Friday, December 23, 2005

09 Talent Show: events in your digital portfolio of the fall semester, CMHS

Class of 09 Talent Show dancers
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
While there was a ton of energy the last 2 weeks of the semester in building digital portfolios (shooting pics with the C4 digital camera, sharing web site building techniques, etc), many students did not have them ready during exam week.

Since my nickname is Trudeau the Benevolent I am happily grading emailed submissions this week. Each day I've seen 5 to 10 portfolios arrive at

It is Not Too Late! If your DigiFolio hasn't been given to me, send it in this week - or next.

Don't forget the miniscule expectations of this 15 point project designed to document your semester at CMHS:
* 2 personal slides (from CMHS, not middle school)
* 2 activity slides (Talent show, Sr-Fr Mixer, concert, sports, etc)
* 2 images of schoolwork (essay, art, mult-choice paper, study guide, etc).
* Explanations to accompany each image. Please don't be cheap in your prose.

I recommend one-stop shopping at

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Notebook computers under $1000: a review in the NYT

Ma cherie et son portable...
Originally uploaded by FraggleSeb.
Try the NY Times article called "Notebooks come in at under $1000 with speed and style". It will give you and your parents an improved idea of what to save for or what to get as soon as possible.

Several of my students are using their laptops in my classes and it's really helpful. Let's make CMHS and the Class of 09 the digital information and skills gang.

Allow me to say again that getting my iBook 12" has
produced an extremely positive impact on my school and family life.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Digital Portfolios and the art of Photography: a lifetime skill and an essential tool in social science

There is an eye in my camera
Originally uploaded by inapplicable.
The score for the Digital Portfolio was the last grade of the semester (15 pts). The energy my students put into photography and online presentation skills was terrific.

Thus the second semester will open with skills and perspectives in photography. We will investigate the historical side - the earliest cameras and motion pictures - as well as the technical side - digital photo enhancement as well as storage. We will see the importance of photography in anthropology - investigations of disease, poverty, war, etc - as well as in politics (Ansel Adams and the national parks, Richard Nixon and the 1960 election).

You will learn to improve your effectiveness in
* composition (Get close!)
* lighting (Use side lighting.)
* photo essays (telling a story in more than one shot.)

We will look at video, too.

happy holidays!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Online diversions

the magical swami
Originally uploaded by pheezy.
You might enjoy analyzing the Flash Mind Reader:
Flash Mind Reader.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Mark Twain loved Connecticut and the Conn River valley near Hartford

Originally uploaded by janeymoffat.
And the witty creator of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn famously said:

"I have never let schooling interfere with my education."

What do you think he meant by that?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Blue sheet Essay Guidelines for the exam's comnparison essay

Recorded Texts
Originally uploaded by Munzerr.
1. Colorful opening. There are 3 recommended ways to create an interest-getting opening: a) use a quote b) ask a question c) write with vivid description.
2. Blend the topics continually in the paper. Do not write a block of material about one topic and then write a separate block about the other topic. Integrate the topics as you offer insight and evidence.
3) Use comparison terms:
* different from,
* the same,
* Both,
* similar to,
* Neither, ... nor,
* like X is (adjective),
* ... than X is (adverb) than.
* both, ...
* either...or
* likewise
* similarly
* although,
* but neither...
* nor
* however
* on the other hand
4. Specific examples must be used to support generalities. An example: generality - The Incredibles was an awesome movie. specific - The Incredibles appealed to me because the characters (especially the mom and the teen sister) were believeable. They sounded like people I know.
5. Grammar counts.
6. Spelling, too. When in doubt, see a dictionary or ask me.
7. Punctuation is paramount. Again, ask me or your Grammar Check software.
8. Include documentation via "according to ...". This means include your source - from World Book to your little brother - in the body of your writing. Usually you place it at the end of the first or second sentence, says Grammar For Today.
9. Write a snappy title. Ways to make a title fun are to tweak a song or movie title or use alliteration. Also, write an explanatory subtitle. Example: "Dinkas are Incredibles;" "Many refugees from the Sudanese Dinka tribe have moved from poverty in east Africa to comfort in the US."

Finally, please don't put quotation marks around your title - unless you are quoting someone.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Semester exam study guide 12/05

5 little buddhas
Originally uploaded by wam mosely.
Semester exam study Guide

Multiple-choice map:
Turkey, Istanbul
Syria, Damascus
Israel, West Bank region, Dead Sea, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv
Egypt, Cairo, Suez canal, Sinai Peninsula
Red Sea, Mediterranean, Persian Gulf, Tigris R., Euphrates R., Arabian Sea
Arabian peninsula
Saudi Arabia, Mecca
Iraq, Baghdad
Iran, Tehran

* The Rand McNally Quick reference World Atlas will be used on numerous atlas skill questions.
* Former tests as printed on the class web site will also be included.
* The essay will call for comparing the movies Not One Less and Lawrence of Arabia.

CMHS 09: first semester exam schedule

CMHS 09: first semester exam times
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Mon, Dec 9: 3rd hour and 4th hour exams.
Tues, Dec 20: 1st and 5th hour exams.
Wed, Dec 21: 2nd and 6th period exams.

The first test session each day is 8:45 to 10:30.
The second exam runs from 10:45 to 12:30. Students are then dismissed. They may go to lunch and then to busses or they may go home.

Caddo school board policy requires teachers to count exams scores as 20% of the semester grade. That can be difficult for many students! A guide to the exam will be forthcoming Dec 12.

Report cards will be issued Fri, Jan 13, 2006. Students return to school Th, Jan 5.

* Emperor Shi Huang Di
* Gunpowder & printing
* Abacus & silk
* Buried army at Xi'an
* Confucius
* Imperial City, Beijing
* Mao Zedong & the communist revolution
* Chinese immigrants in US history
* Yangtze & yellow River valleys
* Tibet and the Himalayas
* Taiwan
* Silk Road
* Buddhism
* Temple & palace architecture
* Acupuncture
* Shanghai
* Hong Kong

* swastika, ancient Chinese symbol of good luck
* Ni hau!
* Middle Kingdom - ancient Chinese name for China.

Not One Less guide / Trudeau

1) Not One Less is a movie in a) Mandarin Chinese b) Cantonese Chinese c) Rural Chinese.
Choose between a. Teacher Gao b) the Mayor c) Teacher Wei d) Zhang Huike in the following prompts:
2) Most frugal character.
3) Battling the drop-out rate.
4) Money conscious.
5) Menial work.
6) Moderating influence.
7) Greatest allegiance.
8) Stubborn.
9) Happy-go-lucky.
10) Philosophical and accepting.
11) Chinese currency: a) yuan b) yen c) Chinese dollar.
12) Shuixian School is located near a) Xi’an b) Beijing c) Shanghai.
13) Symbol of pride in learning and efficient use of resources: a) sending swift runner of the class to the sports specialty school b) flag c) chalk.
14) Type of humor which crosses cultural borders: a) religious b) political
c) scatalogical d) sarcasm.
15) The director of Not One Less: a) Jet Li b) Zhang Huike c) Zhang Yimou
d) Shi Huang Di.

1. Lost Boys of Sudan presents political, social, or historical subject matter in a factual and informative manner. Thus we call it a a) drama b) documentary c) reality TV d) direct TV.
2. Bienvenue: a) good luck! b) get well! c) good eating! d) welcome!
3. Demographics is the study of a) populations b) nations c) cities d) ethnic groups.
4. A large organization marked by many layers of authority (such as a government or a school system): a) bureaucracy b) documentary c) benign d) effluvia.
5. An acacia is an African a) plain b) tree c) village d) hut.
6. Name the connection between Ethiopia and Sudan as well as between Lake Victoria and the Mediterranean: a) Islam
b) poverty c) the Nile d) ancient caravan routes.
7. The Upper Nile is in a) southern Egypt b) southern Egypt c) western Egypt.
8. A memory aid: a) acronym b) mnemonic c) ululation.
9. Swahili is the language of a) East Africa b) Mediterranean Africa c) Madagascar
d) Sudan.
10. Population of metropolitan Houston: a) 2.5 M b) 4.5 M
c) 8.5 M d) 40.5 M.
11. The Red River flows through North Louisiana thusly: a) NW to SE b) E to W c) W to E d) SE to NW.
12. In ancient history, which came first to Sudan? a) Christianity
b) Islam c) Buddhism.
13. Just as Sudan's civil war seemed to be coming to an end, another genocidal massacre intensified in the northwestern region of __ .
a) Darfur b) Khartoum c) Libya d) Dinka territory.
14. That the British were colonial masters of Sudan for 150 years is implied by the profile of the nation. You will find a hint in the people’s a) racial characteristics b) languages c) occupations d) educational system.
15. Things that are native to a region are said to be a) indigent
b) indigenous c) inveterate d) individual.
16. Silicon valley is near a) Seattle b) San Francisco c) Los Angeles d) San Diego.
17. Bill Gates’ home and Microsoft world headquarters is in the state of a) Oregon b) California c) Washington d) Texas.
18. Haiti and Dominican Republic are two poor nations on one island: a) Puerto Rico b) Hispaniola c) Cayman Is. d) Port-au-Prince.
19. A chain of islands is referred to as an a) archipelago b) strait
c) alluvial chain d) asylum.
20. Equal day and night: a) equinox b) solstice c) synonymous.
21. Which would produce the longest day of the year? a) summer solstice b) winter solstice c) fall equinox d) spring equinox.
22. Name the ocean current with the greatest impact on Louisiana: a) Gulf of Mexico b) Caribbean c) Gulf Stream d) Labrador Current.

Cuba and 4 additional nations are the remaining communist entities. * Quick, simple definition of communist nation:
1. Totalitarian govt.
2. Govt also controls the economy, which includes all business, land, products and employment.

Communist nations? 1. Cuba 2. China 3. Vietnam 4. North Korea 5. Laos (a neighbor of Vietnam).
Whic h communist nation has recently dropped the part about government control of business? China.

philanthropist (Bill & Melinda GGates, Rockefellers, Virginia Sheehee).
Gulf of Mexico's Loop Current
Gannett Corp. / Canada / Washington, DC. / USA Today
Caribs and Arawaks

National Geographic: “Gone with the Water,” Oct, 04 / Trudeau / Geo test 2

Choose the best answer possible.
1. Louisiana’s coast can expect greater damage from the sea, says a climatologist. One reason: a) barrier islands b) global warming c) marsh sediment d) spring floods.
2. Before the Mississippi levees were built, what factor prevented coastal erosion?
a) floods b) canals c) marshes d) FEMA.
3. Before 1927 the Mississippi Valley sediment frequently flowed into the fields surrounding the river. After 1927 the sediment flowed to the a) wetlands b) brackish marshes c) gulf d) canals.
4. Petroleum exploration and ship traffic have caused salt water to a) penetrate
b) retreat from c) stabilize Louisiana’s brackish marshes (“brackish” means mixed salt water and fresh water).
5. The oil being transported through Louisiana’s wetlands amounts to some a) 30% b) 50% c) 90% of America’s supplies.
6. Commercial fisheries in America are ranked, acc. to NatGeo: a) Florida-Alaska-Louisiana b) Florida-Louisiana-Alaska c) Louisiana-Florida-Alaska d) Alaska-Louisiana.
7. The US Corps of Engineers seems to have made a costly coastal error in constructing a) a channel to serve as a shortcut for freighters b) the Louisiana Coastal Area (LCA) project c) the Atchafalaya Delta.
8. Breaching the levees with a set of gated spillways, says a coastal geomorphologist, will have this effect on the coastal marsh: a) build up b) increase in erosion c) subsidence.
9. The success story on the Louisiana coastline is a) the Caernavon Diversion
b) Atchafalaya River c) La. Coastal Area (LCA) project.
10. The US Corps of Engineers allows only a third of the Mississippi’s water to flow out via the Atchafalaya channel. The reason? a) dissolving coastal marsh b) build-up of the Atchafalaya Delta c) loss of water supply for Lower Mississippi towns d) stabilization of the shoreline.
11. This article implies that Louisiana’s commercial shrimp fishing industry has almost collapsed. T / F
12. The La Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) enables supertankers to deliver some 15% of America’s oil. This petroleum is categorized as a) domestic b) foreign c) natural gas d) Louisiana muck.
13. Low taxes and high-paying jobs have come to Louisiana via the __ industry.
a) shipping b) fisheries c) tourism d) petroleum.
14. According to NatGeo, regional depressurization, or subsidence, will likely continue due to the high price of a) coastal restoration b) natural gas c) seafood d) flood relief.
15. In one or two sentences . . .
a) explain the engineer’s observation that “short term advantages can be gained by exploiting the environment. But in the long term you’re going to pay for it.” (“exploiting means “taking advantage of”).
Also, b) give an example of the short term vs. long term as presented in this article.
Priorities: grammar, spelling and legibility. (3 pts.)

Nat Geo “Gone with the Water” Geo test 2 answers

1. b global warming
2. a floods
3. c gulf
4. a penetrate
5. a 30%
6. d Alaska-Louisiana
7. a freighter channel
8. a build up
9. b Atachafalaya
10. c keeping South La water supplies free of salt water
11. F
12. b foreign
13. d petroleum
14. b natural gas

15. After some 80 years (since 1927) of using levees, the city area has grown to about 1.2 million people and is a success as a tourist destination. But the payback has arrived. The city has become a bowl-shaped site that is terribly vulnerable to the effects of severe storms. Hurricane Katrina has wiped out many of the businesses and people whose safety and jobs depended on the levee system.

Alternative: Louisiana has gained many high-paying jobs and much state revenue by allowing the oil companies limitless ability to explore and drill for oil. But the canals dug and the oil extracted from the ground have contributed to erosion and subsidence and an alarming loss of coastal wetlands. The loss of coastal land to salt water looks like a long-term trend that is almost unstoppable. It seems Louisiana is paying the price of coastal land loss for the oil monies gained during the past century.

NatGeo vocabulary:

Big Easy - NO nickname based on Big Apple
homage - honor
Ash Wed. - day after Mardi Gras; first day of Lent
maelstrom - whirling storm
infirm - ill or incapable
berm - built-up land
Apocalypse - end of world through violent destruction.
dehydration - lack of water
putrid - rotten
sediment - dirt issolved in water.
chinks - gap
global warming - recent climate trend
barrier islands - narrow island close to coast
subsidence - sinking land
deluge - flood
levees - land raised as a barrier to water flow.
brackish - mixed salt water and fresh water.
1/3 US oil production or transportation: Louisiana
1/4 US natural gas: Louisiana
2nd in US fish: Louisiana
La Coastal Area project - attempt to restore lost land.
geomorphologist - studies changing geography
breaching - breaking
spillways - gate in a levee for relieving flood pressure.
diversions - to change, or divert, the course of the water.
culvert - man-made waterway under a road
prototype - initial model
lush - rich
restoration - to rebuild
US Corps of Engineers
$300 million seafood - Louisiana
1st oil well: 1901 - Louisiana
ubiquitous - found everywhere.
deep offshore wells - important source of US oil.
1/3 US domestic oil production - flows through La.
ANWR Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge
Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) - supertankers 18 miles in the Gulf offloading or onloading oil via pipelines.
supertankers - modern international oil carriers.
Strategic Petroleum Reserve - oil reserves set aside for national emergency.
saline formation - salt dome; associated with oil deposits.
induced subsidence - forced sinking of land.
Bayou LaFourche / Bayou Terrebonne - rural land below Baton Rouge.
Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary - bay southwest of New Orleans.
beignet - fried treat.
Cafe du Monde - Cafe of the World (all the people)
torpid - very hot and humid.
licentious - enjoying pleasures of the flesh.
“short-term advantages can be gained by exploiting the environment”

Rivers and civilizations

Sketch an informal map of the Miss. Valley.
* 10 bordering states
* 5 big tributaries
* the alternative outlet: Atchafalaya R.
See also Sabine R and Pearl R.

Please see

Why study this great basin? Is it at all connected to our study of the Katrina disaster? How so?

superfluous: unnecessary material

1) Ancient advances in mapping seen in Babylonia, Mesopotamia, about 2,300 BCE (Before the Common Era). Use of geometry in mapping.

2) Egyptians use geometry in mapping for land ownership.

3) Greece: Strabo wrote the book Geographia about 63 BCE.
* Pythagoras was the first to offer proof that the earth is spherical.
* Greeks develop map projections and the grid system.

Cradles of Civilization, acc to A History of the World:
* Mesopotamia
* Nile Valley
* China's Huang valley
* Indus Valley of Pakistan / India.

belief that your culture is superior to others.

Historic map / Roots of Geography:
a) Euphrates and Tigris Rivers
b) Babylonia: cities of Babylon and Ur.
c) Persian Gulf
d) Red Sea
e) Mediterranean
f) Black Sea
g) Turkey / Asia Minor
h) Greece
i) Arabia

S W ASia: a map of principal cities.
Athens, Constantinople, Damascus, Baghdad, Tehran, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Cairo and Mecca.
Why "bakeries"? Because the development of wheat and other grains as crops was an earmark of civilized society. From wheat one makes bread, "the staff of life."

1) Is Spaceship Earth spherical or elliptical in shape? Both.
2) Why is "Middle East" an ethnocentric term?
Ethnocentric: belief that your nation or culture is superior to others, ie, cultural bias. Examples: the French, the Chinese, the Americans.
* Since the term Mid East was coined by the English during the time of the British Empire, we see that the term has a cultural bias. The rest of the world does not see the region as "Middle" nor necessarily as the "east." A less value-laden term is South West Asia.
3) The language that first united this region - under the reign of Alexander the Great:
a) Greek
b) latin
c) Arabic
Answer: Greek. It was followed by latin and, much later, by Arabic.
4) A person who is open-minded, broadly educated and a "citizen of the world," or sophisticated"
a) provincial
b) cosmopolitan
c) parochial.
Answer: cosmopolitan. Provincial and parochial mean "from the country."

Cosmopolitan cities, for their broad cultures and educational levels: NYC, Seattle, San Francisco. Provincial cities: New Orleans, Memphis.

petra: rock
oleum: oil

Atlas: the Greek titan cursed with the burden of holding up the entire world.

Mercator Projection:
* commonest type
* see textbook, WG, pp. 4 to 7.

In what nation?
a) Euphrates
b) Tigris
c) Mesopotamia
d/ Ur
e) Babylonia

Greenwich / London / prime meridian

What is disconsonant about the definition of cosmopolitan and the magazine's image as implied by its covers? Is the contemporary Cosmopolitan in effect a Babylonian periodical?

terra firma (Latin)

tempus (Latin)
Arab astronomers:
Betelgeuse, Aldebaran

Open Notes test 3 / Cartography, etc.

1) If storms seem larger than usual to you this year, it’s probably true. According to National Geographic, scientists largely attribute this to a) coastal erosion b) loss of barrier islands c) changes in ocean currents such as the Gulf Stream d) global warming.

Name the large city closest to:
2) 40N, 74W
3) 32N, 35E
4) 30S, 20E
5) 35S, 150E
6) 30E, 90W

7) The region associated with the earliest use of math and mapping: a) Babylonia b) Mesopotamia c) Egypt d) Greece.
8) Greenwich, England, is home to the a) equator b) prime meridian c) oldest section of London.
9) Pythagoras and the grid system are associated with a) Greece b) Egypt c) Mesopotamia.
10) This ancient region was not mentioned in notes on the history of cartography, but it is one of the regions designated a Cradle of Civilization. We may guess that their achievements in map making were also significant.
a) China b) Rome, Italy c) Aztecs, Mexico City d) Constantinople.
11) Called the Father of geography for his book Geographia, this scholar was an ancient Greek: a) Plato b) Strabo c) Pythagoras d) Aristotle.
12) Called the most ancient city of the Western world: a) Babylon b) Cairo
c) Alexandria d) Ur.
13) Write the grid coordinates for Istanbul (formerly Constantinople).
14) Sometimes the world fights over ethnocentric concerns (ie, the Germans wanted to take over most of Europe because they deserved it, said Hitler) and sometimes it simply accepts them.
In one or two sentences describe a situation in which the world has quietly accepted an ethnocentric term and describe the non-ethnocentric alternative to that term. (2 pts.)

Test 3 answers:
1. global warming
7. babylon
8. prime meridian
9. Greece
10. China
11. Pythagoras
12. Ur
14. The term Middle east was proposed by the English during the ascendancy of the British Empire. Journalists took up the phrase and it became currency. But the phrase does not work for the Chinese and many other peoples. Thus the objective term South West Asia is preferable.

Ethnocentrism (Greek ethnos ("nation" + -centrism) or ethnocentricity is the tendency to look at the world primarily from the perspective of one's own culture. Many claim that ethnocentrism occurs in every society; ironically, ethnocentrism may be something that all cultures have in common

The Nile and Tigris-Euphrates valleys have a common name: Fertile Crescent. The name links these two most ancient places of the civilized world.

Demonstrating that you know metropolis coordinates:
1. 24N, 83W
2. 33N, 83W
3. 48N, 2E

shibboleths are words or phrases - or the pronunciation of words - that mark the in-group and identify the outsider. Hip-hop culture says "crunk" instead of excited. Academic culture says TIMZ instated of Thames. Internet culture says lol instead of We are amused.

Megalopolis: when nearby cities grow together and become mega-cities. Ex: an unbroken urban stretch runs from Boston to Washington, DC. The mega-city is built around the metropolis of NYC. You should be able to name two other megalopoli, such as Tokyo and Los Angeles.

Ethnic groups

Anglo-Americans / WASP's: white, Anglo-Saxon protestants . They are the longstanding, dominant group of the US power structure.
German-Americans are an enormous group and are known for their assimilation (blending in).
Jewish-Americans are a small group but wield great political power.
Hispanic-Americans include people from many nations - all of whom speak Spanish.
African-Americans make up about the same percentage of US population as Hispanics: both are about 13%.

Ethnicity may be defined by race, nationality or even language.

patois: an informal language, such as Creole or the Jamaican patois.
scatalogical: referring to bodily functions, usually as in humor. Scatology is the study of skat (Gk), usually as a historic, archaeological inquiry.
Be able to identify from a brief description:

Manhattan island
Bronx / mainland, adjacent to Conn.
Brooklyn / on Long Island
Queens / NE of Brooklyn on Long Is.
Staten Is. / NY harbor
Ellis Island / immigration

United Nations / East River, Manhattan
Columbia University / Manhattan, near Harlem
Central Park / center of Manhattan
Harlem / Manhattan, north of Central Park
Lower East Side / immigrant center, lower Manhattan
Greenwich Village / oldest residential area / lower Manhattan

Broadway / runs N / S the entire Manhattan island
Fifth Avenue / N / S street, Manhattan

Cuneiform is the ancient writing from Mesopotamia - from Iraq. Made with a reed stylus, these pictographic characters are connected to our writing (please see World Book, etc, for the connection).

Why do students know plenty about hieroglyphics and so little about cuneiform script?
a) Egyptian monuments were made in stone. Assyrian and Babylonian monuments and proclamations were made in clay and sun-baked brick. Thus erosion delayed archaeologists in their exhumation of the achievements of the Meosopotamians.
Americans love Egyptian culture. Somehow we find it comforting. The culture of the Babylonians, however, remains alien and forbidding to Westerners.

NYC map inquiry
1. Identify the 2 states that border New York.
2. Name the capital of New York.
3. Four of the boroughs are located on islands. Name the two that share space on one island.
4. Which one of these is a notable Manhattan neighborhood? a) Roxbury b) Crown Heights c) Watts d) Harlem e) all the above.
5. Name the avenue famous for swank stores and bling bling. That would be a) Central Park West b) Madison Ave. c) Fifth Ave. d) Broadway.
6. On the Upper West Side is a complex of music schools (Juilliard) and concert halls (Avery Fisher Hall). It is called a) the Rotunda b) Walt Disney Concert Center c) Lincoln Center d) John Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
7. This multi-skyscraper complex was built near the end of the Depression by a scion of America’s wealthiest family. It is the a) Gates Pavilion b) Trump Towers c) Rockefeller Center d) Chrysler Building.
8. Broadway at 42nd Street. This triangular plaza was once the site of the offices of NYC’s best-known newspaper. The spot is called __ __.
9. This charming historic district is NYC’s oldest residential neighborhood. It was named for the city near London in which the Prime Meridian was established. It is __ Village
10. The run-down Manhattan neighborhood in which many poor immigrants (notably East European Jews, Italians and Chinese) got their start is the a) Upper West Side b) the Midtown area
c) the Lower East Side.
11. This famous site is near NY Harbor and the Hudson River. There was a restaurant atop the site called Windows on the World; today, a memorial and construction mark this large Lower Manhattan landmark.
12. The earliest site of European settlement is at the southern tip of Manhattan. Today it is marked by a park named for the set of cannons that awaited any forces sailing into NY harbor. a) Central Park b) Grosvenor Park c) Riverside Park
d) Battery Park.
13. One of the islands in NY harbor was an immigration center - today an immigration museum. A nearby island is overshadowed by a gift from France to the US. Name the 2 islands.
14. There are two major airports on Long Island; one is LaGuardia Airport, one is JFK International. One of them is close to Long Island Sound. Which one is near the Atlantic?
15. In NYC landmarks, which “island” is actually a peninsula?
16. The East River and Harlem River border manhattan on the east. On the west is the __ River.
17. Name the 5 boroughs of NYC.
18. The tiny colony that became NYC was first established by people from the European nation of __. Later, it was taken over and renamed for the Duke of York by people from the nation of __.
19. Rip Van Winkle and the Knickerbocker Tales reflect the culture of the earliest Europeans settlers, the __ .

20. Place these 10 immigrant groups in chronological order in regards their arrival in NYC:


23. Rockefeller Center is symbolic of several American strengths. Explain, please:
a) engineering
b) art & beauty
c) entrepreneurial energy
26. Are Wall Street and the NY Stock Exchange nearest the World Trade Center site or Central Park?
27. What's the longest major street in Manhattan? a) Broadway b) Fifth Avenue c) Riverside Drive.
28. Is Harlem on the north or south end of Manhattan?
29. Which is on the north end, which on the southern end of Manhattan? Columbia U. and NYU.

The source of much of NYC's wealth is the enormously productive Hudson valley (apples, grapes, iron and hearty men) and the Erie Canal waterway, a connection to the Great Lakes.

Thus today we sketched a map of the Empire State with an emphasis on the Hudson, Erie Canal and Lakes Ontario and Erie. Illustration? The Erie Canal barge.

This question arose: "Gotham. Does it relate to Gothic?"
The definition of Gothic includes
* architecture - the thorny-pointy medieval cathedrals
* art - the medieval, non-classical styles
* fiction - dealing with mystery, extreme meotion, the unconscious
* and the Germanic tribe called the Goths - reputed as uncouth and barbarous.

Among the items to add to a map of the Gulf rim:
* hot Gulf water and a storm cycle that encompasses decades.
* marshes eroded and sunken.
* Gulf oil pipelines vulnerable to oil spills.
* Oil platforms / rigs, which are pumping stations, are damaged by mega storms.
* Oil refineries (land-based factories which process crude oil into gasoline, diesel and plastics) are slowed by storms.
* Trucking is hampered by spikes in gas prices.
* Airlines are stressed by high fuel prices.
* One third of the US oil & natural gas supplies are associated with the Gulf.
* Investments in the future of the US (and Louisiana) are limited by the enormous bill to be paid in repairing storm damages. Will the modern version of the wealth-providing Erie Canal be built by the US while it is bearing the estimated $200 billion debt for the storms of 2005?

* Finally, we learned from Channel One that the background of these super storms is cloudy: scientists don't agree on the blame due to
a) global warming
b) normal cycles of high storm activity.

“Imagine 20 years of this,” NY Times, 9-25-05, Donald McNeil
1. icon
2. portent
3. harbinger
4. cartouche
5. oscillates
6. meteorological
7. sloth
8. ephemeral
9. infrastructure
10. deficit

a) basic facilities, services, and installations needed for the functioning of a community or society
b) warning sign, or omen.
c) symbol of what’s coming.
d) to rapidly move back and forth.
e) loss or debit.
f) an oblong symbol of a pharaoh.
g) image.
h) a short-lived thing.
i) having to do with the atmosphere.
j) laziness.

1) “Squalls can be tracked from their birth off the coast of Africa.” This is because a) widespread and violent conflict in Africa results in storms. b) Africa is a continent with few natural harbors. c) Africa is connected to North America and the Gulf of Mexico via wind and ocean currents.

2) “Marshes that once absorbed storms have been allowed to die off and sink.”
a) due to oil production b) due to levees along the mighty Mississippi c) due to digging of erosive ship channels. d) due to inadequate political leadership.

3) Most US refineries are located around the Gulf rim because a) that’s where all the oil is located. b) tourism advocates and environmentalists in the Pacific region and Appalachians have opposed oil facilities.

4) A cycle of severe storms may affect * investment in infrastructure improvements * investment in exploration of new technology * your economic future because the investment monies will be spent on a) terrorism protection b) debates over taxation c) hospitals and nursing homes d) storm repair.

5) Trucking, airlines, oil and __ companies have been negatively affected by the storm impact.
a) insurance b) construction c) sanitation d) meteorological.

1. icon - image
2. portent - symbol of what lies ahead
3. harbinger - something that foretells the future
4. cartouche - identifies a pharaoh
5. oscillates - vibrates
6. meteorological - referring to the atmosphere
7. sloth - laziness
8. ephemeral - vanishing quickly
9. infrastructure - basic services and facilities
10. deficit - debit

1. See the Atlantic map for the currents that connect Africa's coast with the Caribbean and Gulf.
2. Oil production; the key word is "sink," which implies subsidence and oil extraction.
3. Environmentalists and tourism advocates often oppose drilling - in many regions away from the Gulf.
4. Storm repair.
5. Insurance. We will all pay the cost through higher insurance rates.

Creating a timeline of religions born in SW Asia
Judaism, Christianity and Islam: all were born near each other between the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf. World Geography, the textbook, gives us enough material to begin our timeline exploration.

essay question:
New Orleans / NYC comparison essay

The instructions were, “Describe and compare the river basins and harbor location of America’s 2 greatest ports, NYC and NO. Use your atlas and notes to name the rivers and describe the regions that contributed to these cities’ success in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.” On the board I wrote “See maps a) NYC: Hudson, Erie Canal, Great lakes. b) Mississippi Valley. My answer is below.

Imagine barges loaded with furs, fish and timber as well as barrels filled with minerals. Is that barge headed down the Mississippi to the port of New Orleans or down the Hudson to NYC? Both are possible.

In the early 1800’s the city of NO was booming from the immense amounts of cargo that came from the Ohio River valley, the Tennessee River, from the Missouri valley and the Arkansas River valley. Some 10 states were connected by major rivers to the Mississippi. In New Orleans ships were waiting to take some of these goods acroiss the oceans.

In the early 1800’s the state of New York built the Erie Canal, a 400-mile waterway that connected the Great lakes with the Hudson valley. An enormous amount of trade in fish, meat, fur, timber and minerals began to funnel toward NYC. Thus New York supplied tons of goods to the international array of ships in the NYC harbor.

Eventually NYC became America’s largest port and NO was number two. Was it because the Great Lakes and Hudson delivered more riches than the Mississippi valley? Was it because NY harbor is closer to the US trading partners in Europe? In both cases we at least see the source of America’s material success in the 1800’s and early 1900’s

Bio and setting: the life of TE Lawrence

Thomas Lawrence was born in Oxford and raised by a father who would not marry his mother, who was formerly the family's governess. They lived peaceably as man and wife, but in conservative England this non-marriage was a difficult issue for a boy. Lawrence was, I hate to say it, a bastard.

Lawrence escaped his problems through scholarship and exercise. He became a student historian, specializing in the castles built during the Crusades. He learned French and the very difficult Arabic language.

Bicycling for hours, doing pushups and depriving himself of food and sleep were ways in which he endeavored to increase his endurance and strength.

He was also a talented writer and his book Seven Pillars of Wisdom is still read some 70 years after his death. In fact, I'll read some of it to you in class.

"Lawrence of Arabia" is an award-winning, classic film. One of its outstanding points is the vivid footage of the Arabian desert.

World War I, 1914 - 1918, is when Lawrence won his fame.

WWI marked the opening of the modern era (examples):
* chemical warfare ("mustard gas")
* modern machine gun
* airplanes
* armored tanks
* England & France & allies Vs. Germany (whose allies included Turkey)
* In the Mid East, England controlled Egypt and Turkey was Germany's ally. The Turks controlled Arabia and most of the Mid East.
* The US entered the war in 1917. The isolationist spirit of America kept us out of the war for 3 years.

Teacher's thesis:
That the events of WWI as described in Lawrence of Arabia were part of the misunderstandings and frustrations that led to the founding of Arab-based, Muslim extremist groups such as al qaeda and led to the destruction of the WTC on 9-11, 2001.
The basics of Islam

Holy Mosque Mecca at night
Originally uploaded by chrisuk.
Islam: "submission to the will of God."
Muslim: "one who submits to the will of God."

* Spelling variation in Arabic vocabulary (Muslim, Moslem, etc): because it is difficult to translate Arabic vowels, the western world is undecided about which vowels to insert.

* fastest growing religion
* 1 billion adherents (global pop. 5 to 6 billion)
* 2nd largest religion, after Christianity.
* ex: US Army accomodates US soldiers who are Muslim; that group may be as large as 10,000 soldiers, according to The Nation.

While many Muslims in Persian Gulf nations and SE Asia are poor and poorly educated, American Muslims are often people of high educational achievement.

Abraham, 2000 BC Father of the Jews. Also Father of the Muslims.
Jesus of Nazareth: 1 AD
Muhammad: 600 AD, prophet of Islam.

Jerusalem, a city of 3 holy days each week. Friday the Muslims go to mosque for prayers. Saturday the Jews have shabbat (rest). Sunday, of course, is the Christian sabbath.

5 Pillars of Islam

* State your belief in God.
* Prayer: 5 times a day. Facing Mecca.
* Alms for the poor. Given through the mosque, which is a community center as well as worship center.
* Fasting during the month of Ramadan, from dawn to dusk. Muslims use a lunar calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar, which is essentially solar.
* Pilgrimage to Mecca, the hajj, at least once in your life.

Life of Muhammad
* 570 AD; born in Mecca and soon orphaned. raised by his uncle.
* A holy fellow.
* Works in caravans, traveling to Jerusalem and other trading centers.
* Marries Khadijah, a widow who is older than himself. Khadijah owns the caravan company.
* At age 40 he is on a retreat in a desert cave. The archangel Gabriel appears to him and begins reciting teachings that become the text of the Koran (Qu'ran).
* The Meccans resist Muhammad's preaching. His theme is monotheism, belief in one god. Monotheism is not welcomed by Meccans because their city makes money from the pilgrims who visit to venerate the many ancient gods of the Arabian peninsula.
* Eventually Muhammad is forced out of Mecca. His escape, the hejira, is used as the start of the Islamic calendar.
* His exile is spent in Medina. When he returns to Mecca, it is with the aid of an army raised among the Medinans.
* Meccans are forced to accept Islam.
* The prophet dies at an old age in Medina.

Test Four Geography 2005 / Trudeau
1. Race, nationality or even language may be used to define a category known as the __ group. a) shibboleth b) ethnic c) immigration d) ethical.
2. In Manhattan the earliest development on the island took place at the __ end. a) northern b) eastern c) southern d) Bronx.
3. Why do students know plenty about hieroglyphics and so little about cuneiform script? a) building materials used by the ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians b) teachers know much about Egyptians and little about Sumerians c) Americans love Egyptian history; Babylonian history seems alien.
4. Which European group first settled New York harbor? a) British b) Dutch
c) French d) Germans.
5. What peace-minded landmark building and organization lies in midtown Manhattan on the edge of the East River? a) United Nations b) Rockefeller Center c) Metropolitan Museum.
6. Before the Europeans there were the Algonquins and Iroquois. They are the native, or __, peoples of the New York region. a) indigenous b) indigent
c) independent d) endomorphic.
7. The run-down Manhattan neighborhood in which many poor immigrants
(notably East European Jews, Italians and Chinese) got their start is the a) Upper West Side b) the Midtown area c) the Lower East Side.
8. Arabic, English, Swahili, and Dinka are languages associated with a part of
Africa. Name the nation: a) Egypt b) Kenya c) Somalia d) Sudan.
9. Which of these calendar landmarks is Jewish? a) Ramadan b) Rosh Hashanah
c) Equinox d) Dia de Los Muertos.
10. The Erie Canal directly connected the Great Lakes region to the a) Hudson valley b) New York harbor c) port of New York’s global trade.
11. One part of Louisiana that could be closely compared to the Erie Canal: a) Mississippi R. b) Atchafalaya R. c) Lake Pontchartrain d) I-49.
12. SoHo and Chelsea are parts of Manhattan that have counterparts in a) Amsterdam b) Paris c) London d) Boston.
13. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated parts of the Gulf rim. The biggest immediate impact was felt in the area of a) coastal erosion b) petroleum
production c) finance and investments d) global warming.
14. Plastics, fertilizers, synthetic fibers, paint and fuel are products associated with the a) oil platform, or rig b) oil well c) refinery d) research laboratory.
15. Turbulent weather that hits the Caribbean and Gulf basins usually has begun on the coast of a) Africa b) South America c) Europe d) Asia.

Brief essay for 5 pts. ...
a) Describe and b) compare the river basins and harbor location of America’s 2 greatest ports, New York and New Orleans. Use your atlas and notes to name the rivers and describe the regions that contributed to the cities’ success in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The ideal essay has been posted - scroll down - and here are the answers to the mult-choice items:
1. b) ethnic group
2. c) southern end of Manhattan
3. a) Egyptians built in stone - everything else flows from this . . .
4. b) Dutch first.
5. a) UN
6. a) indigenous peoples
7. c) Lower East Side - immigrant territory to this day.
8. d) Sudan - remember the Dinka fellows, Peter and Santino?
9. b) Rosh Hashanah
10. a) Erie connects to Hudson
11. d I-49, a sadly incomplete Erie-like artery.
12. c) SoHo and Chelsea are areas in both Manhattan and London.
13. a or b) hurricanes: coastal erosion / petroleum production
14. c) plastics & fertilizers begin their life at the refinery - see diagram on this website.
15. a) Africa along the Atlantic is where we see the genesis of some of our worst weather.

Last week we recognized the Golden Age of Islam. An empire was created by Muslim warriors who sped out of Arabia in the century after the Prophet Muhammad's death. The armies took Persia, Syria, Judaea, Aegyptus and continued across North Africa. In 711 AD they crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and took Espana.

This week we see the map of the Roman Empire - some 600 years earlier. The Roman Empire included quite a bit more land. It entirely encompassed the Mediterranean.

The Pax Romana was a 200-year period of peace and stability throughout the empire. It began with the wise reign of Augustus Caesar, 27 BC, and continued to 180 AD. Thus we see Jesus of Nazareth born into the Pax Romana.

By the end of the Pax Romana the new religion called Christianity was spreading rapidly - using the roads and communications afforded by the widespread empire. The growth was non-violent.

By the year 300 the Roman emperor Constantine I had converted to Christianity. By the Edict of Milan he stopped the persecution of Christians. By 390 AD Christianity was the official religion of the empire.

Constantine's mother, Helen, went to Jerusalem and investigated the life of Jesus. Over the place of his crucifixion and burial she sponsored the building of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Did Islam use an older empire in its rapid growth? Yes; it spread through the decaying Byzantine Empire.

Did the Jews ever command an empire?

Do we live in an era that could be called the Pax Americana? Your teacher says yes. Historians would not see the war in Iraq as a big deal, btw. Nor would our bombing of Afghanistan or the 9/11 attacks be seen as the end of an era of widespread stability.

* Judaeo-Christian ethic: the philosophical background of Euro-American society (to now).
* epiphany: a mental or emotional breakthrough - such as Lawrence's plan to attack Aqaba from the desert.
* blasphemy: to curse or be irreverent about God's matters.
* date palm: palm of SW Asia that produces a fruit something like a giant raisin. During Ramadan the prophet broke his fast with dates, so they are a favorite in Muslim houses. Americans make date loaf bread and use chopped dates in fruit cakes and trail mix.
* aquifer: underground water reservoir in porous rock. Makes an oasis possible.
* Aqaba: city on the edge of the upper end of the Red Sea (Gulf of Aqaba); on the border of Israel and Jordan.
* Arabia: why was Arabia never a priority in the ancient world? Because petroleum did not become important to the world until the era of WWII. Oil is their principal resource.

Arabia & Islam: Open notes quiz 5
1. The term “Middle East” is relative. More appropriate is the term a) Mid East b) Middle Eastern c) Southwest Asia.
2. The chief resource of this region is a stuff that the Romans would have called “rock oil,” or “oil from the rocks.” The modern equivalent to that term is a) gasoline b) petroleum c) crude oil d) motor oil.
3. Men and animals can survive the desert because there are oases where water and shade are available. Underneath the desert sands where an oasis exists you will find . . . a) desalination facility b) pumps c) aquifer d) water tanks.
4. The Muslim month of fasting is called a) hajj b) Ramadan c) zakat.
5. Fasting takes place from a) midnight to morn b) dawn to dusk c) 30 days d) breakfast to supper.
6. There are about a) 1 billion b) 6 billion c) 10 gigabytes d) a google of Muslims worldwide, according to the Time Almanac.
7. Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia are also Muslim nations. T / F
8. Morocco, Algeria and Libya are Muslim nations.
T / F
9. As a young trader Muhammad the prophet journeyed to a) Jerusalem b) Cairo c) Damascus d) Paris and became acquainted with the practices of Christians and Jews.
10. Muhammad’s revelations in the desert resulted in his recitation of the verses of the book called the a) Koran b) Torah c) Bible.
11. The leaders of Mecca opposed Muhammad’s teachings. He was preaching the doctrine of one god, or a) polytheism b) monotheism c) onegodism d) predestination and they had traditionally supported multiple gods.
12. In the heart of the Great Mosque you will find a square stone building called the a) kaaba b) black stone c) black drape d) Mecca. Set into one corner of this structure is the Islamic world’s most sacred item.
13. The pilgrimage to Mecca is called the a) hajj b) Ramadan c) zakat d) journey.
14. The commandment to make the pilgrimage once in your life is part of the a) Commandments of Abraham b) 5 Pillars of Islam c) 7 Pillars of Wisdom.
15. The European nation occupied by Muslim forces during the expnsion of the Islamic Empire was a) Portugal b) France c) Spain d) Morocco.

Osama bin Laden biography

1. Osama was born in Saudi Arabia in a) 1952 b) 1957 c) 1962 d) 1967.
2. He was born to a wealthy family headquartered in the city of a) Damascus b) Cairo ec) Mecca d) Riyadh.
3. Osama’s opposition to the US is based on 2 principal ideas, according to his statements: (choose two answers)
a) Americans stereotype Arab Muslims as murderers and lacking in manners and education.
b) Americans have created a society in which blasphemous language, pornography, violence and drug use are widespread.
c) The US government supports Israel.
d) The US government demands vast amounts of oil from Saudi Arabia and other Arab-Muslim nations.
e) The US government stationed US troops in Saudi Arabia during the first Persian Gulf War, 1991, and kept them in place through 2003.
4. The 9/11 strike against the World Trade Center killed some a) 3000 b) 6000 c) 9000 d) 10,000.
5. Al qaeda is implicated in the bombing of US facilities in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. The facilities were a) hospitals b) embassies c) barracks for US troops d) warehouses.
6. In 1979 Osama left Saudi Arabia to join Muslim fighters based in Pakistan and Afghanistan. They were fighting the invasion of Afghanistan by a) Iran b) the US c) Pakistan d) Russia.
7. The Muslim fighters, called mujahadin, were fighting what they called a holy war, or a) jihad
b) hajj c) salaam d) kaaba.
8. Al qaeda was initially a foe of the Soviet Union. The Muslim fighters switched principal targets and began to focus on the US during the a) Persian Gulf war, ‘91 b) invasion of Afghanistan by the US, ‘01 c) invasion of Kuwait by the Iraqis, ‘91 d) second Persian Gulf war, ‘04.
9. Osama was based in an African nation from 1991 to 1996. It was a) Egypt b) Kuwait c) Sudan d) Ethiopia.
10. In the late 1990’s Osama took refuge in Afghanistan. There he knew his training camps would be welcome. Afghanistan was ruled by a strict, radical Islamic group called the a) Taliban b) Sunni c) Al qaeda d) Jihad.
11. In 1998 President Clinton ordered an attack against Osama’s terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. The attempt was made via a) assassins b) small hit team of Marines c) cruise missles
d) bombing run from Kuwait.
12. In late 2001 the US shut down the Al qaeda camps by invading a) Saudi Arabia b) Afghanistan c) Pakistan d) Lebanon.

1. '57
2. Riyadh
3. US support of Israel
US placement of troops in Saudi Arabia (the nation of Mecca & Medina)
4. almost 3000 dead.
5. US embassies
6. Russia
7. jihad
8. Persian Gulf War I (1991)
9. Sudan
10. Taliban
11. cruise missles fired from the Arabian Sea.
12. Afghanistan

The national mall and US Capitol
Based on our World Book article . . .
1. The Smithsonian Institution: how many museums along the mall are affiliated with the Smithsonian?
2. Who was james Smithson?
3. What bodies of water are confluent (flow together with ...) with the Potomac?
4. In what 3 ways are the states of Virginia and Louisiana alike?
industry? population? ethnic population? transportation? terrain? culture?
5. Manssas and Appamatox? What is their significance?
6. Who chose the site of Washington, DC?
7. List 2 notable domed buildings in Virginia.
8. What prominent element of Egyptian culture is apparent in Wash, DC?
9. Name the president who wheel-chir borne late in his unusually long series of terms in office. There is a monument to him alongside the national mall.
10. What was the length of the Vietnam conflict, acc to the World Book article?
11. What part of the capitol is called the rotunda?
12. What serious error was made by Pres. Nixon following a break-in at the Watergate condo complex in 1972?
13. George washington inherited a plantation. The name of his home and farm was Mt __. Thomas Jefferson also built a plantation house that became famous. It is called __.
14. The tobacco trade made this Potomac River town a thriving port before the nearby Washington, DC, was founded.

1. 11
2. English scientist who funded the Smithsonian; he never visited the US.
3. Chesapeake Bay, James River.
4. Tourism very important, both Southern states, ports on the coast.
5. Civil War sites: beginning and end of the war, 1861 - 1865.
6. Washington himself with French engineer Charles L'Enfant.
7. US Capitol, Monticello.
9. FDR
10. "1957 - 1975," some 18 years.
11. Rotundra, or round, is the circular room under the dome.
12. Nixon lied and told the public he had no knowledge of the Watergate burglars. Almost 2 years later the public learned of his untruth and the many other lies he told to conceal the first one. Nixon rresigned rather than face impeachment.
13. Mt. Vernon, Monticello.
14. Georgetown, Va.

Semester exam map and atlas review ...
1. Great city on the Bosporus strait above the Aegean Sea? a) Byzantium b) Constantinople c) Istanbul d) Athens.
2. Given what you know about the region, you would suppose that Damascus, Syria, is dominated by a) Islam b) Christianity
c) Buddhism d) tribal religions.
4. Beirut lies between the sea and mountains. See a detailed map in the RMQRWA (p 43). T / F
5. Tel Aviv is a Mediterranean city of this nation: a) Jerusalem b) West Bank c) Lebanon d) Israel
6. An example of a mnemonic: “Isr__l is not real.” a) ae b) ea
7. According to the atlas, the Dead Sea is filled with a) minerals
b) salt c) controversy d) religious artifacts.
8. While it is thought of as a Mid Eastern city, this metropolis is located in Africa: a) Gaza b) Cairo c) Mecca d) Jerusalem.
9. One of the rivers of the Fertile Crescent flows east-west. It is a) Nile b) Tigris c) Euphrates.
10. Name a nation on the Arabian peninsula other than Saudi Arabia. a) Qatar b) Iran c) Israel d) Syria.
11. Atlas designation for “salt water?”
12. Atlas key: city denoted by a square border
surrounding a square black center ... population?
13. Atlas: three dots identify what sort of location?
14. Atlas: how to tell whether a city is additionally a national capital.
15. Body of water surrounded by UAE, Iran and Iraq.

1. First emperor of China; buried along with 7000-piece army.
2. Chinese city built upon group of islands.
3. 2 technologies pioneered by the Chinese.
4. Most populous city of China?
5. Philosopher of China; said people should respect the emperor and their own families. Said also that the emperor should be fair to the citizens.
6. Folk remedy of China; today it is earning wide respect in the western world.
7. China has had 2 capitals. Name the second.
8. The greatest transformation in China in the 20th century. Name either the man who led the change or the system to which they changed.
9. The Republic of China is better known as the island nation of __.
10. A former nation - tiny, mountainous - that has been a region of China since about 1950.
11. Are China and the US strongly similar in terrain?
12. How many times the population of the US is China? a) 5
b) 8 c) 10.
13. What was the name of the historic information and trade connection between China and the Western world?
14. For centuries the dominant religion of China was one whose origins were in India: __.
15. An ancient Chinese symbol for good luck which is also associated with historic India and modern Europe: __.
16. Chinese greeting: __ __.
17. Most widely spoken variety of Chinese language?
18. Ancient names for China. Marco Polo called China __ and the Emperor Shi Huang Di called it the __ __.
19. In the movie Memoir of a Geisha we are told the 2 principal roles are being played not by Japanese actresses - there are no big names among the Japanese - but by 2 Chinese actresses, Gong Li and Ziyi Zhang. Those actresses’reputations were largely made by appearances in the movies of the eminent Chinese director __ __.
20. The government in Beijing would like to have control over a part of China that since the communist revolution has been independent. The independent island?
21. The NY Times says that before New Orleanians will commit to rebuilding there must be confidence that the __ system will be rebuilt.
22. The reconstruction of NO has been estimated at over a) $30 billion b) 95 billion c) 300 billion d) 2.6 trillion.
23. What is the sum cost of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Homeland Security? (see choices above)
24. The dollar total of recent tax cuts passed by Congress? above.
25. The annual Federal Budget. see above.
26. Which political leader has won plaudits from the NY Times for brave and thoughtful action? a) President Bush b) Governor Blanco c) Rep. Jim McCrery d) Sen. Mary Landrieu
e) Mayor Ray Nagin f) None of the above.

Draw a T comparison chart for separating notes comparing TE Lawrence in Lawrewnce of Arabia and the story of substitute teacher Wei in Not One Less.

1. Describe incidents in which we see characteristics that are similar in both characters.
2. Incidents in which we see ways in which the personalities are different.
3. Plot summaries: similarities.
4. Differences in plot.
5. Incidents in which we can see the stories’ themes.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Semester exam: map-wise, it's Jerusalem and the Mid East, or SW Asia

Originally uploaded by premasagar.
The map study on the exam will be multiple-choice.
Here are the identifications:
Turkey, Istanbul
Syria, Damascus
Israel, West Bank region, Dead Sea, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv
Egypt, Cairo, Suez canal, Sinai Peninsula
Red Sea, Mediterranean, Persian Gulf, Tigris R., Euphrates R., Arabian Sea
Arabian peninsula
Saudi Arabia, Mecca
Iraq, Baghdad
Iran, Tehran

Former tests as printed on the class web site will also be included.

The essay will call for comparing the movies Not One Less and Lawrence of Arabia.

Kathleen Blanco, Ray Nagin and President Bush are in the same gumbo on the burner; will someone rise from the stew to save New Orleans?

The NY Times editorial read in class today is entitled Death of an American City. the story begins ...

"We are about to lose New Orleans. Whether it is a conscious plan to let the city rot until no one is willing to move back or honest paralysis over difficult questions, the moment is upon us when a major American city will die, leaving nothing but a few shells for tourists to visit like a museum.

We said this wouldn't happen. President Bush said it wouldn't happen. He stood in Jackson Square and said, "There is no way to imagine America without New Orleans." But it has been over three months since Hurricane Katrina struck and the city is in complete shambles.

There are many unanswered questions that will take years to work out, but one is make-or-break and needs to be dealt with immediately. It all boils down to the levee system. People will clear garbage, live in tents, work their fingers to the bone to reclaim homes and lives, but not if they don't believe they will be protected by more than patches to the same old system that failed during the deadly storm. Homeowners, businesses and insurance companies all need a commitment before they will stake their futures on the city.

At this moment the reconstruction is a rudderless ship."

See more of their argument at NY Times/Opinion.

The paper points out an unconscionable delay in committing to the expense of rebuilding New Orleans levees. While much of the blame falls on Bush, the onus is shared by state and local officlals.

My response will be to write to Blanco and Bush and recommend that we spend the $32 billion on the levees and cleanup. I will also write Jim McCrery, David Vitter and Mary Landrieu.

A comprehensive site for govt. officals' email addresses is

Friday, December 09, 2005

Southeast Asia: Vietnam and its neighbors

Originally uploaded by trudeau.
End of semester bonus point research and writing. With an emphasis on research and use of the blue essay guidelines sheets:
* Visit to Meadows Museum / 869-5169
* Visit to Bao Chau Asian Market, Youree near King's Hwy. And / or visit to the Vietnamese restaurant next door, Viet Coast.
* The classic movie of modern life in Taiwan (check its rating - I believe it to be OK for teens) by director Ang Lee called eat Drink Man Woman.
* Comparison of dogs with ancient Chinese origins: sharpei, chow, pekingese, lhasa, shitzu, etc.

*** *** ***

Digital Portfolio required at end of semester for 15 pts:
An alternative to storing your portfolio's photos and explanations on CD is opening your own web site. I recommend a free account on My students recommend There are many others.

On the introductory map of SE Asia:
* resources: gems, tailoring, tourism, fine wood.
* problems: drug cultivation, child prostitution, AIDS.
* wealth through manufacturing.
* totalitarian govt.
* Most populous Muslim nation, gorgeous beaches, music, fabrics.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Artwork, schoolwork, photos: creating a Digital Portfolio of the 1st Semester

Applying for work or scholarships and special programs used to be a matter of paperwork. Today a digital application is becoming commonplace. Thus I require all my students to assemble a simple Digital Portfolio of their semester. The material to be collected is an assortment of school and non-school items.

Please ask to use the digital camera in C-4 to complete your First Semester Digital Portfolio.

Please include the following in your visual catalog:
2 photos of yourself (solo or with friends)
2 photos of school work
2 images of 2 different events in which you participated. Examples: Katrina refugee work, a movie, concert, church event, etc. Image may be downloaded from the web.

Include a brief explanation of each image.

You can use any software which allows you to mingle images and print: email, Powerpoint, Moviemaker (you can do it as short movie), Word, etc.

You must save it to a digital storage medium and present it to me for scoring. For instance, diskette, flash drive, or CD.

The idea is to make a record of your work that will be archival - that is, in stable digital storage. This prepares you to make not only a personal history but a portfolio for scholarship and job applications.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Classic Chinese beliefs: Yin and yang

Temple Ceiling
Originally uploaded by Ariel Ophelia.
Yin and Yang are dependent opposites that must always be in balance. The opposites flow in a natural cycle always replacing the other. Just as the seasons cycle and create a time of heat and cold, Yin and Yang cycles through active and passive, dark and light, etc. Yin and Yang evolved from a belief of mutually dependant opposites that cannot live without the other, says The Eastern view of opposites is, if you will excuse the pun, opposite of a Western view. If Yin and Yang are balanced and flowing in the East, in the West (if a similar philosophy were adopted), it might look like the image to the right.
We in the West tend to look as things as black “or” white, right “or” wrong, etc. There is separation and unrelatedness in the Western perspective. Whereas, the Chinese view opposites as evolving and cycling. There is neither right or wrong, but rather there is balance, transformation, interaction, and dependent opposition. We need both to maintain a balance.



Yin are softer qualities that tend to make you sleepy and relaxed. Yang are bright qualities that stimulate and activate. A good question to ask yourself is : Does it stimulate or calm me?

Monday, December 05, 2005

Connecting Central Asia to east Asia via the poppy, clipper ship and the spread of Buddhism

Poppy against the sun
Originally uploaded by picaddict.
Three great regions:
* Central Asia comprises India and its neighbors.
* Southeats Asia includes Vietnam and neighbors.
* East Asia is China, Japan and Korea.

Two connecors:
Opium and Buddhism

The opium poppy has been cultivated in Afghasnistan, Pakistan and India for centuries. It is considered a great rememdy. Today we know it also additctive and can be destructive.
In the 1800's the British brough tons of opium to China from India aboard their large, fast clipper ships. It produced an enormous profit and gave the British an advanatge in the trade with China. Realizing that as a nation China was experiencing widepread addiction, some of the Chinese went to war with the British. These Opium Wars succeeded in stopping the wholesale importation of opium.

Opiates are anesthetic; they deaden your nervous system. The effect is sedative. Laudanum, a form of opium, was legal in the US until 1914. Patent medicines, sold to Americans to cure all sorts of ills, were often made of alcohol and opium, according to

Map -
* Pakistan, India, Nepal

Friday, December 02, 2005

Huang Ho and Chang Ho: Yellow and Yangtze Rivers

Originally uploaded by hellebelle.
Empress Wu of the Tang dynasty (about 700 AD): the only female ruler of China, says National Geographic. She usurped the throne, Nat Geo says.

The Red Guard and the Cultural Revolution of the 1960's: the young radicals took over the nation and sent the professors, government officials and professionals to the fields and factories. They invited the farm laborers, factory workers and midwives and shaman into the halls of the professionals. China lost 10 years of its development as the fanatical reversal of occupational roles was endured. Today it is all considered a grand mistake.

Zhang Yimou was affected; he wanted to be a photographer but was forced to work in the fields of Shanxii Province for 3 years and in a factory in Xi'an for 2 years, his bio says. Later he used that background in making the movie Not One Less.

Independent work?
Write a comparison between 2 Chinese-American restaurants.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Genghis Khan & Kublai Khan & Marco Polo in Beijing

kazakh nomad
Originally uploaded by rkchapman.
Marco Polo, Italian trader, spent some 20 years in the court of Kublai Khan, Beijing. Kublai's grandfather, the successful Mongol invader Genghis Khan, made beijing the capital.

Polo was the first European (about 1200 AD) to describe life in China.

* Huang He (Yellow R.) and the Chang He (Yangtze R.).
* Taiwan, democratic Rep. of China
* Gobi Desert
* Pyongyang, N. Korea
* Seoul, S. Korea
* Nagasaki & Hiroshima, Japan

Another terrific movie by Zhang Yimou: Hero. It takes place during the reign of the first emperor, Shi Huang Di. Hero is quite an epic; it shows another side of a versatile director.

Guide to the Zhang Yimou movie Not One Less

The pawn shop
Originally uploaded by horses and tigers.
Not One Less

Describe the terrain around Shuxian School.

Paint a verbal picture of the condition of the village school.

How would you characterize the mayor? Describe 2 incidents which you feel illustrate his role in the story.

Teacher Wei undergoes something of a transformation as the story unfolds.
Give an example of her style in the beginning and give an example of her behavior as she grows into her job.

Describe the elements of life in the city versus life in the country - as seen in this movie - that were most affecting to you.

What 2 incidents do you remember from Wei Minzhi’s initially unsuccessful attempt to get help at the TV station?

In the city Wei can easily be spotted as a girl from the country. One give-away is her clothing. What part of her behavior would be evidence she was a provincial girl?

The bureaucracy of China is illustrated by the Mayor’s actions and by the attitude of the receptionist at the TV station. Offer examples of their behavior which reveal the nature of the bureaucracy.

Not One Less guide / Trudeau

1) Not One Less is a movie in a) Mandarin Chinese b) Cantonese Chinese c) Rural Chinese.
Choose between a. Teacher Gao b) the Mayor c) Teacher Wei d) Zhang Huike in the following prompts:
2) Most frugal character.
3) Battling the drop-out rate.
4) Money conscious.
5) Menial work.
6) Moderating influence.
7) Greatest allegiance.
8) Stubborn.
9) Happy-go-lucky.
10) Philosophical and accepting.
11) Chinese currency: a) yuan b) yen c) Chinese dollar.
12) Shuixian School is located near a) Xi’an b) Beijing c) Shanghai.
13) Symbol of pride in learning and efficient use of resources: a) sending swift runner of the class to the sports specialty school b) flag c) chalk.
14) Type of humor which crosses cultural borders: a) religious b) political
c) scatalogical d) sarcasm.
15) The director of Not One Less: a) Jet Li b) Zhang Huike c) Zhang Yimou
d) Shi Huang Di.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Feng shui and Chinese cooking

Originally uploaded by fwebber.
Notes . . .
* Feng shui is the traditional rules of placement of buildings & streets, or houses and furniture and doors, or placement of desk and chair, etc, in order to maximize a person's power and ability to get rich.
* Middle Kingdom - the ancient Chinese name for China.
* Cathay - the ancient European name for China.
* Great Wall - 4000 miles, 300 years, barrier between Chinese and Mongols and Manchurians. Prevented horse-mounted soldiers from raiding the region.
* Chinese cooking - the most varied on earth., another alternative to diskettes

Want to send a large photo of Chris Mazen, winner of the recent Class of 2009 Talent Show, to a classmate? Want to send an entire powerpoint project - with photos and text - to yourself at home? is resource that I discovered this week. It enables us to send large files - up to 1 gb - to ourselves from, say the library or a friend's house, to our house or teacher's emal address.

Here are the directions as presented on the site:
"Choose who you want to send a file to. It can be anyone with an email address. You can specify multiple email addresses separated by commas.

Select a file to send. You can send photos, audio, documents or anything else. Your file will be stored by YouSendIt without ever filling up your recipient's mailbox.

Click on the Send button. YouSendIt will automatically email your recipient a link to your file stored on our server. Your file will be deleted after 7 days or 25 downloads, whichever occurs first.

No passwords to share, no software to install, no accounts to create, and no full mailboxes. Start sending now!"

zhang yimou, esteemed Chinese director

In 2000 Zhang Yimou promoted his award-winning film Not One Less across Europe and America. In this interview with Time magazine, he discussed the way he directed the movie's amateur actors. Zhang Yimou interview.

See for a Zhang Yimou biography. His most recent movie is House of Flying Daggers.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Shanghai Night

Shanghai Night
Originally uploaded by WayneMethod.
China research projects are being bumped out of the library by a mistake in scheduling; sorry! You will have to do them on your own time as homework.

China presentations -
1) Six images with brief notes atop the the photos.
2) Separate page of notes to be used in speaking to the class.
3) One comparison - check the topic with me, please.
4) Three sources. No portals.
5) May be presented as powerpoint or on paper.
6) 20 pts.
7) Presentations due Tues, Dec 6.

* Emperor Shi Huang Di
* Gunpowder & printing
* Abacus & silk
* Buried army at Xi'an
* Confucius
* Imperial City, Beijing
* Mao Zedong & the communist revolution
* Chinese immigrants in US history
* Yangtze & yellow River valleys
* Tibet and the Himalayas
* Taiwan
* Silk Road
* Buddhism
* Temple & palace architecture
* Acupuncture
* Shanghai
* Hong Kong

* swastika, ancient Chinese symbol of good luck
* Ni hau!
* Middle Kingdom - ancient Chinese name for China.

* Korea (N & S), japan, Russia, Mongolia, India, Vietnam, Taiwan
* Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong

CMHS 09: first semester exam schedule

Mon, Dec 9: 3rd hour and 4th hour exams.
Tues, Dec 20: 1st and 5th hour exams.
Wed, Dec 21: 2nd and 6th period exams.

The first test session each day is 8:45 to 10:30.
The second exam runs from 10:45 to 12:30. Students are then dismissed. They may go to lunch and then to busses or they may go home.

Caddo school board policy requires teachers to count exams scores as 20% of the semester grade. That can be difficult for many students! A guide to the exam will be forthcoming Dec 12.

Report cards will be issued Fri, Jan 13, 2006. Students return to school Th, Jan 5.

Dust storm in the Gobi Desert by zargag / Independent work topics for Geo

First, let me say that a good student should enjoy and feel confident at choosing relevant comparison topics.

When you have an idea, drop me a note in the classroom or an email telling me your topic. I'll respond with my approval and guidelines.

For those who continue to depend on me, here are a few more topics:

Research & compare
* Imperial City, Beijing to the palace at Versailles, France.
* Palace guard dog types of China and the Panda.
* Popular arts of China vs. those of Japan (sushi v. shrimp fried rice, anime v. feng shui).

Monday, November 28, 2005

First Outer Court, Forbidden City, Beijing, adjacent to vast Tiananmen Square

This photo illustrates the first of three huge courtyards between the entrance of the city and the inner section, where the emperor and his concubines resided.

Struggle of the titans:
from the late 1940's, the end of WWII, the clash was bwteen the US and the USSR. It resulted in the Cold War. Your grandparents and parents learned that our foe was Russia.

But in the early 1990's, 2 things changed:
* the USSR collapsed and Russians abandoned communism.
* the Chinese abandoned the communistic Controlled Economy. To be sure, they kept the Totalitarian aspect of communism (example: "One family, one child.").

The result? China's economic freedom has boosted the economy enormously. Their income growth has far surpassed the Russians.'

Thus, today it is the US vs. China. And the new era is often called China's century.

Place these cities in order of population rank:
Hong Kong
Beijing (Peking)

What is it about the location of Beijing that makes it an unlikely capital?

Comparison between the palace in the Forbidden City and the White House?

"Ni hau!" is the most widely-spoken greeting in the world. Is it Mandarin Chinese (northern) or cantonese Chinese (southern)? Mandarin.

Mandarin also indicates things of high quality (mandarin oranges) or a family of power and achievement (the Bush and Kennedy families would be American mandarins).

Western stereotypes about Asians:
inscrutable (scrutiny) - cannot tell what they're thinking.

japanese currency: yen
Chinese currency: yuan.

Infanticide and the dowry: in India and China girl infants are not highly valued - they represent a large future expense in the dowry system.

NY Times article: background to Kids Out of Control

Originally uploaded by Joshb60796.
From the middle of a NYTImes story ("Kids Gone Wild," Judith Warner, Nov 27) on young people and their parents:

Parenting today is also largely about training children to compete - in school and on the soccer field - and the kinds of attributes they need to be competitive are precisely those that help break down society's civility.

Parents who want their children to succeed more than anything, Dr. Kindlon said, teach them to value and prioritize achievement above all else - including other people.

"We're insane about achievement," he said. "Schoolwork is up 50 percent since 1981, and we're so obsessed with our kids getting into the right school, getting the right grades, we let a lot of things slide. Kids don't do chores at home anymore because there isn't time."

And other adults, even those who should have authority, are afraid to get involved. "Nobody feels entitled to discipline other people's kids anymore," Dr. Kindlon said. "They don't feel they have the right if they see a kid doing something wrong to step in."

Educators feel helpless, too: Nearly 8 in 10 teachers, according to the 2004 Public Agenda report, said their students were quick to remind them that they had rights or that their parents could sue if they were too harshly disciplined. More than half said they ended up being soft on discipline "because they can't count on parents or schools to support them."

And that, Dr. Rosenfeld said, strikes at the heart of the problem. "Parents are out of control," he said. "We always want to blame the kids, but if there's something wrong with their incivility, it's the way their parents model for them."

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Wei Minzhi in Zhang Yimou's movie Not One Less

From the Sony Classic Pictures site for the movie Not One Less:
Teacher Gao of the Shuiquan Primary School has to be away from school for a month to tend to his ailing mother. The mayor of the village finds a substitute teacher, Wei Minzhi, to take over the class for Teacher Gao. Seeing that Wei Minzhi is only 13 years old, Teacher Gao protests to the mayor that such a young girl will not be able to teach students who are her own age or slightly younger. The mayor replies that finding anyone in that rural area who is willing to take the job is no mean feat, and that at the least she can keep an eye on things while Teacher Gao is away.
Teacher Gao’s class had 40 students at the beginning of the school year, but increasing attrition has brought that number down to 28. Teacher Gao admonishes Wei Minzhi that she must not allow even one more student to drop out while he’s gone and promises her an extra 10 yuan in pay if she succeeds.

Wei faithfully calls the roster every day and then sets the students to copying lessons from the blackboard. She is not overly concerned about whether the students actually learn anything as long as they stay put; she ends up spending most of each day sitting guard outside the classroom door.

Ten-year-old student Zhang Huike is a bright but naughty boy who often tries Wei’s patience as she works to keep a semblance of order amongst the children. His family is in serious financial debt, however, and when he fails to appear in class one morning, Wei discovers he has been forced to go to the city to find work.

With Teacher Gao’s words still firmly in her mind but only a vague idea of where the boy might be, Wei Minzhi sets off on her own to the big city to try to find Zhang Huike and bring him back.

Flash drive for presentations, for transfer of info from classroom to library to home to friend's computer

They're on sale everywhere. This one is 19.99 at Target, no rebates needed. The space, 128 mb, will be more than adequate for keeping files on numerous projects.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Forbidden City inside the Imperial City, Beijing / gugong

Research and compare the wars pursued by the men in the White House as opposed to those inside the Forbidden City, Beijing. Or compare the size and complexity of these power centers. I believe the two palaces have much in common!

See a lead on the White House research in the following post.


Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Here's the Washington Post's map of the center of the world's electrobiologic power post. Bet this map has been studied thoroughly by the demented terrorists of this world. Aha: the Cabinet Room!

See more at the; it is considered one of America's great news sources.
Be sure to

Friday, November 18, 2005

$100 hand-crank laptop for the globe's impoverished children from MIT

November 17, 2005
Cheap Laptops Are Planned for Kids

Filed at 9:48 p.m. ET

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) -- A cheap laptop boasting wireless network access and a hand-crank to provide electricity are expected to start shipping in February or March to help extend technology to school-aged children worldwide.

The machines are to sell for $100, slightly less than its cost. The aim is to have governments or donors buy them and give full ownership to the children.

''These robust, versatile machines will enable children to become more active in their own learning,'' U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan told reporters.

Annan and more than 16,000 people from 176 countries were attending the three-day U.N. World Summit on the Information Society, in its second day Thursday.

Although discussions about persisting U.S. control over the Internet's addressing system have consumed much of summit, its original aim was to find ways to extend communications technologies to the world's poorest -- through projects like the $100 laptop.

MIT Media Lab chairman Nicholas Negroponte, who unveiled the textbook-sized laptop on Wednesday, said he expects to sell 1 million of them to Brazil, Thailand, Egypt and Nigeria.

Negroponte did not say who would build the machine, which will cost $110 to make, but at least five are considering bids to do so. He said a commercial version may be available at a higher price to subsidize machines provided to children.

The laptop will run on an open-source operating system, such as Linux, which is generally cheaper than proprietary systems such as Microsoft Corp.'s Windows, said Negroponte.

The devices will be lime green in color, with a yellow hand crank, to make them appealing to children and to fend off potential thieves.

Also at the summit, Microsoft unveiled a new network of learning centers in Tunisia to train people to be teachers in technology. Jean-Phillippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International, said the company would replicate the centers elsewhere as part of its outreach efforts.

Addressing delegates on Thursday, Pakistani diplomat Masood Khan said increasing access to communications can help improve relations between regions and religions.

''Information is not just an economic tool,'' Kahn told delegates in the main hall. ''We need its infinite power to combat the rising tide of prejudice and hatred.''

Students wrote brief essays in class that attempted to analyze the impact of this new tool. What advantages does a portable computer offer in a 3rd world setting? What frustrations are sure to bug the impoverished users?


Independent work:
2 assignments allowable this week. Only one per week subsequently. Email me at