This week The White House convened the “United State of Women” summit which brought women together from across the spectrum to discuss what has been achieved, and how to take action moving forward. The summit covers key gender equality issues and topics such as Economic Empowerment, Health & Wellness, Education, Violence Against Women, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, and Leadership & Civic Engagement.
Taking part was Sana Amanat, Marvel‘s Director, Content and Character Development and one of the people behind the creation of Khamla Khan, Ms. Marvel. Amanat took part in the Entertainment in Supporting Diversity in STEM panel.
For her panel, Amanat was joined by Luvvie Ajayi, Gloria Steinem, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh (Founder & Editor-In-Chief, Muslim Girl), Shonda Rhimes (Content Creator, ShondaLand), Judith Williams (Global Head of Diversity, Dropbox), Robert Liodice (CEO, National Association of Advertisers), and Glen Mazzara (TV Writer, Co-Chair Writers Guild of America Diversity Advisory Group).
May the 4th be with everyone! Hope folks are having fun today.
Though dancing with First Order Stormtroopers might not be the best… no Resistance fighters around?
Coinciding with the White House Science Fair today, Cartoon Network debuted a trailer for an upcoming coding-themed episode of The Powerpuff Girls and launched the first in a series of coding PSA’s.
Cartoon Network is collaborating with the White House on its Computer Science for All initiative, a movement focused on making coding and other hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning an integral part of every student’s education.
The upcoming episode and PSA are part of Cartoon Network’s overall $30 million commitment to inspire the next generation of creators by engaging with kids at the intersection of art and technology. The PSA is the first in a series that the network will release highlighting for kids that they can learn coding as a means to express ideas, craft stories and create art.
In the Powerpuff Girls episode, which will air later this year, the girls work together and use computer science to solve a problem and face down a foe. This is part of the network’s ongoing commitment to using its programming to promote creative coding to its audience.
Cartoon Network is also collaborating with Scratch, a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, to provide coding activities for kids through Scratch’s creative coding environment that feature Cartoon Network characters from shows including The Powerpuff Girls and We Bare Bears.
Check out the trailer for the coding-themed episode of The Powerpuff Girls.
And the Creative Coding PSA.
Monday was the 2015 White House Science Fair, which featured more than 100 students showing off their projects. One group stood out to me, and that was a Daisy Scouts troop from Tulsa. Their project was a battery-powered page turner made from LEGOs for people with disabilities that have trouble doing so while reading.
It wasn’t the idea that stood out to me, it was what the girls were wearing. The 6 year olds are part of a “Supergirls” Junior FIRST LEGO League team, and all wore capes with a Superman “S” on them. Awesome!
From the White House website:
After chatting with their school librarian, the “Supergirls” Junior FIRST Lego League Team from Daisy Girl Scouts’ troop 411 discovered that some people have disabilities that make it difficult to turn the pages of a book. They came up with the concept of a battery-powered page turner that could turn pages for people who are paralyzed or have arthritis. The Supergirls sketched out a design concept and culled through motorized Lego components and gears to figure out how to build a working prototype. They discovered that the friction from rubber Lego tires could be used to lift and turn the pages of a book. They honed the device with a second motorized component that forces pages to lay flat after being turned over. The Supergirls’ creation was selected by the statewide FIRST program director to be the only project exhibited at an educational conference for librarians and educators in the region.
See, superheroes are for everyone!
Through their petition system “We the People,” 34,435 people requested the White House and President Obama put in an effort to fund and build a Death Star. “We the People” has rules, such as if a petition gets 25,000 signatures, a White House official will respond. In a post entitled “This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For” Paul Shawcross, the Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget, got that honor. Here’s the post in full:
Official White House Response to Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016.
This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For
By Paul Shawcross
The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:
- The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
- The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
- Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?
However, look carefully (here’s how) and you’ll notice something already floating in the sky — that’s no Moon, it’s a Space Station! Yes, we already have a giant, football field-sized International Space Station in orbit around the Earth that’s helping us learn how humans can live and thrive in space for long durations. The Space Station has six astronauts — American, Russian, and Canadian — living in it right now, conducting research, learning how to live and work in space over long periods of time, routinely welcoming visiting spacecraft and repairing onboard garbage mashers, etc. We’ve also got two robot science labs — one wielding a laser — roving around Mars, looking at whether life ever existed on the Red Planet.
Keep in mind, space is no longer just government-only. Private American companies, through NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO), are ferrying cargo — and soon, crew — to space for NASA, and are pursuing human missions to the Moon this decade.
Even though the United States doesn’t have anything that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, we’ve got two spacecraft leaving the Solar System and we’re building a probe that will fly to the exterior layers of the Sun. We are discovering hundreds of new planets in other star systems and building a much more powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that will see back to the early days of the universe.
We don’t have a Death Star, but we do have floating robot assistants on the Space Station, a President who knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshmallow) cannon, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is supporting research on building Luke’s arm, floating droids, and quadruped walkers.
We are living in the future! Enjoy it. Or better yet, help build it by pursuing a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field. The President has held the first-ever White House science fairs and Astronomy Night on the South Lawn because he knows these domains are critical to our country’s future, and to ensuring the United States continues leading the world in doing big things.
If you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us! Remember, the Death Star’s power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.
Paul Shawcross is Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget
Spider-Man visited President Obama at the White House. I can’t tell if the President in Geek is being captured by invisible webs or excited to meet his favorite super hero. I’m sure the webslinger had no issue getting past Secret Service.
The President has admitted to being a Spidey fan, collecting his comics as well as Conan. I wonder what he thinks of Dan Slott’s latest story arc?
(PHOTO CREDIT: Pete Souza/The White House)
We the People is the White House‘s petition site/tool that allows anyone to ask the White House policy questions, and if they reach 25,000 signatures, the White House will respond.
This particular petition was created on November 14 and asks President Obama:
Those who sign here petition the United States government to secure funding and resources, and begin construction on a Death Star by 2016.
By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense.
Think it’ll make it to the 25,000? Better questions is how this pro-drone attack administration would respond.
We The People is the petition site launched by the White House where anyone can create a petition, really on any subject. The topics vary, but one in particular made it’s way around various comic blogs yesterday. Started by Sean M, a petition was launched on November 13 to “dissolve the current legal system and replace it with a single Hall of Justice, run by Judges; motorcycle-riding law officers who act as police, judge, jury, and executioner.” Yes, that’s right, so far 102 (as of this writing) have petitioned the White House to create real life Judge Dredds.
What’s really entertaining is that if this petition reaches 25,000 signatures, the White House has to respond, as per their own rules for the system. The petition hasn’t crossed the first threshold yet, at 150 signatures it shows up in searches. We’ll see if the petition gets all the way, and if it does, what the response might be.
Marvel Entertainment will be participating in the 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll
The 2012 Easter Egg Roll, which takes place on the South Lawn of the White House, is focused on promoting health and wellness with the theme, “Let’s Go, Let’s Play, Let’s Move!” All of the activities, including sports courts, dancing and cooking encourage children to lead healthy and active lives, which is a central part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, a national campaign to combat childhood obesity.
World-renowned Marvel Super Heroes will make a special appearance at the 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll. Costume characters including Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America will be on hand for a meet and greet with children.
This will be the 134th annual White House Easter Egg Roll with more than 30,000 people visiting the South Lawn for games, stories, and, of course, the traditional egg roll.
Souvenir White House Easter eggs first became an annual keepsake in 1981, when President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan hosted a hunt for wooden eggs that bore the signatures of famous people. The tradition continues this year with the addition of an official First Dog “Bo” egg. These collector’s eggs are available to view or purchase at www.easter.nationalparks.org.
To learn more about the Easter Egg Roll visit www.whitehouse.gov/eastereggroll. Tune in for live streams from the South Lawn all day on April 9th, 2012 on WhiteHouse.gov/live. You can also join the conversation online using the hashtag #EasterEggRoll and get the latest updates by visiting Let’s Move! on Twitter and Facebook.
It’s a new week, and I have today off! Yay Government schedule! Here’s the news you might have missed….
Ammori.org – SOPA/PIPA Copyright Bills Also Target American Sites
GamePolitics – White House Questions SOPA, PIPA
TechCrunch – SOPA Supporters On The Run
Kotaku – This is What Razer Thinks of SOPA
Around the Blogs:
Bleeding Cool – Salt Lake City To Offer Comic Book Degree – Nice to see comic books being taken seriously…
The Mary Sue – The Walking Dead Gets a 16-Episode Order For Its Third Season – I can’t wait! Just a few more weeks for the second half of the second season.
Kotaku – Sunday Comics: Blow Me – Each week Kotaku posts up some fantastic webcomics.