Thursday, July 31, 2003

A Patriot's Handbook
Caroline Kennedy's wonderful work. 212 poems, songs, speeches, and historical documents. From John Winthrop to Bob Dillan, she's got it all.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Liberia:America’s Stepchild     Timeline
"Today people generally think of Liberia as a disaster, but it was not always so," says producer Nancee Oku Bright. "Liberia was a founding member of the United Nations and one of the key initiators of the Organization of African Unity. It was the only Black republic in the sea of colonial Africa, and it made the colonizers very uncomfortable and the Africans very proud.

"Many of the events that occur in Liberia happen partly because people simply don't know their own history, and, in that vacuum, history can be terribly manipulated," Bright explains. "I would still like to believe that human beings can, if they understand the nuances of their own histories, learn not to repeat the destructive lessons of the past. "

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

The Nation's Report Card
The 2002 results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress are published, for the reading and writing subject areas.

For the first time, the tests included the Trial Urban District Assessment for both reading and writing, looking at students from New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, and D.C. In these results are more sad news about education for the nations urban Black children, discussed somewhat by Education Secretary Paige in today's Wall Street Journal (haven't found it online). The aweful truth: black D.C. fourth graders scored 60 points lower than their white counterparts. Fully 72% scored below the Basic achievement level in reading.

Monday, July 28, 2003

Beer in Ancient Times
No animation, but a great example of using one story to trace a lot of time and historic periods.
There's also: and more at Google

Friday, July 25, 2003

Crimes of the Ba'ath
Today, a distasteful subject. History, here, is not the domain of dry tomes, insufferable tests, or squirrely nerds burried in their middle edwardian period. Rather, it is serious knowledge we should use to make the world a better place for our fellow man, woman, child.

To that, we note with dry relief, the ends of two of heinous lives. The fight-to-the-death conviction of Uday and Qusay Hussein earned them that end, with whatever implications for future justice.

It's worth again pointing to one record of their brutality, the notes kept on them by

Thursday, July 10, 2003

A Monk's Life
Supporting Martin Luther, the PBS show. Wow! Talk about odd shifts, those monks must have had constant sleep deprivation!

There's also a quiz checking chat you know about Luther vs. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy
Slashdot points out this gamezone interview: Professor James Paul Gee shows the world the importance of video games. The author of What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy ( publisher | Amazon ) summarizes what he's learned about learning.

I'll get back to you about the book!

Monday, July 07, 2003

Gouverneur Morris, Philosopher-Poet
Celebrating Independence Day, Richard Brookhiser writes on this pen-wielding founding father. His story says something to us, about the power of good prose, about the value of quality editing. Too much history suffers from cumbersome rhetoric. Morris, through his skillful quill, brought the constitution alive. More history writeres should take such care.


The print version of this article makes another point (though by negative example): Published History is too full of old people. At least in pictures.

Morris, in print for this article, appears a retired gentleman of stately posture in 200 year old clothes. Yet Morris was only 35 when he accomplished the deeds recounted! Ignite Media is one example of new media undoing this inordiate aging of heroic characters. They use a goofy young Jefferson in one of their media. Perhaps simply the voice of a younger actor can be a way around the advanced aging sysndrome.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Cut on the Bias
This hilarious article by the author of The Language Police describes some of the great efforts of the status-quo educational industry. Remember, 40-50% of urban minorities don't get a full education, yet these people are banning canes and Klingons in the name of amity and so-called diversity!!