@ John Hartranft

everything is miscellaneous

Archive for July 2009

Streaming Conversation 1: Fascinating History

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I recently posted the following on my Facebook page, to which I received some interesting replies:

My inner teacher geek is thinking about time machines…. When is the most fascinating period of history and why?

Tony: Definitely 1992 (Both the year I was born and the year Rage Against the Machine* released their debut album) until now. Definitely. * = Scientifically proven to be the best band in the world. Really. With graphs and stuff.

Me to Tony: I want to see those graphs, Tony!

Catherine: I think between 1960’s and now. Space race, land on the moon, computers, cell phones, medical breakthroughs…

Me to Catherine: I’m with you on the last 50 years, but we may be biased. Except for 1992…. sorry Tony.

Mike: Industrial Revolution to Wright Brothers…I was thinking of the changes that allowed for mass production and the introduction of leisure time .. besides you are from Bethlehem, right? The Bessemer Process for steel…or was that for playing the slots at the Sands…so confusing these days.

Me to Mike: Sounds like you are thinking about early advances in technology and manufacturing, eh? I like the story of the Wright Brothers… adventurous souls they were.

Andrea: 1890’s to 1910’s. Electricity, cars, planes, art, architecture. The speed of change had its petal to the metal.

Me to Andrea: Interesting time. The immigration to the US, too. Lots of social organizations born at the turn of the 19th/20th Century.

Chris: Not to be myopic, but I really think *now* is a fascinating period of history. In the last 20 years, we have home computers, internet, and cell phones commonplace, as well as satellite technology (think GPS and radio etc) and an infrastructure that makes connectivity possible despite geographic distance. What a great time to be alive!

Me to Chris: I’m with you on this one. I actually fantasize about giving George Washington a tour of the U.S. today. It’d be fun to se his jaw drop and big, buggy eyes popping out of his head as he sits in the backseat of a car doing 65 mph between Mt. Vernon and NYC, while we put him on a conference call to the current President who is flying around overhead in a chopper.

Martha: My personal favorite is the period between WWI and WWII in europe-lots of social changes. Don’t know if the period has the same resonance in the us tho-I love all that between the wars British lit.

Hmmmmm, Martha: That’s a complex time period… You must have some good insights…. We’ll have to follow up with some conversation.

Anneliese: Wow…is that a preview of an essay question for your students next year? Good one!

Me to Anneliese: Working on something for the school year… won’t divulge yet… heh heh heh….

Jacob: Nerd. Jk:)

Me to Jacob:  Dork 😛


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07/30/2009 at 2:46 pm

Ice Cream Man

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I’m your ice cream man, stop me when I pass you by….

I love this Van Halen song.

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07/28/2009 at 8:44 pm

Take Me Out To….. Fenway!

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Father and son…and the 7th inning stretch, Fenway Park, Boston.
Red Sox vs. Baltimore, 7/25/09.

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07/26/2009 at 1:37 pm


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Big green one in left field at Boston’s Fenway Park.

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07/25/2009 at 11:15 pm


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On Boston’s Freedom Trail, with stops at Fannuil Hall, Old North Church, and Paul Revere’s House…

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07/25/2009 at 2:32 pm

Posted in Boston, Images, travel


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Sushi tonight in Boston's Chinatown.

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07/24/2009 at 10:08 pm

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Make way for ’em… Public Garden at Boston Common. 

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07/23/2009 at 7:46 pm

Posted in Boston, Images, travel