Tuesday, January 17, 2006

1.17.06 Tidbits

Film Review of Madagascar: At one point, I noticed that the penguins asked a monkey about what a poster was saying. The monkey said, "I can't read but he can, he is deaf." He pointed to another monkey, who went on to sign as the hearing monkey interpreted for the penguins. I quickly went back and do the slow motion -- much to my astonishment, the DreamWorks got it right! They signed Africa right. They spelled voyage right. They totally nailed on this! Great job. The penguins totally stole the film from the rest of characters. Who cannot love these psychotic penguins, really?

Al Amel Institute for the Deaf and Mute Is Now Open: Ahh, a new deaf school in Mosul, Iraq is now opening -- but c'mon, get with the program -- don't use that word, mute. It is inappropriate. But one day, they will figure it out and remove the word.
Al Amel Institute for the Deaf and Mute Grand Opening
By Captain Marcus Grimes

MOSUL, IRAQ, 12 DEC 05 -- There was an anticipatory buzz in the atmosphere at the Al Amel Institute for the Deaf and Mute as the soldiers of the 172d Stryker Brigade arrived to help celebrate the grand re-opening of this unique school. As the soldiers came in, the teachers could not contain their pupils excitement. Every child in this small school, which is situated high above the Tigris River in Downtown Mosul, cringed their necks and pasted their faces against the windows in their classrooms to see what the soldiers brought.

The atmosphere became absolutely electric as the soldiers unloaded their vehicles. The children saw new backpacks each stuffed with rulers, pencils, crayons, books, paper, and other school supplies. Their eyes popped when a soldier, doing his best to emulate Santa carrying his pack, came in carrying a bag of soccer balls.

Soldiers milled about in a central foyer area, trying to look comfortable while wearing body armor, helmets, eye protection, gloves, and carrying rifles. All the while, they tried to communicate with the children, wave to the kids and smile at the teachers. Each time a soldier took a picture, the children would gather around to get to see the image on the digital camera.

Mr. Ahmer Jihad, the Mayor of Mosul, the principal of the school Vice Headmaster Alkrem Abdul Kareem, had the honor of cutting the ceremonial ribbon. After the ribbon cutting each had a few comments for the local press, each child in the school lined up very orderly to receive their new backpack followed by cake. Just like any other kid, they tore into their cake and frosting with vigor. Immediately they went into exploring their new backpacks and showcasing each feature to whatever Soldier was near.

The kids were very well behaved and loved to try to communicate with all the soldiers. In the four months in Iraq, I never regretted not being able to speak Arabic, but today, I regretted not knowing at least some sign language to communicate with the kids. Even without words or signs, everyone in attendance knew the children had one thing to say: Thank you.
Hat tip to PJ for this information. The article can be found on this website.

Marion Downs Hearing Center Plans To Discourage ASL: A certain reader warned me that in Aurora, Colorado, The University of Colorado's Marion Downs Hearing Center has received some million dollars to build a new center, they intend to set up an infant program for deaf infants with the intention to study them related to speech and hearing abilities; they already instituted a policy that it forbade American Sign Language to be used for these children. It was said that the Deaf Community in Denver does not know much about this because the Center is keeping it low profile. If the center received money from any government, it may violate some kind of laws. Any opinions on this subject? Hat tip to Jules.

It is SO true: The changes in suburbia is not pretty. In fact, it is American's greatest tragedy, really! Hat tip to Philip.

Happy Birthday, Ben! Benjamin Franklin turns 300 today on January 17, 1706. He was not the perfect man in any sense but he was great American. He has many flaws in his character but he is man of many things. It is no secret that Philadelphia still is infatuated wtih Benjamin Franklin and William Penn after these years. But I should mention what Benjamin Franklin once said: They Who Would Give Up An Essential Liberty For Temporary Security Deserve Neither Liberty Or Security

Weighlifting Result? At the gym, I officially lost 19 pounds. And I'm not quitting. I'll stick to the plan and yeah, I'm heading out of town next week. I am looking forward to that.



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