Tag Archives: education

David Boles Blogs Album of the Year: Neil Young’s Storytone

For most of 2014, since June, the album I played every day to help keep me awake and inspired as I worked — was Jack White’s Lazaretto — that album had great verve and energy that fit any writing mood.

However, that all changed a month ago when Neil Young‘s latest masterpiece — Storytone — appeared on my musical horizon.

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Raising Cynical Children in an Idealized World

Ideally, we want to raise caring and tender children who rightfully grow into wise and smart adults.  Unfortunately, the way into adulthood is, and always had been, fraught with predators and disappointment and liars.  We prefer to pretend these evil elements are not among us — and within us — and the ability for adults to repress inherent danger in the spinning world is what particularly places children in a purposeful peril.

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Twitter Really Wants to Be Your TV

Twitter wants to be your TV.  Sure, we know Twitter doesn’t broadcast events — yet — and so on its way into warming up the internet boob tubes, Twitter is partnering with current television shows to bombard you with on screen commentary from Twitter users.  I find the whole process messy, embarrassing and annoying.

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The Religious War on Halloween

We know there is a faux war allegedly being waged against Christmas that those on the far right-wing of the American mindset claim to fight each and every season — but let there be no doubt there is a second, more insidious, religious war being fought against the black cauldron public celebrations of Halloween.

I’ve always enjoyed Halloween.  It’s a universal, dramatic, moment in time where you can be someone else for awhile all while celebrating the changing season and the fun of each other’s imaginations.

Over the past few years or so, though, I’ve seen a dedicated effort by a religious few to remove the pumpkin spectacle from public purview.  Is protesting the wicked witch the way some hope to preserve the baby Jesus?

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On Creating a Möbius Strip of Internet Event Boundaries

The University of Notre Dame published an interesting study on “Event Boundaries” that cause the everyday each of us to lose track of who we are and what we were planning to do:

We’ve all experienced it: The frustration of entering a room and forgetting what we were going to do. Or get. Or find.

New research from University of Notre Dame Psychology Professor Gabriel Radvansky suggests that passing through doorways is the cause of these memory lapses.

“Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an ‘event boundary’ in the mind, which separates episodes of activity and files them away,” Radvansky explains.

“Recalling the decision or activity that was made in a different room is difficult because it has been compartmentalized.”

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Why People Hate Teachers

As a teacher and a lifelong student, I have always been wary of those who choose to aggressively use a blue editor pencil to belittle an author, or a teacher who wields a red pen like a cudgel to punish a student writing effort.  U.S. Representative Mark Takano is a teacher who has, unfortunately, proven himself to be in the latter category as a pedantic wonk who ruins the idea teaching to learn by making a mockery of the important and real process of revision.

Here’s what Rep. Takano said on his Tumblr account — as he tried to explain his overzealous political persecution of the other side of the aisle — and he oddly starts his defense with an incomplete sentence:

A draft letter by Republican members to Speaker Boehner is circulating congress looking for cosigners. I thought I’d offer my edits to the author before they submitted their final version… Still not signing it.

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When Religion tries to Become Science, Bad Things Happen

There’s a lot of righteous arguing on The Internets recently concerning the way religion and science are cleverly being mashed up by fanatical Christian fundamentalists to create a whole new anti-science, anti-reality, anti-educational rhetoric that is being fed to our children as something real and true and factual when it is not.  The monsters behind this religious terrorism of the mind are the same evildoers who invented the “Creation Museum” where they argue that people walked the earth with the dinosaurs even though there is a 65 million year gap between the last dinosaur and the first human.

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