Some 150 years after Confederate troops mistakenly shot Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson as he returned from a night scouting mission during the Battle of Chancellorsville, a pair of Texas researchers believe they have determined why the famed general and his group were confused with enemy troops.
Jackson’s wounding on May 2, 1863, would lead to the amputation of his left arm and complications that would result in pneumonia and ultimately his death eight days later.
But historians have struggled with the fact that on the evening Jackson was accidentally shot by men of the 18th North Carolina Infantry regiment, the battlefield and area around it was brightened by a full moon, to the point that opposing forces were able to see well enough to fight through the night, according to eyewitness accounts.
Don Olson of Texas State University and Laurie E. Jasinski, a Texas State graduate and editor of The Handbook of Texas Music, Second Edition, decided to use astronomy to try to resolve the mystery, according to RedOrbit.
Using detailed battle maps and astronomical calculations, Olson and Jasinski determined that the 18th North Carolina was looking to the southeast, directly toward the rising moon, which silhouetted Jackson and his officers, according to the website.
“When you tell people it was a bright moonlit night, they think it makes it easier to see. What we are finding is that the 18th North Carolina was looking directly toward the direction of the moon as Stonewall Jackson and his party came riding back,” Olson said. “They would see the riders only as dark silhouettes.”
It would be not unlike looking at an individual approaching from the direction of the sun during the day. One would be able to make out a figure, but details would be hard to determine.
The following is in no way is meant to make light of child abuse, but sometimes you just have to shake your head in amazement at the poor decisions made by some parents.
The mother of a South Carolina middle school student who was being suspended has been arrested after authorities said she walked into the school and slapped the wrong child.
Tyshekka Collier, 36, went to Fairforest Middle School in Spartanburg County Wednesday morning to pick up her son.
When Collier walked into the office, she saw a boy sitting in the office with his head down. Mistaking him for her son, she slapped him in the face, according to Spartanburg County sheriff’s deputies.
However, the boy Collier struck was sick and was sitting on a couch waiting for his mother to pick him up, according to Fairforest Middle School Principal Ty Dawkins.
Dawkins said once Collier realized she had slapped the wrong boy, she apologized, and then walked over to her son and began to slap him for getting in trouble, hitting him in the head and face and knocking him to the ground, according to a Greenville television station.
Collier was charged with disturbing school and assault and battery. It wasn’t known if she had a lawyer.
Her three children are in protective custody, according to the Associated Press.
A glazed plate that had sat in a make-shift frame hidden behind a door in an English cottage for years was recently discovered to be worth far more than its owner knew.
The 16.5 inch Italian maiolica plate was ”uncovered” by an auctioneer who been asked to assess some items in the unidentified woman’s home in Dorset, England.
Only about two inches of it were visible when appraiser Richard Bromell caught a glimpse of the plate behind a door.
“It had been on the wall for a number of years and you couldn’t really see it but it was hugely exciting …” he told the BBC.
When put up for sale by Charterhouse Auctioneers on Feb. 14, the plate brought $880,000, despite having a small chip.
As anyone with more than one child can tell you, each has a distinct personality, no matter how much they look alike or how close they are in age.
Among my five girls I have a set of twins. The younger twin is much like her father: loves to read, enjoys the outdoors and everything agriculture-related, and likes catching critters. The older twin is much more of a “girl-girl,” big on hanging out with friends, keeping up with what’s cool and is easily embarrassed by dad’s antics.
Two other big differences between her and me: she has yet to “inherit” my love of history, and she has a gift for gab of which I could only dream. Those two characteristics were in evidence earlier this week.
While driving my four younger girls (ages 12, 11, 11 and 9) to their other house recently, I employed a David-and-Goliath metaphor to describe a situation, to which Daughter No. 3, the older twin, responded, “What does that mean?” I said, “You’re familiar with David and Goliath, right?” She said she was.
Knowing this one pretty well, I pressed her. “Okay, tell me something about David and Goliath.”
“Uh, one of them killed the other.”
“Which one killed the other?” I asked.
“Goliath killed David?” she offered.
I tilted the rearview mirror down so I could look at her. She had a sheepish grin. “Are you telling me that after eight years of religious education you don’t know the story of David and Goliath?”
Schools have been known for giving out awards for just about everything, with the idea being that if no one is left out, no one’s feelings will be hurt. You know, just like in the real world.
However, at least one South Carolina high school would appear to really be reaching with its latest accolade.
Kinsley Wentzky, 34, a high school English teacher at Columbia’s Dreher High School, was arrested Friday on a charge of sexual battery with a “student 16 or 17 years of age with no aggravated force or coercion,” according to the Columbia Police Department.
That means the relationship between the female teacher and unidentified student did not involve physical violence, such as rape. Wentzky has admitted to having sex with the student in a statement, according to the arrest warrant.
So how does the headline in the Columbia newspaper, called The State, read regarding the incident: “Dreher High School honors teacher charged with sexual battery.”
Now lest one come away with the misguided assumption that the school in question is actually lauding said teacher for being charged with sexual battery, it should be noted that the instructor is an English honors teacher.
If one has ever had to sit through a handful of school board meetings, it readily becomes apparent where the US hatches and nurtures its petty-tyrant class.
While many well-intentioned folks serve on school boards, there are plenty who do it not because they have the best interests of children or their communities at heart, but because they enjoy the recognition and power that goes with the position.
Unfortunately, as a National Public Radio report demonstrates, these folks often rank below Congress and even banana republic dictators when it comes to being responsible stewards of public dollars.
Consider: In California, San Diego’s Poway Unified School District borrowed approximately $105 million through a capital appreciation bond. But “debt service will be almost $1 billion,” according to NPR.
When faced with the bad logic of their decisions, school board members, at least in California, often refuse to admit the ill-logic of their decisions.
But California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer had no problem sizing up the situation.
“They are terrible deals,” Lockyer told the Los Angeles Times. “The school boards and staffs that approved of these bonds should be voted out of office and fired.”
It certainly didn’t take long for the economically addle-minded to start promoting the misguided notion that Hurricane Sandy, the massive storm that wreaked havoc on the area in and around New York City, could actually be beneficial.
In an opinion piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer titled “Disaster has Economic Benefits, too,” University of Maryland Economics professor Peter Morici states that Sandy has potential for great upside:
“Disasters can give an ailing construction sector a boost, while unleashing reinvestment that actually improves stricken areas and the lives of residents,” he writes.
Later Morici adds that given the nation’s current economic state, with its high unemployment and underused construction resources, “Sandy will probably unleash $15 billion to $20 billion in private spending directly related to reconstruction.”
This is not the first time Morici has spouted this sort of claptrap, either.
Bloomberg columnist Caroline Baum, for one, is tired of hogwash that alleges disasters which disrupt the normal flow of activity and cause billions of dollars of damage can prove to be economic boons through the resulting need for rebuilding, employment of idled construction workers and deployment of resources that have been sitting stagnant.
“I have a standard response to such nonsense: If wealth destruction is such a good thing, why wait for natural disasters to occur when we could nuke and rebuild our cities on a regular basis?” she asks.
One of the great crimes of higher education is that many entry-level economics courses have been stripped of anything remotely interesting and instead boiled down into a bewildering array of baffling concepts such as demand curves, GDP and elasticity.
Having sat through both macroeconomics and microeconomics during my college years, I can recount with vivid detail the monotonous confusion that accompanied both classes.
In retrospect, personal experience has led me to understand that economics is actually a fascinating subject, despite the best efforts of many professors and teaching assistants to have their undergraduates believe differently.
That’s because, in my own view, at least, economics represents at its simplest the study of human action and reaction. It considers why people do what they do in order to get what they want.
Fortunately for today’s generation of college students, it appears an increasing number of economists understand that the field entails more than droning on about the marginal propensity to save and the paradox of thrift are gaining popularity.
One of the most enlightening pieces I’ve ever come across was written recently by economics professor Deirdre McCloskey writing at Bleeding Heart Libertarians.
Like cacophonous cicadas that emerge every four years, presidential hopefuls – this time solely of the Republican variety – are buzzing about South Carolina once again, bawling out their belief in family, faith and freedom.
In fact, with the possible exception of Ron Paul, one might gather from the barrage of television and radio ads being thrown up across the Palmetto State that family, faith and freedom are the essential foundations on which the next president will have to build to ensure the future well-being of our nation.
Alas, it sounds nice, but in reality it’s nothing more than simplistic rhetoric that the media types eat up because it makes for nice short sound clips.
In reality, this type of pabulum won’t go very far in terms of improving the lot of the average American, or, for that matter, do much of anything for most Americans, except those that get elected, along with a few others that latch onto the coattails of the newly elected.
There’s one topic you can be assured will not be discussed by any of the candidates leading up to the SC Republican Primary this Saturday: the inexcusably high dropout rate evident in South Carolina, or any state, for that matter.
Oh, yes, there will be platitudes about the importance of education, about children being the future of America, and other bromides political types like to dust off and trot out around primaries and elections, but nary a one wants to field – never mind substantively answer – hard questions about the shocking number of students who don’t make it through high school.