Carnivals! Beach browsing for spring break

March 13, 2008

Spring break, lots of work to do (no beaches for me). Have I neglected noting the carnivals? There are a lot of good posts gathered in some of them.

Liberals

Tangled Up in Blue Guy hosts the 60th Carnival of the Liberals. Pay particular attention to Digital Cuttlefish’s little spur-of-the-moment poem on Sally Kern, an Oklahoma state representative who was caught red-eared, on tape, in a bigoted rant. Poetry doesn’t get the respect it deserves; this guy shows real wit in his rhyming.

Prehistory, archaeology

Four Stone Hearth #36 cooks along and warms our brains over at Afarensis. I think every history teacher and every geography teacher should visit this carnival from time to time, to find some of the best new stuff for the early chapters of every history course, the prehistoric human section that is never as good in the class textbook as it is in the journals or in these blogs. Who among us hasn’t had someone ask for the “final, definitive reason” the Neandertals went extinct? Instead of just answering “we don’t know,” you can refer a student to the “mad Neandertal” hypothesis, and ask them to report back on it from A Very Remote Period Indeed). Science, and history, are not settled on these issues — how better to let students see that than to experience some of the discussion? Psychology teachers probably should note this post from Not Exactly Rocket Science, on PET scans of human and chimpanzee brains while the subject is communicating. That’s just two posts in the carnival.

Education

Learn Me Good hosts the 162nd Carnival of Education, the March Mathness Edition. Take a look at Dave on Ed’s post about how school administrators are quick to jump on calling for change to match whatever is the latest fad in education, but slow to provide teachers with the training required to make the changes work. What fad is he talking about? Well, all of them — but you remember the talk a couple of weeks ago about the Finns getting education right? Mom is Teaching has some comments about the Finns beating Americans.

Psychology and neuroscience

I’m watching psychology more closely these days, especially with older son Kenny now working on a neuroscience degree, so I’ve been paying more attention to Encephalon, the carnival on psychology and neurosciences — Encephalon 40 finds a home at Mind Hacks. Hitting almost all my buttons, there is a pointer to a post discussing what is the real history of psychology at Advances in the History of Psychology — what counts as history? Great discussion. Encephalon 41 is due on March 17, at Pure Pedantry.

History

History Carnival 62 has been up for a couple of weeks at Spinning Clio. I just got there a couple of days ago — and you need to go see it, too. The History Guru has a series of podcasts on western civilization, the Western Intellectual History Lecture Series. Can you use this in your classes? Figure out how to use it in your classes. If you’re not making iPod recommendations for your students, you’re missing the boat and so are they. Go check it out at least. Such activities threaten to drag teaching into the last decade of the 20th century. There’s hope we can drag teaching into the 21st century sometime before 2090. The President of France proposes that each 10 year-old child in France memorize the history of one child deported from France during the Holocaust. Good idea or not? See the discussion here (yes, it’s in French; this is the internet, put on your grande fille culottes or pantalons adulte and deal with it). [Why is it that high school history texts never explain the origin of the name of the political movement in Paris, the sans-culottes? How could any kid fail to remember a movement known as “no-pants?” Do the book authors not know that kids would be interested?]

The History Carnival is particularly rich for high school teachers, I think; see these posts:

Over at Progressive Historian, contributor “midtowng” believes that the S&L Crisis is repeating today and compares it to the S&L crisis of the 1980’s .

Jon Swift exclaims Castro Resigns! Sanctions Work!

“It has now been forty years since May ’68, and yet we still haven’t gotten over it.” Greg Afinogenov looks at why.

Economics

Is the American Economics Blog Carnival the economics carnival I’ve been searching for? Struck in Traffic hosts the March 1 edition. Hmmmm. Not sure.

Okay, enough of the Midways. Where is the Fletcher’s State Fair Corny Dog Shack? (Controversy there, too!)


A Buddhist perspective on DDT

March 13, 2008

Or, why thinking carefully often outweighs shouting loudly in the free market of ideas. I stumbled across this entry, a serious question to a serious Buddhist practitioner.


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