Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Vietnam War Summit, Live Streamed April 26-28, 2016

April 26-28, 2016 the LBJ Presidential Library is live streaming The Vietnam War Summit. Speakers include the keynote address by U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry and the following major participants:
  • Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State and former National Security Advisor Vietnamese Ambassador to the United States Pham Quang Vinh
  • Ken Burns, Award-winning Documentarian
  • Dr. Grace Liem Galloway, former Medic at Third Field Hospital and Cu Chi
  • Tom Hayden, Anti-war Activist and Politician
  • Bob Kerrey, former U.S. Senator and Medal of Honor recipient
  • William McRaven, University of Texas System Chancellor and former Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command
  • Journalists Peter Arnett, Dan Rather, David Maraniss, and Joe Klein
  • Nick Ut and David Hume Kennerly, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographers
  • Also present will be Country Joe McDonald of Woodstock fame.
You can live stream the presentations here: vietnamwarsummit.org/live.
Each session will be archived on their YouTube page
See the schedule at http://www.vietnamwarsummit.org/attend/sessions.html

In addition, at UT Austin's LBJ Presidential Library along with a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall), the following exhibits are being featured:
  • Vietnam: Evidence of War, April 1-July 31, Vietnam photojournalism and artifacts from the collection of The University of Texas at Austin's Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
  • Tributes to the Fallen, April 14–June 26, Artifacts from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection comprised of objects that have been left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
  • Vietnam: Turning Points of War, April 14-June 26, Key Vietnam-related documents from the Truman through the Ford administrations

Rather Prize to Improve Education in Texas

Journalist Dan Rather with his grandson, Martin Rather, currently a student at Rice University, have set up a $10,000 prize for a Texas student, teacher or administrator who has the best idea for improving Texas education.

The 2016 inaugural winner of the prize is Dr. Sanford Jeames of Eastside Memorial High School for an idea partnering high school students with college students in a mentorship program. See more information at the Rather Prize website.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Celebrate Earth Day, April 22, 2016

Record Rainfall in Southeast Texas, April 2016
Photo Credit: NASA Earth Observatory map by Jesse Allen, using IMERG data provided courtesy of the Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) Science Team's Precipitation Processing System (PPS). Caption by Kathryn Hansen.

To start your celebration of Earth Day, check the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Earth Day site which gives the history, projects, events and activities association with Earth Day since its inception in 1970. It also includes quotations about the environment such the following from former Wisconsin Governor Gaylor Nelson, the founder of Earth Day:

The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.

For fascinating views of the earth, check NASA's Visible Earth, the origin of the photo displayed above which has particular meaning to those in Houston currently impacted by floods.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Politics from the Past

Does the name Charles Curtis, Alben W. Barkley, Garret A. Hobart, or George Mifflin Dallas sound familiar? Each of these men served as Vice President of the United States. The Senate website has links to their biographies at the end of a brief introduction. Today's controversy about candidates running for elections is nothing new. Former Vice Presidents include one who became a fugitive after murdering a man, one who led an invasion of Washington, D.C. as a member of the Confederate Army, and another who was criticized for playing a piano with an actress posed seductively on top of it.  On the other hand, three received the Nobel Peace Prize, one was the wealthiest banker of his era, and one composed a popular melody. On the Senate site read more about their talents, challenges, and the office of Vice President.

Monday, April 11, 2016

World Bank's New Climate Action Plan

According to an April 7, 2016 news release, the World Bank announced its new Climate Change Action Plan  that will "help developing countries add 30 gigawatts of renewable energy – enough to power 150 million homes – to the world’s energy capacity, bring early warning systems to 100 million people and develop climate-smart agriculture investment plans for at least 40 countries – all by 2020." The plan focuses on helping countries develop national policies and leverage private sector investment. Instead of a one-size-fits all plan, it stress differentiated actions and supports according to the point a country is starting from and its emission levels.