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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Notations On Our World: Some Final Thoughts on #2015

As we have been working away throughout the #Outsider network, one of the key highlights of the year we commented on was +COP21.     We recently received this during our daily Social Media Curation and Review and wanted to feature this which we look forward to commenting on in the New Year throughout the Network:   

Are you interested in the historic agreement that was adopted among 195 countries at COP21 this weekend? You can read the document here!
Posted by French Embassy in the U.S. on Monday, December 28, 2015

Beyond @COP21 and the on-going deliberations on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, there is also an interesting development in California which we hope to report and comment on.   Charter Schools are a reality that have become part of the effort to reform schools.       However, it was of interest that one of the largest School Districts, Anaheim Union in Orange County, has issued a call to halt further approvals of Charter Schools as it is slated to proliferate.     We found it especialy striking that some 1320 Schools are now operating in California with some 581,000 Students with 158,000 students on the waiting list.     32 schools have closed even though 80 have opened.   We will be on the prowl for it for 2015.

We look forward to being of continued service in 2016.

Happy New Year. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

On the Eve of #2016: A Happy New Year......

It has been quite a journey for us here @ #Outsiders.      As we have been finishing off reflections throughout our Network,  we will be going dark for this final week of the new year as we wish all...

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Thought 4 the Week: Honoring an Eagle Scout On This Christmas 2015 W-End.....

We have been reflecting and remembering all that we're thankful for.    We thought it a fitting as we finished off curation for the weekend to share this as a special edition of our periodic "Thought 4 the Week" we curate throughout our network.     We chose this that our founder released to his personal Social Grid Network on honoring an Eagle Scout for all to be aware of his life of service and purpo as 

Onward to 2016 with all its' possibilities!!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

As We Go Dark For This Christmas 2015....

On behalf of us all here at #Outsiders, We wish you the most joyous of holiday seasons as we leave you with this:

along with this classic from Bing Crosby:

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Winding Down 2015: The Struggle For the Soul of Islam

As we wind down 2015, we "broke" our sabbatical to feature a very perceptive talk given by Professor Abbas Milani of Stanford University at the Commonwealth Club of California on the Reality of #Daesh today:

As we went to press, we wanted to also share this we received from the Founder of Zayunta College, Sheikh Hamza Yousef that underscores the struggle Professor Milani noted:


Dear Friend,

Salam alaykum. The 19th century philosopher Søren Kierkegaard warned that the media has the capacity to “stir up all those dregs of humanity which no state or government can control.”

As Muslims—and as the latest in a long line of targeted communities in the United States—we can sense the real danger of allowing such misguided rhetoric to continue, as bigoted views about us are now vividly featured in the media every day. Over time, people are brainwashed to hate people they have never met, and when they do meet them, to treat them with contempt or worse.

Much of this animus against Islam and Muslims comes from fear that is rooted in ignorance, and the only way to counter it is with knowledge. We need to educate the broader public about our faith—and, at Zaytuna College, in addition to educating our students, we’re committed to doing as much outreach as possible.

But some of the fear comes from the violent, heinous acts of a small but vocal minority of zealots who have hijacked our religion.
We must also counter their extremist ideology with knowledge and light to protect our youth—and to educate our fellow citizens.
Fortunately, we have been successful of late in working with sincere members of the media—from PBS and NPR to the L.A. Times and the Cairo Review of Global Affairs—who are interested in ensuring that Islam and Muslims are represented fairly.

I encourage you to read (and view) these stories and to share them with your friends and families—and to thank these media organizations by commenting on their respective websites.
We will continue to work on such stories as we look to 2016.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

As We Bid Farewell to 2015: Reflections & A Holiday Wish.....

It has been an interesting and challenging morning especially in the aftermath of the Federal Reserve's Decision to raise interest rates.    Markets have responded favorably to the end of "cheap money" although profound reservations remain as to whether the Fed's move is a bit rash right now.   A challenging World is also ever so before us with Brazil in Turmoil (As it just got a downgrade), the inferno in Syria and of course the United States Elections.    As we were working away, we also got an update from France that the IMF Chief has been ordered to stand trial over the so-called, "Tapie Affair" in France.    It has also been a year where we've been quite busy supporting a number of interesting Kickstarter Projects and transformations that we look forward to featuring in our Visions Channel in 2016 as our Daily Outsider 2.x will also be a focus.

As we are winding down the year here in #outsiders and gearing up for the new year, we also wanted to join the World in extending Happy Birthday to the Holy Father as he turns 79 Years old today. We also have decided to go "dark" throughout the Properties for the rest of the year as we gear up for 2016. Our team, will be continuing the daily Twitter curation and the Daily Update that is published for our founder featured throughout the #Outsider properties will be available for all daily.

We started on a journey that has been perilous at times.   As we reflected upon our journey, we took comfort in these thoughts thanks again to +Jonathan Huie :

In this world there is always danger
for those who are afraid of it.
- George Bernard Shaw

If we let things terrify us,
life will not be worth living.

- Seneca 

We appreciate all the support and look forward to the opportunity to serve in 2016 as we wish you all....

and our fervent wish for all for all to......

Onward to 2016 with all its' possiblities.....

Notations From the Grid: On Government Innovations

With all that has been seen on how Government is so dysfunctional, our team recently received this from the team +GovLoop that was quite notable in what works in Goverment and we hope all enjoy this: 

There's no single path or silver bullet for innovation, but across the government, employees are thinking outside the box and daring to do things differently.

In this guide, we're honoring that innovation.

New Guide: Top 30 Government Innovations of 2015
Here's a sneak peek at five of the 30 innovations:
  • GSA launched
  • HHS created TransNet to expedite organs to transplant recipients.
  • FEMA developed Risk MAP to pinpoint flood hazards.
  • Commerce decided to kill passwords to increase security.
  • Lubbock County, Texas created a virtual juror selection process.
Download the Guide for the Full List

Helping you reflect on a great year in government,

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Notations From the Grid: On Privacy & Protection (Cavaet Emptor)

We wanted to take this opportunity to feature this here for all to take under advisement:

For those Win7 & Win8 users that feel they enjoy too much privacy and too
much security, these features have been back-ported to both Win7 and Win8.

From the Win10 EULA (110-pages, 40,000 words) and MS Privacy Policy:

> Your privacy is important to us ...
> We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your
> content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications
> or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so
> is necessary.

If you slog through MS's instructions how-to turn-off SOME (not all) of the
telemetry/spyware ... MS will automagically re-enable it. Frequently. Silently.

What is MS collecting and forwarding to the MS Mothership?

- Contacts (name, postal address, email, tele, organization, business addr, titles)
- Usernames, passwords & password hints
- Age & gender
- Interests (sports, stocks, finance, etc.)
- Appls installed & usage history
- Calendar entries
- Email content
- Instant message content
- Tele usage/contact info
- Search history
- Web history
- Audio (search, Cortana, etc)

I have installed Spybot's (free) "Anti-Beacon" utility on my personally owned
systems. I have been running it for several weeks on Win7 & Win8 with no


This video covers the topic in considerable detail:

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

View of the Week: Notations On our Climate & the Roadmap Ahead.....

+COP21  is now history.     We wanted to share this "View of the Week" courtesy of the team at  which underscores what we view as the true challenge that will continue to exist as the real work begins--one interesting tidbit was how the last coal mine in England was shut down:


I just want to thank you for everything you've contributed to 350's work before, during and after the Paris summit. Together, we aimed high, and what we accomplished is huge.
Paris Wrap-Up Video -- WATCH:
Our "Road Through Paris" plan aimed to build movement power and accelerate the transition from fossil fuels starting in August -- and the amount we've been able to accomplish together since then is astonishing.
Together we have:
  •   Shut down one of Europe’s largest coal mines -- over 1,500 of us drew a line in the sand and took part in a mass act of civil disobedience at Ende Gelände in Germany this summer.
Ende Galaende Aerial Shot
   •  Hosted hundreds of "Power Through Paris" workshops across the globe, training and preparing for a wave of global escalation: 

Power Through Paris Workshop Photo

    •    Ran a global petition push to keep 80% of fossil fuels in the ground and finance a just transition to 100% renewable energy, which helped define the conversation in Paris: 

Petition Delivery Photo
 •    Super-charged divestment campaigns everywhere, adding over $1 trillion in assets under management that have divested from coal, oil or gas ahead of Paris climate talks: 

$3.4 Trilion Meme
 •    Then there was an historic wave of global mobilization, with almost 800,000 people worldwide marching together as part of the Global Climate March, alongside 10,000 who stood strong in the streets of Paris in the most difficult of circumstances, to form a giant human chain: 
Global Climate March Photos

    •    During the talks themselves, thousands of 350 supporters leapt into action at key moments to push world leaders towards bolder stances when they needed to hear from the people most: 

"We Choose Survival" Meme

    •    Then, as the summit wrapped up on December 12th, 15,000 people took to the streets of Paris for #D12, and many thousands more took action around the world, to send the message that we are the ones who will keep carbon in the ground: 

D12 Wrap-Up Video -- WATCH:

Our movement is growing -- not just in numbers, but in depth of analysis, skills and capacity. We'll need all of that for the next big push, which starts soon. 

I can't wait to see what we'll accomplish next.

Duncan for the team in Paris

An #Outsider Newsflash: Are You Prepared for El Niño?

We here in Orange County California received a lot of rain last night.    All are saying to be prepared for El Nino.  We wanted to feature this as we hope this is of interest as it hits us:

Monday, December 14, 2015

View of the Week: A "Blast" From the Past (Must See Ted Talks)

Wr recently went through our archives to re-release this on Ted-Talks in line with the Mission of the Outsiders Channel as we wind down 2015 and gear up for 2016: 

What is TED? This primer of 11 classic TED Talks show you the wide range of topics covered -- and introduce you to beloved speakers like Amy CuddyBrené Brown, Sir Ken Robinson and Chimamanda Adichie. Find your next favorite talk ... Watch »
Total run time 3:19:26

Saturday, December 12, 2015

View of the Week (Week-End Edition): On the aftermath of @COP21

We here @ #Outsiders have been on the Prowl at @COP21 and was very gratified as we saw the reporting on the agreement.    For this week-end edition of "View of the week" and in line with the mission of the Education Channel here, we wanted to feature guidance from +NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) that we view provides a solid overview of what was achieved and what is ahead--the real work does begin now and we look forward to being at the forefront of it as we also work on providing guidance on the UN Sustainable Development Goals which we believe is closely aligned.

It has been a good day in our World:

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council)
We have an agreement. Now it's time for action. Paris 2015

A great tide has turned against the central environmental challenge of our time—climate change.

This morning, world leaders came together and adopted an historic agreement at the Paris Climate Summit. The agreement will tackle the grave threat of climate change and accelerate the shift to clean energy around the world.

Nearly 200 countries, including the U.S., China, Europe and India, have pledged to reduce their climate wrecking pollution, strengthen their climate commitments every five years, protect people living on the frontlines of climate impacts, and help developing nations expand their clean energy economies.

Most importantly, this agreement sets ambitious goals. It calls for holding global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius, with a first step of keeping us below 2 degrees of warming.

For the U.S., our commitment to act on climate is embodied by the Clean Power Plan, the historic plan announced this summer to reduce carbon pollution from America’s coal-fired power plants.

To the over 275,000 NRDC members and supporters who signed our petition calling on world leaders to take action in Paris—we thank you. Your voice has been heard.

To the NRDC climate staff who worked around the clock to push Paris negotiators to reach an agreement, we thank you for your efforts.

And to prominent NRDC supporters like Robert Redford and Leonardo DiCaprio who were on the ground at the Paris Summit lending their influential voices to press for action, we thank you for your commitment.

To find out more about what this historic climate agreement means, read the blog post from NRDC Program Director Susan Casey-Lefkowitz.

Get a handy explainer on just what the agreement does from NRDC’s onEarth news website.

Catch the wave of buzz on social media from NRDC’s Paris Action Page online.

And stay tuned for more details from NRDC about the Paris Climate Summit’s historic agreement and what it’s going to take from all of us to put it into action.

Thanks again for your support.
Rhea Suh
President, NRDC
Rhea Suh

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Friday Musical Interlude: @Raef Sings

It is time for the Friday Musical Interlude here in #Outsiders as we feature our artist of the Week, +Raef Official  which we hope all enjoy:

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

An #Outsider Newsflash (Special Edition): On Time Person of The Year 2015

It has been yet again a rather interesting day in our World as +TIME magazine's personal of the year was announced.    We received this newsletter from Time Magazine that we wanted to feature in its' entirety for all to review.

Our view is that Angela Merkel was a great choice because of all she has done to keep Europe together and her courageous decision on the refugees.       We found it unfortuante that they had the #Daesh Leader was the runner-up.    We were not too surprised about the others--including President Rohani of Iran who is dealing with profound challenges inside Iran--including a severe recession that has just hit the country.

Some interesting read here as we're winding down the year:

TIME's Person of the Year: Angela Merkel
Editor Nancy Gibbs explains why the German Chancellor is TIME's choice for Person of the Year 2015
Chancellor of the Free World: Read the Full Story
Angela Merkel’s journey from daughter of a Lutheran pastor in East Germany to de facto leader of a continent
Why It's Been 29 Years Since a Woman Was Person of the Year
Angela Merkel is TIME's first female Person of the Year since 1986, a reflection of the growing influence of powerful women
The 13 Most Surprising Things About Angela Merkel
Did you know this year's Person of the Year is a soccer-loving scientist nicknamed 'Mutti' who is reportedly afraid of dogs?
Person of the Year Runner-up: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Person of the Year Runner-up: Donald Trump

Person of the Year Runner-up: Black Lives Matter Activists

Person of the Year Runner-up: Hassan Rouhani

Person of the Year Runner-up: Travis Kalanick

Person of the Year Runner-up: Caitlyn Jenner

Past Persons of the Year: Where Are They Now?


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Notations From the Grid: On #COP21 & Other Thoughts....

Our team just released notations on +COP21 which is available by clicking here.   It was also of note as we ran across the following recently:

As we saw this from Cambodia, it was emblematic of the possiblities:
A resilience story from Cambodia

How are Sao Khea and her family adapting to climate change in Cambodia?Get the full picture and share your own with us on Facebook.

We have also been a fan of the "Story of Stuff' as they have worked to do their utmost to change the narrative about our World:  

Story of Stuff Project

The days are getting shorter, and yet somehow there’s more and more to do. You wish your entryway were decorated with seasonal crafts, but instead it’s cluttered with catalogs. You want to spend time making memories—but how will you get everything done?
We’re here to help. It’s time to take back this season: for family, for reflection, for warmth, and for laughter. And we’re here with the resources to help you live your values from now until the New Year.
Step 1:  Say goodbye to junk mail. Stop the clearcutting of forests to bring you catalogs you don’t want, full of products you’d never buy.  Sign up for Catalog Choice today. (Bonuses: It’s  free, it’s nonprofit, and it’s now managed by The Story of Stuff Project!)
Step 2: Share a photo of you how you live your values on Buy Nothing Day, the day after Thanksgiving. Whether it’s hiking, crafting, baking, calling up an old friend, standing up for justice, or marching in the streets, we want to see what it looks like when you skip the stores and create a new Story. Upload your photo here
Image: Gift Outside the Box
Step 3: Take the Pledge. Set your intention to simplify and to live your values with the Pledge to Simplify the Holidays, by our terrific friends at the Center for a New American Dream. Once you sign up, you’ll receive a gorgeous and easy-to-download gift coupon book template. And a list of over 100 non-Stuff coupon ideas. You can scratch going to the mall from your to-do list.
Step 4:  Share your values. Let loved ones know how to Gift Outside The Box. Use SoKind Registry to pick out the experiences, crafts, thrift items and one-on-one time you really crave. It’s the only gift registry that will fill your life with memories instead of Stuff.
We wish you joyous days filled with meaning, magic, and moments of calm.
Our best to you.
Shana, Stiv, Emma, Natalie and the whole team at The Story of Stuff Project
along with
Our friends at the Center for a New American Dream
Gift Outside the Box is a joint campaign of The Story of Stuff Project and Center for a New American Dream.