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How Your Kids (And You!) Can Learn And Explore the World For Free While Quarantined

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    With the whole world going through a collective event, some of us are looking for ways to keep busy, and our children learning. Many companies, museums, organizations, and institutions have created free online offerings for us.

  • Reflect On:

    There's a lot going on, but we can take this time to rethink how we go about our day-to-day as well as a moment to breathe and connect with our family and most importantly, ourselves.

As a frequent traveler, museum-goer, and lover of all things mind-expanding, this quarantine at first glance could feel like doom. Sure, for the most part, we all have to stay home and keep to ourselves.. but at the same time – for the most part, WE GET TO STAY HOME AND KEEP TO OURSELVES!

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I know I’m not alone when I see this rather chaotic time as a blessing in disguise. Though the economic repercussions of this pandemic may be another story, the fact that collectively we are getting some time to rest, reflect and re-discover what we truly enjoy in life is actually quite magical.

The news cycles and current scrolling through social media may fail to tell you – keep calm, remember to stay hydrated and keep your health and mental-wellbeing as first priority. It may (or may not) be getting worse, but at the end of the day there are still great things happening on this planet and nice people DO exist (regardless of what you think of the lady who just stole that last supply of TP you were about to grab for yourself).

Now, not all of us may have as much ‘free time’ as others – as many do still have to work from home or even take care of children that they otherwise would take to school. So for those of you who are searching for new ways to keep your kids occupied but don’t want to just throw them into endless and useless feeds of media – I HAVE AN ANSWER!

A lot of companies, businesses, and people have thought about YOU/US and have created FREE digital offerings for these times and I just wanted to spread the love where & how I can by sharing them with you as I find them.

Fundamental Education Based Offerings

Ways to Help Your Child Continue Learning

Scholastic has created a ‘learn at home’ portal offering “Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing.”

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If YOU are looking for ways to continue learning or seeking to expand your mind

Class Central and Coursera have curated an incredible list of free online courses and classes you can take to dive deeper into your education and explore new heights!

More Art-Inclined Offerings

(This portion of our list was originally posted on Conde Naste Traveler)
Head to the museum

“A number of museums have virtual tours available online—including the Louvre, which offers a tour through its Egyptian antiquities department and the recently restored Galerie d’Apollon, and Madrid’s Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, which has its Rembrandt and Portraiture in Amsterdam, 1590-1670 exhibit on virtual view. The Vatican Museums offer 360-degree tours of the Sistine Chapel, Raphael’s Rooms and more, and the Smithsonian also has a self-guided tour (albeit a little clunky) of the National Museum of Natural History in New York.

If you don’t need to see the art in context of a wall, head to Google’s Arts and Culture collections, where works from museums like the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, and the Tate Modern in London are all on view. It might not be quite the same as seeing the works in person—but the zoom will get you closer to the art than any museum docent ever will. There are also virtual tours of sorts (less freewheeling around the galleries, more history lesson) of places like the Uffizi Galleries available.

Take the kids to the virtual aquarium

The teams at Boston’s New England Aquarium and Monterey Bay Aquarium are bringing the day-to-day life of its residents to the public, offering scheduled Facebook Live–access to feedings, tours, behind-the-scenes looks, and more. So far, we’ve gotten to see Myrtle, the green sea turtle, eat some breakfast (a delicious mix of lettuce, broccoli, and brussels sprouts), and learned all about epaulette sharks and stingrays. (For parents needing some kid-friendly distractions, head to the aquarium’s at-home activities sections.)

Blast some music

Symphonies around the world are streaming live rather than cancelling their performances entirely, or are replaying old shows for free online. The Philharmonie Berlin is closed until April 19, but has opened its digital library of performances, filled with more than 600 shows. Use the code BERLINPHIL by March 31 to get 30-day access to the orchestra’s stunning work (look for performances conducted by Simon Rattle, the orchestra’s principal for 16 years). The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is live-streaming its performances on YouTube, as it is closed to the public until April 13. While the 7 p.m. AEDT (or 4 a.m. EDT) showtimes may not be an ideal time to watch a symphony performance, you can rewatch the show later on the orchestra’s YouTube channel. So far, they’ve hosted performances of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, with plans for more throughout the closure.

Spend a night at the opera

If you’ve gone to a movie theater in recent years, you’ve likely seen a trailer for the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series, where they throw the storied opera’s most popular performances onto movie screens for all to enjoy. Since most theaters—of both the opera and movie variety—are closed, the Met is opening that series up to all, streaming live each night. Each performance will become available at 7:30 p.m. EDT and will be viewable for 20 hours.

If you don’t want to be tied down by a schedule, OperaVision offers free recorded performances from all over the world, including Madama Butterfly from the Royal Swedish Opera and Tosca at the Polish National Opera.” – CTT

More Wordly Explorations

Here is a list of landmarks you can ‘visit’ via virtual tours!

Great Wall of China

Petra Jordan

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Stonehenge

Taj Mahal

Machu Picchu

Athens, Greece

And there are SO MANY MORE! If you find yourself going through all of these, you can always search online for others as it seems so many museums, travel boards, and organizations are following suit!

The Takeaway

Again, I find it important to reiterate that though these are rare times we are being faced with, it is up to us to reveal how we wish to see these unfoldings manifest in our reality. Continue to do your part in being kind to others and yourself, take care of your health and that of those around you by living simply and calmly, and most importantly – remain at peace with what is, and allow what is coming to continue to flow with the knowing that we are doing the best we can with where we are and what we have available to us.

May we take this time to dive deep into ourselves, our bonds, and our creativity to further explore who we are as a people, and who we wish to be as individuals. Now more than ever we are given the opportunity to really expand and evolve. How are you coming out of this pandemic cocoon?

See you on the other side, beautiful butterfly!

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Ghislaine Maxwell Arrested By FBI on Charges Connected To Jeffrey Epstein

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What Happened: Jeffrey Epstein’s confidant Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested this morning in New Hampshire according to FBI spokeswoman Adrienne Senatore. At this time, charges against Maxwell are sealed, and prosecutors have scheduled a midday press conference in New York to provide more details on the case.

Charges against Maxwell came almost a year after Epstein was arrested by FBI agents on July 6, 2019. Jeffrey Epstein allegedly killed himself in a federal jail in August 2019, although many believe he was killed given he could name many high profile figures connected to his ring.

Why It Matters: Maxwell is heavily connected to sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein who operated a sex/pedophile ring that tailored to high profile individuals, business people, entertainers and politicians.

Her arrest may be important in helping to bring down more people connected to the ring which include Hillary and Bill Clinton amongst other high profile names.

The Takeaway:

Humanity is in a process of ‘Breaking the Illusion’ we have come to accept about our reality. We have been living from a collective story that states we elect good people into government, and they act on our best interest. This categorically is not the case, and part of our collective awakening to creating solutions that can make our world thrive is waking up from this illusion we have chosen to accept.

People are beginning to learn en masse that high profile figures are involved in such acts like extreme occult rituals, sex trafficking and pedophilia, and they are beginning to wonder why. They are also beginning to question why we put our trust and support in people who operate in this manner.

Looking Deeper:

We have interviewed a survivor of elite pedophile rings like the one Epstein and Maxwell ran. Her name is Anneke Lucas and you can watch her full testimony here on CETV.

You can also watch a recent documentary called Out of Shadows that explores this topic in detail on CETV as well.

Read more about Epstein ad Maxwell here.

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Environmentalist Censored For Shifting His Opinion On Climate Change

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Forbes.com deleted a new article from environmentalist Michael Shellenberger. His perspective on climate change shifted, and he decided to write about it. Forbes wasn't having it.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are we deciding to censor different perspectives as opposed to explore them? Is our emotional intelligence so undeveloped collectively that we cannot have civil conversations?

What Happened: Michael Shellenberger, a long time environmentalist who has been in the trenches helping to save the world’s last unprotected redwoods, co-created the predecessor to today’s Green New Deal and led an effort to keep nuclear power plants operating in order to prevent a spike of emissions, has shifted his perspective on climate change. Prior to today, he was holding the perspective that we must be alarmed about the fact that the world will end in a short amount of time if we don’t act to reduce carbon emissions immediately.

He shifted his opinion based on exploring emerging science on the subject. He then went on to write a book called Never Apocalypse, which seeks to help explore what we can do to better our environment from a grounded and accurate point of view, as opposed to alarmism.

He wrote an article on Forbes website titled On Behalf of Environmentalists, I Apologize For the Climate Scare.” Two days laterForbes decided to remove his article.

Why It Matters: The fact that Forbes removed an article that was grounded, calm, well written and explored new conversations illustrates the emerging culture of ‘censor anything that can get us in trouble’ or ‘censor anything that doesn’t agree with mainstream conjecture.”

We’ve come into a time where our collective lack of emotional intelligence is surfacing deeply for us to address. When we disagree on something, we struggle to explore things together. When a company says something they feel might get them in trouble, they run away in fear that the angry mob will come after them.

All that happened here was a man wrote an article that brought some new light to a conversation that has been very polarized and is causing people to react out of emotion instead of logic and the heart. Instead of listening and exploring, censorship ensues.

The Takeaway: I spoke at a high school here in Toronto last year. At the end of my talk, many students came up to me to talk, discuss ideas and share feedback. The vast majority of them explained to me that they were terrified that the world was going to end in just a few years. They felt they had no future because of the acts of generations prior who were causing CO2 levels to rise so high that the world would end.

I thought to myself, wow, an entire generation of kids being pushed into fear, anxiety and depression based on information that isn’t even accurate. This information was created by politicians and pushed out by media. Scientists categorically do not agree with the idea that the world is coming to an end as a result of CO2 emissions. Yet not enough people are telling people this, most of media is staying silent on other perspectives and censorship even shuts down opposing ideas.

What type of world will we create if we can’t discuss basic ideas? What  type of world will we create when we choose to run, hide and censor as opposed to having important conversations? How can we stop identifying so deeply with positions, so that we can be more free to shift ideas when new information helps us understand things better?

Looking Deeper:

I made a film last year called Regenerate: Beyond The CO2 Narrative. After 10 years of researching and investigating climate change, I came to many conclusions that I felt needed to be shared, yet were extremely rare in public discourse. One of the most important aspects of Regenerate was that we simply are looking at our environment from such a limited point of view that we can’t identify the real issues we face, and that our level of thinking, or consciousness, is completely disconnected from the solutions required to truly shift our relationship with earth. Thus, we are creating solutions that never truly address making the environment cleaner or better long term.

I encourage you to check out the film trailer below, and if you wish to watch the film, it’s available on our member platform called CETV. You can start a free 7 day trial to watch it if you like. We also discuss this story in more detail in episode 2 of The Takeway, an orignal show we have on CETV.

Watch the full film here.

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Soft Drink Companies Caught Using Big Tobacco’s Playbook To Lure Young Children

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Documents obtained by researchers clearly outline the unethical and immoral actions Tobacco companies used to 'hook' kids onto sugary drinks. They use the same tactics they did for smoking.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do and have our federal health regulatory agencies allow such products to be approved as safe for consumption when they are clearly linked to a variety of diseases, like cancer?

Many moves made by multiple big corporations are extremely unethical, immoral, and downright shocking. These corporations have completely compromised our federal health regulatory agencies, and it’s quite clear that they do not care about the health of the human race and will do anything when it comes to the success of the products they manufacture, including taking illegal and/or immoral actions.

One of the more recent examples comes from the tobacco industry. Companies within the industry used colors, flavors, and marketing techniques to lure and entice children as potential future smokers. They actually used and applied these same strategies to sweetened beverages starting as early as 1963, according to a study conducted by researchers at UC San Francisco.

As the Sugar Scientists point out:

The study, which draws from a cache of previously secret documents from the tobacco industry that is part of the UCSF Industry Documents Library tracked the acquisition and subsequent marketing campaigns of sweetened drink brands by two leading tobacco companies: R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris. It found that as tobacco was facing increased scrutiny from health authorities, its executives transferred the same products and tactics to peddle soft drinks. The study was published in the March 2019 issue of BMJ.

“Executives in the two largest U.S.-based tobacco companies had developed colors and flavors as additives for cigarettes and used them to build major children’s beverage product lines, including Hawaiian Punch, Kool-Aid, Tang and Capri Sun,” said senior author Laura Schmidt, PhD, MSW, MPH, of the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. “Even after the tobacco companies sold these brands to food and beverage corporations, many of the product lines and marketing techniques designed to attract kids are still in use today.” (source)

The new papers, which are available in the UCSF Truth Tobacco Industry Documents Library, a subset of the UCSF Industry Documents Library, reveal the close and tight knit relationships between the big tobacco and big food industries. In fact, in the 60s and 70s, these companies conducted taste tests with mothers and their children to evaluate sweetness, colors and flavors for Hawaiian Punch product line extensions. The children’s preferences were prioritized.

Kool-Aid Joins Marlboro

Meanwhile, tobacco competitor Philip Morris had acquired Kool-Aid, via General Foods, in 1985. The company flipped its marketing audience from families to children, created its “Kool-Aid Man” mascot, and launched collaborations with branded toys, including Barbie and Hot Wheels. It also developed a children’s Kool-Aid loyalty program described as “our version of the Marlboro Country Store,” a cigarette incentives program. (source)

“The Wacky Wild Kool-Aid style campaign had tremendous reach and impact,” said first author Kim Nguyen, ScD, MPH, who is also with the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. “Lots of kids in the ’80s dreamed of getting swag from the Wacky Warehouse. What is really ‘wacky’ is that the Kool-Aid kid program was modeled after a tobacco marketing strategy designed to build allegiance with smokers.”

The tobacco giant also acquired Capri Sun and Tang, and used similar child-focused integrated marketing strategies to drive those sales.

“The industry claims that these tobacco-inspired marketing strategies are not actually targeting children and should be excluded from these industry-led agreements,” said Schmidt. “But the evidence cited in our research shows that these product lines and marketing techniques were specifically designed for and tested on children.” (source)

The UCSF Industry Documents Library was launched in 2002 as a digital portal for tobacco documents. Today, the library includes close to 15 million internal tobacco, drug, chemical and food industry documents used by scientists, policymakers, journalists and community members in their efforts to improve and protect the health of the public.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, it’s important to recognize that government health authorities and the corporations we buy our food from, among other things, really don’t care about us. This has become extremely evident, as they are responsible for the sharp rise in numerous diseases. It’s not uncommon to see parents buy their children products similar to the ones listed above, and that’s due to mass brainwashing and the fact that we’ve been made to feel that these products are actually safe. This is why awareness is so critical.

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