Notations From the Grid (Special W-End Edition): Remembering the “Clown of Aleppo”


We here at Outsiders join in mourning the death of the Clown of Aleppo who brought so much joy to many children in Aleppo as Aleppo continues to be under siege.     We also salute the team at Al Jazeera that put together this tribute that we picked up  on Facebook within the past hour:

He was 24 years old and had just gotten recently married.    This is as the smell of death continues to be part of the daily life in Aleppo-please note the clip is graphic and heartbreaking:

On the Hour of Code: An #Outsider Newsflash

The Hour of Code is Here.    Our team received this at our Virtual Studios as we join this call to elevate the level of technology knowledge that is the key to the future for many of our children today as this came out from the founder of Code.Org, Hadi Partovi:

The Hour of Code is coming next week!

Computer Science Education Week, December 5-11, is nearly here! Are you ready to introduce your students to computer science or explore a new computing concept with a one-hour activity?

We launched several new tutorials this year that are now live on the Hour of Code website. You can explore all of this year’s offerings using several filter views: find offline tutorials, activities that work with robots, lessons for experience high-school students, or subject-area tutorials that connect computer science to social studies, math, language arts, and more!

We’ve listed a few suggestions we think your class might love below. Check them out at the Hour of Code website!

Gumball’s Coding Adventure (Grades 6-8)

Inspired by The Amazing World of Gumball episode “The Signal”, this activity introduces computer science concepts with video based tutorials and Scratch. Students connect with content they love, discover creativity with coding and engage Gumball and his friends!

Make Music with Scratch – do this with a music class! (Grades 2-8)

With this Scratch tutorial, you make your own interactive band: choose sounds, create melodies and beats, and play by pressing keys. Printable activity cards are also available for free!

Code the News – do this with a social studies class! (Grade 6+)

Students use code to create the special effects that they see on the news, using their creativity and problem solving skills to make logos, graphics and headlines. Finished projects can be uploaded to a school website.

Push your district to expand its commitment to computer science

Does your school district have a robust computer science program? If not, use the Hour of Code as a rallying cry to motivate administrators to expand computer science offerings at every grade band. Here’s a template powerpoint, a template letter to the administration, and more stats you can use to spread the word!

I hope you can motivate your school district to announce a plan to expand computer science. If you’re not sure how, see the program or the many third parties we recommend. works with partners across the country to provide free, high-quality workshops and curriculum to entire school districts. At the minimum, I hope the tutorials above give you opportunities to expose other classrooms at your school to computer science!

Inspire your classroom with a local volunteer

Invite a local volunteer to inspire your students by talking about the breadth of possibilities in computer science. There are thousands of volunteers around the world ready to help with your Hour of Code. Use this map to find local volunteers who can visit your classroom or join a video chat with your students.

Notice: hasn’t vetted volunteers listed on the map and makes no assurances about them. We simply offer a matching service, and Hour of Code planners should do their own background checks in compliance with local policies.

Computer Science Education Week (December 5-11, 2016) is almost here! Sign up your Hour of Code event here and check out all the new activities that you can filter on our site based on grade level, experience level, subject area, and more. Find the perfect activity for your class at

Have fun with your class this December, and thank you for leading this movement!

Hadi Partovi, is a 501c3 non-profit located at 1501 Fourth Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle, WA, 98101. You’re receiving this email because you hosted an Hour of Code in a previous year or signed one of our petitions.
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Notations From the Grid (Special Edition) : On the Texas Man Who Had a Message

A powerful and poignant message and a pleasure to feature for this edition of “Notations From the Grid”:

View of the Week: On the Death of #Fidel (Reflections by Jorge Castaneda)

Cuba has been holding a memorial for Fidel Castro.     One of the leading intellectuals of Latin America, the Former Foreign Minister of Mexico, reflected upon a very mixed legacy for Fidel underscoring the brutal nature of the regime which is true-a very telling testament to the legacy of Fidel:

On this #GivingTuesday 2016: Change, @realDonaldTrump, OPEC & Other Thoughts

11-29-2016We here at #Outsiders join all in asking that you consider contributing to a worthy cause.   In our sister site, the Home For Ordinary Faces, there was a call to action as there are many worthy causes worth considering.   When we checked on it, over 116,000,000 was raised!!!!

The World, in the meantime, is going through an unprecedented change that is even more daunting to be witness to.     Whether it is the implosion of Venezuela, the emerging new Government in the United States (and the Washington Post had some interesting insights on it this morning dubbing Mr. Trump the First Cable News President).     As such, it was quite timely as we picked up one of our required readings from the latest from the Fortune’s Geoff Colvin on Comforting the new realities:

NOVEMBER 29, 2016
Today’s theme is the eternal difficulty of confronting reality when it changes, and we will find this theme in the news without even touching the issue of people who still aren’t confronting the reality of a President Trump. For example:

-The world’s largest industry, energy, is changing profoundly, and not all of its leaders are facing what that means. As OPEC members meet in Vienna, some seem to think it’s still 1978, when a few of them could set production limits and send the price rocketing. But now some of the world’s largest oil producers – Russia, the U.S. – aren’t OPEC members, and even the members can’t agree; they haven’t managed to set production limits since 2008, despite repeated attempts. More important, the world isn’t as oil-dependent as it used to be, and that’s a long-term trend. Some companies, including Royal Dutch Shell and Hungary’s MOL , and some big oil producing countries, notably Saudi Arabia, are embracing the new reality. But others, including Algeria and Venezuela, still hope to work magic. An agreement is possible on Wednesday, but it would be a stop-gap response to a long-term change.

-U.S. car dealers can’t believe their hundred-year-old business model is changing. Their latest panic is in Virginia, where they’re suing Tesla for daring to try selling cars directly to consumers. In a video, the president of the state dealers’ association exhorts his members to fight back – not by innovating their business model to give consumers a better alternative to Tesla, but by lobbying legislators to change the law in their favor. This is classic denial of a changing reality, and it can work for a time; car dealers wield major clout in state legislatures, and Arizona, Michigan, and Texas have outlawed direct sales of cars. It’s also classic King Canute behavior. Longer term, no one can doubt where this is going.

-Most of us are unrealistic about our future investment returns. Back in 1999, a survey of investors found that even the pessimists expected stocks to return 12.9% annually over the coming decade. Warren Buffett told them to expect maybe 6% annually over the next 17 years and was just proven almost exactly right, as the great Carol J. Loomis explains. Today’s debate is whether you can expect even 5% a year after inflation over the next decade. No one can know for sure, of course, but the uncomfortable reality, difficult for most investors to confront, is that we’d be foolish to count on it.


Notations From the Grid (W-End Edition): On the #USElection2016, @RealDonaldTrump,

TOPSHOT - US President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office at the White House on November 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)The transition of power is continuing here in the United States.    In the meantime,    Jill Stein, the Green Party Candidate, has filed for a recount and has been joined by the Clinton Campaign.      What is quite startling is how the popular vote gap between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump continues to grow as we went to press here.    This is as President-Elect Trump continues to assemble his Government–including a continued apparent buzz over the appointment of Mitt

In the meantime,  President-Elect Trump continues to assemble his Government–including a continued apparent buzz over the appointment of Mitt Romney as Secretary of State.    Mr. Trump’s Campaign Manager and Senior Adviser underscored how Trump supporters feel betrayed by the Romney consideration.

Our team picked this up from the “Grid” during our Weekend review that we believe captures the futility of the recount effort:



View of the Week (Special Edition): On the Death of Fidel (Updated)

Fidel w/Che Guevera

Fidel w/Jesse Jackson

Our team decided to  take a break out of thanksgiving 2016 to reflect upon a major development.  An iconic figure of the World passed on earlier today: Fidel Castro.   His death was announced by his brother and successor, Raul Castro.died earlier today at the age of 90.     As the World remembered and those in Miami celebrated, our team picked up this

As the World remembered and those in Miami celebrated, our team picked up this from the “grid” to remember Fidel:

(Update: As the world reacted, our team picked up this from one of the leading Latin American Intellectuals that truly captured the enigma that was Fidel that history will ultimately judge–whether history will vindicate Fidel as he himself noted is another question:


On This Thanksgiving 2016

We wish all the most joyous of Thanksgivings as we hope all enjoy these selections from Pandora we decided to feature here on our home page:

Perfect Thanksgiving Music
Find a station for dinner that everybody will thank you for.
Thanksgiving Day
Thanksgiving Day
Swingin’ Thanksgiving
Swingin’ Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Country
Thanksgiving Country

As We Go Dark For This Thanksgiving Week Here in the United States: A Thanksgiving Poem From Emerson & Enjoying John Legend

We wanted to take this opportunity to wish all in the United States a Safe and Joyous Thanksgiving as we feature this poem from Emerson:

Image result for Being Thankful poems Emerson

We also are pleased to feature this from our Founder’s Pandora Collection featuring John Legend we hope all enjoy:

’Tis the season for
John Legend (Holiday)
Love /6/2/7/4/email_886970094726_260W_260H.jpg?
That’s right. John Legend has a station full of holiday music you’ll love on Pandora.

Notations From the Grid On #USElections2016 (9th in A Series): Plans For a Possible Muslim Registry

Congressman Mike Honda & His Father 

Over the last number of days, there have  been reports of a possible registry for Muslims that has been in the Media Headlines as President-Elect Trump gears up for the transfer of power.     A Trump surrogate suggested that the model can be based on the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.   It must be noted that the United States subsequently apologized for that internment.    Congressman Mike Honda of California whose was one of 120,000 who was interned as an infant reflected on this on his Facebook Page–required

Earlier this week,  A Trump surrogate suggested that the model can be based on the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.   It must be noted that the United States subsequently apologized for that internment.    Congressman Mike Honda of California whose was one of 120,000 who was interned as an infant reflected on this on his Facebook Page:

Working To Transform The Conversation About Our World