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11 Jan Science Events to Watch for in 2021

In 2020, the world saw many events that led to questions about our future.  Now, we are looking to see what great things will happen in 2021. Nature.com pulled together an article that discusses more in depth some of the science-y things to keep an eye out for in 2021.  They include: Climate comeback - A key moment for climate negotiations will come at the United Nations’ climate conference in Glasgow, UK, in November. COVID detectives - A key moment for climate negotiations will come at the United Nations’ climate conference in Glasgow, UK, in November. Vaccines and pandemic - The effectiveness of several new vaccines will become clearer in early 2021. Open access drive - More than 20 organizations, including Welcome in London, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington, and Dutch national funder NWO, will from January start stipulating that scholarly papers published from the work they fund must be immediately free to read. Stem-cell revamp - Stem-cell scientists will be eagerly awaiting updated guidelines for research from the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). Crunch time for Alzheimer's drug - US regulators are slated to decide whether the first drug reported to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease can be used as a treatment. Mars gets busy - China’s ambitious agenda for space science continues in 2021. Long-awaited telescope launch - October will see the long-awaited launch of the James Webb Space Telescope — which its developer, NASA, calls the “largest, most powerful and complex space telescope ever built”. Ripple effect - Radio astronomers could be on the verge of demonstrating a new way of detecting gravitational waves by harnessing pulsating neutron stars as beacons. Join data2insight as we look forward to exciting Science Events in 2021!...

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28 Dec December Holidays Around the World, part 4 or 4

As the fourth and final installment of the 2020 December Holidays Around the World series, data2insight wishes you a happy new year. New Year’s Eve (31 December).  New Year’s Eve celebrations will be far less raucous this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.  However, many will undoubtedly be happy to see the back of 2020 and welcome in 2021, particularly with the possibility of a vaccine on the horizon.  (source). Here are some interesting facts about how New Year's is celebrated around the world (source): In Ecuador, families dress a straw man in old clothes on December 31. The straw man represents the old year. The family members make a will for the straw man that lists all of their faults. At midnight, they burn the straw man, in hopes that their faults will disappear with him. In Japan, Omisoka (or New Year’s Eve) is the second most important holiday of the year, following New Year’s Day, the start of a new beginning. Japanese families gather for a late dinner around 11 PM, and at midnight, many make visits to a shrine or temple. In many homes, there is a cast bell that is struck 108 times, symbolizing desires believed to cause human suffering. Those in Hong Kong pray to the gods and ghosts of their ancestors, asking that they will fulfill wishes for the next year. Priests read aloud the names of every living person at the celebration and attach a list of the names to a paper horse and set it on fire. The smoke carries the names up to the gods and the living will be remembered. To celebrate the Chinese New Year, many children dress in new clothes to celebrate and people carry lanterns and join in a huge parade led by a silk dragon, the Chinese symbol of strength. According to legend, the dragon hibernates most of the year, so people throw firecrackers to keep the dragon awake. Join data2insight as we celebrate the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021!...

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14 Dec December Holidays Around the World, part 2 of 4

Most of the world celebrate Christmas on December 25.  However, did you know that there are many other global holidays celebrated in December as well?  This month, data2insight will be highlighting a few of those holidays. Festivus (23 December).  Festivus entered popular culture in 1997 thanks to the Seinfeld episode “The Strike”. The parody holiday is a resistance to the consumerism of Christmas, and is celebrated by standing around an unadorned aluminum pole, as opposed to a decorated tree.  Traditions include the “airing of grievances” and “feats of strength”, while people also make reference to “Festivus miracles”, which are actually easily-explainable events. (source) Christmas (25 December).  Most of the world celebrates Christmas on 25 December, marking the birth of Jesus Christ. This date was picked because it corresponded with winter solstice in the Roman calendar. In actuality, the date of Jesus’ birth is unknown. Some people celebrate Christmas on the 24th, and certain cultures even celebrate in January. People give gifts, shares feasts with family and decorate trees in their homes.  (source) Join data2insight as we continue to learn about the holidays around the world and how they are celebrated....

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07 Dec December Holidays Around the World, part 1 of 4

Most of the world celebrate Christmas on December 25.  However, did you know that there are many other global holidays celebrated in December as well?  This month, data2insight will be highlighting a few of those holidays. Hanukkah.  This year, Hanukkah starts on December 10 and runs through December 18, traditionally happening on the 25th day of the month of Kislev on the Jewish calendar.  Hanukkah is an eight-day celebration of a story of miraculous provision. Each night, another candle is lit on the menorah, and sometimes gifts are exchanged at the same time. (source)   Learn more about Hanukkah here. Yule.  This holiday runs December 21 through January 1.  Yule, also known as Yuletide, a holiday with over a millennium of history and traditions, much of which formed the basis of what many know today as Christmas traditions. (source)  It has spawned a number of Christmas traditions, such as the yule log.  (source)  Yule is set to start on the day of the winter solstice. (source)  Learn more about Yule here. Join data2insight as we continue to learn about the holidays around the world and how they are celebrated....

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30 Nov Native American Heritage Month

Join data2insight as we tune into the free webinar on Thursday, December 17, 2020 for the Youth in Action: Conversations about Our Future - (Re)Telling the American Story. The webinar, sponsored by the American Indian Museum, will be an online zoom webinar, free to all. Details:  The American story has been profoundly shaped by Native Americans, yet the stories told about Native people are often false and almost always incomplete. From Pocahontas and Jamestown to the first Thanksgiving and Plymouth Colony, Indigenous peoples have rarely been the narrators of their own stories. Join us in a conversation with Abigail Peters (Mashpee and Aquinnah Wampanoag/Mi’kmaq), Gisselle Jiménez (Taíno), and Connor Tupponce (Upper Mattaponi/Chickahominy) and learn how Native youth are actively reshaping these narratives today. Learn more about the panelists here....

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23 Nov Honoring Native People on Thanksgiving

November is National Native American Heritage Month, offering many opportunities to move past one-dimensional representations of “pilgrims and Indians.” In the spirit of unity, we can instead focus Thanksgiving on common values:  generosity, gratitude, and community. Most people do not know about the first Thanksgiving is that the Wampanoag and Pilgrims did not sit down for a big turkey dinner and it was not an event that the Wampanoag knew about or were invited to in advance. (source) In September/October 1621, the Pilgrims had just harvested their first crops, and they had a good yield. They “sent four men on fowling,” which comes from...

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16 Nov Celebrating Native American Heritage Month!

What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose. (source) November is Native American Heritage Month, which was first declared by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. The month provides an opportunity to commemorate the rich and diverse cultures, traditions and histories and acknowledge the important contributions of Native American/Indigenous people. It is also an important time to educate the general public, as well as young people in schools, about the bias, discrimination and unique challenges faced by Native American/Indigenous people both historically and currently and the ways in which they have confronted these challenges. (source) Celebrate the history, culture, and traditions of American Indians and Alaska Natives in a special collection of films, short stories, and resources from Public Television.  Check out the PBS documentary here. Want  more resources?  Check out this site! Join data2insight as we celebrate Native American Heritage Month....

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02 Nov Vote!!

Today, most American citizens over the age of 18 are entitled to vote in federal and state elections, but voting was not always a default right for all Americans. While no longer explicitly excluded, voter suppression is a problem in many parts of the country. (source) If you ever think that just one vote in a sea of millions cannot make much of a difference, consider some of the closest elections in U.S. history.  Your vote may not directly elect the president, but if your vote joins enough others in your voting district or county, your vote undoubtedly matters when it comes to electoral results. (source) If you experience problems voting, report it here. Voter intimidation has no place in a fair election. See Something, Say Something (See Say 2020) converts citizen reported instances of voter suppression into real time maps and alerts.  Learn more at the Democracy Labs. Prepare and prevent a disrupted presidential election and transition  https://choosedemocracy.us/ Learn more from this article and this video. Join data2insight as we exercise our right to vote!  ...

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26 Oct Halloween 2020!

With the convergence of a full moon, a blue moon, daylight saving time and Saturday celebrations — plus the unprecedented events of this year — Halloween 2020 will truly be one to remember. Much has changed … but our love for the fun, fright, and delight of Halloween is strong as ever. So let’s unleash our Halloween inspiration — to celebrate the season in safe, fun, unexpected ways!  (source) The CDC recommends these lower risk activities can be safe alternatives: Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends Decorating your house, apartment, or living space Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance Having a virtual Halloween costume contest Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house Join data2insight as we celebrate Halloween in a COVID-19 free way.  ...

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