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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

James Arness will always be "The Thing", from the 1951 Movie "The Thing (from another world)." A fourth remake is due to hit theaters this Halloween season, alas with less of a personality to the plant based stranded alien life form. James Arness passed away earlier this year.

First published 10-2-2011

The Cove

"Using state-of-the-art equipment, a group of activists, led by renowned dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry, infiltrate a cove near Taijii, Japan to expose both a shocking instance of animal abuse and a serious threat to human health." -IMDB

Part drama, part adventure, part conspiracy and all of it real.

"The Cove" won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary. The award sounds dry, which he film is anything but. It is well crafted and involves the assemblage and use of an almost "Oceans 11" undercover team, including elements from George Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic, biologist, advanced military photography, a former Navy Seal, researchers, smugglers and the reality of a movie crew. There are elements of "Ghost Busters" and the "Truth Squad", "All the President's Men" and and undercover reporting from Taliban occupied Afghanistan.

From television's Flipper to the growth of Sea World to the systematic herding and slaughter of dolphins for show animals that entertain to substitues for coveted whale meat sold in Japanese supermarkets and bars around the word. Yet dolphin meat contain toxic levels of mercury and other poisins.

It is worth the hour and twenty minutes it takes to watch the film. You do not need to be a "tree hugger' or "environmentalist'. It is good journalism, movie making and in its own way. entertainment.

First published 5/3/10

Friday, April 26, 2013

You are not your brain

We have become too reductive in understanding ourselves, argues philosopher Alva Noe. Our thoughts and desires are shaped by more than neurons firing inside our heads.
 By Gordy Slack
 Mar. 25, 2009 |

For a decade or so, brain studies have seemed on the brink of answering questions about the nature of consciousness, the self, thought and experience. But they never do, argues University of California at Berkeley philosopher Alva Noë, because these things are not found solely in the brain itself.

In his new book, "Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons From the Biology of Consciousness," Noë attacks the brave new world of neuroscience and its claims that brain mechanics can explain consciousness. Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist Francis Crick wrote, "You, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules." While Noë credits Crick for drawing popular and scientific attention to the question of consciousness, he thinks Crick's conclusions are dead wrong and dangerous.
(Select More to continue)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I am in El Paso to do a seminar on critical thinking for the faculty academy of the Community College of El Paso. It has given me time to think about and review some key concepts of the very broad topic that is critical thinking in academics and in life.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Millenials ill prepared for the world they are now in...

New college graduates face stiff competition in job market

Sarah Willick works on her computer at Textbroker, Tuesday, May 15, 2012.

Click to enlarge photo
Claire Oshima, left, vice president of education for the Vegas Young Professionals Toastmasters club, speaks during a meeting in the Emergency Arts building downtown Monday, May 14, 2012. Toastmasters is an organization of clubs that encourage members to improve their public speaking and leadership skills.

With graduations taking place across the country this month and next, a new wave of college students is preparing to enter the workforce.

But the job market those workers will encounter is drastically different than it was even five years ago.
Burdened with record levels of student loan debt, these young people will face stiff competition for fewer jobs and the prospect of lower starting salaries than their predecessors. They may have to take part-time work or a job in a field outside their degree. Many are moving back in with their parents while they look for work and staying even after they find employment in order to save money.
Those who do find jobs bring different ambitions and expectations of their careers than previous generations, which can lead to rifts in offices with older workers.

Raised by a legion of “helicopter parents” who shuttled them to after-school activities and pampered them with praise, members of Generation Y are unafraid to speak their minds, question authority or to switch jobs if it furthers their career, experts say.

Members of Generation Y, often referred to as “The Millenials,” also seek a deeper sense of meaning and fulfillment in their jobs and see less value in traditional 9-to-5 work schedules.

Although bringing younger employees into a workplace can cause conflicts, businesses that can engage their workers and take advantage of their passion, innovative thinking and familiarity with technology stand to benefit, said Alexia Vernon, a Las Vegas-based author and speaker who studies multigenerational workplaces.

As Baby Boomers continue to age out of the workforce and retire, it’s critical for businesses to develop their next generation of leaders and innovators, she said.

“Gen Y brings a lot of creativity and innovation to the table. We understand how to work well in groups,” Vernon said. “We are going to need Gen Y to step into leadership positions in our companies, and they need to get opportunities to develop those leadership skills.”

Meet the Millenials
Referred to by some as the “most coddled generation in history,” the Millenials grew up in an era of Oprah and the Internet and were taught that what they think and care about matters, Vernon said.
Roughly defined as including those born between 1980 and 2000, Generation Y is estimated to include about 80 million people, comparable in size to the Baby Boomers and about twice as large as Generation X.

Their unique upbringing means Millenials tend to be motivated by different things than older generations. Although raises and job titles are nice, young workers seek an opportunity to grow and develop in their jobs more than anything, Vernon said.

“The No. 1 reason why a Gen Y leaves work isn’t money; it isn’t for a better opportunity or graduate school. It’s feeling like we can’t learn and grow in our current role,” Vernon said. “There is that desire, and in many cases an expectation, that work is inherently meaningful.”

Six years ago, Jasmine Freeman packed up her family and moved to Las Vegas from the Midwest in pursuit of a new career, even though she admits she liked her old job at a bank.

“But there was this hole. Something was missing,” she said. “I’m looking for this total package. I don’t want to just be fulfilled in my family life. I don’t want to just be fulfilled in my work life. I want balance across the entire board.”

Click here to go to the Las Vegas Sun and continue reading this story.

Why Critical Thinking?

The Problem:
Everyone thinks; it is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking, left to
itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed or down-right prejudiced. Yet
the quality of our life and that of what we produce, make, or build depends
precisely on the quality of our thought. Shoddy thinking is costly, both in
money and in quality of life. Excellence in thought, however, must be systematically

A Definition:
Critical thinking is the art of analyzing and evaluating thinking with a view to
improving it.

The Result:
A well cultivated critical thinker:
• raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely;
• gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it
• comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against
relevant criteria and standards;
• thinks openmindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing
and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical
consequences; and
• communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex

Critical thinking is, in short, self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored,
and self-corrective
thinking. It requires rigorous standards of excellence
and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and
problem solving abilities and a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism
and sociocentrism.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Listening and Critical Thinking

 Listening and Critical Thinking
a.     Adults listen 50% or less
b.     Teenagers listen 25% or less
c.      Listening is a voluntary active process, it is psychological
d.     Hearing is physiological
e.     You can learn to listen
f.      Studies show that those who practice listening skills are less likely to develop memory loss in any form
g.     Studies show that those who practice listening skills get better grades, higher pay and achieve their goals more often than those who do not.
h.     Critical thinking requires active listening
i.       Critical thinking involves being able to access the strengths and weaknesses of an argument
j.       Critical thinking involves being able to distinguish between the fact, theory and opinions of an argument
k.     Critical thinking allows for thinking outside of the box
l.       Critical thinking allows for compromise and growth
m.   Critical thinking involves being able to judge the credibility of sources
n.     Critical thinking requires accessing the quality of evidence
o.     Critical thinking involves discerning relationships between ideas
p.     Critical thinking involves priorities on what to remember and in what context
q.     Critical thinking allows for fewer mistakes and reduces trial and error in everyday life
r.      Critical thinking DOES NOT MEAN NEGATIVE THINKING!
s.      Critical thinking is a normal process that requires practice and reinforcement
t.      Critical thinking is an active process
u.  Critical thinking requires and open mind and the ability to consider and
      understand all sides in an issue.
v.  Critical thinking means replacing name calling and slogans with reason,
     compromise and the ability to persuade instead of attack.

Critical Thinking's role in higher education

Professional Development Model - Colleges and Universities that Foster Critical Thinking

by Linda Elder, Fall 2004

Critical thinking, deeply understood, provides a rich set of concepts that enable us to think our way through any subject or discipline, through any problem or issue. With a substantive concept of critical thinking clearly in mind, we begin to see the pressing need for a staff development program that fosters critical thinking within and across the curriculum. In a related article, Richard Paul details a substantive, deep concept of critical thinking. The concept as he presents it, and that is only briefly outlined here, must be built into any high quality educational program, and therefore into any professional development program.
As we come to understand a substantive concept of critical thinking, we are able to follow-out its implications in designing a professional development program. By means of it, we begin to see important implications for every part of the college –redesigning policies, providing administrative support for critical thinking, rethinking the college mission, coordinating and providing faculty workshops in critical thinking, redefining faculty as learners as well as teachers, assessing students, faculty, and the college as a whole in terms of critical thinking abilities and traits. We realize that robust critical thinking should be the guiding force for all of our educational efforts.
Critical thinking is foundational to the effective teaching of any subject. Whenever we think through any subject whatsoever, we can do so only through our own capacity to reason and make sense of things. We can think through any subject well only when we reason our way effectively through problems and issues within the discipline.
Critical thinking, rightly understood then, is not one of many possible “angles” for professional development. Rather it should be the guiding force behind any and all professional development. It reminds us that:
  • Content is a product of thinking and can be learned only through thinking
  • All subjects exist only as modes of thinking
  • There are essential structures in all reasoning within all subjects (that enable us to understand those subjects)
  • There are intellectual standards that must be used to assess reasoning within all subjects
  • There are traits of mind that must be fostered if one is to become a disciplined thinker, able to reason well within multiple, and even conflicting, viewpoints
  • The only way to learn a subject is to construct the ideas in the subject in one’s thinking using one’s thinking.

Critical Thinking Models or Frameworks

Understanding A Critical Thinking Framework
There are several critical thinking frameworks available for you to use, such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Bloom’s Taxonomy, and the scientific model. You will focus on Bloom’s Taxonomy as it is one of the most widely used frameworks for understanding and enhancing human thinking. By understanding major theoretical frameworks such as Bloom’s Taxonomy, you are in a better position to model and facilitate the growth of critical thinking in the classroom. 

In 1956, Benjamin Bloom and a group of educational psychologists developed a framework for understanding and teaching critical thinking. This framework, which developed into the widely known Bloom’s Taxonomy, provides a method of classification for thinking behaviors that are understood to be pivotal in the learning process. This taxonomy is comprised of three domains, as defined in the following:

  • Cognitive learning is composed of remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, creating and evaluating.
  • Affective learning relates to emotion, attitude, appreciation, and value.
  • Psychomotor learning relates to physical skills, including coordination, manual dexterity, strength, and speed (Harrow, 1972).
The critical thinking skills diagram, based on recent revisions to Bloom’s theory, provides a similar, but more updated version of this theoretical framework. 

The Cognitive Domain 
The cognitive learning domain emphasizes intellectual abilities and outcomes. Bloom’s cognitive learning domain describes a hierarchical progression of learning. The levels include the following:

  • Remembering: Can the student recall or remember information from long-term memory?
  • Understanding: Can the student internalize, recall, and connect with other information?
  • Applying: Can the student use the information in a new way?
  • Analyzing: Can the student distinguish between the different parts, meaning the parts and subparts, how components work together?
  • Evaluating: Can the student justify a stand or decision?
  • Creating: Can the student create new product or point of view?
Each level reflects a level of cognitive complexity achieved in the learning progression, with the prior levels being requisite for advancing to the next level. In other words, a student functioning at the analyzing level has also mastered the material at the remembering, understanding, and applying levels.

Additionally, the revised version of Bloom’s taxonomy provides an expanded two-dimensional perspective on learning that also considers the type of knowledge being learned. The types of knowledge are divided into four main categories: factual knowledge, conceptual knowledge, procedural knowledge, and metacognitive knowledge. The Critical Thinking Framework matrix can be referenced for a more complex understanding of how the type of knowledge interplays with the stages of Bloom’s learning progression.
The goal for University of Phoenix facilitators is to achieve the most complex level of critical thinking in students. The more deeply a student synthesizes information, the more critically he or she considers a topic. Not understanding a subject deeply enough may be a barrier to critical thinking—in and out of the classroom.
The work of Bloom, originally relating to education, is easily transferable to most fields. The taxonomy emphasizes more of what we do with knowledge than examining the quality or nature of what we know.

The Affective Domain 
Bloom’s taxonomy, focusing on educational objectives, also examines how the affective domain of the learner is critical to the quality of the learning experience. “Cognitive objectives are satisfied when students obtain an appropriate level of knowledge, and affective objectives are satisfied when students obtain an appropriate level of internalization or value for the content” (Bolin, Khramtsova, &; Saarnio, 2005, p. 154). 

The critical thinking process considers the five affective levels and addresses learner emotions toward learning experiences. Similar to the cognitive learning domain, affective levels are progressive, meaning one is learned before moving on to the next category:

  • Receiving is the starting point, which engages a learner’s willingness or ability to listen. The learner acknowledges, listens, and replies.

  • Responding involves actively participating in the learning process. The learner contributes, questions, reacts, and gains satisfaction from active involvement.

  • Valuing is the process in which learners assign worth to specific activities. The learner chooses, joins, shares, and commits to the learning experience.

  • Organizing allows learners to develop an internal value system that organizes values in an order of priority. Learners adapt, modify, explain, and synthesize as they integrate complementary and disparate values; conflict may occur when integrating current values with new and divergent ones.

  • Internalizing values controls behaviors. The learner advocates, encourages, exemplifies, influences, and discloses. Once learners internalize values related to critical thinking, they have a predictable response to situations.
To become a critical thinker, you must understand the barriers that interfere in you students’ ability to think critically about specific issues. At times, they may experience cognitive barriers, such as limited subject knowledge. At other times, they may not have the proper affective disposition to critically consider a topic because of bias or experience. Understanding barriers that limit student skills is the first step toward improving those skills.

Having a critical thinking model helps you understand your students’ current functioning and assist them in improving their critical thinking skills to reach higher levels of cognitive and affective learning. 

Anderson, L. W., & Krathwohl, D. R. (Eds.). (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching and assessing: A revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of educational objectives (Complete ed.). New York, NY: Longman.
Bolin, A. U., Khramstova, I., &; Saarnio, D. (2005). Using student journals to stimulate authentic learning: Balancing Bloom’s cognitive and affective domains. Teaching of Psychology 32(3), 154–159.
Harrow, A. J. (1972). A taxonomy of the psychomotor domain. New York, NY: David McKay. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Texas Critical Thinking

Ideology of any stripe is the enemy of critical thinking, as this writer points out it really is about how you think more than what you think. The writer does a decent job of explaining why critical thinking is important.  brief summary of responses to another commentators viewss follows...this is a left wing view but balances out in the end

"Unfortunately an absence of critical thought is not limited to fundamentalist believers"
That's right. Don't confuse method with content.
Extremism, or Fundamentalism, or Idealism/Ideology, no matter which way they are oriented, share the same problem, that is, they obscure the real world from their followers. They are characterized by rigid belief in a narrow band of "facts", backed up by a limited "logic" that neatly conforms to those "facts" and rejects any countervailing argument.
From over here on the Left, it's obvious when we see RightWingers and NeoCons engaging in it. It's a lot harder for Lefties to recognize the same trait on our side, but it exists in spades!
You want to see funny? Watch a wRongPaulie go at it with a Nadirite. Both of them absolutely believe that they have the whole unadulterated truth and EVERYONE ELSE IS WRONG! It's a slam-fest. All nuance, all shades of grey are thrown right out the window in the first round and it proceeds into gibberish and coded buzzphrases from there.
The worst part of this extremist tendency is that it makes real exploration of ideas impossible. If you can't re-examine your beliefs in light of new information, if you, out-of-hand, reject new information because it conflicts with what you think you know, if you twist new information to fit your narrow worldview and match your preconceived notions, you end up taking a hardened position and defending it like a bunker.
And so you never learn anything new.
"...genuinely considers the pros and the cons-- including the perspectives provided by faith and theology--and concludes that the theory of evolution is weaker than mainstream scientists would have people believe..."
But here's a problem. Evolution is science. Thousands of people have done real research trying to find the flaws in the theory and based in actual evidence, they haven't yet been able to break it. Faith and Theology are not evidence based, they are not science. To introduce Faith to scientific method debases both of them.
Faith is believing the impossible, Science is exploring what is real. Sometimes Faith can work as metaphor for real events and phenomena, but it is not literal, any more than it serves as accurate history

An Introduction to Critical Thinking

College and professional acting teachers, thank you for using and referring this page

This blog is being used in at least four college classes, or at least portions of it...from Florida to Chicago to Los Angeles.

Thank you for using it and referring students to it.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Agree to Dissagree..Agree to listen..Agree to understand...Do no harm.

1. Agree to disagree. Do not take the opinions of others personally. Realize they have a vested interests in believing what they believe. Do try to get into productive discourse and to educate, but be open to learning as you do so.

2. Agree to listen. Listening is the most important communication and critical thinking skill, yet is it rapidly becoming he weakest. You need to really listen, not just sit and hear someone go on and on and repeat memorized or internalized tracts. Listen for what is underneath what they are saying. Look for the value, truths and lessons in what they say. Also listen to understand the views of others as you prepare persuasive discourse yourself.

3. Agree to understand. This includes understanding time restraints (for a teacher class time and number of speakers, amount that must be covered in a term and so on), physical limitations, the full demographics and psychographics of other individuals or groups, possible painful personal beliefs or experience behind their beliefs, that if you look underneath the surface you may find you agree more than you think, that everyone has different life expediences and above all (for students) that this is only a class.

4. Do no harm. Never intentionally harm another person with your words or actions. There is no faster way to shut down communication and progress than causing harm or the threat of harm. The word intentional is important, as we should not let a fear of offense or harm keep us from advancing legitimate arguments or exploring the envelope in the name of growth and understanding.

How to Teach Critical Thinking, one college professor's researched view

a bit on the dry side, but interesting break down of Critical Thinking
as it applies to college teaching and students, including discussion of
multiple choice testing...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Future of Education

Has education become about the student as consumer and the customer is always right? Or is it still about knowledge, liberal arts, critical thinking and having professionals who really now their fields once they graduate.

There is ample evidence from K to graduate students that pleasing the student to get the tuition seems to be the focus, with retention of students over knowledge, advancement over qualifications, and inflated grades over skills and true accomplishment.

Coping with Frustration

The Art of Thinking. A Guide to Critical and Creative Thought, Ninth Edition

From Chapter 1: Developing Your Thinking: An Overview
ISBN: 9780205668335 Author: Vincent Ryan Ruggiero
copyright © 2009 Pearson Education

All thinkers have their share of frustration: confusion, mental blocks, false starts, and failures happen to everyone. Good thinkers, however, have learned strategies for dealing with their frustration, whereas poor thinkers merely lament it—thus allowing themselves to be defeated by it. One important study of students’ problem-solving processes revealed some interesting differences between good and poor problem solvers. Among them were the following:13

Good Problem Solvers Poor Problem Solvers
Read a problem and decide how to begin attacking it. Cannot settle on a way to begin.
Bring their knowledge to bear on a problem. Convince themselves they lack sufficient knowledge (even when that is not the case).
Go about solving a problem systematically—for example, trying to simplify it, puzzling out key terms, or breaking the problem into subproblems. Plunge in, jumping haphazardly from one part of the problem to another, trying to justify first impressions instead of testing them.
Tend to trust their reasoning and to have confidence in themselves. Tend to distrust their reasoning and to lack confidence in themselves.
Maintain a critical attitude throughout the problem-solving process. Lack a critical attitude and take too much for granted.

Critical Thinking links

  • Open Your Mind to Critical Thinking
  • Critical Thinking
  • Critical Thinking (the value of)
  • Critical Thinking and Listening
  • Critical Thinking Application
  • Critical Thinking Blog
  • Critical Thinking Model Frameworks
  • Critical Thinking Tutorial
  • Critical Thinking, Overcoming Barriers
  • Critical Thinking, Promoting Thought
  • Critical Thinking, pt 2
  • Critical Thinking, thoughts on
  • Critical Thinking, what is it?
  • Critical Thinking, what is?
  • Critical Thinking: How Not to be Stupid
  • Critical Thinking: Keeping Active
  • Critical Thinking: Open Your Mind
  • Five Ways to Spark Your Creativity
  • The nature of critical and creative thought
    Do you think?
    Why Critical Thinking
    Argumentation and Creative Solutions
    Ten Questions in Critical Thought
    The Elements of Thought
    Bloom's Taxonomy
    Learning to Think Critically
    Intellectual Traits and Virtues
    Critical Thinking Standards and Traits
    Living Smart: Critical Thinking and Propoganda
    Critical Thinking Introduction Seminar (long)
    Agree to Disagree
    Blooms Taxonomy for iPad

    Taking away time for critical thinking and creativity.

    One of the ongoing debates in education is whether so much testing in schools is taking away time for young people to develop their own critical thinking and creativity. At the same time, the White House has talked about the importance of innovation when it comes to staying competitive in the global market. The intersection of both of these issues could be the arts. Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel talks with NPR's Elizabeth Blair about her reporting on the role the arts play in helping low performing schools improve, and in nurturing creativity that can help young people in all subjects.

    Tuesday, April 16, 2013

    The Greatest Speech Ever Made (Charlie Chaplin in "The Great Dictator" - 1940)

    Bill Moyers Essay: The United States of Inequality

    The unprecedented level of economic inequality in America is undeniable. In an extended essay, Bill shares examples of the striking extremes of wealth and poverty across the country, including a video report on California’s Silicon Valley. There, Facebook, Google, and Apple are minting millionaires, while the area’s homeless — who’ve grown 20 percent in the last two years — are living in tent cities at their virtual doorsteps.
    “A petty, narcissistic, pridefully ignorant politics has come to dominate and paralyze our government,” says Bill, “while millions of people keep falling through the gaping hole that has turned us into the United States of Inequality.”
    Producer: Julia Conley. Editor: Sikay Tang.
    “Homeless in High Tech’s Shadow” Producer/Editor: Lauren Feeney.Field Producer/Camera: Cameron Hickey.

    Bill Moyers Essay: The United States of Inequality

    Popular Posts

    Monday, April 15, 2013

    Art Lynch as "Kaldur"...Short Trailer

    Shot of me and make-up artist Jenny Egidio, who created the Kaldur look along with writer director Mac Hines...

    Endemble cast includes
    Corey Taylor,
    Tom Peck
    Brian McGee

    Done under a SAG ultra low budget contract.

    "Kaldur" trailer short

    Voice and hand: Art Lynch
    Corey Taylor,
    Tom Peck
    Brian McGee

    Done under a SAG ultra low budget contract.

    Sunday, April 14, 2013

    Critical Thinking on LIVING SMART with Patricia Gras

    For parents, '42' offers a chance to talk to kids about racism

    Harrison Ford, left, as Branch Rickey and Chadwick Boseman (right) as Jackie Robinson in "42." (D. Stevens / MCT)

    The Jackie Robinson biopic "42," which opened in theaters nationwide Friday, presents an opportune moment for adults to have meaningful conversations with their kids about the history of racism in the United States.

    But with that opportunity comes an array of challenges, especially for younger audiences keen on seeing a story of an iconic sports hero.

    It really comes down to language. Given a PG-13 rating for "thematic elements including language" from the Motion Picture Assn. of America, the film doesn't shy away from depicting the racial slurs hurled at Robinson, who was the first African American player in Major League Baseball, starting in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

    PHOTOS: Scenes from '42'

    One scene in particular stands out for its repeated use of the N-word, a phrase some children have yet to be exposed to, while others, especially those who listen to hip-hop, have likely heard.

    Robinson, played by Chadwick Boseman, steps up to bat, only to be ridiculed mercilessly by the opposing team's manager, Philidelphia Phillies' Ben Chapman, played by Alan Tudyk. His relentless mockery is fueled by the repetition of the epithet. 

    Critics have taken note of the scene, with the L.A. Times' Kenneth Turan writing that the sequence is "especially effective." He continues, "For present-day viewers, especially children, who may not have heard this kind of language in real life, prejudice as naked as this is tough to experience, even on a movie screen."
    This is the pivotal issue for parents of younger children interested in seeing the film.  What's age-appropriate, and how much can they handle?

    Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard who advocates for responsible media programming but hasn't yet seen "42," says that by age 10, most American children have heard much of the name-calling that goes on between races.

    Yet he advises moms and dads to get a second opinion from other parents who have seen the film before taking the kids, even those who are 13. For those parents who are interested in bringing their children to the film, he suggests broadening the discussion beyond black and white to other ethnicities and races.

    "Generally by age 10, they understand all that. I think they begin to understand where it fits and they see kids calling each other all kind of names," he said. "And that’s the context that parents should put it in. It’s not just blacks that get called racial slurs, it's Latinos, it's Jews, it's Italians, it’s everybody. And you don’t do that to people."

    Poussaint said he is troubled by how the N-word has been used in rap and hip-hop music, its frequent invocation perhaps leaving the impression that it is no longer offensive or hurtful.  Children who listen to such music, he said, may benefit from seeing a movie such as "42," which shows the power of the word and the pain and damage it can inflict.

    "The reality of what that word means and how it’s been used to repress and belittle, humiliate and demean black people is important for them to understand," said Poussaint, who is black and specializes in parenting issues related to African American children.

    PHOTOS: Game-changing baseball movies

    "I would bet there are more black parents who know that their kids use that word who might want to, as an antidote, have them see what a vicious word it is," he said, "and how it was used against someone who could have been their grandfather."

    To be sure, much has changed in the more than 65 years since Robinson joined the league; many of today's junior high students may not remember a president before Barack Obama.

    Rachel Robinson, Jackie's widow, said part of her motivation in allowing the makers of "42" to tell her husband's story was so today's children could revisit history and recognize the progress that's been made — while acknowledging the challenges that remain.

    "I wanted to make this movie so children would feel inspired by Jack," she said in an interview with the L.A. Times. "We've made some remarkable progress and I'm very pleased with what's been done, but racism still exists, and in terms of having equal opportunities, we're not there yet."

    Steven Zeitchik contributed to this report.
    '42' director: I didn't soft-pedal racially charged language
    '42' has Jackie Robinson's number
    Jackie Robinson's widow says '42' hits home
    '42' will outscore 'Scary Movie 5' in its first box-office at-bat

    Watercooler talk is history, now we need an encyclopedia to understand what is our common culture.

    Listen To The Original Story

    In film and TV, pop culture references are meant to give a knowing nod to those in the audience who understand the joke. But in an increasingly segmented and diverse country, those jokes may be pulling in fewer laughs. This story originally aired on Morning Edition on Jan. 18, 2013.

    The Gun Debate and World Wide Media, Goolge and Anonymous

    ON THE MEDIA: Gun Anecdotes, What To Know about the Avian Flu, and Grindr.

    Since the Sandy Hook shootings, gun violence anecdotes have been the centerpiece of much of the reporting about guns. OTM asks if there's a better way. Also, who to listen to about the new avian flu and everything you need to know about Grindr.

    Why We Might be Telling the Wrong Stories in the Gun Debate

    As the Senate debates gun control for the first time in decades, we’re awash in stories we might never have heard but for Newtown. Brooke speaks with New York Times op-ed writer Joe Nocera, who's tracking gun violence daily on his blog The Gun Report. And Bob speaks with reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg about why we're stuck with anecdotes instead of data in the gun discussion.

    Lúnasa - Killarney Boys Of Pleasure

    Reporting Global Health Epidemics In A Wired World

    In China, a new form of avian flu, called H7N9, has killed 10 people and infected an additional 28.  China’s gotten plaudits from the global health community for its transparency and responsiveness to this outbreak. But that's partly because many remember how China lied about SARS in 2002, a decision that killed hundreds. Public health reporter Maryn McKenna talks to Bob about what the standards are for reporting health epidemics in a wired world.

    Bonobo - Cirrus

    Can A Small Search Engine Take On Google?

    Duck Duck Go is a small search engine based in Pennsylvania that is, according to Google at least, a Google competitor. OTM producer Chris Neary talks with Duck Duck Go founder Gabriel Weinberg, SearchEngineLand's Danny Sullivan, and a dedicated Duck Duck Go user about the site. Also, each of the OTM producers try Duck Duck Go, and only Duck Duck Go, for a week.

    Theme from I Dream of Jeannie

    Meet Grindr: A Gaydar in Every Pocket

    Grindr is a phone app that allows gay men to find other users based on their proximity. Brooke speaks with Jaime Woo, author of Meet Grindr: How One App changed the Way We Connect about the app's effect on our understanding of privacy.

    Joel Simkhai, Grindr-in-Chief

    Brooke talks to Grindr founder Joel Simkhai about what inspired the app and how it manages to make money.

    A Casual, Anonymous Interview

    OTM producer Doug Anderson fires up Grindr and meets up with another guy for a casual, anonymous...interview.

    Fred Astair - I'm Putting All My Eggs In One Basket