I came across Byron Preiss in an old newspaper article. He wanted to use comic books to teach kids how to read. I wanted to learn more about him. so I started an Internet search for a man who built a publishing empire from a comic book and a dream
“In 1971, while Preiss was teaching at a Philadelphia elementary school, he conceived and with Jim Steranko produced an anti-drug comic book, The Block, designed for low-level reading skills. Published by Steranko's company, Supergraphics, it was distributed to schools nationwide.”Jim Steranko , life-long friend and collaborator said:
"For more than three decades, he (Byron) spearheaded a multiplicity of mediaforms, from comics and ebooks to electronic games and CD-ROMs, that fused words and images like few other individuals would achieve in the entertainment arts. As an author, he generated dozens of books, from hard science and history volumes to profusely illustrated children's literature. As a packager, he produced a stream of quality fiction and nonfiction titles for almost every primary publishing house... Preiss was a subtle, yet seminal force in contemporary popular culture and specifically in the evolution of narrative illustration"
The Originals "Brotherhood of the Damned" Review: Food Fight!
The Originals S02E11: "Brotherhood of the Damned" If history is written by the winners, it's up to artists to keep telling the stories of the forgotten. Specifically, not enough people are talking about the black vampire soldiers of World War I. Sure, we've heard all kinds of things about the War to End All Wars—archduke assassinations, heartwarming Christmas Eve soccer games—but the story of black vampires soldiers' contributions remain woefully underrepresented. Okay, fine, I'm sort of joking here, but it really is true that sometimes a teen supernatural drama does more to honor underreported history than most other art forms. Teen Wolf invoked the Japanese internment scandal of WWII in a more resonant and engaging way than any pop culture art in recent memory. And this week The Originals portrayed its own spin on the Harlem Hellfighters, an outrageously obscure (i.e., not taught in public schools) regiment of black soldiers who fought for a country that wouldn't even guarantee their rights and safety within its own borders. Yes, in both examples these true scenarios were intruded upon by fictional supernatural hunks, but still: Some stories need to be told regardless of the genre. Unlike most shows, The Originals does not shy away from this responsibility. By now we know that the primary side-effect of a werewolf bite isn't death, but flashbacks! In "Brotherhood of the Damned," Marcel's werewolf bite sent his memories back to the time he enlisted in the army during WWI. Klaus forbade him from going (referring to the humans' great international war as a "food fight"), but Marcel's journey took him overseas anyway, where he was suddenly watching his friends die ignoble foxhole deaths. After a particularly savvy compatriot sussed out that Marcel was (a) a vampire, and therefore (b) the most capable leader in their midst, Marcel took on the responsibility of keeping his unit alive. Unfortunately mustard gas had other ideas and the unit were all choking to death on their own blood. That's when Marcel had his a-ha moment: Turn 'em! Turn 'em all! And then we were treated to the episode's best and most potent image: Marcel leading a troupe of black vampire soldiers across a battle-scarred field toward the German army. Guys? It was the best. Forget flashbacks, I want an en entire EPISODE of this plotline. But the flashbacks were more than simply an amazing visual; they perfectly paralleled what Marcel was going through in the present day. Specifically, he needed to lead his vampire comrades out of the compound and through a parade without any of them giving in to a curse that made them crave the blood of innocents. That this sequence was intercut with the WWI flashback was just straight-up inspired and powerful, and did more to confirm Marcel's heroic nature than the season and a half that preceded it. For as often as flashbacks seem to be merely a gratuitous excuse to put the actors in hilarious wigs and get them to rip each others' bodices, it's these flashbacks that draw upon the grim energy of true history that really resonate. If it's not clear by now, I really loved these flashbacks! As it turned out, mentally visiting another realm became the episode's biggest theme when Finn used magic to trap his three brothers' consciences in a witch holodeck (or whatever). A very cool rustic cabin flanked with animals that represented each Mikaelson—a wolf for Klaus, a stag for Elijah, and a fox for Kol—they were unable to return to their physical bodies until Finn discovered what Klaus' biggest secret was. It was kind of implausible that Finn couldn't use magic to discover that Hope was still alive, but was perfectly capable of using some of the most powerful magic we've seen in this universe to do all these other huge things, but whatever. This sequence in particular took on an added poetry when Elijah and Klaus freed themselves by severing their ties to their taxidermied spirit animals. Elijah, for example, was not a noble stag in that he had once murdered Tatia all those years ago, and Klaus refused to be associated with the dastardly wolf by forgiving Elijah for said crime. (Sounds complicated, but it played out beautifully in the episode.) Long story short, The Originals continues to casually traffic in some of the most intellectually complicated and elegant concepts on network television. The other big thread of "Brotherhood of the Damned" was Hayley's meet-up with Jackson's grandmother. As a Crescent Wolf elder, the grandmother would be administering their werewolf rites, trials, tests, hazing, and game of werewolf Twister, before actually marrying them and spreading her hybrid powers to the rest of the wolves. But when Hayley found out that one of the rites involved smoking truth-weed and divulging all her secrets—including the pesky one about having a living baby—she tried to back out of the plan. Jackson somehow managed to change her mind, but then Klaus caught wind of this ritual and now seeks to stop it by any means necessary. Watch out, grandma! Yes, Josh and Aiden appeared in this episode, but never in the same scene, so. That being said, "Brotherhood of the Damned" was still pretty great. It's hard to say for how much longer this Finn plotline will keep our attention but as long as episodes can continue to be as inventive and well-constructed as this one, it's hard to complain. In the meantime, I for one would like to publicly thank all the black vampire soldiers who bravely defended our nation. We salute you, sirs. QUESTIONS ... Roughly how many holidays are observed in the French Quarter every year? Seven thousand? Nineteen thousand? ... Would you let Cami babysit your child? ... What's Rebekah up to in that witch prison? ... Could you marry someone like Jackson and stay "just friends"? Be honest.
Students, teachers hospitalized after chemistry lab mishap in N.J.
Foster Civil Discourse in High School Civics Classes
High school civics classes are making a comeback and along with them come discussions of highly charged issues in the classroom. This month, Arizona became the first state to approve a law requiring high school students pass the U.S. citizenship test in order to graduate, a regulation several other states are considering, The Associated Press reported. "You can't just assume that people understand these rights and responsibilities and these habits," says Mary Ellen Daneels, a U.S. government teacher at Community High School in West Chicago, Illinois. Civics education usually covers the basics of democracy and citizenship.
Fake schools draw scrutiny of federal investigators
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — From her hometown in India in 2010, Bhanu Challa said she had no reason to doubt that Tri-Valley University was a legitimate American school where she could pursue a master's degree. Its website featured smiling students in caps and gowns and promised a leafy campus in a San Francisco Bay Area suburb.
School-wide prevention program lowers teen suicide risk
By Madeline Kennedy (Reuters Health) - After a school-based prevention program, European teenagers were about half as likely to attempt suicide or to feel suicidal, a new study shows. Danuta Wasserman, a professor of psychiatry at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said the program was likely successful because students “felt that the power of mastering their feelings, coping with stress and choosing solutions was in their hands and not decided or forced by adults.” Suicide is the third leading cause of death between the ages of 10 and 24, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Suicide attempts are even more common, with some research suggesting that 4 to 8 percent of high school students try to kill themselves each year, the CDC says. Those most at risk have a history of suicide attempts, mental illness or substance abuse, or a family history of mental illness and access to lethal methods.
Staying Home & Watching TV May Reduce Flu Spread
Staying at home and watching TV during a flu epidemic may actually reduce the spread of the disease, according to a new study of the 2009 "swine flu" epidemic. Researchers analyzed the television-viewing habits of people in central Mexico during spring 2009, when that year's H1N1 flu epidemic began. At that time, officials in Mexico City implemented measures to reduce people's contact with one another (a public health strategy called "social distancing"). They closed public schools and canceled large public events.
For Liberal Arts Colleges, Enrolling Minority Students Still a Challenge
It had the highest percentage of black freshmen among 24 of the most competitive liberal arts schools. "At 14 of the 23 high-ranking liberals arts colleges for which we have data, the Black acceptance rate was lower than the rate for all students," the report states. In a similar report on leading research universities, which includes Duke University and Brown University, 12 of the 17 top-ranked schools that submitted data had higher acceptance rates for African-American students than for all students. A number of historically black colleges are liberal arts institutions, such as Spelman College and Dillard University, but none were included as top-ranked schools in the report on liberal arts schools.
New Maryland governor wants to close budget gap with spending cuts
Maryland's newly installed Republican governor wants to slam the brakes on spending growth and rely on fund transfers to close a gaping budget hole without raising taxes. "I am extremely proud to introduce a structurally balanced budget that puts our state on sound financial footing," said Governor Larry Hogan in unveiling his budget proposal on Thursday. "But this is just a start." Maryland leaders have been racing to stop the bleeding in recent months by revising revenue projections and making spending cuts. In his final days in office, outgoing governor Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, helped enact a 2 percent reduction across state agencies along with spending cuts in personnel, higher education and mental health.
Bomb explodes near Turkish delegation in Somalia day before president's visit
By Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar MOGADISHU (Reuters) - A suicide car bomb exploded at the gate of a Mogadishu hotel where Turkish delegates were meeting on Thursday, a day before a visit by President Tayyip Erdogan to the Somali capital. At least two police officers were killed but none of the Turkish delegates were wounded in the attack, which was claimed by Islamist al Shabaab rebels, officials said. Erdogan, who was in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on the first leg of an African tour when the bomb went off, appeared unfazed and said that whoever carried out the attack was not acting in the name of Islam. "There has been a terrorist attack today in Somalia.
SLeone to reopen schools in March as Ebola retreats
Sierra Leone said on Thursday it would reopen schools across the country in March, with the deadly Ebola epidemic slowing throughout west Africa. A statement from President Ernest Bai Koroma's office quoted him as saying "a timely reopening" was needed to limit the damage caused by the crisis to children's education. Government spokesman Abdulai Bayratay told AFP ministers would "shortly announce a specific date after all modalities have been put in place". The decision covers all state and private schools, although further education colleges and universities are to remain shut, Bayratay said.