Daily Archives: September 21, 2010

The Young Birder’s Guide: A Bird Book for the Middle Schooler

Bill Thompson’s The Young Birder’s Guide to Birds of North America is a book that I highly recommend for kids around seven to 14 years of age. (The publishers suggest a narrower age range but I respectfully disagree.)

This is a new offering written by Bill Thompson III and published by the same people who give us the Peterson Field Guide to the Birds and many other fine titles. The book includes excellent illustrations by Julie Zickefoose.

A birder since childhood, Thompson says he would have loved a book like this one when he was just getting interested in birds. Now a father of two, he spent many hours over a two-year period with his now eleven-year-old daughter’s class getting their advice on what to include in the book.

Bill Thompson III is the editor of Bird Watcher’s Digest, a bimonthly magazine with 70,000 subscribers and the author of Identify Yourself: The 50 Most Common Birding Identification Challenges. He lives with his wife, author and illustrator Julie Zickefoose and their two children on eighty birdy acres in Ohio.

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Carne Ross: An independent diplomat

After 15 years in the British diplomatic corps, Carne Ross became a “freelance diplomat,” running a bold nonprofit that gives small, developing and yet-unrecognized nations a voice in international relations. At the BIF-5 conference, he calls for a new kind of diplomacy that gives voice to small countries, that works with changing boundaries and that welcomes innovation.

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Igor and Lisa

Igor is on the cusp of being a hurricane and not being a hurricane. The storm has hurricane force winds but its energy is being rapidly redistributed from a cyclonic pattern (a hurricane is a cyclone) to a frontal pattern (a hurricane is not a front). Either way, somebody’s gonna lose themselves’ a trailer. In Newfoundland. Maybe.

Lisa, still in the eastern Atlantic, is now a tropical storm, as predicted. But, the next several days have a great deal of uncertainty regarding Lisa’s direction of movement and intensity. I’m thinking Lisa will not be a any time over the next four days, but after that may well follow the same pattern of most of this year’s storms: Form up and head north.

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Teachers Under Fire!!!

i-6d830b7f85d83707170f6da2bd1804a3-teachers_under_fire.jpgIt is very common, across the U.S., for science teachers to dread the “evolution” unit that they teach during life science class.

As they approach the day, and start to prepare the students for what is coming, they begin to hear the sarcastic remarks from the creationist students. When the day to engage the evolution unit arrives, students may show up in the classroom with handouts from anti-science sites like Answers in Genesis, to give to their friends. They may carry a bible to the lab station and read it instead of doing the work. If there is a parent conference night around that time, the teacher may be verbally abused by some of the parents for not including “alternative theories” in the classroom.
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