Part the only of my review of _Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug_

“Benedict Cumberbatch sounds like a jaguar purring into a cello.” –anonymous

Smaug.  Smaug.  Smaug.

That’s what we’ve been anticipating.  In short, he desolated.  And so did Peter Jackson.  In a few ways.  Not all of them good.

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To Re-Gift or Not to Re-Gift

I hate the title of my post.  I think we’ve outworn all references to Hamlet’s speech.  But I couldn’t come up with any better.

We sometimes run into what seems like a hard decision: I have a gift someone gave me.  Should I re-gift it?  Or is that tacky?  Lazy?  Untactful?  Unappreciative?  Selfish?  Stingy?  Inconsiderate?
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Aw Man, Another Duck Dynasty/A&E Post!

Yes, another person has put something on the internet about the Duck Dynasty/A&E feud.

In short, I believe there is shame on both sides.

On the one hand, even atheist lesbian activist Camelli Paglia would agree that A&E’s decision to ban Phil Robertson was both hypocritical and fascist:

“I think that this intolerance by gay activists toward the full spectrum of human beliefs is a sign of immaturity, juvenility. This is not the mark of a true intellectual life. This is why there is no cultural life now in the U.S. Why nothing is of interest coming from the major media in terms of cultural criticism. Why the graduates of the Ivy League with their A, A, A+ grades are complete cultural illiterates, etc. is because they are not being educated in any way to give respect to opposing viewpoints. There is a dialogue going on human civilization, for heaven sakes. It’s not just this monologue coming from fanatics who have displaced the religious beliefs of their parents into a political movement. And that is what happened to feminism, and that is what happened to gay activism, a fanaticism.”
In other words, a lot of gay rights activists can’t stand to hear their opponents talk, and would rather shut down the conversation, betraying the roots of their own politico-social movements. Continue reading

Tree Shaker: Nelson Mandela Biography Open Response for English Teachers

Nelson Mandela passed away on December 5 of this year.  It was around this time of year a year ago that I read a biography of his, Tree Shaker, by Bill Keller.  I read this book in order to create a sample assessment for students.

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Fatherly Advice: Solomon Style; Proverbs of Solomon: Modern Father Style

I’ve already begun to think of the advice I will dispense to my son one day:

“Brush your teeth.”
“A penny saved is just a penny, just put it in the penny tray at the fill-r-up”
“A foolish man sets his heart on a McRib; he does not consider the consequences.”
“You start dancin with a girl like that, you’ll be makin some babies.”
“When in doubt, cut the blue wire.
“Don’t touch that.”
“Invest in computer companies.”
“Never talk on your cell phone in a drive-thru”
“I never said that.”
“Look, kid, just stay away from gangs, drugs, and cyberporn on the internet, and you could be the President some day. Well, even if you do those things, apparently.”
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In case you missed the series: The KJV-Only Schism—all posts found here

In case you missed the series on the KJV, or missed one of the entries, here is the entire series in 13 individual posts.

The KJV: Is It THE Bible?—A series on the KJV-Only Schism
Part 1: Introduction—A Plea to KJV-Only Advocates
Part 2: A Brief History of a Politically Charged Translation—Making the KJV
Part 3: Lost in Translation—Remember, it’s a translation
Part 4: Jacobean English—Antiquated Language Issues
Part 5: Linguistic Prejudice—The Myth of “High English”
Part 6: Would Any Other Translation Be Vulgar?—Koine Greek and “Low English”
Part 7: Which KJV Are We Talking About?—Different KJV Editions
Part 8: Textual Errors and Inconsistencies
Part 9: Paraphrases and Biased Renderings
Part 10: Divided Verses; Divided Minds— Book-chapter-verse-ism
Part 11: “So What Translation Do You Prefer, If Not the KJV Only?“—Other translations
Conclusion: What To Do with and about the KJV

Whitman and Twain-quoted in color

Recently, famous photographs in black and white have been colorized using computer technology.  Now some of our favorite historical figures can be seen in “true color” for the first time.  In honor of that, I decided to create color posters of two of my favorite writers, quotes included.  They now cover my desk, covering up the hole where a previous teacher or student must have kicked the desk in anger.

twain blush


whitman yawp

Twain looks about like you’d expect him to.  Whitman looks like a cross between Tom Bombadil and Santa Clause.