Archive for February, 2017

President Trump’s Address to Congress Tonight

I recommend going to C-SPAN for this speech. Not only will it be shown in its entirety, but a transcript will be available and the speech, as with any political event covered by this site, will be permanently archived.

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“Uncle Tom’s Cabin” As It First Appeared

Many people are not aware that the great anti-slavery work Uncle Tom’s Cabin was first published as a weekly serial in the National Era; it appeared in forty-one issues and elicited many letters to the editor. As was not uncommon during these times, the first novel edition (2 vols, 1852) was different than its serial counterpart. Much more information on this work can be found here.

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Did the Lewis & Clark Expedition Have a Black Participant?

The Corps of Discovery did indeed have a black man as part of its travels – it was William Clark’s slave named York. We have no knowledge of his first name and scant biographical information. Much of what we know of him can be gleaned from the authoritatively edited Journals and glimpsed in the recently published Dear Brother: Letters of William Clark to Jonathan Clark. A summation of his activities on the exploration could read as the following: “He seems to have carried a gun and to have performed his full share of the duties with other members of the party; a body servant who could neither defend himself nor carry his share of the load would have been an unacceptable luxury on the expedition.” (Journals, volume 2, appendix A)

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National Academies Press – Security Monographs

This august body sponsors research, seminars and symposiums on a wide variety of topics from agriculture to transportation. So it should come as no surprise that over 500 books are available in the “Conflict and Security” link. The works range from Building Community Disaster Resilience to Reliability Growth: Enhancing Defense System Reliability, and you have the ability to do keyword searching of this sub-section of the Press as you do in any of the other areas covered, such as climate change (128 books); computers and information technology (281 books); and law and justice (79). The works can be as current as 2017 and usually are supplemented with informative bibliographies  that contain links where available.

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Characteristics of the 115th Congress

This brief CRS report presents a statistical overview of this Congress:

“Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, length of congressional service, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service.”  (Summary)

Also, consult The Hill’s 115th Congress Will be the Most Racially Diverse in History for more data.

 

 

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Jersey City #1 in Diversity

According to WalletHub, Jersey City is the most diverse city in the United States with an overall score of 95.88. You can review the methodology and criteria employed.

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EPA Administrator Pruitt’s Close Relationship With Energy Companies

This cache of over 7000 pages of emails outlines the very close relations EPA Administraor Pruitt had with energy companies while he was Oklahoma Attorney General and fighting federal environmental regulations. These communications between him, his staff, and oil company executives paint a picture that has troubling implications for the future of the environment.

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Compare Plans to Replace The Affordable Care Act

There are several plans extant at the moment; this tool from the Kaiser Family Foundation allows you to see how these plans stack up against the ACA. Here are the talking points that the Republicans are supposed to use at town hall meetings to justify their plans to repeal and replace ACA.

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The Opinions of Supreme Court Justice Nominee Neil Gorsuch

As is pointed out in the CRS publication, Judge Gorsuch has authored more than 800 opinions in his tenure on the U.S. Court of Appeals. This aforementioned report lists what are considered essential cases he has reviewed and written on, ranging from administrative law to constitutional law; links are provided to the individual cases. A good biographical overview, coupled with an analysis of his judicial record, can be found at SCOTUSblog.

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More Species Threatened By Climate Change Than First Thought

According to this article from Nature Climate Change, “Our results suggest that populations of large numbers of threatened species are likely to be already affected by climate change, and that conservation managers, planners and policy makers must take this into account in efforts to safeguard the future of biodiversity.” The percentage of endangered species facing imminent eradication is much higher than first postulated. More efforts need to be expended in the here and now, rather than in future speculation.

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2017 Report of New Jersey School Bullying/Crimes Released

The formal name of the report is Commissioner’s Annual Report to the Education Committees of the Senate and General Assembly on Violence, Vandalism and Substance Abuse in New Jersey Public Schools, and according to the latest iteration, crime statistics have gone up 5% from the previous year of 2014/15. Bullying is down (16), but other reported crimes are up (9-10). School district data are found in Appendix D (D2+).

 

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New Jersey School Closings/Delays for Thursday 2/9/17

For updated information come here, here or here. And to be absolutely sure, check your school district’s website.

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EdTech Reports – January 2017

Digital Literacy (deals with technology in higher education, New Media Consortium); Top Ten IT Issues (this annual feature is always worth the read, EDUCAUSE); IT Salary and Job Satisfaction Survey (focuses on higher education, Campus Technology); Breaking the Mold: Investing in Racial Diversity in Tech (openmic.org); and Reimaging the Role of Technology in Higher Education (U.S. Office of Educational Technology).

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A Look Inside SnapChat

For an in-depth look at SnapChat, a secretive company, read its IPO. Here are some interesting data: what risk factors might hinder its growth?(p 12); it had 158 million Daily Active Users at the end of December 2016(12);  age and title of its executive officers (125); that “Our team is kind, smart, and creative” (119); that “Snap Inc. is a camera company. We believe that reinventing the camera represents our greatest opportunity to improve the way that people live and communicate. Our products empower people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together.” (60); who they think their audience is (66); and their top ten advertising markets (118). Much more can be gleaned from this document.

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