These are the roots from which my father-in-law sprang. Youngest speakers are in their 60s, the last generation that grew up with German spoken at home, church, and school. A University of Texas scholar is documenting the dialect while there's still time. The BBC story explains some of the distinctives of the Texas variety of German. You can learn more at the Texas German Dialect Project website.
Andrew J. Coulson's February 10, 2011, testimony to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Includes graphs showing federal per-pupil spending vs. achievement and total K-12 public school spending vs. achievement, 1970-2010.
In 2004, the New York Times hunted for the 44 instrumentalists who graduated with the Juilliard Class of 1994. After 10 years, fewer than half of these gifted musicians were making a living performing music.
This view is centered on Tulsa, but you can look anywhere and watch the process of development and road-building.
This complex map, accompanied by charts and notes, depicts the geographical extent various dialects of English in North America. The historical notes describe the historical events that drove the migrations that shaped the odd patterns. For example: What historical development may have influenced Oklahoma City's dialect to be different from areas to the north and south?
A surgeon explains how the Federal Government's requirement to use standard coding for Medicare reimbursement has led to the bureaucratization of the entire medical profession: "The coding system was supposed to improve the accuracy of adjudicating claims submitted by doctors and hospitals to Medicare, and later to non-Medicare insurance companies. Instead, it gave doctors and hospitals an incentive to find ways of describing procedures and services with the cluster of codes that would yield the biggest payment. Sometimes this required the assistance of consulting firms. A cottage industry of fee-maximizing advisors and seminars bloomed....
"As the third party payment system led health care costs to escalate, the people footing the bill have attempted to rein in costs with yet more command-and-control solutions....
"Twenty years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, protocols and regimentation were imposed on America's physicians through a centralized bureaucracy. Using so-called 'evidence-based medicine,' algorithms and protocols were based on statistically generalized, rather than individualized, outcomes in large population groups....
"What began as guidelines eventually grew into requirements. In order for hospitals to maintain their Medicare certification, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services began to require their medical staff to follow these protocols or face financial retribution....
"These rules are being bred into the system. Young doctors and medical students are being trained to follow protocol. To them, command and control is normal. But to older physicians who have lived through the decline of medical culture, this only contributes to our angst."
Expedition 35 Commander Chris Hadfield demonstrates the odd, fascinating result of wringing a wet towel in the microgravity of the International Space Station.
"First off, there are, I believe, really two reasons why we're so bad at making estimates. The first is the sort of irreducible one: writing software involves figuring out something in such incredibly precise detail that you can tell a computer how to do it. And the problem is that, hidden in the parts you don't fully understand when you start, there are often these problems that will explode and just utterly screw you.
"And this is genuinely irreducible. If you do "fully understand" something, you've got a library or existing piece of software that does that thing, and you're not writing anything. Otherwise, there is uncertainty, and it will often blow up. And those blow ups can take anywhere from one day to one year to beyond the heat death of the universe to resolve....
"The key is that you first accept that making accurate long-term estimates is fundamentally impossible. Once you've done that, you can tackle a challenge which, though extremely difficult, can be met: how you can your dev team generate a ton of value, even though you can not make meaningful long-term estimates?"
Back in October 1921, on p. 22, the official publication of the Oklahoma Education Association offered a list of daily Bible readings and weekly memory verses.
A virtual time machine! See this Daily Mail story for some beautiful examples of photographed urban history from the New York City Municipal Archives.
"Welcome to the New York City Municipal Archives Online Gallery of over 870,000 images. Selected from the world-class historical collections of the Archives, most of these unique photographs, maps, motion picture and audio recordings are being made accessible for the first time. Visitors are invited to explore and search the collections individually, or across all collections by keyword or any of the advanced search criteria. The gallery includes many complete collections; for others, only representative samples are currently on display. Visitors are encouraged to return frequently as new content will be added on a regular basis. Patrons may order reproductions in the form of prints or digital files; most images can be licensed for commercial use. Please see the order page for further details."