#IamaLiberianNotaVirus: Liberian-American Woman’s Powerful Video Slams Misdirected #Ebola Stigma! #CrushEbolaNow #ASMSG

This post first appeared on ThinkProgress.

A Liberian-American woman filmed a now-viral video to challenge xenophobic attitudes in light of Ebola’s proliferation. With the slogan “I am a Liberian, not a virus,” Shoana Solomon sheds light on the recent stigmatization of people of African descent.

After Solomon’s 9-year-old daughter was told she has a disease because she is from Liberia, Solomon shared the incident on Facebook. A day later, Solomon’s niece sneezed in school and was sent home, despite having never traveled to Liberia or interacted with anyone who had visited the country in the past two years.

So Solomon, a TV presenter, decided to take action by publicly addressing misdirected discrimination. In her video, Solomon holds a sign with the campaign’s slogan and talks about her child’s experience, as well as the experiences of many others who have been ostracized.

“I am hurt and upset. We are Liberians, Sierra Leoneans, Guineans and Nigerians. We live in a region that has been devastated by a deadly disease, but we’re not all infected. It is wrong to stereotype and stigamatize an entire people. Remember, we are human beings.”

Rife with racial undertones, Ebola hysteria, largely stemming from misinformation, has contributed to stigma of many Africans since the first Ebola case came to the US. For instance, a community college in Texas started turning away students in good health from countries with Ebola cases. Restaurants in Texas are also refusing to serve Liberian immigrants. And due to parents’ fears of their children contracting the infection, two Rwandan students have been unable to attend school, even though Ebola is not an issue in the East African country.

Solomon is not the first person to start an internet campaign to change the framing of the Ebola narrative.

Acclaimed actor Jeffrey Wright recently launched the #CrushEbolaNow campaign to counter the perception that the virus is a death sentence. “We could do well focusing on the strengths of the affected regions and not entirely on the weaknesses despite the enormity of the challenges,” he said in an interview with ThinkProgress.

“I found the news narratives disturbing. It didn’t take into account the absence of health infrastructure in these countries. These reports say that the outbreak is a function of the virus when it’s not. The outbreak is a function of economic underdevelopment. I wanted to reframe that narrative and speak closer to the reality that exists there.”


1 - Carimah_Townes

Carimah Townes is a special assistant for ThinkProgress. Before joining ThinkProgress, she worked for the National Center for Lesbian Rights and interned with the Communications and Development teams at Vital Voices Global Partnership. You can follow her on Twitter @CarimahWheat.


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Could #EbolaOutbreak Make the USA Turn to Science? #ASMSG #Ebola #EbolaResponse

NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—There is a deep-seated fear among some Americans that an Ebola outbreak could make the country turn to science.

In interviews conducted across the nation, leading anti-science activists expressed their concern that the American people, wracked with anxiety over the possible spread of the virus, might desperately look to science to save the day.

“It’s a very human reaction,” said Harland Dorrinson, a prominent anti-science activist from Springfield, Missouri. “If you put them under enough stress, perfectly rational people will panic and start believing in science.”

Additionally, he worries about a “slippery slope” situation, “in which a belief in science leads to a belief in math, which in turn fosters a dangerous dependence on facts.”

At the end of the day, though, Dorrinson hopes that such a doomsday scenario will not come to pass. “Time and time again through history, Americans have been exposed to science and refused to accept it,” he said. “I pray that this time will be no different.”

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Latest WHO Situation Report: 10K Cases & 5K Deaths

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#Ebola #Virus #Disease: From #Epidemic To #Pandemic #ASMSG #IARTG #BookBoost

Book Description

Publication Date: October 11, 2014

With news of the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the U.S., the public is on edge and looking for fast answers about just how vulnerable they are to the deadly virus. This book provides reliable answers from the most authoritative sources.

5.0 out of 5 stars
Ebola Myths and Misconceptions
October 12, 2014
Reviewed By Hunter S. Jones

There are many myths, misconceptions and much misinformation about Ebola. When we don’t know answers to our concerns, we are left in doubt, fear, and panic. For example: Who discovered this disease? Why is it called Ebola and not named after the person who discovered it? What is it? How can you get Ebola? How can you protect yourself? How are Ebola patients cared for? How long does it take for the disease to incubate? How long is a person infectious? Is this an epidemic or a pandemic? Is there a vaccine? If you get Ebola will you die?

What this book does is answer these questions by bringing together factual information from the most authoritative sources possible: the CDC, the WHO, Doctors Without Borders working on the ground in Africa. With this book as a quick reference, you will have a wide variety of perspectives to understand the health, medical, social, and economic impact of Ebola. These facts will help you to stay calm the next time you hear misinformation about Ebola. I highly recommend this short, insightful book.

5.0 out of 5 stars
Common sense and facts: containing the Ebola virus
October 18, 2014
Reviewed By John Carter (Macon, Georgia)

This review is from: Ebola Virus Disease: From Epidemic To Pandemic: What You Should Know (Kindle Edition)

Great information! Baker takes a very common sense approach to a topic that has dominated the news here in recent months – the Ebola virus. From a brief history of the disease, to symptoms, to treatments, this book is full of helpful information that is designed to calm the fear that is currently running wild across the globe.

There is so much incorrect information being passed around about Ebola that is was refreshing to find a practical guide dealing with this disease. It’s actually very difficult to contract Ebola. Baker lays out the most common forms of transmission and the precautions one can and should take to protect one’s self. He goes in to great detail to let the reader know that Ebola is not an airborne disease.

“In case you missed it, it bears repeating that Ebola is not an airborne disease.”

Incorrect information makes containment of any disease more difficult. Pick up this book and educate yourself with the facts about Ebola. I can honestly say that I learned a lot about this disease and many of my concerns were put to rest.

Oh and one more thing, despite the viral stories infecting the internet, Ebola Zombies aren’t real either!



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Alexis Sanchez: The #Beautiful #Game: Poetry In Motion #ASMSG #Arsenal #T4US #Bookworm #Chile

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars

Inspirational, enriching, and a FEEL GOOD read for all ages!

October 7, 2014
By TwoFromTx
Format:Kindle Edition

Alexis Sanchez: The Beautiful Game, was gifted to me, and albeit my first read by Thomas Jerome Baker, it will not be my last.

Even though basketball is my favorite sport, Baker skillfully peaked my interest in football /soccer with his unique writing about not only the sport, but about an amazing and dedicated player. In unique style, Baker enlightens readers about this unconventional and inspirational player, Alexis Sanchez. In today’s world of high paid, arrogant players in all realms of sports, it was refreshing to read about a man who did not let success go to his head or change his life in a negative way. I know the majority of players are nowhere near as humble as Baker depicts Sanchez to be.

Without this being a biography, Baker relates a poignant tale of unprivileged beginnings and a young man determined to rise above it all, with such finesse you feel you personally know Sanchez. What an insightful, beautiful story that should be read by millions of young people to encourage them to never stop following their dreams, but to know dreams only come to fruition if you do the required work and keep a positive attitude.

Alexis Sanchez: The Beautiful Game: Poetry In Motion, is a fast read that keeps one entertained and richer in spirit for having read it. I enjoyed this more than I ever thought I would (thanks for those shirtless photos, Mr. Baker!), and it touched me so deeply, I strongly believe it should be placed in schools. We can’t all be the best athlete, but we can all improve aspects of our lives that will evolve us into better human beings.

Thomas Jerome Baker did a great job of turning me into a fan of his writing, of a sport that previously held little interest to me, and of Alexis Sanchez – who is a dynamic role model that teaches us to dream big, stay determined, and make your passion work for you. I am thankful to have received this gift and believe this story is relevant and important, especially in today’s society.

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#PechaKucha & English Language #Teaching #ASMSG #edchat #ukedchat #PPT

Second Edition 2014 (Completely Revised, ReEdited & RePublished):

I saw my first Pecha Kucha over three years ago. It was when I was working at Universidad Andrés Bello at Campus Casona in Santiago with the students in the English Pedagogy program. I admit I’ve been fascinated by “Pecha Kucha” ever since that first time. I remember being very impressed by the performance I watched. There were a number of reasons for this. For now, let me share with you why I find Pecha Kucha to be so impressive and fascinating as a presentation technique.

Firstly, when we speak of our first time doing something enjoyable, it’s always a good feeling. We like what we like, we know what we like, and because of that, we return often, to what we like.
As you can tell by now, I like Pecha Kucha.

Secondly, its principles are easy to understand and apply. It’s fast, it’s efficient, it’s effective, it’s collaborative, it’s visual, it’s easy to prepare, it’s fun. However, it does require practice, lots of it, to do this really well. Practice, oh what a sweet word in the ears of any EFL teacher. Students practicing what they are going to say, again and again, going over their own words, to speak about images they themselves have selected. Volumes of practice, huge quantities of practice, helping the students to achieve the eventual automaticity that is the hallmark of mastery.

Of all the principles of the Pecha Kucha, the most important principle is this: images are powerful. Images convey meaning and emotions. In fact, the whole range of the human experience can be conveyed by images. For example, think of the images left on the walls of caves by cave men. No one needs a cave man to verbalize what you are seeing. You feel it – through your eyes – to your brain – to your emotions. It’s visual storytelling. That’s what the Pecha Kucha is, visual literacy in its purest form… Get your copy today.

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars

Presentation constraints
May 5, 2014
By Uvi Poznansky

In an easy-going, engaging tone, the author takes it upon himself to teach you about Pecha Kucha. First, he invites you to listen to recordings of the name, pronounced by Japanese people in three syllables, ‘pe-chahk-cha.’ The meaning of the term is similar to the English term ‘Chit-chat’ and it encompasses several principles of effective communication executed with powerful, economic means.

Pecha Kucha Night was devised in February 2003 by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Tokyo’s Klein-Dytham Architecture. The basic requirement is simple: Each presenter shows 20 images on screen for 20 seconds each. 20 X 20. Within this timing limitation, text-heavy slides become ineffective, and the presentation relies on the direct, descriptive ‘chit-chat’ of the presenter, best honed through rehearsal and refinement.

The fast pace requires that the message for each image be crystallized for best effect, and the the equal time levels the playing field for Pecha Cucha competitions between presenters. The technique imposes unique constraints on what they construct, which is a good thing. “Constraints frequently help liberate content and stimulate creativity.”

This is not a new invention, rather it is one that is continually honed by us, starting perhaps in prehistoric times. When bringing up cave drawings, the author explains, “No one needs a cave man to verbalize what you are seeing. You feel it – through your eyes – to your brain – to your emotions. It’s visual storytelling.”

Fittingly, the book itself seems to be written according to the principles it describes, using several mediums such as voice recordings and images that accompany nearly each page, and illustrate the verbal with audio and visual means. My favorite advice is actually a question, posed to students of Pecha Kucha:: “Consider your 20 slides as 20 panels in a graphic storyline. How do your 20 panels flow together to create a cohesive statement or a consistent through-line?”

I was given a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. My only critique is that for me, the book is too short. I think that the implications of the presentation technique can easily be studied on a larger scale, beyond the school environment, which is near and dear to the author, but to the business community as well.

Five stars.

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Reviewers Are Saying: “Alexis Sanchez: The Beautiful Game” #ASMSG #Mondayblogs #IARTG

This book is not a biography of Alexis Sanchez. Rather, it seeks to celebrate the excitement, passion, and enjoyment of the game of football that Alexis Sanchez brings to the sport. The signing of Alexis Sanchez to the best football team in the world, FC Barcelona, was just such a moment. In his final season with Barcelona, Sanchez scored 21 goals and made 10 assists. In the 2014 World Cup, he scored 2 goals for Chile. There is no doubt that Arsenal Football Club has signed one of the most exciting young players in the game today. He plays the “Beautiful Game” as well as any player. In that sense, it is worth holding Alexis “Electric” Sanchez, the marvelous Chilean football player, in our collective memory of , “The Beautiful Game”…

What The Reviewers Are Saying

A True Hero
by Susan Day (Australia)

Baker begins this intriguing tale with an account of his favourite goal by Alexis Sanchez. Not only did this superstar kick four goals in one match each one holds a special memory for his fans and especially this author.

I have to admit that I knew nothing of Alexis Sanchez before I read this book. I’m not really into sport and being Australian, I don’t know much about world football or soccer as we still call it here. Nonetheless, I was enthralled by this book. Why? Because it is the story of a true hero and a great mentor.

Baker is able to reveal the real person behind the sporting star. Sanchez is certainly one of those rare human beings who has not forgotten where he came from. He is also clearly not ashamed of his poor roots. He gives to the poor, adores his family and supports the little-league teams in his home town.

The videos presented in this book via links are exceptional. They are also a great way to add value to the book. I found myself becoming enthralled by the speed and accuracy of Sanchez’s moves.

The book ends with a great interview provided by the author where we find out more about this great star. If you’re a fan of World Soccer you are going to love this book. If you’re a Chilean more so perhaps.

I found the book interesting and can highly recommend it for anyone studying how sporting fame can either make or break a human being. I also believe that young teens would find this book very interesting and hopefully look up to Sanchez as a great role model. I’d like to thank the author for teaching me about a great human being.

The Beautiful Game
by Jonny (USA)

Watching Alexis Sanchez play football reminds me of watching Michael Jordan play basketball. Sanchez is like Michael. Alexis was born poor, so poor that he played games barefoot because he didn’t have any money for shoes. Like Michael, Sanchez worked hard on his ability to play the game and to overcome adversity. Michael had a good family life with mother and father to support him and guide him, Sanchez only had his mother. He has a very close relationship with his mother. As a player, Sanchez plays the game as if he were three men. He is a star, but also a team player with a desire to win. He is a champion on and off the field, just like Michael. I recommend this book for boys and girls of all ages, from 8 to 80, to read. You won’t be disappointed.

Poetry In Motion
by Caujuan Akim Mayo
(San Diego, California, USA)

Football is just not my game. It holds no interest for me. 22 players running up and down a big field for 90 minutes only to finish with a score of 1-0 does not even begin to hold my interest. Since I received a free copy of the book in exchange for my fair and honest review, I decided to read the book anyway. When I read it, I admit I was bored at first. It read like Alexis Sanchez had paid the author to rave about his playing ability! But then I saw the first video where Sanchez does with his feet what a magician does with his hands to mislead the goalkeeper. I slowed that bit right down to see exactly how he did it. I can see now why the author describes Sanchez as poetry in motion. His goal was amazing, and from that point on I was hooked. I wanted to know more about Alexis Sánchez. Why did Manchester City pull out of the bidding for him? They must surely be aware that they missed out signing an excellent player. And then there is the fantastic goal he scored for Barcelona against Real Madrid. The commentary by Ray Hudson is priceless: Quote – “He’s off running like he’s got a lobster down his shorts, but then he puts the ceramic brakes on…and then, takes the gravity of the moon and the planets into consideration“… Even though I still don’t like football, the game is just too boring for me, I have become a fan of Alexis Sanchez. 5 stars for Alexis Sanchez.

The Beautiful Game
by Karen Prince
(South Africa)

This book was recommended to me by a friend as a quick read and a great insight into the game of football. I enjoyed reading it for many reasons. Since it is not a biography, the author was free to share what he likes best about Alexis Sanchez. He writes about the way Sanchez plays football, how successful Sanchez has been, and how humble Sanchez is as a person. He also talks about how the game of football is able to transcend being just a game and become a social commentary for our times.

It was a delightful and interesting book which I would happily recommend to my friends and I think that most will agree that football is a beautiful game after reading this book!

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Success! Your #Thunderclap is fully supported! #ASMSG #IAN1 #IARTG #RRBC

Dear Thomas Jerome Baker ,

Congrats! GET LOST… IN A BOOK TONIGHT is fully supported and will launch on:
Sep 29th @ 12:00pm EDT

I learned to read and write when I was four years old. Ever since I learned to enjoy the pleasure of reading, I have immersed myself in books. I am the kind of reader that when I start reading, I lose myself in the book completely. There is an experience of magical transportation to different places and friendships with wonderful people.

When I have to stop reading, it takes me a while to remember where I am. Or who I am. If there is one thing that defines me, it’s my ability to get lost, to lose touch with my surroundings, as I enter into the world of the book.

This ability is not special. I believe everyone can lose themselves in this way. We can all get lost…IN A BOOK TONIGHT.


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I learned to read and write when I was four years old. Ever since I learned to enjoy the pleasure of reading, I have immersed myself in books. I am the kind of reader that when I start reading, I lose myself in the book completely. There is an experience of magical transportation to different places and friendships with wonderful people.

When I have to stop reading, it takes me a while to remember where I am. Or who I am. If there is one thing that defines me, it’s my ability to get lost, to lose touch with my surroundings, as I enter into the world of the book.

This ability is not special. I believe everyone can lose themselves in this way. We can all get lost…IN A BOOK TONIGHT.


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Real College Admission Essay Prompts From This Year’s Applications #ASMSG #MondayBlogs #IARTG #RRBC

Associate editor at Parade, Seattle native, New York City transplant, and graduate of Northwestern University's school of journalism.

Associate editor at Parade, Seattle native, New York City transplant, and graduate of Northwestern University’s school of journalism.


Millions of high school seniors around the country are busy penning college admissions essays based on prompts like the thought-provoking ones below, which we pulled from this year’s applications. (In many cases, the prompts below are one of a few options given by the colleges.)

What would you write?

Barnard College
“Pick one woman in history or fiction to converse with for an hour and explain your choice. What would you talk about?”

Common Application
The Common Application is a universal form used by more than 500 American colleges.
“Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?”

Harvard University
“What [would you] want your future college roommate to know about you?

Read JFK’s Surprisingly Short Harvard College Application Essay

Pomona College
“What does freedom mean to you?”

Rhode Island School of Design
“Is there something you love, have to do, can’t stop thinking about? Write about a personal passion or obsession other than visual art or design.”

Texas A&M University
“Describe a circumstance, obstacle or conflict in your life, and the skills and resources you used to resolve it. Did it change you? If so, how?”

United States Naval Academy
“Describe a personal experience you have had which you feel has contributed to your own character development and integrity.”

West Point (United States Military Academy)
“Why will you be successful in working with leaders, peers, and subordinates of a gender, color, ethnicity, and/or religion different from your own?”

Source: Parade
AUGUST 23, 2014

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#BookReview: The Emperor’s Friend: Marshal Jean Lannes by Margaret Scott Chrisawn #ASMSG #RRBC

In her acknowledgements, the author of this book, who is known to me, called this book (quote), “nonfiction on an obscure subject”(end of quote). Indeed, I had never heard of Marshal Jean Lannes before this book came to my attention. As a noncommissioned officer (NCO) in the US Army during the 80’s and 90’s (post-Vietnam era, Cold War soldier), there was no need for me to know about this gentleman.

Margaret also had these words to say about her mentor at the Institute on Napoleon and the French Revolution at Florida State University, Dr. Donald D. Horward:

(quote) “I thank him for accepting me, a somewhat elderly and opinionated female, as one of his graduate students. He taught me rigorous research skills, the art of critical analysis, and the ability to see two sides, and sometimes three, of each issue. He also made a valiant effort, generally successful, to eradicate all traces of purple prose from my dissertation. The fact that I put it all back in this book, and then some, is not his fault.” (end of quote)

Before I go further, I know it is important to answer the question Margaret has brought up. What is “purple prose“? Of all the definitions I looked at, I like the way Bob Dole put it. Here is his definition of “purple prose”:

Bob Dole: “I’d say that purple prose is a passage that is so needlessly ornate and wordy that it takes away from the meaning of the passage. We all want our writings to be vivid and sometimes it’s just a little too tempting to describe absolutely everything about a scene, halting action and killing comprehension. The more wordy the passage gets, the harder it is to get the point across.” (Source: Yahoo)

Let’s move on to my review. I obtained a free sample to use for this review from Amazon Kindle. I also used a free sample from Google books. The price of this book puts it outside of my purchase ability. This review is voluntary. I wasn’t asked to write this review by the author. I write on my own personal initiative.

Firstly, other reviewers have indicated that the author is a talented and dedicated researcher, but somewhat lacking in other skills. All of this, however, must take a backseat to her ability to present a historically accurate text in a convincing manner. I draw your attention to that fundamental question here. Is this book convincing? To answer, a qualified military opinion is enlightening.

I turn to the written comments of Major Michael A. Boden, an operations observer/controller at the Combat Maneuver and Training Center at Hohenfels Training Area in Germany. Major Boden is a former assistant professor of history at the US. Military Academy. At the time of writing (2003), he was a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and a Ph.D. candidate in history at Vanderbilt University. He served during the Gulf War in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait with the 1st (Tiger) Brigade, 2d Armored Division, and in Kosovo during 2002 as Executive Officer (XO) of the 1st Battalion, 77th Armor.

Writing in “Army History Magazine,” (the Professional Bulletin of Army History) in the Summer-Fall 2003 issue, he concluded his book review by saying: (quote)”In the final analysis, this is a study of Jean Lannes, French marshal and advance-guard commander extraordinaire. The focus remains throughout on his personality and leadership style and how Lannes applied himself to and executed his duties as a soldier of France. Chrisawn’s research is excellent, her writing crisp, and her conclusions solid. The text is augmented by a better set of maps than most historical works possess, which only adds to the project. This is an excellent book and should serve as the foundation for any secondary research on Jean Lannes for the foreseeable future.” (end of quote)

I concur with this conclusion, based in part on my own military service of over 14 years, which also afforded me several opportunities to participate in military training exercises at Hohenfels, Vilseck and Grafenwoehr, Germany. To conclude, I provide a compelling anecdote (without purple prose) that captured my attention. It is taken from Chapter 7: Revanche on a Grand Scale: Jena 1806.

“”Lannes reached Paris before Christmas…He did not spend much time in Paris in case Napoleon had plans for him. Instead, he went to Lectoure…Lannes refused the invitations that he received, including one from Napoleon… “Tell the emperor I’ll obey him on the battlefield, but not now-I’m on leave,”… Evidently Napoleon…left hm alone.” (end of quote) Makes you want to know more about Marshal Jean Lannes, “The Emperor’s Friend”, doesn’t it? Get this book if it does…

Reviewed by Thomas Jerome Baker
Author of Boudicca: Her Story

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