Netflix Documentary ‘Rising Phoenix’ Creators Launch Prince Harry-Backed Education Guide


  • “Rising Pheonix” creators have launched an educational program revolving around disability
  • The project is backed by Prince Harry, who believes the program has a lot of lessons to teach
  • “Rising Phoenix” currently holds a score of 90% on Rotten Tomatoes

The creators of Netflix’s documentary “Rising Phoenix” have launched an education guide to make students aware that the Paralympics is one of the ways to raise visibility for people with disabilities. 

“Rising Pheonix,” which tells the story of inspiring para-athletes who defied the odds to become some of the most successful athletes of all time, introduced the program for teachers to dig deeper into the subject matter in their classrooms. 

The educational program is backed by Prince Harry, who founded the Invictus Games for wounded members of the military and veterans. Speaking about the program, the Duke of Sussex said he is “really excited” about the new education site and program that features lessons that could change someone’s life. 

“It (‘Rising Phoenix’) is a story that continues with people like Bebe Vio, who lost her limbs to meningitis, and went on to win a fencing Gold medal at the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016. In the documentary, Bebe says, ‘Everything is impossible at the beginning, you just have to try.’ This is a message that needs to be heard,” Harry said in a video to promote the educational program. 

“Rising Pheonix,” which was released in August, focused on eight athletes from around the world who have competed in the Paralympic Games. Bebe Vio (Italy), Ellie Cole (Australia), Jean-Baptiste Alaize (France), Matt Stutzman (U.S.), Jonnie Peacock (U.K.), Cui Zhe (China), Ryley Batt (Australia), Ntando Mahlangu (South Africa) and Tatyana McFadden (U.S.) are the athletes who are featured in the film. 

McFadden, winner of 17 Paralympic medals, lauded the efforts of the makers to change perceptions of disability and said the world needs more education and discussion revolving around the subject. 

“Happy #IDPD2020 proud to be disabled but this is something that has taken time to accept. We need more education &discussion around disability. #RisingPhoenix Paralympics documentary has launched an educational guide to help teachers explore changing perceptions of disability,” McFadden wrote.

The project is one of the highest-acclaimed documentaries of 2020 and was nominated at the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards earlier this year. 

The Guardian, in its review, wrote that the documentary is a “stirring salute” to the heroes of the Paralympic Games, while Common Sense Media praised the documentary for its “inspired storytelling.” 

“Rising Phoenix” currently holds a score of 90% on review site Rotten Tomatoes.

Tatyana McFadden Tatyana McFadden, winner of 17 Paralympic medals and one of the stars of “Rising Phoenix,” in a scene from the movie. Photo: Photo by Netfli/Netflix US, Twitter/HTYT Stories

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UAE Mission to UN in Geneva joins Muslim World League, UN University for Peace launch book promoting peace, dialogue among nations

(MENAFN – Emirates News Agency (WAM)) JEDDAH, 2nd December, 2020 (WAM) — In the context of the UN 100 Years of Multilateralism, 75 Years of the United Nations inception and 40 Years of the UPEACE establishment, on 22 November 2020 the Muslim World League and the UN University for Peace launched the research “Promoting peace, human rights and dialogue among civilizations” (539 pages) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The launching was open by the moderator David Fernández Puyana, Ambassador and Permanent Observer of the University for Peace to the UN Geneva and UNESCO Paris, who said on behalf of Prof. Francisco Rojas, Rector of UPEACE in Costa Rica, that the University for Peace, together with the Muslim World League, promotes this book, which highlights the actions of the United Nations, its Agencies, Programmes and Funds, in the fulfilment of the great principles that guide their multilateral action. Rector added that he is pleased with the excellence of the authors who contributed to this book, as well as the distinguished political and diplomatic personalities who collaborated on it.

Francisco Chacón, Ambassador of Costa Rica to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan indicated that they wanted to commend and warmly congratulate the Muslim World League and the University for Peace for this inspiration work that bridges us together, and promotes a culture of peace, which is a cornerstone of the Costa Rican Foreign Policy.

Lubna Qassim, Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other international organizations, indicated that it is an honour and a privilege to have contributed to an unprecedented initiative on Peace and Human Rights. She shared UAE’s exemplary model of tolerance and inclusion. Through a video-recorded message, she also stressed that it is critical time in the history of mankind to embrace our differences and she hoped that through this book we engage in inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogues for peace and prosperity for all.

Afterwards, Alvaro Iranzo Gutiérrez, Ambassador of Spain to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, stressed that Spain has also tried to play a role in international efforts aimed at providing structure to the dialogue between societies and religions. He added that the splendid work of research coordinated by the UN University of Peace and the Muslim World League deserves full support and dedicated consideration. It thoroughly provides the intellectual backing that is so necessary to rise above perceptions of the past that thrive on the divides.

On his turn, Larbi Djacta, Chair of the International Civil Service Commission and Under-Secretary General of the United Nations underlined in a video-recorded message that international civil servants have a special calling: to serve the ideals of peace, respect for fundamental rights, economic and social progress, and international cooperation. He added that UNESCO is the lead agency in the United Nations system to promote the interreligious and intercultural dialogue within the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures. He wished that the culture of

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Clarkson University Students Launch Flourishing Care Package Business

Potsdam, NY, Dec. 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — One of the most traditional methods for family members to maintain a connection with their college student while they’re away at college is to send a care package. Here at Clarkson, a pair of brothers has taken the concept of a care package and turned it into a flourishing business that makes the process easier for family members and ensures that students receive their goodies in a timely fashion. 

Dylan Practico ’21, an innovation and entrepreneurship major, and Brandon Practico ’24, a business studies major, continue to expand the business Dylan founded as a first-year Golden Knight. We spoke with them about College Care and all that goes into providing a convenient care package service for Clarkson students.

How did this business come to be and when was it started?

Dylan: When I was a freshman in Professor Marc Compeau’s class, we were tasked with creating our own business and making it a reality. I was in a group with three other people, and we began the early stages of developing the business. 

The following year, I took another course taught by Professors Erin and Matt Draper. One of my group members joined me in this course, and throughout it, we focused on figuring out our target market and how to reach them. We were able to sell a few care packages, but not as many as desired. After this course, I bought in the other group member. 

My goal after these classes was to make this business my full-time job while at school. To do this, I had to expand my customer base and find an easy way to reach them. I discovered the Clarkson University Parent and Family Association Facebook page, and this is what fueled the large influx of customers. I began asking customers to leave a review on the Facebook page so other parents and family members could see our product, and that is when it started taking off. 

Now in our third year, we have customers recommending us independently when they hear of families who want to do something to lift their students’ spirits. 

What is your business all about? How does it work? 

Dylan: Our business is centered around helping students and their families bridge the gap between home and school. We provide family members with a wide variety of personalized care packages that can be delivered directly to the student’s residence hall. 

We deliver packages for any occasion, such as birthdays, sick days, thinking-of-you, and holidays like Easter and Halloween. Customers are able to contact us through email, and we provide them with options for purchase. They then send us the information and payment all online, and we deliver the care package on the desired date. 

How has your business evolved over time, including your role in it? 

Dylan: In the first year of business, our sales were $250. Last semester alone, the sales reached $4,000. We have grown exponentially each semester, and our total

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How To Launch Your Blockchain Career

Art Malkov is the Chief Digital Officer at BlockchainDriven and is a Columbia University Lab to Market Blockchain Accelerator Advisor.

I’ve been involved in blockchain for much of its existence, and I’m not kidding when I say that everyone I run into while networking who is not involved in blockchain asks me how they can be. The answer is that there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to this sort of thing. Blockchain isn’t a particular set of skills, a background or a degree. It’s a rapidly growing industry that is becoming the most exciting emerging tech sector in the world.

I want to give some advice on getting a job in blockchain or making blockchain a career for yourself in the industry, but we first need to get on the same page about a few things.

1. Blockchain is not just cryptocurrency.

Blockchain’s first notable application was in cryptocurrency, and what an application is has turned out to be. Blockchain’s underlying technology is what makes cryptocurrency possible, but it is only one application of the technology. Think of it this way: Blockchain will disrupt many aspects of life, and currency was just the first one to hit.

2. Blockchain is a long-term investment now.

During Bitcoin’s boom, the word blockchain became synonymous with risky investments and massive profits, followed by extremely disappointing downswings. This is no longer the case. Risking your savings on Bitcoin wasn’t a smart move then, and it isn’t a smart move now. The best way to jump on board this exciting technology’s journey to the top is through a career. And you don’t need to be a programmer or have any technical knowledge whatsoever to get involved. 

Blockchain’s expansion, especially in finance, has been noted by some incredibly large players in that sector. IBM and American Express are two strong advocates for blockchain technology, and both companies know how to succeed. One major feature of their hiring practices for their blockchain endeavors seems to be, in my observation, their conscious effort to hire smart and driven people from all backgrounds, understanding that blockchain is new and that having experience in the industry shouldn’t be a prerequisite.

Recently, we did extensive research on blockchain careers, including which positions are available, which are trending upwards, which companies are expanding, what skills companies are looking for and much more. Here’s what we found.

Technical skills are not a must.

While technical skills are certainly helpful, companies hiring blockchain employees aren’t necessarily viewing them as must-haves. In fact, outside of the obvious development positions where using these skills are the bulk of the responsibilities, many of these companies would much rather you bring something unique to the table and have skills and experience in your current field.

Major companies are hiring.

I mentioned this a bit earlier, but companies such as IBM, American Express and JPMorgan are all considered core to the advancement of blockchain. In the early days (well, the last 10 years or so), the blockchain “industry” was

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UMass Dartmouth, Bridgewater State launch accelerated programs

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The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Bridgewater State University have announced two joint accelerated master of science programs in physics and electrical engineering. The educational partnership agreement between the institutions will provide undergraduate students at BSU with an accelerated pathway to earning a graduate degree at UMass Dartmouth.

Undergraduate students in the physics, photonics and optical engineering program in the Bartlett College of Science and Mathematics at BSU will be able to seamlessly earn a master’s degree in physics or electrical engineering in the College of Engineering at UMass Dartmouth.

During their junior or senior year, BSU students can begin taking graduate courses at UMass Dartmouth while finishing their undergraduate degrees at BSU. This unique opportunity offers students an accelerated pathway to successfully attain their academic goals affordably. Importantly, the agreement focuses on student academic support measures including advising and research opportunities throughout the student’s educational journey.

“This partnership offers an expedited and cost-effective opportunity for students to enter STEM fields that provide them with meaningful career opportunities,” said Michael Goodman, acting provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at UMass Dartmouth. “These are fields where there is a clear need for more skilled workers, which makes this a real win-win for both our students and the regional economy.”

Dr. Karim Ismaili, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at BSU, agreed that the accelerated pathway will extend the mutual commitment of both institutions to affordability and quality, with a focus on innovation.

“Bridgewater State University and UMass Dartmouth are committed to helping students take advantage of opportunities that will help them succeed now and, in the future,” said Ismaili. “This partnership is a powerful example of how two public institutions can work together to achieve these important goals.”

The collaboration began with faculty at both institutions working on ways to create more hands-on STEM learning and research experiences for students.

The two Southeastern Massachusetts institutions have a strong history of collaboration to offer training and career opportunities to diverse student learners to meet the needs of the workforce through education and lifelong learning.

In 2018, the UMass School of Law at UMass Dartmouth and BSU began offering a joint Law/Master of Social Work program that allows students to earn both degrees in four years rather than five. By collaborating on the program, the schools enable students to enter public service with a uniquely defined skill set and less student debt.

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India to launch Shukrayaan Venus mission in 2024 after pandemic delays: reports

India plans to launch a new orbiter to Venus in 2024, a year later than planned, according to media reports.

A view of Venus from NASA's Mariner 10 spacecraft based on data captured in 1974.India is now planning to launch its own Venus orbiter in 2024.

© Provided by Space
A view of Venus from NASA’s Mariner 10 spacecraft based on data captured in 1974.India is now planning to launch its own Venus orbiter in 2024.

The Shukrayaan orbiter will be the first mission to Venus by the India Space Research Organization (ISRO) and will study the planet for four years, according to SpaceNews, which cited a presentation by an ISRO research scientist at a NASA-chartered committee Nov. 10. 


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ISRO has been soliciting ideas for instruments for a Venus-based mission since at least 2018, according to its website. At the planetary science committee, ISRO’s T. Maria Antonita presented more information about Shukrayaan during a discussion about NASA’s new 10-year plan for planetary science, SpaceNews reported.

Related: India looks beyond the moon to Mars, Venus and astronaut missions

“ISRO was aiming for a mid-2023 launch when it released its call for instruments in 2018, but Antonita told members of the National Academies’ decadal survey planning committee last week that pandemic-related delays have pushed Shukrayaan’s target launch date to December 2024,” SpaceNews stated in a Nov. 19 report. 

A backup launch opportunity is available when Venus and Earth are next aligned in mid-2026, in such a way to minimize spacecraft fuel use during the planetary transit, Antonita added.

Shukrayaan is set to launch on India’s GSLV Mk II rocket, but it may go on the more powerful GSLV Mk III rocket to carry more instruments or fuel, Antonita told the committee. ISRO will make a final decision in the next three to six months.

The spacecraft will carry several instruments to probe the Venusian environment. The flagship instrument will be a synthetic aperture radar to examine the Venusian surface, which is shrouded by thick clouds that make it impossible to glimpse the surface in visible light. An earlier version flew on the Indian Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft now orbiting the moon, Space News reported.

Another instrument will be a Swedish-Indian collaboration known as the Venusian Neutrals Analyzer, which will examine how charged particles from the sun interact with the atmosphere of Venus, according to The Economic Times. An earlier generation of this instrument launched on the Indian Chandrayaan-1 moon mission of 2008-09, studying how the sun’s particles affect a world with a far more tenuous atmosphere.

Shukrayaan will also bring an instrument to Venus to examine the planet’s atmosphere in infrared, ultraviolet and submillimeter wavelengths, Antonita said. Earlier in 2020, scientists announced the possible detection of phosphine —  a life-friendly element —  in Venus’ atmosphere, although many in the science community remain skeptical of the findings. 

In September, the French space agency (CNES) announced it would also fly an instrument on Shukrayaan. The Venus Infrared Atmospheric Gases Linker (VIRAL) is a collaboration with Russian federal space agency Roscosmos. Antonita added that other instruments have been shortlisted and that India plans to fly an instrument from Germany.

Dozens of

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Next SpaceX Test Flight Could Launch on Wednesday: Musk

SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk said the next test flight of the Starship prototype rocket could happen as early as Wednesday. 

Musk, who also is CEO of electric-vehicle producer Tesla  (TSLA) – Get Report, tweeted the prospect. Musk was responding to a Twitter user who posted an Alert addressed to occupants of Boca Chica Village, an area of Texas where SpaceX built its new control center launch complex. 

The alert posted online said that SpaceX would conduct flight activities on Monday between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. local time and that residents should be aware. 

Musk clarified that no test flights had been set until at least Wednesday. 

Instead the test flight will follow a “static fire” test that is scheduled for Monday. A static fire test involves firing a rocket’s engines temporarily. 

In May, SpaceX successfully launched its first astronaut mission with its Starship rocket. Last year Musk said that Starship could potentially fly space tourists this year

Since May, Musk has made Starship the company’s top priority, CNBC reported, according to an email sent to staff. The email says that the development program should accelerate “dramatically and immediately.”

Two weeks ago, NASA and SpaceX made a successful liftoff of a spacecraft carrying astronauts from the U.S. and Japan for travel to the International Space Station — marking the start of a major space mission that’s been years in the preparation.

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UCF Helps Launch 1st Nationwide Technology Support Center for Higher Education Faculty

The University of Central Florida and its partners this month will launch the Center for Innovation, Design and Digital Learning, a national hub that will be open 24/7 to help professors get a leg up on using technology.

Before the global pandemic rocked the country, the U.S. Department of Education was already talking about a way to help provide technical support to higher education faculty as classes and learning trends were moving to online platforms. The pandemic that drove universities to online instruction earlier this year accelerated the federal agency’s desire to help universities and colleges better use digital tools to reach students. The agency awarded UCF and its partners a five-year, $2.5 million grant to launch the center quickly. UCF’s portion is $335,000.

After 20 years of providing online degrees, UCF has become a leader in online learning. Ranked as a top 20 online program by U.S. News & World Report, UCF offers more than 100 fully online programs. This platform will expand UCF’s reach as an online leader —  this time for higher-education faculty.

“The three big aims of the center are to increase knowledge and awareness of education technology, to increase the capacity of faculty at institutions of higher education, and to sustain professional learning networks for technical assistance,” says Eleazar “Trey” Vasquez, a UCF professor of exceptional education and one of the leaders of the new center.

“The notion of comfort with technology is highly variable, especially in higher education,” says Vasquez. “We have faculty who have had to really merge with technology later in their career, and we have faculty who are coming up as digital natives.”

Center leaders hope to help provide enough resources to get everyone who accesses the digital center on equal footing. By improving faculty’s understanding of the best way to use technology in a remote setting, students will benefit, Vasquez says.

“It’s very much like a combination of Pinterest and YouTube, where there are different topics that you can select from and then you get to do a deep dive into a particular area,” Vasquez says. “Everything is 100% accessible. It’s built on the principles of universal design for learning, which is all about intentionality – how you deliver your instructional content so that you take into account learner variability. When you design instruction with that notion in mind, it’s easier for everyone to acquire content knowledge.”

If a faculty member wants to learn how to create an editable PDF, build their own website using HTML code, or simply peruse the site to find new ways to integrate technology into their courses, the center will provide guidance through articles and videos.

Visitors to the site can interact with the content in different ways: by simply accessing it and learning or by being an “innovator,” who creates content to display on the site.

The center also plans to create a way for users to get micro-credentials for what they’ve mastered, if they are interested, Vasquez says.

Eleazar “Trey” Vasquez, director and
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TikTok Star Madi Monroe Just Hinted She’s About to Launch Her Music Career

TikToker Madi Monroe may be headed to your Spotify playlist after fans praised the star’s vocals. Monroe’s digital career started like many other creators, uploading dance videos and anything else that happens to trend to her account. But in between it all, sometimes, Monroe offers a peek at her musical talent, something that distinguishes her from the pack on an otherwise glutted platform.

a woman posing for a picture: Madi Monroe arrives for the Premiere Of MarVista Entertainment's "Next Level" held at Regency Bruin Theatre on September 4, 2019, in Los Angeles, California.

© Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images/Getty
Madi Monroe arrives for the Premiere Of MarVista Entertainment’s “Next Level” held at Regency Bruin Theatre on September 4, 2019, in Los Angeles, California.

TikTok: Fast Facts About One Of The Fastest Growing Social Media Platforms



On Tuesday, the 16-year-old actor and TikToker uploaded a video with audio of herself singing. ISome fans didn’t know Monroe was the vocalist, while others were quick to praise her. “Gurl you need to make a song,” wrote TikTok user Robert Lozano.

To the comment, Monroe responded: “Soon.” How soon is unknown, but the comment certainly serves to give hope to the followers who can’t stop looping Monroe’s TikToks over and over.

In another comment, Monroe appeared to confirm she’s been working on a set of songs. One commenter, Hello Peeps, asked when her “EP,” or collection of singles, would be released. She echoed the same point: “SOON.”

Earlier this week, Monroe posted another singing video. This time, she used her hairbrush as a makeshift microphone. Again, fans flocked to exclaim that Monroe has natural musical talent.

In addition to a foray into the world of pop, Monroe has been trying her luck as an actor. She’s part of the TikTok-led cast of Attaway General, an Internet drama that’s plot follows a handful of students in a hospital volunteer program. Other giant TikTok stars are involved with the project like Dixie D’Amelio and Griffin Johnson.

Monroe has 12.5 million followers on TikTok, which makes her one of the platform’s most well-known creators. Recently, she was seen alongside the platform’s most-followed star Charli D’Amelio (who hit a record 100 million followers this week) in a Hollister holiday gift campaign.

The pair have found themselves in TikTok-based drama together, too. D’Amelio and Monroe apologized after they filmed a TikTok that many claimed mocked cosplay. It appeared Monroe and D’Amelio simply thought they were contributing to a dance challenge on the app, but it had roots in Anime culture. Monroe’s apology admitted she didn’t know. “I just wanted to say, I am so sorry. I did not mean to offend anybody. I just saw that a lot of people on the app were doing that. I know that it doesn’t justify it. I really did not know that it was offensive. I respect you guys so much,” she said in March.

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College students launch project to reduce food waste and feed hungry families

Many can still vividly recall images of crops rotting in the field and milk being dumped when schools and restaurants were forced to close in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Some college students want to make sure we never see that again.

Vernie Jackson was not in line at a food pantry last Thanksgiving — but he’s since fallen on hard times. 

“I lost people in the pandemic, and then I lost my job in the pandemic,” Jackson said. “So right now, you know, I’m just praying to the Lord.”

Jack Rehnborg is a junior at Stanford University. He is among a group of college students who co-founded the FarmLink Project after being stunned by images of produce rotting on farms during the pandemic.

“This is absurd for the wealthiest country in the world to have all this food going to waste and all these people that are hungry,” he told CBS News. “It’s a problem that about 20 billion pounds of food is wasted.”

The FarmLink Project collects food from the fields and delivers it to pantries running on empty. 

“So it’s been big and huge, and we’re really thankful for them,” event coordinator Kenneth Marshall said.

They’ve served more than 18 million meals since the spring, and this Thanksgiving week they’re handing out one million meals across the country.

“We’re gonna try and keep doing deliveries across the country, you know, keep food moving,” Rehnborg said.

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