In a newly released May 2020 publication, nces.ed.gov (the U.S. National Center for Education and Statistics) reported showing 14% of Americans with reading ability proficiently/at high-school level, and 8% are proficient at mathematics. This is similar to a 2019 report from Wylie Communications, which used NCES PIAAC numbers from 2014, where, "just 12% of Americans can read at what we consider the high school literacy level," and, "2% have college literacy levels."
NCES releases various publications of 4-year and 10-year studies that benchmark Americans with other countries.
Apparently, the majority of people cannot do their own research; they might not comprehend what they are reading or writing -- they might not know if they have quality information.
Where to begin -- it's Friday the 13th, definitely seen more sick people. Coronavirus 19 has affected pretty much every city, both physically and psychologically -- it is difficult to tell how bad it is, because hospitals, organizations, and governments tend to have under-reported numbers as the pandemic is unfolding faster than it can be documented. Recently leaked covid-19 video footage posted to GitHub, YouTube, and other websites (some true, some propaganda) paints big pictures. Hospitals run out of soap, gloves, and other sanitary supplies. People of all ages lie in hospital beds and collapse on the sidewalks coughing and gasping for air. Some stores are deserted, other stores are so crowded, the number of customers greatly exceeds state-imposed pandemic safety limitations to attendance for events/gatherings. Closures are putting extra strain on individuals, families, and local businesses barely surviving month-to-month.
Even if the virus isn't as bad as the public believes, this failure of leadership has sent the entire country into hysteria, panicking, and fearing for the future. The local economy is upside down, everyone seems out of necessities. It is unprecedented for such a poor government response, America might never know how much the infected curve could have been flattened, because there are so many lies, cover-ups, and blaming others that public wouldn't know where to start believing. People's lives are in the balance. Not knowing what to believe is exactly what sends the majority into planning for the worst, (panicking). It seems like good leaders should be able to calm the masses, instead of causing fear and scaring the hell out of everyone. Despite testing problems and fears concerning the rights of those infected, the amount of confirmed cases continue to grow, and not that many seem to have recovered yet (most are still sick). In recent days, the amount infected has skyrocketed and is gaining more momentum.
Update 2020-04-10: Ascendents.net has compiled worldometers.info Coronavirus statistics into regional daily growth factor time charts and other graphs.
In America's two-hundred year history, the tricks for winning elections have evolved. Political spending is greater than ever, and so are the barriers to contend.
Corporations pay money to advertise a voice and reach new audiences, however; to have a political voice, the FEC (Federal Election Commission) has stated laws requiring "Paid for by" disclaimers in its Special Notices on Political Ads and Solicitations brochure.
Many businesses such as Facebook are now flagging political ads and are requiring everything questionable to have a disclaimer and come from a verified account. This raises the quality of contributors, but it also becomes more difficult for independent organizations to even have a voice.
While money can always be funneled through others to hide an agenda's trail, a disclaimer is not even required for items that according to the brochure, "cannot be conveniently printed (for example, pens, bumper stickers, campaign pins, campaign buttons and similar small items) or where its display is not practicable (for example, wearing apparel, water towers and skywriting)."
With hot topics, politics can steal the spotlight and distract from the real issues, emphasizing what captivates attention, and bringing the conversation into a candidate's desired territory. Facts can get twisted and over time be argued to an oblivion where the truth is lost.
Political messages can also appear in less obvious forms -- cities, counties, and districts are targeted; from local clubs, events, and even churches -- countless sponsors push politics using algorithms, big data, demographics, and other technologies. Television stations program content to satisfy political messages. Party ideologies play on internal conflicts and tear apart families/communities, friends and neighbors cannot be trusted because beneath the surface, everything might be about revolution.
Visit and follow Ascendents.net News on Facebook.
During recent months, anticipation tremendously grew for August 30, 2019 -- the date the first episode of the Carnival Row series debuts on Amazon Prime Video. Its Google knowledge panel now reads the description, "A human detective and a fairy rekindle a dangerous affair in a Victorian fantasy world; the city's uneasy peace collapses when a string of murders reveals an unimaginable monster."
While the reality of the show is too much for many to resist, people will only have to wait a few more days to experience it for themselves. Including elements of action, romance, and suspense, and seemingly created/inspired by bits, pieces, and concepts from different authors, stories, myths, and legends, its theme aims to entertain the extremely popular audience labeled as fantasy/science-fiction.
Even though Carnival Row hasn't yet aired, websites have started publishing articles and reviews. With other services such as Netflix running competing fantasy/science-fiction (aka Neo-Noir) TV shows, some which premiere the same day -- not saying in this case that they are necessarily, but it leads to wonder how often closely involved business parties are actually the ones behind leaving the passionate consumer reviews and writing the articles which steer people's behaviors and purchases.
Juliane Klein, writer for German website Citizen Z in a review for Carnival Row said, "production designers and idea developers have done a good job... Rather, [instead of more vampires and zombies] they had concentrated on far more mystical beings." A dangerous mix of humans, fairies, centaurs, and other races makes Carnival Row a melting pot surrounding Burgue-area locals avoid. In this fantasy world, tension, distrust, and suspense follows on a mystery to hunt down an active serial-killer. On social media, countless people post and tweet their reasons for why they are excited about the show -- "High fantasy elements brought into a Sherlock Holmes style detective drama just fills a niche I didn't know I was void of..." "This is dark, adult, epic fantasy at its best!"
Those at Amazon Prime Video must be enjoying the series a lot, because they renewed it for a second season before the first season even started airing. Cara Delevingne, with a starring role in the show, has a talent for finding unique projects in which to give incredible character and personality -- she has a growing list of movie, modeling, music, and television accomplishments -- she has recently acted as Crassie Cassie in Her Smell (2019), an alternative/punk rock drummer (and guitarist). Delevingne also played Laureline in sci-fi smash Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017). According to Cheatsheet's Carnival Row article written by Fred Topel, for Carnival Row, Cara has put extra time into the character of Vignette Stonemoss to give her the right feel and appearance -- from choreographing fight-scenes, to walking specific ways so her character's wings look the most natural -- including the feelings and limited movements while wings are corseted down and restricted, because rather than using the wings for flying, according Topel, "she hides them most of the time to blend in on the streets of The Burgue."
Co-star and one of the series producers, Orlando Bloom is no stranger to the fantasy scene either -- his debut acting roles were the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy and the Pirates of the Carribean movies, but his involvement in Carnival Row series is also a major acting plus -- it gives the audience a chance to see Orlando (Rycroft Philostrate) as a different character than that of his typical methods in major past roles (elf, pirate, etc). Instead as a recently-commissioned police detective, the change adds mystery to his character, because he might act differently from how everyone is expecting. In an interview with TODAY, Bloom draws connections between Carnival Row and current events. Klein of Citizen Z also said about the countless topics the show discusses, "many of them, despite being embedded in the fantasy genre, are more relevant and relevant in our real world than you can imagine." Executive producer Travis Beacham, in a TVLine interview, used the word, "messy," to describe the war-torn Carnival Row world, and compared it to the real world.
Delevingne agreed in a recent Parade article, “this is one of the most amazing ways to look at something that people don’t want to talk about, like immigration or refugees. It’s hard to swallow because it’s the treatment of people that is just unthinkable. It’s crazy, it’s horrible, it’s disgusting and it’s hard to get a conversation to continue because people would rather be ignorant to it.” Parade also said about the show having a voice, "that is one of the reasons she really wanted to be a part of the project, because the show is a platform to open conversations on a serious subject, while still entertaining."
Carnival Row might be the next exciting show everyone is hoping to find -- streaming goes active in just a few days -- on Friday, August 30, check for Carnival Row at Amazon Prime Video. In the meantime, get introduced and watch its free bonus content.