Got Milk?

MilkWho says teenagers don’t care about having a balanced diet? A British Broadcasting Corporation DJ, Terry Wogan, witnessed a milk truck chase. In England, police arrested a 17-year-old after he led police on an hour-long chase in a stolen milk truck along country lanes.

Police said the truck was stolen from Burnham, in Buckinghamshire, and the police followed it until two occupants abandoned it in Slough. Police arrested the teenager on suspicion of aggravated vehicle taking.

Maybe he played too much Grand Theft Auto video games or he took the Got Milk commercials too seriously. On his radio show, Wogan said he was shocked to be overtaken by the milk truck and a police car while driving to work. “It’s not something you see every day,” he said.

This humorous story highlights a growing problem in Great Britain. Teenage crime is out of control, and Great Britain has higher rates of juvenile delinquency than any other nation in Europe. Instead of passing large amounts of new legislation, law enforcement in Great Britain should enforce the existing laws. The BBC reported that a recent law suffers from the fact that: “The most unusual aspect of this new law, however, is that the authorities have no intention of enforcing it.” Laws without enforcement only encourage illegal activity.

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Classroom Management in a Prison

Behavior management techniques are crucial in a prison environment. If a teacher does not understand how to motivate inmates and resist their attempts at manipulation, then a teacher will either not connect with the inmates or become a pawn of the inmate. In a learning situation in which students can be armed with sharpened shanks, behavior management can be the difference between life and death. Furthermore, inmates have only known failure in school and in society, and a teacher must be able to motivate a student to change and to realize that education is a key to success and not a pitfall.

Many of my behavior management techniques are non-verbal. Non-verbal communication in a prison is often more important than verbal communication. For example, I use proximity to control a class. If someone is not paying attention or talking, I will often stand near him. Simply by repositioning myself in a classroom, I can avoid many discipline problems. In addition, I will look intently at a student if I need to get his attention or need him to stop inappropriate behavior. I do not want the students to lose face, but I want to maintain order. No one else has to notice that I am correcting a behavior other than the student. Movements should be controlled and meaningful. Rapid, unpredictable movements can be perceived as a threat. Invading an inmate’s space can be viewed as a hostile action. There is a fine line between using proximity and crowding an individual.

Other behavior management techniques rely on the structure and pacing of a lesson. It is not a good idea to lecture for long periods of time to inmates. They will become inattentive and bored. A bored prisoner is a dangerous prisoner. Keeping inmate attention and focusing it appropriately is a major facet of teaching an inmate. A lesson should contain variety in small increments of instruction. This tactic keeps the lesson from becoming predictable and boring. Interspersing activities with lecture and discussion is a powerful combination in almost any class room.

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The CIA and a Video Game

I did a double take when I found this article. The CIA is planning on spending millions of dollars to develop a video game to help analysts think like terrorists. Read on:

The CIA is set to spend several million dollars to develop a video game aimed at helping its analysts think like terrorists, The Washington Times has learned.

The agency’s Counter Terrorist Center, or CTC, is working with the Los Angeles-based Institute for Creative Technologies on a project designed to help its analysts, “think outside the box,” a CIA spokesman said. The project is close to approval, but officials wouldn’t comment on the exact cost of the program.

The institute, part of the University of Southern California, works with Hollywood movie and video game specialists.

Disclosure of the CIA video game project follows the Pentagon’s recent cancellation of a plan for an online gambling parlor designed to predict a Middle East terrorist attack. The Pentagon’s gambling scheme led to the resignation of retired Navy Vice Adm. John Poindexter, head of the Total Information Awareness data-mining counterterrorism program.

A military official said the CIA video game is “a ridiculous and absurd scheme that makes Poindexter’s project look good in comparison.”

A second critic of the program said: “These absurd ideas about countering terrorism suggest that the war on terrorism has been a failure, that terrorists are still ahead and that the CTC does not know what it is doing. The key issue here is the CTC misspending funds on silly, low-priority projects, exactly the kind of thing that forced Admiral Poindexter to resign.”

How about the CIA spends the money on projects that would actually help the United States fight against terrorists? Only a tiny fraction of CIA agents know Arabic and there aren’t enough agents qualified to infiltrate terrorist cells. Furthermore, the CIA could always read Arabic websites to figure out how terrorist think. Spending of millions of dollars to make fun games is justifiable by game designers, but the United States government should stay out of the video game market.

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The Founding of Georgia

The Georgia Trustees founded the colony for both material and ideological reasons. Beginning in 1621, the Pilgrims and Puritans, by contrast, founded colonies in Massachusetts, not as philanthropic experiments, but as communities of the saints. The founding group of the Georgia colony, a group of prominent London philanthropists known as Trustees, not only wanted to establish communities for the saints, they also wanted to assist the poor and needy shackled in prisons or living on streets in Great Britain. Since, most of the Trustees served as members of the Prison Investigation Committee, they sought to attract a unique population “sifted through a fine sieve” of the “honestly unfortunate.” Their philanthropic vision continued the Trustees’ commitment to British charity work and drew inspiration from Montgomery’s utopian ideals. The Trustees would also encompass a broader vision of Christianity that would grow to include many diverse Protestant groups. [1]

The Trustees primarily founded the colony as an expression of philanthropy and religious piety. Their plan for Georgia was due to the philanthropy of individuals in London who initially sought to aid the plight of insolvent, jailed, and unemployed debtors.[2] The Trustees noted in their charter “many poor subjects are through misfortune and want of employed reduced to great necessity.”[3] The relief of the poor remained one of the standard topics of eighteenth century economists, philanthropists, and social reformers. The depressing conditions of the poor and the spread of Protestantism concerned Anglican ministers including the five ministers on the Board of Trustees in 1732: Rev. Stephen Hales, Rev. John Burton, Rev. Richard Bundy, Rev. Arthur Bedford, and Rev. Samuel Smith.[4] Lucian Lamar Knight, a prominent Georgia historian, has argued that Georgia became the first colony in world history to be established for the relief of paupers.[5]

Contemporaries considered this problem a national disgrace “that so many idle and disorderly persons should contribute nothing to the wealth of the nation.”[6] In 1730, led by Oglethorpe, the Bray Associates applied for a charter to create a charitable colony south of the Savannah River. Coleman stated that the Trustees possessed three essential motives for establishing Georgia including philanthropy, imperial defense, and mercantilism. This combination of ideal and material motivations would motivate the Trustees and exasperate conflicts.

Although Georgia would be the first colony established for the purpose of philanthropy, the idea of transporting the poor to the colonies was not a new one. The Act of 1717 stipulated the transportation of “wicked and evil disposed” criminals, and, another two years later, “several hundred convicts were removed annually to Virginia, where it was hoped they would be able to re-start their lives after their misfortunes in England.” [7] Since voluntary emigrants preferred an older, settled colony away from the dangers of a new colony, the Trustees believed that the poor would be more willing to immigrate to Georgia than other emigrants who could pay their own way.

They encouraged settlement by stressing the economic benefits of the colony. Peter Gordon, in his journal, remarked “Wherein was represented the excelence of all good things with the country abounded, and likewise the great advantage the nation in generall would reap from such a settlement which was capable by that amount of producing silk and wine in such quantities . . . by that means save to the nation imence sums of money that is yearly laid out in foreign countries, for those commodities.”[8] The Trustees planned to support the colony through silk production and on the colonists raising silk worms and planting mulberry trees.[9] The Trustees contended that agriculture would flourish in Georgia, a Garden of Eden, with a temperate climate suitable to a wide array of crops. They were not the first individuals to compare Georgia to the Garden of Eden. Robert Montgomery, writing in 1717, over a decade before the establishment of Georgia, considered a settlement south of Carolina to be a “future Eden.”[10]


[1]Amos Aschbach Ettinger, James Edward Oglethorpe: Imperial Idealist (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1936), 233 and Lucian Lamar Kinght, A Standard History of Georgia and Georgians (Chicago and New York: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1917), 6.

[2]Trevor Reese, Our First Visit in America: Early Reports from the Colony of Georgia, 1732-1740 (Savannah, Georgia: The Beehive Press, 1974), 8.

[3]“The Charter of the Colony of Georgia,” June 9, 1732 at Westminster, London, England in Eugenia Estill, James Oglethorpe in England and Georgia (Charleston, S. C.: Southern Printing and Publishing Co., 1926), 41.

[4]Walter G. Cooper, The Story of Georgia (New York: The American Historical Society, Inc., 1938), 120-121.

[5]Lucian Lamar Knight, A Standard History of Georgia and Georgians (Chicago and New York: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1917), 5.

[6]D. B. Horn and Mary Ransome, “General Introduction” in English Historical Documents: 1714-1783. eds. D. B. Horn and Mary Ransome (London: Routledge, 1957), 31.

[7]Kenneth Coleman, “The Founding of Georgia” in Forty Years of Diversity: Essays on Colonial Georgia. eds. Harvey H. Jackson and Phinizy Spalding, (Athens, Georgia: The University of Georgia Press, 1984), 14 and Kenneth Coleman, Colonial Georgia: A History (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1976), 15. Trevor Reese discusses the transportation of criminals to Georgia in his work, Colonial Georgia on page 9.

 

[8]Peter Gordon, “Journal of Peter Gordon” in Our First Visit in America: Early Reports from the Colony of Georgia, 1732-1740, 4-5 (Savannah, Georgia: Beehive Press, 1974).

[9]Eugenia Estill, James Oglethorpe in England and Georgia (Charleston, S. C.: Southern Printing and Publishing Co., 1926), 28.

 

[10]Sir Robert Montgomery, “The Most Delightful Country of the Universe” in The Most Delightful Country of the Universe: Promotional Literature of the Colony of Georgia, 4 (The Beehive Press, Savannah, Georgia, 1972).

 

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Transatlantic History

Transatlantic history is a transnational, international approach to history that looks at the Atlantic region as a whole and takes into account the interconnections between the four continents that border the Atlantic Ocean and the influence of the ocean itself. Historians have begun to envision the Atlantic Ocean as a bridge for the exchange of people, ideas, and commodities. Although the transnational outlook provides a new perspective; no single unifying focus, methodology, theme, or topic applies to transatlantic history. However, the approach does broaden the focus of historians and allow for meaningful comparisons between localities and regions.[1]

David Armitage noted that historians have employed three concepts in studying the Atlantic world: circum-Atlantic, trans-Atlantic, and Cis-Atlantic. Circum-Atlantic history focuses on the transnational history of the Atlantic world that incorporates the history of the countries in the Americas, Africa, and Europe. Trans-Atlantic history includes the international history of the Atlantic, and a Cis-Atlantic approach places a regional or national history within a larger interpretative framework.[2]

Historians have studied a wide array of subjects using the lens of the Atlantic approach. Fascinating transatlantic studies have focused on transatlantic slavery including John Thornton’s book, Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, and Alfred J. Raboteau’s ground-breaking work, Slave Religion. Thornton studied the twofold impact of Africans in the New World; they made significant economic contribution with their labor and their cultural heritage helped form the developing culture of the Atlantic world.[3] Instead of using a national approach that typically focused on the European and American domination of Africans, he used the transatlantic approach to argue that Africans became active participants in Atlantic world. The slave trade did not destroy the continent’s economy, and the power of African kingdoms resulted in European negotiation and not conquest.[4]

Although historians have traditionally pictured the Atlantic Ocean as a moat that hindered transportation and the exchange of ideas, a number of historians have contended that the Atlantic functioned as a highway or conduit of ideas, materials, and people. Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker in their thought-provoking book, The Many-Headed Hydra: Slaves, Sailors, Commoners and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic, analyzed the role of the underclass throughout the Atlantic in the making of the modern, capitalist world. Sarah Pearsall has explored gender through a transatlantic lens; she contended that women who performed domestic labor and lived in subservience to their husbands or saved their sexuality for marriage served as “emblems” of civilization. They incorporated Anglo-Saxon values and served as transmitters of British culture.[5]

Cultural and economic historians have also benefited from Atlantic perspectives. Paul Gilroy argued, “In opposition to nationalist or ethnically absolute approaches, I want to develop the suggestion that cultural historians could take the Atlantic as one single, complex unit of analysis.”[6] David Hancock discussed the transformation of Madeira wine and linked its development to the Atlantic network of producers, distributors, and consumers. He analyzed the invention of Madeira wine as both an economic and a social act. Hancock defined transatlantic commerce as “a discursive system, a process that sprang from a continual, complicated, often confusing exchange of information about commodities-how they were made, packaged, and shipped; how they were distributed; and how they were stored, displayed, and consumed.”[7] A local or national approach fails to adequately take into account imperial interactions, the networks of relationships that exist against across the Atlantic, migration, international trade, and the history of ideas.


[1]Allison Games, “Atlantic History: Definitions, Challenges, and Opportunities” in The American Historical Review 3,3 (June 2006):  741-757.

[2]David Armitage, “Three Concepts of Atlantic History” in The British Atlantic World: 1500-1800, eds. David Armitage and Michael Braddick (New York City: Palgrave MacMillan, 2002), 11-30.

[3]John Thornton, Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1998), 129.

[4]Thornton, Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 7.

[5]Sarah Pearsall, “Gender in the Atlantic World” in The British Atlantic World: 1500-1800, eds. David Armitage and Michael Braddick (New York City: Palgrave MacMillan, 2002), 114.

[6]Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1993), 15.

[7]David Hancock, “Commerce and conversation in the eighteenth-century Atlantic: the invention of Madeira wine,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 29, 2 (Autumn 1998): 197-220.

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Cloud Computing in Education

Cloud computing is an on demand service provided through a network. Applications are made available to the user from a remote location. Cloud computing in the future could be used by school districts to save money and increase efficiency. “It implies a service oriented architecture, reduced information technology overhead for the end-user, great flexibility, reduced total cost of ownership, on-demand services and many other things” (Vouk, 2008).

Cloud computing can help schools save money and provide flexibility. Instead of having to buy software applications for each computer in a school, an administrator can access applications online using dummy terminals or netbooks. Flexibility is provided through the use of a convenient, on-demand network that gives access to a pool of “computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services).”

The resources “can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction” (Vouk, 2008). Having a suite of services, within reach without the need for expensive logistics management and support, allows educators to enjoy many of the benefits of technology without having to deal with some of the negative aspects of using technology.

 

Vouk, Mladen. (2008). Cloud Computing – Issues, Research and Implementations. Cloud Computing – Issues, Research and Implementations. CIT 16, 2008, 4, 235–246, Retrieved March 19, 2011 from http://cit.srce.hr/index.php/CIT/article/viewFile/1674/1378

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Business Technology

Technology has revolutionized how individuals and corporations conduct business. There are a plethora of examples of how technology has transformed free enterprise. Perhaps the most influential technology at the turn of the century has been the advent of cloud computing. Cloud computing is independent of a particular location; shared servers provide “resources, software, and data to computers and other devices on demand” (Kerschberg). Spending on cloud computing has increased twenty percent per year.

Smartphones have also transformed business. Employees can turn work with them wherever they go without the need of bulky laptops or to be chained all day to a desk. Smartphones combine cell phones and Personal Data Assistants (PDAs) into a powerful hybrid. Emails assist with communication, maps facilitate travel, and downloaded applications improve technology. A recent survey reinforced the popularity of smartphones among business professionals: “only 17 percent ranked their morning cup of coffee higher than the smartphone. Even more astonishing is the fact that smartphones tied with intimate relationships at 40 percent as the thing that business professionals can’t live without the most” (Bradley).

Spreadsheets and databases help employees keep track of clients, purchasing, inventory, personnel, and a host of other records. Databases and spreadsheets assist employees in preserving vital data. Furthermore, schedules can be created and updated using databases and spreadsheets. Businesses can control and monitor spending using spreadsheets.

Software helps professionals prepare presentations for meetings and for clients. For example, PowerPoint presentations can bring subjects to life. A presenter can add charts, maps, photos, and pictures to make data interesting. Videos and songs can further a presentation and fan client interest. Video conferencing allows business professionals to connect with one another across the world.

Cloud Computing

Ben Kerschberg (January 13, 2011).  Cloud Computing: A Shift From IT Luxury to Business Necessity in http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ben-kerschberg/cloud-computing-a-shift-f_b_808548.html. Retrieved on January 18, 2011. http://www.ibm.com/ibm/cloud/ http://bx.businessweek.com/cloud-computing-/

Smart Phones

http://reviews.cnet.com/4321-6452_7-6544038.html

Tony Bradley (April 13, 2010) Business Professionals Choose Smartphones Over Coffee.  http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/194137/business_professionals_choose_smartphones_over_coffee.html. Retrieved on January 18, 2011.

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