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1. Remembering John Muir on the centennial of the National Park Service

This year, Americans celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service. On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service Organic Act. The bill culminated decades of effort by a remarkable generation of dedicated men and women who fought to protect the nation’s natural wonders for the democratic enjoyment of the people.

The post Remembering John Muir on the centennial of the National Park Service appeared first on OUPblog.

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2. स्लोगन स्वच्छ भारत अभियान

स्लोगन स्वच्छ भारत अभियान सफाई अभियान पर नारे – स्लोगन स्वच्छ भारत अभियान – खुले में शौच मुक्त भारत मोदी जी के निर्देशन में आज पूरे भारत में  देश में सम्पूर्ण  स्वच्छता अभियान , जन आंदोलन के रुप में चला हुआ है जहां लोगो ने इसकी महत्ता को समझ रहें हैं  वहां स्वच्छता आ भी […]

The post स्लोगन स्वच्छ भारत अभियान appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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3. Harts Pass No. 312

A fitting ode - I hope - to the final week before starting school!

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4. #portraitchallenge: boris kustodiev

Here's my version of The Tradeswoman at Tea (also translated as The Merchant's Wife, the classic Russian painting by Boris Kustodiev from 1819.



There's a nice description and a bit of background on the original painting from the State Russian Museum over on this blog.



And cartoonist and comics professor Lynda Barry has written an excellent essay on why copying artwork is such a good way of studying it. I agree, I don't feel I've really seen a piece properly until I've drawn it myself, learning all the different parts of it and wondering why the artist had a certain line ending in a certain place or admiring a positioning of colour to make something in the painting appear to leap forward. Read the whole essay on Lynda's blog.

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5. A plea to keep teacher librarian positions

Recently I was asked to write a letter to the editor on behalf of teacher librarians whose positions are being cut from the Burlington School District. A district, from what I can gather, actually has a surplus in their budget. This is a sad and troubling trend. Libraries aren't just about providing books to those who wouldn't otherwise have access (though of course that is huge!). They teach students skills that will last a lifetime. They instill research habits that shape how we all make valuable decisions in our lives, how and if we vote, for example. I believe strongly that each time we cut funding from school and public libraries, we chip away at our democracy, and further divide the privileged and the underserved. Please support the libraries in your community! Thanks

To the editor:

I am writing on behalf of the teacher librarians whose positions stand to be cut from the Burlington School District this fall. The trend to cut funding from school libraries is a deeply troubling one, especially when considering the positive influence school libraries have on student success. At least 60 studies have shown that student achievement is higher in schools with full-time certified school librarians. Research, technology, and literacy are dependent on access to school libraries and their trained professional librarians. Limiting access means limiting these opportunities for all students, but especially disadvantaged students who do not have access to technology at home or the ability to visit a public library. When we cut library hours, we hurt the students who need these services most. This also tears at the fabric of democracy, since these students are less likely to know how to access information, judge the quality of information or utilize libraries in their adult lives. Access to information is the key to educational success in our society, which in turn is the key to successful careers and successful citizens. As a children's book author, I've had the opportunity to visit school libraries all over Vermont and it is clear that libraries are the heart of the school. After touring colleges with our son last spring, it was clear this is also the case at colleges and universities. By providing resources to our young students, we prepare them for college, as well as life beyond. I hope that the school district will reconsider their decision.



Sincerely,

Jo Knowles

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6.

A new portfolio for Buttons and Beads on on website! 

 http://cynthia-iannaccone.blogspot.com/p/buttons-beeds.html

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7. The Arms Trade Treaty and exports to Saudi Arabia: “Now is the summer of our discontent?”

For some campaigners, the acid test of the effectiveness of a putative global arms trade treaty was whether it would prohibit or somehow legitimize the selling of arms to Saudi Arabia. Of course, those who expected a total prohibition on arms trading were always going to be deeply disappointed, but many of us felt it similarly unlikely that an international instrument would ever make it impossible for internally repressive regimes to procure weapons on the open market.

The post The Arms Trade Treaty and exports to Saudi Arabia: “Now is the summer of our discontent?” appeared first on OUPblog.

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8. Comedy in Picture Books

There are several time-honored ways to create a funny picture book.

https://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/gallery/2016/jun/29/comedy-in-picture-books-how-its-done-in-pictures

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9. ‘Un Long Baiser’ by Gwendoline Gamboa

Music video for Migou's "Un long baiser."

The post ‘Un Long Baiser’ by Gwendoline Gamboa appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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10. Eugene Yelchin's THE HAUNTING OF FALCON HOUSE

I've become a fan of Eugen Yelchin's creations, so I'm thrilled to have him on today...

STORY BEHIND THE STORY
Eugene Yelchin
      Thank you so much for inviting me to share a “behind the scenes” glimpse of The Haunting of Falcon House. As with my previous books, this is a middle grade novel that could be read on several levels by both young and adult readers. On the surface Falcon House is a classic ghost story in which a protagonist uncovers a crime that had occurred in the past yet still haunts the present. However, the crime here serves to present a moral argument on a larger scale — is it possible for an individual to feel free in a society that allows one group of people to oppress another?
      The story takes place in St. Petersburg. I wanted to write a book about my Russian hometown for a very long time; the feelings that that city can stir in one’s heart could never be forgotten. The reason is not particularly the beauty of its historical center, but rather the fact that the authors like Pushkin, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Gogol had all used St. Petersburg as the prime location for their stories. As a result, for the dwellers of St. Petersburg, the real city and the city imagined had always blurred into one. “Below us in the waiting stillness gleamed Saint Petersburg. The churches, palaces, and bridges lay buried under the brilliance of snow. The sky shone with stars. Their pale blue flicker reflected from the frozen river that sliced the city into islands like shards of a shattered mirror.”
      “We dashed along snow-coated streets that sparkled like sugar, crossed bridges arching over frozen canals, and passed palaces gleaming with gold. Shops with enormous windows flashed by like tinfoil. The gas lamps had just been lighted, and below the lamps flowed crowds of richly dressed people. Sleighs and carriages I’d never seen the likes of crisscrossed in all direction. The crisp and frosty air rang with crackling whips, ringing bells, and sleigh runners squeaking over the dazzling snow.”
      While working on the book, I’ve collected a great deal of photographs of the 19th century Petersburg, some beautiful, some spooky, most giving me exciting ideas for the narrative. “Bewildered, I gazed at my grandfather’s death mask. The leaping shadows cast upon his aspect by the moving light of candelabrums conferred upon it a peculiar impression of a living face. His cheeks were sunken, eyes tightly shut, and the drooped corners of his mouth seemed to gather into an unpleasant grimace; was Grandfather sneering at me?”
      Because the main hero Prince Lev is the “last of ancient lineage”, I was particularly interested in the images of the Russian aristocracy. “Two piercing eyes were fixed upon me. I gasped and stumbled back. From the vibration of my near fall, the fire flared in the fireplace, light swept across the shadowy recess from where the eyes were glaring, and I saw their owner. A man hovered in the utter darkness. His body was distorted, strangely incomplete, swaying slightly in the flicker of the candles. I could scarcely breathe.”
      Prince Lev is summoned, or so he thinks, to take charge of the Lvovs’ family estate by his aunt Olga Lvovna, a classic tyrannical and highly manipulative antagonist.
      “I had seen Olga Lvovna’s pictures in my father’s photographic album. In every picture, she smiled, her eyes shining brightly, and she was always dressed in white. That little girl was no more. Olga Lvovna was my father’s older sister, but how much older I couldn’t tell; she looked about a hundred. Her eyes were circled with dusky rings, her waxy cheeks were hollow, and all that remained of her once smiling lips was but a brief thin line. Her dress was black, and she was so pale and skinny, I fancied she had spent her life in prison with neither sunlight not fresh air.”
      Given the book’s genre, I had a lot of fun writing scary passages, while trying to stay faithful to the 19th century’s supernatural style. There are chilly shadowy hallways, and candles that go out by themselves, and of course there are bats, lots of bats.
      “There was a terrific crash. The whole house shuddered. In an instant, an earsplitting shriek echoed through the shaft. A boiling black cloud rose from below, screeching, shape-shifting, and cartwheeling right at us. I sprang away from the opening. Bats poured out of the shaft, swooping across the landing in a thick, black smudge.”
      My favorite place to write is always my art studio, but this time I had to surround myself with objects that would help me creating a believable atmosphere of the 19th century Russian aristocrat’s study — period weapons, taxidermy, silhouette portraits, etc.
      And finally, to design the book as an original 19th century volume, I acquired and studied a great deal of antiquarian books —a priceless addition to my library!
     Thanks so much Eugene! To learn more about Eugene and his books, visit his website.

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11. The Taking of Temperature

When Henry's toy thermometer
Was used to check his bear
For fever, I was most surprised
That not the derriere

Nor mouth was where he placed it,
For he made it very clear
That the best place for a reading
Was inside the teddy's ear.

I was poised to thus correct him
But I realized nowadays
That we measure kids for fever
In some unexpected ways.

In my day, things sure were different.
Still, we wouldn't need a push
To insert thermometers
Into the ear and not the tush.

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12. मर गई इंसानियत – शव को कन्धे पर लेकर चला दस किलोमीटर

मर गई इंसानियत – शव को कन्धे पर लेकर चला दस किलोमीटर नेट पर एक खबर देखी जोकि वाकई में वाकई में विचलित कर गई. खबर थी कि ओडिशा के कालाहांडी जिले में एक आदिवासी व्यक्ति अपनी पत्नी के शव को कंधे पर लेकर करीब 10 किलोमीटर तक चला. साथ में उसकी बेटी भी थी. […]

The post मर गई इंसानियत – शव को कन्धे पर लेकर चला दस किलोमीटर appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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13. Monopolists

The Monopolists. Mary Pilon. 2015. Bloomsbury. 320 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: One day during the depths of the Great Depression, an unemployed salesman named Charles Darrow retreated to his basement.

Premise/plot: Love Monopoly? Hate Monopoly? Mary Pilon's The Monopolists is a fascinating read to be sure. Who invented Monopoly? Who did NOT invent Monopoly? Why does it matter?

The Monopolist tells the story of the woman who invented the game, a game with two very different sets of rules. She didn't call her game 'monopoly' but 'The Landlord's Game.' The general game board concept and rules of play were hers. This was in 1904. In her community, it became quite popular, even an obsession of sorts. So much so that it spread across the nation as one person--or one couple--would teach another and another and another and another. People would create their own homemade game boards. The rules were taught but not written down. For decades, people were playing this game, loving this game. It wasn't a game you could buy at the store, though. 'The Landlord's Game' wasn't the only real-estate game that predates Parker Brothers' Monopoly. The game Finance also did. It also being offspring of Lizzie Magie's original game. Though I think perhaps by that time, it had just one set of rules. Charles Darrow, the man whose name would be associated with the game MONOPOLY, was taught the game by friends. He later claimed he invented the game. The couple who taught Darrow spent a lot of time in Atlantic City with the Quakers who LOVED the game and changed their own game boards to reflect their lives. These place names would stay with the game and be the names that we come to associate with Monopoly. The rules, the layout of the game board, the place names, all were essentially handed to Darrow ready-made.

Most of this book focuses on a lawsuit in the 1970s and early 1980s. Parker Brothers was trying to stop one man--Ralph Anspach--from selling his own game, a game called ANTI-MONOPOLY. Anspach was an economics professor, I believe. It would take a lot of time, effort, stamina, and courage to stay in the fight.

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this one. I enjoyed it even more than I thought I would. I don't love playing Monopoly, but, I found the game-playing culture of the twentieth century to be FASCINATING. There is something to be said for people spending time together around a table and actually talking and having fun doing the same thing. This was written in an engaging way. I'd definitely recommend it.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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14. Protecting our children from profanity

We adults are careful about swearing around our kids. We don’t want bad language to confuse or corrupt or otherwise harm them. As Steven Pinker says in passing while talking about profanity in The Stuff of Thought (2007), “if some people would rather not explain to their young children what a blow job is, there should be television channels that don’t force them to,” and there are. We have every right to be protective of our children even if we don’t have a reason.

The post Protecting our children from profanity appeared first on OUPblog.

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15. Active Bodies, Active Minds: Boost Wellness & Learning with Sports Equipment

kid with basketball

Experts say that one way to help your kids get a jump on learning is to help them, well, JUMP!  Boosting students’ physical activity not only supports health and wellness and makes kids feel better, but it turns out that it can help them learn better, too.

That’s why First Book is excited to announce a brand new addition to the First Book Marketplace lineup of resources:  sports and fitness equipment provided through Target.

“Whether it’s dribbling a basketball, playing softball, or maneuvering through an obstacle course, physical activity can improve academic achievement, boost cognitive skills and improve concentration and behavior for kids – both in and out of the classroom,” said Kyle Zimmer, First Book president and CEO.  “Thanks to Target, many more schools and programs serving kids in need will have the resources to encourage healthy activities that also foster learning.”

Through Target funding, First Book will now offer brand new softballs, soccer balls, bean bag toss games, playground balls and more on the First Book Marketplace.

If you’re a teacher serving children in need, you may be able to take advantage of special funding from Target that will provide credits that educators can use to access sports equipment from the First Book Marketplace site. So run – don’t walk – to find the sports and play equipment you need to support learning and wellness for the children you serve. 

The post Active Bodies, Active Minds: Boost Wellness & Learning with Sports Equipment appeared first on First Book Blog.

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16. A Game Plan for Writing Workshop Transitions

Have you ever visited a colleague’s classroom or watched a video of a lesson and wondered, “How are those kids so perfect? How do they seem to know exactly what to do, the… Continue reading

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17. First go of CAT rig

cat_test from Lachlan Creagh on Vimeo.

About 3hrs worth today - not refined too much- seeing how I went- broad sketches of actions that might be used in an ad.

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18. Sabotage: The Mission to Destroy Hitler's Atomic Bomb by Neal Bascomb


While WW II was waging furiously in Europe, some countries didn't see as much action. But it didn't mean that pivotal moments didn't occur in those countries.  Switzerland declared itself neutral, but Norway didn't.  And there was one place in Norway that became very VERY interesting to the Nazis.  It was a place so obscure and rare, they would do anything to make sure they could control it. 

An interesting fact - the science behind the nuclear bomb was being explored before and during World War II.  Everyone knew that whomever developed it first would win the war.  And the race was on.  Different physicists and scientists came up with various ways to create one and there were many elements that had to be used.  One of them was called heavy water.  Hydrogen has been replaced by deuterium, which made it essential for bomb making. The unfortunate thing was that heavy water was difficult to produce and there wasn't much of it.

But there was one place in Europe where heavy water was produced.  The Vemork Hydroelectric Plant in Norway.  Difficult to access, it was the perfect Nazi situation, making it hard to infiltrate.  It was to be a huge Nazi secret that gave them the extra incentive to win the nuclear race. 

One thing they didn't count on was the patriotism of the Norwegians.  There were underground resistance groups that sprung up and when the Nazis found them out, they used scare and death tactics to contain them.  It only bolstered them to fight back even more.  Several Norwegians went to England to train with the secret intelligence service to become infiltrators, spies and saboteurs.  They were to go back to Norway and create new resistance groups and sabotage any Nazi effort.

The top priority was to destroy Vemork....but could they without getting caught or putting the small town of Rjukan in jeopardy for their lives? Even worse, their mission was to take place in winter across a vast frozen area where survival would be severely tested.

Young adult non-fiction is fascinating for one very simple reason - these are the events that aren't usually written about in history books. Neal Bascomb hit it out of the park with his newest book. Narrative in nature, Bascomb tells a riveting story as well as providing images and photographs of the main players and sites.  In hindsight, readers will see how one mistake could have changed the outcome of the war. This is the invisible part of WWII teens will find fascinating.

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19. कुत्ते की जानकारी और मनोरंजक खबर

कुत्ते की जानकारी और मनोरंजक खबर एक article के सिलसिले मे मैं pet dogs , dogs food , कुत्ते की नस्ल ,कुत्ते का खाना के बारे पर गूगल पर सर्च कर रही थी. Labrador  के बारे में पढा फिर पढा कि कुत्ते  की स्पेनी  Chihuahueño सबसे छोटी नस्ल है और इसका नाम  मेक्सिको के चिहुआहुआ […]

The post कुत्ते की जानकारी और मनोरंजक खबर appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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20.


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21. PAPERCHASE - new season

We are nearly at the end of our Paperchase showcase and today we have a selection of new arrivals that have just gone on sale in stores and online. This beautiful Night Garden diary caught my eye and I wonder if we will see more items in this print. Scroll down for more notebooks, diaries, and the odd pencil case with motifs and themes that include wolves, unicorns, and washy watercolour

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22. Lot's of Rain, Heat and Watercolors!

The Summer of 2016 has been a great season for watercolor painting of local landmarks and houses in Tyler, Texas. Tyler has about 15 miles of red brick streets constructed in the 1930s and 1940s and I get to enjoy them every day.
Many beautiful churches, houses and public buildings are framed by the brick streets which make a pleasing, colorful foundation for my sketches and paintings.
I've uploaded several images of my paintings, I hope you enjoy them.


Brick Street Village


First Presbyterian Church


Marvin Methodist Church


Marvin Methodist


Christ Episcopal Church


Crescent Laundry


Cotton Belt Depot


First Baptist Church


First Presbyterian


Old Smith County Jail


Chilton House


Charnwood District


Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception


Rick's On The Square


All of these images are Copyright 2016 by John Randall York


Feel free to leave a tip!


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23. Building community: lessons from swimming

What would be the impact if our current policy to insure safety and prevent drowning were to pay people to swim with each swimmer? No one could go swimming unless they had a paid professional, or paraprofessional, swim with them. Our present policy in human services and mental health is kind of like paying people to insure the safety and well-being of others.

The post Building community: lessons from swimming appeared first on OUPblog.

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24. Paris party!


Let them eat cake!


Sweetness from Cafe Pray...
 
It's always fun to play with noses
on famous art...
They puzzled over my hand-drawn pieces of  Picasso's Woman & Bird


and then played "Pin the Nose on the Picasso"


After a scavenger hunt, and treats,
we made wee matchboxes des Paris.

Ah the joys of the small things in life!

Paper. Art-making. A clamor of cousins. Laughter. Balloons.
Joyeux anniversaire! Happy birthday!

Here's to finding joy in the small things and the good things, my friends!

Au revoir!
C'est la belle vie!
Swan song!

Books!




Adele and Simon by Barbara McClintock
The Iridescence of Birds by Partricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Hadley Hooper
Henri's Scissors by Jeanette Winter
A Giraffe Comes to Paris by Mary Tavener Holmes and John Harris, ill. by Jon Cannell
Picasso and the Girl with the Ponytail by Laurence D'Anholt
Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Christian Robinson

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25. 10 interesting facts about the cello

Every summer since 1895, the Henry Wood Promenade Concert (commonly known as the BBC Proms) presents an eight-week orchestral classical music festival at the Royal Albert Hall in central London. This year’s Proms put a special focus on cellos.

The post 10 interesting facts about the cello appeared first on OUPblog.

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