BBC: A Point of View - The strangely enduring power of kitsch.
“At Christmas we are surrounded by kitsch - worn out cliches, which have lost their innocence without achieving wisdom. ” Quote of the season, that.
Chronicle of Higher Ed: Payback’s a Bitch.
“Most other industrialized countries offer free college enrollment because it is an investment in their future, and, in some cases, because it is considered a basic citizenly right. [snip] In the United States, we have turned this essential social good into the cruellest of debt traps.”
MobyLives: The last word on the Suzuki/O’Connor music book debate.
“What kind of bagels do you want me to bake for Christmas? Anything but cinnamon raisin.” The rest is informative if you are contemplating Suzuki training for your wee ones.
Italian Ways: Pinocchio and uncle Attilio’s murals.
Guardian.UK: Kyung Wha Chung - ‘I have always welcomed children to my concerts’.
“The concert hall and the theatre are probably the last havens of peace; places in which it is still expected that audiences can sit, absorb, think and contemplate without interruption. These periods of concentration are necessarily lengthy, and increasingly rare in the modern world.” The artist speaks. Previously.
BBC: Renowned violinist berates coughing child.
We could judge of this better if we knew the age of the child. There are some things you just don’t bring a kid to, out of respect for the performance. Hey, if you want to bring a newborn to a Led Zeppelin reunion, have at it (not wise, but its your call) ... noone would notice. In a violin soloist performance - not so wise.
I lean on the side of the performers. It should be their call.
Diane Ravitch Blog: How to Analyze False Claims about Charter Schools.
“An op-ed by Congressman Danny Davis noted that the Noble Network suspends 51% of its students at least once during a school year. This includes suspending 88% of the African American students who attend its schools. It might be hard to understand why a school would want to suspend so many of its students … until you realize that this encourages students to leave. And it specifically encourages the more challenging students, the ones most likely to bring down test scores and college graduation rates, to depart.” Flagged as an important read. Go. Now.
CJR: The Texas school board isn’t as powerful as you think.
“‘They [dm! note: speaking about journalists] — how should I say this — they don’t look at the story real closely.’ If they did, they would see that Texas schools do not have to use the textbooks that the board approves. In 2011, a new state law made it possible for school districts to use textbooks that are not on the board-approved list. Many (though not most) districts are already reveling in their newfound flexibility.” I suspected, given the rise of e-texts and other modernizing/computerizing influences, that Texas was ripe for disruption.
Extra good point about certain political groups fanning the flames to increase donations.
The Eloquent Peasant: Oldest papyri ever discovered document the process of pyramid building.
“A timetable written up in two columns records the transportation of fine limestone blocks from quarries at the site of Tura to Giza, where they were used for the outer casing of the pyramid. It took four days, using the Nile and connecting canals, to transport the blocks about 10km to the pyramid construction site, which was called the ‘Horizon of Khufu’. The logbook documents these activities for a period of more than three months.” FANTASTIC FIND. Show this one to your kids, before the ‘aliens built it’ meme enters their circle of learning.
PS Mag: They Steal Babies, Don’t They?
“Children were being shipped quickly into international adoption, being made available as young as a few days or months — which meant that there had been no effort whatsoever to help out the birth family, and no effort to place the child with extended family or community. Money, in other words, was distorting the system, vacuuming children out of Ethiopia for profit.” My italic emphasis. I call that kidnapping, at the very least.
Telegraph.UK: Neil Gaiman - Why Disney’s Sleeping Beauty doesn’t work.
“The point about Snow White is that you can keep fighting. The point about Snow White is that even when those who are meant to love you put you in an intolerable situation, you can run away, you can make friends, you can cope. And that message [he says with a smile of satisfaction] that even when all is at its darkest, you can think your way out of trouble – is huge.”
ThinkProgress: Cleveland Police Shoot And Kill 12-Year-Old Carrying A Fake Gun.
This was a problem even when I was a kid. I used to have a really realistic Luger cap-pistol in the ‘60’s - it could have been my one-way ticket to a dirt nap. Never let your kids out in public spaces with these damned things; especially now that the police are gearing up with military tech.
PBS/Frontline: New Report - Adam Lanza “Did Not Just ‘Snap’”.
“The authors describe a symbiotic relationship between mother and son, with Nancy going to excessive lengths to protect him from stress, which had the damaging effect of isolating him from the outside world. She treated him as a close confidant, but ‘that may have been well beyond his relatively immature emotional capacities.’” Alas I know of more than one tragedy of this kind. I’ll agree with the psychologists who say, “Suffer the little children to grow at their own pace.”
They need goals, don’t get me wrong. But we do them a disservice to ‘adultize’ them too soon. One can begin to accept them as ‘another adult’ and misperceive the actual abilities of the child, allowing them to get into situations where older and wiser heads are required to make safe choices.
Dazed: UK students graduate with even more debt than Americans.
“According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, students will graduate with an average of £44,035 of student debt. America’s class of 2014, on the other hand, will only graduate $33,000 in debt. ” Doesn’t seem so much until you convert Pounds to dollars [scratching on paper ... roughly] $68,900 or so. Double American students’ debt. Shame on you, Britain, for being taken in by capitalist shpiel.
TechDirt: Selling Fear - The First US School Installs A Shooting Detection System.
PU Press: The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm - The Complete First Edition.
All the original blood and guts, sans censorship. Should be great. I think I’ll put the hardcover on my Xmas list. One endorsement: “Hate, spite, love, magic, all self-evident, heartbreaking, delightful.”
ArtDaily: 1963 Officially licensed Batmobile, missing for decades, ready to roar.
Good Lordy, even restored it’ll bring a pretty penny.
ArtDaily: Original ink drawing of Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin and Piglet to auction.
Have your Monets and Van Goghs; I’d pay a pretty penny for this. Iconic.
SciAm: Children’s Attention Deficit Linked to Air Pollution.
Adobe Education: The University of Texas at Austin Develops its First Course App.
“College students utilize mobile devices to consume all their digital content and they prefer apps to websites to access information, engage with their social networks and share their opinions.” Developers take note.
Youtube: Paddington – Official International Trailer #3.
Looks delightful. I didn’t even know it was in production. First I’ve heard of it.
FOX6: Toddler crawls his way into toy vending machine.
OpenCulture: Night on Bald Mountain: An Eery, Avant-Garde Pinscreen Animation.
What a difference seven years makes.
Vox: Marvel wants to give us the next Hunger Games.
Diving into the Young Adult book market headfirst. When the zombie books follow their lead, I suppose we need to change ‘penny dreadfuls’ to ‘dollar dreadfuls’?
Daily Kos: Germany offers free college tuition to U.S. and international students.
Wow. Totally great. And I was just cracking open a Goethe again - and preparing for the next Presidential season by reading Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Zeit für mich zu lernen Deutsch. Thanks, Craig.