The Grand Canyon You Don’t Know

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The Bar 10 expedition hitting the trail to the ranch (Yes, that’s me in the side-view mirror) by TDWolsey

For many people, the Grand Canyon conjures images of spectacular vistas, but also reminders of crowded overlooks and lots of traffic. On this weekend escape, an expedition of eight people set out in four utility terrain vehicles (UTVs) and one Jeep for Arizona’s Bar 10 Ranch and the western reaches of the Grand Canyon. From Littlefield, Arizona, the entire trip can be made in two or three days, but you may want to linger a bit longer.

Our expedition made its way to Scenic, Arizona (yes, that’s really its name) through Elbow Canyon, but there are other access points to…


A little deception can be profitable.

A hoax image of a helicopter and shark.
A hoax image of a helicopter and shark.
Snopes

Since the first human being figured out that a little deception can be profitable, people have invented all sorts of ways to part people from their money.

The 19th Century Viral Potato

Remember that time when a shark attacked a military helicopter?[1] Seeing is believing, right? Some pictures just have to be shared. Imgur and Facebook make it is easy to pass around a hoax image. But in the 19th century, and without the interwebs, Instagram, or an iPhone, folks had to improvise.

One of the classic 19th century memes was an 86 pound, 10 ounce potato. A Colorado…


People all around the planet are forever in blue jeans, apologies to Neil Diamond.

The popular pants are work clothes, protest symbols, and even gala wear. There are some things you might not know about those blue jeans, however. Tighten your belt, and keep reading.

Blue Jeans in Black & White
Blue Jeans in Black & White
TDWolsey © 2020

The Double Arches

You know that nifty little double arch on the back pocket of Levis® jeans? It’s called arcuate (surprise!) stitching. Any shape that looks like a bow or arc is arcuate. More surprising than this odd word: Levis® has no idea why the stitching appears on its jeans. In 1906, the company’s headquarters burned down in the San Francisco earthquake, and with it all of Levis records went up in…


What Do Popcorn and Zombies Have in Common? Read on.

A line-drawing of a zombie.
A line-drawing of a zombie.
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Who doesn’t love zombies? They’re adorably terrifying or maybe that’s terrifyingly adorable. While the idea of zombies is rooted in the slave trade, zombies have taken on some mythic qualities recently perhaps as symbols of the uncertainty of the current era[1]. Origins aside, zombie aficionados agree on one thing: Zombies live, sort of, and they refuse to die.

After the collapse of the world economy in the late 2000s, some economists[2] looking for explanations proposed that zombie ideas about the economy just would not go away…


And How to Respond

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Research says…

· That consuming foods with aspartame will cause a whole host of maladies

· That vaccines cause autism

· That an atom is accurately represented by a small nucleus with orbiting electrons much like the solar system (seriously, check this out).

At one time or another, the public was led to believe that the first two claims were true. Studies are inconclusive and ongoing about aspartame, and the study about autism was critically flawed. …


Why Capital S Science of Capital R Reading Gets it Wrong

Do you work in the trenches, as so many teachers are told they do? Maybe your child was taught word attack strategies. What side are you on in the reading wars? Wars are the great binaries of our time, as a former US President once proclaimed[1]: “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists” leaving absolutely no room for disagreement or discussion. I ask, “What place do war metaphors have in education, in teaching our children, and in our classrooms?”

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© by TDWolsey 2020

Consider the recent spate of commentaries


Asking the wrong question about reading instruction

America’s children are being short-changed when it comes to their reading instruction because a cabal of balanced literacy advocates is pushing an agenda that marginalizes instruction in phonics. Or so you may have you heard. In a recent article on page A1 of the New York Times, correspondent Dana Goldstein[1] laid out her case. Many such commentaries rely on what the authors call the “science of reading” going so far as to give it importance as a proper noun complete with capital letters: “The Science of Reading”[2]. …

Thomas Wolsey

Professor of Literacy at The American University in Cairo & global wanderer www.literacybeat.com

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