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Saturday, September 10, 2011 is

New Address for SAGACTOR...

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Liberals in America

A liberal strongly rooted in American life, beginning with the Revolution. Liberal ideas came out of the philosophers of the enlightenment, which emphasized reason over religion, as life became more industrial and urban, and a middle class developed. Without a liberal philosophy democracy, middle and working class and the American way of life could not exist. 

Progress comes through a liberal approach in economic, social, political and educational avenues (Guteck, 2004).

The essence of learning, a blog worth checking out...

  • "When money is used as an external reward for some activity, the subjects lose interest for the activity." (Deci 1971)
  • "Intrinsic motivation is conducive to creativity; controlling extrinsic motivation is detrimental to creativity." (Amabile 1996)
  • "People use rewards expecting to gain the benefit of increasing another person's motivation and behavior, but in so doing, they often incur the unintentional hidden cost of undermining that person's intrinsic motivation towards the activity." (Reeve 2004)
  • We should be wary of absolutist thinking in our own lives (and, certainly, in our organizations). 

  • Sam Chaltain

    Sam Chaltain

    The Science of Renewal

    Sam Chaltain is a DC-based educator and organizational change consultant. He works with schools, school districts, and public and private sector companies to help them create healthy, high-functioning learning environments.

    Previously, Sam was the National Director of the Forum for Education & Democracy, an education advocacy organization, and the founding director of the Five Freedoms Project, a national program that helps K-12 educators create more democratic learning communities.

    Sam spent five years at the First Amendment Center as the co-director of the First Amendment Schools program. He came to the Center from the public school system of New York City, where he taught high school English and History. Sam also spent four years teaching the same subjects at a private school in Brooklyn.

Outsourcing, higher tuition, other major changes in future for CSN?

Report outlines changes to community colleges

A task force created to look at Nevada's community colleges is recommending sweeping changes to the way the colleges are run.
The task force's report, to be presented to the higher education system's governing Board of Regents this week, recommends revamping or tweaking online education, K-12 partnerships, remedial education, tuition pricing, the funding formula and the colleges' governing system, among other changes.
In all, the report recommends 10 changes.
Las Vegas Review Journal. Click here for full story and details.

Sims best Farmville

The Sims Social, based on the popular Sims computer game franchise, has supplanted FarmVille as the No. 2 game on Facebook, according to, a site that tracks Facebook apps. 
More than 9.3 million people played the Sims Social in the last 24 hours, compared with 8.1 million who played FarmVille.
The single-day milestone is significant because FarmVille is considered to be one of the most successful social games on Facebook. Launched in June 2009 by Zynga Inc., the game zoomed to the top of the charts as hundreds of millions of players rushed to plow virtual fields on FarmVille. At its peak, nearly 32.5 million people played the game in a single day, according to AppData.
But FarmVille has ebbed in popularity as players moved on to other titles, many of them published by Zynga, a San Francisco company that has declared its plans to sell its shares on the public stock market. (Current turbulence in the stock market has put those plans on hold, at least temporarily.) 
The Sims Social, published by Electronic Arts Inc., is among the few games that have been able to touch Zynga's top titles. 

Voice Over Class this afternoon

Hey Everyone, come check out Rob Lemon's Voice-Over class today, Saturday from 3:30-5:30 great teacher with great studio setup. First time students can audit for FREE and returning audit for just $20, calll 702-369-0400 and ask for Gary if you have any questions, Hope to hear from you or see you there!

Who's funding the Tea Party?

As the Tea Party movement has loomed ever larger on the U.S. political scene, increasing attention has been paid to where the money flowing into the movement is coming from.
There was New Yorker writer Jane Mayer's recent opus about the quiet money links between billionaire Koch brothers and the Tea Party movement. That controversial piece has gotten a lot of attention and some push back from one of its main subjects, David Koch, who with his brother financed the movement start. Between them they are worth more than Bill Gates and Steve Job combined. 

The Tea Party was planned and financed by big business, with slogans, emotional pathos appeals and even targeted Republican candidates to beat long before those in the "movement" began joining a "grass roots" march to "taking back our country."

The Tea Party movement has claimed a surprising number of victories in the primary season. It takes money to win elections, big money/ Dave Levinthal, editor of the Open Secrets Blog for the Center for Responsive Politics, says you need to look at how the Tea Party is funded.

Big oil, the insurance industry, wealthy doctors, conservative and neo-conservative well financed political action committees and congressmen are all fueling, literally, the "grass roots" Tea Party with big special interests bucks, gambling on being able to influence the votes of those who may win, and a very large angry minority of Americans who call themselves Tea Party or who share the Tea Party agenda (if there is a single agenda).

 Click here for NPR News coverage of what it both grass roots and launched, funded and fueled by big corporate money...

Sources: National Public Radio, New Yorker, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, PBS Newshour.
Photo credit: J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo on

Tea Party rally near the U.S. Capitol building, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010.

First published 9-14-2010

Monday, September 10, 2001

NASA remembers September 11, 2001

For the full story and NASA's official remembrance, click here to go to the NASA web page.

As NASA commemorates the 10th anniversary of September 11, the anniversary is both a milestone for the country and a moment to reflect on the last ten years. Throughout the agency, we were deeply touched by the tragedy.
› Message From Administrator Bolden

This page chronicles some of NASA's remembrances of the September 11 attacks and the Americans who died that day.

Astronaut Frank Culbertson -- The Only American Off the Planet

Frank Culbertson"The smoke seemed to have an odd bloom to it at the base of the column that was streaming south of the city. After reading one of the news articles we just received, I believe we were looking at NY around the time of, or shortly after, the collapse of the second tower. How horrible…"-Frank CulbertsonExpedition 3 Commander Frank Culbertson was aboard the International Space Station at the time of the attacks, and the only American on the crew. As soon as he learned of the attacks, he began documenting the event in photographs because the station was flying over the New York City area. He captured incredible images in the minutes and hours following the event. From his unique vantage point in space, he recorded his thoughts of the world changing beneath him.

The following day, he posted a public letter that captured his initial thoughts of the events as they unfolded. "The world changed today. What I say or do is very minor compared to the significance of what happened to our country today when it was attacked."

Upon further reflection, Culbertson said, "It's horrible to see smoke pouring from wounds in your own country from such a fantastic vantage point. The dichotomy of being on a spacecraft dedicated to improving life on the earth and watching life being destroyed by such willful, terrible acts is jolting to the psyche, no matter who you are."

› Read Culbertson's Full Letter
› Video: Station Astronauts Honor 9/11 Victims

› View Larger
A smoke plume rises from lower Manhattan in this photo by Expedition 3 Commander Frank Culbertson on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.
Image Credit: NASA
This image from NASA's Terra satellite shows a large plume of smoke streaming southward from the remnants of the burning World Trade Towers in downtown Manhattan yesterday (September 11, 2001). The image was acquired by the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) within a few hours after the terrorist attack.› View Larger
NASA's Terra satellite captured this image of a large plume of smoke streaming southward from the remnants of the burning World Trade Center.
Image Credit: Liam Gumley, MODIS Atmosphere Group, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison
This true-color image was taken by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) aboard the Landsat 7 satellite on September 12, 2001, at roughly 11:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time.› View Larger
Smoke can still be seen at the site at around 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 12, in this image from the Landsat 7 satellite.
Image credit: USGS Landsat 7 team, at the EROS Data Center

NASA Science Programs Monitor the Air

NASA science programs were called into action after Sept. 11, 2001, as the agency worked with FEMA to fly sensors over the affected areas on aircraft looking for aerial contaminants and used satellite resources to monitor from above.

Flags for Heroes and Families

Astronauts Mark E. Kelly (left), STS-108 pilot, and Daniel M. Tani, mission specialist, hold a bag of several American flags on the aft flight deck of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. The flags carried on the shuttle include 6,000 small U.S. flags, one U.S. flag that was recovered from the debris of the World Trade Center, a Marine Corps flag that was retrieved from the Pentagon, and an American flag from the State of Pennsylvania. Also onboard, is a large New York Fire Department flag, 23 replica New York Police Department shields, and 91 New York Police Department patches.› View Larger
STS-108 astronauts Mark Kelly, left, and Dan Tani hold commemorative American flags the shuttle Endeavour in December 2001. The flags were later presented to victims' relatives.
Image credit: NASA
NASA flew nearly 6,000 4 by 6 inch flags on Endeavour's flight during STS-108 to honor the victims of the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania. Students working at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas assembled the commemorative packages, including the U.S. flags flown in space, to be presented to relatives of the victims. Distribution began on June 14, 2002, National Flag Day, at a ceremony held at the American Museum of Natural History's Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York.

"The 'Flags for Heroes and Families' campaign is a way for us to honor and show our support for the thousands of brave men and women who have selflessly contributed to the relief and recovery efforts," said then-NASA Administrator Dan Goldin. "The American flags are a patriotic symbol of our strength and solidarity, and our Nation's resolve to prevail."

"NASA wanted to come up with an appropriate tribute to the people who lost their lives in the tragic events of September 11," added Goldin. "America's space program has a long history of carrying items into space to commemorate historic events, acts of courage and dramatic achievements. 'Flags for Heroes and Families' is a natural extension of this ongoing outreach project."

› Read More About 'Flags for Heroes and Families'→

Commemoration Goes to Mars

Honeybee Robotics, one of the companies involved in building the Mars Exploration Rovers, is located just outside of New York City. As a tribute to the fallen, Honeybee created a dust cover for each rover's rock abrasion tools of aluminum, about the size of a credit card and adorned with the American flag that was cut out of debris from the World Trade Center. The rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, are currently on the surface of Mars.

› Read More About the Rovers' 9/11 Tribute

NASA Kennedy Adds Florida Touch to Sept. 11 Flag

Kennedy's Joe Dowdy stitches the National 9/11 Flag.› View Larger
Joe Dowdy, special operations manager at Kennedy Space Center, works on Florida's contribution to the "National 9/11 Flag" during a ceremony at Kennedy on Feb. 18, 2011.
Image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
The contributions of NASA and Kennedy Space Center were stitched into the fabric of one of the nation's most recognizable symbols, when flags from Florida's Spaceport were sewn into an American Flag recovered near ground zero following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

"A few days after the collapse of the World Trade Center this flag was hanging on a scaffolding at 90 West Street, which was a building directly south of the World Trade Center that was heavily damaged when the south tower collapsed," said Jeff Parness, director, founder and chairman of the "New York Says Thank You Foundation."

The flag went on to become one of the most enduring symbols of the recovery from the attack. Once complete, "The National 9/11 Flag" will become a permanent collection of the National September 11 Memorial Museum being built at the World Trade Center site. There, America's flag can evoke a sense of pride, unity and hunger to keep achieving greatness, just as the nation's space program has for more than half a decade.

› Read More

For the full story and NASA's official remembrance, click here to go to the NASA web page.