Tag Archives: education

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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Accessing the Digital Public Library of America

Today, May 4, 2013 marks the sixth anniversary of what used to be the “Boles University Blog.”  That fine scholarship and research blog is now folded into this even finer, and richer, and deeper Boles Blogs Blog, and in celebration of promoting online pedagogy and in-person teaching, let’s take a look at the fascinating, and new, “Digital Public Library” of America! Read more

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