Temperature in the upper seventies, a bit of a breeze. Great cumulus clouds pass slowly through the summer sky like parade floats. And the slender grasses gather round you, pressing forward, with exaggerated deference, whispering, eager to catch a glimpse. It’s your party after all. And it couldn’t be more perfect. Yet there’s a nagging thought: you don’t really deserve all this attention, and that come October, there will be a price to pay.
by Louis Jenkins
Louis Jenkins (born October 28, 1942) is a prose poet from Enid, Oklahoma. He has lived in Duluth, Minnesota, for over 30 years with his wife Ann. His poems have been published
WASHINGTON — Teachers should have salaries starting at $60,000 and the opportunity to make up to $150,000 based on performance, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told educators at the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards conference on Friday. “The field of teaching is poised for change,” Duncan said. “Many bright and committed young people are attracted to teaching, but surveys show they are reluctant to enter the field for the long-haul. They see it as low-paying and low-prestige.” In his speech, Duncan alluded to a new federal performance pay boost, but provided few details on where funding for it would come from or how it would work. When a teacher pressed him for the nitty-gritty on what he would do differently from here on out, Duncan responded by saying, “We’re trying to start a national conversation.”
“Poetry is ultimately mythology, the telling of stories of the soul. The old myths, the old gods, the old heroes have never died. They are only sleeping at the bottom of our minds, waiting for our call. We have need of them, for in their sum they epitomize the wisdom and experience of the race.”—
It’s the birthday of poet Stanley Kunitz, born 1905 in Worcester, Massachusetts. He published his first book of poetry, Intellectual Things, in 1930.
His 1971 volume, The Testing-Tree, marked a shift in his work, from his early, formal style to one that was looser, more personal, and written in everyday language. He explained the shift in Publishers Weekly: “I think that as a young poet I looked for what Keats called ‘a fine excess,’ but as an old poet I look for spareness and rigor and a world of compassion.”
He was named U.S. poet laureate in 2000, at the age of 95. He was still publishing and promoting poetry. The Wild Braid: a Poet Reflects on a Century in the Garden (2005) is a collection of essays and conversations about his two loves, poetry and gardening, and was released on his 100th birthday. He died the following spring.
It’s the birthday of Austrian science philosopher Karl Popper born in Vienna in 1902. His main contribution to the philosophy of science is his rejection of inductive reasoning, which is the view that one can prove a scientific theory is true through trials and experiments.
Popper countered that it was impossible to prove irrefutably that something was true; the best you could do was to try every method you could think of to prove that it was not true. If you were unable to prove it false, then you could consider your theory corroborated, but not proven “true.”
He said that Freudian psychoanalysis, astrology, and Marxist history were not sciences because they couldn’t be proven false. He also said: “Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research program. And yet, the theory is invaluable. I do not see how, without it, our knowledge could have grown as it has done since Darwin.”
It’s also the birthday of poet John Ashberry. In his poem “My Philosophy of Life” he concludes:
Still, there’s a lot of fun to be had in the gaps between ideas. That’s what they’re made for! Now I want you to go out there and enjoy yourself, and yes, enjoy your philosophy of life, too. They don’t come along every day. Look out! There’s a big one.
Or maybe it’s more like we’re making ourselves look bad?Or maybe it’s mostly tourists taking those already-cliched photos while clutching Marilyn’s ankle or gawking up her skirt. Whatever the case, that beyond-kitschy, 26-foot sculpture recreating the moment when Marilyn Monroe’s dress flies up in “The Seven Year Itch” is threatening the Bean as the most photographed attraction in Chicago. So we’re going from taking pictures of our own reflection to taking pictures while looking up the skirt of a giant woman…
NYU Prof Vows Never to Probe Cheating Again—and Faces a Backlash
A New York University professor’s blog post is opening a rare public window on the painful classroom consequences of using plagiarism-detection software to aggressively police cheating students. And the post, by Panagiotis Ipeirotis, raises questions about whether the incentives in higher education are set up to reward such vigilance.
But after the candid personal tale went viral online this week, drawing hundreds of thousands of readers, the professor took it down on NYU’s advice. As Mr. Ipeirotis understands it, a faculty member from another university sent NYU a cease-and-desist letter saying…
Today is the birthday of American aviator Amelia Earhart (1897), born in Atchison, Kansas. It’s also the birthday of Zelda Fitzgerald, born Zelda Sayre in 1900.
Those are two party guests I would have loved to talk with…
A couple of nonconformists. Amelia kept a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about women who had made a go of it in male-dominated fields. She served as a nurse’s aide during World War I, then went to college, and began working as a social worker. She had her first flying lesson in 1921, began saving her money, and bought her own plane six months later.
Zelda met F. Scott Fitzgerald at a dance in 1918, and they were both smitten. She refused to marry him, though, until he published his first book. They were the standard-bearers for the Jazz Age: beautiful, glamorous, and free. By the end of the decade, Scott had descended into alcoholism, and Zelda had descended into madness. She had her first schizophrenic breakdown in 1930, and spent the rest of her life in and out of mental institutions.
Both women met tragic ends. Zelda died in 1948, eight years after her husband, in a fire at the Highland Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. In her quest to be the first person to fly around the world, Amelia disappeared over the Pacific and was never found.
The frequency of chirping varies according to temperature.
To convert cricket chirps to degrees Fahrenheit, count the number of chirps in 15 seconds then add 37 to get temperature. For example: 30 chirps + 37 = 67° F
To convert cricket chirps to degrees Celsius, count number of chirps in 25 seconds, divide by 3, then add 4 to get temperature. For example: 48 chirps / 3 + 4 = 20° C
The number you get will be an approximation of the outside temperature.
So, how do crickets make that chirping sound? Usually, the males are the “singers.” The male cricket rubs a scraper (a sharp ridge on his wing) against a series of wrinkles, or “files”, on the other wing. The tone of the chirping depends upon the distance between the wrinkles.
Why crickets chirp:
Calling to attract a female with a a loud and monotonous sound
Courting a nearby female with a quick, softer chirp
Behaving aggressively during the encounter of two males
Sounding a danger alert when sensing trouble
Crickets are part of the family Orthoptera (grasshoppers and katydids).