Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday Arts 013109

VOAVideo: Howard Univ Marching Band Hits the Big Time

Fashion Forward (Not for the Fainthearted) By ROBERTA SMITH, NYTimes
The International Center of Photography is inaugurating a year of fashion photography exhibitions called “2009 Year of Fashion” with four synergistic exhibitions. Slide Show: Beauty, Beheld

Where Lines Become a Kind of Language By HOLLAND COTTER, NYTimes
Candy box displays like “Raphael to Renoir: Drawings From the Collection of Jean Bonna” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art are natural crowd pleasers.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Science Friday 013009

"History of the Internet" is an animated documentary explaining the inventions from time-sharing to filesharing, from Arpanet to Internet. The history is told using the PICOL icons on , which are available for download soon. On you can get news about this project.You can also watch the video on

Thursday, January 29, 2009

History Thursday 012909

The White House Reimagined
What if the the ultimate architectural symbol of political power were to be designed today? Submissions to the White House Redux design competition depicted wildly different ideas.
Related Article Also:

Tradition and Change Battle on the Mall By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF, NYTimes
The history of the National Mall in Washington has been a roller-coaster ride of architectural controversy. Interactive Map: Where to Go in D.C.

Black History, Alive in Washington By HOLLAND COTTER, NYTimes
Seeking out the traces of Washington’s black artists and writers makes for a lively and especially relevant tour as an African-American first family makes the city its home.

Amid Intimate Galleries, a Jewel of a Painting Collection By ROBERTA SMITH, NYTimes
Thanks to its magnificent painting collection, the euphoria possible inside the walls of the National Gallery of Art in Washington can easily match the mood outside. Slide Show In Capital Museums: What's New on View

Exhibitions of a City, Outdoors and In By EDWARD ROTHSTEIN, NYTimes
Admire the democratic grandeur of Washington’s architecture, monuments and vistas.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Articles about College Finance

The Fallout By LAURA PAPPANO, NYTimes
Tips on navigating college in the recession.

Students Covering Bigger Share of Costs of College By KATE ZERNIKE, NYTimes
College students are covering more of what it costs to educate them, even as colleges are spending less on them.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Not Just Another Dorm

Not Just Another Dorm By PETER APPLEBOME, NYTimes
Forget the commuter-school stereotype. Two-year colleges are turning into 24-hour campuses.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The G.R.E. vs. the GMAT

There’s a feud brewing in the graduate-school testing world.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

SAT Jan 2009 (Dual Passage Update)


Week (0r Two) Before the Test

  • Gather all your completed SAT Practice Tests into ONE pile.
  • Review a completed test every evening before the Night Before the SAT Test.
  • Look-up any difficult vocabulary.
  • Note how you used POE (Process of Elimination) to get the right answers.
  • Analyze your wrong answers, and adjust your POE.
The Night Before the Test
  • Don't cram for the SAT!
  • Follow you normal Friday Night Homework routine.
  • Go to bed early.

Day of the Test:
  • Wake up fifteen minutes early to focus your thoughts.
  • Eat breakfast
  • Bring Student ID
  • Bring pencils, calculators, ear plugs, water, energy bar, etc.
  • Arrive early--use the spare time to encourage yourself and your friends to do your best.

During the Test

  • Stand up and stretch!


  • Read the Prompt
  • Read the Quote
  • Read the Prompt again.
  • Think for 1 minute (don't write).
  • Brainstorm. Focus, focus, focus your examples. Organize. (2 minutes)
  • Write (20 min)
  • Intro Paragraph:
  • Thesis plus preview of your examples
  • 3 body paragraphs. Topic sentence plus 3-4 sentences of concrete detail.
  • Transition between paragraphs.
  • Conclusion.
  • Fix errors and upgrade vocabulary (2 min).

Writing Section

  • The Fist of No Error (see sidebar)

Critical Reading

  • POE (process of elimination)
  • Avoid answers that are too extreme (narrow, general, always/never, etc)

Long Passage

  • Read the blurb (who? what? where? when?)
  • Skim & underline for information (Proper Nouns, Unusual Punctuation, Lists)
  • Mark-up the passage as per the Questions (Beware of stealth EXCEPT and Inference Questions)
  • Read the passage critically (why? how?)
  • Answer the questions via POE

Dual Passages (new)

Dual Passage--Intro

  • Draw a Venn Diagram
  • Read the blurb (who? what? where? when? audience? type of text?)
  • Fill out the Venn Diagram

Dual Passage--Passage 1

  • Skim & underline the First Passage for information (Proper Nouns, Unusual Punctuation, Lists)
  • Mark-up the passage as per the First Passage Questions (Beware of stealth EXCEPT and Inference Questions)
  • Read the passage critically (why? how?)
  • Answer First Passage questions ONLY via POE
  • Skip all Second Passage and Dual Passage Questions

Dual Passage--Passage 2

  • Skim & underline the Second Passage for information (Proper Nouns, Unusual Punctuation, Lists)
  • Mark-up the passage as per the Second Passage Questions (Beware of stealth EXCEPT and Inference Questions)Read the passage critically (why? how?)
  • Answer Passage 2 questions ONLY via POE
  • Skip all Dual Passage Questions

Dual Passage--Dual Passage Questions

  • Update Venn Diagram (tone +/-) (note if there is a switch in tone/argument)
  • Answer Dual Passage questions via POE
  • Finish!

After the Test

  • Don't just go home--celebrate!
  • You spent a lot of time (and money) preparing for the SAT.
  • Go out to a good lunch with your friends/family to debrief.
  • Go on to your next task!


Friday, January 23, 2009

Science Friday 012309

In ‘Geek Chic’ and Obama, New Hope for Lifting Women in Science By NATALIE ANGIER, NYTimes
Some scientists say that now is the time to tackle the problem of attracting more women into the fold, and keeping them once they are there.

Scientists Welcome Obama’s Words By GARDINER HARRIS and WILLIAM J. BROAD, NYTimes
Many scientists are exuberant over President Obama’s vow to “restore science to its rightful place” after eight years of stark tension with government.

In Texas, a Line in the Curriculum Revives Evolution Debate By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr., NYTimes
The State Board of Education in Texas heard impassioned testimony on Wednesday from scientists and social conservatives debating how evolution should be taught in schools.

Worm Infects Millions of Computers Worldwide By JOHN MARKOFF, NYTimes
The infection seems to be the first step of a multistage attack, but experts do not know the form it will take.

Civil Rights and Environmental Responsibilities By Andrew C. Revkin, NYTimes
Is human-driven climate change mainly a pollution problem (legislate and regulate it away) or a technology problem (make non-polluting energy choices cheap and it goes away)?

While You Were Out: Apple’s Years With and Without Steve Jobs
Multimedia Interactive Feature

Thursday, January 22, 2009

History Thursday 012208

Barack Obama Sworn into Office 2:58
President Barack Obama taking the Oath of Office as the 44th president of the United States, January 20, 2009

More Videos from Voice of America:

Sights and Sounds of the Obama Inauguration - in HD 2:00
Videographers milled with the millions of people in Washington D.C. for the presidential inauguration. They captured the spirit of the occasion in high definition (HD) video

President Obama and Wife Attend Inaugural Balls 2:44
Following President Barack Obama's historic inauguration Tuesday, he and wife Michelle had a busy first evening attending inaugural balls. Thousands of people also celebrated Mr. Obama's inauguration, both at the ten official balls the First Couple attended and the many unofficial parties held around the city of Washington, DC. Deborah Block has the story.

Massive Crowds Welcome New US President 2:27
Hundreds of thousands of people clogged the streets of Washington D.C. on Tuesday to see the inauguration of the nation's 44th president, Barack Obama. They came from all across the country to listen to the words of a new president and to witness the spectacle of what many say is a new era of hope and change in America. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.

California Students Share Excitement of Obama Inauguration 1:35
People across the United States, like others around the world, watched the inauguration of President Obama on television. Among them were many students and young people. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan was at California State University in Los Angeles where he taped the reactions of students there.

Howard Univ Marching Band Hits the Big Time - HD 3:59
A record-breaking 1,400 marching bands from around the nation applied to perform at Tuesday's Presidential inaugural parade. Among the more than 80 bands selected is Howard University's "Show Time" marching band. The band, which represents one of the most prestigious African American universities, is known for its theatrical choreography and flashy style. Chung-wei Hsu prepared this report narrated by Bill Rodgers on Show Time's moment in history -- in high definition.

NYC Times Square Reacts to Inauguration Ceremony 2:05
Watching the crowds watching the Inauguration of President Obama can be a rewarding experience. Join the crowd and hear the thoughts of some of the thousands of participants

Obama Sworn-In as US President -- a VOA report 2:30
Barack Obama is now the president of the United States. VOA White House correspondent Paula Wolfson reports more than a million people -- from all over the country -- gathered on a cold January day to witness his swearing-in.

Inauguration Day - HD Timelapse of the U.S. Capitol 0:52
A YouTube exclusive video -- high definition (HD) video showing the U.S Capitol from sunup to mid-afternoon on Inauguration Day in Washington D.C. -- including the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States

We the People 1:31
People from all over the United States came to Washington's National Mall, enduring the freezing winter cold as they waited for hours to hear and see Barack Obama inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States. Reporter Zulima was out on the National Mall talking to people, and produced this report.

DC Subway Strains From Inaugural Crowd 1:42
Washington D.C.'s subway system - called Metro - was pressed to the limit on Inauguration Day. Riders began streaming into the system eight hours before Barack Obama was sworn in as America's 44th president, and subway stations close to the Capitol were near paralysis. After the inauguration, Metro was overwhelmed again as the huge crowds sought to leave the National Mall.

US Inaugural is Tradition-Filled Ceremony 2:29
What we are about to witness is a carefully choreographed ceremony, almost none of it proscribed by law. Every element in the inaugural, except for the actual oath of office, has become tradition after an earlier president first established a precedent. VOA's Jim Fry reports, dating back to George Washington, U.S. presidents had to invent the inaugural ceremony

Over a Million to Witness Inauguration of President Barack Obama 1:55
People from all over the United States are in Washington, DC, to witness the swearing-in of the country's next president. Barack Obama is making history as the first African American to assume the office. But, as VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, people are braving cold and heavy security for many personal reasons.

Aviation Pioneer Attending Obama Inauguration 3:04
When Barack Obama takes the oath of office Tuesday, January 20th to become the first African American U.S. President, an aviation pioneer will be watching. Washington, DC resident Curtis Robinson, one of the nation's first black fighter pilots, will be seated in a place of honor at the event. VOA's David Byrd visited with the Tuskegee Airman at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Udvar Hazy Center.

Obama Speaks at Start of Inaugural Celebrations 2:12
Four days of celebrations and festivities surrounding the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama have begun in Washington with an open-air concert at the Lincoln Memorial. VOA's Michael Bowman reports.

From Slavery to Segregation to the Presidency 3:05
For older African-Americans who experienced the dark era of racial segregation in America, the election of Barack Obama represents an achievement that many did not even dare dream of. VOA's Siri Nyrop visited a church here in Washington where parishioners are celebrating the end of a very long journey.

NYC "Steppers" Marching Band in Inaugural Parade 3:24
Tuesday's Inaugural Parade will have a line-up of more than 80 bands, chosen from more than 1400 applicants around the country. Among the first to march down Pennsylvania Avenue will be the Brooklyn "Steppers" Marching Band, made up of young people from New York City. In the weeks since they learned they'd been chosen, the Brooklyn school children and teens have been rehearsing in every free moment, and with their parents, raising money for their trip to Washington. VOA's Carolyn Weaver has more.

Obama: 'Fit' for Command 1:49
U.S. President-elect Barack Obama enters office with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a troubled U.S. economy and continuing crisis in the Middle East. Despite the heavy workload, Mr. Obama says he intends to keep himself physically fit. From Washington, VOA's Sean Maroney reports Mr. Obama is hoping to keep playing a sport he loves -- basketball.

DC Public Transit Braces For Inauguration Crush 2:51
The inauguration of Barack Obama on January 20th is expected to draw huge numbers of people, perhaps setting a record for a presidential swearing-in. Estimates range as high as three million, but even half that number would be the largest crowd in inauguration history. The Washington, D.C. transit system, called Metro, will be the prime people-mover on Tuesday. But as VOA's Jeffrey Young reports, Metro may be inundated to the breaking point.

Obama, Biden Take Historic Train Tour to Washington 1:51
U.S. President-elect Barack Obama and his family have arrived in Washington for Tuesday's inauguration. As VOA's Kent Klein reports, Saturday's day-long train trip, stopping in four cities, was the final leg of Mr. Obama's nearly two-year journey to the White House.

A Walking Tour of the Inauguration 4:24
Correspondent Jim Malone walks you through the major locations of Inauguration Day and provides interesting highlights of previous inaugurations. Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States and there are traditions to follow on this history-making day.

Inaugural Balls Celebrate New Presidency 2:20
The inauguration of President-Elect Barack Obama is expected to draw millions of people to Washington, D.C., not only to see the new president take the oath of office, but also to party. The inaugural balls are an American tradition, but this year one ball will celebrate the new president in a global way. VOA's Catherine Cannon reports.

Biden, Cheney Approach Vice Presidency Differently 3:16
Moments before Barack Obama takes the oath of office as President of the United States next Tuesday, former Senator Joe Biden will be sworn in as Vice President, succeeding Dick Cheney. As VOA's Kent Klein reports, the outgoing and incoming vice presidents are vastly different, personally, politically, and in their approach to the nation's second-highest job.

Bush Delivers His Farewell Address 2:35
U.S. President George Bush has delivered his farewell address to the nation. VOA's Paula Wolfson reports from the White House that Mr. Bush used the occasion to reflect on the past and look to the future.

First Lady's Role Shaped by Tradition and the Individual 4:04
On January 20, when Barack Obama becomes the 44th president of the United States, his wife, Michelle Obama, will become First Lady. It's not an elected office, but the First Lady can play a significant role in the president's administration as VOA's Susan Logue reports.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Two Articles about College Apps

Graphic: How Sensitive Are They? NYTimes
Some private colleges consider your ability to pay when making admissions decisions; some don’t. How much of your financial need will they meet if you do get in?

Graphic: Application Fever NYTimes
Which race applies most?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Is Inspiring Classrooms Nationwide

by Ben Heine
(Note : If you wish a print of this image, click "Buy This Print" )

Inauguration Special

Inauguration Is Inspiring Classrooms Nationwide, by SAM DILLON, NYTimes
At a middle school in Austin, Tex., a young history teacher plans to use the hip-hop song “Black President” as a spark for an Inauguration Day discussion of politics and patriotism...

An Oath for the Ages Lesson Plan
For a New York Times Learning Network lesson plan on the inauguration, visit .


Monday, January 19, 2009

VOAVideo: Martin Luther King, Jr Holiday a Time for Tributes

VOAVideo: Martin Luther King, Jr Holiday a Time for Tributes

On January 19th, Americans will pay tribute to the legacy of slain civil rights leader The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the annual national holiday that celebrates his birthday (January 15th). Reverend King would have been 80 years old if he were alive today. More than 50 years ago, Dr. King campaigned across the United States, leading non-violent marches and demonstrations for equal rights for African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins looks back at his life and the impact his work had on the country.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Lit 011809

'King’s Dream' By ERIC J. SUNDQUIST Reviewed by ANTHONY LEWIS, NYTimes
A literature professor analyzes the origins and meanings of Martin Luther King’s famous speech.
First Chapter
Times Topics: Martin Luther King Jr.

Books About the Rise of Barack Obama Reviewed by ALAN BRINKLEY, NYTimes
In four new books, hopeful progressives interpret the 2008 election and Barack Obama’s coming presidency.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

NYTimes: What are your hopes for the Obama administration?

What are your hopes for the Obama administration?
The New York Times asked more than 200 people in 14 states (half red, half blue) to identify their greatest hopes for what Barack Obama might accomplish during his time as president. Their answers do not represent any kind of scientific sample—they come from people who shared their thoughts outside supermarkets, at parks, in restaurants. We grouped their responses into the 29 "hopes" below. Click on each speech bubble to hear their voices, and then choose the hopes you agree with by clicking on "I Hope So Too." Use the tabs to see which hopes are the most popular. If your hope is not represented below, include it in the comments section.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Science Friday 011609

So You Want to Be a Cybersleuth? By CECILIA CAPUZZI SIMON, NYTimes
How a former golfer and rock guitarist found cutting-edge work fighting crime in the data sphere.

11 Questions for Obama's Science Team By Dot.Earth, NYTimes December 31, 2008
President-elect Barack Obama pledges to put a lot of emphasis not only on reinvigorating science, but on making decisions that are grounded in science. As promised, I’m going to seek answers from his environmental and science team to the questions that received the most reader recommendations.

My Genome, My Self By Steven Pinker, NYTimes 01/07/09
The Personal Genome Project is an initiative in basic research, not personal discovery.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

History Thursday 011509

Paving the Way to the Inaugural Ball
Test your knowledge of African-Americans in the electoral process, from the Civil War to Barack Obama. Interactive Quiz

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Trendspotting: Campus Collections

Trendspotting: Slide Show: Collectors’ Items
Student photographers rove their campuses for The New York Times. This issue, what students are collecting at San Jose State, Cornell and the University of Virginia.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Reverse Brain Drain

Reverse Brain Drain NYTimes
Chinese financial institutions, in a reverse brain drain, are looking to recruit from the ranks of recently laid-off finance sector employees. Video.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Colleges Profit as Banks Market Credit Cards to Students

Colleges Profit as Banks Market Credit Cards to Students, By JONATHAN D. GLATER, NYTimes
As concern about student debt rises, promotional relationships between schools and banks have sounded alarm bells.
Video: College Borrowing Catches Up

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday Lit 011109

'The Red Convertible' By LOUISE ERDRICH Reviewed by LIESL SCHILLINGER, NYTimes
In her new story collection, Louise Erdrich chronicles Native American ways, but also captures the voices of multitudes. Times Topics: Louise Erdrich

'Things I've Been Silent About' By AZAR NAFISIReviewed by ELAINE SCIOLINO, NYTimes
The author of “Reading Lolita in Tehran” fleshes out personal stories left untold or half-told in her earlier work. First Chapter

Four Stakes in the Heart of Intelligent Design By CHARLES MCGRATH, NYTimes
Even as Darwin approaches his 200th birthday, the debate continues over evolution and creationism.

Utne: Why Read Books? Chris dodge, Utne
Reading is absurd, isn't it? Page after page of symbols. Voices in our heads that aren't our own. Why persist? We may read for entertainment, to pass the time, to visit other worlds, to expand our sense of what is possible. We hunt for treasure, rarely satisfied, but seeking new things to which we can aspire, clues and answers to what our lives are meant to be. At best, perhaps, we read to challenge ourselves and to be changed.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday Arts 011009

Show celebrates role of women in ancient Greece, Verena Dobnik, Associated Press 12/26/08
A woman's place has never been just in the home - not even in ancient Greece.

Pirates ride the airwaves from Mission redoubt Joel Selvin, SFGate 0/05/09
Pirate Cat Radio -- run by chief executive Monkey, above -- rides the airwaves from a Mission District cafe that doubles as the radio station home base.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Science Friday 010909

Big Think: "It's the creative process that's so tremendous"
The scientist and physician Pardis Sabeti discusses the joys of genetic research. Join the conversation at Big Think.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

History Thursday 010809

ESLPod Blog: Where exactly is the United States of America?
On Cafe #163, I said that the area known as the Florida Keys (which includes the city of Key West) was the “southernmost” point in the United States (that is, the place that is farthest to the south). Wolfgang, a listener from Germany, pointed out to me that this is not completely correct. The Florida Keys are southernmost in the continental United States...

Wikipedia: Extreme points of the United States
This is a list of the extreme points of the United States, the points that are farther north, south, east, or west than any other location in the country. Also included are extreme points in elevation.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bright Ideas: 23 Student Innovations

Bright Ideas: 23 Student Innovations by John Schwartz
On campuses across the country, students have been building practical inventions, starting novel businesses and generally alpha-testing their ideas. Go to Special Section »

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Broader Definition of Merit: The Trouble With College Entry Exams

A Broader Definition of Merit: The Trouble With College Entry Exams By BRENT STAPLES, NYTimes 10/01/08
Imagine yourself an admissions director of a status-seeking college that wants desperately to move up in the rankings. With next year’s freshman class nearly filled, you are choosing between two applicants. The first has very high SAT scores, but little else to recommend him. The second is an aspiring doctor who tests poorly but graduated near the top of his high school class while volunteering as an emergency medical technician in his rural county.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Applications for Colleges Clog System

Applications for Colleges Clog System By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes, 12/31/08
It is crunch time for college applications — and for the computer system that handles the flood of last-minute applications . . . Within moments the slowdown showed up on College Confidential, a Web site where students share their worries. At 6:30, a student posted: “What are we supposed to do? I can’t fill anything out.” Minutes later, another wrote: “This is SO not cool.”

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sunday Lit 010409

Slow Money Musings on This First Day of 2009 (found via Powell's Blog)
Let us imagine an earthworm protesting before the advancing blade of the plow.
Let us imagine a farmer conscientiously objecting before the commodifying prow of the market.
Let us imagine a poet slamming before the ferociously fiduciary lowest-common-denominatorness of the Dow....

2008 was an amazing year for science fiction novels, with Anathem hitting bestseller lists and critics going crazy over slavery tale Liberation and cyborg fantasy Alchemy of Stone. We've got the year's eleven best books.

'Shakespeare and Modern Culture' By MARJORIE GARBER Reviewed by CHARLES ISHERWOOD, NYTimes
A double-edged study of Shakespeare’s influence on the new, and vice-versa.
First Chapter
Times Topics: William Shakespeare

Life is full of stories. tell yours.

this i believe: Special Feature: 2008 in Review
With the arrival of the New Year, we are looking back and taking stock of the old year. 2008 included some wonderful essays about life, love, war, family, creativity and more. We hope you enjoy revisiting some of the beliefs presented in the past year.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Saturday Arts 010309

@ the Legion

Leonardo da Vinci: Drawings from the Biblioteca Reale in Turin Ends Jan. 4!
This is the first U.S. exhibition of one of the most significant collections of drawings by Leonardo da Vinci.
Highlights include the Egyptian, New Kingdom bust Queen Tiy, a lion relief that once lined the Processional Way in ancient Babylon, Andrea Mantegna’s The Virgin with the Sleeping Child, and a 19th-century woodblock print by the great Ukiyo-e master Utagawa Kuniyoshi titled The Priest Nichiren in the Snow on Sado Island.

@ the de Young

Asian-American Modern Art: Shifting Currents, 1900-1970 Ends Jan. 18!
The de Young Museum presents the work of artists of Asian ancestry who lived and worked in the United States. This exhibition represents the first comprehensive survey of these artists, and seeks to advance awareness of this under-represented group in American art history. Download an audio tour teaser.

Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes Ends Jan. 18!
A new exhibition of new sculptures, drawings, and installations by renowned artist Maya Lin. In 1981, Lin's Vietnam Veterans Memorial dramatically changed the language and form of commemorative sculpture by infusing minimalist design with the emotional charge of memory . . . This new body of work engages the issue of our fragile connection to the environment in timely and poetic ways. Download an audio tour teaser.

Yves Saint Laurent ends April 5
YSL explores the designs that made Saint Laurent famous, and his inspirations drawn from art, theatre, history, literature, and nature. This exhibition contains nearly 130 accessorized garments and sketches illustrating the lines, colors, and fundamentals of Saint Laurent’s work. This is the only U.S. venue.