A Mall of Old: Pompano Fashion Square

Malls are a fast-dying breed, a process accelerated by the COVID plague. Here’s a memory of one in South Florida: the J.C. Penney’s entrance to the Pompano Fashion Square, August 1973. It was Broward County’s first regional shopping centre.

Pompano Fashion Square, August 1973

It’s since been redeveloped, but back in the day, the mall was the place to be, especially in South Florida’s hot, humid climate.

Plotting Graphs With a Spreadsheet

For those of you who may not be familiar with how to do this, here is a video on how to plot graphs (and trend lines) on a spreadsheet:

For my students there are a few things that need to be added:

  • Don’t delete the legend as he does; move it to the bottom of the graph (an option when you right click the legend.)
  • You’ll need to include the R2 coefficient along with the trend line equation; that option is included when you set up the trend line.
  • I prefer you look at polynomial regression last rather than just after linear. (Linear is obviously where you start.)
  • Add major grid lines to the x-axis (same place as when you add the x-axis legend.)

The Grand Finale of the North Shore Line — Transportation History

January 21, 1963 Early on a subzero Monday morning, the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad – popularly known as the North Shore Line (NSL) – made its final run after nearly 47 years of service between northeastern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin. United Press International (UPI) reported, “The last train of the North Shore railroad – […]

The Grand Finale of the North Shore Line — Transportation History

Ralph Greco’s Logic and Public Speaking Notes

For the New Year we start off with a document: the eighth grade logic and public speaking notes of Ralph Greco, Palm Beach Day School/Academy’s long-time English teacher. How long? This was the introduction which Walter Butler, then PBDS’s headmaster, gave him and his wife when they started in 1968:

Mr. Greco, a native of Pennsylvania, will teach sixth and eighth grade English. A graduate of the University of Maryland in 1955, Mr. Greco taught English four years in the Pittsburgh area prior to teaching English in the Palm Beach County schools for the past seven years. Mrs. Greco, also a native of Pennsylvania, will teach in one of the Second Grade sections. She received her B.S. degree from Pennsylvania State, majoring in Elementary Education and Home Economics.

He’s still teaching there, something which was underscored by the Washington Post’s Catherine Rampell’s piece just before Christmas last year. And he’s become something of the school’s “historian,” as this page attests.

As for me, let’s start with the public speaking part: it was immensely useful for that, although it was some time before I really got to put it to use. The logic was even more complicated: I was certainly receptive to what he was saying, but in an environment of hidden agendas and a lot of nice-sounding but self-serving rhetoric, it was hard to implement. It wasn’t until undergraduate school at Texas A&M that I took a full-blown course in logic, complete with syllogistic logic, which was missing from this presentation. (I also spent much time with Thomas Aquinas in those days, which is a logic course in and of itself.)

But even that had its moments:

One of the things that the Mechanical Engineering department required its majors to take was Logic, which was offered by the Philosophy Department.  Most of the engineers did pretty well in this course, which was doubtless a source of secret frustration to liberal arts’ professors.

One day I went up to pick up a test from the professor.  The professor looked at the grade, noted that I had nearly aced it, looked at me, and exclaimed, “You’re not as dumb as you look!”

I’m not sure that Mr. Greco would agree with that sentiment, but hey, that’s what happens when you go “beyond the gates.”

Teaching Around the Christmas Tree

Most of you who follow this blog know that this site, in addition to all of my family history, is also the open online host for my Fluid Mechanics Laboratory material, which includes pages for the teaching videos, which I’ve adopted in the wake of COVID. Recently I had to update one of those videos and did it with the following background:

The Christmas tree to my right has a little bit of family history associated with it: it was Chet and Myrtle’s, and probably dates back to the 1950’s. It’s been passed down and now graces these videos. For a better view of it, you can watch the video itself.

In spite of the fact that this year has been a general ordeal, it has been a good one for all of my sites and the YouTube channel. Lord willing, there will be more to come.

Let me take the opportunity to wish all my visitors a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Or, as my great grand-uncle James N. Warrington put it: