Friday, March 30, 2007
我 们的角色互换，但无论如何，我和他是属于较幸运的——患忧郁症的不是我们自己。不管是已经过去的或目前仍在发生的，我们比较幸运，是因为我们有余力，去帮 助那些深陷忧郁囹圄的人；是因为我们有余情让自己放轻松，当一双耐心地聆听倾诉的耳朵；是因为我们心坎里腾得出一片空间，乐意去载负别人难以承受的重。
~I would have you smile, not grief for those whose time has come
Friday, March 16, 2007
By Kim Griggs
Science reporter, New Zealand
And for now, this beast of the deep - all 495kg (1,090lb) of it - is safely frozen in a one-cubic-metre block of ice at New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa, in Wellington.
The squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) came into the institution this week after being caught last month by fishermen operating in Antarctic waters.
Eventually, when the curators at Te Papa are ready, this unique specimen will be thawed to allow detailed investigation.
But that could be up to a year away.
Only then can the delicate work of un-freezing this massive mollusc begin.
"It's got to be thawed out slowly. You can't put hot water on it, you've just got to thaw it out naturally," says Te Papa's mollsuca collections manager Bruce Marshall.
To minimise handling of the precious specimen, the colossal squid will probably have its temperature raised, over days, in the tank in which it will finally be "fixed".
"We don't want to move it too much," says Marshall.
"When a thing like that is in the water, it's neutrally buoyant.
"Already it's got puncture marks from the net."
Once un-frozen, the creature will be fixed, or embalmed, and then a long-term preservative will be used.
"What I mean by a fixing tank is a tank that you lay it out in, in a natural position, and you then make all the adjustments - align all the arms, pack out the body and all of that. Then you have it in a, say, 5% formalin solution.
"It will require the biggest tank of anything we've got."
Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni was first identified in 1925 after two tentacles were recovered from a sperm whale's stomach. Since then, only a handful of colossal squid have ever been sighted.
Two were found in the Ross Sea, and another turned up near South Georgia in 2005.
This latest colossal squid was caught by a New Zealand fishing vessel in Antarctica's Ross Sea in early February.
Next week will see an official handover from New Zealand's Fisheries Minister, Jim Anderton, to Te Papa's chief executive, Dr Seddon Bennington.
Scientists will be keen to ascertain the creature's gender; and then we may get a little closer to understanding just how big these squid can grow.
Marshall thinks that given its size - an estimated 10m (33ft) in length - it is likely to be a female, as female squid are often larger than males.
"It's extremely unlikely to be a male," says Marshall. "If it is a male, the mind boggles at how big the female would be."
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
WHEN THE OTHER APPEARS ON THE SCENE
by Umberto Eco
This article is derived from an exchange of four letters with Cardinal Martini. The following letter is Eco’s reply to a question the cardinal had asked him: “What is the basis of the certainty and necessity for moral action of those who, in order to establish the absolute nature of an ethic, do not intend to appeal to metaphysical principles or transcendental values, or even to universally valid categorical imperatives?”
— The Editors
Dear Carlo Maria Martini,
Your letter has extricated me from one serious dilemma only to leave me on the horns of another that is equally awkward. Until now it has been up to me (through no decision of mine) to open the debate, and he who talks first inevitably puts his questions and invites the other to reply. My predicament springs from my feeling inquisitorial. And I very much appreciated the firmness and humility with which you, on three occasions, exploded the myth that would have us believe that Jesuits always answer a question with another question.
But now I am at a loss as to how to reply to your question, because my answer would be significant had I had a lay upbringing. But in fact I received a strongly Catholic education until (just to record the moment of the breach) the age of twenty-two. For me, the lay point of view was not a passively absorbed heritage, but rather the hard-won result of a long and slow process of change, and I always wonder whether some of my moral convictions do not still depend on religious impressions received early in my development. Now, in my maturity, I have seen (in a foreign Catholic university that also employs lay teaching staff, requiring of them no more than a manifestation of formal respect during religious-academic rituals) some of my colleagues take the sacraments without their believing in the Real Presence, and therefore without their having taken confession beforehand. With a tremor, after so many years, I felt once more the horror of sacrilege.
Nonetheless, I feel I can explain the foundations on which my “lay religiosity” rests—because I firmly hold that there are forms of religiosity, and therefore a sense of the Holy, of the Limit, of questioning and of awaiting, of communion with something that transcends us, even in the absence of faith in a personal and provident divinity. But, as I see from your letter, you know this too. What you are asking yourself is what is binding, captivating, and inalienable in these forms of ethic.
I should like to approach things in a roundabout way. Certain ethical problems became clearer to me on considering some problems in semantics—and please don’t worry if some people say that we are talking in a complicated way: they might have been encouraged to think too simply by mass-media “revelations,” predictable by definition. Let them instead learn to “think complicated,” because neither the mystery nor the evidence is simple.
My problem hinged on the existence of “semantic universals,” or in other words, elementary notions that are common to the entire human species and can be expressed in all languages. Not such an easy problem, given that many cultures do not recognize notions that strike us as obvious: for example, that of substance to which certain properties belong (as when we say that “the apple is red”) or that of identity (a=a). However, I am convinced that there certainly are notions common to all cultures, and that they all refer to the position of our body in space.
We are erect animals, so it is tiring to stay upside down for long, and therefore we have a common notion of up and down, tending to favor the first over the second. Likewise, we have notions of right and left, of standing still and of walking, of standing up and lying down, of crawling and jumping, of waking and sleeping. Since we have limbs, we all know what it means to beat against a resistant material, to penetrate a soft or liquid substance, to crush, to drum, to pummel, to kick, and perhaps even to dance as well. The list is a long one, and could include seeing, hearing, eating or drinking, swallowing or excreting. And certainly every human being has notions about the meaning of perceiving, recalling, feeling, desire, fear, sorrow, relief, pleasure or pain, and of emitting sounds that express these things. Therefore (and we are already in the sphere of rights) there are universal concepts regarding constriction: we do not want anyone to prevent us from talking, seeing, listening, sleeping, swallowing, or excreting, or from going where we wish; we suffer if someone binds or segregates us, beats, wounds, or kills us, or subjects us to physical or psychological torture that diminishes or annuls our capacity to think.
Note that until now I have described only a sort of bestial and solitary Adam, who still knows nothing of sexual relations, the pleasures of dialogue, love for his offspring, or the pain of losing a loved one; but already in this phase, at least for us (if not for him or for her) this semantics has become the basis of an ethic: first and foremost we must respect the rights of the corporeality of others, which also include the right to talk and think. If our fellows had respected these “rights of the body,” we would never have had the Slaughter of Innocents, the Christians in the circus, Saint Bartholomew’s Night, the burning of heretics, the death camps, censorship, child labor in mines, or the rapes in Bosnia.
But how is it that this marveling and ferocious beast that I have described immediately works out his (or her) instinctive repertoire of universal notions and can reach the point where he understands not only that he wishes to do certain things and does not wish other things to be done to him, but also that he should not do to others what he does not wish to be done to him? Because, luckily, Eden is soon populated. The ethical dimension begins when the other appears on the scene. Every law, moral or juridical as it may be, regulates interpersonal relationships, including those with an other who imposes that law.
You too say that virtuous laypersons are persuaded that the other is within us. However, this is not a vague emotional inclination but a fundamental condition. As we are taught by the most secular of human sciences, it is the other, it is his look, that defines and forms us. Just as we cannot live without eating or sleeping, we cannot understand who we are without the look and response of the other. Even those who kill, rape, rob, or oppress do this in exceptional moments, but they spend the rest of their lives soliciting from their fellows approval, love, respect, and praise. And even from those they humiliate they ask the recognition of fear and submission. In the absence of this recognition, the newborn baby abandoned in the forest does not become humanized (or like Tarzan seeks at all costs the other in the face of an ape), and the result of living in a community in which everyone had decided systematically never to look at us, treating us as if we did not exist, would be madness or death.
Why is it then that there are or have been cultures that approve of massacre, cannibalism, or the humiliation of the bodies of others? Simply because such cultures restrict the concept of “others” to the tribal community (or the ethnic group) and consider “barbarians” to be nonhumans; but not even the Crusaders felt that unbelievers were fellowmen worthy of an excessive degree of love. The fact is that the recognition of the roles of others, the necessity to respect in them those requirements we consider essential for ourselves, is the product of thousands of years of development. Even the Christian commandment to love was enunciated, and laboriously accepted, only when the time was ripe.
But you ask me: Is this awareness of the importance of the other sufficient to provide us with an absolute basis, an immutable foundation for ethical behavior? It would suffice for me to reply that even those things that you define as “absolute foundations” do not prevent many believers from knowingly sinning, and there the matter would end. The temptation of evil is present even in those who possess a well-founded and revealed notion of good. But I want to tell you two anecdotes, which gave me much to think about.
One concerns a writer, who describes himself as a Catholic, albeit of the sui generis variety, whose name I shall not give only because he told me what I am about to quote in the course of a private conversation, and I am not a talebearer. It was in the days of the papacy of John XXIII, and my elderly friend, in enthusiastically praising the pope’s virtues, said (with clearly paradoxical intentions): “Pope John must be an atheist. Only a man who does not believe in God can love his fellowman so much!” Like all paradoxes, this one also contains a grain of truth: without troubling to consider the atheist (a type whose psychology eludes me, because, as Kant observed, I do not see how one can not believe in God, and hold that His existence can not be proved, and then firmly believe in the nonexistence of God, holding that it can be proved), it seems clear to me that a person who has never had any experience of the transcendent, or who has lost it, can make sense of his or her life and death, can be comforted by love for others, and by the attempt to guarantee someone else a life to be lived even after his or her own death. Of course, there are people who do not believe and nonetheless do not trouble to make sense of their own death, but there are also those who say they believe but who would be prepared to rip the heart out of a child in order to ward off death. The strength of an ethic is judged on the behavior of saints, not on the foolish cujus deus venter est.
This brings me to the second anecdote. I was still a sixteen-year-old Catholic boy when I happened to cross swords in a verbal duel with an older acquaintance who was a known “communist,” in the sense in which the term was employed in the terrible fifties. And since he was provoking me, I asked him the decisive question: how could he, as a nonbeliever, make sense of that otherwise senseless event that was his own death? And he replied: “By asking before dying that I might have a civil funeral. And so I am no more, but I have set an example for others.” I think that you too can admire the profound faith in the continuity of life, the absolute sense of duty that inspired his reply. And it is this sentiment that has induced many nonbelievers to die under torture rather than betray their friends, and others to catch the plague in order to look after plague victims. And sometimes it is also the only thing that drives a philosopher to philosophize, and a writer to write: to leave a message in the bottle, because in some way what we believe in, or what we think is beautiful, might be believed in or found beautiful by posterity.
Is this feeling really strong enough to justify an ethic as determined and inflexible, as solidly established as the ethic of those who believe in revealed morality, in the survival of the soul, in reward and punishment? I have tried to base the principles of a lay ethics on a natural reality (and, as such, in your view too, the result of a divine plan) like our corporeality and the idea that we instinctively know that we have a soul (or something that serves as such) only by virtue of the presence of others. It would appear that what I have defined as a “lay ethics” is at bottom a natural ethics, which not even believers deny. Is not the natural instinct, brought to the right level of maturity and self-awareness, a foundation offering sufficient guarantees? Of course we may think this an insufficient spur to virtue. “In any case,” nonbelievers can say, “no one will know of the evil I am secretly doing.” But those who do not believe think that no one is watching them from on high, and therefore they also know that—precisely for this reason— there is not even a Someone who may forgive. If such people know they have done ill, their solitude shall be without end, and their death desperate. They will opt, more than believers, for the purification of public confession, they will ask the forgiveness of others. This they know, in the deepest part of their being, and therefore they know that they should forgive others first. Otherwise how could we explain that remorse is a feeling known to nonbelievers too?
I should not like to establish a clear-cut opposition between those who believe in a transcendent God and those who believe in no superindividual principle. I should like to point out that it was precisely ethics that inspired the title of Spinoza’s great work, which begins with a definition of God as the cause of Himself. But Spinoza’s divinity, as we well know, is neither transcendent nor personal: yet even the vision of a great and single cosmic substance in which one day we shall be reabsorbed can reveal a vision of tolerance and benevolence precisely because we are all interested in the equilibrium and harmony of this sole substance. This is so because we tend to think it impossible for this substance not to be in some way enhanced or deformed by the things we have done over the millennia. Thus I would also dare say (this is not a metaphysical hypothesis, it is merely a timid concession to the hope that never abandons us) that even from such a standpoint we could table the problem of some kind of life after death. Today the electronic universe suggests that sequences of messages can be transferred from one physical medium to another without losing their unique characteristics, and it seems that they can exist even as pure immaterial algorithms when, one medium have been abandoned, they are not transcribed again onto another. And who knows whether death, rather than an implosion, is not an explosion and the impressing, somewhere, among the vortices of the universe, of the software (which others call “soul”) we have developed in life, made up of memories and personal remorse, and therefore of incurable suffering, or of a sense of peace for duty done, and love.
But you say that, without the example and the word of Christ, all lay ethics would lack a basic justification imbued with an ineluctable power of conviction. Why deprive laypersons of the right to avail themselves of the example of a forgiving Christ? Try, Carlo Maria Martini, for the good of the discussion and of the dialogue in which you believe, to accept even if only for a moment the idea that there is no God; that man appeared in the world out of a blunder on the part of maladroit fate, delivered not only unto his mortal condition but also condemned to be aware of this, and for this reason the most imperfect of all creatures (if I may be permitted the echoes of Leopardi in this suggestion). This man, in order to find the courage to await death, would necessarily become a religious animal, and would aspire to the construction of narratives capable of providing him with an explanation and a model, an exemplary image. And among the many stories he imagines—some dazzling, some awe-inspiring, some pathetically comforting—in the fullness of time he has at a certain point the religious, moral, and poetic strength to conceive the model of Christ, of universal love, of forgiveness for enemies, of a life sacrificed that others may be saved. If I were a traveler from a distant galaxy and I found myself confronted with a species capable of proposing this model, I would be filled with admiration for such theogonic energy, and I would judge this wretched and vile species, which has committed so many horrors, redeemed were it only for the fact that it has managed to wish and to believe that all this is the truth.
You are now free to leave the hypothesis to others: but admit that even if Christ were only the subject of a great story, the fact that this story could have been imagined and desired by humans, creatures who know only that they do not know, would be just as miraculous (miraculously mysterious) as the son of a real God’s being made flesh. This natural and worldly mystery would not cease to move and ennoble the hearts of those who do not believe.
This is why I believe that, on the fundamental points, a natural ethic— respected for the profound religiosity that inspires it—can find common ground with the principles of an ethic founded on faith in transcendence, which cannot fail to recognize that natural principles have been carved into our hearts on the basis of a plan for salvation. If this leaves, as it certainly does, margins that may not overlap, it is no different from what happens when different religions encounter one another. And in conflicts of faith, charity and prudence must prevail.
Copyright © 1997 RCS Libri S.P.A. English Translation copyright © 2001 by Alastair McEwen. This is a translation of Cinque Seritti Morali. Published by Arrangement with Harcourt, Inc.
Copyright of Cross Currents is the property of Association for Religion & Intellectual Life and its content may not be copied without the copyright holder's express written permission except for the print or download capabilities of the retrieval software used for access. This content is intended solely for the use of the individual user.
Source: Cross Currents, Fall 2002, Vol. 52, No 3.
- Friendship is constant in all other things save in the office and affairs of love. (Claudio, Act 2 Sc 1)
- But, masters, remember that I am an ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass. (Dogberry, Act 4 Sc 2)
- In time, the savage bull doth bear the yoke. (Don Pedro, Act 1 Sc 1)
- If we can do this, then Cupid is no longer an archer, for we are the only love gods! - (Don Pedro, Act 2)
I do love nothing in the world so well as you: is not that strange?
Sigh no more, ladies, sigh nor more;
Men were deceivers ever;
One foot in sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never;
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny;
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into. Hey nonny, nonny.
Sing no more ditties, sing no more,
Or dumps so dull and heavy;
The fraud of men was ever so,
Since summer first was leavy.
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into. Hey, nonny, nonny.
803－852，字牧之，排行十三，京兆万年（今陕西西安）人。宰相杜佑之孙， 祖居长安南郊樊川，因称杜樊川。大和二年 (828)年进士，为弘文馆校书郎。 历参沈傅师江西观察使、宣歙观察使及牛僧孺淮南节度使幕府。入为监察御史。 武宗时，出为黄州、池州、睦州刺史。宣宗时，为司勋员外郎，终中书舍人。 世称杜司勋。工诗、赋、古文。诗学杜甫而有独创，骨气豪宕，风神俊朗，尤 擅七律七绝，为晚唐大家。与李商隐齐名，世称“小李杜”。有《樊川文集》， 《全唐诗》存诗八卷。
杜牧写华清宫诗有五排《华清宫三十韵》一首、七绝 《华清宫》 一首、 《过华清宫绝句》三首。这一首流传最广。关于唐明皇与杨贵妃荒淫误国，杜甫以来的不少诗人已作过充分反映。此诗也表现了这一主题，却选取了新鲜角 度，收到了独特效果。杨贵妃喜吃鲜荔枝，唐明皇命蜀中、南海并献。驿骑传 送，六、七日间飞驰数千里， 送到长安， 色味未变。此诗即从此处切入，以 “一骑红尘”与“妃子笑”之间的戏剧性冲突为中心组织全诗，构思、布局之 妙，令人叹服。
首句“长安回望”四字极为重要。解此诗者或避而不谈，或说作者已“过” 华清而进入长安，又回头遥望。其实，这是从“一骑”方面设想的。长安是当时的京城，明皇应在京城日理万机，妃子自应留在京城，因而飞送荔枝者直奔长安，而 皇帝、贵妃却在骊山行乐！这就出现了“长安回望绣成堆”的镜头。
唐明皇时，骊山遍植花木如绵绣，故称绣岭。用“绣成堆”写“一骑”遥望中的骊山总貌，很传神。次句承 “绣成堆” 写骊山华清宫的建筑群。这时候，“一骑”已近骊山，望见“山顶千门次第开”；山上人也早已望见“红尘”飞扬，“一骑”将到，因而将“山顶千门”次第打开。 紧接着，便出现了“一骑红尘妃子笑”的戏剧性场景。一方面，是以卷起“红尘”的高速日夜奔驰，送来荔枝的“一骑”，挥汗如雨，苦不堪言；另一方面，则是得 到新鲜荔枝的贵妃，嫣然一笑，乐不可支。两相对照，蕴含着对骄奢淫逸生活的无言谴责。前三句诗根本不提荔枝，如果象前面分析的那样句句讲荔枝，寻就太平淡 了。读前三句，压根儿不知道为什么要从长安回望骊山，不知道“山顶千门”为什么要一重接一重地打开，更不知道“一骑红尘”是干什么的、“妃子”为什么要 “笑”，给读者留下一连患悬念。最后一句，应该是解释悬念了，可又出人意料地用了一个否定句：“无人知是荔枝来。”的确，卷风扬尘，“一骑”急驰，华清宫 千门，从山下到山顶一重重为他敞开，谁都会认为那是飞送关于军国大事的紧急情报，怎能设想那是为贵妃送荔枝！“无人知”三字画龙点睛，蕴含深广，把全诗的 思想境界提升到惊人的高度。
Published September 12, 2006
Most people are quite familiar with the saying, “Those who can’t do, teach.” This statement suggests that people who have failed or would be failures in the world outside of academia end up as teachers.
The origins of this quote and various permutations of it are unclear. An early quote of similar meaning comes from George Bernard Shaw in "Maxims for Revolutionists" in Man and Superman (1903). The history of viewing the teaching profession with contempt or at the very least disregard may date back to the origins of the apple for the teacher custom.
In the Middle Ages, knowledge was viewed as God’s gift. Since it was God’s gift, it was seen as wrong to charge for it. As a result of this view, teachers at many institutions were not paid at all for their work. They had to rely on the gifts and charity of appreciative students.
Sometimes, a teacher was lucky to receive an apple so he’d have something to eat. It’s rather difficult to develop a mindset that a profession is pursued by people of high capability if that service is offered free of charge.
The value of the work being done as well as the education level required to perform that work is reflected in the salary, yet teachers are still relatively low-paid compared to other jobs with similar educational requirements. Additionally, teaching is one of the few professions that require a higher education, yet people commonly suggest those who take that career path are deficient in some fashion.
Being a teacher requires more than a standard Bachelors degree, but many people still view teaching as a profession for lazy or unskilled people. A favored chestnut among those who hold such views is the anecdotal story about the incompetence of teachers who teach topics related to professions in which they have never engaged.
For example, a business teacher who has never successfully run a business can’t possibly know real world business well enough to teach the topic effectively.
The attitude that a teacher must have worked in the profession that his students will eventually pursue is a reflection of ignorance of the point of education. There is a difference between receiving an education and attending vocational school. A vocational or technical school teaches specific skills that a student carries over to a job.
Education is about equipping students with a broad base of knowledge they can draw on to become successful in the occupations they pursue.
It is up to the student to digest the information he receives and find an application for it in his life, not for the teacher teach him each individual step. Considering that each company and job demands a customized set of skills, this is certainly a more reasonable approach. Even similar jobs may require different approaches at different types of businesses.
The sales tactics for selling computers requires a different approach than selling cars. Also, companies in the same industry often adopt their own approach. Marketing at Apple, where the focus is on design and limited numbers of models, would be a very different job than marketing at Dell, where the emphasis is on frequent sales, different equipment combinations, and low price.
Universities need only teach the fundamentals of each discipline and the companies can do the rest.
If you feel teachers don’t know what they’re talking about when it comes to the real world, then you’re missing the point of education. The point is not to memorize a sequence of steps to be regurgitated as needed at a future job. Teachers are there to help you learn how to be smart enough to figure out those steps on your own.
Those Who Can, Do… TEACH!
In Front of the Class
by Max Fischer, EducationWorld.com
Max Fischer recently attended a local Chamber of Commerce meeting. The evening's motivational speaker got Max thinking about how successful businesspeople and successful teachers have much more in common than either of them might think.
Some of the harshest critics of education can be found in the business world. Steeped in the highly competitive atmosphere of business, local entrepreneurs are way too focused on overcoming competition and other obstacles, and on the almighty bottom line, to possibly comprehend what goes on in the classroom. Drop any business leader from your community in a classroom, and watch them flail!
The converse is also assumed true: Educators could not possibly understand what running a business is like. "Those that can, do; those that can't, teach," business people have often said with an air of disparagement.
Just a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the annual awards ceremony of my local Chamber of Commerce. That evening's presenter was a motivational speaker whose main bread-and-butter is business-training seminars. The guy -- an absolutely engaging speaker, I must say -- focused his comments on the most critical elements of successful businesses. As I listened to him talk, I was I was amazed at how closely his thoughts about successful business people paralleled my take on the skills it takes to be a successful classroom teacher. Let's see if you agree…
- Relationships are key.
Customers don't buy products from people they don't like. A condescending capitalist will struggle to turn a profit.
A teacher who expects respect from his students -- or parents or colleagues -- without giving any in return is bound to fail.
- Business marketing must excite the customers; they are your bottom line.
Successful businesses effectively market their products or services by linking them to positive feelings. Slogans, jingles, attractive models, and celebrities are tools of the trade for accomplishing that goal.
Being able to motivate and engage learners is of paramount importance for any teacher. Our paying customers -- parents and other taxpayers -- really do take note when their children come home from school engaged and excited.
- Being able to deal with change with a positive attitude is a key to success.
What ever became of the tech exec who proclaimed in 1979 that home computers would never be practical?
While many teachers might not be endeared by "No Child Left Behind," most of us are able to strain its vital message: the status quo isn't good enough. Thinking outside the box to reach under-performing students is a cause whose time has come.
More In Common Than You Think
- Experimentation -- and, yes, failure -- is a part of every business; it is at the root of almost every success.
Thomas Edison once said, "I have not failed. I've just found ten thousand ways that won't work." A certain level of that adventurous spirit is required to succeed at developing new products and services to woo customers.
Teachers must honor the best of education's established practices, but they can't shy away from investigating new methods to reach students. Instructional methodology must be perpetually evaluated and improved upon -- or tossed aside as ineffective.
- Sweat the details, and go the extra mile.
Our speaker regaled his audience on how movie actor Jim Carrey goes to great lengths to choreograph his antics in each scene of a movie. Similarly, he said, business people must anticipate and have a plan for meeting their clients' needs; they must always be willing to go the extra mile to accomplish that.
The most successful teachers take time to write students congratulatory notes, dissect the pace of each day's lesson, and give concerned parents timely updates. And they use their summers to develop new skills. Successful teaching, like a successful business (or successful acting), is not a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants operation.
- Lead your people; don't push them.
The speaker's most animated comments were reserved for the relationship between a boss and the worker bees. A business manager who can appreciate and capitalize on the strengths of each employee is one who can develop a well-rounded team and a business that will thrive.
One of a teacher's primary objectives is to recognize and build upon each student's strengths. Often a student's strengths can be used to improve skills that might not be so strong. Our aim is to engage all students -- one student at a time -- in achieving our learning goals.
With One Big Difference
While I was one of just a handful of non-business leaders in the audience, I found little in our speaker's remarks to which I could not relate. I found myself nodding in total agreement until he made one last comment. "I've never gotten angry with my personnel," he said. "I've only gotten angry with the suppliers of inferior material. I really let those suppliers have it for jeopardizing my business!"
And therein lies the difference between teaching and business: Teachers may rage internally at the dysfunctions of families and society that our students endure. We cannot, however, unleash our anger at the materials we are expected to transform. Businesses can reject inferior material; we embrace our "materials" and nurture them.
I left the awards ceremony wondering how many of the movers and shakers of local business in that audience really understood how closely their best practices relate to those of teachers. With such significant common ground, I have to wonder how much more could be accomplished for students if members of both professions worked together more closely. If business leaders connected with schools in their communities they would quickly learn what you and I know: Those who can, do… teach!
About the Author
A teacher for nearly three decades, Max Fischer currently teaches seventh graders the marvels of ancient and medieval history. A National Board certified teacher in the area of early adolescence social studies/history, Max has authored nine resource books for teachers in the fields of social studies, health, and math. You can read a previously published article about Fischer: Simulations Engage Students in Active Learning.
By Georgie Hatt-Cook
For a long time it was thought that dinosaurs were a lumbering, cold-blooded extinction just waiting to happen. Even the word dinosaur has come to mean something that has outlived its time.
The scientific argument was that as cold-blooded creatures, dinosaurs would not have stood a chance of surviving an ice age.
"According to the first imaginings of palaeontologists and the general public about dinosaurs, we thought of them as reptiles," says Kristi Curry-Rogers, from the Science Museum of Minnesota.
"'Reptile' is a word which comes with a lot of other connotations, like cold-blooded, slow-moving, sprawling, scaly skins, kind of stupid."
But more recent discoveries, such as dinosaur fossils in both polar regions, reveal that these animals were far more adaptable than previously thought.
Dr Curry-Rogers has analysed fossilised bones from Late Cretaceous (65-99 million years ago) dinosaurs and found them to have more in common with mammals and birds than reptiles.
"They were perfectly well-adapted to deal with the problems of maintaining a body temperature," Dr Curry-Rogers told the BBC's Horizon programme.
In other words, some of the dinosaurs were more than equipped to survive almost anything that the evolving planet had to throw at them.
"They were the superlatives; they were the biggest, the heaviest, the meanest, the longest. You name it, dinosaurs were it," says fellow palaeontologist Phil Currie, from the University of Alberta in Canada, who has access to one of the richest areas of dinosaur research in the world.
"The badlands of Alberta clearly show that at the end of the Cretaceous, dinosaurs were extremely successful still," says Professor Currie, who points to dozens of different dinosaur species living in that one environment at the same time.
"We wouldn't have the modern animals that we're used to. Giraffes and elephants and so on; they just wouldn't have evolved because dinosaurs would still be here," says Professor Currie.
Instead of elephants, there would be large plant-devouring sauropods. In place of lions on the plains of Africa would be tyrannosaurs.
Adaptable dinosaurs had it all covered. Dinosaurs could have comfortably colonised many environments, from polar conditions to regions of rivers and forests, jungle and deserts.
A world with dinosaurs in it would be at the expense of most, if not all, of the mammals that we are familiar with today - and all that we rely on them for. No cows, no sheep, no cats equal no milk, no leather, no wool, no domestic companionship.
But milk aside, there could be perfectly suitable dino-substitutes of all kind. A Protoceratops could be as farmable as a pig with the bonus of providing eggs. And an amenable Heterodontosaurus might make a perfect pet. Great with children.
They could even have adapted to current-day habitats, dining on suburban dustbins.
Something like us
Perhaps the most advanced dinosaur at the time of the extinction was the Troodon which was "as cunning as a fox", according to palaeontologist Larry Witmer of Ohio University.
They were small, upright, bi-pedal dinosaurs which lived in large groups. By studying the brain cavity, Witmer has found evidence they possessed good vision and even potentially had a brain structure compatible with problem-solving.
"If Troodon were around today, co-existing with humans, we'd probably call it a pest," says Professor Witmer.
Evolutionary palaeo-biologist Dr Simon Conway Morris believes they could even have evolved along the lines of primates or humans.
"The human is extraordinarily well designed," he says. The whole arrangement is actually designed for a particular mode of life, which, as you can see looking around us, is incredibly successful.
"If it's such a good solution for us, is it so difficult to imagine it could be a good solution for a dinosaur, therefore a 'dinosauroid'?"
But most palaeontologists see the dinosauroid as an insult to dinosaurs.
"Dinosaurs probably would have continued along their dinosaurian trajectory, getting bigger brains and bigger eyes," says Kristi Curry-Rogers.
"But I doubt seriously that any dinosaur would ever end up looking like a person, and it is fairly arrogant to think that the end point of all evolutionary trajectories should sort of emulate human beings."
If the asteroid had missed, there probably wouldn't be humans here today either to find out how it would have turned out.
The impact that ended the golden age of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago made for an extremely bad dinosaur day but it was also a very good mammal day.Horizon: My Pet Dinosaur is broadcast on BBC Two on Tuesday 13 March at 2100GMT
Monday, March 05, 2007
1 Litre of Tears (1リットルの涙, Ichi Rittoru no Namida) is a Japanese television drama for Fuji Television about a girl who was diagnosed with a disease called Spinocerebellar Degeneration when she was 15 years old, and was able to continue her life until her death at the age of 25 years old. Erika Sawajiri played this girl in this drama.
The plot is based on the true story of a Japanese girl named Aya Kito (木藤亜也, July 19, 1962 - May 23, 1988), who had the same disease. She kept writing in her diary to remember her experiences until she could no longer hold a pen. Aya simply wished to live until the end of her life, and the purpose of writing in the diary was to remind herself to not give up. She shed tears many times, at the same time encompassed by the rich love and support from her family and friends. Her diary 1 Litre of Tears was published shortly before her death. It encouraged many people, healthy or diseased, because of its inspiring and courageous messages. As Aya wrote, "Just being alive is such a lovely and wonderful thing."
wikipedia Ichi Rittoru no Namida
The story is centered around Kaoru, who is out almost every night playing and singing in front of the train station. At day she sleeps, but every morning she sits by the window of her room to watch a young surfer, Koji Fujishiro (藤代 孝治), played by Takashi Tsukamoto, who usually waits by a bus stop for his friends before they go surfing each morning. She develops a crush on the boy, even though she doesn't even know him.
Until one night, when she is playing as usual by the train station she sees Koji pass by. She leaves her guitar and runs after him, running into him and knocking him over when she finally catches up to him by a tram crossing. She then proceeds to clumsily introduce herself in a way that leaves Koji utterly confused and her friend embarrassed. When her friend drags her home, they sit by Kaoru's window while they watch Koji meet up with his friends by the bus stop. Kaoru explains everything, and her friend notes that she probably goes to the same school as him, and offers to spy on him with a camcorder and find out about him for her.
The next night she sits by the bus stop before going home after singing, and she plays a song there and sings with her eyes closed, and afterwards opens them to find Kouji having arrived on his scooter. Both embarrassed, they start talking and Koji eventually promises to meet her and listen to her sing another night, at the start of the school holidays. When they meet up, another, obnoxious street performer has taken her spot in front of the train station. Koji decides to take her to the city, where after running around seeing the sights, she starts playing in a street square. A huge crowd gathers to hear her play and sing. After they sit on stairs and watch the ocean. A moment after Koji asks her out.other links