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Astronomy bulletin board
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Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Sun, 2:34am

Post #76 of 94 (126 views)
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I started learning cursive in Standard One [In reply to] Can't Post

... about seven/eight years old? ... back in the olden days of the 1970s. I felt properly grown-up that we were learning to write like the adults did! (Although now I write in shorthand, unless I'm writing for other people to read.)

Good on you guys for having structured education at home; it's certainly giving the kids a massive step-up in their education. And there's nothing like a bit of sibling rivalry for motivation. Evil

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Sun, 2:37am

Post #77 of 94 (125 views)
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I love this. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
You probably don't remember, but two of my secondary characters share names with your boys. In the 1920s they're at a small country school with the limited sort of curriculum associated with such a place, but their father, thinking of the future, is tutoring them... in Latin :). Of course it was vital for higher education.


Smile Smile

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


squire
Half-elven


Sun, 2:51am

Post #78 of 94 (124 views)
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I can't argue against the death of cursive [In reply to] Can't Post

As with your experience, I find that none of my students has a grasp of cursive, and when I used to offer original historical texts in it, they were at a loss.

So I've turned it into a teachable moment: what is cursive? It's a lettering system designed for a quill pen, which tends not to work when the tip is lifted from the paper, causing the ink to stop flowing.

Does learning cursive have secondary advantages, like training the hand to write clearly and regularly? Yes, but in fact one can learn to write block lettering quite clearly and rapidly, if that is what one is taught in elementary school.

I think we're in an equivalent period to when Latin was dropped from the modern educational curriculum. The oldsters (me) remember learning cursive and feel it shouldn't be forgotten even if we ourselves no longer use it either (I don't). The youngsters have no reason whatsoever to learn it, and the inability to decode cursive historical documents is rather like the inability to read important medieval or ancient texts in the original Latin - a skill that was once taken for granted in every Western educational institution. In another generation the entire question will be a (ahem) dead letter.

(Kudos for teaching your kids Latin, though. It remains a very good subject to have a basic grasp of, as its cultural and linguistic profile is still remarkably high even now.)

On the other hand. I am surprised that schools are not teaching keyboard skills. Touch typing is completely relevant and useful, pending perfect voice-recognition text translators, which are still a generation or more away. I am inclined to blame the rise of small-screen phones for this, but then I get grumpy and start thrashing about, yelling at those kids to get off my lawn and wondering when it's time for my cookie.



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Roheryn
Grey Havens

Sun, 3:02am

Post #79 of 94 (120 views)
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Same here. [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, not the Standard One part since I'm not sure how that works, but I too was around 7-8 years old way back in the dark ages of the 1970s when we learned cursive.

And yes, we've found sibling rivalry works great. My favorite instance has been when Eldarion the Younger developed a knack for riding a cantankerous, speed-demon, bucking-bronco-wannabe Shetland pony. Eldarion the Elder can't stand his brother riding better than him, so he got determined to stay on her too. For a while, they were the only two students who could get her to canter and not fall off.


Roheryn
Grey Havens

Sun, 3:04am

Post #80 of 94 (120 views)
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That's awesome. [In reply to] Can't Post

NZS would have been well-suited to teaching in the 1920s. Or 1820s. I'm pretty sure some of his teaching attire dates to that era.


Cygnus
Rivendell


Sun, 3:36am

Post #81 of 94 (120 views)
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Happy! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
(Thanks for your tolerance, Cygnus!)
)

LOL I don't care what we're talking about. I'm just happy the astronomy thread is busy!

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf (movie quote)


Cygnus
Rivendell


Sun, 4:16am

Post #82 of 94 (115 views)
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Constellations [In reply to] Can't Post

Orion is the easiest constellation to find. Most people think the Big Dipper is but it is actually known as an asterism not a constellation which, in this case, means it is part of a constellation called Ursa Major. This is a good time of year to find Orion. After you do tilt your head so he is standing up. This may be a little difficult for Southern Hemisphere viewers so may require a mental adjustment instead of a neck tilt. Once you have him tilted "standing" upward look at the distinctive 3 stars in the belt. If you extend your arm and close one eye you will see that the belt is as long as two of your fingers are wide. Start with the star on the right and go to the one on the left. Now make a left hand 90 degree turn and look at the two stars "below" it. They will also be the width of two of your fingers (with an extended arm) away from that left star in the belt. If your sky is dark enough you might notice that one of those stars is not really a star after all. It will look a bit fuzzy and is known as M42 or the Orion Nebula, a cloud of gas, young stars and dust that is so large that it would make our solar system look tiny. As we speak new stars are being born in the Orion Nebula. If you get a chance aim a pair of binoculars at it. Waiting a few nights from now will yield a better view. The Moon is full right now and the light of a Full Moon always drowns out the light of other astronomical objects that are around it.

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf (movie quote)


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Sun, 5:15am

Post #83 of 94 (106 views)
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LOL! :D / [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Starling
Half-elven


Sun, 10:20am

Post #84 of 94 (86 views)
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Handwriting is still part of the NZ Curriculum [In reply to] Can't Post

Schools are pretty variable in the way it is taught though.




CuriousG
Half-elven


Sun, 3:14pm

Post #85 of 94 (82 views)
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Tolkien's version of The Big Dipper [In reply to] Can't Post

This comes from The Silmarillon, describing the early days when the god-like Valar were fighting Sauron's boss, Melkor, for world supremacy and before there were Elves and Men. I like how Varda/Elbereth made the constellation into an omen of good triumphing over evil:


Quote
And high in the north as a challenge to Melkor she [Varda] set the crown of seven mighty stars to swing, Valacirca, the Sickle of the Valar and sign of doom.



sevilodorf
Grey Havens


Sun, 5:36pm

Post #86 of 94 (70 views)
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Agree completely [In reply to] Can't Post

If cursive is NOT to be taught then KEYBOARDING must be. Students must be able to do more than hunt and peck. Especially when the all important TEST (not to mention when they actually get into the work force and their job requires it) is administered on a computer and they must produce multiple paragraph essays.

I don't think we'll eliminate the QWERTY keyboard so assign TIME for this to be taught. Make it a priority rather than an stick it in and have them do it totally on their own.

Fourth Age Adventures at the Inn of the Burping Troll http://burpingtroll.com
Home of TheOneRing.net Best FanFic stories of 2005 and 2006 "The Last Grey Ship" and "Ashes, East Wind, Hope That Rises" by Erin Rua

(Found in Mathoms, LOTR Tales Untold)




Cygnus
Rivendell


Sun, 6:00pm

Post #87 of 94 (68 views)
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Tolkien's stars [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for sharing that CuriousG. Has anybody ever compiled a list of all the astronomy in Tolkien's work? It would be a big project since I've noticed he mentions the stars quite a bit.....although most of the time just stars in general....not specific ones like we've been discussing here. It sounds like a project worthy of taking up someday if it hasn't been done.

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf (movie quote)


Cygnus
Rivendell


Sun, 6:19pm

Post #88 of 94 (66 views)
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Tonight [In reply to] Can't Post

The start of the eclipse is 9 hours away but the clouds aren't looking too good at my house near Lake Erie. Here's a handful of leftover misc eclipse items as reminders, or that I haven't mentioned yet.
1) Monday morning in Europe and western Africa the eclipse won't be total but still will make for a pretty cool sight.
2) Remember to get those binoculars out. They're not necessary for an eclipse but always enhance the view.
3) Luckily, for observers in the United States, the Moon is extra high in mid-winter.
4) If you were standing on the Moon when it passed into the umbra you would see the Sun completely blocked out by the Earth.
5) Monday is a day off for school children in the United States so this worked out nicely. It means that they can stay up late tonight.
6) Even though I'm more interested in the things that are outside of our Solar System I always get excited about an eclipse since it is an opportunity to get folks interested in the night sky. If you live in the Americas and it is going to be clear in your area make sure you call folks and let them know.

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf (movie quote)


sevilodorf
Grey Havens


Sun, 7:05pm

Post #89 of 94 (54 views)
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You might google Kristine Larsen [In reply to] Can't Post

and Tolkien astronomy

Fourth Age Adventures at the Inn of the Burping Troll http://burpingtroll.com
Home of TheOneRing.net Best FanFic stories of 2005 and 2006 "The Last Grey Ship" and "Ashes, East Wind, Hope That Rises" by Erin Rua

(Found in Mathoms, LOTR Tales Untold)




Lissuin
Valinor


Sun, 7:13pm

Post #90 of 94 (53 views)
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I found these papers about astronomy in Tolkien's works. [In reply to] Can't Post

  
Dr. Kristine Larsen, Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Central Connecticut State University
Her paper The Astronomy of Middle-earth includes photos of several constellations. I won't say any more. Just dig in!
http://www.physics.ccsu.edu/...ronomy_of_middle.htm

and a listing of her other papers related to Tolkien
http://www.physics.ccsu.edu/larsen/tolkien.html

The Stars That Varda Made by Kitt Otter
A much shorter paper with the references to Tolkien's works by page number listed at the end.
http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/...-that-varda-made.php

Names of Astronomical Objects above Middle-earth
Edited by Per Lindberg
http://www.forodrim.org/daeron/md_astro.html


Cygnus
Rivendell


Sun, 10:47pm

Post #91 of 94 (33 views)
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Awesome! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you so much Lissuin and sevilodorf. This is a win-win for me. It means I get to learn all about the Tolkien-astronomy connection AND I won't have to even consider the impossible task of putting it all together.....impossible for me at least. I'm glad it wasn't impossible for Dr. Larsen.

"I found it is the small things.....everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay.....simple acts of kindness and love." - Gandalf (movie quote)


Lissuin
Valinor


Sun, 11:03pm

Post #92 of 94 (28 views)
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'Glad you are pleased, Cygnus. [In reply to] Can't Post

I was hesitant to post, thinking I'd spoil your fun doing the detective work on your own. But since you asked....Wink And it has been interesting for me as well. If we think of a question about Tolkien, someone is sure to have answered it.
Laugh


Kimi
Forum Admin / Moderator


12:22am

Post #93 of 94 (21 views)
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:) :) [In reply to] Can't Post

Life not so much imitating as moving in parallel with art. :) Sharing their names with the young Striders makes such a nice parallel!

I had a problem, in that my main character needed to learn Latin, but the little District High School she was attending was about as likely to have taught it as my own high school was 50 years later (i.e. not at all likely). But when your uncle is the local doctor, who *of course* learned Latin, and *of course* wants to prepare his boys for a "good school"... :)


The Passing of Mistress Rose
My historical novels

Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?

- A Room With a View


Kimi
Forum Admin / Moderator


56 mins ago

Post #94 of 94 (19 views)
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A great read! Thanks, Lissuin. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


The Passing of Mistress Rose
My historical novels

Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?

- A Room With a View

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