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Archive for February, 2013

Metacognitive Skills

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

I often encourage my students to be “metacognitive”. This short piece unpacks the term.

I like this idea: “In addition to its obvious cognitive components, metacognition often has important affective or personality components. For example, an important part of comprehension is approaching a reading task with the attitude that the topic is important and worth comprehending. Being aware of the importance of a positive attitude and deliberately fostering such an attitude is an example of a metacognitive skill.

11 Wonderfully Violent Soviet Work Safety Posters

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

10 insanely cool Soviet work safety posters.

RFK, MLK, My Lai and Apollo 8: a collection of stories about 1968.

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

In the popular imagination, 1968 was marked by unusual turbulence and amazing music. Indeed, it began with the Battle of Khe Sanh and ended with the American debut of Led Zeppelin. Here are stories, speeches and transcripts that capture some of the magnificent craziness and creativity of that legendary year.

Video–Declassified: Joseph Stalin

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

From season 6 of History Channel’s Declassified series.

Not the most nuanced view of Stalin. In fact, kind of ham-handed. But here it is.

Napoleon… the theme park?

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Plans are afoot to build a theme park based on the life and times of the French leader Napoleon Bonaparte. Far from being the whim of a madcap entrepreneur, it is an entirely serious project with the backing of government, tourism officials and the Bonaparte family.

Short Sources on Napoleon

Thursday, February 28th, 2013






The Election in November, James Russell Lowell

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Shortly before the 1860 presidential election The Atlantic’s editor, James Russell Lowell, came out in support of Abraham Lincoln, whom he commended as a “statesman” and a powerful voice against the spread of slavery. He predicted, accurately, that the election would prove to be “a turning-point in our history.”

Lincoln’s Greatest Speech

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Frederick Douglass called it “a sacred effort,” and Lincoln himself thought that his Second Inaugural, which offered a theodicy of the Civil War, was better than the Gettysburg Address. Garry Wills elaborates…

American Civilization, Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

As the Civil War ground on, and the fate of the young nation hung in the balance, Ralph Waldo Emerson argued vehemently for a federal emancipation of the slaves. “Morality,” above all else, he asserted, “is the object of government.” He lauded President Lincoln for his principled moves in that direction.

Of the Training of Black Men, W. E. B. Du Bois

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

And last of all there trickles down that third and darker thought, the thought of the things themselves, the confused half-conscious mutter of men who are black and whitened, crying Liberty, Freedom, Opportunity — vouchsafe to us, O boastful World, the chance of living men! To be sure, behind the thought lurks the afterthought: suppose, after all, the World is right and we are less than men? Suppose this mad impulse within is all wrong, some mock mirage from the untrue?