The P.S. 22 Chorus Debuts First Original Song

After performing compelling, viral covers of everyone from Katy Perry to Gotye, Staten Island's famous student chorus is making its own music.

\n\n\n [youtube]

Over the years Staten Island's world famous P.S. 22 chorus has covered tracks by everybody from Gotye and Katy Perry to Tracy Chapman and Whitney Houston—and who can forget how their rendition of "Over the Rainbow" stole the show at the 2011 Academy Awards? Now they're delving into new territory with their very first original song, "Brother & Sister!", an ode to finding common ground in overcoming obstacles.

What's especially impressive is that song is written by one of the chorus' participants, a student named Kiarah, who also happens to sing the solo part. Starting at the 2:37 mark, the video also gives us some great behind-the-scenes footage of the process Kiarah and chorus director Gregg Breinberg used to compose the song. Breinberg's skill as a teacher and love for his students really shines when he makes a suggestion to Kiarah about changing the song's pacing but tells her, "If you don't like something that I'm suggesting, say 'Mr. B, this is my song. Leave it alone.'" Anyone who doubts that the arts helps students learn only has to watch Kiarah making decisions.


Two years after its opening in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art acquired a painting by Sarah Miriam Peale — its first work by a female artist. More than a century later, one might assume that the museum would have a fairly equal mix of male and female artists, right? But as of today, only 4% of the 95,000 pieces in the museum's permanent collection were created by women.

The museum is determined to narrow that gap, and they're taking a drastic step to do so.

Keep Reading Show less
via Chela Horsdal / Twitter

Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

The show is loosely based on an alternative history novel by Philip K. Dick that postulates what would happen if Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan controlled the United States after being victorious in World War II.

Keep Reading Show less
via Alan Levine / Flickr

The World Health Organization is hoping to drive down the cost of insulin by encouraging more generic drug makers to enter the market.

The organization hopes that by increasing competition for insulin, drug manufacturers will be forced to lower their prices.

Currently, only three companies dominate the world insulin market, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. Over the past three decades they've worked to drastically increase the price of the drug, leading to an insulin availability crisis in some places.

In the United States, the price of insulin has increased from $35 a vial to $275 over the past two decades.

Keep Reading Show less

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

Since the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, whale populations have been steadily recovering. However, whales in the wild still face other dangers. In the summer of 2018, four Russian companies that supply aquariums with marine animals captured almost 100 beluga whales and killer whales (aka orcas). After a public outcry, those whales are swimming free as the last of the captive whales have been released, the first time this many captured whales have been released back into the wild.

In late 2018 and early 2019, a drone captured footage of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales crammed into holding pens in the Srednyaya Bay. The so-called "whale jail" made headlines, and authorities began to investigate their potentially illegal capture.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet