Everyone reading this blog has seen monuments to historical events or national heroes. But how many of you have seen a memorial to a mass hanging? Outside the movies or TV, few people today have ever seen a public hanging. That was not true a hundred years ago when criminals’ lives often ended at the end of a noose. The largest public hanging in American history took place on December 26, 1862, in Mankato, Minnesota. That day, federal troops executed 38 Dakota Sioux Indians for their part in the Minnesota Sioux War that had just ended. By some accounts, up to 4,000 whites jammed the town square or sat atop nearby buildings to watch the mass execution. The crowd cheered loudly when the trapdoors opened and all 38 men hung at the end of the ropes. Why not take a few minutes to find out why this gruesome spectacle happened 134 years ago and how the city of Mankato – often associated with the Little House on the Prairie TV series – has dealt with this legacy? Read more
If the film Reindeer Games doesn’t ring a bell – a Christmas bell – it’s not surprising. This isn’t the kind of film that would inspire festive feelings, but it is a film that just might surprise you.
A long journey ends
when farmers grab their rifles
wolves in Germany
Remember the Haiku rules from last week? If not, check here.
As opposed to last week’s blog on traditional Haikus, this blog will focus on the non-traditional variant. While these Haikus still feature a natural scene or a part of nature (e.g. landscapes, animals, oceans), the focus is no longer on the depiction of a quiet, solemn image of nature but on the disruption or even destruction of a once balanced and harmonious environment. Non-traditional Haikus always call attention to environmental damage due to man’s interference in the natural order of things.
I finally know
why students don’t like Haikus
too many syllables
Ooops, something went wrong – right: the last line. It has 6 syllables but should consist of no more than 5. O well, that’s the problem with Haiku writing – it sounds easy at first, but there are quite a few rules to obey. At least if you want to write a traditional Haiku.
y university school days – at least on the student side of the desk – are two decades past now, but I daresay this story is still playing out today, in graduate schools and other places where thinking people with different experiences collide.
On the first night of class, we started with an icebreaker: paired off, we were to interview each other and then introduce our colleague to the class. I was partnered with a woman who, as soon as the professor said “begin,” narrated her life story. I knew everything about her in 10 minutes without having asked a single question. She concluded her soliloquy with the statement, “I’m very active in my church.”
When she interviewed me, I concluded, “I’m an atheist activist.” I was almost expecting a negative response, but she simply commented, “that’s interesting.”
When we were called on, she introduced me, my school, my specialty, my hobbies, and then turned to me and asked, “Shall I tell them the secret?” Read more