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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Who is responsible for the mess our schools are in?

RORY KURTZ / SPECIAL TO LAS VEGAS WEEKLY



How we got to this point is a matter of some debate, but the question now is, what do we do about Nevada’s education system? It appears to be on a downward spiral of bad stats and underfunding. Nearly half of students in 2008 failed a literacy test. Graduation rates hover just slightly north of 50 percent. State legislators this year slashed entire programs at the university level.
We talked to those closest to the situation to get some answers. Most differ on the specifics, but they all have one thing in common: They believe in the future of Nevada and its schools.
The above is by Ken Miller (contact) of the Las Vegas Sun. He looks at  five areas of "blame" and suggested solutions for why Nevada ranks so low in education, limiting the states appeal to new industires and higher educated residents. In this budget year the value over k-12 and college system funding will hit a head. It will be in the hands of the new legislature and governor come January. buit can thuy do anything about it.
First posted 8-30-2010

Relive the Exorcist on the big screen this Thursday


I remember seeing the Linda Blair mannequin used during the head spinning scene and other special effects during a Smithsonian touring exhibition in Los Angeles years ago. The impact of the film given the effects at the the time and it lasting heritage make it one of the finest heritage films of its genre.

MOVIES: Special screenings — an excellent night for an ‘Exorcist' revival
Halloween's more than a month away, but there's a Sept. 30 screening that'll get your head spinning. (Figuratively speaking, of course.)

It's a one-night screening of the 1973 horror classic "The Exorcist" — or, more precisely, the extended director's cut, featuring on-the-set footage and interviews with director William Friedkin (an Oscar-winner for "The French Connection"), author William Peter Blatty and actress Linda Blair — who plays the little girl in desperate need of the title exorcism.

More than 450 movie theaters nationwide will participate in the "Exorcist" revival — including Cinemark's Orleans, Sam's Town, Santa Fe Station and South Point multiplexes and Regal Cinemas' Aliante, Boulder Station, Colonnade, Fiesta, Red Rock, Sunset Station, Texas Station and Village Square locations.

For more information, or to buy tickets, click onwww.FathomEvents.com.

It began on a quiet September 7th night 70 years ago

It's the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, when an outgunned British force held off Nazi invasion and defended against nightly German air raids on English cities, including London. The BBC has considerable coverage of events, as well as an interesting series of stories on a modern theater event where tourist are taken into a now abandoned subway (underground) station that during the war was a major air raid shelter. The terrorist action that was the bombing of Great Britain was intended to soften defenses and resolve for an eventual German Invasion of the island country. Instead it strengthened resolve and attracted friends such as the mighty but sleeping United States of America.


Aldwych underground station, near central London’s Covent Garden, provided refuge to thousands of Britons who slept on the platforms and huddled on train tracks during the constant German air raids between September 1940 and May 1941. All sold-out tours are being conducted this weekend only by actors in 1940s clothing. Laura Lynch of Public Radio International managed to get on one of them.Download MP3


Vintage train cars, fixtures and posters are used, along with a state of the art sound system to simulate what it sounded and felt like crowded in the subways as German bombs dropped overheads. Actors take on 1940 characters and rolls to help the "guest" experience as close as possible an experience to what is like. 


A lighter side example is a salesman hawking fresh underwear "these nickers are called Messerschmidt Nickers, because they are guaranteed to come down without a fight,"

The defense of Britain by RAF Fighter Command against extensive air raids by the German Luftwaffe in 1940 ensured Britain's survival and blocked the possibility of invasion.