This Day In History

  • February 7, 1964: Beatles arrive in New York

    On February 7, 1964, Pan Am Yankee Clipper flight 101 from London Heathrow lands at New York’s Kennedy Airport–and “Beatlemania” arrives. It was the first visit to the United States by the Beatles, a British rock-and-roll quartet that had just scored its first No. 1 U.S. hit six days before with “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” At Kennedy, the “Fab Four”–dressed in mod suits and sporting their trademark pudding bowl haircuts–were greeted by 3,000 screaming fans who caused a near riot when the boys stepped off their plane and onto American soil.

    Two days later, Paul McCartney, age 21, Ringo Starr, 23, John Lennon, 23, and George Harrison, 20, made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, a popular television variety show. Although it was difficult to hear the performance over the screams of teenage girls in the studio audience, an estimated 73 million U.S. television viewers, or about 40 percent of the U.S. population, tuned in to watch. Sullivan immediately booked the Beatles for two more appearances that month. The group made their first public concert appearance in the United States on February 11 at the Coliseum in Washington, D.C., and 20,000 fans attended. The next day, they gave two back-to-back performances at New York’s Carnegie Hall, and police were forced to close off the streets around the venerable music hall because of fan hysteria. On February 22, the Beatles returned to England.

    The Beatles’ first American tour left a major imprint in the nation’s cultural memory. With American youth poised to break away from the culturally rigid landscape of the 1950s, the Beatles, with their exuberant music and good-natured rebellion, were the perfect catalyst for the shift. Their singles and albums sold millions of records, and at one point in April 1964 all five best-selling U.S. singles were Beatles songs. By the time the Beatles first feature-film, A Hard Day’s Night, was released in August, Beatlemania was epidemic the world over. Later that month, the four boys from Liverpool returned to the United States for their second tour and played to sold-out arenas across the country.

    Later, the Beatles gave up touring to concentrate on their innovative studio recordings, such as 1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band, a psychedelic concept album that is regarded as a masterpiece of popular music. The Beatles’ music remained relevant to youth throughout the great cultural shifts of the 1960s, and critics of all ages acknowledged the songwriting genius of the Lennon-McCartney team. In 1970, the Beatles disbanded, leaving a legacy of 18 albums and 30 Top 10 U.S. singles.

    During the next decade, all four Beatles pursued solo careers, with varying success. Lennon, the most outspoken and controversial Beatle, was shot to death by a deranged fan outside his New York apartment building in 1980. McCartney was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997 for his contribution to British culture. In November 2001, George Harrison succumbed to cancer.

Digest powered by RSS Digest

Assignments Economics

Reading: Death by Bureaucrat

Here’s the reading:

Death by Bureaucrat

Here’s the assignment.

Reading is due before class on Tuesday, February 8th.


2600 Words

I found something I wrote a while back, in response to some questions from my first students, 6th graders at Fairless Middle School. Enjoy!

To those to who dare,

Dan – I have always been the careful type. Lately, I have been considering picking up kite flying. Every time I’m at a park, or last time we were in Washington D.C, I saw some people flying their kites by the Washington Memorial. It looked neat. I wish I’d had one. I wouldn’t say provolone is my favorite, but a good cheddar, white, sharp, and from England, always makes my day! Clubbing? I don’t smoke, so lately I haven’t gone to any. I listen to a lot of club type music though, and I can’t get enough of trance, or European dance music. Visit (on the net) for a few samples.

Becky – once, when I was in Malaysia, staying at this really nice beach resort for the summer, we saw some dolphins in the water. That was cool. I never got to swim with them though. I love the dolphinarium at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago – go there if you have the chance. It is truly amazing to see them perform, and to see them enjoy their new environment. I guess that would bag Illinois. I have also been to Arizona (rafting in the Grand Canyon, then hiking out on the Bright Angel Trail – 9 miles with a 5 mile rise in elevation!), Nevada (drive through), Utah (Arches National Park), Texas (oil change at the Wal-Mart in Amarillo), New Mexico (cooking supper in the middle of the desert), Kansas (it’s true – there is nothing but fields and flat lands there…) Kentucky (basic training for the Army), North Carolina (the beach), New York (WestPoint Military Academy for my cousin’s graduation – now she flies helicopters in Texas), Jersey, driven to IKEA on the Penna turnpike, through New York again to visit Niagara Falls, Indiana to visit my sister-in-law, and some others. Man, that’s a lot of states for someone who’s born in Sweden, wouldn’t you agree? Oh yeah, I teach driver’s Ed at a place called DriveTeam. I really like it – we have a lot of fun. Look it up on the Internet.

Steve – I moved here in 1996, when I was 17. We moved from a little fishing village (no kidding), with about 3,000 people, to Stow, OH. It was quite a change, but I wasn’t upset. Homesick a bit perhaps, and even today sometimes certain things make me sad, and longing for home. Especially the absence of open water. I used to live 500 yards from the beach, and smelling the fresh ocean air is unlike anything in Ohio. Yes, I guess you can say I have worked for the government. I was in the Ohio Army National Guard for six years. And then there’s of course that rumor that I was in the Swedish Special Forces. I’ not allowed to comment on that, but Mr. Costanzo has some of the details…

Mat – I don’t hunt – it’s not fair, and I absolutely adore deer. I think they are one of the most beautiful creatures of nature. Henceforth, I have not tackled one. I came close to getting into a fight with a moose once, on Isle Royal, but he backed down after I flexed… I’ve driven a lot, but never hot-wired anything. Have you? And Mat – everyone knows Chuck Norris would win any fight. Ever. Period. Who would win if Chuck Norris and God were fighting? I think you know the answer…

Nikkita – bulls are scary. I would never get close to one, unless of course they’re behind a big fence. And even then, I’m not sure. My dad, last time I visited him in 2000, took us, my wife and I, to an island after we’d been fishing. There were lots of cows on that island, and cows are huge when they’re close to you. Their tongue is enormous. They use it to check out new things with; Jae (my wife) did not care for their friendliness. Ah well – but no bull fighting. Have I ever been in an eating contest? What are you implying there, Nikkita? Huh? The answer is no, but I love watching it on TV. Did you know some guy ate two jars of mayonnaise in less than ten minutes? Gross! And Africa is one continent I have not been to. I would like to go, especially to the Serengeti to photograph all the animals. I am a fan of photography, and I love taking pictures of all things.

I like to watch TV – it relaxes me, and my wife and I usually watch some of the same shows. I really like Scrubs, or Boston Legal. The Office is fantastic, and even those who have never worked in an office can relate to their humor. When watching TV, I usually chow down on either pasta with Alfredo sauce (homemade, of course), and lots of vegetables. I really like fish, especially salmon, but it’s so hard to find around here. One place that’s really good is the Tomato Grill in Hudson. They never fail to satisfy my cravings. Oh, and Crave in Akron is awesome. 36-32.

Rebekah – I have had many jobs throughout. It started when I was your age by picking potatoes in the summer. We worked 18-hour days to get the new-potatoes to the store on time. Then I picked strawberries, sold ice cream, and delivered newspapers on my moped. When I moved here my first job was driving a bus for Campus Bus Service in Kent, OH. That was great, because they paid for my CDL (commercial driver license). I still have it, and could take all of you on a trip should the regular drivers go on strike. Have I met any government officials? Yes, lots. At the USCIS (formerly known as the INS, then BCIS), in the Army, and other places I can’t discuss… I’m 27.

My favorite job was probably, well, after teaching of course, driving the bus at Kent State University. It was such a great opportunity, and I learned a lot about people, interactions, and of course driving. I have never had to go to jail myself, but I have driven other people to jail. I used to be in the Police Reserves for the Stow Police Department, and we transported drunks all the time. Sometimes we had some real violent ones – we had to handcuff them just so they wouldn’t hurt themselves. One time we drove some Paraguayan immigrants back to their apartment in Akron. They didn’t speak any English, and I, nor my partner, spoke Spanish. We had a good time trying to find out where they lived. They incidentally worked at the Chipotle in Macedonia. Man, that’s good food. The chicken tacos, mild & medium salsa, sour cream, cheese and guac!

Ursulla – I have really enjoyed these past few months, learning to become a teacher. But what did I enjoy most, you say? Growing up, being a child – I loved it. I also now love teaching. I can’t wait to work full time. See the bit at the end, which is something I’ll include in my syllabus for my students in the spring. Next? I want to teach until I’m done teaching, and then move on to teach teachers. I will never leave academia, or education. I can’t – I’m hooked! There’s nothing better than learning and teaching. Learning from you and your classmates this year has been fantastic! Thank you for that.

No, Steve, I have not killed anyone. Man, do you think they’d let me teach you if that were true? Not just anyone can be a teacher. It takes guts, determination, and of course, no felonies… Hitting women is just wrong – they are the very reason you and I are here. They can do whatever they want. After all they’re in charge, you just don’t know it yet! No, I have not buried a deer…. But I have been in your backyard. What’s with that sculpture?

Brehon – I wish I could fly. I think that’s one of the things I have yet to do. I’m trying to hook with Tirzah, my cousin who flies the Blackhawks in Texas, from above, and she might take me for a ride. Dude – I wish I were in shape to run a triathlon. Have you heard about the Kona in Hawaii? They swim for 2.2 miles, bike 110 some miles, and then run an entire Marathon. Talk about endurance. That would certainly be a goal to strive towards, but who knows, maybe some day I’ll get there. We’ll see. For now, jogging in my neighborhood is fine with me.

Jason – I wish! 002 maybe… I did mention the Police Reserves above, and I wanted for a long time to become a police officer. I really like helping people, and giving them the guidance they need. I think ultimately I would have been bored in the police work. Too much sadness, and not enough rewards. Teaching is a lot like being a cop, though. You help people, set them on a straight course, or straighten their crooked gait, and make sure they succeed. You don’t arrest anyone per se, but you do bust people for not doing their work. But in the end, you’re in charge. Every decision you make is ultimately yours. I can only influence you, but I will never be able to make you do anything. Think about it. You must want to do something. If not, even getting Fs in all your classes won’t make you like school, right? Find that motivation, get going, and get passionate! That goes for all of you, not just Jason. (again, see the end bit…) Still 27. 28 next year though!

Ben – I have had glasses since I was two years old. I’m used to it now, so they don’t bother me, but they’re not that strong either. My right eye is like the eagle – I can see very well, probably 20/15. My left on the other hand is like the, well, no good. 20/300 perhaps. That don’t mean I can’t see you sneaking candy to Becky once in a while… Just kidding! Helicopter in Swedish is spelled “helicopter”. It’s pronounced HELLI-KOPTER. Sorry, you should have asked for a more difficult one, like

“En välkänd nordisk anekdot handlar om svensken som på besök i Köpenhamn undrar varför han blir körd till en kyrkogård när han ber taxichauffören köra honom till “ett roligt ställe”. Han ville ju till ett morsomt sted! “

Stow High School.

Kaylee – I haven’t done a lot! I haven’t taught you to your full potential. I see that as my greatest challenge yet… I wish to do a lot, but I seem to be running out of time. In three years I’ll be thirty, and then life’s pretty much over. Kids, Christmas at Grandma’s, vacation in Mexico, retirement, and then game over. So much to do, so little time. My cats on the other hand, they have it well. Sleep all day, eat some, sleep some more, snack, and then back to bed. Their names are Milky (for the milky in her eye when she was a kitten – she can see much better now), So-So (for Isolde – she has white paws (ask an English teacher)), and M-CAT (after the MCAT medical test – we found her in the parking lot of my wife’s work. She works at Kaplan Test Prep, and they prepare people for the medical entrance tests). They are all girls, so I am definitely in the minority at home. But I can handle it. I’m trained well… get up, empty litter box, make breakfast, wake up my wife, etc, etc… Many things. Knitting for one!

Katie – Because I really like it! And you will too…

Brad – my favorite color is green. Smart people like green. But then again, the problem with being the best is that some people may call you pretentious. Still bus driving and pasta. I guess I’m getting to the end of the questions, huh?

I think I listed most of my jobs already. I want to go to Australia – I really like kangaroos. I think they’re neat, hopping around with their young in a pouch. Did you know that pouch is called the marsupial pouch? It’s true, and there are even other animals that use that for their kids. I like animals, what can I say. I wish I had full cable access… but maybe that’s for the best, otherwise I wouldn’t do anything but watch the Animal Channel and Discovery. My other cat, Findus, the one that lives with my parents, really likes the Animal shows. He’ll watch them for hours. Seriously! And no – no DUIs. I am a very light drinker, and I’ve never been drunk. Ever. Sorry to disappoint.

Tim – No, no, and no!

Kristin – what a great question to end on. What is the meaning to life, etc? Well, I’ll tell you. In the words of the ever so wise Dr. Lowenthal, an anthropologist at Kent State University (possibly poached from Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”), the answer to that question is simple. It’s 42. That’s it.

And now, here’s some stuff I will include in my syllabus in the spring. It goes for you, too. I will still be a teacher even though you may not be in one of my classes. Don’t be afraid to look me up if you need help.

“To be successful in class, it will be important to be an active student. Engaging in the activities done in the classroom, or for homework, will make you a better well-rounded student. Challenge yourself to study harder than you have ever before. Take good notes. Read ahead, and take notes on the readings. Stay with the schedule – use the syllabus to make sure you’re on task with all the assignments. Ask for help whenever you need it – don’t hesitate to seek guidance. Ask questions. Reflect upon the material studied, reflect on yourself, and reflect on education. Use the extra blogs to express your own opinions. And stay safe – use sunscreen in the summer!

In all seriousness, being a student is tricky business. So much is asked of you in so little time. However, there is no time to slack off. Regardless if you want to get into college, or not, you need to get the most out of your own education. You’re in charge – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. As a teacher, I’m here to guide you on your journey towards graduation, and towards the rest of your life. The tools I can give you, and the tricks I can show you, will help you forever – regardless of where you’re going after commencement. I am here for you – make the most and the best of it. I love teaching, and I love learning. Don’t be afraid to share problems or ask for advice. Whether you’re interested in quantum physics, or stamp collecting, it doesn’t matter – I am interested in you!

I can’t wait to teach you, and guide you in your experience. Please accept my invitation to travel with me. It will be a fun ride, I promise.”

I hope we get to spend more time together in a future class. Thanks for all your help!

Mr. Johansson


This Day In History

  • February 6, 1952: Elizabeth becomes queen

    On this day in 1952, after a long illness, King George VI of Great Britain and Northern Ireland dies in his sleep at the royal estate at Sandringham. Princess Elizabeth, the oldest of the king’s two daughters and next in line to succeed him, was in Kenya at the time of her father’s death; she was crowned Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953, at age 27.

    King George VI, the second son of King George V, ascended to the throne in 1936 after his older brother, King Edward VIII, voluntarily abdicated to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. During World War II, George worked to rally the spirits of the British people by touring war zones, making a series of morale-boosting radio broadcasts (for which he overcame a speech impediment) and shunning the safety of the countryside to remain with his wife in bomb-damaged Buckingham Palace. The king’s health deteriorated in 1949, but he continued to perform state duties until his death in 1952.

    Queen Elizabeth, born on April 21, 1926, and known to her family as Lilibet, was groomed as a girl to succeed her father. She married a distant cousin, Philip Mountbatten, on November 20, 1947, at London’s Westminster Abbey. The first of Elizabeth’s four children, Prince Charles, was born in 1948.

    From the start of her reign, Elizabeth understood the value of public relations and allowed her 1953 coronation to be televised, despite objections from Prime Minister Winston Churchill and others who felt it would cheapen the ceremony. Elizabeth, the 40th British monarch since William the Conqueror, has worked hard at her royal duties and become a popular figure around the world. In 2003, she celebrated 50 years on the throne, only the fifth British monarch to do so.

    The queen’s reign, however, has not been without controversy. She was seen as cold and out-of-touch following the 1996 divorce of her son, Prince Charles, and Princess Diana, and again after Diana’s 1997 death in a car crash. Additionally, the role in modern times of the monarchy, which is largely ceremonial, has come into question as British taxpayers have complained about covering the royal family’s travel expenses and palace upkeep. Still, the royals are effective world ambassadors for Britain and a huge tourism draw. Today, the queen, an avid horsewoman and Corgi dog lover, is one of the world’s wealthiest women, with extensive real-estate holdings and art and jewelry collections.

Digest powered by RSS Digest

Economics News

Econ Announcement

Just as an FYI…

The Chapter 1 Essay test is due today (here, online), so make sure you get that done. Also, if you’d like a chance at the Banana stand extra credit, now’s the time – that opportunity closes today as well. Lastly, don’t forget the Ethanol reading that’s due as well, since you got some extra time to work on it due to the snow days last week.

So far, the essays have been good, and the comments well written. Keep up the good work! See you in class Monday! And don’t forget to read chapter 2, as it goes rather quickly, and the test will happen this week.


World News from BBC

Digest powered by RSS Digest


It’s DEFINITELY a Kind of Magic

I love Eme, but that doesn’t mean that every day is a picnic.There are some days, however, when I am convinced that Mommy Magic is a very real, very powerful force. Of course, while I’m calling it Mommy Magic, it’s not exclusive to mommies. It’s that thing where you (whether you’re a mommy, daddy, grandparent, aunt, uncle, and/or primary caregiver) know the child so well, that you can help bring


World News from BBC

  • Mubarak moves to restart economy
    Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak holds talks with key ministers to try to revive an economy hit by 12 days of protests calling for his resignation.
  • Multiculturalism has failed – PM
    David Cameron criticises “state multiculturalism” in his first speech as prime minister on radicalisation and the causes of terrorism.
  • Mid-East facing ‘perfect storm’
    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the Middle East is facing a “perfect storm” of unrest and governments must embrace democratic change.
  • Strauss calls for one-day switch
    England captain Andrew Strauss has backed calls for the restructing of future tours so one-day matches are played before Test series.
  • Chernobyl birds are small brained
    Birds living around the site of the Chernobyl nuclear accident have 5% small brains, an effect directly linked to lingering background radiation.
  • Berlusconi’s brainteaser
    At last – the origin of the phrase ‘bunga bunga’ is revealed
  • Border clash kills Thai soldier
    A Thai soldier is shot dead in a disputed area around the Cambodia border, where tensions have been rising in recent days.
  • UK lifts Tunisia travel warning
    Warnings against travel to Tunisia are lifted as the Foreign Office says there is a “reduced threat” following recent political unrest.
  • Giffords’ husband to lead space mission
    The husband of wounded US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has said he has decided to resume astronaut training in order to command the final flight of the space shuttle Endeavour in April.
  • Fatal clashes on Thai-Cambodia border
    Thai and Cambodian forces have exchanged artillery fire in a disputed border area, with a Cambodian soldier and a Thai civilian reported killed.

Digest powered by RSS Digest

Economics History

Essay Contest: What qualities make America a great nation?

Just a reminder that the deadline for submitting your students’ essays for our “What’s So Great About America” Essay Contest is coming up soon!

11:59pm Pacific Time on FEBRUARY 28, 2011!

Have your students write a 500-1000 word essay, following their viewing of John Stossel’s recent special (they can watch it on our web site), and SUBMIT THEIR ESSAYS on our web site to be eligible to WIN OVER 120 CASH PRIZES, plus an all-expense-paid trip to New York City to see a live taping of “STOSSEL” for 1st and 2nd place students, teachers, and an adult chaperone.



ESSAY TOPIC: What qualities make America a great nation? Are the criticisms of America discussed in the video valid? Does the video successfully counter these charges? Support your analysis with at least two examples from the video.


Today’s Econ Links

Digest powered by RSS Digest