“Moon River” by Andy Williams. (From 1961; in a TV studio, it appears.)
August 31, 2009
On the Internet is some 1930 newsreel footage (2 min 58 sec) of how Annie Sullivan taught Helen Keller to speak. Amazing… HT: Dr. D. H.
And “Helen Keller: In Her Story (clip)” is good. It has the comment — very pregnant with meaning and implications — “her hand is her chief link to the outer world.”
The Online Etymology Dictionary says of:
1907, from air (1) + plane; though the original references are British, the word caught on in Amer.Eng., where it largely superseded earlier aeroplane (1873, and still common in British Eng.; q.v.). © November 2001 Douglas Harper
c.1300, “invisible gases that make up the atmosphere,” from O.Fr. air, from L. ærem (nom. ær), from Gk. aer (gen. æros) “air” (related to aenai “to blow, breathe”), of unknown origin, possibly from a base *awer- and thus related to aeirein “to raise” and arteria “windpipe, artery” (see aorta), on notion of “lifting, that which rises.” © November 2001 Douglas Harper
“flat surface,” 1604, from L. plantum “flat surface,” properly neut. of adj. planus “flat, level, plain, clear,” from PIE *pla-no- (cf. Lith. plonas “thin;” Celtic *lanon “plain;” perhaps also Gk. pelanos “sacrificial cake, a mixture offered to the gods, offering (of meal, honey, and oil) poured or spread”), suffixed form of base *pele- “to spread out, broad, flat” (cf. O.C.S. polje “flat land, field,” Rus. polyi “open;” O.E., O.H.G. feld, M.Du. veld “field”). Fig. sense is attested from 1850. The verb meaning “soar, glide on motionless wings” is first recorded 1611, from M.Fr. planer (16c.), from L. planum on notion of bird gliding with flattened wings. Of boats, etc., “to skim over the surface of water” it is first found 1913. © November 2001 Douglas Harper
In “Building block of life found on comet” (Tue Aug 18, 2009, 9:37am EDT), Steve Gorman writes:
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The amino acid glycine, a fundamental building block of proteins, has been found in a comet for the first time, bolstering the theory that raw ingredients of life arrived on Earth from outer space, scientists said on Monday.
Microscopic traces of glycine were discovered in a sample of particles retrieved from the tail of comet Wild 2 by the NASA spacecraft Stardust deep in the solar system some 242 million miles (390 million km) from Earth, in January 2004
[Astrobiologist Jamie Elsila of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland] presented the findings, accepted for publication in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science, to a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Washington, D.C., this week.
Glycine and other amino acids have been found in a number of meteorites before, most notably one that landed near the town of Murchison, Australia in 1969, Elsila said.
(Editing by Anthony Boadle)
© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved
In”Single molecule, one million times smaller than a grain of sand, pictured for first time” (7:39 PM, 28th August 2009), Claire Bates writes:
It may look like a piece of honeycomb, but this lattice-shaped image is the first ever close-up view of a single molecule.
Scientists from IBM used an atomic force microscope (AFM) to reveal the chemical bonds within a molecule.
‘This is the first time that all the atoms in a molecule have been imaged,’ lead researcher Leo Gross said.
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group
© 2009 Associated Newspapers Ltd
Amazing. Check out the picture they have!!
August 29, 2009
August 28, 2009
In “Not Much: What Will They Learn in College?“ (August 26, 2009), Walter Williams writes:
Employers complain that graduates of colleges lack the writing and analytical skills necessary to succeed in the workplace. A 2006 survey conducted by The Conference Board, Corporate Voices for Working Families, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and the Society for Human Resource Management found that only 24 percent of employers thought graduates of four-year colleges were “excellently prepared” for entry-level positions. College seniors perennially fail tests of their civic and historical knowledge.
The American Council of Trustees and Alumni graded the 100 surveyed colleges and universities on their general education requirements.
Forty-two institutions received a “D” or an “F” for requiring two or fewer subjects. Twenty-five of them received an “F” for requiring one or no subjects. No institution required all seven. Five institutions received an “A” for requiring six general education subjects. They were Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, Texas A&M, University of Arkansas (Fayetteville), United States Military Academy (West Point) and University of Texas at Austin. Twenty institutions received a “C” for requiring three subjects and 33 received a “B” for requiring four or five subjects. ACTA maintains a website keeping the tally at Whatwilltheylearn.com.
Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2009 CREATORS.COM
In “Many Dallas-Fort Worth graduates struggle in college” (The Dallas Morning News, 08:36 AM CDT, Sunday, August 9, 2009), Holly K. Hacker writes:
They passed their TAKS exit exams and collected their high school diplomas – yet a troubling number of Texas students struggle their first year in college.
At some North Texas high schools, half or more of graduates who go to college earn less than a C average their first year, based on a Dallas Morning News analysis of state data.
And college students who stumble in their freshman year are more likely to call it quits.
“It’s a serious problem, and it’s not something you can dismiss casually because a lot of students are stunned when they arrive on a college campus,” said Raymund Paredes, the state’s higher education commissioner.
Paredes and others see a major disconnect between expectations set in high school and those in college. State lawmakers and education officials say new rules, laws and programs should help bridge that gap – but there’s still more that public schools and colleges can do.
© 2009, The Dallas Morning News, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Note: The Dallas Morning News provided a link to a “full state report” (as a pdf) with the article.
One of America’s all-time favorite, highest-paid actresses. She’s certainly one of my favorites: she is benevolence personified and has a beautiful, operatic voice. There are a good number of video clips from her movies on the Internet that are absolutely worth watching, like the song “Perhaps” (1 min 51 sec), “The Turntable Song” (1 min 47 sec) and, in her introduction to the world — thank goodness!! — “My Heart is Singing” (3 min 39 sec). More good stuff…another day…
An Internet Movie Database short bio of Ms. Durbin says:
The girl who one day would be known as “Winnipeg’s Sweetheart” was born at Grace Hospital on December 4, 1921, as Edna Mae Durbin. In her early childhood there were no obvious signs that one day she would be a bigger box office attraction than Shirley Temple. Renamed Deanna Durbin for show business purposes, by age 14 she was the most highly paid female star in the world. Her major motion pictures were Three Smart Girls (1936), Mad About Music (1938) and That Certain Age (1938). By the time she was 18 her income was $250,000 a year. Her voice