November 24, 2011
Posted By Jason Gilpin, Contracting and Agreement Officer, USAID Regional Mission for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova
For many people around the world, Thanksgiving is a quintessentially American Holiday. This holiday combines an assortment; a plate of folklore, a great bounty of food, a side of sports and a generous helping of commercial mass media, all set out on a board of essential purpose – of giving thanks for who and what we have, and appreciating all the goodness of this world for all its worth.
The story of destitute Europeans arriving on a strange shore, being helped by erudite Native Americans and breaking bread together in thanks is legendary. Like any folk story, historically speaking, it is partly true and partly false. But also like any folk story, its intent and meaning are crucial, and its historical veracity, less so. For me, the folklore of the Indians and the Pilgrims brings to mind a cornucopia of important themes: America’s diversity; the ancient wisdom, respect and resourcefulness of the Native Peoples; the courage and conviction of the Pilgrim adventurers in crossing the unknown; and last but not least the appreciation, which is universal among all peoples, for our lives, liberty, land and bounty. (more…)
November 23, 2011
Posted by: Oksana Kluchko, Journalist/Embassy Community Member
"The First Thanksgiving" (1915), by Jean Louis Gerome Ferris (American painter, 1863-1930)
Thanksgiving Day is a truly great American holiday. It commemorates a series of events which took place in the 17th Century. It was on December 11, 1620 that the Pilgrims set ground on Plymouth Rock. Their first winter was devastating. At the beginning of the following fall, they had lost 46 of the original 102 who sailed on the Mayflower. But the harvest of 1621 was a bountiful one. And the remaining colonists decided to celebrate with a feast — including 91 Native Americans who helped the Pilgrims survive their first year. The feast was celebrated as a traditional English harvest festival that lasted three days.
Their supply of flour had been long diminished, so there was no bread or pastries of any kind. However, they did eat boiled pumpkin, and they produced a type of fried bread from their corn crop. There was also no milk, cider, potatoes, or butter. There were no domestic cattle for dairy products, and the newly-discovered potato was still considered by many Europeans to be poisonous. But the feast did include turkey, fish, berries, lobster, dried fruit, clams, venison, and plums. (more…)
November 10, 2011
Posted by: Daniel Cisek, Deputy Press Attaché
November 11 is Veterans Day and November is American Indian Heritage Month. To mark both occasions, we are posting an article that originally appeared on the website of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State.
Veterans Day and the Navajo Code Talkers
Navajo Code Talkers, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, June 1944
American Indians have a long history of participating with distinction in United States military actions — an important point to remember on Veterans Day, November 11, and during American Indian Heritage Month. As scouts and auxiliary troops, Native Americans assisted U.S. troops in the War of 1812 and the Civil War and on the American frontier. More than 12,000 served in the U.S. military in World War I and 44,000 served in World War II, according to the Naval Historical Center. (more…)
November 8, 2011
Posted by: Gaia Self, Economic Analyst for Environment, Science, Technology and Health
Opening Day of the Nuclear Medicine Conference – Kharkiv, 19 September 2011
On September 17th I traveled to Kharkiv to attend a three-day international workshop on “Nuclear Medicine: Physics, Engineering and Practice,” which brought together over 100 scientists from 13 Ukrainian and 11 international research institutes. This forum was the first of its kind in Ukraine and created a new community of Ukrainian and international stakeholders in the field of nuclear medicine. American scientists who participated in the workshop came from Argonne National Laboratories, Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, University of Texas, University of Arizona, Johns Hopkins University and Chicago Trauma Risk Management Research Institute. The conference took place at the Institute for Scintillation Materials and was sponsored in part by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Energy. Chicago-based Argonne National Laboratories provided technical support to the event.
Scientists gathered into small groups to discuss specific projects in the field of nuclear medicine
The host city of Kharkiv has a long history as a center of academic excellence. V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, founded in 1804, was one of the oldest academic institutions of the Russian Empire. Since the early 19th Century, Kharkiv has seen the development of over 60 scientific institutions and 80 libraries, continuing today as one of the major cultural and scientific hubs of Ukraine. No other place could have been better suited to welcome dozens of international and Ukrainian scientists who gathered to assess the latest trends in nuclear medicine. One of the main goals of the workshop was to create opportunities for cooperation to reduce the cost and broaden the availability of diagnostic equipment. Speakers discussed the production of isotopes for medical purposes, instrumentation for medical imaging, trends in radionuclide diagnostics, research and development of pharmaceuticals for nuclear medicine, bio-medical applications and new detectors for nuclear medicine. The workshop also included smaller sections where experts discussed specific challenges and projects in the field of nuclear medicine, and over 50 experts complemented the formal presentations with “poster sessions” right outside the conference room. (more…)