Category Archives: Life

Nebo is Famous!

My cousin Chris Jones who graduated from MHS back in the 80s sent this to his mom (my aunt) who in turn sent it to me. It’s an interview with Danny DeVito about a movie called Death to Smoochy in which Mr. DeVito mentions Nebo, NC!

The conversation starts about 3 minutes in and ends about 6 minutes in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOiqG-dQVnE 

Nebo is famous!

Sneakers (1992) Movie Guide

Sneakers (1992) Movie Poster

Sneakers (1992) Movie Poster

As a graduate school requirement, my wife and I were given the option to create a detailed movie guide. After much time and effort, we have achieved the following movie guide for the 1992 movie, Sneakers starring Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier, David Strathairn, Dan Aykroyd, River Phoenix, Mary McDonnell, and Ben Kingsley.

Introduction

The activities in this guide align with the ISTE National Educational Technology Standards (NETS). Focus areas are in computers, information skills, and technology literacy. This study guide is intended for grades 9 – 12, but can be used with other grade levels. These activities can be modified as needed by the teacher based on student aptitude and prior knowledge. Sneakers is rated PG-13 for brief sexual references.

This movie guide is 17 pages long and follows Gavriel Salomon’s Interaction of Media and Cognition and Learning (1979) model called AIME, the Amount of Invested Mental Energy. Teachers should follow the AIME strategy when implementing this study guide to maximize the educational learning potential and understanding for students.

Movie Overview

Sneakers is a light-hearted heist movie with plenty of comedy and romance about computers, hacking, ethics, government espionage, security, secrets, cryptography, deception, betrayal, and little black boxes. The characters model critical thinking skills and creative thinking about technology. On an ethical level, it’s an account of how computers have changed our daily lives both for the better and for the worse.

Despite the fact that its debut was back in 1992, Sneakers has aged surprisingly well. The surveillance techniques and other technical aspects that appear in the movie can still be found today nearly two decades later. One wonders how this movie got so much so right so early.

Plot Synopsis

Marty is the leader of an unlikely team of professional computer hackers that hire themselves out to company executives in order to test their company security systems. This happens to be a real job called Sneaking (as opposed to Hacking, Cracking, or Phreaking) hence the title.

Based in San Francisco, the team is contacted by two NSA agents who want them to steal a top-secret black box containing a homemade computer chip capable of breaking any secret code. The team decides to accept the job and eventually acquires the black box.

Once they discover what the chip is capable of doing, they become entanglement in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse between the National Security Agency and organized crime who also want possession of the chip. They end up handing the chip over to the wrong people and must recover it to clear their good names and prevent themselves from going to jail inside the high-stakes world of government espionage.

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The SLANT Method for Student Engagement

SLANT is an acronym for 5 common visual indicators of student engagement. The indicators are:

  • Sit up
  • Lean forward
  • Ask questions about the topic
  • Nod your head
  • Track the teacher with your eyes

Generally speaking, students who exhibit even one of these 5 indicators during a lesson are engaged in the topic. This can also be generalized to any speaking situation with participants.

This sounds like a good thing to put up on the wall of my classroom.

Warren Buffett: The Rich Need to Pay More Taxes

Billionaire Tells Congress the Tax Code Is Unfair to Lower-Income Americans
ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=3869458&page=1

An honest rich man! On national news, no less! Jesus talked about these kinds of people as being extremely rare in Matthew 19:23-26:

23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. (KJV)

Do you think you’ll ever hear about someone like this again? And regardless of your political persuasion this IS a commentary on the current political situation. It seems to me that the American people, particularly those of faith, have a very difficult decision this election.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” – attributed to Edward Burke

Sleeping Through the Night

My baby daughter is finally sleeping through the night now. The first night would have been September 13th, but my wife had to get up to change her diaper at about 5:30 AM. So that one doesn’t count.

On September 14th, however, neither of us had to get up! The little one went to bed about 11 PM and stayed in the bed until about 6 AM when my wife and I had to get up to get ready for work. Mind you, we had to put her pacifier back in her mouth during the night when she would start wiggling which woke us up, but we did not have to get up out of the bed until morning came.

What a sweet thing it is to stay in the bed through the night!