In celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity and World Turtle Day, which fell on 23 May, The American Center Yangon hosted an event featuring a presentation by Dr Kalyar Platt on ‘Safeguarding Myanmar’s unique turtle fauna’. Dr Kalyar Platt highlighted the issues facing Myanmar’s turtles today, how they safeguard the environment and pleaded for people to stop taking turtles to pagodas. “The pond is small and the number of turtles is huge. People capture the turtles which are living freely in their natural environment and sell them to pilgrims to release into the ponds for good merit. How would one feel if they were forced to live in such cramped conditions?” Dr Kalyar Platt told The Myanmar Times. People believe that they will have done a good deed by freeing captive birds, fishes and turtles. Dr Kalyar Platt opposes this concept. “It has been traditionally practiced for many years at the pagodas. In reality, … [Read more...] about Freeing turtles into pagoda ponds does more harm than good
Science does more good than harm
By Michelle Ma WSJ Mon., May 13, 2019 Today’s middle schoolers may be the first “artificial intelligence natives,” a generation that’s grown up interacting with YouTube’s algorithm or Amazon’s Alexa smart speaker. Educators are grappling with how to teach children to be responsible consumers of the technology. Blakeley H. Payne has one idea. A graduate research assistant at MIT Media Lab who studies the ethics of AI, Ms. Payne designed a curriculum to teach children about concepts like algorithmic bias and deep learning. She tested the week-and-a-half-long program in October with about 225 fifth- through eighth-grade students at David E. Williams Middle School in Coraopolis, Pa., outside Pittsburgh. Ms. Payne, who does not have a background in education, developed the course of study with input from computer science teachers and researchers at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her “unplugged” curriculum mainly … [Read more...] about How to teach kids about AI
By Kathy English Public Editor Thu., May 2, 2019 Why does journalism matter? I asked. You answered. In anticipation of today’s World News Day, a time to recognize and celebrate the power of journalism to make a difference in people’s lives, I asked for your perspectives on why journalism matters to you. The responses, as always when I reach out to Star readers for your views were (for the most part) thoughtful and constructive, showing tremendous insight into the value of the public service mission of journalism and deep appreciation both for journalism’s purpose in our democracy and for the work of journalists who aspire to journalism’s highest ideals. Thank you to all who participated. Here is some of why you believe #NewsMatters: Good journalism speaks truth in the face of lies, without fear or prejudice. When the public is confused by those with powerful self-interest, then the duty of the journalist is to lay bare the facts as (s)he … [Read more...] about ‘Great journalism holds the mirror to our souls’
SINGAPORE: Every time freelance writer Clare Lee, 27, uses a changing room when trying on clothes in fashion outlets big and small, she will take a few minutes to inspect every nook and cranny in her cubicle for hidden cameras before feeling safe enough to undress herself.For 27-year-old Fiona, who did not want to give her full name, she will always double-check that the curtains in her bedroom or hotel are fully drawn such that there is not even a teeny-weeny gap for anyone to peek through, and steer clear of unattended baskets in supermarkets.Freelance content creator Hilary See, 27, would refrain from standing near the edge of the escalator where people can look up her skirt, and try to use either a bag or a file to cover the back of her skirt while climbing the stairs.With spycams and phone cameras taking voyeurism to unsavoury new heights, these women are among a growing number of people who have taken extra precautions to protect themselves and their private spaces.As Fiona, … [Read more...] about The Big Read: Singapore’s voyeurism problem – what’s wrong with men, or the world?