How society stunts girls interest in science, tech, engineering and math (#STEM INFOGRAPHIC)

Girls are traditionally quicker to pick up concepts than boys early on, but somewhere along the line, they drop off in their interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Why is that and what can be done to encourage more girls and women to get into this industry?  An engineering degree school put together a graphic that summarizes and hypothesizes that society and culture probably have a lot to do with it:

Girls in STEM
 

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Congress approves Start Up crowdfunding bill; 22 Crowdfunding sites to apply to now

Today,  the Senate passed its version of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) act, which helps small start ups raise capital by supporting and authorizing crowdfunding, a process of raising money. Instead of seeking out angel investors or venture capitalists, crowdfunding enables individuals, collectives and startups to gather donations or microinvestments in their product, project or service.

The Senate sent the bill to the White House for President Obama’s signature.  The House passed its version and does not object to the president signing the Senate’s version. The White House supports the bill and is expected to finalize this uncontroversial bill.  Last week, the New York times had teed up an article questioning which of the bills would ultimately get the final approval.

  • The law enables companies to  raise up to $1 million a year through crowdfunding  which is the 21st century digital take on traditional venture capital funding.
  • Each investor would be limited to $10,000 or 10 percent of annual income, whichever is less. The Senate’s version of the  bill lets people with a  net worth under $100,000 to  invest 5 percent of their annual income, or $2,000, whichever is greater to a company. It also loosens the ability for wealthier investors and enables them to invest 10 percent of either net worth or income, up to $100,000 towards a start up.
  •  The bill would create a new class of companies labeled as “emerging growth companies” that would receive relaxed rules under the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The bill would also end an SEC ban on small-company advertisements to solicit capital; increase the offering threshold from $5 million to $50 million before SEC registration is required; raise the shareholder registration requirement from 500 to 1,000 shareholders; and increase the number of shareholders allowed to invest in community banks from 500 to 2,000.

There are several crowdfunding websites that enable  networks of friends, colleagues and like-minded individuals pitch in to fund entrepreneurs.

On AngelList.co for example, start ups provide a detailed project description, which could be considered a loan or donation. Those startups then spread the word to their contact list about their request.

The majority of crowdfunding sites fund entrepreneurs on an all-or-nothing basis. If the project is fully funded when the deadline arrives, the money is given to the entrepreneur. If it is not fully funded, it is returned to the donors to keep or donate to another project. So it’s important to have a compelling project or story and to be a skillful marketer and networker to ensure that word about your project reaches enough potential donors to fully fund the project before the deadline. If you’re confident that your social enterprise has what it takes to become a crowdfunding success story, you may find crowdfunding to be the perfect option for your fundraising efforts.

With this bill on its way to becoming law, enterprising start ups are now free to start researching and placing their companies on various crowdfunding sites for consideration. Here is a list of crowdsourcing sites to consider using now that this law is well into being finalized. I will be signing up my projects as soon as possible.

  1. 33needs
  2. AppBackr
  3. Buzzbnk 
  4. CauseVox 
  5. ChipIn 
  6. Crowdcube 
  7. Diaspora
  8. FundingForLearning
  9. FirstGiving
  10. Give.fm
  11. GoGetFunding
  12. GreenFunder
  13. Kickstarter
  14. MyMicro
  15. Peerbackers 
  16. ProFounder 
  17. RiceBowl
  18. Razoo 
  19. Sponsume 
  20. Spot.us
  21. Start Some Good
  22. Webiversity

Management of Money has a massive lists of dozens of crowdfunding sites to consider.

 

Good luck!

Below is an infographic that explains how crowdfunding works and the pros and cons of it, compliments of intuit.


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Obama: “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon”

Many supporters of the parents of the 17-year old Sanford, Florida teen gunned down by a community watchman have been calling on the president to address the Trayvon Martin case.

He did today while addressing an audience about the nomination of Korean-American and ex Dartmouth College president Jim Yong Kim to replace the resigning Bob Zoellick as the President of the World Bank. The Bank is usually headed by an American. Here is the transcript of the question and answer:

Question:    Mr. President, may I ask you about this current case in Florida, very controversial, allegations of lingering racism within our society — the so-called do not — I’m sorry — Stand Your Ground law and the justice in that?  Can you comment on the Trayvon Martin case, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I’m the head of the executive branch, and the Attorney General reports to me so I’ve got to be careful about my statements to make sure that we’re not impairing any investigation that’s taking place right now.

But obviously, this is a tragedy.  I can only imagine what these parents are going through.  And when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids.  And I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this, and that everybody pulls together — federal, state and local — to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.

So I’m glad that not only is the Justice Department looking into it, I understand now that the governor of the state of Florida has formed a task force to investigate what’s taking place.  I think all of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how does something like this happen.  And that means that examine the laws and the context for what happened, as well as the specifics of the incident.

But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin.  If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.  And I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.
Thank you.

—————————————————————————————–

Hey look at that. It’s exactly what I wrote in my latest Politics of Raising Children blog that appears in The Washington Times. You can read it HERE.  In an update to the case, the sheriff of Sanford Police, Bill Lee, stepped aside “temporarily” after the mayor and two council members issued a vote of “no confidence” on his handling of the case.  The Florida DA’s office has ordered a grand jury to deliberate on April 10.

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Trayvon Martin Million Hoodie March & At Home Solidarity PHOTOS

The Million Hoodie March in NYC on March 21 called for Justice for Trayvon

Yesterday, March 21 was a million hoodie march in New York City to Union Square in Manhattan. It was held to support and show acts of solidarity with the parents of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year old Sanford, Florida teen who was gunned down by a loose canon neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman.  The wanna-be cop had called police (like dozens times before since January 2012) and reported seeing a suspicious African American in a hooded sweatshirt.

Neighbors say Zimmerman, who has a violent assault record, was overly aggressive in his volunteer duties at the gated community where Martin was visiting. His dad’s fiance lived there. Zimmerman claimed self defense and was set free by a police force that allegedly changed witness testimony , refused other witnesses to give their accounts and reportedly failed to test Zimmerman for alcohol or drug use as is standard procedure. Experts listening to 911 calls have said Zimmerman sounded inebriated and he could be heard in one tape saying “F***g Coon” under his breath while telling police these “A*** get away with it”

Rally organizers urged those who could not attend last night’s rally which was held from 6pm to 10pm, to wear hoodies  and post their photos on Twitter under the hashtag #hoodiesforTrayvon, on the Justice for Travyon Martin Facebook page and another  Justice for Trayvon Facebook page that Global Grind set up (and is conspicuously using to divert traffic to photo albums that require users to click the site multiple times to get through). Others shared similar photos on their own personal Facebook and other places online.  Supporters are updating their Facebook, Twitter and other social media profiles.

They include notables like celebrated children’s advocate Marian Wright Edelman of The Children’s Defense Fund, former Michigan governor, Jennifer Granholm, MSNBC host Jane Velez-Mitchell and contributor Goldie Taylor.

Below is a  small sampling and collection of those I found online and scraped together for this post:

The Children's Defense Fund's Marion Wright Edelman

 

Harvard Law School's Black Law Students Association

 

Howard University Law Students

 

Jane Velez-Mitchell wore a hoodie during her show and asked viewers if she looked suspicious

 

Men of Howard University Law School

Former Governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm

 

School Children credit: Facebook


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More employers asking job seekers for Facebook passwords & to friend HR

You used to think that if you set your privacy controls on high, come up with a different variation of your real name, or de-tag yourself from pics, you have thoroughly insulated yourself from a potential employer finding you on Facebook and scoping out your profile before deciding to hire you.

Not so fast.

The UK Daily mail reported last week that companies, some government agencies and colleges are asking applicants to fork over their Facebook and email logins during the interview stage.

Other stories site private companies doing the same and even going as far as require employeees  ”friend” the company’s human resources manager.

The problem is, in this era of high unemployment,  desperate job-seekers say they would just comply because they have to feed their families.

Even though these instances of employers requiring passwords are still rare, experts are saying this may be the new world order because of high unemployment,  people are willing to accept less in exchange for a steady paycheck.

“It used to be that people would have to scrub their Facebook profiles,” Newsday quotes David Jacobs, consumer privacy fellow with the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a public interest research group. “Now it seems like even if you take those steps, you really have to make sure that everything you’ve ever done is employer friendly,” he said, adding that the scrutiny has reached a level of invasiveness that’s “excessive and unreasonable.”

But many Americans actually see nothing wrong with employer control over what their employees say about them in social media.

A new Rasmussen poll said that a third of those surveyed (33%) are fine with workers getting fired for inappropriate Facebook posts.

In some cases, a brand’s reputation can severely be tarnished if employees bad talk them online.

There is more and more case law bubbling up around Facebook.  Recently, there have been highly publicized cases of

  • people getting fired for calling his boss “a complete tool”;
  • a teacher getting axed for posting on a gay rights page that  ”homosexuality is a perverted spirit”; and
  • a doctor disciplined for commenting on a trauma patient, saying  he “operated on her brain…risky and bleak.”

The US National Labor Relations Board issued an order last fall in the first firing on Facebook state to reach that level.

In  Hispanics United of Buffalo, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation provides social service for Buffalo, New York residents, terminated five employees for their comments on Facebook after a co-worker had raised concerns about the job performance of other HUB employees.

Apparently concerned that the co-worker would bring her concerns to management, one of the five employees posted the following on her Facebook page:

[Co-worker] feels that we don’t help our clients enough at HUB I about had it!
My fellow coworkers how do u feel?

Thereafter, the others followed with comments suggesting how difficult their jobs actually were. The co-worker mentioned in the posts complained to management about the Facebook posts. The manager then met with each of the employees that posted on Facebook and terminated them.

Look at that, you never know when you’d get set up!

In these tough times, employers may be winning the battle of employee and potential-employee control.  The economy is not on the side of the average worker who values privacy.

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15 Grammar Goofs that Make you look silly (INFOGRAPHIC)

Copy Blogger has created an infographic that defines 15 common grammar mistakes many make. Everyday, while trolling various social media boards, many people make these mistakes and ordinarily it wouldn’t mean too much, but unfortunately, it has the effect of having readers of your messages second guess your education and discount or discredit what you are saying. We all do it, but it’s probably best to double check posts and updates before hitting send.

People should practice what they preach because I’m notorious for shooting out updates daily with all sorts of errors and auto-correct mistakes that  I could have easily cleaned up pretty quickly had I just simply and carefully re-read them before sending them off! oy!

 


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House Republicans look to revamp FCC

For decades now, digital technology, media, wireless and telephone companies, lawyers, engineers and accountants have been saying the nation’s communications laws are outdated.

On March 8, Congress took the first step towards addressing those concerns.

With a partisan vote of 31 to 16, most of the Republicans that sit on the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved legislation that would overhaul the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Of course before adopting any new regulation, the FCC would have to first identify if there has been a failure in the market, whether consumers would be harmed and if there are any regulatory barriers. It then would have to prove that the benefits of the regulations outweigh the costs.  The law would also formalize the current informal “shot clock” which parties use to determine when they can expect a decision from the FCC.

In response to criticism that the FCC has imposed unrelated conditions on corporate mergers, the legislation would restrict the types of conditions that the FCC could impose.  Some were upset that, for example, before approving Comcast’s merger with NBC Universal last year, it has to agree to offer channels that target racial minorities.

Democrats said the new standards imposed in the bill would actually impede the ability for the FCC to protect consumers.

Members of the committee offered colorful replies.

The bill’s author Greg Walden (R-OR) expressed disdain over the amount of power insulated in the FCC, arguing that his legislation would add more  transparency and accountability at the FCC.

“One of the biggest sectors of our economy is controlled by three people,” Walden said, referring to the three current members of the five-seat commission.

Meanwhile, Democrats like Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) said the bill would expose the FCC to more litigation.

Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) slammed the FCC, calling it a “sorry agency” that has “had a succession of sorry chairmen.” But he warned that the GOP bill would “create a fine mess” and “the courts are going to have a field day.”

Congress should take a more active role in overseeing the FCC instead of creating new obstacles to regulation, he said.

The bill now heads to the full House for consideration, but with a Democratic Senate, its chances of moving forward are slim.

repost from my post on Politic365

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Jeneba Ghatt joins Week in Review Talk show cast

Starting March 17 1p EST, Jeneba Ghatt joins co-Politic365 and CNN contributors, Republican strategist and talk radio host Lenny McAllister and Professor Dr. Jason Johnson; and Politic365.com managing editor Charles Ellison for a Week in Review show on the LMB Network, broadcast Sundays at 1pm on affiliates.

WBOL-1560, AM (Boliver, TN);

WOJG-94.7 FM (Boliver, TN);

WLBM- 105.7 FM (Danville, IL)

WCSA-1260AM  (Ripley, MS)

and

on air at http://www.lmbnetwork.com

We’ll be analyzing and going through the week in politics in review. Join us!

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Will Diddy & Magic be able to do with their new TV channels what Oprah couldn’t with hers: Make them profitable? (PHOTOS)

In 2010, when Oprah signed off from her decades long hit ABC show, The Oprah Winfrey Show to start her own network, she learned a painful lesson: Keeping a thriving and upstart network afloat and profitable isn’t easy!

And now hip hop pioneer, actor & business mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs and NBA veteran and successful serial entrepreneur Irving “Magic” Johnson will have their shot at trying to do what Oprah has been having a tough time doing: creating quality, innovative and interesting content that can secure high ratings and have advertisers coming back.

They will be joined by acclaimed Hollywood film producer Robert Rodriguez  (Sin City, Desperado) and successful business man and veteran Spanish-Language content-creator Constantino “Said” Schwartz, who will launch two new channels marketed to Hispanic viewers.

All four submitted winning proposals selected from among thousands all vying for an automatic slot on Comcast NBC Universal’s new diversity Voices channel lineup. Comcast offered to start the four channels as a deal sweetener when it sought approval from  the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice to let it acquire NBC Universal last year.

Last night, all four owners, Combs (REVOLT), Johnson (ASPIRE), Rodriguez (El Rey) and Schwartz (Baby First Americas) gathered at the Newseum in Washington, DC near Capitol Hill  to announce the inking of their respective deals.  All of the networks will launch this year.

Before a room of power players, members of Congress, the media, lobbyists and Beltway heavy weights, each man stepped to the mic to express  his gratitude for the opportunity to add diversity to the dial and bring a new option to their community.

Magic Johnson said that he and Combs have been like “little kids since this announcement” and that his “phone has been ringing non-stop” with calls from producers, actors, directors and behind the scenes people who want to be involved in the project. “We will be able to hire and give them jobs.” Johnson added.

Combs told the room that he has been humbled by the experience.

“Coming from Harlem, New York and now being here in DC and going to Howard University that is not that afar away and actually standing on this stage in front of the legendary John Lewis, Maxine Waters who my generation doesn’t thank you enough and I want to say thank you and to all the civil rights leaders and say ‘thank you, “ Combs said.

“I would be remiss without saying thank you to [BET Founder] Bob Johnson, Reginald Lewis, [NewsOne creator] Cathy Huges and Oprah Winfrey. It’s hard to know that a dream can come true unless you really see it come true,” Combs said. “Minority ownership is long overdue and today is a good day and hopefully the world will follow suit and realize in different industries that it is not diverse. I didn’t graduate Howard but I graduated from the school of common sense and so if I go to the movies every weekend and I don’t see people who look like me but every once in a while that is not common sense to me and If I turn on my TV and can’t show my kids people who look like them that doesn’t make sense.”

He gave his props to MTV which helped “break” his career, but said he hopes Revolt would be the “CNN or ESPN in music” and will be the “number one name in music,” adding “my channel is called ‘Revolt.’ The revolution will be televised!”

He said he chose music because “I’m good at…music. I have the credibility, the authenticity, the relationships and the experience… We will be live, 24 hours. If you want’ to know what your kids are watching, you can turn to Revolt to know.”

Rodgriguez, a Mexican-American,  said of his new El Rey network that it will “meet the need of 2nd and 3rd generation Latinos,” noting that there is a misconception that if you have Spanish-language television, you are taking care of the Latino population out there. Second and third generation Hispanics are the fastest growing and largest growing demographic in the United States and there is nothing for them.”

Rodgriguez too said the “excitement in this has been growing for me these past couple of weeks. No longer do we have to protest the lack of diversity in television because we’ve got an outlet for that.”

Meanwhile, Schwartz said he plans to fill the wide void of programming targeting children from dual Spanish-English households. “With ‘Baby First” we hope that access to quality educational programming on our network will help children in Latino households and prepare them for school and entice a love of learning,” Schwartz said. “The content is socially relevant and aspire to create a one America where all children are learning.”

Indeed, they are filling  a void and many are hopeful that the channels will be unique and won’t be filled with tired old content, movies, and shows already available on existing channels.  The proof will be in the pudding and as Oprah has show, you can’t create a powerful network on your name and brand alone.

Johnson knows this fact. “At the end of the day, we still have to have great content,” while noting that he has “already met with some of the biggest actors and programmers” wanting to bring content to Aspire which will target middle class African American professionals.

Hopefully, he is also considering the plentiful lesser known fresh talent that have webisodes and are already creating content that people love and have loyal followings, such as Diary of a Single Mom and the Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl.

Combs co-signed the point, telling the other upstarts that they all have his numbers and will all need to support one another, adding “it is important for diversity that we all succeed.” True that.

Good luck with it too. God and Goddesses like Oprah know it’s a challenge. I’m sure these guys are up to the task.

We will be watching and supporting.

Magic Johnson & Sean "Diddy" Combs awaits their turn to address the crowd.

 

Members from Inside Beltway, Congress, Media, Hill Staffers, Communications lawyers gather to hear speeches

 

Producer Robert Rodriguez explains why El Rey , an English language network, is needed for 2nd & 3rd generation Latinos in America

 

The event was captured by various news and media outlets

 

Robert Rodriguez greets dignitaries on the red carpet

 

 

Congress woman Maxine Waters was among the US legislators at the event. Diddy thanked her for her role in paving his success and on behalf of others in his generation.

 

Jenebaspeaks.com staff working the event, my intern Adama Jalloh of Poshthesocialite.com and Right of Black co-host Shanon D. Murray.

 

Other guests include Bloggers from the the Fab Empire, DC Fab (in stripes) and Baltimore Fab to her left

 

Diddy's signature brand, for which he is spokesperson, Ciroc, was served.

 

Guests had fun posing on the red carpet in front of the "step and repeat"

 

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Online Privacy: Is there really such a thing? (INFOGRAPHIC)

An online marketing degree website put together this interesting infographic about our online privacy which according to the information gathered tells the story about how we really don’t have much control over how our data and information is shared by companies online. Makes you want to think, doesn’t it?

You Are Not Safe Online
Created by: OnlineMarketingDegree.com

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