Monday, February 28, 2005

Martha: No Remorse. No Regrets. No Worries for Martha.

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > No Remorse. No Regrets. No Worries for Martha.: "
No Remorse. No Regrets. No Worries for Martha.

Published: February 27, 2005

AT the headquarters of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia on West 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan, the office of the founder stands empty. Hushed. Desolate. For the last four and a half months, Martha Stewart has been away on a certain kind of government-sponsored hiatus, living and working in Alderson, W.Va., serving time for her conviction on charges of lying to federal investigators about the timing of a stock trade she made in the final days of 2001.

These days, around the corridors of the company that was so famously tarnished by what she insisted on calling 'a small personal matter,' the talk is of 'homecoming' - the return on March 7 of Ms. Stewart, the founder and creative piston of a media empire constructed from pie crust, perennial beds and other ingredients of a well-ordered, if Eisenhoweresque, domestic life. When she decided to go to prison without waiting for her appeal to be heard, Ms. Stewart said the timing would mean that she would be out in time for spring planting."

She's baaaaack . . . .. .

The New York Times > Technology > E-Commerce Report: Online Retailers Pursue Teenagers

The New York Times > Technology > E-Commerce Report: Online Retailers Pursue Teenagers: "The site, at, defies traditional Web site design in that it features no navigation bars or even conventional category listings. Instead, visitors are greeted with a depiction of Times Square, with nine numbered billboards and a blimp. If a visitor is lucky, or conditioned, enough to drag the mouse cursor over a number, a small preview screen appears and describes that section's contents.

Among other things, the site has advice on trends, music downloads and video clips, and a series of photo layouts designed by the editors of Teen Vogue featuring models wearing Macy's merchandise. One layout, called 'Bohemian Rhapsody' after the song by Queen, features jeans, a sweater and a camisole. When visitors click the 'buy now' button, they are taken to a page on the Juniors/ThisIt section of Macy', where those items are shown along with prices and color options."

Will be interesting to see how this works. Sounds like a great idea. I do more and more of my shopping online. For example, I discovered that the new Vashon fit pants from Eddie Bauer fit me best so now I can go to their web site and order according to that fit.

News anchors

The New York Times > Business > Media & Advertising > After Transition to Williams, NBC Still 1st in Ratings: "After Transition to Williams, NBC Still 1st in Ratings

Published: February 28, 2005

They've chased each other around the world, had their faces plastered on the sides of buses and sniped at each other through surrogates, all in service of their respective evening news broadcasts. One even had his name displayed on a banner that was towed by a small plane, beach-resort style, over the rooftops of Manhattan last week to promote a prime-time documentary about U.F.O.'s.

Now, like combatants in an initial round of presidential primaries, Brian Williams, who replaced Tom Brokaw as anchor of 'NBC Nightly News' on Dec. 2, and Peter Jennings, the veteran anchor of 'World News Tonight' on ABC, have gone head-to-head long enough - it will be three months on Wednesday - for one of them to lay legitimate claim to an early lead in the only race that really counts: the ratings.

That anchor is Mr. Williams"
Good to see the more objective person - whose focus is on reporting not on editorializing - winning . . . at least so far.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

He's Done

He's Done. Thank God.

States . . ..

via Profgrrrrl

bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C /

Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Sam Wineburg in the LA Times

Julie Hoffman Kemp pointed out this article on the H-Teach listserv. To read the entire article, go to and do a search for Wineburg and it should be the first entry.

A History of Flawed Teaching

By Sam Wineburg, Sam Wineburg, author of "Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts" (Temple University Press, 2001), is a professor in Stanford's School of Education.

Imagine this: Nearly a third of the students who apply to Stanford's master's in teaching program to become history teachers have never taken a single college course in history. Outrageous? Yes, but it's part of a well-established national pattern. Among high school history teachers across the country, only 18% have majored (or even minored) in the subject they now teach.

Our TAH grants like Project eHIKES and Project Primary Sources are helping buck this trend. . . . .

Teacher Colloquium

Our Fall Colloquium with our Project eHIKES teachers went really well yesterday. Dr. Paul Finkelman of the University of Tulsa College of Law spoke about the courts and then specifically the New Deal court. He'll be back this summer to talk about a wide variety of topics, including slavery.

The teachers really respond, not surprising, when they are taken seriously as professionals. And all it takes is a bit of an acknowledgement that their day to day world is indeed much more difficult than ours - not only the bureacracy, NCLB, and at least some of the parents.

It's always sad to see the day end but we'll be together for ten days this summer. And some I will also see at Project Primary Sources during June.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Citing Academic Papers

Diablog :: Research: "CiteULike
CiteULike is pretty much like, but made especially for academic papers:
?CiteULike is a free service to help academics to share, store, and organise the academic papers they are reading. When you see a paper on the web that interests you, you can click one button and have it added to your personal library. CiteULike automatically extracts the citation details, so there?s no need to type them in yourself.
Many2Many: ?Because so much of the literature is still stuck behind subscription walls, surfing CiteULike can be frustrating if you?re not on a university network, as you can very often be denied access to anything beyond the abstracts?, were Seb Paquet points out how this highlights the need for open access to research.
Posted to 'Research' by Jon @ 8:57 pm :: Comment on this post"


This definitely looks interesting. I think most of the limited databases to which we have access are available off-campus if we have cookies set correctly to access them - we'll see.

Peggy Noonan on the influence of bloggers

OpinionJournal - Peggy Noonan: "The Blogs Must Be Crazy
Or maybe the MSM is just suffering from freedom envy.

Thursday, February 17, 2005 12:01 a.m. EST

'Salivating morons.' 'Scalp hunters.' 'Moon howlers.' 'Trophy hunters.' 'Sons of Sen. McCarthy.' 'Rabid.' 'Blogswarm.' 'These pseudo-journalist lynch mob people.'

This is excellent invective. It must come from bloggers. But wait, it was the mainstream media and their maidservants in the elite journalism reviews, and they were talking about bloggers!

Those MSMers have gone wild, I tell you! The tendentious language, the low insults. It's the Wild Wild West out there. We may have to consider legislation.

When you hear name-calling like what we've been hearing from the elite media this week, you know someone must be doing something right. The hysterical edge makes you wonder if writers for newspapers and magazines and professors in J-schools don't have a serious case of freedom envy."


Way to go, Peggy!!!

Monday, February 21, 2005

gender roles and yardwork

See Jane Compute: "Gender roles in the neighborhood

I would say that I live in a pretty progressive area within a pretty progressive state. Yet, the vast majority of my neighbors seem to be following traditional gender roles very strictly.

Case in point: yardwork. "
I notice this in my neighborhood, too. But those singletons among us just do it all - inside and out - plus there is no one to blame the messes and/or clutter on . . . :-)

Sunday, February 20, 2005

a last take on Ward Churchill??

ARMAVIRUMQUE: THE NEW CRITERION'S WEBLOG: "Contemplating the Ward Churchill phenomenon, I am reminded of the play Six Degrees of Separation, the premise of which is that everyone on earth is separated from even the most distant person by no more than six friends of friends of friends. Perhaps. It does seem, however, that no one in the American left-wing establishment is far removed from the ravings of Ward Churchill. What does that tell us?"

PS: Please read the entire article for the support for this author's assertions of Churchill's connections to the left side of the political spectrum.

Yahoo! News - Couple Build Startup Into Blog Powerhouse

Yahoo! News - Couple Build Startup Into Blog Powerhouse: "Couple Build Startup Into Blog Powerhouse

Sat Feb 19,10:00 PM ET

Add to My Yahoo! Technology - AP

By MICHAEL LIEDTKE, AP Business Writer

SAN FRANCISCO - Like so many other 20-somethings hoping to mine the Internet gold rush of the late 1990s, Mena Trott was thrown for a humbling loop by the dot-com bust, yet still craved stardom. Her unassuming husband, Ben, just wanted another computer programming gig in Silicon Valley's depressed job market. The couple's odd chemistry cooked up Six Apart Ltd., a startup that has helped popularize the 'blogging' craze, with millions of people worldwide maintaining online personal journals that dissect everything from politics to poultry."

some recognition from the mainstream media???

Saturday, February 19, 2005

This guy loves his truck!

The Joplin Globe - Online Edition: "Lamar man reconsiders riding out pickup theft
'It's just an old work truck, but it meant a lot to me'

Jeremiah Tucker
Globe Staff Writer
Print this story

LAMAR, Mo. - Linn Bailey said he won't be leaving his keys in the ignition anymore.

During his Wednesday drive to work at Ehrsam Construction, Bailey stopped just before 7 a.m. at the Lamar Travel Plaza to grab his morning cup of coffee, just as he said he had for the last six years.

Out of habit, he said he left his keys in the ignition while he hustled inside the truck stop.

Lamar is a small town. Bailey said he never worried about anyone stealing his truck, but when he walked back outside he saw his Toyota pickup backing away from the curb.

Bailey said he yelled at the man inside to stop, but the truck kept moving."
Follow the URL to read about his jumping in the back of the truck and the swerving and accident that ensued. . . . .

And even after reading this story there will still be people in rural areas that leave their keys in their car. The horrendous meth problem we have has at least led some to start locking their doors at home - at least when they aren't at home . . . (I've lived in too many other places and automatically lock doors behind me - which frustrates friends who try to leave and, of course, the occasional locking myself out of the house.)

Friday, February 18, 2005

Larry Summers . .. some clearer views

(a)musings of a grad student: "17 February 2005
The Summers Transcript

Harvard has released a transcript of Larry Summers' remarks about women.

Harvard should have done this weeks ago. I have looked through it quickly (I am actually trying to get real dissertation work done, and I can't do that and go through Larry Summers' comments at the same time) and I don't see evidence of the kind of egregiousness that earlier press reports claimed.


I will look at it more closely this evening. It does seem, from my cursory reading, that Larry is fascinated by the possibility intrinsic, innate differences in intelligence (or types of intelligence) between the sexes, and that the Q & A following his remarks also seems to show that audience, especially biologists in the audience, were very sceptical of that possibility. "


It's great to see some in the academy take time to look at Summers' comments a bit more closely and not just reacting to a thinking out loud exercise about things that really are possible and not inherently negative. We do know men and women think differently - it's part of why we don't always understand each other. comments??

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Touring southeast Kansas

I went to visit two student teachers today. One is doing exceptionally well and really integrating herself into the school. The countryside was great - it's just a little different than what you find about 30 miles east of here. And the sky was gorgeous late in the day. I like the wide open spaces that aren't too wide. We even have "Big Hill Lake" because there are actually a few hills in this part of Kansas.

The OAH has decided to move to San Jose. I'm mostly upset for my teachers - but we will make sure to find our way to SF while we're there. I also hate giving up a direct flight on Midwest Express. But I'll give America West a try and this way one of the teachers can ride with me and I'll have some company and he won't have to pay gas on a new teacher's salary. The meeting will be here before we know it.

Tomorrow I have to attend some on campus meetings . . . not as fun. And there's always grading waiting for me.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Historians and Social Security

One of the many H-Net listservs, H-US1918-1945 (more info also available at the New Deal Network) posted a comment by Professor Singleton that seemed well worth further exploration. I have had some mixed feelings in the past about historians thinking that their view on current events was "the" opinion on the matter. But Professor Singleton's post provided an excellent foundation for why it is important for historians with the appropriate expertise to carry on intellectual discussions about current events that they expect to be respected in a public forum. Now, I'm not saying that historians can't have viewpoints - it's when they confuse their expertise in a specific area of history with being the ONLY authority on a current event that is much more problematic. This probably has to do with the fac that I have seen more than one colleague take time in his Ancient Africa class to spend an entire course period on the 2000 or 2004 election with absolutely no connection to the course content students were expecting and had the right to expect.

Professor Singleton has graciously agreed to have his post posted here:

Historians on Social Security (Singleton)
Thomas Thurston
Mon, 7 Feb 2005 08:51:50 -0500

Subject: Re: Historians on Social Security (Singleton)
Date: Sun, 06 Feb 2005 07:59:33 -0500
From: Jeff Singleton

This is an important discussion that brings us right back to the old debate
about "public intellectuals." I strongly feel historians should speak out on
social security.

We should clarify the issues around which there is broad agreement among
those who have studied the issue and explain the points of disagreement.
There really are quite a few of important historical questions that bear on
the current discussion – most importantly how the old age "pension" system
emerged as the cornerstone of the American welfare state (that was NOT so
clear when the program was created and most commentaries ignore this
important fact), how we got the current "pay as you go" system and how and
when the notion of a social security "crisis" became popular. There is much
good recent research on these issues. Should we stand on the sidelines?

I would also agree with Professor Hamby that we can not and probably should
not speak with a unified voice on the future ot the system, although this is
a democracy and those with a particular view should express them. I would
certainly hope that the profession would be diverse enough to include
different views on private accounts, for example. It would not at all help
the profession's current public reputation if it seemed that everyone agreed
with liberal democrats on this.

Above all, we might try to model good behavior. The quality of the current
discussion is really a national disgrace! Professor Hamby is quite right
that critics of private accounts are out of line when they portray the
proposal as an effort to repeal the New Deal. (Indeed, I would arguen that
private accounts are a massive government intervention in the financial
markets). But on the other side, private accounts are being justified as a
response to a crisis which is wildly exaggerated. And in the medium term,
privatization probably makes the crisis worse.

We should help create venues for a more mature discussion of this crucial
question. In the process, we can add insights gleaned from recent new
research on the American welfare state, much of which has not worked its way
into the public forum. Perhaps my vision is utopian, but it is one reason I
became a historian.

Would I be able to share this conversation with my students on my website? I
think it directly bears on the role of history in formulating public policy.

Jeff Singleton
Boston College

Sunday, February 13, 2005

AHA Redux

Where has the first part of the semester gone? We haven't had much winter here - it's been in the 50s and lots of rain - if all this rain had been snow, it would have been a record year. Anyway . . .

During the H-Net Editor's workshops at the AHA, I presented a session about academic blogging. The PowerPoint I created was meant more to foster discussion than to be an exhaustive survey of the academic blogging world. In fact, the next even at dinner, I met more bloggers, including members of the illustrious Cliopatria, and it reminded me that any presentation on academic blogging could only scratch the surface since there is no official list of academic bloggers. The range of historians (and similar academic types blogging) goes from those who are expanding their lectures topics they teach and/or current events to those who primarily blog about their personal journeys through the job interview process, the tenure process, or other journeys that seem a bit too personal although the internet may be the perfect place to find kindred souls facing similar challenges. My personal preference is the individual blog in contrast to the group blogs.

Blogger is the easiest software portal to use to post a blog. But Typepad from Movable Type is also worth exploring. More experienced computer types like Liz and Paula use Movable Type. Along with lots of other people, I'll be watching the blogosphere develop. Still less than half the people understand what a blog is but I imagine those figures will change drastically a year from now. I helped my dad set up a blog to show pictures of all of his collections after attending the SXSW conference.

Students in my teaching methods class are blogging their analyses of classroom management situations and then their student teaching experiences during their professional semester. It's must more of reflective practice exercise than the papers I used to require. That is what I consider the biggest success of blogging - besides the other bloggers I've met, that is!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

What Book are You?

via hipteacher . . .

You're A People's History of the United States!

by Howard Zinn

After years of listening to other peoples' lies, you decided you've
had enough. Now you're out to tell it like it is, with all the gory details and nothing
left out. Instead of respecting leaders, you want to know what the common people have to
offer. But this revolution still has a long way to go, and you're not against making a
little profit while you wait. Honesty is your best policy.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Jonah Goldberg on Ward Churchill and Larry Summers on National Review Online

Jonah Goldberg on Ward Churchill and Larry Summers on National Review Online

"Hopefully — and, I think, probably — someone will find enough academic fraud to fire Churchill for cause. No doubt, we'll hear from many on the left about the "chilling effect" such a move would have on "academic freedom," and many conservatives will clear their throats in embarrassment. You really have to marvel at how the other side has mastered this game."

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Busy, busy

The last post gives you an idea of what I've been trying to work on (and why I haven't been blogging just in case anyone is interested ;-) ). This new TAH grant is much more "loose" (not pre-defined) and based on teacher feedback which is good but also much more time-consuming.

Also had to do things like teach courses. ;-) Will be back soon. Meanwhile, see what Liz has been up to.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Start of new Teaching American History grant

We met the 40 teachers who are joining us for Project Primary Sources. They're pretty excited about all of the professional development opportunities it will offer them - including a trip to New York City. Go here to see some pictures of them hard at work.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

State of the Union

Am watching the State of the Union. Interesting to note that Dick Cheney's tie is just a few shades darker than George W's . . .

Spent today working on a PowerPoint to present an overview of our newest Teaching American History grant. Although NCATE has ruled my life for the last 3 years, I am hoping now to enjoy and also spend the time with the TAH grants that they so definitely deserve - a once in a lifetime opportunity to have financial support to work with teachers - from whom I learn so much!

George W. just mentioned he was going to offer a "better deal" - it will be interesting historically to compare it (or contrast it) to FDR's New Deal. . . especially the proposed changes to Social Security. . .

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Tightly Wound

Tightly Wound: "Because I'm sure you just can't get enough of this story, the latest on the Churchill imbroglio (I love using 'imbroglio' in a sentence, hackneyed as it is. It is second only to 'boondoggle' in my lexicon of 'words I love but that have been beaten to death by journalists, damn them all').

While still a professor, he has stepped down from his position as department chair. Official college statement here.

NY Times article here. Predictable statements from predictable sources saying predictable things."
Interesting post from Tightly Wound. I didn't hear the news mention this result . ...

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