Friday, November 13, 2009

an extraordinary teacher, an extraordinary life

My senior year in high school, we got a new theater teacher at my school, Robin Bennett. She had a galvanizing, electrifying influence on me. She passed away recently, and prior to this happening, her children arranged for students from virtually every year of her teaching career to write letters of appreciation. Here is one extraordinary one. It is a tremendous tribute to the power of teachers to inspire and empower. Don't miss it.

make like the germans

Where is our vaunted Yankee ingenuity when it comes to righting the economy? We've got plenty of necessity, with unemplyment rates at their highest since the thirties. Nobel-Prize winning Princeton economist Paul Krugman to American let-the-market-do-it-types: UR DOIN IT WRONG. He says we need to take a lesson from the Germans, who have engineered a safety net that has prevented them from experiencing the kind of surge in unemplyment since the crisis began that we have experienced here. Krugman on the human cost of our rising long-term unemplyment:

And long-term unemployment inflicts long-term damage. Workers who have been out of a job for too long often find it hard to get back into the labor market even when conditions improve. And there are hidden costs, too — not least for children, who suffer physically and emotionally when their parents spend months or years unemployed.

For a particularly grizzly example of what Krugman is talking about, read this.

Jobs baby, jobs. Now. Before it's too late.

grace under pressure

Watch this breathtaking new animation of Capt. Sullenberger landing his plane in the Hudson.

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