Adonis Diaries

Archive for August 22nd, 2014

A Portal to Chaos and Adventure

In a Playground?

Braden Swenson wanders into a semi-rickety wooden shed on his search for gold, treasure and riches.

“Is there any treasure in here?” he asks in the endearing dialect of a 4-year-old. “I’ve been looking everywhere for them. I can’t find any.” The proto-pirate toddler conducts a quick search, then wanders away to continue his quest elsewhere.

Eric Westervelt in MindShift | August 5, 2014

Not far away, Ethan Lipsie, age 9, clutches a framing hammer and a nine-penny nail. He’s ready to hang his freshly painted sign on a wooden “fort” he’s been hammering away on. It says, “Ethan, Hudson and William were here.”

Joseph Straus, 6, rides a zip line at the Berkeley Adventure Playground, where kids can "play wild" in a half-acre park that has a junkyard feel. (David Gilkey/NPR)

Joseph Straus, 6, rides a zip line at the Berkeley Adventure Playground, where kids can “play wild” in a half-acre park that has a junkyard feel. (David Gilkey/NPR)

“There’s a lot of things that kids built,” he explains, looking around at the playground. “It’s not adults doing work; it’s kids doing work!”

That could almost be the motto for the Adventure Playground.

This half-acre of dirt and quirky chaos hugging the Berkeley Marina on San Francisco Bay is ranked among the most innovative and creative places for kids to play in the U.S.

It’s got a semi-orderly, beachside junkyard feel. Nothing fancy or slick. Grab a bucket and brush: Kids can can paint on almost anything here, except each other. Grab some wood and nails; it’s hammer time.

Parker Swenson, 12, and his 7-year-old cousin, Tyler, have spotted some long tubes of sturdy plastic. “I dare you to go inside one and I’ll push you down the slide.”

“Yeah!” Tyler yells.

They climb in: The tubes are perfect for barreling down the modest hill here into the dirt below.

“Whoa, that was so awesome! I’m going again,” yells Tyler.

There are only a handful of these “wild playgrounds” in the country.

They embrace the theory that free, unstructured play is vital for children and offer an antidote to the hurried lifestyles, digital distractions and overprotective parents that can leave children few opportunities to really cut loose.

“It’s really central that kids are able to take their natural and intense play impulses and act on them,” says Dr. Stuart Brown, a psychologist and the founding director of the National Institute for Play.

Children need an environment with “the opportunity to engage in open, free play where they’re allowed to self-organize,” he adds. “It’s really a central part of being human and developing into competent adulthood.”

Brown says this kind of free-range fun is not just good; it’s essential. Wild play helps shape who we become, he says, and it should be embraced, not feared.

Some educators advocate “dangerous play,” which they say helps kids become better problem solvers.

PATTY’S PLACE

In Europe there are lots of these kinds of free-range public playgrounds.

They flourished after World War II. Europeans more readily embraced spaces for children to engage in what developmental psychologists like to call “managed risk.”

But in the U.S. today there are barely a half-dozen. There are the Anarchy Zone in Ithaca, N.Y., which is just two years old, and a handful of others including a few in New York City.

This one in Berkeley is run by the city’s parks and recreation department. It’s funded largely by docking fees from the adjacent marina.

But, in many ways, this is Patty’s place. “I’ve been involved here at the adventure playground since its inception — about 35 years,” says Patty Donald, the playground’s longtime coordinator.

Donald has been on a crusade to promote kid-driven, hands-on play. “A lot of people learn by touching and feeling and doing, and they excel that way,” she says. “People drive two, three hours to come here.”

Five staff members handle everything from replenishing the zip line’s dirt landing zone to facilitating wood-painting and other play activities.

They keep a careful — yet mostly distant — eye on the children and what they’re doing. If kids turn in wood with splinters or with a nail sticking out — called a “Mr. Dangerous” — they can earn paint and tools.

“You got it! Yay, Aly!” one staffer yells to a young girl as she makes her way across an old surfboard precariously balanced on a barrel.

THE CELLPHONE PROBLEM

So … why are there so few of these wild playgrounds in the U.S.?

Fear of litigation is certainly an issue.

But there are other factors, too, experts say. Among them are safety-obsessed, overprotective parents shepherding hyper-scheduled children, and the fact that in America’s cities and suburbs, play itself is in decline.

Donald worries that today’s kids are controlled, coddled — and over-scheduled. And some parents, she says, are often too distracted. “I find there are a lot of adults who don’t know how to play with their kids.”

Wait a minute, I ask: What do you mean there are parents who don’t know how to play with their kids? I’m imagining awkward, distracted parents, fiddling with their iPhones because they don’t get that they can actually interact with their children.

“Probably 75% of the parents that come in do that,” Donald says. “The cellphone probably is the biggest problem we have. The parents are standing here, they’re physically here.”

But … they’re not really present, she says.

LIKE A PILLOW

“This is awesome; this is a neat little place,” says Dave Davirro. He and his 11-year-old son, Nicholas, are in from Hawaii visiting relatives in California.

He says kids need more places like this. “They’re tearing down swings in my city,” because they’re dangerous, Davirro says. “We’re way overprotective. I want my child to experience that, you know, there is some danger in everything.”

Right now, father and son are checking out the zip line. It’s a huge draw at the Adventure Playground, and the rule is kids go first.

Any child over 6 can just let it rip, sliding right into a pile of dirt. “You know, to fall in the dirt like this is just great!” says Davirro.

At its apex, the line is about 8 or 9 feet off the ground. There’s no net.

I cautiously climb the zip line’s wooden ladder to a waiting area that’s kind of like the crow’s nest of a ship.

It overlooks the bay, all blue, calm and sunshine this day.

But the kids up here are not taking in the view. All eyes are on me. Six-year-old Rhiannon Edison seems annoyed that an adult is encroaching on the Good Ship Zip Line.

“Wait, why are you here?” Edison asks skeptically.

I tell them I’m here to do a story on the playground. The kids nod. The adult with the fuzzy microphone can stay. For now.

I ask them what they like about this place, and get a host of answers:

“The zip line.”

“It’s nice how you can build your own things.”

“I like how you can land in the dirt, but the dirt is really soft. It’s so soft that it just feels like a pillow to me.”

Enough talk — one of them zips away, down into that soft pile of sand.

Now it’s my turn.

With all my recording gear, what could possibly go wrong? I ask a little girl, a zip line pro, for advice.

“Point your feet towards the dirt so that the sand doesn’t get in your underwear” she says, adding, “and have fun.”

The kids give me a bon voyage countdown in unison. Swoosh.

The ride is quick, fast and fun. My recording gear gets a little sandy and roughed up, like it used to when I was reporting from the Middle East.

Don’t tell the NPR engineering shop, but I just might have to ride that zip line again.

This post originally appeared on NPR.

The easy ride was posted by Seth Godin on July 29, 2014

We know what you want to accomplish. We know how you’d like everything to turn out.

The real question is, “what are you willing to push through the dip for?” What are you willing to stand up for, bleed for, commit to and generally be unreasonable about?

Because that’s what’s going to actually get done.

Photographs of Palestinians and Palestine before first Jewish settlement in 1920

Images of Palestinians being all Palestinian, doing Palestinian things and wearing Palestinian clothing in a ‘land without a people for a people without a land’? 

Do you know that the first Jewish settlement was established in 1920 by a Rothschild and the Jews were brought from East Europe to work the plantation as slaves  and in abject conditions?

Or as the people who lived there liked to call it before being displaced and occupied: Palestine.

31 Unbelievable Photographs Israel Doesn’t Want You To See!

August 10, 2014

1. BEDOUIN WOMAN

Bedouin Woman

2. WOMEN FROM NAZARETH

Women from Nazareth

3. RAMALLAH FATHER AND SONS

Ramallah Father and Sons

4. RAMALLAH WOMAN

Ramallah Woman

5. JAFFA WOMAN, 1889

Jaffa Woman, 1889

6. BETHLEHEM GIRL

Bethlehem Girl

7. BETHLEHEM WOMAN

Bethlehem Woman

8. BETHLEHEM WOMEN

Bethlehem Women

9. BETHLEHEM SISTERS

Bethlehem Sisters

10. BETHLEHEM WOMAN

Bethlehem Woman

11. JERUSALEM MAN

Jerusalem Man

12. GAZAN MEN

Gazan Men

Yes, it says “Natives of Gaza, Palestine”.

13. RAMALLAH WOMAN

Ramallah Woman

14. RAMALLAH FAMILY

Ramallah Family

15. RAMALLAH WOMAN

Ramallah Woman

16. BEERSHEBA BEDOUIN

Beersheba Bedouin

17. WOMAN & CHILD FLEEING PALESTINE DURING THE NAKBA

Woman & Child fleeing Palestine during the Nakba

1948

18. 100 YEAR OLD MAN

100 Year Old Man

19. BETHLEHEM WOMAN, 1940

Bethlehem Woman, 1940

20. JERUSALEM

Jerusalem

21. DEMONSTRATION AGAINST ZIONIST COLONIZATION/BRITISH RULE, 1920

Demonstration against Zionist colonization/British rule, 1920

22. DOME OF THE ROCK, JERUSALEM

Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem

23. SEA OF GALILEE FISHERMAN, 1930S

Sea of Galilee Fisherman, 1930s

24. EARLY 1900S DEMONSTRATION IN JAFFA

Early 1900s Demonstration in Jaffa

25. JERUSALEM BETWEEN 1898 AND 1914

Jerusalem between 1898 and 1914

26. JERUSALEM

Jerusalem

27. JERUSALEM GRAIN MARKET

Jerusalem Grain Market

28. NABLUS

Nablus

29. BETHLEHEM

Bethlehem

30. THE GREEK PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM, 1940

The Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem, 1940

31. JERUSALEM POTTER, 1934

Jerusalem Potter, 1934

Via buzzfeed

WATCH: PALESTINE IN 1896

 

Israeli official calls for concentration camps in Gaza and

‘The conquest of the entire Gaza Strip, and

Annihilation of all fighting forces and their supporters’

  • Moshe Feiglin is Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset
  • He posted the message on his Facebook page at the weekend
  • Plan includes shipping the people living in Gaza across the world
  • IDF would ‘exterminate nests of resistance’ as part of his plan
  • The Gaza war has left more than 1,800 Palestinians dead

JILL REILLY 

Moshe Feiglin called for concentration camps in Gaza in his action plan

An Israeli official has called for concentration camps in Gaza and ‘the conquest of the entire Gaza Strip, and annihilation of all fighting forces and their supporters’.

Moshe Feiglin, Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset and member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, posted the inflammatory message on his Facebook page at the weekend.

He lays out a detailed plan for the destruction of Gaza –  which includes shipping its residents across the world – in a letter he addressed to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The message, which received more than 2,000 likes on his page, lists four action points which he wants to be enforced as soon as possible.

Feiglin details the first one as ‘defining the enemy’ and states: ‘The strategic enemy is extremist Arab Islam in all its varieties, from Iran to Gaza, which seeks to annihilate Israel in its entirety.

The immediate enemy is Hamas. (Not the tunnels, not the rockets, but Hamas.)’

He says another important part of his plan is the ‘conquest of the entire Gaza Strip, and annihilation of all fighting forces and their supporters.’

Moshe Feiglin is Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset and member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu¿s ruling Likud Party, and posted the message on his Facebook page at the weekend

Moshe Feiglin is Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset and member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, and posted the message on his Facebook page at the weekend

He lays out a detailed plan for the destruction of Gaza - which includes shipping its residents across the world - in a letter he addressed to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

He lays out a detailed plan for the destruction of Gaza – which includes shipping its residents across the world – in a letter he addressed to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

The Gaza war, now in its fourth week, has left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead.

Feiglin details how he wants the Israeli PM ‘to turn Gaza into Jaffa, a flourishing Israeli city with a minimum number of hostile civilians.’

In 1948 Jaffa was a Palestinian town but there was an exodus of most of its Arab population when it fell to the fledgling Israeli army and right-wing Jewish militias.

In the letter he expresses his desire for the IDF to find areas on the Sinai border to establish ‘tent encampments…until relevant emigration destinations are determined.’

He says that the supply of electricity and water to the Gaza would be disconnected before being ‘shelled with maximum fire power.’

Gazan Refugee Camp hit by Israeli Airstrike, dozens injured

In his plan the supply of electricity and water to the Gaza would be disconnected before being 'shelled with maximum fire power'

In his plan the supply of electricity and water to the Gaza would be disconnected before being ‘shelled with maximum fire power’

Feiglin  states: 'The strategic enemy is extremist Arab Islam in all its varieties, from Iran to Gaza, which seeks to annihilate Israel in its entirety. The immediate enemy is Hamas. (Not the tunnels, not the rockets, but Hamas.)'

Feiglin states: ‘The strategic enemy is extremist Arab Islam in all its varieties, from Iran to Gaza, which seeks to annihilate Israel in its entirety. The immediate enemy is Hamas. (Not the tunnels, not the rockets, but Hamas.)’

Feiglin explains how the IDF would then ‘exterminate nests of resistance, in the event that any should remain.’

 Establish ‘tent encampments…until relevant emigration destinations are determined’

Part of his plan includes shipping the people living in Gaza across the world.

He says to encourage the movement those who willingly agree to emigrate will be given ‘a generous economic support package.’

But those who resist leaving their home will be required to publicly sign a declaration of loyalty to Israel, and receive a blue ID card similar to that of the Arabs of East Jerusalem.

Then Israeli law will be extended to cover the entire Gaza Strip and ‘the city of Gaza and its suburbs will be rebuilt as true Israeli touristic and commercial cities.’

A second Gaza ceasefire collapsed in just six minutes this morning after an Israeli F16 jet destroyed a house in a beach-side refugee camp, killing an eight-year-old girl and wounding dozens.

Israel announced the temporary ceasefire to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid and allow some of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians displaced by an almost four-week-old war to go home.

Hamas said it would not be observing the truce, and warned people to exercise extreme caution when venturing out onto the streets after earlier temporary ceasefire arrangements collapsed into a frenzy of bloodshed.

Feiglin’s Facebook page is verifiable as it is linked from his official page on the Knesset website.

Israeli Prime Minister visits wounded soldiers

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2715466/Israeli-official-calls-concentration-camps-Gaza-conquest-entire-Gaza-Strip-annihilation-fighting-forces-supporters.html#ixzz39WBcibKC
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