Enough With the Rankings, Already


Update on Talking About Race: Start With Questions

Shed Some Light


Yesterday, I wrote about my plan to discuss race and specifically Michael Brown and Ferguson in my classroom today.

We began with a “think, pair, share” activity. I asked the students why it’s uncomfortable to talk about race. Their answers:

  • “Political correctness makes us feel like we’re walking on eggshells.”
  • “Someone might take offense when no offense was intended.”
  • “It’s awkward to talk about race with or around different races.”
  • “There is still a lot of anger about slavery.”

I then asked them what color they see when they hear or read the word “race.” The students who called out answered “black.” I asked them if they think of white people as having a race. One white student shared that she doesn’t think of herself as being part of a race until she really thinks about it. White, for many of my students, represents the absence of race.

I shared…

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Gordon Darroch's Unreal Domain

It’s just over a month now since Magteld went away. Thirty-eight days that have gone by in such a haze that I often suspect time has gone haywire. The house that the boys and I moved in to nine weeks ago is already packed with history: the two weeks we spent going back and forth to the hospice, the two weeks we lived here as a family and celebrated Euan’s birthday, and the last five weeks, when we’ve had to cope with the shock and aftermath of Magteld’s abrupt departure.

I say ‘went away’ in the absence of any more suitable words. She died, obviously, but that fails to cover the impact of her loss. The day she died, when the boys and I stood by her hospital bed and watched her take her last breaths, seems etched in history, already distant, like a picture in a school textbook. The…

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Tips on losing weight

Many doctors now believe that when it comes to your health,
your waist measurement is important.
While knowing your body mass index (BMI) is a good way to
decide if you’re overweight, it doesn’t tell the whole story.
BMI is a measure of how healthy your weight is for your
height. You can work out what your BMI is by using our BMI
healthy weight calculator.
If you have a high BMI, you’re likely to be carrying extra fat.
But your health could be at greater risk depending on where
you store that fat.
Having a large amount of tummy fat (compared to fat around
your bottom or thighs) makes you more likely to develop
diabetes and heart problems.
A healthy waist circumference for men is less than 94cm (37
inches), and for women it’s less than 80cm (32 inches).
Losing weight and keeping it off isn’t easy, but it has many
benefits. You may only need to make small changes to your
lifestyle to maintain a healthy weight.
Why lose weight?
Obesity causes 9,000 premature deaths in England every year
and reduces life expectancy by an average of nine years.
It’s also linked to serious health problems and increases
the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancers of the
breast, colon and prostate.
Most people who are overweight can blame their excess
weight on eating more calories than they burn.
That means there are two main options if you want to lose
weight: eat less or do more physical activity. The best way to
lose weight is a combination of the two.
Weight loss tips
You can reduce your risk of obesity-related health problems
by losing weight through eating more healthily and doing
more physical activity.
There are many articles to help you attain a healthy weight in
our lose weight section.
You can cut down on calories by making simple healthy food
swaps in your everyday diet.
It’s not just small changes to your eating habits that can
make a big difference. Getting more physical activity also
helps you shed the pounds. You can do it in just three short
bursts each day with these ten-minute workouts.
Even if you’re well on the way to your target weight, there’ll
be plenty of temptation to overindulge. See our tips on how to
avoid the diet danger zones.
One excuse for choosing a quick, fat-laden supper is that
healthy eating is expensive. Learn how to eat well on the
cheap, saving the pennies as well as calories.
Two-thirds of dieters regain all the weight they’ve lost within
four years. For advice on how to stop piling the pounds back
on, read about how to lose weight for life.

Ferguson: Ten Bloggers Speak Out

The WordPress.com Blog

Many details about the violent death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, remain unclear. What is beyond doubt is the intensity of reactions to this story — in the media and in neighborhoods all over the US (and beyond). Here are ten personal perspectives on this event and its aftermath, from writers representing a diverse cross-section of the WordPress.com community.

14938226361_6a7a43dfda_oImage by Shawn Semmler (CC BY 2.0)


Writer and scholar Keguro Macharia reacts with his usual incisiveness to one of the signature chants of post-Ferguson protests :

If “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” is an expression of “humanity,” as one tweet has it, we must ask for whom that humanity is available. In fact, the insistent repetition of “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” by black bodies across the U.S. might offer a less promising narrative: it might suggest the banality with which black life forms can never gain access to the vernaculars of the human.

hands up, don’t shoot

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You’re not my favorite: Twitter experiments with infiltrating your feed

Margarita Noriega

Gladiator, 2000. Scott Free Productions/Red Wagon Entertainment. Distributed byDreamWorks.

Twitter is the headquarters of the control freakIt’s a social network for those who want everlasting control over what they see and from whom they see it. It’s the social network for those who want to bless people by following their digital auras, depending on if they prefer ethos (power Twitter), pathos (animal pictures / rage Twitter), or logos (wonk Twitter).

“Social sharing is a popular but controversial way to measure the value of information itself.” – Me, explaining why people share on Twitter, These Tiny Gutenbergs, Part Two

Twitter is experimenting with a new feed function to rip this god-like control out of your pure, innocent, OCD-hands, in favor of showing you content only tangentially related to who you follow.

Encouraging rogue tweets to infiltrate your feed is a great thing because Twitter has a huge problem we should all care about: community silos which are based on groupthink or industry, and…

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A silver box came from Russia. What was in it made me cry.

Lark & Bloom

Sometimes we create our story, and other times it creates us…


I was just like every other kid in junior high. Twelve year old Liz with big red glasses, shoulder length sandy blonde hair and teeth that were begging for some braces. My arms and legs were too lanky for my body and everything I did was awkward. Painfully awkward.

I was just like any other junior higher, except for one thing. I lived in Irkutsk, Russia. My family moved to Siberia when I was eleven and it remained my home until I was thirteen. Those long Siberian winters and their stories are preserved deep in this soul. The food, the smells, the sights. The people. Mostly the people.

I don’t think you could separate those experiences from me. They are so woven into my perspective, thoughts and dreams that to remove them would be to unravel me altogether. Russia marked me.


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great artilces on tips and benefits of various things and services