Apr 022014
 

Years ago I took time to create several short “videos” that combine still photos and actual  videos with sound. The software made use of  “The Ken Burns effect,” a type of panning and zooming effect used in video production from still imagery. Presumably introducing “motion” in still photos can make the production feel less like a slide show, putting fewer people to sleep. Continue reading »

Jan 202014
 

I highly recommend a posting by Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, the Senior Religion Editor at The Huffington Post. He provides some thoughtful religious  questions with some answers Martin Luther King gave in his writings, in Seven Ways to Be Sure You Are a Martin Luther King Jr. Kind of Christian.

Below I extracted two of Raushenbush’s questions that really struck me and gave sample answers from MLK’s writings and speeches that the post suggests. But read his full post; these are great questions to meditate on during (and after) MLK Day. Continue reading »

Jun 202013
 

In April 2013 I assembled and posted on yorkdems.com a long blog giving an overview of Sasha Issenberg’s Sept. 2012 book The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns. In that blog I also included links to more recent updates to the Nov. 2012 Presidential election, and to other works on Getting Out the Vote (GOTV).

Follow this link to an overview of Issenberg’s “The Victory Lab” at yorkdems.com. It gives a summary of what we know about increasing voter turnout and improving the chances of winning in swing districts.

 

Jul 272012
 
Romney_Extremist

We recently visited Eastern Europe. In Berlin we saw the “Typography of Terror” exhibit, in Poland we toured the Auschwitz Death Camp and the new exhibit at the “Schindler’s List” factory, in Prague we viewed with sorrow the Jewish Museum collection that the Nazi’s forced Jewish religious leaders to assemble and curate as “a tribute to a vanished race” before sending most off to be murdered at Auschwitz. Continue reading »

May 292012
 

A recent study of the speeches of US Congress members and Senators found that the typical level-of-difficulty in those speeches has dropped by more than a full grade level over the past seven years.  (For the study results, click here.)  The lowest grade levels were among the newer, more conservative members.  Of interest to South Carolina District 5 voters, our new Representative John (Mick) Mulvaney had the lowest average reading level score of all 535 members – an average level of 8th grade (7.95 grade level).  Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, the son of Presidential candidate Ron Paul (at 8.04), virtually tied the congressman.
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May 292012
 

BOTTOM LINE: Correlation between State-level SAT average scores and test scores of representative students is almost ZERO. Knowing the state SAT average tells you virtually NOTHING about the quality of state education.

An old saying among South Carolina educators – thank heavens for Mississippi.  No matter the issue — test scores, teacher salaries, class size — Mississippi was always worst.

But the 2011 combined SAT scores (created by adding the math-reading-writing average for each state) show Mississippi at 1,660 points, South Carolina at 1,436 points and second from the bottom!  Once again, a big fail!??  Below is a sample of eleven states.  See the problem!  (Click here for the original state-by-state data).

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Dec 302010
 

We spend 26 days in China during August-September 2010.  Just enough to make us feel like experts without really becoming experts.  This trip accounts for my pictures of the Shanghai “Pudong” Financial District in the blog header.  We saw such tremendous growth and energy in Shanghai, Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Wu Han and other cities we visited.

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