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The creative wealth of nations : how the performing arts can advance development and human progress

January 23, 2015 Comments off

The creative wealth of nations : how the performing arts can advance development and human progress (PDF)
Source: World Bank

Cultural activities are increasingly noted as drivers of meaningful development. But they have yet to gain a prominent place in the architecture of development strategy. The performing arts, discussed here, exhibit direct effects on social progress and economic growth through trade in music, movies, and temporary work permits for artists, for example. Indirect contributions may also include environmental stewardship, tourism, nation branding, social inclusion, cultural democracy, and shifting cultural behaviors. These direct and indirect contributions are not well documented. As such, how is the creative or cultural sector a crucial part of the wealth of nations, and how could the World Bank Group better leverage the performing arts in its development strategy? This discussion provides a broad snapshot, from arts education, to social inclusion, to international trade in services. Key constraints include: the paucity of data and the difficulty of measuring cultural activities, the challenge of intellectual property, and the unclear benefits of cultural tourism. Part I sets the stage. Part II then provides policy options to foster the performing arts as a promising engine for development. Suggestions include: 1. expanding direct involvement in artistic projects, 2. increa sing the use of performing arts to address social issues, 3. collecting data, 4. promoting intellectual property training programs, 5. supporting digital platforms in the developing world that advance indigenous music, and 6. funding studies on such areas as cultural tourism. Progress still needs to be made in the discussion of the diverse ways that the performing arts can contribute to meaningful development.

CIA — Studies in Intelligence Volume 58, Number 4 (December 2014)

January 23, 2015 Comments off

Studies in Intelligence Volume 58, Number 4 (December 2014)
Source: Central Intelligence Agency

In Memoriam: Jack Downey [PDF 94.2KB**]
Ambassador Donald Gregg

Inside the Inferno
*Counterterrorism Professionals Reflect on Their Work [PDF 311.1KB**]
Dr. Ursula M. Wilder

By the Numbers
*The IC’s Struggle to Express Analytic Uncertainty in the 1970s [PDF 306.0KB**]
James Marchio

GIMIK and SKIFF
*A Tale of Two Semi-Submersible Submarines [PDF 469.9KB**]
Jim Anderson, LCDR USNR (ret), and Dirk A.D. Smith

INTELLIGENCE IN PUBLIC LITERATURE AND FILM
A Most Wanted Man: the Movie [PDF 75.2KB**]
Reviewed by James Burridge and John Kavanagh

A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination [PDF 77.7KB**]
Reviewed by Thomas G. Coffey

Russian Roulette: How British Spies Thwarted Lenin’s Plot for Global Revolution [PDF 118.6KB**]
Reviewed by J.R. Seeger

Mission R&AW [PDF 76.3KB**]
Reviewed by Ryan Shaffer, Ph.D.

Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf [PDF 152.6KB**]
Compiled and reviewed by Hayden Peake

*Books Reviewed in Studies in Intelligence in 2014 [PDF 86.5KB**]

MPI Releases Detailed Data Profiles of Unauthorized Immigrants and Estimates of Deferred Action Populations for Top U.S. Counties

January 16, 2015 Comments off

MPI Releases Detailed Data Profiles of Unauthorized Immigrants and Estimates of Deferred Action Populations for Top U.S. Counties
Source: Migration Policy Institute

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) today released data profiles of unauthorized immigrants in the 94 U.S. counties with the largest such populations, including detailed information on population size, countries of origin, recency of arrival, educational enrollment and attainment, health insurance coverage, poverty levels and potential eligibility for the two deferred action programs launched by the Obama administration.

The profiles for the 94 counties, which are home to approximately two-thirds of the 11.4 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States, are the latest addition to a unique data tool that offers detailed information on this population at national and state levels, including those potentially eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program or the recently announced Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. Using an innovative MPI methodology that takes U.S. Census Bureau data and imputes legal status for noncitizens, the tool also provides estimates of the age, gender, parental and marital status, top languages spoken, labor force participation and home ownership rates for unauthorized immigrants.

The county profiles reveal that the top five counties with the largest populations potentially eligible for relief from deportation through DACA or DAPA — Los Angeles, CA; Harris, TX; Orange, CA; Cook, IL; and Dallas, TX — account for 1.1 million people, over one-fifth of the total potentially eligible population nationwide, which MPI estimates at 5.2 million.

CRS — American War and Military Operations Casualties: Lists and Statistics (January 2, 2015)

January 14, 2015 Comments off

American War and Military Operations Casualties: Lists and Statistics (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

This report provides U.S. war casualty statistics. It includes data tables containing the number of casualties among American military personnel who served in principal wars and combat actions from 1775 to the present. It also includes data on those wounded in action and information such as race and ethnicity, gender, branch of service, and cause of death. The tables are compiled from various Department of Defense (DOD) sources.

Wars covered include the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam Conflict, and the Persian Gulf War. Military operations covered include the Iranian Hostage Rescue Mission; Lebanon Peacekeeping; Urgent Fury in Grenada; Just Cause in Panama; Desert Shield and Desert Storm; Restore Hope in Somalia; Uphold Democracy in Haiti; and the ongoing Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation New Dawn (OND), and Operation Inherent Resolve.

For the more recent conflicts, starting with the Korean War, the report includes additional detailed information on types of casualties and, when available, demographics. It also cites a number of resources for further information, including sources of historical statistics on active duty military deaths, published lists of military personnel killed in combat actions, data on demographic indicators among U.S. military personnel, related websites, and relevant Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports.

Supercomputers: The Amazing Race

January 13, 2015 Comments off

Supercomputers: The Amazing Race
Source: Microsoft Research (Gordon Bell)

The “ideal supercomputer” has an infinitely fast clock, executes a single instruction stream program operating on data stored in an infinitely large, and fast single-memory. Backus established the von Neumann programming model with FORTRAN. Supercomputers have evolved in steps: increasing processor speed, processing vectors, adding processors for a program held in a single memory monocomputer; and interconnecting multiple computers over which a distributed program runs in parallel. Thus, supercomputing has evolved from a hardware engineering design challenge of the Cray Era(1960-1995) of the monocomputer to the challenging of creating programs that operate on distributed (mono)computers of the Multicomputer Era (1985- present).

National Survey of Kids and Parents Provides Insight Into What Makes Children Frequent Readers

January 12, 2015 Comments off

National Survey of Kids and Parents Provides Insight Into What Makes Children Frequent Readers
Source: Scholastic

Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL) the global children’s publishing, education and media company,?today released results from the fifth edition of the Kids & Family Reading Report™, a biannual national survey of children ages 6–17 and their parents exploring their attitudes and behaviors around reading books for fun. Key findings reveal predictors of reading frequency, the importance of reading aloud to children at various ages, how frequently children have opportunities to read for pleasure at school and much more. For the first time, this year’s survey also includes data from parents of children ages 0–5 to shed a light on the role parents play in children’s literacy development before they enter school.

Frequent readers—defined as children who read books for fun 5–7 days a week—differ substantially in a number of ways from infrequent readers—those who read books for fun less than one day a week. For instance, among children ages 6–11, frequent readers read an average of 43.4 books per year, whereas infrequent readers read only 21.1. There is an even more profound difference among frequent readers ages 12–17, who read 39.6 books annually, and infrequent readers, who read only 4.7 books. The Kids & Family Reading Report asks what makes children frequent readers, creating two models for predicting children’s reading frequency—one each among kids ages 6–11 and 12–17—constructed through a regression analysis of more than 130 data measures from the survey.

U.S. Departments of Education and Justice Release Joint Guidance to Ensure English Learner Students Have Equal Access to High-Quality Education

January 8, 2015 Comments off

U.S. Departments of Education and Justice Release Joint Guidance to Ensure English Learner Students Have Equal Access to High-Quality Education
Source: U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice

The U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Justice (DOJ) today released joint guidance reminding states, school districts and schools of their obligations under federal law to ensure that English learner students have equal access to a high-quality education and the opportunity to achieve their full academic potential.

The guidance explains schools’ obligations to:

  • identify English learner students in a timely, valid and reliable manner;
  • offer all English learner students an educationally sound language assistance program;
  • provide qualified staff and sufficient resources for instructing English learner students;
  • ensure English learner students have equitable access to school programs and activities;
  • avoid unnecessary segregation of English learner students from other students;
  • monitor students’ progress in learning English and doing grade-level classwork;
  • remedy any academic deficits English learner students incurred while in a language assistance program;
  • move students out of language assistance programs when they are proficient in English and monitor those students to ensure they were not prematurely removed;
  • evaluate the effectiveness of English learner programs; and
  • provide limited English proficient parents with information about school programs, services, and activities in a language they understand.

Almost 5 million students in the United States are English learners—about 9 percent of all public school students. From 2002 to 2011, the percentage of English learners in public schools increased in 40 states and the District of Columbia, and currently three out of every four public schools enroll English learner students.

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