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Riebeek TODAY - the Valley Newsletter

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This Week:
Light rain tomorrow through next Monday, with temperatures bottoming out at 12°C on Wednesday.

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Loricka Smuts - Make-up artist


NGK Riebeek Kasteel Lentefees - MTB Bergfietse


Pannekoek en Sop!


Weekly Specials @ Cafe Felix


Ruth Bader Ginsburg - 107th justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was sworn in as the 107th justice of the U.S. Supreme Court on this day in 1993. The second female justice on the Supreme Court and a current Associate Justice, Ginsburg is recognized as being one of the Court's main advocates for advancing women's rights under the law. Famous for breaking gender barriers and delivering searing dissents, she has also emerged as a feminist icon in recent years and become known by a new nickname -- Notorious RBG.

When Ginsburg was asked what amendment she would most like to see added to the U.S. Constitution, she replied that she would choose "the Equal Rights Amendment," noting that when her granddaughters read the Constitution, she would like them to see "that that is a basic principle of our society." Although more than 80% of countries guarantee gender equality in their constitutions, including, as Ginsburg noted "every constitution written since the Second World War" -- the period during which most of the world's constitutions were written -- the world's oldest written constitution does not include this protection.

In effect since 1789, the U.S. Constitution was written during a period when gender equality was far from being an important societal value. Over time, the US has passed many laws protecting women's rights but, as Ginsburg observes, "Legislation can be repealed. It can be altered... That principle belongs in our Constitution." The Amendment, which was originally drafted by suffragist Alice Paul in 1923, was nearly added to the Constitution forty years ago. It was approved by both houses of Congress and endorsed by then President Richard Nixon in 1972. It then went to the states for approval, but ultimately only received 35 of the 38 state ratifications needed to become a Constitutional Amendment.

Today, there is renewed interested in an Equal Rights Amendment, which, according to Ginsburg, would recognize that "women are people equal in stature before the law." Many older women's rights activists observe that young people are often shocked to learn that the Constitution does not guarantee equal rights for women; in fact, one survey found that 72% of adults incorrectly believed that the Constitution included such a gender equality guarantee. Whether Justice Ginsburg will see the passage of the ERA in her lifetime is uncertain but she says it's an essential part of ensuring women's equal protection, observing that a "prime part of the history of our Constitution is the story of the extension of constitutional rights to people once ignored or excluded." Image

Mary Roberts Rinehart - Pioneering mystery writer

Mary Roberts Rinehart, the pioneering mystery writer often called the "American Agatha Christie", who is responsible for the popular "The Butler Did It" trope, was born on this day in 1876. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native wrote over 60 popular mysteries, among them her first novel, "The Circular Staircase" -- a massive hit selling 1.25 million copies. With this novel, which made Rinehart a household name, she also invented the "Had-I-But-Known" school of mystery writing. The catchphrase "The Butler Did It" -- today a cliché in both mysteries and popular culture -- originated from her 1930 novel "The Door" in which butler actually murders someone. The costumed super-criminal from her novel "The Bat" has been cited by Bob Kane as one of his inspirations for the creation of "Batman." Many of Reinhart's books and plays were adapted for movies and RCA Victor released "The Bat" as one of the earliest talking book recordings in 1933.

Rinehart's influence extended far beyond the world of mysteries, however, through her highly regular contributions to the Saturday Evening Post. During WWI, she also served as a war correspondent for the popular magazine, reporting from the Belgian front and interviewing famous figures of the day such as Winston Churchill and Albert I of Belgium. Later in life when she had breast cancer and underwent a radical mastectomy, she went public with her story at a time when such topics were rarely discussed. In a 1947 article entitled, "I Had Cancer," in the Ladies' Home Journal, Rinehart encouraged women to have breast examinations. In 1954, the year after she published her final novel, the Mystery Writers of America honored Rinehart with a Special Edgar Award; she passed away at the age of 82 in 1958. Image

Maria Klawe - computer scientist and Harvey Mudd’s first female president in 2006

This year, nearly 50% of Harvey Mudd College's computer science graduates were women -- an astounding percentage when the average computer science program in the U.S. is only 18% female. More incredible, the Claremont, California college has increased from 10% of its computer science majors being women to half in only ten years! This extraordinary increase has been the result of changes implemented by computer scientist Maria Klawe, who became Harvey Mudd’s first female president in 2006. Now, Harvey Mudd’s three-step system for encouraging women to become computer science majors is becoming a model for other institutions interested in improving the representation of women in their own programs.

As one of her early changes, Klawe wanted to make the computer science program more approachable for female students. The school changed the course description for its introductory programming class to emphasize the problem-solving aspect of programming, and created three streams, including one for students with no programming experience. They also implemented Operation Eliminate the Macho Effect after observing, as Klawe explains, "Too often, people with experience are taking up all the air time." Many male students would come to the introductory course with more programming experience than their female classmates, and by showing off and dominating classroom discussions, it only reinforced the stereotype to women that computer science was not for them. As part of these changes, professors would speak directly to such students, telling them: “You’re so passionate about the material and you’re so well prepared. I’d love to continue our conversations but let’s just do it one on one.” Nearly overnight, Klawe reports that the introductory class went from being one of the most despised required courses to one of the students' favorites.

Along with making the course more inclusive and welcoming, professors also became taking female students to the annual Grace Hopper Conference, the world’s largest gathering of women in computing. And, because they discovered that many of their female students were motivated by seeing how their programming skills could be applied in real life, they created a summer research program between the first and second years. "We had students working on things like educational games and a version of Dance Dance Revolution for the elderly. They could use computer technology to actually work on something that mattered,” says Klawe. The results speak for themselves -- not only has the number of women graduating with computer science degrees skyrocketed, they are also getting jobs in the field. At last year's graduation, 64% of the female computer science graduates had already accepted a full-time job in the technology industry.

Kudos to Maria Klawe for her leadership in improving the representation of women in computer science! Image

Malmsbury museum

Die kunsuitstalling van Gretha Helberg gaan nog aan vanaf 31 Julie – 18 Augustus 2017.

Dit sal steeds vanaf Maandae tot Vrydae 09:00 tot 13:00 beskikbaar wees om te besigtig word by Malmesbury Museum. Die toegangsfooi bly R10.



Diane - 082 434 9777


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