Hackschooling: No More Teachers, No More Books?

In the 21st century, the notion of hacking involves much more than some computer aficionados spreading viruses and breaking into official websites. Hacking is a mindset, a way of thinking. It’s really something anyone can do by challenging traditional systems. Teenager Logan Laplante isn’t home schooled, private schooled or public schooled – he is hackschooled! His education revolves around the study and practice of being happy and growing up healthy and nurturing creativity, things which Logan and his parents believe are outside the focus of traditional education. Here’s a kid who doesn’t......

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The Opportunity of Regret

Regret can be good. At the very least, regret is a part of every life, and something that each of us will deal with at some time or another. Who among us does not look back at decisions we have made, paths we have taken, and not had the feeling that we wish we had made some other choice? I sure have. It’s part of being being human. So is how we deal with it. While we probably all have some regrets, they need not make us as miserable as they often......

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The Politics of Pregnancy

Political struggles over pregnancy, the right to terminate it, when life begins, and who gets to make those decisions, are nothing new.? A case unfolding in Texas however, brings those struggles to a new level, one which invites us to ask important questions about the politics of pregnancy, and the value of planning for as good a death as possible. Marlise Munoz was 33 years old when she died on November 26th.? She had been placed on a ventilator in the course of the emergency response to a probable blood clot in......

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A Gun Activist on the Firing Line

You might not have read this news item unless you are a gun enthusiast but this may bode well for our gun control debate. Dick Metcalf, a pre-eminent gun journalist, was recently removed from Guns & Ammo magazine and taken off the roster of star speakers reviewing new firearms for gun companies. Why? Metcalf wrote a column for Guns and Ammo called “Let’s Talk Limits“?in which he suggested there was a difference between infringement and regulation, writing that, “way too many gun owners still believe that any regulation of the right to......

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DDD: The 'Duck Dynasty' Deflection

My resolution for this year: I promise to no longer take seriously any mock public controversies, especially those involving celebrities engaged in the culture wars. When all is said and done the ten day media driven frenzy surrounding Phil Robertson?- patriarch at the heart of A&E’s smash reality hit Duck Dynasty?- who equated homosexuality to bestiality and claimed blacks were happy working in cotton fields was itself a reality show. The cast of characters played its role perfectly according to script. First, we had our left wing stars who turned some carnival......

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Video: Why New Year's Resolutions Are Important

From Odyssey Network’s Faith on the Record series: Brad Hirschfield on Why New Year’s Resolutions Are Important.? “Every year most of us make them, and most of us break them, but it’s not success that matters as much as the statement of intent.”   Odyssey Networks tells the stories of faith in action changing the world for the better.? Their stories explore a wide range of issues including peace, tolerance, social justice and the environment.? Visit Odyssey Networks at www.odysseynetworks.org....

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A Vivid History of an 'Unimagined' Victory

Here’s one of the wisest books I’ve read in a very long time: Like Dreamers – The Story of the Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation by Yossi Klein Halevi. Wise because it combines sharp analysis of Israelis’ continual wrestling with one another over what the nation is all about with a deep compassion for all of the players in the region’s ongoing conflict. Notably that includes those who have differing opinions – particularly, on the Israeli side, those who are ardently anti-Zionist. If you care about Israel, Palestine or......

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What Our Kids Learn From Us

What is great education all about? I don’t simply mean how do we get kids to achieve better grades. I mean, how do we get our children, or anyone else we’d like to have a positive influence on for that matter, to seriously engage in what we deem to be important? How do we effectively transmit our values, our traditions, our sense of what life is all about – you know, the stuff about which we care most – to our children? In fact, even if you don’t have kids or grandkids,......

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The Year of the Selfie

Drum roll! What is Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year for 2013?? SELFIE! The term describes photos that people take of themselves to post on social media sites or similar platforms. The use of the word has gone up a staggering 17,000% in the past year. Not only have we had expected celebrity selfies from the likes of Beyonce, Justin Bieber, and Kim Kardashian but, also we had an ill-advised political selfie of President Obama with the PM’s from Great Britain and Denmark that made big news. And our first Papal selfie.......

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Crossing Borders: Jews and Christmas in America 2013

Over the past few days there has been a series of social media threads around the question what “we” make of the number of Jews and Jewish professionals who posted photos of themselves / their families on Facebook in front of a Christmas tree or who wrote posts on personal and public platforms about the wisdom of Christmas. I was one of those who posted – Christmas and Our Children. The tone of the threads were uniformly of “concern” “worry” “anxiety” “annoyance” and even “anger” about the blurring of boundaries and the......

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