Archive for February 24, 2009

Quote of the Day

February 24, 2009 Leave a comment


We all know that teachers don’t get no respect, in certain quarters anyway. Those who dis them make silly statements about their short workdays, their free summers, and so on. (I’m talking about K-12 teachers, not us university teachers.) It was refreshing to hear a stunning statement of praise for them today.

Our Dean of Education arranged a meeting for this afternoon at which some science education experts in her College and one science education non-expert (me) could talk to Lee Hartwell about some of the efforts going on at the university. Lee has been a member of the UW faculty since 1968, joined the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (“The Hutch”) in 1996, and has been its president and director since 1997. He is also a recipient of the 2001 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. He has become interested in science education and how we are preparing science teachers. Hence the meeting, at which we had a fabulous discussion for over an hour and a half. Early in the conversation, Lee provided the promised quote:

It’s more demanding to be a classroom teacher than to be a scientist.

How about that? No one disagreed.

Categories: Education, Science

Downfall of Grammar

February 24, 2009 Leave a comment

Perhaps you are familiar with the web craze of recent months in which English subtitles are put on a particular scene from the 2004 German-Austrian film Downfall (nominated for the best foreign language film Oscar). The movie is about Hitler’s final days and the scene has Hitler exploding in anger at his staff. You can read more about the craze, for instance, here.

Above is one example that was featured in a post by Mark Liberman at the Language Log blog today. At issue is the phony grammar rule that one can’t end a sentence with a preposition. You can read more about the rule and previous discussions of it in Liberman’s post and its references. But first, enjoy the video.

Categories: Culture, Film, Language

Detroit Trip

February 24, 2009 Leave a comment


I’m still here. I didn’t get around to blogging over the weekend because Gail and I headed out of town Friday morning and got back very late Sunday night, and I’ve been catching up on other business since our return. We spent the weekend in Detroit. Why? Well, that’s a story for another time. Several of our adventures would be worthy of posts. But not now. Let me just do the briefest of restaurant roundups.

We got to our hotel, the Dearborn Hyatt, after 9:00 PM Friday night, so we stayed in and ate in the hotel restaurant, Giulio. And Saturday, in the midst of the snow that fell all afternoon, we had lunch at Al-Ameer, a Lebanese and Middle-Eastern restaurant that a Dearborn native who was eating in Giulio Friday night recommended as the authentic Arab-American restaurant in Dearborn. (Dearborn is about 30% Arab-American, home to the Arab American National Museum.) Sunday we had lunch in Detroit’s Greektown, at Olympia Restaurant. I can recommend it highly if you want to dine while Greek music blasts through most of the restaurant but a TV tuned to ESPN hangs above the tables in the non-smoking section with bowling on high volume to be heard over the music. Makes for great conversation. Opa! (The waiter shouted this whenever he set on fire some dish that a couple of different tables ordered.)

Just a few blocks north of the Olympia Restaurant is Ford Field, the Detroit Lions football stadium, which we drove by after lunch. Not too interesting from the outside. But immediately west is Comerica Park, the Detroit Tigers field, which is interesting. The whole western side has assorted gigantic tiger sculptures, such as the one above.

Gail, Joel, and I took a trip to Detroit just before Father’s Day in 1999 so we could see a baseball game Tiger Stadium in its final year of service. We never got back to see the Tigers play at Comerica. Now that we got a look at Comerica, we’re eager to return.

More on Detroit in a future post.

Categories: Travel