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ENGL 99 - Hoover: Reporting on Somebody’s Great Idea

Reporting on Somebody's Great Idea

(Growth Mindset--includes video) http://www.upworthy.com/one-little-change-in-how-you-talk-to-your-kids-can-help-them-be-more-successful?c=upw1&u=333cddbd1c984b2ac5224b56aa8d605890574964

(Four Day Workweek)  http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/06/four-day-workweek/396530/

(Chinese Mothers)    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704111504576059713528698754.html#printMode     

(Guaranteed Minimum Income)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guaranteed_minimum_income

(Playground Generator)      http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/7301354.stm   

(Solutions to Multiple Problems) http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/path-to-a-new-economy/the-speech-president-obama-should-deliver...-but-wont

(Advice from Elders) http://mentalfloss.com/article/54286/100-pieces-advice-100-year-olds

(Work)  http://qz.com/386166/how-successful-people-work-less-and-get-more-done/

(conservative case for GNI) http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/08/why-arent-reformicons-pushing-a-guaranteed-basic-income/375600/  and Nixon  http://www.remappingdebate.org/article/guaranteed-income%E2%80%99s-moment-sun?page=0,2

(no makeup)  http://theweek.com/articles/652040/alicia-keys-americas-makeupless-feminist-icon?utm_source=afternoon&utm_medium=article_7_09_30_16-16_24_43&utm_campaign=newsletter

(meditation instead of detention) http://www.upworthy.com/this-school-replaced-detention-with-meditation-the-results-are-stunning?c=upw1&u=333cddbd1c984b2ac5224b56aa8d605890574964

(change one habit at a time)  http://theweek.com/articles/647294/scientific-argument-mastering-thing-time?utm_source=afternoon&utm_medium=article_8_10_04_16-16_34_08&utm_campaign=newsletter

(organic chemistry)  http://theweek.com/articles/653266/why-organic-chemistry-awesome?utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_source=afternoon&utm_medium=10_06_16-article_1-653266

(carbon neutral town)  http://www.upworthy.com/this-little-town-decided-to-go-green-and-they-did-it-without-the-government?c=upw1&u=333cddbd1c984b2ac5224b56aa8d605890574964

(10 things to do every day) http://theweek.com/articles/668302/10-things-successful-people-every-day?utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_source=afternoon&utm_medium=01_03_17-article_7-668302

MLK  http://www.wealthandwant.com/docs/King_Where.htm (final words of advice--Print)

("How Not to Talk to Your Kids" by Po Bronson) http://nymag.com/news/features/27840/









Reporting on Somebody’s Great Idea

("How Not to Talk to Your Kids" by Po Bronson) http://nymag.com/news/features/27840/


("Losing is Good for You" by Ashley Merryman) http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/25/opinion/losing-is-good-for-you.html?_r=0


(Wild Law)




(Parenting) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704111504576059713528698754.html#printMode “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior” by Amy Chua


(Guaranteed National Income to print for class)     http://old.seattletimes.com/special/mlk/king/words/poverty.htmlThe Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.: Final Words of Advice”

(Garenteed Income to solve poverty problem)  http://theweek.com/articles/534655/want-end-poverty-americaits-pretty-simple



(Guaranteed Minimum Income)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guaranteed_minimum_income On Wikipedia




(Guaranteed Income)



(Playground Generator)      http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/7301354.stm             

(“See-Saw to Power African Schools” by Hannah Goff)



 (Mushrooms)       http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_stamets_on_6_ways_mushrooms_can_save_the_world.html (Paul Stamets on How Mushrooms can save the world/TED talk

(studies on LSD) http://theweek.com/articles/537694/government-should-funding-mass-scientific-studies-ecstasy-magic-mushrooms-lsd



(Life Skills) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/04/life-skills-ivanka-trump-thich-nhat-hanh_n_2341108.html


(Liberal Arts Degree)  http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeanders/2015/07/29/liberal-arts-degree-tech/#62cb560f5a75


(smart/solar roads)  http://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-solar-roadways-plans-to-create-smart-roads-to-produce-clean-energy-and-save-lives-and-money/






Telephone Poles

The war on telephone poles


By Eula Biss


By Eula Biss, from “Time and Distance Overcome,” in the Spring issue of Iowa Review. Biss’s collection Notes from No Man’s Land will be published this month by Graywolf Press. Her essay “The Pain Scale” appeared in the June 2005 issue of Harper’s Magazine.


Of what use is such an invention?” the New York World asked in 1876 after Alexander Graham Bell first demonstrated his telephone. The nation was not waiting for the telephone. Bell’s financial backers asked him not to work on his invention because it seemed too dubious an investment. The idea on which the telephone depended—that every home in the country could be connected with a vast network of wires suspend ed from poles set an average of one hundred feet apart—seemed far less likely than the idea that the human voice could be transmitted through a wire.


For a short time, the telephone was little more than a novelty. For ten cents you could see it demonstrated by Bell himself, in a church, along with singing and recitations by local talent. From some distance away, Bell would receive a call from “the invisible Tom Watson.” Then the telephone became a plaything of the rich. A Boston banker paid for a private line between his office and his house so that he could let his family know exactly when he would be home for dinner. Mark Twain was among the first Americans to own a telephone, but he wasn’t completely taken with the device. “The human voice carries entirely too far as it is,” he remarked.


By 1889, the New York Times was reporting a “War on Telephone Poles.” Wherever telephone companies erected poles, homeowners and business owners were sawing them down, or defending their sidewalks with rifles. Property owners in Red Bank, New Jersey, threatened to tar and feather the workers putting up telephone poles. A judge found that a man who had cut down a pole because it was “obnoxious” was not guilty of malicious mischief. Telephone poles, newspaper editorials complained, were an urban blight. The poles carried a wire for each telephone— sometimes hundreds of wires. There were also telegraph wires, power lines, and trolley cables. The sky was netted with wires.


The War on Telephone Poles was fueled, in part, by the American concern for private property and the reluctance to surrender it to a shared utility. And then there was a fierce regard for aesthetics, an obsession with purity, a dislike for the way the poles and wires marred a landscape that other new inventions— skyscrapers and barbed wire—were just beginning to complicate. There was also a fear that distance, as it had always been known and measured, was collapsing.


The city council in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, ordered policemen to cut down all the telephone poles in town. And the mayor of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, ordered the police chief and the fire department to chop down the telephone poles there. Only one pole was chopped down before the telephone men climbed all the poles along the line, preventing any more chopping. Bell Telephone Company stationed a man at the top of each pole as soon as it had been set, until enough poles had been set to string a wire between them, at which point it became a misdemeanor to interfere with the poles. Even so, a constable cut down two poles holding forty or fifty wires. And the owner of a cannery ordered his workers to throw dirt back into the hole the telephone company was digging in front of his building. His men threw the dirt back in as fast as the telephone workers could dig it out. Then he sent out a team to dump a load of stones into the hole. Eventually the pole was erected on the other side of the street.


Despite the War on Telephone Poles, it would take only four years after Bell’s first public demonstration of the telephone for every town of more than 10,000 people to be wired, although many towns were wired only to themselves. By 1900, telephones outnumbered bathtubs in America.


“Time and dist. overcome,” read an early advertisement. Rutherford B. Hayes pronounced the installation of a telephone in the White House “one of the greatest events since Creation.” The telephone, Thomas Edison declared, “ annihilated time and space, and brought the human family in closer touch.”



In 1898, in Lake Cormorant, Mississippi, a black man was hanged from a telephone pole. And in Weir City, Kansas. And in Brookhaven, Mississippi. And in Holdenville, Oklahoma, where the hanged man was “riddled with bullets.” In Danville, Illinois, a black man was hanged from a telephone pole, cut down, burned, shot, and stoned with bricks. A black man was hung from a telephone pole in Belleville, Illinois, where a fire was set at the base of the pole and the man was cut down half alive, covered in coal oil, and burned. While his body was burning, the mob beat it with clubs and cut it to pieces.


The poles, of course, were not to blame. It was only coincidence that they became convenient as gallows, because they were tall and straight, with a crossbar, and because they stood in public places. And it was only coincidence that the telephone poles so closely resembled crucifixes.


More than two hundred anti-lynching bills were introduced to the U.S. Congress during the twentieth century, but none were passed. Seven presidents lobbied for anti-lynching legislation, and the House of Representatives passed three separate measures, each of which was blocked by the Senate.


In Shreveport, Louisiana, a black man charged with attacking a white girl was hanged from a telephone pole. “A knife was left sticking in the body.” In Cumming, Georgia, a black man accused of assaulting a white girl was shot repeatedly, then strung up from a telephone pole.


A postcard was made from a photo of a burned man hanging from a telephone pole in Texas, his legs broken off below the knee and his arms curled up and blackened. Postcards of lynchings were sent out as greetings and warnings until 1908, when the postmaster general declared them unmailable. “This is the barbecue we had last night,” reads one.


“If we are to die,” W.E.B. DuBois wrote in 1911, “in God’s name let us perish like men and not like bales of hay.” “If we must die,” Claude McKay wrote ten years later, “let it not be like hogs.”


In Pittsburg, Kansas, a black man’s throat was slit and his dead body was strung up on a telephone pole. “At first the negro was defiant,” the New York Times reported, “but just before he was hanged he begged hard for his life.”


In Cumberland, Maryland, a mob used a telephone pole as a battering ram to break into the jail where a black man charged with the murder of a policeman was being held. They kicked him to death, then fired twenty shots into his head. They wanted to burn his body, but a minister asked them not to.


Lynchings, the first scholar of the subject determined, are an American invention. They happened in all but four states, from shortly before the invention of the telephone until decades after the first trans-Atlantic call. More in the South, and more in rural areas. In the cities and in the North there were race riots.


During the riots that burned East St. Louis and forced 500 black people to flee their homes, a black man was hanged from a telephone pole. The rope broke, and his body fell into the gutter. “Negros are lying in the gutters every few feet in some places,”read the newspaper account.


In 1921, the year before Bell died, four companies of the National Guard were called out to end a race war in Tulsa that began when a white woman accused a black man of rape. Bell lived to complete the first call from New York to San Francisco, which required 14,000 miles of copper wire and 130,000 telephone poles.


My grandfather was a lineman. He broke his back when a telephone pole fell. “Smashed him onto the road,” my father says. The refrain of my childhood.


When I was young, I believed the arc and swoop of telephone wires along the roadways were beautiful. I believed that the telephone poles, with their transformers catching the evening sun, were glorious. I believed my father when he said, “My dad could raise a pole by himself.” I believed that Bell, his hand burning, first cried into his invention, “Mr. Watson, come here—I need you!” And I believed that the telephone itself was a miracle.



Paper Requirements

Evaluating a Complex Issue



Write down everything you know, wish, think, or have heard (true, false, or unknown) about your chosen topic area. Also collect many ideas, facts, opinions (expert and uninformed) from the world—ask/email people you know, Google key terms, research online, ask a librarian for help, investigate reference books, watch news video clips, find advocacy groups for various perspectives, etc.


The Paper:

Objectively explain, with support, three to seven distinct viewpoints on your topic area/controversial issue—this should be a weighty topic, something that is important to our culture and country. Don’t choose a side—just represent the thinking and support for each significant perspective. Go beyond pro/con or for/against: those are fine, but then include additional ways of looking at the issue. Investigate compromise positions, “third way” ideas, and beliefs that underpin the “sides” that people tend to take on your issue.

For instance, a person who is against the death penalty might only be against it because it is unequally enforced (if the enforcement became equal, they would be for it), or because death row inmates have been found innocent with DNA testing (but if inmates were definitively guilty, they would be for it), while some don’t believe the government should be in charge of killing any human being (is the government competent to make life and death decisions on our behalf?).

Others believe in the death penalty for some crimes (murder) but not others (drug trafficking). Still others oppose capital punishment on moral or religious grounds in all circumstances (a pro-life position that does not waver).

This project requires that you evaluate both the big picture and the small details—and organize the information in a way that meets the terms of the assignment and presents it in a way that will be understood by your audience.

You should be so clear, thorough, and enthusiastic about each of the perspectives that it would be impossible for a reader to figure out your true position on the issue.

Purpose: To Inform

Audience: This Class

Voice: Somewhat formal in tone (your personal opinion won’t be identified), but with informal markers such as contractions included. This paper should be conversational, but respectful and serious.