History In Halstead

Location: Halstead, Kansas, United States

This is my seventh year at Halstead which is also where I live with my wife and my soon to be two year old daughter.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Good News In Iraq!!!

I was checking out a site from one of my friend, Bill Graziano and he had a link to The Arab News, the leading English newspaper in the Arab world. It had a report of democratic process in the Iraq which included the following:

post-liberation Iraq, defying great odds, has succeeded in carrying out its political reform agenda on schedule. A governing council was set up at the time promised. It in turn, created a provisional government right on schedule. Next, municipal elections were held in almost all parts of the country. Then followed the drafting of a new democratic and pluralist constitution. Then came the formal end of the occupation and the appointing of a new interim government.


The events mentioned above, and largely ignored by the media, indicate a remarkably rapid progress toward democratization in Iraq. And, yet, at every step we had countless doomsayers who predicted that this or that step would not be taken because of “security problems.”

The truth is that Iraq did not enjoy security under Saddam Hussein either. This is because, while there can be no freedom without security, there is also no security without freedom.

For Discussion: Why do you think the good news coming out of Iraq largely ignored while the news at Najaf is covered in detail?

Monday, August 30, 2004

Another Student's Blog

Krista has a blog that is currently posing an interesting discussion. In her first post she questions:

Does the losing sport team count for any less than the winning one?

I encourage you to take a look at her site and post your opinions on the subject.


Sunday, August 29, 2004

Two More Students' Blogs

Here are two more blogs from students at Halstead High School:

Special K's Words of Wisdom

Slaff's thoughts

Keep up the good discussions guys!

Do tall people make more money?

Q.How much more money per year per inch do tall people earn than their shorter colleagues?

A. $ 789

B. $ 512

C. $ 364

D. No difference

The answer might suprise you but on average tall people make $789 more per inch than their average or shorter counterparts. I now know that I will forever be stuck in middle class.

For Discussion: What motivation would a business have for paying tall and handsome people more?

Check out more information on this topic at Yahoo Finance.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

American Brandstand

I was listening to the radio while getting ready for work this morning and they were talking about brand name references in rap songs. They were talking about how Burberry Clothing does not want to be affiliated with rap music but its traditional conservative roots. This led me to search the internet and I came across American Brandstand.

This site charts commercial references of the Billboard Top 20 and lists which name brands are mentioned most often (check out the weekly charts).

The top references of 2003 were:

With 50 Cent dropping 55 different brand names in his songs to lead all singers.

For discussion: What are the positive and negative aspects of having your product mentioned in different performers songs?

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

This Could Be Pitt State's Year

We have a young team but the preseason rankings have us at 7th in the nation and the coaches have picked the Gorillas to win the MIAA. I am hoping for the best and I might mention we have a former Halstead High student now a Pitt State cheerleader and another alum is up for Home-Coming Queen.


Pitt State football is just a couple days and I have an offer for any students. Make a prediction for the score of the Pitt State game on before kickoff on Thursday night and the three people who come closest will get 5 points of extra credit. You have to guess the winner correctly (as if there is any doubt). Only one guess per student.

My Guess: Pitt State 43 Western State 10

Monday, August 23, 2004

Two Other Blogs To Check Out

Be sure to check out the web-logs of two students from Halstead High School. They have done a good job and have some interesting ideas and opinions:

Corey Wells

Casey Miles

Let me know about any other student's web logs.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Guess the Dictator and/or Television Sit-Com Character

This is one of my favorite on-line games that actually relates to one of my classes. All you do is think of a dictator or a TV sit com character that you know a lot about. Then answer the yes/no questions as that person would and see if the site can guess who you are.

Let me know who you tried and if the site was able to successfully guess the character.

I've tried Homer Simpson, Mr. Burns, Andy Andy (from Cheers), Hitler, Stalin, Charlamange, Cleopatra, Kramer, and Cartman among others. All were guessed correctly.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Predicting Who Will Get Divorced? (SOCIOLOGY)

According to Mari Clements their are certain traits that help to predict if a couple will remain married or get a divorce. Among these traits for successful marriages are:

The ability to listen
Treating one another with respect
positive communication

FOR DISCUSSION: What traits do you feel are essential in friendships or within the work place?

Thursday, August 19, 2004

What People Are For On the Web

I was poking around the web and cam across this site from Google that records the searches people make. It shows the most common searches and then also breaks down the searches into many different catagories.

For Discussion:

What similarties do you see among the most popular searches of the different countries listed?

Based on the similarties what do you believe leads to so many people searching for the same thing?

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

One Day Down!!!

I hope that all my students had a good first day of school. I enjoyed meeting all the students and I think the year is going to be really exciting and a good learning experience for everyone involved. If you reply to any of the posts by August 21st I will give you five points of extra credit!!!

Monday, August 16, 2004

A Connection Between Education and Unemployment?

Obviously, since I am a teacher, I believe education is important to anyone's future. It is sometimes hard to convince students the same is true no matter what they want to do. I found this report from the Dallas Federal Reserve which gives my beliefs some support. Among other things in the report is this quote:
Over the past decade, an era of rapid technological change and globalization, big employment gains came in occupations that rely on people skills and emotional intelligence. We added 512,000 registered nurses and 248,000 people in financial-services sales. Others in growing occupations include lawyers, educational and vocational counselors, and recreation workers.

The past decade also saw gains in jobs that involve imagination and creativity—designers, architects, photographers, actors and directors. The hairstylists and cosmetologists category rose by 146,000 jobs. Many occupations that use analytic reasoning have continued to grow, too, but computer operators and others are beginning to see their numbers fall.

The occupations in eclipse are generally those that involve muscle power, manual dexterity and formulaic intelligence. The number of secretaries and typists, for example, has fallen by 1.3 million since 1992, as more computers, printers, voice mail and other office machines have entered the workplace. The ranks of sewing machine operators have declined by 347,000, those of farmers by 182,000.

My question to you is: How should our school help build imagination, creativity, people skills and emotional intelligence?

Friday, August 13, 2004

Are Gas Prices to High?

Mr. Gerber and me have had a continued conversation on gas prices throughout the past year and more and more people have refered to price gouging. I thought this article by Edward Lottermann made some interesting points such as:

The term "price gouging" is suddenly in vogue among politicians and news announcers because of the recent run-up in gasoline prices in the Midwest. But what exactly constitutes "gouging?" Consider the following cases: Paying $12 for two thin slices of cold greasy pizza and two small Cokes in an airport departure concourse. My neighbors selling a house for eight times what they had paid for it years ago. Twin Cities apartments renting for $150 more per month than a year ago. Me charging $200 per hour as an consulting expert in a legal case when I get less than $50 per hour teaching at Metro State University. In a market economy, prices frequently seem unfair to buyers. But whenever anyone has something to sell, they try to get as much for it as possible, whether it is their labor, a used car, a house or items on a garage sale. That is human nature.

This brings me to the question of: When are government price controls okay? Provide examples or or views.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Tanzania keeps used-undies ban

I read this article from NEWS24 and other than disgusting me, it made me think about economics:

Dar Es Salaam - Tanzania warned on Thursday that legal action would be taken against people selling imported second-hand underwear, prohibited last year in an effort to prevent skin and venereal diseases.

"Undergarments, such as underwears, brassieres and socks are prohibited purely on health grounds and legal action will be taken against anybody found selling the prohibited garments," said the Tanzanian Bureau of Standards acting director, Beatrice Mutabazi.

The ban on used undergarments was announced by the authorities in October last year and became effective on January 15 this year. But, despite the TBS's efforts to control the quality of imported used clothes, known as mitumba, the prohibited textile products are still being sold by retailers. Like many African countries, Tanzania has a huge market for imported second-hand clothing, with used outer garments and underwear selling like hot cakes because of their low cost. A pair of used trousers can cost as little as $2 (about R15) against $10 to $30 dollars for a new pair. Used clothes are imported into Tanzania in large, unsorted bales and are traded and worn just about everywhere in the country.

My economics question is this: What effect does the importation of second hand clothing have on the economy of these poor African countries?

Monday, August 09, 2004

This is my first attempt to add a picture to my blob. Let's see if I can do this.  Posted by Hello

History In Halstead Takes Off

Welcome to my new blog!

The goal of History In Halstead is to keep my students and former students from Halstead High School up to date on what is going on in class and my other musings and rants.

It will cover a variety of issues mainly based on the Social Sciences but there will be other interesting and humorous material posted as time goes by.

I hope that you enjoy the site, find it interesting and feel free to post and comments you have. Have a great day!

Mr. Warsnak

Free Web Counter
Web Site Counter