Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wednesday, November 30. 2016

Today's schedule is B-A-D-C

B & C Blocks Social Studies 11 - Today we are going to start looking at Mussolini, Hitler, Tojo and Stalin, which prepares us for your Dictatorship for Dummies project that we start in the library next week. This is your first major project for term two and can be a very effective way of starting off the term well! I really don't want you to get caught up in the minutia of details. The important thing here is to see the big picture and understand how the dictators in the 30's came to power and then held on to power. Naomi Wolf wrote an article in the Guardian newspaper back in 2007 that outlined some steps:
  1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy
  2. Create a gulag
  3. Develop a thug caste
  4. Set up an internal surveillance system
  5. Harass citizens' groups
  6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release
  7. Target key individuals
  8. Control the press
  9. Dissent equals treason
  10. Suspend the rule of law
Wolf argued that these steps existed in the United States and that is certainly a debatable proposition however the steps she identified are a scripted pattern. Start with economic and social turmoil, throw in some perceived lawlessness and humiliation, then add a national threat and the conditions are ripe for a charasmatic personality to promise a golden path to either a renewed past of halcyon days or a bright future...Hmmmm I wonder if we've seen this recently? So look for the common threads between the three dictators. Look at their methods of gaining power. Who did they seek for help? How did they convince people of their ideas? Once they got power how did they keep it? Remember the word totalitarian? Big Ideas folks. To help we'll watch the CBC series Love, Hate and Propaganda focusing on the first episode "The Strongmen". From the CBC website...
The Strongmen is the story of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin and Emperor Hirohito of Japan. Each employed propaganda in their own way to gain absolute control over their citizens. In Italy, the face of fascism is that of Benito Mussolini, a colourful performer, and a brutal thug who counts Hitler as his friend and ally. In Russia, Joseph Stalin's insistence on total devotion would range from the horrific to the tragic-comic. And in Japan, Emperor Hirohito is seen as a demi-God, able to protect his people from all outside threats.

The Spanish Civil War in 1936 is effectively a dress rehearsal for the real war that would soon erupt between the Axis and Allied powers, and Communist and Fascist ideologies. In the Pacific, Japan launches a brutal attack on Nanking, foreshadowing the barbarity that would soon engulf Europe.

A Block Geography 12 - Today we'll continue our look at weather; working on an activity called “Sunlight and the Seasons” (week 13 package "Solar energy and the reason for seasons"). After you have finished this activity you need to complete questions 17, 19, and 20 from page 62 in your Geosystems textbook. If there's time we'll see what Bill Nye has to say about seasons. Below you'll find a decent if somewhat slow video on seasons...
and what does the rotation of the Earth on its axis -giving us seasons-look like and mean for us?
Don't forget, we'll start the class by looking at the synoptic chart for North America and begin to understand weather station plots. Take some time on the following sites to learn more and to practice your weather operational analysis capabilities:
WW2010 - University of Illinois Weather site
National Weather Service "Jet Stream" online weather school
American Meteorological Society "Data Streme"
British Broadcasting Corporation Reading Weather Maps
USA Today Reading Weather Maps

Practise at: Weather Office (Environment Canada) Operational Analysis Charts or at the Data Streme site above

C Block Crime, Media and Society 12 - Today we are going to watch a Dateline video called "My Kid Would Never Do That: Stranger Danger".This episode deals with the fear associated with stranger abductions and tests whether kids would know what do to when confronted by someone who attempts to lure them. The Dateline website says:

While stranger abductions are rare, all parents worry about keeping kids safe. In this special report, parents and experts watch as the following scenarios unfold, testing whether or not children know what to do when approached by a stranger.

Check out these Facebook and Twitter posts in response to the show

So now for the reality of stranger danger and abductions...

  • Stranger Danger doesn't teach what a stranger is
  • It doesn't account for trusted adults and
  • It can demonize all adults to children.
A 2000 Justice Department study found that of the 800,000 kids who were reported missing that year, half turned out to be runaways. MOST abductions turned out to involve family members; only 115 of all the cases reported were a version of the nightmare scenario that most troubles parents - abduction by a stranger. For more information look at kidshealth.org; yahoo.com; ncpc.org; ncjrs.gov; or keeping children safe OK so now what? Here's what I'd like you to answer:

  1. What do you think the purpose of the "My Kid Would Never Do That: Stranger Danger" show and what assumptions or beliefs do its creators have that are reflected in the content?
  2. Who and what is shown in a positive light? In a negative light? Why might these people and things be shown this way? What conclusions might audiences draw based on these facts?
  3. What techniques does the Dateline show use to get your attention and to communicate its message?

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