Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Truth About Abraham Lincoln

Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother's bedside. She's been stricken with something the old-timers call "Milk Sickness."

"My baby boy..." she whispers before dying.

Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire.

When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, "henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose..." Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.

While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.

Ten score and three years ago, a man was sent to Earth to destroy slavery, unite a broken country and vanquish vicious vampires.

Abraham Lincoln was not only our 16th president, but he was also on a lifelong mission to destroy these undead, blood sucking devils.

But the vampires that the Great Emancipator sets out to destroy are not your teenage sister's sparkly, lovesick, whining vampires.

Early in his life, Lincoln discovered that vampires have been a part of American history since the first European settler hopped off a boat and that the slave trade keeps vampires under control for food.

Lincoln then made a vow: "I hereby resolve to kill every vampire in America."

The future president tried to do just that. He drives stakes into a few of the vampires here. He cuts some of their heads off there. He even lights a few on fire. Up and down the Mississippi, he chops through the undead like he's clearing a forest for some creepy railroad.

At least that's the picture painted by Seth Grahame-Smith in his novel "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter."  The book became a best seller and a blockbuster movie in part because it is an interesting cross between fact and fiction.  

But the sad truth is that what most of us know about American History comes from Hollywood.

1) Is Seth Grahame-Smith’s book a Primary or Secondary source?

2) What about the Journal his work is based on? Primary or Secondary?

5) Why did we really fight the Civil War?  What was the outcome?

Monday, August 19, 2019

Do You See What I See?

Concentrate on this picture for at least 30 seconds then look away and write down everything that you saw.  Share with the person next to you.  Did you see the same things?  How is this like History?

What is taking place in this scene? Where did this event take place? How Many of these famous 'Founding Fathers" can you identify? Did this event even actually happen as it is shown?

Is this painting 'Bad History' as Adams called it?  What did he mean when he says the 'true'  history of the American Revolution is lost....   forever?

John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence is a 12-by-18-foot oil-on-canvas painting in the United States Capitol Rotunda that depicts the presentation of the draft of the Declaration of Independence to Congress. It was based on a much smaller version of the same scene, presently held by the Yale University Art Gallery.[1] Trumbull painted many of the figures in the picture from life and visited Independence Hall as well to depict the chamber where the Second Continental Congress met. The oil-on-canvas work was commissioned in 1817, purchased in 1819, and placed in the rotunda in 1826.

Is this painting a 'primary' or 'secondary' source.  What is the difference?

Adams & Jefferson were the only two Founding Fathers still alive when Trumbull's painting was completed.  When did they die?

What was David McCullough's historical interpretation of John Adams?

Links to Primary Documents:

US Constitution 
Bill of Rights

What are the founding ideals of America found in these documents?


What do you think the Founding Fathers would say if they could talk to us today?

Listen to the Preamble Song:  "We the people... In order to form a more perfect Union..."

Learn more about the Constitution, the compromises, and it's ratification.

Friday, August 16, 2019

What Is History? (and why should we study it?)

What happened long ago shapes how we live today.  What Dr. King said on that hot August day in 1963 made another point: we are not prisoners of the past.  If we can dream of a better tomorrow, it lies in our power to shape the history to come.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Who Is America?

The study of American History is not just about memorizing events and dates.  It is about the ideals and values we hold dear, and the struggle of the American People who fought so hard defending those values. Presdients like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln certainly had a profound impact on our History, but America wouldn't 'be' without everyday people like you and me!

Who is America?

What are the ideals and values that tie us together as Americans?

How have those ideas and values changed over time?

Friday, May 10, 2019

2000 Elecition

The 2000 election, the most controversial in history, is revisited with testimony from key players who helped decide the outcome after botched results. CNN Special Report – Bush vs. Gore: The Endless Election.

Is partisanship a bigger threat to our country than China or Russia? Should we abolish the Electoral College?  Why or why not?

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

America In The 21st Century

The economy is a key domestic issue. But it has never been the only one. All modern presidents came into office with several goals they expected to achieve. In a country deeply divided in its party loyalties, none of them would accomplish all they had hoped. In this chapter, you will examine how well those three presidents—Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama—met their domestic policy goals after entering the Oval Office.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Zero Sum Game

The friendliness of Tic-tac-toe games makes them ideal as a pedagogical tool for teaching the concepts of good sportsmanship and the branch of artificial intelligence that deals with the searching of game trees. It is straightforward to write a computer program to play Tic-tac-toe perfectly, to enumerate the 765 essentially different positions (the state space complexity), or the 26,830 possible games up to rotations and reflections (the game tree complexity) on this space.

An early variant of Tic-tac-toe was played in the Roman Empire, around the first century BC. It was called Terni Lapilli and instead of having any number of pieces, each player only had three, thus they had to move them around to empty spaces to keep playing. The game's grid markings have been found chalked all over Rome. However, according to Claudia Zaslavsky's book Tic Tac Toe: And Other Three-In-A Row Games from Ancient Egypt to the Modern Computer, Tic-tac-toe could originate back to ancient Egypt.[1] Another closely related ancient game is Three Men's Morris which is also played on a simple grid and requires three pieces in a row to finish.[2]
The different names of the game are more recent. The first print reference to "Noughts and crosses", the British name, appeared in 1864. The first print reference to a game called "tick-tack-toe" occurred in 1884, but referred to "a children's game played on a slate, consisting in trying with the eyes shut to bring the pencil down on one of the numbers of a set, the number hit being scored".

1) What strategies did you use to win?

2) Why does Tic Tac Toe lose its appeal the more you play?

3) How is Tic Tac Toe an example of a Zero Sum Game?

4) What comparisons can we make between Tic Tac Toe and Global Thermal Nuclear War?

5) What is the only way to win?

Today gamblers can challenge a Tic Tac Toe Playing Chicken.

Can you beat the bird?