Recent Posts

GHOTI spells “fish” of course, Everyone Knows That!

George Bernard Shaw was a great proponent of English spelling reform. Here is an example he used to illustrate the absurdity of some English spelling and pronunciation. Using familiar pronunciations here is how the letters GHOTI spell “fish”: GH as […] 

Those Apocryphal Flying Cats of Borneo: The Real Story

The flying cats of Borneo – apocryphal? Hyperbole? Fantasy? Jungle legend? Imaginary animals? In response to a request from a professor at The University of Iowa I provided one piece of the story of Operation Cat Drop backed by the […] 

Imaginary Animals


Choreolab North

Last Friday’s Choreolab concert of ten original dances was the culmination of a central studies (CS) elective. Choreolab started at The Walden School in the 1980’s and was further developed as a student-led and directed experience by the work of […] 

The Eagle Nation

The title and content of this entry have changed. The original title – A Challenge to Stephen Colbert – referred to the Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report where the grippy and relentless megamerican Stephen Colbert holds court. The show opens […] 

“Life on Earth” – an amazing multi-media musical

I had the great pleasure of attending Life on Earth – a student written, multi-media and very original musical by the students in a central studies elective. The script was impressive – witty, pointed and poignant. The modern day Olympians […] 

GHOTI spells what?

Quick, quick! – spell “yacht” New research on spelling and the brain English spelling and pronunciation are renowned for complexity and quirks. Spelling still matters and we all know how computer spell checkers can mislead**. So what goes on in […] 

From kindergarten to high school

Robbie sent me this picture of a high school student with members of her kindergarten class. As you can see from the background lights – this was taken the all-school winter festival event. A cheering picture for a gray day […] 

Detecting Tommyrot, Bunkum and Codswallop

When dealing with bunkum like the unsubstantiated and most unlikely claim of the 14,000 parachuted cats it would be good to have a handy little tool like the Quackometer. This tool provides an instant service for checking a website for […] 

The Great Cat Drop: Take this Test of Critical Thinking

We are all very fond of talking about critical thinking. But what does it actually mean? In the classroom, in reality, in our lives? And how is such a skill developed? Awash with information, how do we determine truth, integrity […] 

The Truth About the Flying Cats and the Cartons of Stout

What struck me about Operation Cat Drop – the flying cats of Borneo story – was not the unintended chain of events but the detail about the cats. Fourteen thousand cats! Where on earth would they be able to round […] 

Teenagers Incompetent and Irresponsible? Let’s Abolish High School

Let’s Abolish High School – it’s a link to an article in Education Week (April4, 2007) by Robert Epstein. Epstein provides some historical context to the educational warehousing of teenagers. Teenagers, he contends, are not inherently incompetent and irresponsible and […] 

Stop Holford Talking Rubbish

Here’s a blog with an irresistible url Stop Holford Talking Rubbish. (Yes – that is the real name). It’s by someone who takes exception to the work of one Patrick Holford – a UK nutritionist (no relation.) Photo: Jay Wennington  

Write a Novel, Change the World: Use your Laptop as a brick

Gary Stager came to Poughkeepsie Day School at the end of March and he began with a lively Vassar College/ PDS presentation Ten Things to do with a Laptop. His title is a deliberate nod to a groundbreaking 1971 article […] 

Snail, Slug, Sloth or Tortoise

Does this Jerry King cartoon from FNO strike a chord? It’s easy to say “less is more” but not always so easy to see the sentiment translated into the practical of everyday life where the pressure seems on for more […] 

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