Black star, white ceiling: Why can’t Lupita Nyong’o find a role worthy of her?


Hollywood is not color-blind. An Oscar did not help Cuba Gooding Jr. career.

Originally posted on PopWatch:

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An Academy Award can mean many things, but it’s never the solution to a problem. That reminder landed brutally in late April, when Lupita Nyong’o, the actress whose Oscar for 12 Years a Slave was the Cinderella story of this year’s ceremony, entered final talks for her first major post-prize gig. She’ll be playing the mother wolf in a remake of The Jungle Book.

You read that right. Hollywood is handed a beautiful, talented, Yale School of Drama-trained actress of color, and what does it come up with? Well, let’s see…she could be an animal. In the Third World.

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Would others perception of you change if you informed them you were gay

For a little over 24 hours I changed my Facebook status to reflect that I was coming out as gay. I have to say that 99% of the responses I received were positive and supportive. The other 1% sent in a private message was not. Being that I am almost 50 years old have never been arrested, don’t use illegal substances, have taken in to raise two of my siblings children and have spent the past 25 years working with disadvantage and/or disabled children and youth it amazes me that someone would attempt to sit in judgment of the content of my character. But this really isn’t about me. The reason I made this post was to bring awareness to the fact that thousands of children and youth are struggling with the desire to “come out” to friends and family but are afraid of those individuals that would sit in judgment. The rates of suicide among LGBTQ are much higher than those of straight people. I am of the belief that if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem. Therefore, my challenge to my friends and family is to become the solution. Be there with nonjudgmental support for the LGBTQ population so that you could be considered a “safe space” from those judgmental others who would attempt to break another person’s spirit. For those of you who might be struggling with the decision to “come out” in a hostile world there is support available.

Lastly, for that 1% who would sit in judgment of the content of my character, my lifestyle or might have any remaining concerns regarding my sexual orientation you do you and I will do me.
The lesson learned from this little change in status is that no matter how much we might say we are caring and compassionate we still choose to make value judgement of others based upon our personal standards. At the end of the day the question is not really about my possible sexual orientation but about how others perception and feelings for you can be changed because of sexual orientation.


My Love/Hate relationship with the Kindle Fire HDX 7

{A little background of my history is that I currently own three Kindle Fire devices, the original Kindle Fire 8 GB, the original Kindle Fire HD 16 GB and this Kindle Fire HDX. I also have a massive amount of material on my Amazon Cloud. I am talking about thousands of items of books, music and apps as well as hundreds of items of docs and audiobooks. That said I can honestly state that neither of the other devices I own has given me half the problems I have with the HDX. If either of the other devices came in 64 GB I would switch back in a heartbeat.}

I upgraded to the Kindle Fire HDX in March of 2014. Since that time I have been forced to ask for a replacement for 3 of the 32 GB and at least 6 of the 64 GB. All of these devices where returned within the first 30 days of ownership. I have had several different problems with each of the devices but one major problem I have is that at times instead of a new device I am sure that I was sent a refurbished device. Additionally, when I do call customer service I end up speaking to no less than 3 technicians for an hour at a minimal while they attempt to troubleshoot each of these device. At times the technician will even suggest that the problems might be because of the massive size of my library requiring additional time, there is a conflict with the way I am using the device and/or of course the old standby poor internet connectivity. As I have stated time and time again to these technicians I only expect my Kindle HDX device to perform multiple task at the same time similar to the way I expect my home computer to be able to perform multiple task at the same time. The fact is that I know from experience that both the Kindle Fire and the Kindle HD are able to perform multiple task at the same time. Another thing I have learned from my experience with these multiple devices is how to perform the basic troubleshooting of the device by myself. So after having been on the phone with Amazon for an hour I really would not be agreeable to spending more time on the phone while the technicians attempt to figure out the cause of the problems I am having with the device. As I have explained to several technicians if I purchased anything that stopped working correctly within the first thirty days I would assume I purchased a lemon and ask for a new (not refurbished) product. I also let them know that I would have expected that if technical support needed to learn what caused problems with the device that they had already learned all of these difficulties prior to selling me the device.

A few of the problems I have had are listed below:
1. unable to open apps already downloaded when not connected to wifi
2. device shuts down on its own. Have to use hard shutdown to get the device to restart
3. unable to connect to internet (multiple internet)
4. library in the cloud and on device is listed as empty
5. items on the device will stop working in the middle of usage and will have to be downloaded to the device again
6. the device will stop working and loose the date and time setting
7. device will use up battery in less than 6 hours even when not in use (in sleep mode)
8. touch screen will stop working
9. videos will not work even though already downloaded to device if not connected to wifi

In conclusion, while I love the Kindle Fire and the Kindle HD I can only say that the Kindle HDX is not as well developed in spite of the additional memory. It really appears to me that Amazon needs to go back to the drawing board with this device and/or get some customers that are serious bibliophiles as their bata and delta testers instead of techies. In the mean time I will once again await the delivery of a replacement Kindle Fire HDX in hopes that the new device will work as well as my other devices.

June 28, 2014 update
For those of you who think my problems are impossible to believe there is nothing I can do to convince you otherwise.  My main concern was that these problems persisted even after Amazon support, Kindle support, Mayday support, and advance technical support have all attempted to correct the problems. That includes insuring that all updates have been completed on the device.  I have stated that I felt that Amazon was replacing my new device with refurbished devices and that I felt that this might be the source of the problems. For those doubters I even have proof that this is the case since I took a picture of one of the devices in the packaging it arrived in. Lastly, I have had several of the support staff suggest that some of my problems might be due to the size of my various libraries. If that is the case then that defeats the purpose of my having 64GB.

June 28, 2014 update #2. I just spent another 90 minutes on the phone with Amazon only to be told that since it has been more than 30 days from my initial order that I will only be given a refurbished device as a replacement since the computer generates the date. To be fair my initial order date was March 30, 2014. But I also so should note that I have had replacement devices ordered (April 11, April 26, May 2, May 24, May 30, June 14 and June 30.) As you can see based upon the dates listed at no point did 30 days go by before I had to call and request a replacement due to the device being defective. I feel like I am now being punished by Amazon for recognizing and reporting problems with the device. For those who would say it must be something I am doing I can only say that people served jail time due to manufacturing problems for both Toyota and GM cars that the companies didn’t report.

My View: Mental health services make schools safer

Originally posted on Schools of Thought:

Courtesy Cathy PaineBy Cathy Paine, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Cathy Paine is a school psychologist in Springfield, Oregon, and chairwoman of the National Emergency Assistance Team for the National Association of School Psychologists. She was a panelist at the White House Summit on School Violence Prevention in 2006.

This week, Schools of Thought publishes perspectives on school security. Tomorrow, a school resource officer explains his role in campus security.

(CNN) — I received the emergency call at 8:14 a.m. on May 21, 1998.

Eighteen minutes earlier, a 15-year-old student had entered Thurston High School armed with two handguns and a semi-automatic rifle, and in a matter of seconds, killed two students and wounded 25 more, some sustaining life-long injuries. As a school psychologist in Springfield, Oregon, I was called because of my role on the district’s crisis response team. In a few short moments, we were transformed from…

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