Thu

26

Jul

2012

Fritjof Capra

Source

Fritjof Capra, Ph.D., physicist and systems theorist, is a founding director of theCenter for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley, California. The Center advances schooling for sustainability; its most recent book on this growing movement in K-12 schools isSmart by Nature: Schooling for Sustainability (2009). Dr. Capra is on the faculty of the Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program of the University of California, Berkeley.

 

He also teaches at Schumacher College, an international center for ecological studies in England, and frequently gives management seminars for top executives.

 

Dr. Capra is the author of five international bestsellers, The Tao of Physics (1975),The Turning Point (1982), Uncommon Wisdom (1988), The Web of Life (1996), andThe Hidden Connections (2002). He coauthored Green Politics (1984), Belonging to the Universe (1991), and EcoManagement (1993), and coedited Steering Business Toward Sustainability (1995). His most recent book, The Science of Leonardo, was published in hardcover in 2007 and in paperback in 2008. Please see the bibliographyfor full details about publications.

 

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Thu

12

Jul

2012

Alan Turing: Part II

Alan Turing: His Mind, His Life 

 

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Tue

10

Jul

2012

Alan Turing: Part I

In Part 1 of a two-part series, listen as Frances Allen, Charles Bachman, Vint Cerf, Dame Wendy Hall, William Newman, Christos Papadimitriou and Judea Pearl celebrate the mind of Alan Turing, the father of computer science. Click the link above to learn more.

 

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Sun

01

Jul

2012

14th Dalai Lama

On July 6, 1935, a child named Lhamo Thondup was born into a peasant
family in a small hamlet in the mountains of Tibet.  In 1933, after the
13th Dalai Lama died, a search party of Buddhist monks embarked on an
intensive search for his successor.  Four years later, in 1937, the monks
formally identified the two-year-old child as the 14th reincarnation of a
long line of Tibetan spiritual leaders who are believed to embody the
compassion and wisdom of Buddha.  His name was soon changed to Tenzin Gyatso and he began a lengthy and intensive process of being groomed to become the future spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists.

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Sun

24

Jun

2012

John Ciardi - A Brief Biography

From Dr. Mardy's Quotes of the Week


On June 24, 1916, John Ciardi was born to Italian immigrants who had
settled in the "North End" section of Boston, Massachusetts.  After losing
his father in an automobile accident at age three, he was raised by his
barely literate mother and three older sisters.  He became interested in
poetry as a young child, and that early interest deepened when his family
moved to suburban Boston (Medford).  He first began to show signs of
poetic genius while studying at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.  He
transferred to Tufts University, graduating in 1938, and did graduate
study at the University of Michigan (he published his first volume of
poetry in 1940, a year after getting his M.A. degree).

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Wed

06

Jun

2012

Ray Bradbury dies: Science fiction author of ‘Fahrenheit 451’ and ‘Martian Chronicles’ was 91

From The Washington Post

By Wednesday, June 6, 11:07 AM

 

Sci-fi master Ray Bradbury, author of ‘Fahrenheit 451’ ‘Martian Chronicles,’ dead at 91: The imaginative and prolific author wrote some of the most popular science-fiction books of all time, including "The Martian Chronicles" and "Fahrenheit 451."


Ray Bradbury, a boundlessly imaginative novelist who wrote some of the most popular science fiction books of all time, including “Fahrenheit 451” and “The Martian Chronicles,” and who transformed the genre of flying saucers and little green men into a medium exploring childhood terrors, colonialism and the erosion of individual thought, died June 5. He was 91.


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Sat

26

May

2012

Biden shares tales of loss with families, friends of military casualties

Win McNamee/Getty Images -  Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the 18th annual Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) Seminar May 25 in Arlington, Va.
Win McNamee/Getty Images - Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the 18th annual Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) Seminar May 25 in Arlington, Va.

WASHINGTON POST

By Published: May 25

 

Vice President Biden, speaking Friday to families and friends of military personnel killed in action, gave a powerful retelling of the death of his wife and daughter 40 years ago — saying he’d realized then how grief might push a person to suicide.

 

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Sun

15

Apr

2012

Barry Goldwater

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Sun

08

Apr

2012

Steve Martin in delanceyplace

From: delanceyplace <daily@delanceyplace.com>
Date: Thu, Apr 5, 2012 at 3:35 AM


In today's encore excerpt - in the late 1970s, comedian Steve Martin, who had labored for years in obscurity, reached a level of success with his stand-up act that was unprecedented in comedy. But he was unprepared for the crush of this success, and left stand-up at the peak of his popularity:

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Mon

19

Mar

2012

Robert Maynard Hutchins

Robert Maynard Hutchins
Robert Maynard Hutchins

From 1929 to 1951 President/Chancellor of the University of Chicago.

 

William Rainey Harper brought the University of Chicago into being, giving it form and life and mission. But it is the legacy of Robert Maynard Hutchins (January 17, 1899 – May 17, 1977 which is still avidly discussed and debated. Although Hutchins brought his own ideas and innovations with him, he came to embody the spirit of the University in a way no one else has since Harper. Hutchins was immediately compared with Harper — young, energetic, brilliant, charismatic. Unlike Harper, though, he was an iconoclast who ridiculed empty rhetoric, shabby reasoning, and institutions which did not fulfill their promise. He could say, with a straight face:

 

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Mon

16

Jan

2012

Woody Guthrie, more relevant than ever

Woody Guthrie  (Credit: LOC)
Woody Guthrie (Credit: LOC)

Great Recession


Woody Guthrie, more relevant than ever


 

 


 



When conservative Oklahoma finally accepts its lefty prodigal son, it bodes well for a nation steeped in inequality


By Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

Friday,Jan 13, 2012 10:53 am est

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Sun

23

Jan

2011

Woodie Guthrie Folk Singer and the Great Depression

In today's excerpt - in the wake of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, folk singer Woody Guthrie wrote the song "This Land is Your Land," a satire and protest against what he saw as the unrealistic vision of Irving Berlin's "God Bless America." It was originally titled "God Bless America for Me," and the original chorus used that line instead of "this land was made for you and me." Guthrie eventually deleted two verses, perhaps because he knew he couldn't get the song published otherwise - one that lamented the lack of help provided by America's churches for the poor, and the other his protest against the idea of private property (read those verses after the author credit below):

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Sun

23

Jan

2011

H.L. Mencken and Today - here we are again

In today's excerpt -H.L. Mencken comments on the impact of crowd psychology. Mencken, known as "The Sage of Baltimore," was a popular journalist, essayist and satirist, and is regarded as one of the most influential American writers of the first half of the 20th century. A caustic critic of American life and culture, Mencken was one of the first in the U.S. to popularize such writers as Friedrich Nietzsche and Joseph Conrad.

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Sun

05

Dec

2010

Bosnia and WWI (a brief vignette)

From DelancyPlace.com

An excerpt from

Title: A World Undone

 Author: G.J. Meyer
Publisher: Delta
Date: Copyright 2006 by G.J. Meyer
Pages: 3-5

   

...the marriage of the hapless Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose famous assassination on a trip to Bosnia with his wife Sophie led directly to World War I. Franz married for love, against the preference of his uncle the Emperor, and his wife had to live in humiliation as a consequence: ....

 
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Fri

13

Nov

2015

Are Languages Products of their Environment?


shutterstock_222422665_151112


DISCOVER MAGAZINE published this very interesting article: 


  Languages Are Products of Their Environments


The characteristics that make each language unique may actually be adaptations to the acoustics of different environments.

0 Comments

Tue

03

Jun

2014

The Case for Reparations

 

The Case for Reparations

 

Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.

 

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

May 21, 2014

 


Chapters

  1. I. “So That’s Just One Of My Losses”
  2. II.  “A Difference of Kind, Not Degree”
  3. III. “We Inherit Our Ample Patrimony”
  4. IV. “The Ills That Slavery Frees Us From”
  5. V. The Quiet Plunder
  6. VI. Making The Second Ghetto
  7. VII. “A Lot Of People Fell By The Way”
  8. VIII. “Negro Poverty is not White Poverty”
  9. IX. Toward A New Country
  10. X. “There Will Be No ‘Reparations’ From Germany”
0 Comments

Mon

02

Jun

2014

A Look At 19th Century Children In The USA

PHILADELPHIA — DINNER with your children in 19th-century America often required some self-control. Berry stains in your daughter’s hair? Good for her. Raccoon bites running up your boy’s arms? Bet he had an interesting day.

 

As this year’s summer vacation begins, many parents contemplate how to rein in their kids. But there was a time when Americans pushed in the opposite direction, preserved in Mark Twain’s cat-swinging scamps. Parents back then encouraged kids to get some wildness out of their system, to express the republic’s revolutionary values.

The New York Times

Sunday Review

By JON GRINSPAN MAY 31, 2014

 

A late 19th century family taking a stroll down a set of railroad tracks
A late 19th century family taking a stroll down a set of railroad tracks

American children of the 19th century had a reputation. Returning British visitors reported on American kids who showed no respect, who swore and fought, who appeared — at age 10 — “calling for liquor at the bar, or puffing a cigar in the streets,” as one wrote. There were really no children in 19th-century America, travelers often claimed, only “small stuck-up caricatures of men and women.”

 

This was not a “carefree” nation, too rough-hewed to teach proper manners; adults deliberately chose to express new values by raising “go-ahead” boys and girls. The result mixed democracy and mob rule, assertiveness and cruelty, sudden freedom and strict boundaries. Visitors noted how American fathers would brag that their disobedient children were actually “young republicans,” liberated from old hierarchies. Children were still expected to be deferential to elders, but many were trained to embody their nation’s revolutionary virtues. “The theory of the equality” was present at the ballot box, according to one sympathetic Englishman, but “rampant in the nursery.”

 

Boys, in particular, spent their childhoods in a rowdy outdoor subculture. After age 5 or so they needed little attention from their mothers, but were not big enough to help their fathers work. So until age 10 or 12 they spent much of their time playing or fighting.

 

The writer William Dean Howells recalled his ordinary, violent Ohio childhood, immersed in his loose gang of pals, rarely catching a “glimpse of life much higher than the middle of a man.” Howells’s peers were “always stoning something,” whether friends, rivals or stray dogs. They left a trail of maimed animals behind them, often hurt in sloppy attempts to domesticate wild pets.

 

And though we envision innocents playing with a hoop and a stick, many preferred “mumbletypeg” — a game where two players competed to see who could throw a knife closer to his own foot. Stabbing yourself meant a win by default.

 

Left to their own devices, boys learned an assertive style that shaped their futures. The story of every 19th-century empire builder — Carnegie, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt — seems to begin with a striving 10-year-old. “Boy culture” offered training for the challenges of American manhood and a reprieve before a life of labor.

 

But these unsupervised boys also formed gangs that harassed the mentally ill, the handicapped and racial and ethnic minorities. Boys played an outsize role in the anti-Irish pogroms in 1840s Philadelphia, the brutal New York City draft riots targeting African-Americans during the Civil War and attacks on Chinese laborers in Gilded Age California. These children did not invent the bigotry rampant in white America, but their unrestrained upbringing let them enact what their parents mostly muttered.

 

Their sisters followed a different path. Girls were usually assigned more of their mothers’ tasks. An 8-year-old girl would be expected to help with the wash or other physically demanding tasks, while her brother might simply be too small, too slow or too annoying to drive the plow with his father. But despite their drudgery, 19th-century American girls still found time for tree climbing, bonfire building and waterfall-jumping antics. There were few pretty pink princesses in 19th-century America: Girls were too rowdy and too republican for that.

 

So how did we get from “democratic sucklings” to helicopter parents? Though many point to a rise of parental worrying after the 1970s, this was an incremental change in a movement that began a hundred years earlier.

 

In the last quarter of the 19th century, middle-class parents launched a self-conscious project to protect children. Urban professionals began to focus on children’s vulnerabilities. Well-to-do worriers no longer needed to raise tough dairymaids or cunning newsboys; the changing economy demanded careful managers of businesses or households, and restrained company men, capable of navigating big institutions.

 

Demographics played a role as well: By 1900 American women had half as many children as they did in 1800, and those children were twice as likely to live through infancy as they were in 1850. Ironically, as their children faced fewer dangers, parents worried more about their protection.

 

Instead of seeing boys and girls as capable, clever, knockabout scamps, many reconceived children as vulnerable, weak and naïve. Reformers introduced child labor laws, divided kids by age in school and monitored their play. Jane Addams particularly worked to fit children into the new industrial order, condemning “this stupid experiment of organizing work and failing to organize play.”

 

There was good reason to tame the boys and girls of the 19th century, if only for stray cats’ sake. But somewhere between Jane Addams and Nancy Grace, Americans lost track of their larger goal. Earlier parents raised their kids to express values their society trumpeted.

 

“Precocious” 19th-century troublemakers asserted their parents’ democratic beliefs and fit into an economy that had little use for 8-year-olds but idealized striving, self-made men. Reformers designed their Boy Scouts to meet the demands of the 20th century, teaching organization and rebalancing the relationship between play and work. Both movements agreed, in their didactic ways, that playtime shaped future citizens.

 

Does the overprotected child articulate values we are proud of in 2014? Nothing is easier than judging other peoples’ parenting, but there is a side of contemporary American culture — fearful, litigious, controlling — that we do not brag about but that we reveal in our child rearing, and that runs contrary to our self-image as an open, optimistic nation. Maybe this is why sheltering parents come in for so much easy criticism: A visit to the playground exposes traits we would rather not recognize.

 

There is, however, a saving grace that parents will notice this summer. Kids are harder to guide and shape, as William Dean Howells put it, “than grown people are apt to think.” It is as true today as it was two centuries ago: “Everywhere and always the world of boys is outside of the laws that govern grown-up communities.” Somehow, they’ll manage to go their own way.

 

________________________________

 

A National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the Massachusetts Historical Society who is writing a book on the role of young people in 19th-century American democracy.

0 Comments

Mon

21

Apr

2014

Investigating Family's Wealth, China's Leader Signals a Change

From The New York Times 

By CHRISTOPHER DREW and JAD MOUAWAD

APRIL 19, 2014

 

HONG KONG — His son landed contracts to sell equipment to state oil fields and thousands of filling stations across China. His son’s mother-in-law held stakes in pipelines and natural gas pumps from Sichuan Province in the west to the southern isle of Hainan. And his sister-in-law, working from one of Beijing’s most prestigious office buildings, invested in mines, property and energy projects.

 

In thousands of pages of corporate documents describing these ventures, the name that never appears is his own: Zhou Yongkang, the formidable Chinese Communist Party leader who served as China’s top security official and the de facto boss of its oil industry.





A visitor at the Zhou family's ancestral graves in Xiqliantou, eastern China.  Intrigue surrounds the family after a spate of arrests.  Sim Chi Yim for the New York Times
A visitor at the Zhou family's ancestral graves in Xiqliantou, eastern China. Intrigue surrounds the family after a spate of arrests. Sim Chi Yim for the New York Times

But President Xi Jinping has targeted Mr. Zhou in an extraordinary corruption inquiry, a first for a Chinese party leader of Mr. Zhou’s rank, and put his family’s extensive business interests in the cross hairs.

 

Even by the cutthroat standards of Chinese politics, it is a bold maneuver. The finances of the families of senior leaders are among the deepest and most politically delicate secrets in China. The party has for years followed a tacit rule that relatives of the elite could prosper from the country’s economic opening, which rewarded loyalty and helped avert rifts in the leadership.

Zhou Family Ties

1 Comments

Fri

13

Nov

2015

Are Languages Products of their Environment?


shutterstock_222422665_151112


DISCOVER MAGAZINE published this very interesting article: 


  Languages Are Products of Their Environments


The characteristics that make each language unique may actually be adaptations to the acoustics of different environments.

0 Comments

Tue

03

Jun

2014

The Case for Reparations

 

The Case for Reparations

 

Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.

 

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

May 21, 2014

 


Chapters

  1. I. “So That’s Just One Of My Losses”
  2. II.  “A Difference of Kind, Not Degree”
  3. III. “We Inherit Our Ample Patrimony”
  4. IV. “The Ills That Slavery Frees Us From”
  5. V. The Quiet Plunder
  6. VI. Making The Second Ghetto
  7. VII. “A Lot Of People Fell By The Way”
  8. VIII. “Negro Poverty is not White Poverty”
  9. IX. Toward A New Country
  10. X. “There Will Be No ‘Reparations’ From Germany”
0 Comments

Mon

02

Jun

2014

A Look At 19th Century Children In The USA

PHILADELPHIA — DINNER with your children in 19th-century America often required some self-control. Berry stains in your daughter’s hair? Good for her. Raccoon bites running up your boy’s arms? Bet he had an interesting day.

 

As this year’s summer vacation begins, many parents contemplate how to rein in their kids. But there was a time when Americans pushed in the opposite direction, preserved in Mark Twain’s cat-swinging scamps. Parents back then encouraged kids to get some wildness out of their system, to express the republic’s revolutionary values.

The New York Times

Sunday Review

By JON GRINSPAN MAY 31, 2014

 

A late 19th century family taking a stroll down a set of railroad tracks
A late 19th century family taking a stroll down a set of railroad tracks

Read More 0 Comments

Mon

21

Apr

2014

Investigating Family's Wealth, China's Leader Signals a Change

From The New York Times 

By CHRISTOPHER DREW and JAD MOUAWAD

APRIL 19, 2014

 

HONG KONG — His son landed contracts to sell equipment to state oil fields and thousands of filling stations across China. His son’s mother-in-law held stakes in pipelines and natural gas pumps from Sichuan Province in the west to the southern isle of Hainan. And his sister-in-law, working from one of Beijing’s most prestigious office buildings, invested in mines, property and energy projects.

 

In thousands of pages of corporate documents describing these ventures, the name that never appears is his own: Zhou Yongkang, the formidable Chinese Communist Party leader who served as China’s top security official and the de facto boss of its oil industry.





A visitor at the Zhou family's ancestral graves in Xiqliantou, eastern China.  Intrigue surrounds the family after a spate of arrests.  Sim Chi Yim for the New York Times
A visitor at the Zhou family's ancestral graves in Xiqliantou, eastern China. Intrigue surrounds the family after a spate of arrests. Sim Chi Yim for the New York Times

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