Monthly Archives: February, 2012

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Kiersten Marek:

Those Koch brothers and their money sure get around!

Originally posted on :

WASHINGTON — At a private three-day retreat in California last weekend, conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch and about 250 to 300 other individuals pledged approximately $100 million to defeat President Obama in the 2012 elections.

A source who was in the room when the pledges were made told The Huffington Post that, specifically, Charles Koch pledged $40 million and David pledged $20 million.

The semi-annual, invitation-only meeting attracts wealthy donors, Republican politicians and conservative activists. Last year, hundreds of activists gathered outside the walled-off resort to protest the meeting. This year, however, the conference went off quietly.

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A More Beautiful Life

Not to get all Martha Stewart, but author Mary Callahan had this up on Facebook today, Save Food From the Fridge.

Fridges are big, and energy suckers too. For keeping things cold, they’re great. But for the default food storage? Maybe not. Especially when so many things taste so much better at room temp.

Seems like unwisdom to congeal in the fridge and zap in the microwave. I use my ambient defrosting system (countertop) when I can plan that far ahead. But knowing what’s safe to leave at room temp means getting involved with your food. Maybe a good idea.

I’m on track to screw up the latest weight loss study (not really, they have a mathematical way to screen out the total fails), due to I can’t get started.

I’m reading, Born Round, by Frank Bruni.

Frank Bruni was set up by heredity to crave food and pack it on. His secret–I’ll spoil it– was more exercise and smaller portions. How he got to that point is the interesting part. His book is a love letter to food, fast and slow, haute and low.

So how to get on track, and not a joyless track, is my weight loss challenge.

The New Frontier

Earthrise from Apollo 8

Earthrise from Apollo 8

It’s hard to believe fifty years have passed…

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Reuters) – Astronaut John Glenn, marking the 50th anniversary on Monday of his historic flight as the first American to orbit the Earth, remembered it as the best day of his life.

Glenn, 90, told an audience in Columbus, Ohio that the flight was the result of “more than two years of training and working with a marvelous team.”

“That is why the craft was called Friendship 7, because of the team,” he said.

Glenn’s groundbreaking flight on February 20, 1962 put the United States into a heated space race with the Soviet Union, which had launched cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin into orbit 10 months earlier.

Astronaut Glenn returned to space at age 77 for science experiments on the Space Shuttle Discovery.

Where is the next New Frontier? I see a Green Energy Race. Optimistic? Yes. When you know that we put a man on the moon you’re not afraid to think big.

And let’s hear it for science. When you’re sitting in a tin can orbiting earth you trust the ground crew to work on fact, not opinion. Especially when they are calculating how to get the Friendship back without burning up in the atmosphere. Faith has its place, but not in math.

Kiersten Marek:

A good post reminding us about the importance of play….

Originally posted on Teachosaur Thoughts:

It makes such sense and yet we seem to have forgotten its logical intrinsic value. In our test-driven educational world of today being on task and on time in many schools leaves little time for play. Recess has shrunk or disappeared from most of our schools. Lunch periods have been shortened and days and years have been lengthened in an apparent quest to make our students into perfect little technicians, automatons who can react specifically in isolation to a set of pre- set stimuli in a consistent and certain way. Little room is left for the unexpected or the un-planned in our modern classrooms. It is a strangely disastrous way to prepare our children for a future where it appears that the only constant will be continual change. It is not that I believe that drill and practice are bad or being on task and on time is necessarily a…

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Learning About Archetypes with Homestarrunner

This video will be part of my 3-hour seminar on March 19 entitled, “Know Thyself:  Using Archetypes to Understand and Heal Children.”  Be there if you want to know how Strong Bad, Strong Sad, and Homestarrunner can help us know our archetypes! 

Kiersten Marek:

Good analysis of Arne Duncan’s credibility gap between what he says and what the national policies on education are doing to narrow the curriculum.

Originally posted on InterACT:

Dear California Teachers,

While you were in the classroom or eating lunch, or supervising lunch, or sponsoring a club, or helping students or attending an IEP meeting this past Wednesday afternoon, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was talking about transforming our profession, launching Project RESPECT – which stands for Recognizing Education Success, Professional Excellence, Collaborative Teaching.  It took from 2009 to 2012 for the administration to come around to the idea of respect, I suppose, and their groundbreaking initiatives were pretty much what Linda Darling-Hammond would have proposed three years ago.

Duncan at NBPTS Conf.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (photo by the author)

It was a typical Arne Duncan performance – full of sound bytes and ideas that most teachers would agree with, and utterly failing to recognize how difficult it is to separate the message from the messenger.  While I credit the Secretary for some of what he’s said and done regarding early-childhood education, community colleges, and supporting the…

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Education Reformers Need To Lighten Up

Kiersten Marek:

Not sure I agree with everything in here, but it helps to keep in mind that all the dead seriousness and crisis manufacturing of the education reformers may not be good for our health.

Originally posted on Assailed Teacher:

It's not indigestion. It's the trademark education reformer face.

Michelle Rhee has a perpetual scowl. Michael Bloomberg wears a long face. Bill Gates is always berating kids to grow up. I know money doesn’t buy happiness, but you would think it could at least provide the down payment.

Even after their recent victory here in New York City, where they can now publicize each teacher’s “value added” data, it is a sure bet that they will stick to their curmudgeonly ways. Teachers here now can look forward to the same public relations bludgeoning that teachers in Los Angeles have been experiencing.

They are all rubbing their hands together in anticipation of more wholesale firings of veteran teachers. Oy, the firings. All the time with the firings.

Here is a new approach. Instead of blaming teachers for things over which they have little control, like numbers children receive on some test, how about praising teachers for things to which…

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Gov. Malloy Backs out of Attending Rally with Michelle Rhee

Kiersten Marek:

To alienate the ed reformers or to not alienate the ed reformers, that is the question…

Originally posted on Wait, What?:

Moments ago Rick Green posted the following to his blog;

Photo courtesy of CTNewsjunkie

“Gov. Malloy will not appear at a March education rally being organized by a coalition of parent groups. The parents hope to have Michelle Rhee, the former Washington D.C. Schools chancellor who enrages teacher unions with her reform ideas, at the event. Although the Connecticut Parents Union announced that Malloy had committed to the event, the governor’s office says he will not be attending. Probably a wise move. Rhee and her supporters can be very useful to Malloy as he looks for support for his education reform plan. Standing up in public with her, however, would just annoy the teacher unions.



PS:  Rick, It is more than just the “teacher unions” that are shocked and  upset that Dan Malloy would join Michelle Rhee or any of the others who are leading the anti-teacher movement.

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It Was Bound to Happen

In today’s news–

Man Suffers Heart Attack After Eating Triple Bypass Burger at Heart Attack Grill

He’s probably going to be okay. Heart Attack Grill has waitresses dressed in sexy nurse costumes, maybe one of them had a cell phone and the presence of mind to call 911.

Last year, Blair River, the public face of the restaurant, died at age 29 of the flu. Bummer.

You can’t fault them for deceptive advertising.

We’re coming off decades of sugary cereal for the kids and pink slime burgers for the whole family. It’s a hard habit to break when that’s what you’re used to. Broccoli is an acquired taste.

I’m on day 4 of ShapeUpRI. They send you a pedometer and lots of encouragement. So far, I’ve been seduced by Valentines chocolates, leftover cake at work, and Chinese food. But I’m counting my steps, the sun is shining, I’ve had nothing but coffee and milk so far.

Most of us aren’t swigging bacon milkshakes or going to the Heart Attack Grill. It’s the day to day that gets us. That’s the greater challenge.

We’re #1

Alternet has a list of five brave religious leaders who fought theocracy in America, and top of the list is Rhode Island’s own Roger Williams.

Well-deserved, and I’m so proud.


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