Brief asides


POSTED: Monday, June 22, 2009


Museum lost its marbles

Greece's Acropolis Museum opened over the weekend to much fanfare. Fantastic pieces of art are finally displayed in all their glory. But one segment remains unfinished.

The Elgin Marbles, still held by the British Museum, have yet to be installed. Space has been reserved for the sculptures, which were removed from the Parthenon by Britain's Lord Elgin in the 1800s.

What makes this different than say, a single artifact residing in a foreign museum, is that the Elgin Marbles are a portion of a larger work of sculptures. Art critics have likened it to cutting the Mona Lisa in half, and displaying the pieces in two museums.

Perhaps now that Greece has built a new, modern museum, it's time to return the statues to their home.



”;Positive Action”; looks to keep kids on the straight

Ah, the wonders of positive thinking: It lifts the spirit, it clarifies the mind, it enables the character.

And now, the virtues of “;Positive Action”; have been quantified, and will likely be adopted into some schools here.

A new study of a five-year experiment shows that essentially, kids who got exposed to positive behavior and a comprehensive guidance framework were half as likely to get involved with drugs, alcohol, weapons or sex as peers in other schools.

Instead of focusing on avoiding risky behaviors, the “;Positive Action”; program gives students daily 15-minute doses of interactive, character-development lessons.

“;Intervention beginning in the first grade produced a significant effect on children's behavior in the fifth grade,”; said Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which helped fund the study.

It's never too early to start building character.