(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘textbooks

“Most of us spend too much time on the last twenty-four hours and too little on the last six thousand years”*…


Willard infographic

“Willard’s Chronographer of American History” (1845) by Emma Willard — David Rumsey Map Collection


In the 21st-century, infographics are everywhere. In the classroom, in the newspaper, in government reports, these concise visual representations of complicated information have changed the way we imagine our world.  Susan Schulten explores the pioneering work of Emma Willard (1787–1870), a leading feminist educator whose innovative maps of time laid the groundwork for the charts and graphics of today…

Willard’s remarkable story– and more glorious examples of her work– at “Emma Willard’s Maps of Time.”

* Will Durant


As we picture it all, we might recall that it was on this date in 1870 that Congress authorized the formation of the U.S. weather service (later named the Weather Bureau; later still, the National Weather Service), and placed it under the direction of the Army Signal Corps.  Cleveland Abbe,  who had started the first private weather reporting and warning service (in Cincinnati) and had been issuing weather reports or bulletins since September, 1869, was the only person in the country at the time who was experienced in drawing weather maps from telegraphic reports and forecasting from them.  He became the weather service’s inaugural chief scientist– effectively its founding head– in January, 1871.  The first U.S. meteorologist, he is known as the “father of the U.S. Weather Bureau,” where he systemized observation, trained personnel, and established scientific methods.  He went on to become one of the 33 founders of the National Geographic Society.

Cleveland Abbe



Written by (Roughly) Daily

February 9, 2020 at 1:01 am

Teach your children well…


“Good day, perverts!”

“A collection of the world’s finest academic writing”:  Thanks, Textbooks.


This tip if not that helpful


As we leave no child behind, we might recall that it was on this date in 1871 that Dante Gabriel Rossetti responded to the anonymous attack on his work, “The Fleshly School of Poetry,” by publishing “The Stealthy School of Criticism” in Athenaeum (and later, as pictured below, in pamphlet form)…

…Here is a full-grown man, presumably intelligent and cultivated, putting on record for other full-grown men to read, the most secret mysteries of sexual connection, and that with so sickening a desire to reproduce the sensual mood . . . that we merely shudder at the shameless nakedness. We are no purists in such matters . . . but it is neither poetic, nor manly, nor even human, to obtrude such things as themes of whole poems. It is simply nasty.

– from “The Fleshly School of Poetry,” by “Thomas Maitland” (later revealed to be Scottish poet Robert Buchanan)

[The accusation] is not against the poetic value of certain work, but against its primary and (by assumption) its admitted aim. And to this I must reply that so far, assuredly, not even Shakespeare himself could desire more arduous human tragedy for development in Art than belongs to the themes I venture to embody, however incalculably higher might be his power of dealing with them…

Who will then fail to discern all the palpitations which preceded his final resolve in the great question whether to be or not to be his acknowledged self when he became an assailant? And yet this is he who, from behind his mask, ventures to charge another with “bad blood,” with “insincerity,” and the rest of it (and that where poetic fancies are alone in question); while every word on his own tongue is covert rancour, and every stroke from his pen perversion of truth.

– from “The Stealthy School of Criticism”

Cat fight!





Written by (Roughly) Daily

December 16, 2012 at 1:01 am

Fine print…

From a(n introductory statistics) textbook, via 22 Words

As we select sly stratagems to seduce students, we might recall that it was on this date in 1921 that the West Virginia State Capitol Building in Charleston burned to the ground.  Two years earlier, the State Police had purchased guns, ammunition, and explosives to use in putting down coal field labor disputes that threatened to turn into “civil war.”  The unused munitions were stored on the top floor of the Capitol, which caught fire.  The resulting heat set off the ammunition and sent gawkers running in every direction.

A hastily-built replacement was erected… but it too burned down in 1927.  The current seat of state government (built with liberal use of non-flammable stone) was dedicated in 1932.


Written by (Roughly) Daily

January 3, 2012 at 1:01 am

Teach your children well…

It’s that time again:  pencils, books, teachers’ dirty looks…  Lest one forget that at least some students actually learn what they’re taught, Foreign Policy presents a round-up of “The World’s Worst Textbooks.”


Saudi Arabia

“Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words (Islam, hellfire): Every religion other than ______________ is false. Whoever dies outside of Islam enters ____________.” — from a first-grade textbook

And then, there’s…

Texas, U.S.A.

“Explain how Arab rejection of the State of Israel has led to ongoing conflict.” And “Evaluate efforts by global organizations to undermine U.S. sovereignty.” — from study exercises proposed by the Texas School Board (thus, the “markers” to which textbook publishers create).

More on each of these examples, and others, at “The World’s Worst Textbooks.”

As we reach for our Zinn’s, we might recall that it was on this date in 2001 that, in an address to a joint session of Congress and the American people, U.S. President George W. Bush declared a “war on terror.”



Written by (Roughly) Daily

September 20, 2010 at 12:01 am

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