Mr. Charles

Classroom Blogs


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28. Live Population Map

This is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while.  Below are links to two live populations maps, they show births and deaths where they are occurring as soon as they are reported.  One is for the US and one is for the entire world… totally fascinating (especially the world).  Open them both up and watch for a few (5?) minutes…

  • What are some of your observations?
  • I find watching this to be an emotional experience.  What emotions does watching this produce for you?

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/10/a-real-time-map-of-births-and-deaths/280609/

https://googledrive.com/host/0B2GQktu-wcTiZlAyTTFEaFVuOUk/


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26. Kansas Farmers Commit to Conserve Water

Much of the farmland in the American Midwest (our breadbasket) is irrigated by the Ogallala Aquifer- a massive underground water reservoir.  The Aquifer is slowly being depleted, causing considerable concern.  Here is a story of some Kansas farmers committed to using less water (click the play button at the top to listen to the story).  Also, the reporter is my uncle 🙂

  • What do you think needs to happen for meaningful conservation to occur?

The long arms of pivot irrigation rigs deliver water from the Ogallala Aquifer to circular fields of corn in northwestern Kansas.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/10/22/230702453/in-kansas-farmers-commit-to-take-less-water-from-the-ground


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25. Are Colleges “Academically Adrift”?

A book in 2011 revealed disturbing findings about the general lack of academic growth in colleges.  What are your thoughts?  What is causing these results?  What are solutions?  Read the article and/or listen to the NPR story…

http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/17/academically-adrift/?_r=0

http://www.npr.org/2011/02/09/133310978/in-college-a-lack-of-rigor-leaves-students-adrift


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23. Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a new, virtual, global currency.  It made big news several months ago when Bitcoins (which can be divided into smaller units) went from costing $10 to $300 over a short period of time.  Watch the short introduction video and explore the website (or other sites) to find some of the following answers:

  • What is Bitcoin?
  • How much is a Bitcoin?
  • How is it stored?
  • How do you use it?
  • Who is in charge of it?
  • Who accepts Bitcoins?
  • What do you think of it?

http://bitcoin.org/en/


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22. The Average Man’s Body

Read the following two (short) articles, in order.  The first is a graphic rendering of average sized men from four different countries.  It is quite revealing.  The second is an interesting observation of what may be causing the results.  Consider:

  • What lifestyle variables influence this data?
  • How does this relate to the way our “human habitats” like transportation and infrastructure are organized?
  1. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/10/this-is-the-average-mans-body/280194/
  2. http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/01/the-secret-to-losing-weight-according-to-my-new-high-tech-fitness-monitor-is-wait-for-it-walking/267395/