The Emperor has no clothes/ First Impressions and other World Wise Lessons

Emperor

“Socrates…the consummate inquiring mind in history wrote nothing, accomplished nothing, and made his mark by standing around a rock, questioning people … When an audience is interested in questioning the world, then nonsense blows away like a morning mist …. » read more

  • World Wise School – WorksheetStudents will learn to identify and modify generalizations
    Overview | This activity introduces students to the difficult concept of generalization so that they will challenge generalizations made about people. Go to this Building Society Lesson.

    1. Explore Other World Wise worksheets:

    2. The Blind Men and The Elephant
    3. Students will examine the importance of perspective in how people perceive things.

    4. Generalizations: How Accurate Are They?
    5. Students will examine how generalizations can be hurtful and unfair.

    6. Is That a Fact? – Lesson Plan
    7. Understanding the difference between fact and opinion is critical to our ability to examine our reactions to events and people. Stereotypes and prejudices are often based on opinions that are perceived as facts.

    8. Opposites
      Students will see how personal tastes and experiences – in addition to culture – influence our perspectives.
    9. (2)Is That a Fact? – Lesson Plan

      The World is hotter – Is that a fact? – Lesson Plan

    10. Brief Encounters (Looking at Ourselves and Others)
    11. Students experience what it is like to confront and deal with a culture highly different from their own

Causes and ways to avoid breast cancer

  • Breast cancer is in the headlines: Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy when she learned that she carries a gene that puts her at high risk for the disease.
  • We spoke to experts Powel H. Brown and Marisa Weiss to learn more about the genetics of breast cancer.
    Powel H. Brown is a breast medical oncologist and professor and chair of the department of clinical cancer prevention at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

    • Not every breast cancer is due to a gene?
      – – There are two kinds of breast cancer: the common kind, which is called a sporadic kind, which most people get. It usually occurs over the age of 50. And the strongly inherited kind.
    • What percentage of breast cancers are linked to a gene?
      – – It’s only about 5 to 10 percent—and probably 3 to 5 percent [are] BRCA1 or 2 associated.
    • How to lower the risk
      – – For the average-risk person, breast cancer occurs something on the order of one in seven or one in eight women in this country.
      – – The average-risk person should have a healthy lifestyle with a healthy diet, low in red meat, high in chicken, fruit, fish, and vegetables. Alcohol also puts you at risk: As little as three glasses per week increases your risk of breast cancer.
    • How are people responding to the news that Angelina Jolie was at risk for breast cancer?
      – – I think it really shocked people. I think people expect that someone who looks so sexual and beautiful and young and fancy and with so much celebrity is immune or has some free pass.» The full national Geographic article – By Mark Silver – May 15, 2013.

More and more evidence is demonstrating that even just 15 minutes a day of physical activity can have a significant impact on longevity.

  • The benefits applied to all age groups and both sexes, as well as to those at risk for heart problems.
  • “If the minimum amount of exercise we suggest is adhered to, mortality from heart disease, diabetes and cancer could be reduced,” the researchers wrote.
  • “This low volume of physical activity could play a central part in the global war against non-communicable diseases, reducing medical costs and health disparities.” » The full Washington Post article – By Rod Stein – Published: August 17, 2011.

Vigorous Exercise Cuts Breast Cancer Risk

Exercise Reduces breast cancer risk Image Source

  • The findings suggest that exercise itself protects against breast cancer, regardless of whether it leads to weight loss, note Michael F. Leitzmann, MD, and colleagues at the National Cancer Institute.
  • The researchers analyzed data on more than 32,000 postmenopausal women collected over 11 years as part of the Breast Cancer Detection Demonstration Project. » The Article from WebMD – By Daniel J. DeNoon

  • The New York Times – Learning Network – What Will You Do With Your Life?
    Overview | Students consider what it means to live a life well-lived by creating life lists of goals they would like to accomplish and analyzing patterns in the lists of their peers. » Go to this Life’s Lesson.
  • The New York Times – Learning Network – Talking about Breast Cancer:
    Overview | Students share words and associations related to cancer. They then investigate and participate in dialogues about the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. » Go to this Health, Science and Life’s Lesson.
  • The New York Times – Learning Network – The Science of Aging
    Overview | Student reflect on the lives of older people they know, then research and debate the key issues surrounding scientific experimentation in anti-aging. (Related NYT article: » Even more reason to get moving – By Jane E. Brody) » Go to this Health and Science Lesson.

Update: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at 81

She said she will retire when she feels she can no longer write and think as sharply and as quickly as she can now.

  • Ginsburg played a huge role in tearing down arbitrary gender distinctions that prevented women from entering certain professions (the law, for one). But she told News Anchor Katie Couric that one of the most important things a woman needs to get ahead professionally is a caring life partner who is willing to share the work.
  • She was married to her husband, Marty Ginsburg, a tax attorney, for 56 years before he died of cancer in 2010.
  • “I had a life partner who thought my work was as important as his,” she said. “And I think that made all the difference for me, and Marty was an unusual man. In fact, he was the first boy I knew who cared that I had a brain.”
  • They shared housekeeping chores and child-­rearing duties, while both attending law school.
  • “You can’t have it all, all at once,” Ginsburg said, referencing the controversial magazine article about work-­life balance by academic and former Obama administration official Anne-­ Marie Slaughter. “Who — man or woman — has it all, all at once? Over my lifespan I think I have had it all.
  • But in different periods of time things were rough. And if you have a caring life partner, you help the other person when that person needs it.” » News Yahoo article – By Liz Goodwin – August 1, 2014.

This Supreme Court is ‘One of Most Activist,’ Ginsburg Says, Vowing to Stay

  • The last two terms, which brought major decisions on Mr. Obama’s health care law, race and same-sex marriage, were, she said, “heady, exhausting, challenging.”
  • She was especially critical of the voting rights decision, as well as the part of the ruling upholding the health care law that nonetheless said it could not be justified under Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce.
  • In general, Justice Ginsburg said, “if it’s measured in terms of readiness to overturn legislation, this is one of the most activist courts in history.” » The full New York Times article – By Adam Liptak – Published: August 24, 2013

Her age has required only minor adjustments.

  • “I don’t water-ski anymore,” Justice Ginsburg said. “I haven’t gone horseback riding in four years. I haven’t ruled that out entirely. But water-skiing, those days are over.”
  • Justice Ginsburg, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993, said she intended to stay on the court “as long as I can do the job full steam, and that, at my age, is not predictable.” » from the above article.
  • “When I started, I looked like a survivor of Auschwitz,” Ginsburg said. Now I’m up to 20 push-ups.”
  • Personal trainer Bryant Johnson watches his tiny client pump her body up and down on a green yoga mat, spotting her with his hands at her waist in case she falls.
  • “Exercise is the great equalizer. It doesn’t matter what size, shape or color you are,” Johnson said in his office cubicle at the federal courthouse on Constitution Avenue, about a half-mile down the hill from the Supreme Court.
  • “A push-up is a push-up, no matter how you look at it.” » The full Washington Post article – By Ann E. Marimow, Published: March 20, 2013.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg receives a warm welcome at the State of the Union – Image source and article.

How Ruth Bader Ginsburg has moved the Supreme Court.

  • There is some irony in Ginsburg’s reputation for reserve, because she is, by far, the current Court’s most accomplished litigator.
  • Ginsburg, during the nineteen-seventies, argued several of the most important women’s-rights cases in the Court’s history.
  • She has always prided herself on knowing which fights to pick. (Ginsburg won that 1976 case, as well as four of the five other cases she argued before the Justices.)
  • As an advocate, Ginsburg had exquisite timing; she brought women’s-rights cases at precisely the moment the Supreme Court was willing to decide them in her favor. . . . For Subscribers the full New Yorker article “Heavyweight” – By Jeffrey Tobin – March 11, 2013.

The U.S. Constitution

  • Appearing on Egyptian television before concluding a four-day trip in Egypt (in February, 2012) Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg extolled the virtues of the U.S. Constitution but urged Egyptians to look to other countries’ newer constitutions for guidance as they craft their own in the coming months.
  • “We were just tremendously fortunate in the United States that the men who met in Philadelphia were very wise,” Ginsburg said. “Now it is true that they were lacking one thing,” she continued with a chuckle. “And that is that there were no women as part of the Constitutional Convention.”
  • When asked by her interviewer how best to draft a constitution and protect it from contemporary political pressures (perhaps alluding to Islamic parties’ dominance in the new parliament’s lower house), Justice Ginsburg answered, “A constitution, as important as it is, will mean nothing unless the people are yearning for liberty and freedom.”
  • “If the people don’t care, then the best constitution in the world won’t make any difference,” she said.
  • “The spirit of liberty,” she continued, “has to be in the population.” » The full Huffington Post article – First Posted February 1, 2012.

  • The New York Times – Learning Network – What Will You Do With Your Life?
    Overview | Students consider what it means to live a life well-lived by creating life lists of goals they would like to accomplish and analyzing patterns in the lists of their peers. Go to this Life and Building a Health Society Lesson.
  • The New York Times – Learning Network – The Political is Personal
    Overview | Students explore their own personal political philosophies by identifying events, people and experiences that have helped shape their beliefs and writing an essay. Go to this Building Society and ESL Lesson.
  • The New York Times – Learning Network – The Science of Aging
    Overview | Student reflect on the lives of older people they know, then research and debate the key issues surrounding scientific experimentation in anti-aging. (Related NYT article: » Even more reason to get moving – By Jane E. Brody) Go to this Health and Science Lesson.