Sunday, October 31, 2010

A decorated skull mask to mark the Nov 1 & 2 celebrations of Dia de los Muertos

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is a holiday celebrated by many in Mexico and by some Mexican Americans living in the United States and Canada, says Wikipedia.

The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration occurs on November 2 in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2).

Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts.

Scholars trace the origins of the modern holiday to indigenous observances dating back thousands of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl. In Brazil, Dia de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain, there are festivals and parades, and, at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones.

Plans for the day are made throughout the year, including gathering the goods to be offered to the dead. During the three-day period, families usually clean and decorate graves;[2] most visit the cemeteries where their loved ones are buried and decorate their graves with ofrendas ("offerings"), which often include orange mexican marigolds.

Toys are brought for dead children (los angelitos, or "the little angels"), and bottles of tequila, mezcal or pulque or jars of atole for adults. Families will also offer trinkets or the deceased's favorite candies on the grave.

Ofrendas are also put in homes, usually with foods such as candied pumpkin, pan de muerto ("bread of the dead"), and sugar skulls and beverages such as atole. The ofrendas are left out in the homes as a welcoming gesture for the deceased.[2] Some people believe the spirits of the dead eat the "spiritual essence" of the ofrendas food, so even though the celebrators eat the food after the festivities, they believe it lacks nutritional value. Pillows and blankets are left out so that the deceased can rest after their long journey.

In some parts of Mexico, such as the towns of Mixquic, Pátzcuaro and Janitzio, people spend all night beside the graves of their relatives. In many places, people have picnics at the grave site as well.

Some families build altars or small shrines in their homes;[2] these usually have the Christian cross, statues or pictures of the Blessed Virgin Mary, pictures of deceased relatives and other persons, scores of candles and an ofrenda.

A common symbol of the holiday is the skull (colloquially called calavera), which celebrants represent in masks, called calacas (colloquial term for "skeleton").

La Calavera de la Catrina ("calavera of the female dandy") is a parody of a Mexican upper-class female. The striking image of a costumed female with a skeleton face has become associated with the Day of the Dead, and Catrina figures often are a prominent part of modern Day of the Dead observances.

The Windy City and the Midwest quiz

The American Midwest / Trudeau

1. The great rivers of the Midwest: a) Mississippi River b) Miss, Ohio
c) Miss, Ohio, Missouri d) Miss, Ohio, Missouri, Tenn.
2. The great cities of the Midwest: a) Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, St Louis, Minneapolis b) Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Milwaukee
c) Chicago, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Omaha.
3. The correct order: a) Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan b) Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario c) Ontario, Huron, Michigan, Superior d) Superior, Michigan, Huron, Ontario.
4. Most of the Midwestern cities are on the shores of lakes a) Michigan, Ontario
b) Ontario, Superior c) Erie, Huron d) Michigan, Erie.
5. The Mississippi R. connects with the Gulf of Mexico; the Great Lakes connect with the Atlantic Ocean. T / F
6. Los Angeles has rock, folk, Chicano music (Mexican), hip-hop and symphonies. Chicago has little music to compare. T / F
7. Chicago is known for severe winters and its nickname is The Windy City. That implies that the climate must be a) humid continental b) Mediterranean c) subtropical.
8. Chicago hot dogs famously include a dash of a) Louisiana hot sauce b) mayo & ketchup c) celery salt d) jalapeno peppers.
9. Chicago ethnicity: 39.9 % white, 54.6% African American, 27.8 % Hispanic. T / F
10. The name Chicago is from a) French traders b) indigenous people
c) Englishmen, during the British Empire.
11. Chicago and Shreveport are pretty close in a) climate b) founding date
c) latitude d) longitude.
12. Chicago's metro population is approximately a) 4 M b) 10 M c) 15 M d) 21 M.
13. City at 41N, 81W: a) Chicago b) Cleveland c) Minneapolis d) St Louis.
14. The inexpensive nature of Americans' soft drinks, medicines and paint is principally due to plants grown in the a) Midwest b) South c) California and the Pacific rim.
15. One of the major manufacturers of Detroit was Ford, whose brands included
a) Lincoln, Mercury, Edsel, Thunderbird b) Corvette, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Cadillac
c) Dodge, Plymouth, Jeep, Chrysler.
16. Based in Chicago: a) Walmart b) Kmart c) Sears d) Target.
17. Not associated with Chicago: a) Oprah b) Muddy Waters c) John H. Johnson
d) Enrico Fermi e) Ronald McDonald.
18. In the US population the largest groups are white, 80%, African-American, 13%,
and Hispanic, 15%. T / F

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How to ace geography in the second half of the semester

Magnet art: TAP
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Your teacher expects you to

- Read the class blog,, on a regular basis. Reading it every day is the ideal.

- Either print out (in the school library if all else fails) or take careful notes on the readings. Use a highlighter on the notes!

- This will prepare you well for the almost-weekly quizzes. Each open-notes quiz puts an emphasis on the blog notes.

- Read each quiz question carefully. Take your time. Use textbook, atlas, dictionary and notes, as needed.

- Follow up the quiz by reading the past quizzes - and the answers - on the class blog. Analyze your errors.

- Indie work is an option each week. You may earn up to 10 pts per week by submitting a comparison essay to See and follow the comparison essay guidelines to maximize your points.

If there's a topic that interests you, email me for permission to pursue it.

- Keep your notes and projects in your notebook. Bring atlas and notes to class every day.

- Questions? Do not hesitate to ask questions via

NYC: learning the Big Apple through Broadway lyrics

Annie in Shreveport
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Annie is a Broadway musical based upon the popular comic strip - it was published from the 1920's through 2010 - called Little Orphan Annie.

The musical "Annie" ran for nearly six years on Broadway, notes Wikipedia.[1] It spawned numerous productions in many countries, as well as national tours, and won the Tony Award for Best Musical. The musical's songs "Tomorrow" and "It's the Hard-Knock Life" are among its popular pieces.

The movies called "Annie" are based on this show.

- Set in a Manhattan orphanage.
- 1930's, the Great Depression.
- The "Y" is the YMCA.
- The 5' 2" mayor was Fiorello LaGuardia.
- the frankfurter became the "hot dog" in NYC, the nickname being created at both Coney Island amusement park and at Yankee Stadium.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Northeast states: New England and the Mid-Atlantic states

The Northeastern US consists of nine states: the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont; and the Mid-Atlantic states of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

The Northeast, as defined by the Census Bureau, is the wealthiest region of the United States. The region accounts for approximately 25% of U.S. gross domestic product as of 2007.[5]

The Northeast megalopolis: almost the entire U.S. eastern seaboard, including the megalopolis (heavily urbanized area of the United States stretching from the southern suburbs of Washington, D.C. to the northern suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts) , is linked by the I-95 Interstate, which runs from Florida through Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and up to Boston and into Maine.

The northern Mid-Atlantic states provided the young United States with heavy industry and served as the "melting pot" of new immigrants from Europe.[citation needed] Cities grew along major shipping routes and waterways, such as Philadelphia on the Delaware River and New York City on the Hudson River.

Early settlers were mostly farmers and traders, and the region served as a bridge between North and South.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania midway between the northern and southern colonies, was the site of the Continental Congress, the convention of delegates from the original colonies that organized the American Revolution. The same city was the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the U.S. Constitution in 1787.

Yankees: Massachusetts and the New England states

New England is a region consisting of of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. New England is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Canada, and the State of New York, says Wikipedia.

In one of the earliest European settlements in North America, Pilgrims from England first settled in New England in 1620, to form Plymouth Colony.

Ten years later, the Puritans settled north of Plymouth Colony in Boston, thus forming Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630. In the late 18th century, the New England Colonies would be among the first North American British colonies to demonstrate ambitions of independence from the British Crown through the American Revolution.

New England led America in -
- American literature (The Scarlet Letter)
- philosophy (Walden, by Thoreau)
- free public education
- the movement to abolish slavery in the United States.
- first region of the US to be transformed by the Industrial Revolution.

Today, New England is a major center of
education (MIT, Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, etc)
high technology (DEC, Raytheon)
insurance (Prudental)
medicine (Mass General Hospital, New England Journal of Medicine)
tourism (Plymouth Rock, Paul Revere House).

It is a crowded region, a competitive environment (whether on the freeway or in the general rat race) and a place of diverse ethnic groups (Asians, Canadians, Europeans, and, in Boston, Africa-Americans).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chicago's entertainment queen: Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Gail Winfrey (born January 29, 1954) is an American television host, actress, producer, and philanthropist, best known for her self-titled, multi-award winning talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history, says Wikipedia.[1]

She has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century, [2] the greatest black philanthropist in American history,[3][4] and was once the world's only black billionaire.[5][6] She is also, according to some assessments, the most influential woman in the world.[7][8]

Looking Down 1,400 Ft From the "Ledge" in the Willis Tower Skydeck

Willis Tower, formerly named Sears Tower, is a 108-story, 1451-foot (442 m) skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois, says Wikipedia.[1]

At the time of its completion in 1974, it was the tallest building in the world, surpassing the World Trade Center towers in New York, and it held this rank for nearly 25 years.

The Willis Tower is the tallest building in the United States and the fifth-tallest freestanding structure in the world, as well as the fifth tallest building in the world to the roof.

In March 2009 London-based insurance broker Willis Group Holdings, Ltd., agreed to lease a portion of the building and obtained the building's naming rights.[3] On July 16, 2009, the building was officially renamed Willis Tower.

Impoverished Southerners moved to the Midwest for better jobs in the 1910's, 20's, 30's and 40's

Large numbers of Black Americans - alongside poor whites - migrated to Chicago, Detroit and St Louis in the early part of the 20th century. They wanted to escape farm labor and get work in factories and service industries.

Blues and jazz migrated to Chicago, too.

Current figures on Race and Ethnicity in the US, acc to Wikipedia -

White Americans (non-Hispanic/Latino and Hispanic/Latino) are the racial majority, with an 80% share of the U.S. population.

Hispanic and Latino Americans compose 15% of the population.[5]

Black Americans are the largest racial minority, composing nearly 13% of the population.[4][6]

White Americans are the majority in every region,[4] and reach their highest share of the population in the Midwestern United States: 85% per the PEP,[4] or 83% per the ACS.[6]

The South is where Blacks and African Americans are most prevalent, as it is home to 55% of the community.[4]

Chevy Volt Coupe: will such new-tech cars help restore Detroit's auto companies to profitability?

Chevy Volt Coupe
Originally uploaded by Taglane
Once the cars from Detroit ruled the world: Cadillacs, Impalas, Crown Victorias, Firebirds and Stingrays were state of the art models in the 1960's and 70's.

But the success of the Japanese automakers contributed to their American counterparts falling into a recession in the late 1970s, says Wikipedia.

Toyota overtook perennial world leader GM in both production and sales by early 2008. Their high-end brand, Lexus, became the top-selling luxury marque worldwide in 2000, despite being started up in 1989.

Honda is Japan’s second largest automaker and ranks sixth in the world, behind Toyota, GM, Volkswagen, Ford, and Hyundai. Mitsubishi and Mazda are in a distant fourth and fifth place compared to the Japanese Big Three.

Today the US car companies are hoping that high-tech designs will raise their competitiveness in the world market.

An example of the latest American product is the all-electric Chevy Volt, due to go on sale in 2011.

Class of 2014 will plant 35 crepe myrtles on Th, Fri, Oct 28, 29; parent with pick-up truck needed for picking up treelings at Akin's Nursery

Cmhs crepe myrtle day
Originally uploaded by trudeau
The largest tree planting in Shreveport-Bossier in October will be
produced by the Class of 2014 at Magnet on Oct 28 &29 (Th, Fri).

Your contributions will enable the class to plant thirty-five crepe
myrtles on the Magnet campus.

Contribute ones, fives, tens or even quarters to the class fund.
Parents, please send cash or make checks to Caddo Magnet High School.

The planting will take place during social studies classes on Oct 28 &
29. The digging, adding of landscape soil, chopping of dirt clumps, back filling, leveling and watering will be conducted by the students.

Parents who can chaperone on those days are welcome! Please email Robert Trudeau at for info.

Student volunteers must bring shovels to Magnet to enable the planting
to take place. Loaning the shovels for 2 days equals bonus credit in
social studies. Shovels must be marked with a name to ensure the
post-planting identification. We also need water hoses.

A parent with a pick-up truck is needed. The volunteer will drive to Akin's Nursery the morning of Oct 28 to pick up the crepe myrtles (they can be packed to fit a pick-up, says Foster Cook, owner of Akins). The treelings will be needed at Magnet - on the running track north of E wing - at about 8:45 am.

Following the planting, teachers will have the option of allowing students to share food contributions in a Mexican foods picnic. The lesson will be on Dia de los Muertos.

Contributions will be collected in E 205 and by social studies teachers. Parents may also drop off monetary contributions in the office.

The ginormous crop of the Midwest: corn

Products that use corn, acc to -

Adhesives (glues, pastes, mucilages, gums, etc.)
Antibiotics (penicillin)
Asbestos insulation
Automobiles (everything on wheels)
- cylinder heads
- ethanol - fuel & windshield washer fluid
- spark plugs
- synthetic rubber finishes
- tires
Baby food
Batteries, dry cell
Breakfast cereals
Canned vegetables
Carbonated beverages
Cheese spreads
Chewing gum
Chocolate products
Coatings on wood, paper & metal
Colour carrier in paper & textile, printing
Corn chips
Corn meal
C.M.A. (calcium magnesium acetate)
Crayon and chalk
Degradable plastics
Dessert powders
Dextrose (intravenous solutions, icing sugar)
Disposable diapers
Edible oil
Ethyl and butyl alcohol
Explosives - firecrackers
Finished leather
Flour & grits
Frozen foods
Fuel ethanol
Gypsum wallboard
Ink for stamping prices in stores
Instant coffee & tea
Insulation, fibreglass
James, jellies and preserves
Latex paint
Leather tanning
Livestock feed
Malted products
Mustard, prepared
Paper board, (corrugating, laminating, cardboard)
Paper manufacturing
Paper plates & Cups
Peanut butter
Pharmaceuticals - The Life Line of The Hospital
Potato chips
Rugs, carpets
Salad dressings
Shaving cream & lotions
Shoe polish
Soaps and cleaners
Soft drinks
Starch & glucose (over 40 types)
Tacos, tortillas
Wheat bread

Two significant, historic Chicago businesses: Sears, Roebuck and Ebony magazine

Sears, Roebuck and Co was the of the first half of the century. The mail-order company, hugely successful, was founded in Chicago in 1893, says Wikipedia. Later the spread of Sears retail stores made them an institution something like Walmart.

From its mail order beginnings, the company grew to become the largest retailer in the United States by the mid-20th century, and its catalogs became famous. Ask your parents or grandparents about their favorite goods in the Sears catalog.

Ebony, a monthly magazine for the African American market, was founded by John H. Johnson and has published continuously since 1945. A digest-sized sister magazine, Jet, is also published by Johnson Publishing, says Wikipedia.

Johnson Publishing, headquartered in Chicago, is the largest African-American-owned publishing firm in the United States. It also publishes Jet magazine and operates a book division. In addition, Johnson Publishing produces a line of hair care products (Supreme Beauty) and cosmetics (Fashion Fair) marketed for African-American women, and each year it hosts the Ebony Fashion Fair, a traveling fashion show that raises money for scholarships and charities in cities across the US and Canada.

Quiz next class on Chicago, the Midwest and Los Angeles

Originally uploaded by servuloh
Open notes, mult-choice questions on Chicago, the Midwest and Los Angeles, as seen on the class web site.

Oct 22 and 26.

59 Cadillac De Ville: emblem of the era when autos made in Detroit were the world's most spectacular and profitable

59 Cadillac De Ville
Originally uploaded by hellsexy
Once the world's manufacturing of cars was centered in the Midwest; the big companies were centered around Detroit.

The "Big Three" were
- General Motors (GM), which included Cadillac, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Corvette and others
- Chrysler - included Plymouth, Dodge and others
- Ford, which comprised Mercury, Lincoln, Thunderbird and others.

Manufacturing began with Henry Ford's revolutionary Model T and peaked in the 1960's and 1970's with the enormous, gas-guzzling sedans that might be typified by the 1960 Cadillac.

Look up photos of the '59 or '60 Cadillac to see spectacular design and excess.

Today the auto market is dominated by Asian companies such as Honda (Japan), Toyota (Japan), Mazda (Japan) and hyundai (S Korea).

In the Midwest so many auto-related factories have closed - and lie vacant - that the region is called the Rust Belt.

The 12 states of the Midwest region of the US

The region known as the Midwest -

- N Dakota, S Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas
- Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri
- Wisconsin, Illinois
- Michigan, Indiana
- Ohio

- the Agricultural Heartland of the US, says WG
- corn, corn and more corn
- soybeans, wheat
- hogs and other livestock

- Mississippi River provides a profitable trade route. Connects to the Gulf of Mexico and the world's oceans.
- Great Lakes also enhance trade; they connect to the Atlantic Ocean and all the world.

See Mrs Smheo as a mnemonic for the Great lakes.

What central locus lies at 42N, 87W?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Muddy Waters: Mississippi to Chicago

In the 1920's musicians from New Orleans such as King Oliver and Louis Armstrong brought Crescent City jazz to Chicago.

In the 1940's guitar player and singer Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield) left the Mississippi delta, where he had learned the blues. In Chicago he worked in factories by day and developed his blues tunes by night. By the 1950's he was known for songs such as "Rollin stone," "Hoochie Coochie Man," and "I just want to make love to you."

Chicago has been a home to the electric blues - see singer-guitarist Buddy Guy - ever since.

The Midwest and the crossroads city called Chicago

Chicago profile, acc to Wikipedia:

- capital of the US region known as the Midwest.
- almost 10 million in the metropolitan population (city plus its suburbs)
- founded only 2 years before Shreveport: 1833.
- on a historic portage between L. Michigan and the Miss R.
- a hub for finance, transportation, wealth.
- O'Hare Airport 2nd busiest in world.
- name based on Miami-Illinois word for "wild onions."
- 1893, Chicago World's Columbian Exposition considered the most influential world's fair in history.
- 1942, physicist Enrico Fermi: world's first controlled nuclear reaction at the U. of Chicago in the Manhattan Project.
- ethnic diversity: 39.9% White, Non-Hispanic Whites: 31.5%, 34.6% Black or African American, 4.9% Asian, 18.6% from some other race. Hispanics or Latinos make up 27.8% of the population.
- Irish (6.6%); German (6.5%); Polish (5.8%); Italian (3.5%)
- Chicago pizza: both deep dish and thin crust.

Getting to know Chicago and comparing it to Los Angeles

Yet another bean photo
Originally uploaded by kern.justin
Have these materials ready to be scored - at 10 pts - and used on a quiz during our next class.

The basic geography student's questions should be -

Why study Chicago?
Why is the Windy City so important?
What makes it different from NYC and LA?

Our project - on paper - will comprise

T-bar comparison pages
a) Cultural Cues
- music,
- foods and
- arts of Chicago and Los Angeles
b) Resources
- physical geography (rivers, lakes, etc)
- human resources (immigrants, demographic proportions)
c) Images of Chicago and LA
- 3 of each.
d) Twelve questions on landmarks of LA and Chicago.
ex: "The Windy City." answer: a) Chicago
e) Social forces
- Prohibition-era organized criminals of Chicago vs recent organized criminals of Los Angeles Venice area: Crips and Bloods

Please add a sketched map of Chicago and the state of Illinois. Inlcude L Michigan and the Miss R, too.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Luis Von Ahn: digital pioneer from Guatemala, but with an American education

Luis von Ahn (born in 1979 in Guatemala City, Guatemala) is an entrepreneur and a professor in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University. He is known as a one of the pioneers of the idea of crowdsourcing.

He is the founder of the company reCAPTCHA, which was sold to Google in 2009.[1] As a professor, his research includes CAPTCHAs and human computation, and has earned him international recognition and numerous honors.

He was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship (a.k.a., the "genius grant") in 2006,[2][3] the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship in 2009, a Sloan Fellowship in 2009, and a Microsoft New Faculty Fellowship in 2007. He has also been named one of the 50 Best Brains in Science by Discover Magazine, and has made it to many recognition lists that include Popular Science Magazine's Brilliant 10,'s 50 Most Influential People in Technology, Technology Review's TR35: Young Innovators Under 35, and FastCompany's 100 Most Innovative People in Business.

Luis von Ahn grew up in Guatemala City. He attended the American School of Guatemala for his primary and secondary education, and graduated from it in 1996. He received a B.S. in mathematics (summa cum laude) from Duke University in 2000. He obtained a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in 2005 under the supervision of professor Manuel Blum, who is well-known for advising some of the most prominent researchers in the field of computer science.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Indie comparison essay: Chicago and New Orleans

Wet Bean
Originally uploaded by 1 Johnny
Indie comparison essay: Chicago and New Orleans

1. Research
2. Integrate info.
3. Jacky opening and giggable title.
4. Documentation.
5. No more than a page.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Notes on a Presentation on Rural India by teacher Mrs Deborah Morehead

Notes on the Presentation on India by teacher Mrs Deborah Morehead

Images were from Mumbai (Bombay) and the small, isolated city of Raipur, as well as from the countryside.

demographics -
India 1.1 billion
China 1.3 b
US 330 m

Severely crowded and largely impoverished nation.

- English
- Hindi
- numerous additional languages - one for each region, plus dialects

Characteristics of poverty in rural areas -

- water! lack of fresh water
- water carried on head via pot balanced by hidden fabric "crown"
- lack of plumbing in villages - primitive WC's
- lack of refrigeration
- a bed is commonly a wide board
- housing may be primitive - no doors
- livestock may share housing with families
- snakebites common and often deadly
- ponds, streams used for both laundry, bathing and livestock

- bicycles, rickshaws, motorbikes

- caste system - outlawed but remains

- sari - dress made of a single, long rectangle of fabric / pleats folded and tucked to fit each figure.
midriff top
salwar kameez - long tunic atop pants
longhi - man skirt
dupatta - long, multi-purpose scarf

art -
rice powder designs on ground
decorated houses, shrines

Poverty as described in the Morehead presentation is common across the globe. Whether in Central America (ex, Mexico), South America (ex, Brazil), the continent of Africa (ex, Egypt), or Asia (ex, China), the issues with education, water and health are very similar.

Americans and most Europeans live in what we might call a bubble of wealth and comfort.

Bollywood movies are musicals with a soap opera-type story. The graceful dancing done in traditional dress (such as saris) in these movies is popular globally and referred to as Bollywood dance. .

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Opportunity for exploration and service: Red River cleanup

Please see the project details by clicking on the photo.

Magnet Quiz, 9/15: 5 themes of Geography and S-B geography

5 themes of Geography
Originally uploaded by trudeau
The Magnet geography quiz / Trudeau

1. British (d)
2. false
3. Riverscape (b)
4. Human adaptation (d)
5. Movement (c)
6. Fant (c)
7. Teague (b)
8. Larkin Edwards (c)
9. treaty with the Caddo (b)
10. Travis (b)
11. Stoner Hill (a)
12. Larkin Edwards (d)
13. false

1. The widespread use of the term "WC" is the product of cultural diffusion, or spreading. The nationality that broadcast the term was the one with a vast empire in the 17th through the 19th centuries. That would be the a) French b) Germans c) Greeks d) British.
2. Bee populations in the US have been dropping precipitously (severely). The principal difficulty lies in the huge loss of honey production. T / F
3. The name of the housing development that will be constructed adjacent to Magnet: a) Stoner Parkway b) Riverscape c) Coates Bluff d) Bayou Pierre.
4. Trees and air conditioning units have allowed Shreveport-Bossier to cope with the humid subtropical climate. That would be an example of a) Human dependency on the environment b) Movement of people c) Human characteristics of place. d) Human adaptation to the environment.
5. The state of Shreveport-Bossier's indigenous peoples define a) Human characteristics of Place b) Physical characteristics of place c) Movement of people d) Vernacular regions.
6. Human-environment interaction: a) S-B Land b) Gulf Coastal Plain c) Fant Parkway d) indigenous people expelled from the area.
7. Barksdale AFB is closest to a) Caddo Magnet HS b) Teague Parkway c) Youree Dr. d) VA Medical Center.
8. Coates Bluff Nature Trail is in its infancy. It derives its pathway from a) a river bed b) a line connecting 3 schools: Montessori for Shreveport, Stoner Hill Elementary and Caddo Magnet HS c) pioneer Larkin Edwards d) the work of Henry Miller Shreve.
9. Not one of Shreve's achievements: a) steam boat design b) treaty with the Caddo c) design for dual-hull snag boat d) investor in Shreve Town.
10. A Shreveport street that honors the heroes of the Texas battle at the Alamo: a) Edwards b) Travis c) Caddo d) Market.

11. Before there was a Shreve Town there was a community around the McLeod & Carr store at a promontory (high land) called Coates Bluff. That was located on what is now a) Stoner Hill b) VA Medical Center c) Montessori for Shreveport d) Bayou PIerre.
12. The pioneer who was a diplomat and Caddo interpreter in this area: a) Bushrod Jenkins b) Henry Miller Shreve c) Angus McNeil d) Larkin Edwards.
13. Chinese dragons jealously guard their treasure in caves; they have been known to attack those who threaten them with fire and magic. T / F

What the open-source smart phone will do to the world, according to Newsweek

The mobile revolution may be the biggest wave ever to hit the world of computing, says Newsweek.

Just as mainframes gave way to minicomputers, which in turn gave way to personal computers, the PC now is being displaced by smart phones and tablets. By 2013, a decade after smart phones were launched, there will be 1 billion of them in the world–roughly the number of PCs that exist today, three decades after that machine’s introduction.

These devices will reach into the furthest corners of the world. By next year 5 billion mobile phones will be in service, out of a total world population of about 7 billion, according to Yankee Group, a high-tech research firm. Most of those will be “feature phones” with limited capabilities.

But over the next decade the technologies will become so cheap that virtually every phone sold will be what we, today, would call a smart phone. “This is a battle for literally every person on the planet. That’s why these markets are worth fighting for,” says Carl Howe, a research director at Yankee Group.

Most important, every one of those smart phones will be constantly connected to the Internet. If you own a smart phone, you know how extraordinary that linkage can be. Scott Adams, the author and creator of the comic strip Dilbert, last year argued in an essay that smart phones represent a kind of “exobrain” that augments our regular brain, giving us the ability to store and retrieve mountains of information and to perform tasks like navigating unfamiliar terrain.

So what happens when most of the residents of planet Earth carry a device that gives them instant access to pretty much all of the world’s information? The implications–for politics, for education, for global economics–are dizzying. In theory, the mobile revolution could enable citizens to demand greater openness and accountability from their governments.

The reverse might also be true: governments could more easily spy on citizens. “You also have the prospect of having 5 billion surveillance points,” says Jonathan Zittrain, codirector of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

The proliferation of low-cost handhelds will enable people in developing economies to see the rest of the world–and join it. “I can’t imagine anything since the invention of the spinning jenny that will so profoundly change the lives of people in the deepest rural parts of the emerging market. This is the knowledge revolution coming to them, finally,” says Sanjay Jha, the co-CEO of Motorola.

Jha credits the return to profitability of Motorola’s mobile devices–after three years of losing money–to an early bet on Android-based phones.

Sources of US wealth? Extensive resources and more

Magnet geo: US resources
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Students take brief notes on the World Geo section on US Resources, pp 127 - 131.
Teacher guides individuals in the skill of brevity in note-taking.

Farming, forests, minerals, fossil fuels, transportation, communications, democracy/free enterprise, rugged individualism.

Students create a graphic-based study guide on US resources, based on the text, notes and class discussion. Use US map (w Canada, Mexico, other neighbors).

Symbols: coal, wheat, cotton & corn, ships (import-export), petroleum, solar & wind collectors, railroads and autos, the US capitol.

Add NYC: entertainment, finance, media.

Silicon Valley names: Jobs, Page & Brin, Omidyar, Zuckerberg. Plus Gates.
Add Google engineer Andy Rubin, dev of the Android smart phone. Compare to iPhone.
Prediction is 5 billion of planet will have access to smart phones in next decade; Newsweek.

Resources unlimited in future. Ex: tires made from organic materials instead of petroleum!

What is the resource that empowers the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs?
Harvard-Stanford-Magnet education.

Evaluation: brief paragraph on what makes America a successful unit in the world.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

California Dreamin' / Summary quiz

California Dreamin' / summary quiz / Trudeau

1. California has about 5 times the number of people as Louisiana. T / F
2. The "snowy mountains:" a) Sierra Nevada b) Rocky Mtns. c) Coast
Range d) Yosemite Valley.
3. In California’s southeasternmost region is a large empty quarter.
No mountains, no municipalities. That area must be a) Death Valley b)
Nevada c) San Joaquin Valley d) the Mojave desert.
4. Californians have developed the high tech center called Silicon
Valley despite the few institutions of higher learning in the state.
T / F
5. River which connects California to Mexico: a) Sacramento b)
Colorado c) Rio Grande d) San Diego.
6. Southern California has one of the most desirable types of climate:
a) Mediterranean b) Humid Subtropical c) Continental d) Mountain.
7. Orange County, Marin County, Hollywood, Venice: what they have in
common is __.
a) affluence b) high tech industry c) entertainment industry d)
agricultural excellence.
8. He founded the conservationist Sierra Club: a) Ansel Adams b) Juan de Portola c) John Muir d) Jerry Garcia.
9. The Silicon Valley-based founder of Apple, Inc: a) Steve Jobs b)
Bill Gates c) Larry Page d) Mark Zuckerberg.
10. The Silicon Valley-based founder of Facebook: a) Steve Jobs b)
Bill Gates c) Larry Page d) Mark Zuckerberg.

11. Iranian-American Pierre Omidyar founded a) eBay b) Myspace c)
Friendster d) Netflix.
12. Sacramento is not part of Silicon Valley but the region does
include San Jose and Santa Cruz. T / F
13. Greater Los Angeles includes Hollywood, Santa Monica, Santa
Barbara and Venice. T / F
14. Which city would be more likely to celebrate and appreciate Dia de
los Muertos? a) San Diego b) Sacramento c) Seattle.
15. California is a minority-majority state. Asians, African-Americans
and Hispanics make up 57% of the state population. Geography students have studied a majority-minority city. it would be a) Mexico City b)
Shreveport c) St Louis d) Seattle.
16. Shreveport and Los Angeles are very close in one of these numbers: a) latitude b) longitude c) per cent of ethnic minorities
d) number of movies made in the past year.

1. false 2. Sierra Nevada 3. Mojave 4. false 5. Colorado R
6. Mediterranean 7. affluence 8. Muir 9. Jobs
10. Zuckerberg 11. eBay 12. true 13. false
14. San Diego 15. Shreveport 16. latitude
Answers were found in either World Geography, class notes, class notes and articles or the atlas.
Or by social studies-minded deduction.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

A talented Californian who has touched our lives via Toy Story, A Bug's Life and Cars: John Lasseter of Pixar and Disney Animation

John Alan Lasseter (born January 12, 1957) is an American animator, director and the chief creative officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. He is also currently the Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering.[ HQ in Silicon Valley? Answer: No; Beverly Hills

MySpace is a social networking website. Its headquarters are in Beverly Hills, California[5] where it shares an office building with its immediate owner, News Corp. Digital Media, owner of Fox News, Wall St Journal, National Geographic Channel and many more media properties.

MySpace became the most popular social networking site in the United States in June 2006.[6] According to comScore, MySpace was overtaken internationally by its main competitor, Facebook, in April 2008, based on monthly unique visitors.[7][8]

MySpace employs 1,000 employees, after laying off 30 percent of its workforce in June 2009.

After the 2002 launch of Friendster, several eUniverse employees with Friendster accounts saw its potential and decided to mimic the more popular features of the social networking website, in August 2003. Within 10 days, the first version of MySpace was ready for launch.[12] A complete infrastructure of finance, human resources, technical expertise, bandwidth, and server capacity was available for the site, right out of the gate, so the MySpace team wasn’t distracted with typical start-up issues.

The project was overseen by Brad Greenspan (eUniverse's Founder, Chairman, CEO), who managed Chris DeWolfe (MySpace's starting CEO), Josh Berman, Tom Anderson (MySpace's starting president), and a team of programmers and resources provided by eUniverse.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

One of the Bay Area's most successful artists: moviemaker George Lucas of Star Wars and Indiana Jones fame

George Walton Lucas, Jr. (1944) is an American film producer, screenwriter, director and founder/chairman of Lucasfilm Ltd, says Wikipedia.

He is best known for being the creator of the science fiction franchise Star Wars and joint creator of the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones. Today, Lucas is one of the American film industry's most financially successful independent directors/producers, with an estimated net worth of $3.25 billion as of 2010.[1]

He attended the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. USC was one of the earliest universities to have a school devoted to motion picture film.

On a return-on-investment basis, Star Wars proved to be one of the most successful films of all time. During the filming of Star Wars, Lucas waived his up-front fee as director and negotiated to own the licensing rights (for novelizations, T-shirts, toys, etc.)—rights which the studio thought were nearly worthless. This decision earned him hundreds of millions of dollars, as he was able to directly profit from all the licensed games, toys, and collectibles created for the franchise. This accumulated capital enabled him to finance the sequel without groveling to the "suits."

His far-sighted decision to establish his own effects company to make the original Star Wars film has reaped enormous benefits; the award-winning Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) is acknowledged one of the world leaders in the field and has created groundbreaking special effects for many other box office hits.

Skywalker Sound and Industrial Light & Magic, the sound and visual effects subdivisions of Lucasfilm, respectively, have become among the most respected firms in their fields. Lucasfilm Games, later renamed LucasArts, is well respected in the gaming industry.

He lives in Marin County, north of San Francisco.

Open notes Quiz on California Th/Fri and a map quiz, too

Prepare for a culminating quiz on the Golden State from all of the web site notes. Mult-choice, about 16 questions. Oct 7 / 8

And a sketch map quiz on the Pacific rim state that lies between Oregon and Mexico. Sketch plus 12 identifications of your choice - as long as they were listed in our notes.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Aztecs and Mayans: an intro to Mexico

The roots of California place names, early history and architecture extend to Mexico.

The study of Mexico in this class will put an emphasis on balance of the positive and negative social factors, on awareness of the difference between Aztec and Maya cultures and the artful side of Mexican culture.

The guiding theme is that students - in their long-range future - will work with Mexican people and perhaps with people in Mexico. This will be commonplace in American business.

Images generated by students and vocab notes from the map study:

- sombre ro
- poncho / serape / rebozo
- Tex-Mex cooking, ex fajitas
- chili pepper orognated here
- vanilla bean origination
- chocolatl is an Aztec word.
- Aztec and Mayan pyramids.

Strengths of both Aztec and Maya civilization:

- astronomy
- mathematics
- architecture
- cities
- language and books
- botanic medicine

It is called Land of the Feathered Serpent; see the Aztec god Quetz,coatl. And see the long-tailed bird called the Quetzal.

Comparison in notebooks on US and Mexico-
- demographics such as population and per capita income.
- land area and climate
- economy and government.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Does using Google improve or weaken the brain? See pro and con essays at UpFront

Originally uploaded by trudeau
Indie work:
Read 2 brief essays about the impact of Googling and write a reflection on the argument. You need not be distinctly affirmative or negative. Use examples in your essay.

See the article here.

Geo students will present an art, dance and food Dia de los Muertos experience on Oct 28 - 29

Students are beginning to plan foods, art and dance for a presentation at the end of October which will present el Da de los Muertos, the Mexican Day of the Dead.

The celebration represents both Roman Catholic and indigenous Mexican rituals.

For more background, please see

Friday, October 01, 2010

Indie comprison essay: Pierre Omidyar and Steve Jobs

The world's richest Iranian is American technologist-philanthropist Pierre Omidyar.

Please compare him to fellow-Silicon Valley mensch Steve Jobs.

Omidyar founded eBay. Jobs founded Apple.

Open notes, mult-choice quiz on California notes first class of Oct 4 - 5

Magnet geography
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Please have notes in hand for some 16 questions on the web site notes about California in the first class of the Oct 4 week.

Additional notes:

Leo Fender, Los Angeles engineer, transforms music in the 1950's by development of the electric solidbody Precision Bass, which offered an alternative to the acoustic bass. He also developed the first mass-produced electric solidbody guitars, the Telecaster and Stratocaster, and the powerful Bassman amplifier.

Colorado R - the river that formed the Grand Canyon is also part of California and supplies a huge amount of water to California's fields of fruits, nuts and vegetables.

Sequoia tree, aka the Giant California Redwood, is the world's largest tree. It grows only in Northern California and Oregon. It is only propagated via forest fire, says

gentrified - when historic housing in an impoverished area is purchased by gentry, ie rich people, and made into expensive real estate. Ex: 40 years ago parts of the French Quarter of New Orleans was run down and inhabited by working class people. Today the entire Quarter has been gentrified.

junket - a trip that combines business and pleasure.

Indie work for next week:

Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, and Pierre M Omidyar, founder of eBay.