This Cambodian Circus Helps Kids out of Poverty

Running away to join the circus is dream many kids have. In Cambodia joining the circus can be the best thing a kid can do, and they don’t need to run away to join the fun. Phare Ponleu Selpak is the circus program, after similar in style to Cirque du Soleil, for youth and functions in two Cambodian cities, Battambang and Siem Reap. What makes this Cambodian approach unique is the attachment to education beyond the circus. Youth who participate in the program get a full education alongside their circus training.

I’ve been to their performance at their school in Battambang, and trust me, it’s really really impressive!

“Cambodian youth are transforming their lives through art, breaking the cycle of poverty,” says Khuon Chanreaksmey. “They are discovering their own talents and realising that with hard work and opportunity anything in life is possible. The salaries they earn performing in the circus help support themselves and their families. Today’s artists are paving the way for the younger generations.”

Phare has fired imaginations around the world on its overseas tours. “Phare is amazing – its performers are so talented, especially since most of them are kids coming from the street, and obviously there’s a lot of hard work and creativity behind the scenes,” says Ravindra Ngo, chairman of the Hong Kong-based Cambodian Society, a non-profit organisation that promotes the country’s art and culture.

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Feeling Lonely? Head to the Virus Cafe

coffee

Feeling lonely and not getting out due to the pandemic? Head over to the virtual virus cafe where you can connect with other nice people on the internet and chat for a little bit. The creator clearly wants people to connect in an impromptu but meaningful way while we are all physically distant from one another. Here’s what the creator says about their creation:

Hey folks! I built Virus Cafe to help you make a friend in 2 minutes! My goal is to help people stuck indoors because of COVID-19 (or police curfews) to make meaningful connections with strangers.

Here’s how it works:

1. You are matched with a random partner for a video chat

2. You’re given a deep question to discuss. You have 2 minutes!

3. The only rule is: no small talk!

Small talk is the worst and I’m on a mission to eradicate it. I’ve expertly crafted over 200 questions designed to stimulate good conversation and skip past the boring introductions.

Here are a few samples:

– When in your life have you been the happiest?

– What would you be willing to die for?

– What is the biggest lie you’ve told without getting caught?

– What is a belief you had as a child that you no longer have?

– What human emotion do you fear the most?

– If a family member murdered someone, would you report them to the police?

– What absolutely excites you right now?

I hope you use Virus Cafe to meet a new friend and make a deep connection today.

Check it out.
Read more at Hacker News.

The Demoscene Added to UNESCO Cultural Heritage

computer screen

Here’s something you probably didn’t expect to hear this week form Finland: they’ve added Demoscene to the UNESCO list of intangible cultural artifacts. According the Finnish Heritage Agency Demoscene is “an international community focused on making demos, real-time audiovisual performances that creatively combine programming, graphics and sound.” Finland beat everyone else to the punch to get demoscenes listed under their purview – good for them!

This is a fun reminder of the nifty cultural practices that exist all around the world.

Jukka O. Kauppinen, Finnish Journalist and demoscene veteran since the 1980s, is happy: “Demoskene inspires to create, express and to do. While it revolves around digital devices, at its core demoscene is communal, connecting people and groups across borders. The inclusion of demoskene on the Finnish listing of intangible cultural heritage is an important indication that it is still possible to birth and grow completely new cultures and content, even in the digital realm. And demoscene is one that still rapidly evolves, changes and creates new stories to remember.”

The fact that the Finnish application was created by the Finnish demoscene culture in support by a wide range of institutions and partners shows, how connected and relevant the demoscene is in Finnish digital culture until today. A big thank you from us go to the communities and drivers behind the Finnish submission, namely Satu Haapakoski, Heikki Jungman, Jukka O. Kauppinen and Markku Reunanen, supported by many more.

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The Physics Travel Guide

Sometimes learning stuff can be difficult due to obscure terms and references to concepts that you might not know. Physics is filled with terms and concepts that are intimidating to learn right from scratch. Enter the Physics Travel Guide. The guide is a resource meant for adults who need an aspect of physics explained to them in a clear way without a priori knowledge. So if you’re wondering how something in the field of physics functions – check out the guide.

The Physics Travel Guide tries to fill a gap because textbooks and lectures usually don’t acknowledge that there is a difference between pedagogy and andragogy. Textbooks and lectures explain things linearly and try to be pedagogical. “Pedagogy” is a synthesis of the two Greek words “paidos” (child) and “ágō” (to lead) and literally means “to lead a child”. In contrast, “andragogy” means literally “to lead a man” and is the study of methods and principles to teach adults. It’s clear that you can’t teach children and adults in the same way.

This Physics Travel Guide has the needs of adults in mind, is non-linear and ideally suited for self-directed learning.

Check it out.

Play a Game about the Trolley Problem

Wero Creative released Dr. Trolley’s Problem yesterday and you should go play it right now. The game presents a lot of trolley problem situations you can play through to test your ethics. You’ll find yourself trying to decide which way a runaway trolley should go – towards the upstanding citizen or towards a dog? The game includes an autonomous car mode which echos the choices AIs will have to make when they get into sticky situations.

I think this game is great because I made it, so don’t trust my thoughts on it – go make your own opinions. You can download it now for PC & Mac or get the game on iOS.

Dr. Trolley is an infamous robot mad scientist from another dimension who has sequestered you in its simulation to answer the most pressing questions.

The game includes dozens of dilemmas plus randomly generated problems which last anywhere from 30 seconds to one minute each. Some situations involve reading what is presented on screen. Within each situation the player decides whether or not to act to save a character (or not).

Check it out!

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