Sunday, September 7

Today is Sunday of Week 3. The Read and Respond assignment, along with the Internet assignment and Storybook assignment, are due today. So, if you have not finished those up already, now is the time!

Class Procedures and Reminders

Myth-Folklore Reading. Thanks again to everybody for all the great feedback last week, and I've written up a report summarizing the responses: Un-Textbook Report for Week 3. It is so useful for me to get this week by week input on how I can keep on improving the Un-Textbook: I really appreciate it! Based on this round of feedback, I've added some more information to the reading unit overviews for the Middle Eastern and Indian units coming up in the next two weeks, and I hope it will be helpful as you make your reading choices.

Indian Epics Reading. For Weeks 4-7, you will be reading William Buck's English version of Valmiki's Ramayana, and right from the start you will see that it is much more complete and detailed than Narayan's version. So with Buck's version, it is even more important not to get bogged down in summarizing the plot in your Reading Diary; instead, focus on what really grabs your attention while you are doing the reading. If you have chosen your Storybook topic, you might also be able to use your Reading Diary to take notes related to your Storybook!

Storybook Stack. (repeat announcement) I don't update the Storybook stack as often on the weekends, but you can check there to make sure I received your assignment; I'll update it at least once or twice on Sunday. And remember: if you wait until Sunday evening to turn in your assignment, you will be farther down in the stack, and that means you will have to wait longer for my comments back to you. The sooner you turn in your Storybook, the sooner you will get comments back. :-)

Pinterest and Twitter. (repeat announcement) For those of you interested in a different (and fun, I hope!) type of extra credit, you might want to try the Pinterest/Twitter option. I've expanded the Pinterest Directory, so there is lots for you to browse through and enjoy, and there's lots to browse through in the Twitter stream from the past several weeks also. In addition, Pinterest can be a very useful tool when you are doing research for your Storybook project: it's a bookmarking tool that is especially good for keeping track of images.

The following items are for fun and exploration:

Writing Humor: The Neurobiology of Writing. I thought you might appreciate this great item from PhDComics. The writer's brain ranges in all directions... from executive command and language processing — to confusion and panic!

Mythology Words in English: Today's mythology word in English is APHRODISIAC from the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. For details, see this blog post.

Featured Storybook: The Fairy Godmother Union Strike. The fairy godmothers are tired of being taken for granted and have gone on strike. King Edward is infuriated at their behavior, but the fairies use their magic powers to show him how badly things would have gone if the fairies had not been there to make things turn out "happily ever after" in his kingdom.

FREE Kindle eBook: Legends of the Gods - The Egyptian Texts by E. A. Wallis Budge. Here is a link to the book at Amazon, and this blog post provides additional information about the contents of the book. This book contains many of the most famous Egyptian myths, such as the story of Ra and Isis, along with incantations and spells.

Words of Wisdom: Today's proverb poster is Beware the tiger who offers you a golden bracelet (a Sanskrit proverb). Details at the Proverb Lab. This proverb alludes to a story in the Indian Hitopadesha about a tiger who tempts travelers to leave the road by promising them a golden bracelet... and then he devours them!

Ramayana Image: Today's Ramayana image is Sita's test by fire. If you look in the flames, you can see the fire god Agni protecting her.

September 7: The Tasmanian Tiger. Today, September 7, marks the sad day in 1936 when the last of the Tasmanian tigers died in the Hobart Zoo on the island of Tasmania. You can read more about Tasmanian tigers in this Wikipedia article. The Tasmanian tigers were the largest carnivorous marsupials of modern times. In the 19th century, private companies and the Tasmanian government paid a bounty for dead tigers and their pups. As a result, the Tasmanian tiger was virtually extinct in the wild by the 1920s — although there are still rumors and reports of sightings of Tasmanian tigers even today. The date September 7 has been designated as National Threatened Species Day in Australia, commemorating the death of the last Tasmanian tiger in captivity. This YouTube video below shows rare footage, filmed in 1933, of the last Tasmanian tiger; the painting below is from a 19th-century catalog of Australian wildlife:

Note: You can page back through older blog posts to see any announcements you might have missed, and you can check out the Twitter stream for information and fun stuff during the day.