Logo designed by Khaled Al-Saai http://www.kashyahildebrand.org/zurich/alsaai/
I finally read through this report on NITLE (the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education), and I must say I agree with most of it’s findings. It is a thorough survey of what was accomplished and what is needed. Thanks are due to Jason Brodeur, Morgan Daniels, Annie Johnson, Natsuko Nicholls, Sarah Pickle, and Elizabeth A. WaraksaI, as well as all who participated in the surveys they conducted, for this job well done.
I was very proud of my involvement in NITLE, which started our as a visionary organization, assisting member institutions to be forward looking and to think big about what they could accomplish. I was Program Director of NITLE’s Al-Musharaka Initiative, which is mentioned early in the report. I am immensely proud of my involvement with that project. Our focus really was on building community, facilitating collaboration, and fostering intellectual exchange, not just across institutions, but also across sectors within the academic community. Much of what has been published about the initiative focusing on the Arab Culture and Civilization Online Resource (the ACC site), one of our first projects, but it was really the collaborative projects that were the most interesting and produced the most exciting results. Continue reading →
I’m not sure why I am so interested in taking pictures of bicycles. Maybe it is because I really enjoy bicycling, but don’t get to do it enough. For whatever reason, when I pass ones that that is interesting or aesthetically pleasing during the course of my day, I take pictures.
Today I went for another bike ride on the Wellesley Trails, only this time it didn’t go so well. I got through about 5.5 miles on the Aqueduct Trail, then to the Fuller Brook Trail. They are doing a lot of work on that trail. When I got to the Senior High/Hunnewell Field Area, I took a turn onto a closed trail. Then I ran over the nail in the image to the right.
I didn’t realize it right away. The trail is partially closed, but there’s no warning when you approach the closure. I got to a gate, then turned around, just as a couple of runners came down the same path, so I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know about the closure.
When I started riding again, I heard a clanking as my wheels turned. I stopped and this was sticking out of my back tire. I pulled it out but the tire was already flat .
So my ride became a walk back home, but fortunately it was only about 2 miles. Here’s a gallery.
I went on a long bike ride today, mostly on the Wellesley Trails. The system is brilliant, containing more than 25 miles of trails that pass some beautiful historic homes, lovely lakes, and the Charles River. Today I biked along the Aqueduct Trail which I’ve not done before, at least not for any substantial distance. It runs along the Sudbury Aqueduct, a historic landmark, though I spent time on several of Wellesley’s trails. Click here to see the map of my route.
Below are a few photos I took on my ride.
Garage at the Wellesley Centers for Women
Path from the trail to Babson College
View of the river from the aqueduct
Work on the Fuller Brook environment
Improvements to the Wellesley Trail
Fuller Brook Trail
A praying mantis on the Aqueduct Trail
The Wellesley Centers for Women
Fallen Trees on the Fuller Brook Trail
Houses on the Fuller Brook Trail
Working on improvements to the Fuller Brook environment
Fallen Trees on the Fuller Brook Trail, part of enhancements to the Fuller Brook environment
I will never understand why people say Republicans are good for the economy. Historically it seems to me that the kind of laissez-faire deregulation they tend to advocate produces short term economic benefit for a few, with no real gains in productivity for the nation as a whole. The gains are illusory, and when things collapse, the results are devastating. I worry about what Republicans will try with such an overwhelming majority in Congress. I hope the President and Congressional Democrats remain strong.
Below is the beginning of an excellent piece from Moyers & Company that adds to my doubts. It’s worth reading.
Republicans and Wall Street Say To Hell With Protecting the Public!
In the last election cycle, Wall Street banks and financial interests spent over $1.2 billion on lobbying and campaign contributions, according to Americans for Financial Reform. Their spending strategy appears to be working. Just this week, the House passed further legislation that would delay by two years some key provisions of Dodd-Frank. “[Banks] want to be able to do things their way, and that’s very dangerous.” MIT economist Simon Johnson tells Bill.
“‘Here we go again’ — I think that’s exactly the motto, or the bumper sticker for this Congress. It’s crazy, it’s unconscionable, but that is the reality.”
Bill Moyers: The safeguards that Congress is tearing down, even as we speak, were put in place after the financial disaster of 2008 to prevent another one like it from happening. Why do you think the Republicans are trying to sabotage them?
Read his Simon Johnson’s response and the rest of the interview at the Moyers & Company site, where you’ll also find much more coverage of the issue.
The birth rate among teens in Massachusetts is at its lowest recorded level in the state’s history, a report out Friday says.
The birth rate of teens ages 15-19 fell 14 percent last year, from 14 births per 1,000 women in 2012 to 12 births per 1,000 women in 2013, the Massachusetts Department of Health reported.
“This is terrific news for all Massachusetts families, and a dramatic indication that our decisions to invest in our young people — through education, support and resources — can have a real and lasting impact on their lives and in their communities,” Gov. Deval Patrick said in a statement.
Indeed, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, the statistics on teenage birth rates were also terrific news for Massachusetts and for most of New England, New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota in 2011 when all those states already had rates below 20 births per 1000 women between the ages of 15 and 19. They were the only ones, and they really stand out on the map. Continue reading →
This was a really good report on student loan debt from John Oliver’s new show, Last Week Tonight. It was funny and at the same time some of the best reporting on the topic I’ve seen in a while, so I’m sharing it here.