Have a photo essay of 1950s American expats in Mexico. I found it mesmerizing and beautiful, but I've always been a sucker for this kind of twee nostalgia.
There's a funny sort of triangle of distance going on between the 2023 viewer, the wealthy white 1950s expat, and the 1950s Mexican local, where you can feel the distance between the other two vertices, but you can't necessarily bridge the distance between yourself and either vertex. (Gazing at navel: "I guess it really is a triangle." Stay tuned for more hot geometric takes from yours truly.)
Both my parents' families were part of the vertex of white American tourists. I believe my paternal grandparents lived there for a year or two in the 30s, and I believe my grandfather wrote a detective novel there, although I haven't seen it. My mother's family traveled down one summer in the 50s with a trailer, and spent a month or two driving all over the place, buying an amazing amount of souvenirs. My parents' house still has a ton of mid-century Mexican odds and ends from that trip.
Is this as bad as it sounds? Here's how they describe it:
[B]alanced literacy aspired to correct for potential deficiencies in the home environment by creating literacy-rich classrooms. At the Brooklyn elementary school that my kids attended, the signs of it were everywhere: in the goofy glasses teachers wore for group reading time to make the written word less intimidating; in the assurances to parents that the best way to help children read was to read out loud to them to instill a love of language and literature; in the artfully arranged reading nooks stocked with cushions, mats, and an appealing array of books; in the hours that teachers instructed young children to sit in those nooks with books of their choosing.
The problem is only implied and not quite said explicity - that Balanced Literacy does only that and does not teach phonics. In fact, my mom listened to a podcast about this, and was trying to tell me this, and I was arguing that it couldn't possibly be so stark. Surely they were just trying to do both appreciation and phonics, and not strictly phonics. (In my defense, that's how every knee-jerk response to math pedagogy goes: "Schools aren't teaching the times tables anymore! It's all mushy and exploratory!" and then when you dig down, you find that they're trying to make time to do both.)
I feel like I need to comment on this as well (not per se related to Balanced Literacy):
This notion contains a subtle but unmistakable streak of classism and parent-blaming--if kids are struggling to learn, chances are something is missing at home, or so the logic goes. Back in the 1970s, this general line of thinking may even have fueled a Supreme Court decision justifying discriminatory funding of schools, with the idea being that more money to poor districts would not help students because families--not schools--were the key ingredient in student success.
It sounds horrible to assume that deficiencies at school are due to deficiencies at home. But the problem is doing it in a parent-blaming way. It is still true that basically every sort of performance measures correlates with wealth. If you want to "fix the schools", you mostly need to fix poverty.
I was musing how often you used to have to change your burnt out lightbulbs, and how astonishing it is that this task has dropped so dramatically in frequency. Before living with Jammies, I was truly terrible about keeping lightbulbs on hand, and even if I had them, getting around to swapping out the lightbulbs, and so it was just a common thing to have lamps or lights that were out for long stretches. Or my car! I had a Volvo that seemed to lose a lightbulb every time anyone sneezed. It was super annoying. The future is lit.
Unrelated, I had a (non-native English-speaking) professor in grad school who would say, "That's like comparing apples and lightbulbs!" which really does convey the point of non-comparability better than apples and oranges. It's actually quite reasonable and easy to compare apples and oranges.
New Zealand, Poland, and who else? (List of the most recent elections by country.)
Unsurprisingly, I don't have a hot take here.
Mossy Character writes:
"Where you are standing is 15 feet (4.5 meters) higher than earlier. You are standing on his house," Sharma said, pointing towards his neighbor.
The 2013 cloudburst in Uttarakhand's Kedarnath, that caused the Chorabari glacier to breach, killed over 6,000 people, most of them pilgrims. In 2021, a deluge triggered by an avalanche, also in Uttarakhand, in Chamoli district, swept away the 520 MW Tapovan Vishnugad hydropower plant. The breach of Sikkim's South Lhonak lake not only destroyed the 1500 MW Teesta III HEP, but damaged two others further downstream.
But looking at multiple detailed project reports (DPR) and environmental impact assessment (EIA) of projects in Sikkim and Arunachal, this estimation was not taken seriously and studies were not conducted with rigor. This is where the added complications of GLOF and landslide-induced floods come.
heebie's take: This may not be the emotionally uplifting counterweight we want from the world right now, but just maybe it's the one we need.