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Archive for March 2010

Samuel Barber centennial

  (Video: Barber String Quartet, No 1, in b minor, Op11, mvt 2-3) Today, March 9th, marks 100 years since the birth of Samuel Barber, the great American composer. Barber’s most famous work is his Adagio for Strings. In a nice piece in the New York Times, Johanna Keller writes: “If any music can come […]

Who says China isn’t innovative?

Writing in Fortune, Michael Elliott questions China’s record of innovation to date: “Sure, China can grow, but can its companies innovate? Can they build products that will compete in the global marketplace?” Elliott seems to suggest that, if growth does not come from private companies, it doesn’t count as innovation: Venture capitalists talk about the sheer thrill […]

Education: society doesn’t affirm adult authority

Last week I posted about the Obama administration’s support for closing schools, and Diane Ravitch’s response. Elizabeth Green’s feature in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, “Building a better teacher,” certainly provided a helpful corrective to the Bush and Obama top-down approaches, as it highlighted how much depends on the skills of the individual teacher. But as education professor […]

Big Love and Mad Men: is America free-floating with anxiety?

While most of the country was watching the Oscars, HBO was airing the finale of Season 4 of Big Love, its drama about a polygamous family in Utah. Big Love has been one of the best dramas on TV these past few months. It is interesting how its focus on a non-mainstream family raises questions about family life […]

Obama to NASA: don’t boldly go

At the end of January, President Obama announced a major change to NASA’s space program when he put forward his budget request to congress. This week congressmen from both parties criticized the White House plans, and took it out on NASA chief Charles Bolden, who appeared before House and Senate committee hearings to try to […]

Gary Vay-ner-chuk on wine

The wine videos that sum up WLTV. Instant classic-Episode #125 @ Yahoo! Video I have to smile whenever I see Gary Vaynerchuk on the web or TV. He is one of a kind. Gary V, who emigrated as a child from Belarus, started working in his dad’s wine store. He had the idea of setting up Wine […]

This week’s articles of note

“Building a better teacher,” The New York Times Magazine, by Elizabeth Green “Hotheaded Emanuel may be White House voice of reason,”  Washington Post, by Jason Horowitz “Undying creed: the acceleration of our exceptionalism,” World Affairs, by Joel Kotkin “What happened to New York’s moxie?”  Foreign Policy, by James Traub “Soul music,”  The American, by Roger […]

From post-modern formalism to moral questioning

Thumbnail : From post-modern formalism to moral questioning

Paul Auster’s latest novel, Invisible, is a meditation upon the transition from adolescence to adulthood. It explores the intensity of experiences in that period, and how our responses to those experiences can shape and pre-occupy us for the rest of our lives. The central character of Invisible is Adam Walker, who we meet as a […]

Health debate: Republicans offer career advice to Dems

So, it looks like President Obama and the Democrats in congress might finally make a run at passing healthcare reform legislation. Obama today urged congress to arrange an “up or down vote” on the measure (by which he means the congressional tactic called “reconciliation”, which requires a simple majority). He wants a bill passed within weeks, that is, […]

Ravitch: school firings “mean and punitive”

Speaking to the US Chamber of Commerce on Monday, President Obama praised the Rhode Island school board that dismissed the entire Central Falls High School faculty and staff (93 in total). This came as he was outlining his proposal to offer $900 million in federal grants to states and school districts that take drastic steps to address under-performing schools. […]

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