Elsewhere for July 21, 2018

Art and Film

Actress Marsha Hunt, 100, Has Matters Of Principle

Hunt is the last surviving member of what was known as the Committee for the First Amendment. It was a group of a few dozen big Hollywood names, including Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Huston and Judy Garland.

Inside the Tokyo temple where the ‘waving cat’ was born

Maneki-nekos traditionally wear a bib and bell, sometimes painted on, to represent the Gotokuji monk taking special care of his cat. They are also usually depicted holding coins, but being of a Samurai family’s temple, Gotokuji maneki-nekos are empty-handed.
In the warrior society, while the opportunity for success is offered, it is up to the person making the wish to capture it.

Books, Writing, and Language

Amazon’s Curious Case of the $2,630.52 Used Paperback
Wilde about Paris: the sex, drink and liberation of Oscar Wilde’s “lost” years


How one Maryland high school successfully boosted minority student enrollment in advanced classes

“In GT classes, teachers break it down as simple as possible and put the time into explaining it to us,” he said. “After school, teachers are available for additional help and make themselves available around the students’ schedule. … My relationship with teachers has helped me to gain confidence to approach my teachers to explain things more. In classes at Hammond, the teachers are more approachable and easier to talk to.”

Value matters in choosing a college. But not just the price kind.
Via Forbes: How Common Core Testing Damaged High School English Classes

The standards treat reading as a skill that can exist in a vacuum, independent of context or content. The accountability tests, put in place to show how well we have (or haven’t) taught the standards double down on that, with reading selections that are carefully chosen so that prior knowledge cannot be a factor. This makes sense to a point; if you ask questions about themes in The Great Gatsby, those questions clearly favor students who have studied the work. Instead, students have to be “surprised” by an excerpt from some work they’ve never heard of before. There’s a whole discussion to be had about the inseparable nature of reading and prior knowledge, but in the meantime, teachers have been given a clear message–the evaluation of your teaching effectiveness will have nothing to do with how well you teach (or don’t) classic literature.

That means that primary teachers are pushed to focus on test prep rather than actual reading instruction, and that in turn runs the risk of squashing any hope of fostering a love of reading in students. By the time they get to high school, reading is just some dumb game they have to learn to play for that big test at the end of the year.

Food and Drink

Discovery of 14,000-Year-Old Toast Suggests Bread Can Be Added to Paleo Diet

Archaeologists have uncovered the earliest evidence of bread-making at a site in northeastern Jordan. Dating back some 14,400 years, the discovery shows that ancient hunter-gatherers were making and eating bread 4,000 years before the Neolithic era and the introduction of agriculture.

History and Archaeology

Why Race Is Not a Thing, According to Genetics “Scientists are unlocking the secrets to how we’re all related—to each other and to the species that came before us.”

When you analyze the amount of DNA of the three species that we know interbred (Denisovans, Neanderthals, and Homo sapiens), they don’t quite add up, which makes us confident that we also carry the DNA of another human species for which we have no bones and no DNA. The shadow of another human species—its trace—is inside us all right now.

The Iceman’s Last Meal Consisted of Fat, Wild Meat, and Cereals

Pay It Forward and Make It Better

Allan Monga’s story is so quintessentially American, it’s little wonder it went viral earlier this year. 

Science and Nature

In a cosmic first, scientists detect ‘ghost particles’ from a distant galaxy
79 Moons of Jupiter and Counting “The latest survey of the region around the gas giant turned up a dozen new moons, including an oddball that was going in the wrong direction.”


In about 20 years, half the population will live in eight states
Abuse, neglect and a system that failed: The tragic lives of the Hart children “Programs designed to protect children ushered six siblings to their deaths — and no one has been held accountable since their adoptive mother drove them off a cliff”

“Her reactions were overblown, and the punishments seemed unnecessarily cruel.”

Visualizing the spread of true and false news on social media


“I Was Devastated”: Tim Berners-Lee, The Man Who Created The World Wide Web, Has Some Regrets “Berners-Lee has seen his creation debased by everything from fake news to mass surveillance. But he’s got a plan to fix it.”

💩🔥💰 Trumpery 💩🔥💰

‘Did Donald 💩🔥💰 just WALK IN FRONT OF THE QUEEN?’ 💩🔥💰 is an uncouth lout, a poltroon, and a despot.
When it comes to lying, 💩🔥💰 is nonstop #45 is #liarliarpantsonfire

“I didn’t criticize the prime minister,” Trump said, shortly after criticizing the prime minister. He blasted Theresa May’s handling of Brexit and declared that her fiercest political rival, Boris Johnson, “would be a great prime minister.” Hours later, Trump dismissed the reprinting of his own words as “fake news,” even though the Rupert Murdoch-run Sun tabloid had his attacks on tape.

Trump and Putin: what we know is damning “In Helsinki, Trump’s true message to Putin is: “Thank you.” And we have no idea what to do about it.”
And see Ezra Klein’s point-by-point on Twitter
The Russia Investigations: How Many More Maria Butinas Are There?

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