"So it’s possible to achieve the recommended levels of gratitude without spending a penny or uttering a word. All you have to do is to generate, within yourself, the good feelings associated with gratitude, and then bask in its warm, comforting glow. If there is any loving involved in this, it is self-love, and the current hoopla around gratitude is a celebration of onanism. • Yet there is a need for more gratitude, especially from those who have a roof over their heads and food on their table. Only it should be a more vigorous and inclusive sort of gratitude than what is being urged on us now. Who picked the lettuce in the fields, processed the standing rib roast, drove these products to the stores, stacked them on the supermarket shelves and, of course, prepared them and brought them to the table? Saying grace to an abstract God is an evasion; there are crowds, whole communities of actual people, many of them with aching backs and tenuous finances, who made the meal possible. • The real challenge of gratitude lies in figuring out how to express our debt to them, whether through generous tips or, say, by supporting their demands for decent pay and better working conditions. But now we’re not talking about gratitude, we’re talking about a far more muscular impulse — and this is, to use the old-fashioned term, 'solidarity' — which may involve getting up off the yoga mat."
Each year there are more and more nominations, and of increasing excellent quality, reflecting the ever growing edublogosphere — which is excellent!
But this means that unfortunately we can’t list every single nomination in each category — that’s too overwhelming for everyone.
Instead, our intrepid team of judges combed through hundreds of nominated sites to whittle them down to a manageable number of shortlisted finalists for each category. Apologies in advance if your site or nominated sites don’t make it – this was such a tough decision!
There are many factors that determine whether a nomination is shortlisted, and some categories were considerably more competitive than others due to the incredible number of nominations. For example, sites weren’t shortlisted:
1. If they obviously didn’t fit the category (such as websites or wikis being nominated in blog categories) 2. If they were self-nominations 3. If they didn’t follow the nomination submission process Other factors used for shortlisting included:
* For blogs and influential posts – indicators of reader engagement (such as # of comments, bookmarking, social shares, and google page rank) * For Tweeters – conversation indicators (such as number of following/followers, lists been added to, types of conversations, whether account was public or private)
Due to the thousands of nominations received, there is most likely a typo or mistake or two. Let us know in the comments so we can fix it up!
"When Netflix still had your typical vacation policy, employees asked an important question:
'We don’t track the time we spend working outside of the office—like e-mails we answer from home and the work we do at night and on weekends—so why do we track the time we spend off the job?'
Management listened. They couldn’t deny the simple logic behind the question.
Back in the industrial age, when people stood on the assembly line from 9 to 5, paying for time made sense. With advances in technology, however, that’s no longer the case. People work when work needs to be done, from wherever they are. There’s really no such thing as “after hours” anymore.
We’re now operating in a participation economy, where people are measured and paid for what they produce. Yet, when it comes to time off, we’re still clinging to the vestiges of the industrial economy, where people were paid for the time they spent on the job. This is a huge demotivator. Netflix realized this, and it changed its policy to reflect the way that work actually gets done."
"Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays in large part because of the big meal. Few celebrations center so completely on a feast. Given our collective concern over health and nutrition, it is inevitable that many people worry about how much they should eat in one sitting. • Of course, it’s not healthy to eat yourself sick — consuming too much, too fast, can lead to indigestion and other problems. People at high risk for heart disease, blood clots or diabetes shouldn’t throw out their doctor’s recommendations. But for most people, this isn’t the day to worry about food. As I have frequently written, one of the keys to healthful eating, and a good life, is everything in moderation — including moderation. • Tara Parker-Pope did the math a few years ago at the Well blog and found you’re probably eating around 1,000 calories at Thanksgiving. That’s not bad at all, as feasts go. Even with a big piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream (400 calories) and two glasses of wine (250 calories), you’ll be hard pressed to get to 2,000 calories. A moderately active adult man should consume, on average, 2,400 to 2,800 calories a day and a woman about 2,000 calories, so as long as you take it easy the rest of the day, there’s nothing offensively gluttonous about eating a big Thanksgiving meal. • Enjoy the big dinner and enjoy a second helping of advice on eating and drinking that we have collected here.
At TEDYouth 2015 — and at more than 100 TEDxYouth events tuning in live online around the globe — young people will gather to explore the event's theme, "Made in the Future". This theme will provide youth with new perspectives on their own future job possibilities beyond traditional careers, some of which may not yet exist. TEDYouth 2015 is an opportunity for youth to think about the world in 2035, and to engage with experts who consider the corners of our intangible imagination to be the foundation for our potential future reality. Speakers will touch on an array of questions about our future, including:
- How will artificial intelligence both limit and expand our options? What will matter in the future?
- As resources diminish, what new materials will we harness or create? Which types of careers will emerge or cease to exist?
- Together, we will seek to answer these questions from a number of different perspectives — scientific, cultural, technological, educational, artistic, entrepreneurial, environmental and more.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Wednesday (Nov. 11) urged Catholics to continue the tradition of a family meal, leaving smartphones aside and switching off the TV to enjoy the “fundamental experience” of sharing food.
“The sharing of a meal — and therefore, other than of food, also of affections, of stories, of events — is a fundamental experience,” Francis said during his weekly audience in St. Peter’s Square.
Sitting around the table helps measure the health of relationships, the pontiff said: “If in a family there’s something that doesn’t work, or a hidden wound, at the table it’s understood immediately.”
Francis also offered guidelines for mealtimes, which he said should be free from phones or other distractions. It can hardly be called a family meal when relatives “barely ever eat together, or (a family) which doesn’t talk at the table but watches television, or a smartphone,” the pope said.
"I have two photos on my desk. The first shows a child, a girl of about 10. She is standing behind an enormous pile of her family’s belongings, which have been tightly packed for a long journey. Her face is blank with uncertainty, but she strikes a bossy pose — one hand on her hip, the other planted firmly against the bundles. Her companions are an older woman, probably her mother, and a little boy — her younger brother? Both look directly at the photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson, who took this picture in Dessau, as scores of Germans displaced during World War II began returning home. It is 1945. Where has this girl been, and what has she seen? • The second picture, taken in 1974, also shows a girl of about 10. This child is a Kurdish refugee. Her family is sitting with their worldly possessions in a barren field, somewhere near the border with Iran. A meal is underway. The parents sit cross-legged on the ground, intent on their food, while the girl stands, another little girl by her side, and stares into the distance with a wrinkled-brow expression of adult worry. Where is she going? • Young as these girls are, they have already been asked to bear a profound loss. You can see it in their faces. They appear to be only half children, the other half having been matured ahead of schedule by trauma and displacement. They know what they should not. And yet, there is still that other half. They are still kids. Unlike the adults in the frame, who must be constantly aware of their dangerous ordeal, the girls, from time to time, might forget. If the moment was right, they might play a game."
"Every weekday on this blog we take an important or interesting news or feature story from the week and turn it into what we call News Q’s — a quick series of questions and activities designed to help students both understand the story and connect it to their own lives. • Each edition has suggestions for engaging the class before they read the story; questions about the article for during and after they have read it; and activity suggestions for going further. • Because our picks range from politics to pop culture, science, social media, sports, history, the arts and literature, teachers tell us they use News Q’s as a source of compelling nonfiction for lesson plans, homework assignments and extra-credit projects. • Here are a few of the strategies we’ve used recently to help students grapple with the Times stories we pick, followed by examples for each. What would you add?"
"The Intellectual Virtues and Education Project is a three-year project sponsored by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation. For a brief introduction to the project, see Dr. Jason Baehr’s message [above]:"
"There is another layer to this story. The act of purification accompanying the creation of the modern research university was not just about differentiating realms of knowledge. It was also about divorcing knowledge from virtue. Though it seems foreign to us now, before purification the philosopher (and natural philosopher) was assumed to be morally superior to other sorts of people. The 18th-century thinker Joseph Priestley wrote “a Philosopher ought to be something greater and better than another man.” Philosophy, understood as the love of wisdom, was seen as a vocation, like the priesthood. It required significant moral virtues (foremost among these were integrity and selflessness), and the pursuit of wisdom in turn further inculcated those virtues. The study of philosophy elevated those who pursued it. Knowing and being good were intimately linked. It was widely understood that the point of philosophy was to become good rather than simply to collect or produce knowledge. • As the historian Steven Shapin has noted, the rise of disciplines in the 19th century changed all this. The implicit democracy of the disciplines ushered in an age of “the moral equivalence of the scientist” to everyone else. The scientist’s privileged role was to provide the morally neutral knowledge needed to achieve our goals, whether good or evil. This put an end to any notion that there was something uplifting about knowledge. The purification made it no longer sensible to speak of nature, including human nature, in terms of purposes and functions. By the late 19th century, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche had proved the failure of philosophy to establish any shared standard for choosing one way of life over another. This is how Alasdair MacIntyre explained philosophy’s contemporary position of insignificance in society and marginality in the academy. There was a brief window when philosophy could have replaced religion as the glue of society; but the moment passed. People stopped listening as philosophers focused on debates among themselves. • Once knowledge and goodness were divorced, scientists could be regarded as experts, but there are no morals or lessons to be drawn from their work. Science derives its authority from impersonal structures and methods, not the superior character of the scientist. The individual scientist is no different from the average Joe; he or she has, as Shapin has written, “no special authority to pronounce on what ought to be done.” For many, science became a paycheck, and the scientist became a “de-moralized” tool enlisted in the service of power, bureaucracy and commerce."
"Concerns about religious indoctrination have emerged in several overwhelmingly white, Christian counties. Why?" "• Williamson County, Tennessee, embodies demographic stereotypes about the South: The county just south of Nashville is overwhelmingly white, Christian, and Republican. But this fall, a curious controversy emerged there. Parents and school-board members have voiced worries about alleged Islamic indoctrination in the public schools. • In seventh grade, kids study world geography and history, including a unit on “the Islamic world” up to the year 1500 A.D. “Williamson County parents and taxpayers have expressed concerns that some social-studies textbooks and supplemental materials in use in Tennessee classrooms contain a pro-Islamic/anti-Judeo- Christian bias,” one school-board member, Beth Burgos, wrote in a resolution. She questioned whether it’s right to test students on the tenets of Islam, along with the state and district’s learning standards related to religion. She also said the textbook should mention concepts like jihad and not portray Islam as a fundamentally peaceful religion. “How are our children to reconcile what they’re seeing happening in the Middle East when they’re not even exposed to the radical sects of Islam like ISIS?” she said at a working meeting in mid-October. (Burgos did not respond to multiple emails and phone calls requesting • In interviews, a number of parents and school-board members used the word distraction to describe the local debate over “Islamic indoctrination.” “We have a shortage of bus drivers,” said a school-board member, Robert Hullett, at that October working meeting. “We have a problem with substitute teachers. We have things that are affecting our kids right now, and we're fooling around with this.” • Ultimately, the resolution was withdrawn, but Islam and education continues to be a topic of discussion. This week, the local chapter of Glenn Beck’s nationwide advocacy organization, the 912 Project, is hosting a townhall about it. Other Tennessee counties are talking about this, too. In October, the school board in Maury County, which borders Williamson, submitted a resolution to the State Board of Education questioning whether basic knowledge of world history “requires the depth of study of the underlying contents or tenets of world religion to the extent that the State currently requires in sixth and seventh grade social studies, especially given the impressionable nature of students’ ages during such grades.” The resolution also called for units covering religion to be moved to high school. In White County, farther east, a group that calls itself Citizens Against Islamic Indoctrination placed an ad in the local paper, the Sparta Expositor, featuring all-caps text: “ISLAMIC INDOCTRINATION IS IN SCHOOLS ACROSS OUR STATE AND OUR NATION,” it read, inviting parents and citizens to attend a town-hall meeting with a self-identified Muslim convert to Christianity. It also featured this graphic:"
"Donald Trump's proposal to bar Muslims from America may be a gift to ISIS recruitment and a grotesque echo of the sentiment behind the Chinese Exclusion Act and the internment of Japanese-Americans. But, like those earlier spasms of exclusion, the Trump proposal has plenty of supporters. • In one recent poll, more than three-quarters of Republicans said that Islam was incompatible with life in the United States. There’s a widespread perception in America that Islam is rooted in misogyny and violence, incorrigible because it is rooted in a holy text that is fundamentally different from others. • So here’s my quiz on religion. Some questions have more than one correct answer."
“Living has yet to be generally recognized as one of the arts,” proclaimed a 1924 guide to the art of living. That one of the greatest scientists of our time should be one of our greatest teacher in that art is nothing short of a blessing for which we can only be grateful — and that’s precisely what Oliver Sacks (July 9, 1933–August 30, 2015), a Copernicus of the mind and a Dante of medicine who turned the case study into a poetic form, became over the course of his long and fully lived life.
In his final months, Dr. Sacks reflected on his unusual existential adventure and his courageous dance with death in a series of lyrical New York Times essays, posthumously published in the slim yet enormously enchanting book Gratitude (public library), edited by his friend and assistant of thirty years, Kate Edgar, and his partner, the photographer Bill Hayes.
In the first essay, titled “Mercury,” he follows in the footsteps of Henry Miller, who considered the measure of a life well lived upon turning eighty three decades earlier. Dr. Sacks writes:
'Last night I dreamed about mercury — huge, shining globules of quicksilver rising and falling. Mercury is element number 80, and my dream is a reminder that on Tuesday, I will be 80 myself.
Elements and birthdays have been intertwined for me since boyhood, when I learned about atomic numbers. At 11, I could say “I am sodium” (Element 11), and now at 79, I am gold.
Eighty! I can hardly believe it. I often feel that life is about to begin, only to realize it is almost over.'
Having almost died at forty-one while being chased by a white bull in a Norwegian fjord, Dr. Sacks considers the peculiar grace of having lived to old age:
'At nearly 80, with a scattering of medical and surgical problems, none disabling, I feel glad to be alive — “I’m glad I’m not dead!” sometimes bursts out of me when the weather is perfect… I am grateful that I have experienced many things — some wonderful, some horrible — and that I have been able to write a dozen books, to receive innumerable letters from friends, colleagues and readers, and to enjoy what Nathaniel Hawthorne called “an intercourse with the world.''
I am sorry I have wasted (and still waste) so much time; I am sorry to be as agonizingly shy at 80 as I was at 20; I am sorry that I speak no languages but my mother tongue and that I have not traveled or experienced other cultures as widely as I should have done.'"
"IT’S time for my annual holiday gift guide, the chance to recommend presents more meaningful than a tie or sweater. • For $20, through Heifer International (heifer.org), you can buy a flock of ducks and help a family work its way to a better life. Or $74 through CARE (care.org) pays for a schoolgirl’s books and supplies so she can attend school for a year — and girls’ education may be the highest-return investment available in the world today. • Here are some other ideas: • ■ We’re seeing painful upheavals about race on university campuses these days, but the civil rights issue in America today is our pre-K through 12th grade education system, which routinely sends the neediest kids to the worst schools. To address these roots of inequality, a group called Communities in Schools (communitiesinschools.org) supports disadvantaged kids, mostly black and Latino, in elementary, middle and high schools around the country. • For $15 a month per child, it offers mentoring, pregnancy prevention, college counseling and more, and it’s effective: 91 percent of the students it helps end up graduating from high school."
“'YOUTH is subjected by our civilization to aggressive sex stimuli and suggestiveness oozing from every pore.' So declared the education professor Clark Hetherington in 1914, condemning the proliferation of racy movies and tell-all magazines. Lest adolescents succumb to the 'indulgence' on display, he wrote, schools needed to teach “self-control” and 'higher standards.' • Sound familiar? For the past century, we’ve been worrying that new forms of media are fostering sexual immorality in the young. And we’ve called upon our schools to stem the evil tide. Witness the recent “sexting” revelations at Cañon City High School in Colorado, where it is reported that 100 students traded naked pictures of themselves and one another. As the story went viral, critics have inevitably asked why the school hadn’t done more to educate students about sexting. • The schools are an easy target, but the wrong one. Public ambivalence about youth sexuality limits what the schools can do, nor do we have strong evidence that schools can affect teenagers’ behavior, in any event. And it’s hardly certain that youth sexting is the dangerous scourge that most adults imagine. • Let’s be clear: There are serious risks associated with teen sexting, including bullying and exposure to adult sexual predators. And we know that kids who sext are more likely to have sex than those who don’t. But beyond that, nobody has ever shown that the sexting induces kids to engage in riskier behavior. In a 2012 study of seven high schools in Texas, 28 percent of sophomores and juniors admitted that they had sent a naked picture of themselves over text or email. But these teenagers were no more likely than their nonsexting peers to engage in other risky sexual behaviors, like unprotected intercourse, alcohol or drug use before sex, or sex with multiple partners."
"Today, The New York Times takes a step into virtual reality. NYT VR is a mobile app that can be used — along with your headphones and optionally a cardboard viewing device — to simulate richly immersive scenes from across the globe. • To start, The Times Magazine presents three portraits of children driven from their homes by war and persecution — an 11-year-old boy from eastern Ukraine named Oleg, a 12-year-old Syrian girl named Hana and a 9-year-old South Sudanese boy named Chuol. • Some 30 million children are displaced. Chuol, 9, escaped into a vast swamp in South Sudan when fighters swept into his village. • 'This new filmmaking technology enables an uncanny feeling of connection with people whose lives are far from our own,' writes Jake Silverstein, editor of the magazine. • How do I watch? • If you have an iPhone, you can find the NYT VR app in the App Store. • If you have an Android phone, download it from Google Play. • You can use the app on its own. But the experience is even better with a special virtual reality viewer. Thanks to a partnership with Google, we will be sending free Google Cardboard VR viewers to all domestic New York Times home delivery subscribers who receive the Sunday edition. You should receive your Google Cardboard with your Sunday newspaper by November 8, 2015."
Fiction: • "We watched him come in, how his steps faltered at the threshold of the classroom, how he just stood there, his first mistake, giving us enough time to size him up, not enough time for him to figure out who we were, what strategy might win us over. • He coughed, as if that could mask his heavy breathing, almost a sigh, and then, with false resolution, he walked in and sat down behind the desk. • He sat down where García used to sit, just like that, as if he had the right to do so. • He smiled at us, another mistake, and then: “Maybe we should introduce ourselves,” he said. Ourselves? Was he referring to himself, pretentiously using the plural for his own person? Or did he include us? Was it an invitation to the twelve of us, seated symmetrically in front of him? • We said nothing. • Not that we’d reached a tacit agreement or anything of the sort. In fact we hadn’t exchanged a word since we’d heard about García. But García had told us how to behave in this sort of situation; García had said the longer you keep a secret, the deeper, the richer the secret grows, and those words had to be throbbing through our heads. He’d spoken about the silence of indigenous peoples, playing dumb, how they came to understand that no invader could ever really get the upper hand, no matter how fierce his face or strong his weapon or cunning his tricks if he didn’t know their language. Remember that, García said, smuggle yourselves inside the minds of people who are being subjected to an authority that they have not freely chosen, and remember what they’ve learned: you cannot really capture anybody until you have heard his voice. If you don’t want to be bottled up by your enemy, you know what to do. • So we just waited. “
"Do your students have a hard time defining — and thus, perhaps, avoiding — plagiarism? • They’re not alone. In a cut-and-paste world, examples of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism are everywhere. • Here, for instance, are just a handful of cases that have made headlines in the last few years: • Journalists, scientists, novelists and politicians have been accused of appropriating the work of others. • Musicians have gone to court over the “blurred lines” between homage and copyright infringement. • An artist was accused of plagiarizing his logo for the 2020 Olympics from Internet images. • A science writer plagiarized himself. • An Instagram celebrity was called out for stealing jokes. • A 17-year-old novelist, a finalist for a major book prize, said her lifted work was “mixing,” not plagiarism. Essays presented as “personal statements” for college applications have been taken directly from published work online."
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