Book: Why School? by Will Richardson

World War I was an important point in the world’s history, and certainly one for Canada, both as a nation and as a nation of the world — so much so that The Great War was a major unit in the grade 10 Canadian history curriculum. Just like every other unit, there was a test at the end, to evaluate what we students had learned. To prepare I frantically poured over the class textbook and my notes, collecting important dates, places, people and events, and using them to draw out timelines.

I didn’t do well on that test; however, I ultimately cleared the class with an 83%. I credit part of this eventual success to an assignment, ironically tied to World War I. That assignment had us write a paper blog (I mean diary) of a soldier caught up in the war. Presented on tea-stained, oven-burnt paper, bound inside dirt-covered, paper-machéd cardboard covers, my diary was simply titled, “La Guerre Mondiale” (thankfully I caught a grammar mistake at the last second and added that last ‘e’ before submitting it). It detailed the desire to go home, the awful state of the trenches, loss of friends, and an impromptu sports game with both sides on Christmas Day.

In the days when Google was just getting started, well before things like Wikipedia and Call of Duty, I was researching and trying to envision what it would have been like to be in the front lines. I took the most complete picture I could piece together, peppered on WWI details and threw in my views on war and how I would feel losing my friends to gunfire. I wrote it all out. I did well.

This experience falls directly into Will Richardson’s premise in his short-length book Why School?: How Education Must Change When Information and Learning Are Everywhere (SEE: Book at In his mind, the age of Memorize and Mumble is over. Knowledge and the ability to connect with others is no longer scarce. “If we have an Internet connection,” says Richardson, “we have fingertip, on-demand access to an amazing library that holds close to the sum of human knowledge and, equally important, to more than two billion people with whom we can potentially learn.” Why would we limit our youth’s studies to a handful of books and facts that likely leave very little long-term impression?

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External Video: RSA Animate: Changing Education Paradigms

“Don’t look. Don’t copy. That’s cheating! Outside school, that’s called ‘collaboration’.” – Sir Ken Robinson

This is a video animation based on a presentation given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, a world-renowned education and creativity expert. In it, Robinson argues the need to change the current education paradigm, whose origins are rooted in the ideas of academic ability of the industrial revolution, to match the current world in which we live. Education is modelled after the interests of industrialism, notably by it’s assembly line-like design. “Why is there this assumption that the most important thing kids have in common is how old they are?

“We are getting our children through education by anaesthetizing them. We should be waking them up to what is inside of themselves!”

Please view the video below for the presentation:

View here:

Survey of vitamin D, Omega-3 and Cholesterol Status of South Asian Canadians and White Canadians Living in Ottawa

Health Canada is looking for volunteers for a study to obtain data on blood levels of vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and bio-markers of cardiovascular health of South Asian Canadians and White Canadians living in Ottawa.

To qualify for this study you must be a South Asian Canadian (Canadians of Bangladeshi, Indian, Nepalese, Pakistani and Sri Lankan descent) or a White Canadian (Caucasian, Canadians of European descent) and must be between 20 and 79 years of age. If you are selected for the study you will need to fill out a dietary questionnaire and make 2 outpatient visits (each lasting 30 min) to a blood clinic in a community centre in Ottawa during a week-end in late winter and late summer in 2012. At the clinic, a small sample of fasting blood will be withdrawn for analysis of blood levels of vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and cholesterol. In addition your weight, height and skin colour will be measured.

After the study is completed, the volunteers will be provided their results for vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and cholesterol.

If you are interested in volunteering or have questions about the study, please contact:

Dr. Nimal Ratnayake,
Nutrition Research Division, Health Canada
251 Sir Frederick Banting Driveway, Ottawa
Tel. 613-954-1396

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Nepali Global Women Conference

NWGN will host the first ever Nepali Global Women conference on August 9th 2008. The purpose of this conference will be to create a dialogue on issues pertaining to women and women of Nepali origin. This will also be an opportunity to highlight NWGN mission and explore collaboration and partnerships with various organizations to increase access to resources for Nepali women.

Therefore we are pleased to announce the call for workshop proposals for our first NWGN conference: “Nepali Women Building Bridges: Advocacy, Collaborations, and Research.” All workshop proposals should reflect the theme of the conference.

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Call for Proposals: ICSD Conference 2008

Social Development and Transition: Paths for Global-Local Partnership

Organized by the Asia-Pacific Branch of the International Consortium for Social Development

Dhulikhel Lodge Resort
Kathmandu, Nepal
November 26 (Wednesday) – 28 (Friday), 2008

Deadlines for Abstracts: March 31, 2008

Papers and registration: July 31, 2008

MAIN THEME: Social Development and Transition: Paths for Global-Local Partnership. Several sub themes include poverty reduction, and post conflict reconstruction, climate change, disasters, human trafficking, HIVAIDS, etc.

See brochure.

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Susoss Grand Opening

SUSOSS International is the first enterprise in Ottawa dealing with unique gifts, unmatched antiques, elegant jewelry and exquisite household items from the Himalayas.

We bring you these via our store at 135 Bank Street and our website,

Our mission is to provide customers with an exquisite, practical and unique collection of Nepalese & Tibetan handicrafts and gifts. Each product in our collection has been hand-selected with quality and authenticity. Many of our items are handcrafted, supporting artisans and craftspeople from Nepal and Tibet.

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Canadian company to take health initiatives in Nepal

Canadian-developed device fortifies flour News Staff

An Ottawa-based organization has created a device that adds essential vitamins and minerals to flour, which can provide crucial assistance to people living in Third World countries.

The Micronutrient Initiative, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to eliminating vitamin and mineral deficiencies worldwide, has developed a flour fortification device to help combat anemia. The condition is typified by a shortage of red blood cells and causes weakness and fatigue. Continue reading

McGrath a hero for saving stricken climber

Source: The Sudbury Star

Garett Williams / CP
Local News – Tuesday, May 29, 2007 @ 09:00

Nepal’s mountaineering community honoured a Sudbury woman on Monday for risking her life to save a sick climber near the summit of Mount Everest.

Meagan McGrath, 29, was lauded for her role in saving Usha Bista, a female climber from Nepal, who had fallen sick on the way to the summit May 21.

“Everyone here was quite, quite amazed,” said Nancy Griffin, media and communications specialist with Science North. “Not totally surprised, because, given Meagan’s personality and given what she has accomplished so far in her young life, it’s not totally surprising that she would do something like that. Continue reading

Canadian filmmaker says rural people in Nepal have advanced

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Shahrzad Arshadi, a Canadian filmmaker in a movie venture on the social status of Nepali women has said rural women in Nepal have become extremely aware of their rights and it would be almost impossible to ignore them in coming years.

Arshadi was speaking at an interaction programme on ‘The Dreams and Realities of New Nepal’ organized by South Asia Research and Resource Centre based in Montreal, Canada recently, according to the Canada Forum for Nepal. Continue reading