Andrew Kern Oct 29, 2007
Were Mercury and Dionysus good friends? I'm scanning my memory for stories that involved both of them because, looking at the age, it seems evident to me that Mercury is the god of this age and that Dionysus is riding his wagon. Are they friends or rivals? Mercury was the messenger god. He was the god of rhetoric, the lord of the clever. He was the god of merchants (derived from his name through the medieval "ch"ing of the Latin c), and traders, and thieves. He was a merry god, impish in all his doings. The kind of trouble maker you couldn't help loving. Obviously a marketer.
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Andrew Kern Oct 29, 2007
Here's an interesting speech that a Robert Spencer gave in Belgium about Islam and its attitude to non-Muslims. I don't know enough about the subject, but this speech would seem to raise concerns that are of historical/political/theological importance. He asks how Osama bin Laden is twisting verses in the Koran and gets no response. Did you know that Khomeini conquered Iran from France with cassette tapes?
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Andrew Kern Oct 28, 2007
Every year after our CiRCE conference I have the privilige of listening to the conference CD's. Some of them are downright extraordinary, especially if you are willing and eager to think about education beyond the superficialities of popular thought. Today I was listening to a CD by Debbie Harris with the title of this blog post. I found myself repeatedly thinking, "This is incredible."
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Andrew Kern Oct 25, 2007
Colorado Rockies might lose tonight, since they're down 13-1 in the fifth. Oh well. On Tuesday night I participated in a teleconference interview about how to teach great literature to kids. In it I emphasized the seven great questions that teach kids how to think and that make teaching both more effective and easier. Next week, we'll be conducting the third of four such interviews. Maurice Velazquez and Steve Elliott of the Pluto and Plato radio show conduct the interviews.
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Andrew Kern Oct 23, 2007
The discussion around the Dumbledore case is profoundly revealing. I posted the following to one participant in the NY Times  discussion. America's heart is laid bear in these comments. So here's my response to one of them:  I read all the comments up to 155 and then I thought: Without doubt this is the most interesting post. So I had to respond. Alevard, you said:
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Andrew Kern Oct 23, 2007
Like many, I've been following the reaction to Rowling's "outing" of Albus Dumbledore with bemusement and some wonder. It seems to be a social event of some signficance and one worth thinking about from many angles. I expect I'll be doing that for the next little while, because I can't possibly contain the various tracks in a single blog post. A lot of questions arise from this event: the role of the author, ethics, education, parenting responsibilites, values, etc.
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Andrew Kern Oct 23, 2007
While we abandon our heritage of manners and civility, the east adopts it. Fascinating little article about ballroom dancing in Vietnam.
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Andrew Kern Oct 22, 2007
Tomorrow night I'll be interviewed by Pluto and Plato (Maurice Velazquez and Steve Elliott) on their teleconference "radio show". The topic is Teaching Literature to Children. A month ago we began this discussion and we ran out of time when I started to get into the questions that can open things up for the class or home discussion, questions that will drive you into the heart of the text without ruining it by giving your student/child a worksheet.
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Andrew Kern Oct 22, 2007
I hold to the humble view that the natural sciences are in trouble and that they will build a very high tower over the next 100 or so years before they discover that it has no foundation. The following quotations offer clues as to why I believe this. A.N. Whitehead, co-author with Bertrand Russell of Principia Mathematica says: There is but one source for science: It must come from the Medieval insistence on the rationality of God. St Augustine:
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Andrew Kern Oct 18, 2007
Here is R.M. Wenley in an essay entitled, The Nature of Culture Studies, published in Latin and Greek in American Education, which we consider one of the five most important books on education written in the 20th century:
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