With the Olympics kicking off this week, all eyes are on London. Taking advantage of the spotlight is Brandalism, a group made of 25 artists from eight different countries, who are using their art skills to showcase their stance against advertising and consumerism within their cultures.
The group is replacing existing billboards with photographs, street art, graffiti, and other forms of art that contain messages as their way to reclaim outdoor advertising in the UK.
We spoke to the group about how the concept came about, the kind of art work artists are creating, and if London residents are backing their concept.
See the gallery after the jump. (more…)
Read the rest
Recently the Department of Homeland Security, DHS, announced a new immigration policy that will stop deportations of people under the age of 30 who came to the United States as children younger than 16. In addition, young people in this category could be eligible for temporary status. The news sparked a lot of questions about what this new policy would mean for young people, and who qualifies. To help understand the details of DHS’s immigration plan, we reached out to Abigail Trillin, managing attorney at Legal Services for Children in San Francisco.
Youth Radio: Can you give me the main headlines young people should know about this change in immigration policy for people who came to the U-S as children?
Abigail Trillin: This policy may provide temporary help. A lot of the details are not clear yet. You should consult an attorney before doing anything.
YR: Who will qualify for status under this new policy? Do you have to be currently in school or the military? How will you be able to prove the age you came to the U-S?
AT: All the requirements are in the memo (released by DHS this week.) My guess is you will need to show things like school records to prove length of time in U-S.
The following criteria should be satisfied before an individual is considered for an exercise of prosecutorial discretion pursuant to this memorandum:
•came to the United States under the age of sixteen
•has continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and is present in the United States on the date ofthis memorandum;
•is currently in school, has graduated from high school, has obtained a general education development certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces ofthe United States;
•has not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise poses a threat to national security or public safety; and
•is not above the age of thirty.
Via Department of Homeland Security. Read the rest of the memo from DHS
YR: Do you have to be in the process of deportation to apply?
AT: No, but there is a question about whether applying will be risky for those not in deportation because they will be alerting immigration to their presence here.
YR: What will this mean for young people facing deportation now?
AT: For young people who qualify this may mean a temporary halt to their deportation.
YR: People who are against the new policy say it’s only a way to slow down a young person’s deportation. Do you agree with that? What’s your perspective on that criticism?
AT: If the policy remains as it is, it will only be a short-term solution.
YR:What will the new status allow young people to do? (Work legally? Vote? Get a driver’s license? Other privileges?)
AT: Work legally. Avoid deportation.
YR: What advice do lawyers have for young people who are currently undocumented?
AT: Seek legal advice from an attorney before proceeding. There may be risks in applying.
YR: Do you recommend young people apply or wait and see if the policy changes to allow young adults to gain permanent status?
AT: It will be on a case-by-case basis but for a large number of youth it will be a good idea to apply.
YR: If you apply and then the policy is reversed under a new president if Mitt Romney wins the election, is it possible young people who apply may later get deported?
AT: Yes-that is a risk.
YR: Once you’ve gotten accepted in the new immigration policy, does that mean you’re legal or just safe from deportation?
AT: Just safe from deportation and authorized to work.
YR: What will happen to those applicants after the policy ends? Will they still face deportation or be eligible for another status?
AT: It’s only two years and what happens after that is totally unknown at this point.
s1 Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion Individuals Who Came to Us as Children1 (2)
Read the rest
With just a ten millimeter wrench and a screwdriver, Brian Simmons has built and sold more than 100 motorized bicycles in Oakland, CA, under the label Rebelbikes. The company has been around for three years. The two-man shop based out of the comfort of his living room.
Simmons’ two wheeled creations are motorized pedal assisted bicycles that can go up to 35 mph. His ultimate goal is to see bicycles replace cars, and while he knows it’s a stretch, he is taking his dream on one bike at a time.
Read the rest
A new study published in the journal Psychological Science shows a correlation between college students that come from states with high income inequality and students that cheat. The researcher, Lukas Neville, is a Ph.D. candidate in organizational behavior at Queen’s School of Business in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He said he became interested in academic dishonesty and plagiarism because of his teaching experience. Turnstyle spoke with Neville about his research.
Turnstyle: What inspired you to do this study?
Neville: I wanted to look at situational factors that contributed to cheating. My sense is that there are some incorrigible students who will always cheat and some saints who won’t cheat no matter what, but there are also a substantial number of students whose decision to cheat is shaped, at least partially, by the environment they’re in.
Turnstyle: Who did you survey in this study?
Neville: I actually didn’t talk to students directly – I let their Google searches speak for them. I took a dataset that broke down a huge pile of search traffic, and showed which states were more likely to be the origin of particular searches. So, for instance, if you look at ‘frozen car door’ as a search term, you’ll find that that search tends to originate in cold Northern states like Wisconsin and Minnesota, rather than Sun Belt states like Florida.
I was wondering if I’d see any pattern to which states were more likely to go hunting for things like “free term paper”, or search for the names of common essay term mills.
Turnstyle: Why do you think your study showed a correlation between income and cheating in college?
Neville: Actually, what I found was that it wasn’t so much about income; it wasn’t rich states versus poor states. It was about inequality in income: States that had a really big gap between the rich and the poor were more likely to be the sources of these searches than states with a smaller gap.
The reason I think income inequality correlates with cheating (as measured with these sneaky searches for essays to crib) is that income inequality tends to lower trust. Previous research has shown that a huge gulf between the rich and poor weakens social ties and make us more suspicious of each other.
Turnstyle: Why do you think more students from states with high income inequality are more likely to cheat?
Neville: I think that students from states with high income inequality tend to cheat more because there’s less trust in those places. If you’re in an environment where people act like you’re trustworthy, you tend to want to live up to that trust. And if you’re in a high-trust environment, you look around, and you think, ‘Yeah, these folks around me can be counted on not to cheat.’
But if you’re in a low-trust place, you’re more likely to think that those around you are cheating, and you don’t want to be the one sucker left working hard while everyone else is prospering by cheating. Being in a place with lower average trust in one another probably puts you at greater risk of cheating because you think everyone else is cheating, if you want to think of it that way.
And that’s exactly what I found here. The effect of inequality on cheating-related searches was due to the effect of inequality on trust: High-inequality states had less trust, and that mattered because trust kept people from searching for these terms. High inequality, lower trust, more cheating. And I found that if you controlled for cheating, that link between inequality and cheating disappears. Trust is really the key that links together economic equality and honest behaviour (and, on the other hand, economic inequality and cheating).
Turnstyle: Did the number of students who admitted to cheating in college increase over time?
Neville: My study wasn’t able to look at the rates of cheating over time. Back in 2001, Donald McCabe from Rutgers did a review with his colleagues and concluded that there had been a modest rise over thirty years in academic dishonesty. Since then, there has been a massive rise in the availability of tools – Internet searches being one – that students can use to cheat. It’s become easier to cheat since then.
Turnstyle: What surprised you from your study?
Neville: I was honestly surprised to find these results looking only at the state level. Usually, you look at dynamics of trust at the level of communities. The search-engine query data is only available at the state level, and I thought, with the huge differences within a state in trust, I’d never find anything. But even when you’re looking state-to-state, you still see these effects. I think it’s really important to start digging down and looking at how these relationships play out at the level of the college, of the classroom.
Turnstyle: Do you think your study will cause concern among professors with regards to cheating?
Neville: I hope this gives professors some hope. We don’t have a lot of power as academics and instructors over how wealth gets divided. But we do have control over the environment of trust in our colleges and classrooms. And my research shows that the reason inequality is having this effect on cheating is because it deteriorates our trust.
Professors can do a lot to foster trust in our classrooms. There’s great work on the effect that honor codes seem to have on cheating. Feeling trusted would help to explain why they work. I think we need to work to build communities in our classrooms. It’s hard to have trust in the context of a huge, impersonal, 1000-seat lecture theatre where students don’t know one another. That’s a big challenge, but making the classroom a community where students trust and feel trusted, I think that’s really important to helping mitigate some of inequality’s ugly effects.
Turnstyle: What are the next steps in this field?
Neville: I think this study is an interesting start to a conversation, but it’s not the final word. Looking at search queries, looking only at the level of the state, not being able to tease apart cause and effect, these are real challenges with this study. I think the next step needs to be to look at the dynamics at the more personal level, within classrooms, rather than within states. But that said, I hope that it captures people’s interest and imagination and gets people talking about inequality and trust in education.
Read the rest
Joaquin E. Diaz DeLeon on Friday, Mar. 30th
I didn’t learn much of anything while I was locked inside California’s Division of Juvenile Justice. Most of my teachers were a little too old and a little too scared to actually teach us. They had no idea how to relate to a bunch of kids labeled gangbangers and thieves, and students took advantage of their fear. In order to avoid actually teaching, they’d give us packets of basic worksheets that were no more challenging than a 4th graders homework. But I finished the busywork, and I got my diploma.
The whole point of juvenile incarceration should be about reform, preparing young people to reenter society. Too often though, I felt like nothing more than a paycheck for guards whose sole job it was to lock and unlock doors. I can’t help wondering if they were afraid to educate us for fear we might commit smarter crimes, or worse yet, maybe we’d even rehabilitate ourselves and put them out of work.
At 16, I was sent to two different state facilities that were more than a hundred miles from my hometown. Gangs dominated the culture, and egos raged out of control. I was in a fight on my very first day.
Separated by a two-hour drive from my mom, my town, and everything I knew, I spent a long time believing that I was labeled for life. I couldn’t imagine a day when I would be anything other than my crimes; when people could see me as a human again.
I think people are missing the point when they debate whether or not counties should retake control of juvenile justice, because I’m shocked communities ever gave teenagers away to the state in the first place. Rehabilitation happens when teenagers are forced to connect to their communities and confront their mistakes. Teen offenders need to understand that they’re defecating where they eat. They need community support, instead of being locked up far away.
In state lockup, I was mistreated and minimized, and when I returned to my community I felt like an unwanted stranger. Call it realignment, or whatever you want. But it’s time we change the system.
This commentary first aired on KQED-FM.
Read the rest
How did a $69 weather balloon, a $5 dollar Styrofoam cooler and a digital camera get from downtown Oakland, California, to hover 90,000 feet above the Bay Area region?
Engineering students at Youth Radio (Turnstyle’s parent company) took those materials and created a weather balloon with a cooler attached with a camera inside. The camera took shots above through a hole drilled in the cooler.
The weather balloon was floated into “near space,” the region of Earth’s atmosphere that lies between 65,000 and 350,000 feet above sea level.
The students planned the launch of the balloon using Google Maps, the CUSF Landing Predictor and terminal area charts of the San Francisco Bay Area. They also programmed the camera to take pictures every couple of seconds , and installed InstaMapper software to track the balloon’s trajectory.
The balloon was launched from a small practice field at Monte Vista High School in Danville, Calif. The weather was perfect for the launch, offering clear views for miles. It was retrieved two hours and 40 minutes later at an empty field behind Jeannie Womack Park in Elk Grove, Calif.
The balloon traveled a total distance of 48.8 miles from Danville to Elk Grove, Calif and reached an estimated altitude of 75,000 to 90,000 feet. During its flight, it took 835 high resolution photographs, one every ten seconds, of the earth at various altitudes.
The pictures taken offered spectacular views of the earth. At the height of its ascent, the curvature of the earth could be faintly seen.
Using online software from CUSF(Cambridge University Space Flight), we got an accurate prediction of where the balloon and payload would land. That helped us to determine a suitable launch site.
Pictured are the San Pablo, Suisun and Grizzly Bays and the Sacramento River Delta.
Picture showing parts of the Sacramento River Delta.
The weather balloon near the top of its ascent
Earth’s curvature seen from the weather balloon near the top of its ascent
A bird’s eye view of the weather balloon near the top of its ascent
A hazy day as the weather balloon nears the top of its ascent
Picture taken from weather balloon at an altitude of approximately 75 – 90,000 ft.
Here’s another look from the top of the balloon’s ascent
Another angle of the weather balloon near the top of its ascent
The weather balloon near the top of its ascent
Photo taken from approximately the top of the ascent of the balloon.
Two of the participants in the project getting ready to launch the balloon.
Read the rest
I know you’ve probably seen the images on Facebook of “What People Think I Do.” An image containing six panels, each portraying what friends, loved ones, coworkers, and what society thinks they do. By now, it’s become a full-blown meme.
But the first one, “What People Think Contemporary Artists Do,” was created by artist Garnet Hertz. It started as a funny image that was only meant to be shared with his friends on Facebook, but Hertz says it was instantly liked and shared by others.
Turnstyle spoke to Hertz about this new trend, what he hopes to accomplish with this project and about other projects he has lined up.
Turnstlyle News: How did the idea for “What People Think I Do” come about? What inspired you?
Garnet Hertz: I saw a similar image with the caption “Role Playing” the day before I made my version. I had also been working on a proposal that week, and made the image to poke fun at that. When I made the image, I had just intended it to be enjoyed by my Facebook friends, many of whom are artists, curators and academics.
TS: When did you realize that this project was a hit?
GH: It immediately had 100 shares per hour, and I smelled that something was going on bigger than I had intended.
TS: I know you said when you first started this image you had no intentions of it going viral, but looking back at how popular this got, what are your thoughts?
GH: I’m happy that it became popular, but I’m a bit embarrassed that I’ve got so much attention for this.
TS: What do you hope to accomplish with this project?
GH: I was just procrastinating getting done a proposal – and all this press hasn’t help me get done the proposal.
TS: What are you working on next?
GH: My most recent large scale studio project is an arcade game cabinet from the 1980s that has been converted into a vehicle that actually drives.
Read the rest
Photographer Jasper James, who is from Beijing, has lived and worked in various parts of the world while working on projects for notable magazines including Vanity Fair and Traveler. One project, “City Silhouettes,” which he began several years ago, was shot in several parts of Asia, and his technique is striking: James overlaps two different styles of photos to create what he calls a “personifying” picture.
“The choice of city is key for these portraits,” he says. “I especially like the Asian mega cities such as Tokyo or Shenzhen with their vast panoramas of high rises. I think the the scale of these places works particularly well when matched with the people portraits. The key is finding the right vantage point to shoot from and gaining access.”
The series is ongoing and James hopes to eventually stage it in New York City. James is currently looking for an exhibition site for “Silhouettes.”
Read the rest
The following originally aired on KQED-FM.
By: Derek Williams
I’m so bowlegged that my older brother says I look like I’ve been riding a bull since the day I was born. I stand five foot seven and weigh 380 pounds.
Some days when my knees are giving me a lot of pain I’ll look over at my shadow doing a slow pigeon toed wobble down the street, and I just think to myself how gross and unhealthy I look.
Being overweight is something I’ve dealt with my whole life. Names like doughboy and fatty used to really get to me. But even when kids weren’t being mean, I felt isolated. In the 3rd grade my class took a field trip for Chinese New Year to the Empire Buffet. Chinese food is my favorite, and I was so excited, but then came the bad news…we had to walk eight blocks to the restaurant. Sweaty and out of breath, I eventually stopped to sit on a fire hydrant. I remember the look on some of my classmates’ faces when they had to stop and wait for me. I had never felt worse in my life.
I’ve come a long way since then and have my mom to thank for a lot of that. I remember she once told me, “You’re fat simple as that, and until you’re ready to put in the hard work to change, you might as well be the cutest fat boy in the game.”
Some people in my life worry that if I accept myself the way I am, that it means I don’t want to change, but what they don’t understand is that the only way I can lose weight is to do it from a place of strength, not shame.
I’m accepting myself for who I am now, not what I wish to be or what I may become in the future, keeping in mind that wherever I go, my shadow will be there. Except now when see it, my shadow doesn’t have a negative hold on me. Instead I smile to myself and think, what a fat black beautiful bowlegged young man.
Read the rest