way for residents of Japan to get scarce tickets: a so-called "second-chance" lottery that closed Monday. Results will be announced next month, and another lottery for Japan residents will be held in the fall.
For now, those living outside Japan must go through Authorized Ticket Resellers , which are deluged with unprecedented demand. They also offer high-end packages and are allowed to tack on a 20% service charge to each ticket. And many of the best tickets are tied to expensive hotels.
A random search of well-known hotel booking sites by AP found prices for most 3-4-star hotels between $1,000-1,500 per night with few available. There have been complaints that many hotels are canceling previous reservations to secure the markup.
Even Japan's famous capsule hotels — or sleep pods — will cost more to crawl inside with prices up three or four times on booking sites.
In a statement to AP, Tokyo organizers said they are working with "the government and the accommodation industry and travel industry in order to control prices."
Quoting a government report, organizers say there are 300,000 rooms "in different classes" in Tokyo and in neighboring prefectures.
Olympic athletes are guaranteed housing and have access to a few tickets for event sessions in which they participate. After that, family and friends are on their own.
"If your son or daughter qualifies for the Olympics in 2020, I don't know how any of those families are going to be able to afford the airline tickets, the Airbnb, the hotels, or get the tickets," Feldman said.
Those planning to wait until the last minute to book rooms, which sometimes become available because organizers typically overestimate the number of rooms needed and the number of foreign visitors.
It may not happen this time.
Tokyo's demand is driven partly by a giant metropolitan area of 35 million, its safe streets, and long-time support for the Olympics.
Australia-based Kingdom Sports Group, an official reseller that deals primarily with Asia and Africa, said on a social media site that Tokyo is "30 times more popular" than London was in 2012. London is often seen as the benchmark for Olympic interest.
Ken Hanscom, a ticketing expert who runs Los Angeles-based TicketManager, told AP "this is the biggest (Olympic) demand ever — by far."
The big winner could be the Paralympics, which open a few weeks after the Olympics close on Aug. 9, 2020. The lottery in Japan for the Paralympics started on Thursday with 2.3 million tickets available.
Just over 80% of Japan residents who applied got nothing in the first Olympic ticket lottery earlier this year. Of those who landed tickets in June, many got far fewer than they expected.
Organizers say 3.22 million tickets were sold in the first phase. Demand appears to exceed supply by at least 10 times. Another 680,000 tickets are available in this lottery, but only for those who were shut out the first time.
Tokyo organizers say there are 7.8 million tickets for the Olympics. They estimate between 70-80% will go to the general public in Japan. The difference between the larger and smaller percentage is 780,000 tickets, giving organizers flexibility in how tickets are distributed.
The remaining tickets are sold abroad, or go to sponsors, national Olympic committees, and sports federations.
Organizers hope to earn $800 million from ticket sales, a big chuck of income for the privately funded, $5.6 billion operating budget.
A report released last year by the national government's Board of Audit said Japan is likely to spend $25 billion overall to prepare the games. This is public money, except for the operating budget. Organizers dispute the figure and say it's about $12 billion, though what are Olympics costs — and what are not — is subject to heated debate.
Tokyo projected total costs of about $7.5 billion in its winning bid for the games in 2013.
Sunapee, Aug 22 (AP/UNB) — A woman has celebrated her 111th birthday in New Hampshire with a bunch of cupcakes and a tribute from singers.
Hazel Nilson was born Aug. 21, 1908, in Chicago. A lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, she likes to say she was born the last time the team won the World Series before their big comeback in 2016.
Nilson, a former physical education teacher, has been a resident of Sunapee Cove in Sunapee, New Hampshire, since October 2014. Before that, she lived in Stone Lake, Wisconsin.
Wearing a cake-shaped hat, Nilson sampled a peach cupcake at her party Wednesday. The Sunapee Singers sang "Take Me out to the Ball Game" in her honor.
When asked if she has any secret to her longevity, she said don't fret, smile, and enjoy life.