Monday, October 31, 2011

Map quiz next class: sketch either Texas or Washington, DC

Texas by trudeau
Texas, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

Sketch the outline of Texas and add, as studied in class,
- 4 bodies of water
- 3 cities
- 5 neighbors

Sketch the rectangular National Mall and add
- US Capitol
- Supreme Court
- Library of Congress
- National Air & Space Museum
- the Smithsonian Museums
- White House
- Washington Monument
- Potomac River
- Pentagon (US Dept of Defense)
- 3 neighboring states

Friday, October 28, 2011

Topics for Indie work for bonus credit

Caddo Magnet library by trudeau
Caddo Magnet library, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

Choose one for a comparison essay. Do not write it from the top of your head or what you remember in class notes. Do take your material from credible sources and cite your sources.

- Jazzy title.
- Typed. No more than 1 page. A half page will do.
- Integrate the subjects; blend the topics.
- Offer details, not generalities.
- Similarities as well as differences.
- Use comparison words (se guidelines posted earlier).

a) Dia de los Muertos and Halloween
b) The founding of Houston and the founding of Dallas.
c) The Houston Ship Channel and the Erie Canal.
d) The River Walk in San Antonio and the banks of the Red R in Shreveport-Bossier.
e) Tex-Mex cooking and Creole cooking.
f) Houston's pop music stars (2) versus those of New Orleans (2).

Semester book report due Nov 4

Portland / Powell's Books by trudeau
Portland / Powell's Books, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

The book report is worth 20 pts and should consist of 2 pages:

1. 5 images that *relate to* elements of the book. For example: a location image, a character image, a conflict image, an era image, an author image. Each image must be accompanied by 2 factoids (typed) from the book. Add a jazzy title.

2. Brief, typed book essay based on 2 quotes from the book. Half a page will do.
Snazzy title, too.
Name, date, hour in upper right.

Criteria for grading:
- Grammar, punctuation, construction.
- Neatness.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Celebrating el Dia de los Muertos: empanadas, a la Mexicana

Mexican empanadas can be a dessert or breakfast item and tend to contain a variety of sweetened fillings, says Wikipedia. These include pumpkin, yams, sweet potato, and cream, as well as a wide variety of fruit fillings.

Meat, cheese, and vegetable fillings are less common in some states, but still well-known and eaten fairly regularly.

Thanks, Lana!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A brief unit on Louisiana's amazing neighbor: Texas

Texas map postcard by paflip25
Texas map postcard, a photo by paflip25 on Flickr.

To be an intelligent citizen of Louisiana is to be a student of all things Texan.

Geo class study will focus on
- Houston
- Dallas
- Austin.

Sketch map no. 1 of Texas must show, colorfully, the

- neighboring states
- Gulf of Mexico
- Rio Grande
- Red R.
- Sabine R.
- Galveston Bay
- Houston Ship Channel (Buffalo Bayou)
- 3 cities as above

- In the tragic Enron Corp scandal of 2001 the collapse of the company due to fraud by top executives led to the loss of jobs and retirement money for some 20,000 former employees.
- Some 20 executives were convicted or plead guilty in the aftermath.

- In 1901 the Spindletop gusher oil well, Beaumont (near the corner of Texas, Louisiana and the Gulf), marked the beginning of the Texas Oil Boom.

Researching and writing a plan for a family weekend in Houston or Dallas

The great metropoli in our region are Dallas and Houston.

Your task is to plan a family weekend in one of the 2 cities. That will include
- Approximate driving time and gas consumed. I would suggest a rough figure of 2 and a half tanks of gas for Dallas, 3 and a half tanks for Houston.
- Motel/hotel cost. Figure the number of people in your family and get a price for 2 nights: a Fri and Sat. An option: get a cost for a budget hotel and a price for an upscale location.
- Attractions: find the location, cost and hours of a museum and an amusement center.
- Meals and notable restaurants. Find the cost of a special restaurant for supper/dinner. Choose at least one that offers an unusual foreign cuisine. You may figure about $20 per person for breakfast and a generic lunch.
- Shopping: find a store that suits you that is not available in Shreveport.
- Approximate total cost.

What book are you reading for the social studies report? Also, are you and your team rolling on the social studies project?

If you have doubts or need a refresher, please return to the original guidelines page.

Btw, the photo above is of the state champion Sycamore tree. It is located in AC Steere Park.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Geography notes: Wash, DC and the Atlantic coastal states

Geography Magnet / Wash, DC by trudeau
Geography Magnet / Wash, DC, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

Please see below for more detail.

Meanwhile, here are 6 relevant metro populations, acc to Wikipedia.

1 New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA MSA 18,897,109

2 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA MSA 12,828,837

3 Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI MSA 9,461,105

4 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX MSA 6,371,773

5 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD MSA 5,965,343

6 Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX MSA 5,946,800


1 California 37,253,956

2 Texas 25,145,561

3 New York 19,378,102

What to know in Washington, DC, around the national mall

Like NYC, Chicago and LA, the sites of Washington are frequently featured in the news, literature and general media.

Please commit these sites to memory on a simple sketch map.

- Potomac R.
- White House, 1500 Pennsylvania Ave
- Lincoln Memorial
- Washington Monument
- Smithsonian Museums (general locations)
- National Air & Space Museum
- National mall
- US Capitol
- US Supreme Court
- Library of Congress
- The Pentagon (US Dept of Defense), across the Potomac and slightly south of the Lincoln Memorial.

Please click on the map to see full coverage.

Mental mapping: memorize the Atlantic coast US states

East coast US states by trudeau
East coast US states, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

Be able to sketch and label the 14 US East coast states. Approximate shapes are OK.

Blank sheet memory quiz on the 1st class of the Oct 24 week.

- Maine
- New Hampshire
- Massachusetts
- Rhode Island
- Connecticut
- NY
- New Jersey
- Delaware
- Maryland
- Virginia
- N Carolina
- SC
- Georgia
- Florida

- Canada and Nova Scotia Province
- Bahamas
- Cuba

Atlantic Ocean.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Practice the Three Metropoli with these questions

Nyc artist by trudeau
Nyc artist, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

A wee quiz on 3 ginormous cities

1. The approximate metropolitan population of Chicago in millions? a) 4 m b) 6 m c) 9 m d) 12 m
2. Chicago was founded on a portage between 2 bodies of water. They are Lake Michigan and a) Lake Superior b) Mississippi R c) Lake Huron.
3. Which recent presidents were closely associated with Los Angeles?
a) Reagan & Carter b) Kennedy & Clinton c) Reagan & Nixon
d) Nixon & Eisenhower.
4. Jean Baptiste du Sable was the founder of a) Chicago b) Los Angeles c) NYC.
5. Named for a female-type person: a) Chicago b) Los Angeles c) NYC.
6. World's Fair of 1893: a) Chicago b) Los Angeles c) NYC.
7. Founded by the Dutch. a) Chicago b) Los Angeles c) NYC.
8. Oprah. a) Chicago b) Los Angeles c) NYC.
9. Bagels: a) Chicago b) Los Angeles c) NYC.
10. The beginnings of Health food in America: a) Chicago b) Los Angeles c) NYC.
11. Largest city in the most populous state. a) Chicago b) Los Angeles c) NYC.

NYC-Chicago-LA quiz on Wed, Oct 19

As usual, open notes, multiple choice. About 13 questions.

The Triple Urban Conflagration contest, in which each answer is either NYC-Chicago-LA, will be next week.

Henry Hudson was the second European to explore NY harbor; the first was Giovanni Verrazzano

Henry Hudson by Bosc d'Anjou
Henry Hudson, a photo by Bosc d'Anjou on Flickr.

C 1. A similarity between Shreveport and the Windy City, Chicago, is found when comparing this factor:
a) Shreveport is part of the Bible Belt b) population c) Millennium Moon mural d) popular foods.
C 2. 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 d) SoHo.
B 3. Four of the boroughs are located on islands. Name the two that share space on one island. a) Bronx, Queens
b) Brooklyn, Queens c) Queens, Long Island d) Brooklyn, Long Island.
A 4. In NY harbor are famous islands such as Liberty Island, Governor's Island and one small island which was a center for immigration: a) Ellis Is. b) Rikers Is. c) Hudson Is. d) Roosevelt Is.
B 5. The European explorer given credit for first examining NY harbor was a) Peter Minuit b) Giovanni Verrazzano c) Henry Hudson d) Duke of York.

A 6. The earliest site of European settlement in NYC is at the __ tip of Manhattan. a) Southern b) Northern c) Eastern d) Western.
C 7. Major university associated with Manhattan: a) Harvard b) Stanford c) Columbia d) Yale.
C 8. When you see landmarks such as Rodeo Drive, Venice Boardwalk and Arnold Schwarzenegger you know the topic is a) Chicago b) NYC c) Los Angeles.
D 9. Dutch governor of the NY colony who famously bargained with the Algonquian peoples:
a) Peter Stuyvesant b) Henry Hudson c) John Peter Zenger d) Peter Minuit.
A 10. Influential, wealthy part of Manhattan: a) Upper East Side b) Lower East Side c) Little Italy
d) Harlem.
A 11. Name the ethnic group that was welcomed by immigration laws in the mid 1800's and excluded from immigration by changes in the laws in the late 1800's. a) Chinese b) Jews c) Italians d) Africans.

Philippe Petit -Wire walk between the Twin Towers in 1974

The award-winning movie Man On Wire represents a notable learning activity for several reasons -

- documentary on the birth of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers.
- connections between Paris, France, and NYC.
- segments of French language.
- story of unusual skill and bravery.
- story which balances the better-known story of the destruction of the Towers.
- skillfully made documentary.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mary Jane Malone Lecture on Thurs, Oct 20th; Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain, is the speaker

The 14th Annual Mary Jane Malone Lecture Series will happen Thurs, Oct 20th. Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain, is the speaker.

All 11th and 12th graders will attend the lecture in the PAC during 4th period. 9th and 10th graders will be able to watch the lecture via Channel 1 monitors in classsrooms.

The evening lecture begins at 6:30 and is free and open to the public.

Feel free to invite friends and family to attend.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Flatiron Building: early skyscraper on Fifth Avenue, downtown NYC

Flatiron Building by dianasch
Flatiron Building, a photo by dianasch on Flickr.

The Flatiron Building, or Fuller Building, as it was originally called, is located at 175 Fifth Avenue and is considered to be a groundbreaking skyscraper, says Wikipedia.

Upon completion in 1902 it was one of the tallest buildings in the city and the only skyscraper north of 14th Street.

It is a vertical Renaissance palazzo with Beaux-Arts styling.

In January 2009, an Italian real estate investment firm bought a majority stake in the Flatiron Building, with plans to turn it into a world-class luxury hotel. The conversion may have to wait ten years, however, until the leases of the current tenants run out.

NYC architecture vocab: terraced, cruciform, recumbent, frieze, clad, facade.

Rockefeller Center: a complex of 19 buildings in Midtown Manhattan

Rockefeller Center by trudeau
Rockefeller Center, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

Rockefeller Center or Rockefeller Plaza is a complex of 19 commercial buildings between 48th and 51st streets in New York City, says Wikipedia.

Built by the Rockefeller family, it is located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, spanning the area between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue.

Radio City Music Hall at 50th Street and Avenue of the Americas was completed in December, 1932. At the time it was promoted as the largest and most opulent theater in the world. The Rockettes are a precision dance company performing out of the Radio City Music Hall. During the Christmas season, the Rockettes have performed five shows a day, seven days a week, for 77 years. Perhaps their best-known routine is an eye-high leg kick in perfect unison in a chorus line, which they include at the end of every performance. Btw, every Rockette must be between 5'6" and 5'101⁄2" tall.

The centerpiece of Rockefeller Center is the 70-floor, 872-foot (266 m) GE Building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza ("30 Rock") formerly known as the RCA Building. It is centered behind the sunken plaza.

The famous Rainbow Room club restaurant is located on the 65th floor. The skyscraper is the headquarters of NBC and houses most of the network's New York studios, including 6A, former home of Late Night with David Letterman and Late Night with Conan O'Brien and current home of The Dr. Oz Show; 6B, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; 8H, home of Saturday Night Live; plus the operations of NBC News, MSNBC and local station WNBC.

It offers a trove of public art: among it the statue of Atlas facing Fifth Avenue and the conspicuous friezes above the main entrance to the RCA Building.

There is also the highly recognizable bronze gilded statue of the Greek legend of the Titan Prometheus recumbent, bringing fire to mankind - in the sunken plaza at the front of 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

At street level, the plaza has about 200 flagpoles.

Margaret Bourke-White shooting from the 61st floor of the Chrysler Building

The Chrysler Building is considered a masterpiece of Art Deco architecture, says Wikipedia.

The distinctive ornamentation of the building is based on features that were then being used on Chrysler automobiles.

The corners of the 61st floor are graced with eagles, replicas of the 1929 Chrysler hood ornaments;[32] on the 31st floor, the corner ornamentation are replicas of the 1929 Chrysler radiator caps.[33]

The Chrysler Building is also well renowned and recognized for its terraced crown. Composed of seven radiating terraced arches, Van Alen's design of the crown is a cruciform groin vault constructed into seven concentric members with transitioning setbacks, mounted up one behind another.[35]

The stainless-steel cladding is ribbed and riveted in a radiating sunburst pattern with many triangular vaulted windows, transitioning into smaller segments of the seven narrow setbacks of the facade of the terraced crown. The entire crown is clad with silvery "Enduro KA-2" metal, an austenitic stainless steel developed in Germany by Krupp.

It was the world's tallest building for 11 months - before it was surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931.

Margaret Bourke-White Margaret Bourke-White (1904 –1971) was an American photographer and documentary photographer.[3][4]

She is best known as the first foreign photographer permitted to take pictures of Soviet Industry, the first female war correspondent (and the first female permitted to work in combat zones) and the first female photographer for Henry Luce's Life magazine, where her photograph appeared on the first cover.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

A week to decide on the topic and assemble the research on your socialstudies project

Geography Magnet / ss project by trudeau
Geography Magnet / ss project, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

This week in geography: no home work outside of reading the blog; no quizzes, either.

This week Talent Show rehearsals will be held after school each day, 3:45 to 5 pm.

Please take this week to work on your social studies project. You may work solo or with up to 3 partners.

The 20 pt Social Studies project, due Nov 30:

Social Studies Fair Project -
* submitted via image-based report, Powerpoint-style.
* purpose is to show fluency with the Scientific Method.
* student articulates . . .
- social problem (slide 1)
- hypothesis for solution to problem (slide 2)
- review of literature (find sources, read the articles and choose the part(s) that are relevant to your paper) that addresses the problem (slides 3, 4 & 5, at least). The list of all articles read becomes your bibliography (slide 6).
- conclusion drawn from literature review (slide 7).
- abstract, or half-page summary of entire project.improvement (slide 8).
- grammar, spelling and construction.
- student need not build traditional backboard display unless teacher and student agree on an entry into the social studies fair.
- students may work solo, in a duo or a 3-person team. Bonus points for those who can devise an international team.

Bonus points - up to 5 - for early submission of a top-quality project.

Talent Show auditions and first run-through on Mon, Oct 10, 3:45, in the PAC

Class of 2015 Talent Show is Fri, Oct 14, 6:30 - 8 pm, in the Magnet PAC. Admission $5.

Below are the first announcements of the production team (subject to adjustment):

Annie Thai / Event Producer

Vincent Huang / Manager / Light and Sound Producer
Rachael Miller / Manager / Stage Left
Chloe Hughes / Manager / Stage Right
Malcom Youngblood / Producer / assistant to Mr Trudeau
Caleb Basinger / Producer / Talent
Vijay Letchuman / Producer / Talent /

Serena Jackson / script writer /

Sandy Thurmon / stage back drop /
Sydni Durden / stage back drop /
Zoe Mangum / stage back drop /

Will Flavin / Light board /
Jake Slater / spotlight /
Zachary Nelson / stage production /
Zaria Alexander / stage production /

Alicia Fields / program/

Parents who would like to volunteer please see parent Mrs Sonya French
Or me at

We need more student talent in the script writing and program production.

Friday, October 07, 2011

NYC: Five Boroughs and an Overview

NYC: Five Boroughs by trudeau
NYC: Five Boroughs, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

New Amsterdam to New York

New York City consists of five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island.

- Estimated population exceeds 8.3 million people, New York City is the most densely populated major city in the United States.[5]
- The metropolitan area's population is also the nation's largest, estimated at 18.8 million people.

* New York was founded as a commercial trading post by the Dutch in 1624. The settlement was called New Amsterdam until 1664 when the colony came under English control.[7]
* New York served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790.[8] It has been the country's largest city since 1790.[9]

- The Statue of Liberty, gift of France.
- Wall Street, in Lower Manhattan, has been a dominant global financial center since World War II and is home to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

- Empire State Building, 1931.
- Chrysler Bldg, 1930.
- Flatiron Bldg, 1902.

- Harlem: Apollo Theater, Harlem Globetrotters, Harlem Boys' Choir, Harlem Renaissance in literature and visual art,1930's.
- Columbia University - adjacent to Harlem.

- hip hop, disco and Tin Pan Alley in music
- the home of Broadway theater.

- Upper East Side and Upper West Side: wealthy neighborhoods; many people in towers overlooking Central Park.
- Metropolitan Museum of Art - edge of Central Park.
- Lincoln Center - 10 theaters in an arts center on Upper West Side. Includes Juilliard School, Metropolitan Opera, NYC Ballet, NY Philharmonic.

Coney Island, Brooklyn at the Atlantic: amusement park and history of hot dogs and hamburgers.

Fifth Ave: expensive shopping. Runs N-S alongside Central Park.

Greenwich Village / Washington Square Park and Arch: historic neighborhood that was once known for bohemian types; today the wealthy reside there.

- Chelsea - neighborhood north of Greenwich Village.
- SoHo - neighborhood of shops, art galleries and celebrity's apartments south of Greenwich Village.
- NYU, New York University, in the Village.

- Use of mass transit, most of which runs 24 hours per day.
- Nearly 170 languages were spoken in the city and 36% of its population was born outside the United States.
- "The City that Never Sleeps"; other nicknames include Gotham[14] and the Big Apple.[15]

Delaware/Algonquin, indigenous peoples.

- European discovery in 1524[16] by Giovanni da Verrazzano, an Italian explorer in the service of the French crown.
- Dutch fur trading settlement, later called "Nieuw Amsterdam" (New Amsterdam), on the southern tip of Manhattan in 1614.
- Dutch colonial Director-General Peter Minuit purchased the island of Manhattan from the Lenape people in 1626 for a value of 60 guilders - about $1000 in 2006.
- 1664, the English conquered the city and renamed it "New York" after the English Duke of York and Albany.

- Seminal John Peter Zenger trial in 1735, helping to establish the freedom of the press in North America.
- 1754, Columbia University was founded under charter by George II of Great Britain as King's College in Lower Manhattan.[23]

- Wall St was the site of a wall built to keep out the native peoples.
- Staten Is Ferry is free way to see the harbor.
- Chelsea Hotel - famous residence for celebs.
- Grand Central Station for train traffic.
- Chinatown for immigrants and shopping.

Central Park - 1857. Over 800 acres of urban park. Is 2.5 miles in length.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Social studies project possibility: being aware of the Red River's treacherous sands

Trees with a view by mama2mice
Trees with a view, a photo by mama2mice on Flickr.

This is an example of how to create a basic social studies project (remember, it can be a group project with up to 3 members) based on a local tragedy -

In 2010, teens from 2 families drowned in the Red River while trying to save each other. Six young people were lost to a sinkhole at the edge of the river.

Projects begin with a question, such as:

In 2010, six teens drowned in the Red River. How much can the city of Shreveport do to safeguard people using the waters of the Red River for recreation?

Hypothesis -
The city may have increased efforts to teach teens to swim. Yet the city can do more in regards education on the hazards associated with playing in the Red River.

Gathering of evidence -
Calling or emailing city officials with questions about city efforts in regards swim lessons and education.
- Mayor
- Chief of Police
- Chief of Fire/Rescue
- Media / reporters or editors
- River experts from LSUS and other agencies.
- Web search for articles associated with changes following the drownings.

Conclusion -
Based on the quotes and additional materials collected, would you say the city is making effective efforts?

Bibliography -
A listing of names of interviewees and articles read.

The 20 pt Social Studies project, due Nov 30:

Social Studies Fair Project -
* submitted via image-based report, Powerpoint-style.
* purpose is to show fluency with the Scientific Method.
* student articulates . . .
- social problem
- hypothesis for solution to problem
- review of literature (find sources, read the articles and choose the part(s) that are relevant to your paper) that addresses the problem. The list of all articles read becomes your bibliography.
- conclusion drawn from literature review.
- bibliography.
- abstract, or half-page summary of entire project.improvement.
- grammar, spelling and construction.
- student need not build traditional backboard display unless teacher and student agree on an entry into the social studies fair.
- students may work solo, in a duo or a 3-person team. And, yes, there will be bonus points for those who can devise an international team

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Iron & steel: From the Great Lakes to NYC via the Erie Canal and Hudson River

NY state by trudeau
NY state, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

- the outline of NY state
- the edge of Lakes Erie and Ontario
- Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany.
- the highway that connects the above cities, which parallels the Erie Canal of 1825.
- the Hudson River

- The Erie Canal was a huge investment and gamble for the state of NY, but it paid off.

The Erie Canal enabled the shipment of iron, coal, timber and. eventually, steel goods, to NY Harbor. That commerce created new businesses, jobs and much profit. It was especially beneficial to NYC.

Ships in New York Harbor ferried US goods to every part of the world.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Another Chicago landmark: a 50' steel sculpture by Picasso

Chicago Picasso by
Chicago Picasso, a photo by on Flickr.

The Chicago Picasso is an untitled monumental sculpture by Pablo Picasso in Chicago, Illinois, says Wikipedia.

The sculpture, dedicated on August 15, 1967, in Daley Plaza in the Chicago Loop, is 50 feet (15.2 m) tall and weighs 162 tons.[1]

The Cubist sculpture by Picasso was the first such major public artwork in Downtown Chicago, and has become a well known landmark.

Picasso was offered payment of $100,000 but refused it, stating that he wanted to make a gift of his work.[4]

It is known for its inviting jungle gym-like characteristics.[2] Visitors to Daley Plaza can often be seen climbing on and sliding down the base of the sculpture.

The Bean, aka Cloud Gate, Millennium Park, Chicago

Bean by Bryan Chang
Bean, a photo by Bryan Chang on Flickr.

Cloud Gate, a public sculpture by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor, is the centerpiece of the AT&T Plaza in Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, says Wikipedia.

Constructed between 2004 and 2006, the sculpture is nicknamed "The Bean" because of its bean-like shape. Made up of 168 stainless steel plates welded together, its highly polished exterior has no visible seams. It is 33 by 66 by 42 feet, and weighs 110 short tons.

Said to have been inspired by liquid mercury,[2] the sculpture's surface reflects and distorts the city's skyline. Visitors are able to walk around and under Cloud Gate's 12-foot high arch. On the underside is the "omphalos" (Greek for "navel"), a concave chamber that warps and multiplies reflections.

Buddy Guy: bluesman from Baton Rouge who migrated to Chicago as a teen

Buddy Guy by kaytethinks
Buddy Guy, a photo by kaytethinks on Flickr.

George "Buddy" Guy (born July 30, 1936)[1] is an American blues and jazz guitarist and singer, says Wikipedia.

He is a critically acclaimed artist who has established himself as a pioneer of the Chicago blues sound, and has served as an influence to some of the most notable musicians of his generation. Guy is known, too, for his showmanship on stage, playing his guitar with drumsticks, or strolling into the audience while playing solos.

Born and raised in Lettsworth, Louisiana, Guy began learning guitar on a two string diddley bow he made. Later he was given a Harmony acoustic guitar, which, decades later in Guy's lengthy career was donated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In the early '50s he began performing with bands in Baton Rouge. Soon after moving to Chicago in 1957, Guy fell under the influence of Muddy Waters.

Mental map of the Great Lakes - 12 item quiz on Oct 5, 6

Please be ready to sketch and to identify

- 5 great lakes
- 3 cities
- 3 states
- foreign nation

Willis Tower, formerly the Sears Tower, Chicago: 108 stories

Willis Tower by alexventpap
Willis Tower, a photo by alexventpap on Flickr.

The Willis Tower (formerly named, and still commonly referred to as, the Sears Tower) is a 108-story, 1,451-foot (442 m) skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois, says Wikipedia.[4]

At the time of its completion in 1973, 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 seventh-tallest freestanding structure in the world.

Located on the 103rd floor of the tower is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Chicago, the Skydeck. Tourists can experience how the building sways on a windy day. They can see far over the plains of Illinois and across Lake Michigan to Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin on a clear day.

Elevators take tourists to the top in about 60 seconds. The Skydeck competes with the John Hancock Center's observation floor a mile and a half away, which is 323 feet (98 m) lower.

Some 1.3 million tourists visit the Skydeck annually.

"Prohibition,"a series on the US prohibition of alcohol, 1919 - 1933

Al Capone by che1899
Al Capone, a photo by che1899 on Flickr.

Watch part of the PBS program "Prohibition" and write about it for indie work.

The show continues on Mon and Tues, 7 pm, LPB.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Black diaspora in America, 1910 - 1930, 1940 - 1970

The Great Migration was the movement of 2 million blacks out of the Southern United States to the Northeast, Midwest and West from 1910 to 1930, says Wikipedia.[1]

African Americans migrated to escape racism and prejudice in the South, as well as to seek jobs in industrial cities.

Some historians differentiate between a First Great Migration (1910–30), numbering about 1.6 million migrants, and a Second Great Migration (1940 to 1970), in which 5 million or more people moved and to a wider variety of destinations.

From 1965–70, 14 states of the South, especially Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, contributed to a large net migration of blacks to the other three cultural (and census-designated) regions of the United States.[2]

By the end of the Second Great Migration, African Americans had become an urbanized population. More than 80 percent lived in cities. Fifty-three percent remained in the South, while 40 percent lived in the North and 7 percent in the West.[3]

A reverse migration has gathered strength since 1965, dubbed the New Great Migration, the term for demographic changes from 1965 to the present which are a reversal of the previous 35-year trend of black migration within the United States.

Nov 1 and 2: Dia de Los Muertos

Magnet el Dia de Los Muertos  by trudeau
Magnet el Dia de Los Muertos , a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday, says Wikipedia.

The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it attains the quality of a National Holiday.

The celebration takes place on November 1st and 2nd, 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.