Thanks, Lyndhurst Foundation! And all you Coke drinkers out there!

Someday we’ll be able to walk easily from the Dam to Lookout Mountain — Lyndhurst ponies up $1.4 million to extend the Tennessee Riverpark from Ross’s Landing to St Elmo.
Here’s the county website.
Here’s a flickr set I made in January of 2009 when I walked the current length, from Chickamauga Dam to Ross’s Landing — heavy on the Jim Collins sculptures.
I love the Riverwalk — it’s an ingredient in what happens when Chattanoogans my age who no longer live here get together. We always end up saying something like “It’s not like it used to be,” but mean that in the nicest way possible.

Promising pilot projects often don’t scale

Ms. McArdle reminds us:

This is one more installment in a continuing series, brought to you by the universe, entitled “promising pilot projects often don’t scale”. They don’t scale for corporations, and they don’t scale for government agencies. They don’t scale even when you put super smart people with expert credentials in charge of them. They don’t scale even when you make sure to provide ample budget resources. Rolling something out across an existing system is substantially different from even a well run test, and often, it simply doesn’t translate.

Casualties of civil war – knowledge

Always among the first to the wall — libraries and museums. And I don’t buy the “if they didn’t want us to burn the library down the army shouldn’t have stationed men on top of it” argument. That’s a barbaric argument, even if it’s from someone helping to clean up.

CAIRO — Volunteers in white lab coats, surgical gloves and masks stood on the back of a pickup truck Monday along the banks of the Nile River in Cairo, rummaging through stacks of rare 200-year-old manuscripts that were little more than charcoal debris.
The volunteers, ranging from academic experts to appalled citizens, have spent the past two days trying to salvage what’s left of some 192,000 books, journals and writings, casualties of Egypt’s latest bout of violence.
Institute d’Egypte, a research center set up by Napoleon Bonaparte during France’s invasion in the late 18th century, caught fire during clashes between protesters and Egypt’s military over the weekend. It was home to a treasure trove of writings, most notably the handwritten 24-volume Description de l’Egypte, which began during the 1798-1801 French occupation.
The compilation, which includes 20 years of observations by more than 150 French scholars and scientists, was one of the most comprehensive descriptions of Egypt’s monuments, its ancient civilization and contemporary life at the time.
. . .
Volunteer Ahmed el-Bindari said the military shoulders the brunt of responsibility for using its roof as a position to attack protesters before the fire erupted.

All my grades in!

I could have posted this last night, since I hit “approved” around 7, but I immediately went into holiday mode.
I gave a test that was too hard.
No, the questions weren’t hard at all (most people did quite well), but the permutations confused them. You know, “choose either 1 or 2” and “7 or 8” and “at least one example from four different chapters for a total of 4 examples.” Three people got so confused they just did all 15 (at least that’s how I interpret it — why else do 50% more work than required?). It was a mess.

Travel excitement!

My friend Brenda gave me a ride to the Syracuse airport. We almost didn’t make it! We stopped for breakfast at Waterloo and then for gas…and then her battery was dead.


Luckily at a truck stop there’s always someone with cables, but for a minute there I was not at all certain how I was going to get to Chattanooga.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

The horror of take-home exams

The horror of take-home exams is that they DRIBBLE in. They really should all be here, since the deadline is 4:30 (the end of the scheduled exam period) and it’s already 4:20. There are 4 outstanding, one of which I don’t expect to receive at all (I think this student has resigned herself to failing — the last paper didn’t come in, either). Hope springs eternal, though, and I’m sitting here at my desk waiting . . . waiting. I also got one by email with an un-openable attachment. I hit the student back within seconds (I’m at the computer, after all), but she hasn’t re-sent. I hope that doesn’t mean she hit send, slammed the laptop shut, and ran for her car.

Whatever happened to all those articles about historians ranking presidents?

It seemed to me that there was a boom during the W administration of Historians of the Presidency Roundtable articles ranking presidents, with the then incumbent jockeying with Millard Fillmore and James Buchanan for least impressive.
Maybe I’m just not reading the right websites, but have those events stopped happening? Have the Americanists suddenly realized that history is not the same as current events? Or are they just a tad disappointed?
These experts (many of whom are as obviously partisan as the American historians were) aren’t afraid: Experts Grade Obama ‘C-Minus’ on the Economy. That’s an end of semester, summative grade though.