I hope your new year is off to a good start. Seems to be rough for some. The losses of music icon David Bowie and actor Alan Rickman, who have both touched the hearts, minds, and souls of many, made for a melancholy week. I spoke to students about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this week, and am reminded that he was only 39 when he physically left our sides, but his spirit remains strong these many years later. Dr. King would have been 87 years old yesterday, January 15. Here is one lovely tribute to his efforts and his memory. Reach out and touch a heart this weekend in his honor.
This essay, from the New York Times Sunday Book Review, explores Cynthia Ozicks' notion that "The Novel's Evil Tongue" comes from our seemingly innate desire and need to gossip. "When the world was just new," she states, "Story came into being, and it came with the beguilements of gossip, and tale-bearing, and rumor."
Read and comment on the role of gossip according to Ozicks and your own observations in life and in literature.
Happy Holidays, and a very Happy New Year to you as well!
The best view of most meteor showers is after midnight, when the Earth is heading directly into the meteor particles. The Geminids are unusual because the point in the sky from which they radiate is in the northern portion of the constellation Gemini, and so is above the horizon most of the night for observers in the northern hemisphere.
Read the article here at space.com
As we think about the stories we tell, and the people we meet, this is a fascinating look at perspective and the assumptions we may make about others. Photography Experiment Leads to Powerful Lesson - the article. The video.
In April 2014, I posted an article here highlighting the celestial occurrence of four total lunar eclipses that would occur between April 2014 and September 2015 and would be visible in North America. We are now at the end of the tetrad cycle of those fully eclipsed moons. The last will occur on Sept. 27/28, and will be visible, weather permitting, here is Petaluma. Check it out!
Watch the video. Here's the story:
In June 2014, an 11-year-old boy visited Normandy, France for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. During the official D-Day celebration, the boy took his American flag down to Omaha Beach and planted it in the sand. Staring out at the ocean, the little boy wanted to thank all the soldiers who 70 years earlier in the fight against fascism and evil.
As the young boy struggled to hold the flag steady in the forceful wind, he suddenly witnessed a vision of American infantry soldiers heading bravely towards their fate on the morning of June 6, 1944. Gazing across the English Channel, and so moved by this vision, he brought up his hand in salute. Standing alone, holding the American flag, this little boy stood firm and held his salute for over an hour and a half.
While he continued this vigil, interested tourists, children, veterans, well-wishers and all sorts of people went down to see if the story was true, that on the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, there stood a boy and an American flag.
Watch this video of this proud American boy memorializing and honoring our fallen soldiers and wait for the five-minute mark to see who joined this little boy’s silent watch.
Here is an article about an amazing photographer, John Henry Mentz, and his work on the morning of and in the days after the Great Earthquake in San Francisco that occurred 109 years ago today.
I've been wondering about this for years. Apparently there IS another novel written by Harper Lee, and it is pretty close to what I would have imagined as a "sequel" to To Kill a Mockingbird." However, according to this report, Harper Lee wrote it before she wrote TKAM.
As my juniors begin to explore their 20th century poets, considering Jazz era connections, we have this: Langston Hughes' 113th Birthday.
As my freshmen finish Of Mice and Men, and consider Robert Burns's poem "To a Mouse," we have this:
Sorry we missed January the 25th, but we can celebrate now anyway. Let's sing Auld Lang Syne one more time just for the heck of it.
It also distresses me that I missed the November 10, 2014 Google tribute to the Fall of the Berlin Wall, only because I remember it well, and because I felt at that time, in 1989 on the cusp of a new decade, that humanity might do better in the ten years that would follow. Was I completely wrong? Your thoughts?
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