Johnstown, PA. High School Cancels Play Due To Islamic Setting

Kismet is set in ancient Baghdad, a time historians call “The Islamic Golden Age.” Johnstown is in western Pennsylvania. “Flight 93 flew right over our heads,” school Superintendent Thomas Fleming Jr. explains. United Airlines Flight 93, of course, plowed into the ground nearby on Sept. 11, 2001, after the hijackers were overpowered by the passengers and crew. They died to keep the plane from crashing into the U.S. Capitol. “So…

Solving the White House photo mystery over ‘Jerusalem, Israel’

Photo captions matter. Someone has to write them. Looking forward to the chapter in my journalism textbook. Here’s a real-world example of how captions can affect the news. In this case, the captions were themselves newsworthy; they created the news. The Weekly Standard reported Aug. 9 about a set of White House photos from Jerusalem that had been scrubbed of all explicit references to Israel. Whereas a caption for a shot…

NPR.org » Plagiarism Plague Hinders China’s Scientific Ambition

In 2008, when her scientific publication, the Journal of Zhejiang University-Science, became the first in China to use CrossCheck text analysis software to spot plagiarism, Zhang was pleased to be a trailblazer. But when the first set of results came in, she was upset and horrified. “In almost two years, we find about 31 percent of papers with unreasonable copy[ing] and plagiarism,” she says, shaking her head. “This is true.”…

Benjamin Franklin exhibit at the Heinz History Center

Today was the last day of a Benjamin Franklin exhibit at the Heinz History Center. My daughter stayed home sick, but I am glad I was able to visit with my son. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the exhibit on glass-making. I also enjoyed the detailed history of the Pittsburgh Courier, a 100-year-old African American weekly. I also liked the section that explained the Pittsburgh connection to…

America’s biggest teacher and principal cheating scandal unfolds in Atlanta – CSMonitor.com

What a way to socialize the school-building kids. The 55,000-student Atlanta public school system rose in national prominence during the 2000s, as test scores steadily rose and the district received notice and funding from the Broad Foundation and the Gates Foundation. But behind that rise, the state found, were teachers and principals in 44 schools erasing and changing test answers. One of the most troubling aspects of the Atlanta cheating…

Why college students celebrated bin Laden’s death: This is our Cold War | USA TODAY College

When the Berlin Wall fell, I soaked up the optimism. Soon after, the reporters who had been covering the Cold War began filing reports from the Middle East. I remember asking my dad, “Is it always this way? The good news story gets stale, and the bad news happening somewhere else catches the world’s attention?” He smiled sadly, and nodded. This is our Cold War. We grew up knowing bin…

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Superman Renounces [SPOILER] in Action Comics #900 – ComicsAlliance

From a “realistic” standpoint it makes sense; it would indeed be impossible for a nigh-omnipotent being ideologically aligned with America to intercede against injustice beyond American borders without creating enormous political fallout for the U.S. government.While this wouldnt be this first time a profoundly American comic book icon disassociated himself from his national identity — remember when Captain America became Nomad? — this could be a very significant turning point…

Well-Meaning Ben Franklin Reenactor Slams Videogames; My History-Loving Gamer Son Responds

While I was at home recovering from a brief but dramatic illness, my wife took the kids to an educational event at our local library. When my son (who turned 13 last month) returned, he told this story — another example of his intersection of interest in both history and video games. I asked him to type it up. I caught one spelling error, I’ve made the text more web-friendly by…

How Slavery Really Ended in America – NYTimes.com

Striking story of how, on the very spot where African captives first landed in the American colonies in 1619, slaves who had been forced to build fortifications for the Confederate Army claimed asylum on Union soil. Back at Monroe — dubbed “the freedom fort” — fugitives continued arriving daily. Each morning, dozens lined up to pitch in with manual labor. Soon they seemed almost like members of the garrison. A…