July 28, 2016

Irresponsible colleges principal cause for the historical illiteracy of students and so is the College Board

No U.S. History?

ACTA's new report, No U.S. History? How College History Departments Leave the United States out of the Major, reveals that less than ⅓ of the nations leading colleges and universities require students pursuing a degree in history to take a single course in American history...

"Historical illiteracy is the inevitable consequence of lax college requirements, and that ignorance leads to civic disempowerment,” observed Michael Poliakoff, ACTA’s president-elect. “A democratic republic cannot thrive without well-informed citizens and leaders."
Given what we know about the historical illiteracy of young Americans, it would seem irresponsible not to make the study of our history and government mandatory for all students. Not to require students majoring in history to take, at a minimum, a course with reasonable chronological and thematic breadth on the history of the United States would be a truly breathtaking abandonment of intellectual standards and professional judgment.

From the report How College History Departments Leave the United States out of the Major,

Top 25 Liberal Arts Colleges: 7 require U.S. history
Top 25 National Universities: 4 require U.S. History
Top 25 Public Institutions: 14 require U.S. history

Of the 23 programs that do list a requirement for United States history, 11 allow courses so narrow in scope—such as “History of Sexualities” or “History of the FBI”—that it takes a leap of the imagination to see these as an adequate fulfillment of an undergraduate history requirement.....

Some strange topics can take the place of United States history. Of the schools that do not require a single course in U.S. history, majors have free-range to choose from niche courses such as “Soccer and History in Latin America: Making the Beautiful Game” (Williams College), “Modern Addiction: Cigarette Smoking in the 20th Century” (Swarthmore College), “Lawn Boy Meets Valley Girl” (Bowdoin College), and “Witchcraft and Possession” (University of Pennsylvania).

Indoctrination begins in high school. since the 'curricular coup' as Stanley Kurtz reports in D’Souza’s America and Our Schools in 2014

The teaching of American history in our high schools has just been seized in what a few sharp-eyed critics rightly call a “curricular coup.” The College Board, the private company that creates the SAT test and the various Advance Placement tests, has issued a new set of guidelines that is about to turn the teaching of American history into exactly the sort of grievance-based pedagogy that D’Souza decries in his film.

Leftist academics have finally figured out a way to circumvent state and local control over America’s schools and effectively impose progressive political indoctrination on the entire country. Once the AP U.S. History test demands blame-America-first answers, public and private schools alike will be forced to construct an American history curriculum that “teaches to the test.”

George Washington, a key figure in D’Souza’s film, barely makes an appearance in the new AP U.S. History Guidelines. Figures like Benjamin Franklin and James Madison are completely omitted. The Declaration of Independence is presented chiefly as an illustration of the colonists’ belief in their own superiority.  Slavery and the treatment of Native Americans are at center stage.  At times, the presentation of the New Deal and the Reagan era seems to come straight out of a Democratic Party press office. If you want your child to be admitted to a top quality college, you may soon feel pressure to parrot this line.

In 2016, the College Board now mandates a corresponding leftist narrative on the teaching of European history.  David Randall of the National Association of Scholars examines The Disappearing Continent: A Critique of the Revised AP European History Examination

What the College Board did to American history it has now done to European history: erase and contort. Much of the European past goes missing in the new AP European History Course and Exam Description, as it is officially called.  Columbus is absent, and Churchill is reduced to a single prompt. The College Board tells the story of European history as the triumph of secular progressivism, and shunts to the margins the continent’s centuries-long rise to political freedom and prosperity.

Details include:

  1. APEH presents the history of government rather than of liberty.
  2. APEH presents religion throughout as an instrument of power rather than as an autonomous sphere of European history.
  3. APEH treats the movement to abolish slavery without mentioning how it was inspired by religious faith.
  4. APEH underplays British history throughout, thus minimizing the importance of Britain’s distinctive history in the European tradition as the champion of liberty.
  5. APEH minimizes and extenuates the evils of Communism, the brutal destructiveness of Soviet rule, and the aggressiveness of Soviet foreign policy.
  6. APEH virtually ignores Europe’s unique development of the architecture of modern knowledge, which made possible almost every modern form of intellectual inquiry.

The press release accompanying the report College Board Shreds European History, Study Finds: Faith and Freedom Gone

Stanley Kurtz writes Bad History is Killing Us

The College Board’s newly-issued curriculum for its Advanced Placement European History (APEH) course...is the closest most Americans will come to a class in what used to be called Western Civilization. And the new curriculum will shape textbooks, and the way in which all high school and college students are taught about our Western heritage for years to come.

In short, as the NAS puts it, “APEH follows modern progressive historians’ soft-Marxist interpretation of the history of Europe, which works to justify modern progressivism’s soft-Marxist political action in the present…APEH shreds European history to serve today’s progressive agenda.”

The damage goes far beyond socialism-infatuated millennials. The core liberal democratic idea that individual rights do and should trump race, ethnicity, and sex has been under assault for some time by the sort of left-multiculturalism enshrined in the College Board’s new curricula.
Once the College Board has finished producing detailed curricula for all of its AP courses, we will have arrived at the endpoint no-one openly admits to wanting: a leftist national curriculum. The only way to block this is by creating a competing educational testing company advised by the best traditionalist scholars and capable of authorizing alternative curricula and textbooks. For those dissatisfied with America’s current direction, there is no better way to begin the task of cultural reconstruction than this.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:55 PM | Permalink

July 27, 2016

Staggering ignorance of students: "They’re 100% convinced that slavery is a uniquely American invention"

In Elsewhere, David Thompson quotes from several articles  on our "education apocalypse" as Glenn Reynolds dubs it

And somewhat related, Duke Pesta on the left’s choke-hold on higher education - and its consequences who says:
"I started giving quizzes to my juniors and seniors. I gave them a ten-question American history test… just to see where they are. The vast majority of my students - I’m talking nine out of ten, in every single class, for seven consecutive years – they have no idea that slavery existed anywhere in the world before the United States. Moses, Pharaoh, they know none of it. They’re 100% convinced that slavery is a uniquely American invention… How do you give an adequate view of history and culture to kids when that’s what they think of their own country – that America invented slavery? That’s all they know."

The history of slavery spans nearly every culture, nationality and religion from ancient times to the present day (human trafficking).  In 2005, I posted about Slavery, what you didn't know

A. 11 million Africans were transported across the Atlantic during the days of the slave trade.  95% went to South and Central America, only 5% of the slaves went to the United States.

B.  At least 28 million Africans were enslaved in the Muslim Middle East.  At least 80% of those captured by Muslim slave traders were estimated to have died in treks across the desert.  The death toll from 14 centuries of Muslim slave traded into Africa could have been over 112 million.  Add that toll to the number sold in slave markets and the total number of victims of the Trans Saharan and East African slave trade could be higher than 140 million people!

Katzman points out that in the U.S -[and the UK}, we had the great fortune of the 18 and 19th century Abolitionists.  Just a few dedicated people, inspired by their Christian faith, opposed slavery, crusaded against it and changed the world.

The original source link not longer works, but I found the same article here

Here's another 10 Facts About The Arab Enslavement Of Black People Not Taught In Schools from the Atlanta BlackStar

The Number of People Enslaved
Arab Enslavers Practiced Genetic Warfare- castrating black boys to prevent them from reproducing and selling them as eunuchs
Arab Slave Trade Inspired Arab Racism Toward Blacks
Arab Enslavers Targeted Women For Rape
Arab Slave Trade Ushered in The European Slave Trade
The Arab Slave Trade Sparked One of The Largest Slave Rebellions in History
Arab Enslavers Avoided Teaching Islam to Blacks to Justify Enslaving Them
The Time Period
- The Arab trade of Blacks in Southeast Africa predates the European transatlantic slave trade by 700 years. Some scholars say the Arab slave trade continued in one form or another up until the 1960s, however, slavery in Mauritania was criminalized as recently as August 2007.
Arab Slave Trade Not Limited To Africa or Skin Color
Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:53 PM | Permalink


The Smithsonian is Hiring a Beer Historian
The Smithsonian National Museum of American History is hiring a beer historian/scholar for a three-year appointment. Curator Paula Johnson explains that the gig is a new position funded by the Brewers Association and that the museum is seeking someone who can "focus and dedicate efforts towards research, documentation, and collecting American brewing history.....with special emphasis on the craft industry

The Rarest Plant in Britain Makes a Ghostly Appearance - The Ghost Orchid
Decades go by, and people are prowling the woods, eyes down, hunting for it—crawling, searching, losing hope, and then, all of a sudden, there it is again! In a totally unexpected spot, far from the last sighting, hiding in the dark, barely as tall as your thumb, leafless, probably the rarest plant in Great Britain. It's known as the ghost orchid, and when it shows up, people go nuts.

 Ghost Orchid

What makes mosquitoes so good at getting under our skin?
Mosquitoes kill more than a million people every year  by transmitting diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, making the insects the animal kingdom’s most prolific killer of humans by a wide margin  A short video offers a close-up of how female mosquitoes use a sophisticated set of evolutionary tools – essentially, six ultra-sharp needles – to pierce our skin and suck our blood. 

35 Photos You Won’t Believe Were Taken In New York City


34 First Lines of Famous Books

 34 First Lines Famous-Books

Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:52 PM | Permalink

July 20, 2016

Things I thought everyone knew

Reading helps us develop empathyReading a novel can help us understand other people's points of view 

Keith Oatley, a Professor Emeritus of the University of Toronto Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development in Canada, has conducted experiments on the effects of reading fiction.

‘Almost all human cultures create stories that, until now, have been rather dismissively called “entertainment....I think there is also something more important going on....Fiction can augment and help us understand our social experience....Narratives can even generate empathy for a race or culture that is dissimilar to one’s own.

‘What’s a piece of fiction, what’s a novel, what’s short story, what’s a play or movie or television series? It’s a piece of consciousness being passed from mind to mind.

Milk is the best drink to rehydrate and milk is the best way to soothe the pain of too-hot peppers     Holy cow! Researchers find drinking milk really does work best to extinguish the pain of a a red hot chili pepper

Experts say water and alcoholic drinks will only make the pain worse.  'Capsaicin is the chemical compound found in chile peppers that makes them taste hot,' said Paul Bosland, an NMSU Regents Professor and director of the Chile Pepper Institute. 'It turns out that milk has a protein in it that replaces the capsaicin on the receptors on your tongue.  It's really the quickest way to alleviate the burning feeling.'

Human beings resist being told what to do. Compulsory diversity training  appears to actually do more harm than good reports the Washington Post about a study from the Harvard Business School.  Women and minorities worst hit.

"If someone is supposed to sit there, psychologically they will be grumpy," she said. "They will not want to engage. This is what we do as human beings -- we resist control."

The authors point to a range of past social science studies that have shown that efforts to reduce prejudice can backfire -- actually increasing bias or leading to more hostility rather than less.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:41 PM | Permalink

July 17, 2016

Miscellany 45

Brother Wolf, Welcome Back to Yellowstone

14 Canadian wolves brought into Yellowstone National Park transformed a whole ecosystem… for the good!
The effects in the park were deeper, better and more striking than expected. The whole ecosystem was transformed. Even the course of the rivers changed! How could wolves provoke such incredible changes in nature? Watch the clip and marvel.

This Simple Invention Is Helping To Solve The Water Crisis =  the Hippo Water Roller.

The Hippo isn't a re-invention of the wheel, simply a way to use the rolling motion to help people transport drinking water home far easier and in much larger quantities.

 Hippo Roller-1

Before the Hippo started changing lives people could only carry about 20 liters of water home at a time, in a bucket carried on their head no less, but the Hippo allows them to roll 90 liters home easily and quickly.

You can’t copy money on any printer because of the Eurion Constellation - It's the secret anti-counterfeit symbol.

Fooling the Nazis: How a Roman hospital invented ‘K Disease’ to save dozens of Jewish lives

The name was terrible, but the “K Disease” was not a lethal virus. It was actually the clever invention of Professor Giovanni Borromeo and a religious of the Hospital of the Brothers Hospitallers of Saint John of God, to save the lives of dozens of Jews persecuted by the Nazis during World War II.

When the SS entered the Fatebenefratelli hospital located on the Tiber Island in Rome, medical personnel and religious explained to the Germans that behind the doors of two special wards, there were patients suffering from this terrible K Disease, some of whom were terminally ill. The officers did not dare to enter the wards.  Had they done so, they would have met with Jewish families, men in one room, women and children in another.

In recognition of this singular feat of creativity and courage, on Tuesday the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation bestowed upon the hospital — one of the oldest and most renowned facilities in the Eternal City — the prestigious recognition of “House of Life.”

England vs Great Britain vs United Kingdom Explained.  Brilliant Venn diagram


Man's leg is compared to a Neapolitan ice cream after he gets sunburned TWICE

 Sunburn Neopolitan

Why are Toilets Called “Johns”?

The first actual water closet resembling today's toilet was created for Queen Elizabeth I. It was created by her godson, Sir John Harington, in 1596. Although his creation was rejected by the public at large, it is Sir John Harington we honor every time we say we have to go to "the john.”

80-Year Old Couple Finishes Marathon Hand in Hand to Celebrate 57th Anniversary

 80 Yo Couple Finish Marathon
Kay and Joe O'Regan are 80 years old and in fantastic condition--as is their marriage.  Their time in the race was 5 hours and 23 minutes. Their time in marriage has been 57 joyful years. The Today show reports:

With the finish line in sight a half mile away, Joe grabbed Kay's hand and together they completed the race, clocking in at 5 hours and 23 minutes and making them both come in first for their age group.  It may be hard to believe, but these fit octogenarians didn't get into running until the age of 49. They have their son, Sintan, now 56, to thank for that. They were living in London at the time when he complained to his parents about having to train for rugby in the rain.

"I said to him, 'You can't let a little rain stop you,' and he dared me to go out and run around the neighborhood in the rain with him," Kay told TODAY. "And here we are 30 years later still running."

Photographer Discovers 1,200 Rolls of Unprocessed Film from the 1950s

A photographer known only as Paul had snapped pictures of American life during the 1950s--fully 1,200 rolls of pictures. Then he wrapped the rolls in tin foil and athletic tape, then labelled these packages with photographic details, such as light modifiers and the cameras used. These packages were placed in cigar boxes, which were in turn packed carefully inside more tape, foil, and newspaper.

The mysterious Paul created a time capsule, then disappeared.  Levi Bettwieser is now slowly and carefully excavating the find. He calls his efforts the Rescued Film Project.

The Secret Apartments of New York Libraries

In the early to mid twentieth century, the majority of the city’s libraries had live-in superintendents. Like the superintendents who still live in many of the city’s residential buildings, these caretakers both worked and lived in the buildings for which they were responsible. This meant that for decades, behind the stacks, meals were cooked, baths and showers were taken, and bedtime stories were read. And yes, families living in the city’s libraries typically did have access to the stacks at night—an added bonus if they happened to need a new bedtime book after hours.
Unfortunately, the days of live-in superintendents at libraries appear to be over. The last known live-in superintendent moved out of the NYPL’s Webster Branch, located at 1468 York Avenue in Yorkville, in 2006. ...

If the opportunity to work and live in a library still existed today, qualifications for prospective live-in superintendents would likely include everything from a great command of English to the ability to supervise staff to a general knowledge of electrical, plumbing, HVAC and carpentry repair. Many current live-in superintendent positions also require applicants to have a high-level of computer skills and experience working with one or more building management software programs. Finally, anyone interested in taking on the role of live-in superintendent needs to be committed to working around the clock and working year-round.

End of the pub? Classic Sodastream gadget can now instantly turn water into beer

SODASTREAM launches new Beer Bar accessory that transforms tap water into an instant home-crafted brew.  Not available yet in the U.S.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:23 PM | Permalink

July 15, 2016

Health roundup: Statins and high cholesterol, butter, salmon and pecans, dill and parsley and milk

High cholesterol 'does not cause heart disease' new research finds, so treating with statins a 'waste of time'

Cholesterol does not cause heart disease in the elderly and trying to reduce it with drugs like statins is a waste of time, an international group of experts has claimed.  A review of research involving nearly 70,000 people found there was no link between what has traditionally been considered “bad” cholesterol and the premature deaths of over 60-year-olds from cardiovascular disease. Published in the BMJ Open journal, the new study found that 92 percent of people with a high cholesterol level lived longer.

Vascular and endovascular surgery expert Professor Sherif Sultan from the University of Ireland, who also worked on the study, said cholesterol is one of the “most vital” molecules in the body and prevents infection, cancer, muscle pain and other conditions in elderly people.  “Lowering cholesterol with medications for primary cardiovascular prevention in those aged over 60 is a total waste of time and resources, whereas altering your lifestyle is the single most important way to achieve a good quality of life,” he said.

Butter is NOT bad and doesn't raise the risk of heart disease, major study claims

Eating one tablespoon of butter a day had little impact on overall mortality,  had no significant link with cardiovascular disease and strokes and  could even have a small effect in reducing the risk of diabetes.

In the latest research, scientists from Tufts University in Boston analyzed the results of nine studies published since 2005 from 15 countries, including the US, UK and Europe. Results were based on nearly 640,000 adults with an average age of between 44 and 71 years old, tracked over a combined total of 6.5 million years. In total, they studies included more than 28,000 deaths, nearly 10,000 cases of cardiovascular diseases and nearly 24,000 cases of diabetes.

Commenting on the research, cardiologist and National Obesity Forum advisor Dr Aseem Malhotra said: 'This high quality study clearly reveals that decades of demonizing butter has been a huge mistake.  I follow the advice I give to my patients which is providing you cut the consumption of sugar and other refined carbohydrates the regular consumption of butter can be very much part of a healthy diet.'

The secret to surviving a heart attack? Eating plenty of salmon, pecans and vegetable oils 'lowers chances of dying'

Oily fish like mackerel, salmon and sardines have high levels of omega-3.  Some nuts, seeds and oils contain high levels of plant-based equivalent.  Using 19 studies from 16 countries and including 45,637 participants, they found plant-based and seafood-based omega-3s were associated with about a 10 per cent lower risk of fatal heart attacks.

Garnishing food with parsley and dill may help stave off cancer as they contain chemicals that help to prevent tumors from forming

Eaten together, the herbs formed a compound with anti-cancer properties.  Parsley prevents bad breath and hair loss and boosts immunity and vision.  Dill is said to combat disease causing free radicals and strengthen bones

Now new evidence suggests their cancer-fighting potential after Russian researchers obtained glaziovianin A from parsley and dill. The same chemical is currently harvested from the leaves of the Brazilian tree Ateleia glazioviana Baill and is an 'antimitotic' - meaning it inhibits the growth of tumors by disrupting the process of cell division or mitosis.

Milk and Other Surprising Ways to Stay Hydrated

Most Americans have heard that they should drink eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated, but there is surprisingly little data to support this advice.  But now, a new “beverage hydration index” provides evidence-based suggestions for how to most efficiently hydrate. The index was developed from a British study published in December that tracked how long 13 common beverages remain in the body after being consumed.

The results showed that four beverages — oral rehydration solution, like Pedialyte; fat-free milk; whole milk and orange juice — had a significantly higher hydration index than water. The first three had hydration index scores around 1.5, with orange juice doing slightly better than water at 1.1...

“It’s a very clever, even brilliant study,” said Lawrence Armstrong, a hydration expert at the University of Connecticut and immediate past president of the American College of Sports Medicine. “It assumes that water is the optimal rehydration fluid, which is biologically correct, and then compares other fluids to water.”

Why is milk so efficient at rehydration? “Normally when you drink, it signals the kidneys to get rid of the extra water by producing more urine,” Dr. Maughan said. “However, when beverages contain nutrients and electrolytes like sodium and potassium, as milk does, the stomach empties more slowly with a less dramatic effect on the kidneys.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:57 PM | Permalink