Category Archives: Uncategorized

Los Angeles Times: The “Unentitled Kids”: California’s New Generation of College-Bound Stars

Diane Ravitch's blog

Teresa Watanabe wrote a wonderful story about kids in a public school in Los Angeles who are college-bound, despite their demographic profiles. They don’t have college-educated parents or SAT tutors. What they do have is a school—the DowntownMagnets High School— where the professionals are dedicated to their success. Read about this school and ask yourself why Bill Gates is not trying to replicate it? Why is it not a model for Michael Bloomberg or Reed Hastings or the Waltons? Why do the billionaires insist, as Bloomberg said recently, that public education is “broken”? Despite their investing hundreds of millions to destroy public schools like the one in this story, they are still performing miracles every day.

They represent the new generation of students reshaping the face of higher education in California: young people with lower family incomes, less parental education and far more racial and ethnic diversity than college applicants…

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Edith Sedgwick (1943 – 1971)

1960s: Days of Rage

Edith Minturn Sedgwick Post (April 20, 1943 – November 16, 1971) was an American actress and fashion model. She is best known for being one of Andy Warhol’s superstars. Sedgwick became known as ‘The Girl of the Year’ in 1965 after starring in several of Warhol’s short films in the 1960s. … Despite her family’s wealth and high social status, Sedgwick’s early life was troubled. … In the fall of 1962, at her father’s insistence, Sedgwick was committed to the private Silver Hill psychiatric hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut. As the regime was very lax, Sedgwick easily manipulated the situation at Silver Hill, and her weight kept dropping. She was later sent to Bloomingdale, the Westchester County, New York division of the New York Hospital, where her anorexia improved markedly. Around the time she left the hospital, she had a brief relationship with a Harvard

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Edie Sedgwick: The life and death of the Sixties star

1960s: Days of Rage

Factory Girl Edie Sedgwick Painting, Dane Shue

“‘Her fog, her amphetamine, and her pearls…’ With three nouns, in ‘Just Like a Woman’ (said to have been inspired by her), Bob Dylan deftly summed up his friend Edie Sedgwick, the wayward princess of Andy Warhol’s multimedia Factory. More than 30 years after her short, tumultuous life ended, Edie is still causing ructions. Last month, Dylan threatened to sue the makers of Factory Girl, a movie starring Sienna Miller as Edie, claiming that he is defamed by Hayden Christensen’s portrayal of a singer whose rejection drives her to suicide. This week, Edie’s brother claimed that despite Dylan’s insistence that he and Edie never had a relationship, she became pregnant with his child and had an abortion. The producers describe the harmonica-playing character (named ‘Quinn’ in the press notes, but never called by name in the movie and identified only as “musician” in…

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“Stand by Your Man” – Tammy Wynette (1968)

1960s: Days of Rage

“‘Stand by Your Man’ is a song recorded by American country music artist Tammy Wynette, co-written by Wynette with Billy Sherrill. It was released on September 20, 1968 as the first single and title track from the album Stand by Your Man. It proved to be the most successful record of Wynette’s career, and is one of the most familiar songs in the history of country music. The song was placed at number one on CMT’s list of the Top 100 Country Music Songs. Released as a single, it stayed number one on the U.S. country charts for three weeks. ‘Stand by Your Man’ crossed over to the U.S. pop charts, peaking at number nineteen. It elevated Wynette—then one of many somewhat successful female country recording artists—to superstar status. … Vocal accompaniment is provided by The Jordanaires, who provided background vocals on…

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A Roundup of Round-Number Anniversaries Comes Around Again

Dave Astor on Literature

With the dawning of the new year, thoughts again turn to round-number anniversaries of memorable novels. Let’s do this chronologically, shall we?

Daniel Defoe (pictured above) had quite a 1722 — exactly three centuries ago. Fresh off the success of 1719’s Robinson Crusoe, Defoe came out in 1722 with both Moll Flanders (which I’ve read) and A Journal of the Plague Year (which I haven’t yet). Among the reasons protagonist Moll Flanders is fascinating is that she’s a resourceful, law-breaking, “low-born” woman — certainly an unusual lead character for literature of that time.  

Jumping to 1822 — 200 years ago — there’s The Pirate by Sir Walter Scott. I’ve read quite a few Scott novels, but not that one. The Pirate got mixed reviews, making it less well-received than some of the author’s other historical-fiction works such as Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, and Old Mortality.


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TCS: Above All Shadows Rides the Sun

Flowers For Socrates

 Good Morning!


Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers
on Monday mornings. This is an Open Thread forum,
so if you have an off-topic opinion burning a hole in
your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.

“We have a long way to go, and
there is time ahead for thought.”

— Treebeard, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

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Jack Hassard: Who Is Getting Infected with COVID?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Jack Hassard, retired teacher of science teachers, pays close attention to facts and science.

Here he presents the facts about who is getting infected with COVID.

He writes:

Here are two charts from the CDC that we can use to answer that question. Unvaccinated people are 5 – 10 times more likely to get infected than vaccinated people. They are also 14 – 20 times more likely to die from COVID.

Open the post to see the charts.

I sometimes get comments from people who claim that they are waiting for evidence that the vaccines work. The other day I read a news story about a married couple who died of COVID on the same day. They were unvaccinated. The husband said before he died that he was ”doing research” about the vaccines.

The two charts in this post should end the hesitancy of anti-vaxxers. But it won’t..

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I Knew Her Well – Antonio Pietrangeli (1965)

1960s: Days of Rage

“If there’s anything as thrilling as discovering something new and good, it’s rediscovering something old and great. And the most exciting movie I’ve come across in the past few months—I Knew Her Well by Antonio Pietrangeli—was made in 1965. While the film is well-known in Italy, where it’s considered a classic, I’d never seen it until recently when Janus Films and the Criterion Collection decided to release a restored print. And wow, am I happy they did. Sharp and funny but tinged with fatality, this knockout of a movie—shot in gorgeous black and white—carries us inside Italy’s go-go years when decadence played hopscotch with glamour and the whole country was proclaiming, “I want, I want, I want.” As a friend of mine said, ‘It’s like La Dolce Vita—except about a woman.’ Her name is Adriana, and she’s played by the fresh-faced star Stefania Sandrelli, best known here for

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Happy 2022: Protect Your Health and the Health of Your Family and Community

Diane Ravitch's blog

Have a happy, HEALTHY New Year!

Get vaccinated if you haven’t already, although I can’t believe that any reader of this blog would not be double vaccinated and boosted by now. Wear an N95 or KN95 mask. (Here is advice from the New York Times about how to buy high-quality N95 masks online.) My friends tell me that this is the N95 mask used by nurses at Mt.Sinai Hospital in New York City.

Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has boasted that she is unvaccinated, but news came out last week that she owns stock in three of the four major vaccine manufacturers. At least we can be assured that she’s not fighting vaccines for her own financial benefit. Greene has repeatedly defied rules requiring masking when in the House of Representatives, and she’s so far racked up $80,000 in fines deducted from her salary for failing to wear a…

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Farewell 2021: “The Stupidest Year in American History”

Diane Ravitch's blog

Michael Hiltzik, a superb columnist for the Los Angeles Times, says farewell to “the stupidest year in American history. “ (Again, I violate copyright law by posting this column. I appeal to the good graces of the wonderful L.A. Times. If they object, I will delete the post.)

My one criticism of his incisive critique is that he nearly ignores the astonishing, unprecedented attack on the U.S. Capitol by insurrectionists on January 6, 2021, a day that will live in infamy, a day that a sitting President urged his supporters to overturn the election he lost, a day that the Capitol was breached and ransacked by hundreds or thousands of Trump supporters, who proceeded to attack scores of law officers defending the Constitutional transfer of power and hundreds of legislators. Hundreds of those legislators—all Republicans—soon became defenders and apologists for the insurrectionists who besieged them. It doesn’t get stupider than…

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