Ми раді вітати Вас на блозі Інформаційного центру "Вікно в Америку". Тут Ви можете отримати актуальну інформацію про США та американську культуру в Україні, дізнатись про можливість взяти участь у гуртку Спілкування з носіями мови, різних тренінгах, конкурсах та скайп-зустрічах, переглянути улюблений фільм і обговорити його з друзями, прочитати книгу, мати вільний доступ до інформації, користуючись новітніми технологіями, задати питання працівникам Центру.
Fun Fact of the Day:“The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper” (fun.xocomp.net).
1. What is the difference between a “ceremony” and a “ritual”? How do ceremonies differ from “customs” or “traditions”? What exactly are ceremonies and why are they important?
2. Do ceremonies tend to have a more personal or social purpose? Are they typically meaningful or just empty repetitions of an expected action? Do you tend to see ceremonies as good and interesting or unnecessary and boring?
3. What are some examples of common ceremonies you can think of? What ceremonies have you participated in yourself? Are there specific ceremonies that you take part in regularly?
4. How are ceremonies directly related to holidays? Which holidays tend to have the most ceremonies related to their celebrations? Which of these are the most interesting for you?
5. In what ways are ceremonies related to “rites of passage” and different stages of our lives? What do you think are the most important ceremonies as we get older? Are you enthusiastic about any of these events or do you find them more of an annoyance?
6. If you could create your own ceremony for a specific purpose, what would its main goal be and why? Would it be a meaningful event or more of a show? How would this ceremony take place and where would it be held?
Schedule: Saturday, 01 June at 10:30 Thursday, 07 June at 5:30
The Corporation for Travel Promotion, now doing business as Brand USA, was created in 2010 to encourage travelers from all over the world to visit the United States of America. The public-private marketing entity works in close partnership with the travel industry to maximize the economic and social benefits of travel in communities around the country. Through its website, Discover America, Brand USA will inspire travelers to explore America's boundless possibilities.
Fun Fact of the Day: Percy Spencer, an American engineer, invented the microwave. He first created this technology based on a melted chocolate bar while working with radar. The first microwave oven weighed 750 lbs., or 340 kg (en.wikipedia.org).
Topic: 1. What is an invention? What are some of the best and most useful inventions you can think of? What famous inventors do you know? 2. Which inventions do you think changed people’s lives the most? Do you think technological advancements are the most important inventions nowadays or are there others that are even more essential? 3. Are inventions always good? Are there any that you consider bad or harmful? If so, which ones and why are they so? What is the worst invention you can think of? 4. If you could create your own invention, what would it be and why? Would your invention be designed specifically to help people or would it have some other main goal? 5. What is the difference between an invention and an innovation? What important innovations do you know? What innovations have become essential in our daily lives? 6. How do innovations constantly change our lives? Do you think these constant changes are beneficial for people or more likely designed to increase revenue (income) for certain companies and corporations? Invention: The act of creating something for the first time. Innovation: The process by which an idea or invention is translated into a good or service for which people will pay, or something that results from this process. Schedule:
Saturday, 26 May at 10:30
Thursday, 31 May at 5:30
Description: It’s time to work together for an AIDS-Free Generation! Join us for a live discussion about current efforts to end HIV/AIDS with Deborah von Zinkernagel, the Principal Deputy Global AIDS Coordinator in the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, which leads implementation of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Ms. von Zinkernagel has been a leader in the field of HIV/AIDS for over 25 years both globally and in the United States. She will discuss the upcoming International AIDS Conference in July and answer your online questions. Join the conversation and get involved!
Format: This will be a video webchat in English. Please click on the URL above to participate. Follow the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #EndofAIDS
The Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) has released its new electronic journal "A Responsible Press Office in the Digital Age", Spring 2012. The publication may be freely distributed to your contacts, either in part or in its entirety.
"This updated edition of the 2001 IIP handbook A Responsible Press Office: An Insider's Guide explores the relationship between government officials and the modern news media. A Responsible Press Office in the Digital Age provides guidance to government communicators about how to use social and digital media to provide the public with accurate and timely information concerning public policies, laws, programs and actions."
The Eurasia EducationUSA Fairis a recruitment circuit organized by the EducationUSA Advising Centers in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine – all affiliated with the U.S. Department of State and committed to promoting higher education in the U.S. We have organized and participated in international fairs for many years. We encourage you to take part in a unique recruiting opportunity that will give your institution maximum exposure to highly qualified Eurasian students interested in pursuing studies in the U.S.
We are proud to announce that our fair supporters are the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; the U.S. Embassies in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine; American Councils for International Education; Ministries of Education; and other governmental agencies.
Moscow, Russia – Nov 8, 9 and/or 10 (EducationUSA Pavilion at the Moscow Career & Education Fair)
Atyrau, Kazakhstan – Tuesday, November 13
Almaty, Kazakhstan – Thursday, November 15
Astana, Kazakhstan – Sunday, November 18 Kyiv, Ukraine
Pouch address for educational fair materials:
Arthur T. Evans
5850 Kyiv Place
Dulles, VA 20189
* Please, note that it takes from 3 weeks to 2 months to receive materials sent to pouch address.
Examples of Taboos in America: pointing at people, chewing with your mouth open, not covering your mouth, starting at someone, being late, handing over a sharp object with the point toward another, using your middle finger, calling adults by their first name, rolling your eyes, not looking at someone when they are talking to you, cracking your knuckles, touching without permission, etc. (http://www.answers.yahoo.com).
1. What are taboos? Can you think of taboos that exist in Ukraine? How do taboos affect our daily lives?
2.Do you think of taboos from other countries that might now exist in Ukraine? Why do you think some things are taboo in certain places but not in others?
3.Do you avoid certain taboo subjects or actions? Or do you think that taboos are good guidelines or are they more of an annoyance that just bother you? Has a person's avoidance of a taboo ever provoked you to cross the line or caused conflict to you?
4. In what spheres of our lives are taboos the most prominent? is there a way to either embrace or avoid taboos?
5. How do taboos develop over time? Do you consider them a mark of progress or a reversion to past customs?
6. What is the difference between a superstition and a taboo? Do you think there is any truth behind superstitions? What are some examples of superstitions you can think of, both in Ukraine and worldwide?
Taboo: A custom prohibiting or restricting a particular practice or forbidding association with a particular person, place, or thing. prohibited or restricted by custom. Place under such prohibition.
Superstition: Excessively credulous belief in and reverence for supernatural beings. A widely held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, or a practice based on such a belief.
Saturday, 19 May @ 10:30 am.
Thursday, 24 May @ 5:30 pm.
The second Sunday in May comes every year with little fanfare. Many of us nearly forget it as Mother’s day one time or another. Mother’s Day can be a joy of sharing thoughtfulness, care, and consideration with Mother’s Day cards, flowers, and gift ideas. But, the true gift is showing mom we love her and expressing it in a way that is meaningful to her.
Every year in America Mother’s Day is celebrated on the Second Sunday of May. Although Americans are only half way to Christmas, a special gift is due to a special endearing person, your mother. You can tell your mom, in a very special way, how much you love her and how much you appreciate her, but showing her that you love her is what truly counts.
A bouquet of flowers for her on Mother’s Day is certainly an appropriate and thoughtful gift idea. Mother’s Day flowers tend to express what words cannot say and fill the home with beauty and soft fragrance. Mother’s Day flowers convey tenderness and beauty to a mom who will remember moments of sweetness a bouquet of flowers will bring to mind.
We can show mom our love by taking time out of our busy lives to visit her, to call her, and to be with her. As children we experienced unconditional love from our mother. As adults we need to honor that love in reciprocation. This year, on the second Sunday in May, take time out to tell her how special she is. You may say it with a lovely Mother’s Day card or a Mother’s Day gift that is selected especially for her.
A Mother-in-law is also entitled to a sincere gesture of care and thoughtfulness on Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day can help us to strengthen this special relationship. On Mother’s Day you can convey that she is truly an integral part of the family, and that you wish to give her a place in your family’s daily life. Mother’s Day offers an opportunity to share a few moments of consideration for your mother-in-law with caring thoughts, a Mother’s Day card and a unique Mother’s Day gift she would enjoy /http://www.articlecity.com/articles/family/article_1900.shtml/
The ideal Mother’s Day gift would be a gift idea that she would find useful and practical. It would also be elegant and exquisite. A gourmet kitchen gift or selections of imported gourmet condiments make great gift ideas for a Mother’s Day.
An excellent gift idea would be to present her with a hand blown glass teapot for her kitchen. Perhaps an oil and vinegar set from Europe would be appropriate. A gourmet gift accentuates your appreciation of her cooking and taste, and adds flavor to a time of reflection, such as tea time. Today you will find all of these Mother’s Day gift ideas online. The perfect Mother’s Day gift is easily found in numerous gift shops and boutiques, but remember SHOWING your mother that you do indeed love her, means more than any item you could send her. Mother’s Day is always the second Sunday in May, halfway to Christmas, yet “a gift to give” well worth remembering. How to Make Handmade Mother's Day Cards: http://on.aol.com/video/how-to-make-handmade-mothers-day-cards-174078091 How to Make a Mother's Hat Cake http://on.aol.com/video/how-to-make-a-mothers-day-hat-cake-517289677
During the Great Depression, President Roosevelt and Postmaster General James A. Farley used postage stamps to create optimism and promote FDR's New Deal programs. In 1934 Farley honored American mothers by issuing a Mother's Day stamp, featuring a recreation of James McNeill Whistler's Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1 (known as Whistler's Mother).
The first two uncut press sheets went to FDR and his wife, Eleanor. This stamp is part of the National Postal Museum's online exhibit "Delivering Hope: FDR & Stamps of the Great Depression."
A Thank You verse stamp for Mum'sspecial day: http://www.stampingallday.co.uk/stampingalldayshopfront/prod_1178880-Thank-you-Mum-verse-stamp.html
Description: On May 21 and 22, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit will convene in Chicago, Illinois—the first time this summit has been hosted in the United States since 1999. Heads of State from each member country will meet to evaluate and strengthen NATO’s capabilities, commitments, and connections. Interested in NATO, but unable to attend the summit? On May 10, join us for a Q&A with Leo Michel of the Institute for National Strategic Studies. Michel, who served as Director for NATO Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, will discuss NATO, its member countries, and the summit goals.
Format: This will be a video webchat in English. Please click on the URL and sign in the chat to participate. Follow the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #Chicago2012
Description: In honor of World Press Freedom Day, join a webchat with Al-Arabiyya’s Chief Washington Correspondent, Hisham Melhem, to learn about how he ensures that his reporting is credible, accurate and objective. Learn what best practices you can put into place in your own research and internet browsing to guarantee finding reliable and trustworthy information.
Description: Learn about how you can study abroad at Clinton Community College in New York as an international student. The Director of Admissions, Tobi L. Hay, will give a presentation and then answer your questions.
Description: Learn about how you can study abroad at Peridance Capezio Center, a dance center in New York City, as an international student. Reagan Wood, an International Student Advisor, will give a presentation and then answer your questions.
Format:This will be a video webchat in English. Please click on the URL and Enter as a Guest to participate.
Description:“To achieve the economic expansion that we all seek, we need to unlock a vital source of growth that can power our economies in the decades to come. And that vital source is women.” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Join CO.NX for the third installment of the FORTUNE/U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership webinar series. Pattie Sellers, Editor-at-Large and Co-chair of the Most Powerful Women Summit; Lauren Wollack, Program Officer, Leadership and Mentoring, Vital Voices Global Partnership; and Chris Miner, Managing Director, U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education & Cultural Affairs (ECA), will join series moderator Suzanne Philion, ECA Senior Innovation Advisor, for a discussion on women’s entrepreneurship and empowerment and the importance of mentorship.
Format: This will be a video webchat in English. Please click on the URL above to participate.
• EdX, at http://www.edxonline.org/ is a new initiative between MIT and Harvard that will offer free online courses to students around the world. The website doesn't mention the courses it will offer yet.
From the website:
Who can take edX courses?Will there be an admissions process?
EdX will be available to anyone in the world with an internet connection, and in general, there will not be an admissions process. For a modest fee, and as determined by the edX board, MIT and Harvard, credentials will be granted only to students who earn them by demonstrating mastery of the material of a subject;
• edX is similar to Coursera, at https://www.coursera.org/, which is a collaboration between Michigan, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UPenn and Princeton. Coursera offers free courses in the humanities, computer science, healthcare and more.
• Another company is Udacity – run by some Stanford professors and offers computer science courses.
Keith Haring (May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990) was an
artist and social activist whose work responded to the New York City street culture of the 1980s.
Haring achieved his first public attention with
chalk drawings in the subways of New
York (see public art). These were his first
recognized pieces of pop art. The exhibitions were filmed by the photographer
Tseng Kwong Chi. Around this time, "The Radiant Baby" became his
symbol. His bold lines, vivid colors, and active figures carry strong messages
of life and unity. Starting in 1980, he organized exhibitions in Club 57. He
participated in the Times Square Exhibition and drew, for the first time,
animals and human faces. In 1981 he sketched his first chalk drawings on black
paper and painted plastic, metal and found objects.
In 1984, Haring visited Australia and painted
wall murals in Melbourne (such as the 1984 'Detail-Mural at Collingwood
College, Victoria') and Sydney and received a AU$1000 commission from the
National Gallery of Victoria and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art to
create a mural, based on his graffiti designs, which temporarily replaced the
water curtain at the National Gallery. He also visited and painted in Rio de
Janeiro, the Paris Museum of Modern Art, Minneapolis and Manhattan. He even
designed a jacket worn by a pink-wigged Madonna for a performance of her song
"Like a Virgin" for the TV dance program Solid Gold.
As a celebration of his life, Madonna declared
the first New York
date of her Blond Ambition World Tour a benefit concert for Haring's memory,
and donated all proceeds from her ticket sales to AIDS charities including AIDS
Project Los Angeles and amfAR; the act was documented in her film Truth or
Dare. Additionally, Haring's work was featured in several of Red Hot
Organization's efforts to raise money for AIDS and AIDS awareness, specifically
its first two albums, Red Hot + Blue and Red Hot + Dance, the latter of which
used Haring's work on its cover.
Fun Fact of the Day:“Martin Luther King, Jr., was originally named Michael, like his father. When Jr. was 5, his Dad changed both their names to Martin” (www.stephencarr.com).
Discrimination is the act of showing differences in favor of or against a person, group of people, a certain class, or based on one’s race, religion or ethnicity. It is dealing with a certain human being according to preconceived notions, as opposed to on their personal intrinsic worth. The act includes shutting out, restricting, denouncing or stopping an individual from a class from the ability to have a number of possibilities or benefits obtainable and made available to another. The expression "discrimination" developed from its usage during the American Civil War as a expression indicating bias against a person dependent exclusively based on their racial background. The expression is later widened to cover being affiliated with a specific, perceived unworthy group or social category. Discrimination has played a sad role in the extended history of human civilization. Let's discuss this topic together with a leader Dmytro Savratsky.
1. What is discrimination? What are the reasons for discrimination? What kinds of discrimination can you see in our society: chauvinism, ageism, homophobia, racism, gender discrimination, etc.?
2. Does discrimination really exist or is it a social construction? How is it formed? How is it perpetuated?
3.Do “others” or “foreigners” automatically come across as dangerous in our society? How are people who are considered “outsiders” typically treated?
4. Does appearance lead to discrimination? How can physical disabilities, height, weight, facial features, and the color of skin lead to discrimination? What is a “white raven”?
5.Do you think that any type of discrimination reflects the desire of certain social groups to eliminate other discriminated groups within a society? Can whole groups turn on each other in a cycle of further exploitation or discrimination?
6. What can you personally do to stop discrimination? Can it ever really be prevented? Should we try to fight to end discrimination or should we personally act in a moral way, hoping to set an example for others through our actions?
The United Nations General Assembly declared 3 May to be World Press Freedom Day to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and marking the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek, a statement of free press principles put together by African newspaper journalists in 1991.