Tuesday, November 3

Today is Tuesday of WEEK 11 of the class. For those of you in Indian Epics, that means starting Buck's version of the Mahabharata, while it's more fairy tales in Myth-Folklore (this time from Denmark and Estonia), while it's French fabliaux in World Literature.
If you have not turned in your Week 10 Storybook assignment yet, you may still do that for partial credit.

Storybook stack. As often on Tuesday during a "new story" week, there is still a huge bunch of assignments in the Storybook stack. If you turned in a Storybook assignment on or before Sunday at 3PM, you should have comments back from me and points recorded in the Gradebook. If you turned something in later on Sunday or on Monday, it is probably still in the stack. You can check the contents of the stack to make sure I received your assignment. I will be reading and reply to the assignments in the order they were turned in.

Week 11 Internet: REPEAT visit to Storybooks. For the Week 11 Internet assignment, you will see that the instructions are slightly different from previous weeks. For this week, you need to be visiting Storybooks you have visited before, reading your second (or third or fourth) story at that particular Storybook. So, please make sure you read the instructions for the Week 11 Internet assignment before you start reading the Storybooks this week.

Last Words and looking back. Some of you have been doing the Last Words extra credit. As you've seen, those are more like messages to yourself rather than something for other people read; the idea is to take a breather, pat yourself on the back for having made it through another week, and get ready to move on to the next week. If you've been doing those for the whole semester, you might enjoy taking a look back at some of your Last Words posts from the very beginning of the semester. It's been almost three months now, and summer sure seems like a long time ago. So, if you want to remember what life was like back in August, just take a look back at the beginning of your blog - doesn't it seem like a long time ago? Wow!

Thanksgiving. I have also had several questions from people about Thanksgiving, now that it is November. So here's the good news: You will get a full week off for Thanksgiving break in this class. So, Week 13 will start on Tuesday, November 17, with the usual Tuesday-Thursday assignments due that week. Then, you have a whole week off between Friday November 20 until Friday November 27 (Thanksgiving Day is November 26). You will have the usual Week 13 weekend assignments due November 28-29, with the usual grace period until noon on Monday, November 30. Then Week 14 will start up on Tuesday, December 1. I am guessing that many of you will probably already be done with the class by the time Thanksgiving break arrives!

November 3: Dog in space. The dog Laika ("Barker") became the first animal in outer space on this day in 1957. Laika traveled aboard the Soviet spaceship Sputnik 2. You can read more about this cosmonaut dog in the Wikipedia article. While the Soviets launched dogs into space, the United States space program launched chimps instead (Ham the chimp, the first hominid in space, flew a Project Mercury flight in 1961). Laika proved that it was possible for an animal to sustain a weightless state in outer space, although she did not return to earth (she died during the mission from heat stroke when a heating unit in the space capsule malfunctioned). A monument was unveiled this year in honor of Laika; click on the image to view a Russian news video about the dedication of the monument (yes, the news video is in Russian, but it's still fun to watch even if you don't speak Russian):