Monday, February 26, 2018


Pennsylvania's Supreme Court created a new Congressional map for Pennsylvania. This map erases the extreme gerrymanders from the previous map and makes several districts more competitive. You can read about the new map here.

The New York Times has a fascinating interactive map feature which compares the old Pennsylvania districts with the new ones. Check it out here.

Finally, here is some interesting analysis from The New York Times about what the new map means for Democrats and Republicans.

Monday, February 19, 2018


Christine Yared is a 14-year-old freshman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. She wrote an op-ed piece in The New York Times, which you can read here.

Two sixteen-year-old girls organized a "lie-in" in front of the White House in Washington, D.C. on Monday. You can read about the event in The Washington Post here.

Emma Gonzalez helped galvanize the #NeverAgain movement with her heartfelt speech at a Fort Lauderdale rally. If you have not watched the speech you can watch it here.

How did the teenage survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School organize their movement so quickly? These two pieces cover the origins of the movement: the first is from Buzzfeed and the second is from The New Yorker.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Welcome to Gacekblog 2017

Gacekblog is a supplementary resource for Mr. Gacek's classes. You will find links and posts related to Geography, Politics, Literature, Soccer, Popular Culture, Kombucha, and various things Mr. Gacek finds interesting.

Gacekblog is not a homework blog. Homework due dates for Mr. Gacek's classes can be found on TeacherEase.

Welcome to NOVA!!

To learn more about the above map, click here.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Favorite Shows of All Time!!

1. The Wire (HBO) 2002-2008 (5 seasons)
2. Freaks and Geeks (NBC) 1999-2000 (1 season)
3. The Sopranos (HBO) 1999-2007 (6 seasons)
4. Twin Peaks (ABC) 1990-1991 (2 seasons)
5. My So-Called Life (ABC) 1994-1995 (1 season)
6. Mad Men (AMC) 2007-2015 (7 seasons)
7. Seinfeld (NBC) 1989-1998 (9 seasons)
8. Breaking Bad (AMC) 2008-2013 (5 seasons)
9. Louie (FOX) 2010-2015 (5 seasons)
10. Friday Night Lights (NBC) 2006-2011 (5 seasons)
11. Rectify (Sundance) 2013-2016 (4 seasons)
12. Lost (ABC) 2004-2010 (6 seasons)
13. The Simpsons (FOX) 1989-2017 (29 seasons)
14. Cheers (NBC) 1982-1993 (11 seasons)
15. The Office (BBC Two) (UK) 2001-2003 (2 seasons)
16. Parks and Recreation (NBC) 2009-2015 (7 seasons)
17. The Office (NBC) 2005-2013 (9 seasons)
18. Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO) 2000-2017 (9 seasons)
19. Master of None (Netflix) 2015-2017 (2 seasons)
20. NewsRadio (NBC) 1995-1999 (5 seasons)
22. The Cosby Show (NBC) 1984-1992 (8 seasons)
22. Undeclared (FOX) 2001-2002 (1 season)
23. Flight of the Conchords (HBO) 2007-2009 (2 seasons)
24. The IT Crowd (Channel 4) (UK) 2006-2010 (4 seasons)
25. Once & Again (ABC) 1999-2002 (3 seasons)
26. The Wonder Years (ABC) 1988-1993 (6 seasons)
27. Arrested Development (FOX) 2003-2006 (3 seasons)
28. True Detective (HBO) 2014 (Season 1 only)
29. Skins (E4) (UK) 2007-2008 (Seasons 1-2 only)
30. Fleabag (BBC Three) (UK) 2016 (1 season)
31. True Blood (HBO) 2008 (Season 1 only)
32. Detectorists (BBC Four) (UK) 2014-2015 (2 seasons)
33. The End of the F***ing World (Channel 4) (UK) 2017 (1 season)
34. Please Like Me (ABC2/ABC) (Australia) 2013-2016 (4 seasons)
35. Bored to Death (HBO) 2009-2011 (3 seasons)
35. Horace and Pete (Hulu) 2016 (1 season)
36. Party Down (Starz) 2009-2010 (2 seasons)
37. Terriers (FX) 2010 (1 season)
38. Entourage (HBO) 2004-2011 (8 seasons)
39. The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman (IFC) 2006-2007 (2 seasons)
40. One Mississippi (Amazon) 2015-17 (2 seasons)
41. The Mighty Boosh (BBC Three) (UK) 2004-2007 (3 seasons)
42. King of the Hill (FOX) 1997-2010 (13 seasons)
43. Girls (HBO) 2012-2017 (6 seasons)
44. Six Feet Under (HBO) 2001-2005 (5 seasons)
45. Enlightened (HBO) 2011-2013 (2 seasons)
46. Ed (NBC) 2000-2004 (4 seasons)
47. The Jinx (HBO) 2015 (1 season)
48. Love (Netflix) 2016-2017 (2 seasons)
49. Back (Channel 4) (UK) 2017 (1 season)
50. American High (PBS) 2001 (1 season)
51. Catastrophe (Channel 4) (UK) 2015-2017 (3 seasons)
52. Hung (HBO) 2009-2011 (3 seasons)
53. Family Tree (HBO) 2013 (1 season)
54. Summer Heights High (ABC) (AU) 2007 (1 season)

Currently watching: The Mary Tyler Moore Show, M*A*S*H, Taxi, Moonlighting, Fargo, Broad City, Orange is the New Black, Better Call Saul, Baskets, Veep, The Americans, Transparent, Casual, Kimmy Schmidt, Silicon Valley, The Mindy Project, The Good Place, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Better Things.

Watchlist: The Leftovers, Hannibal, Deadwood, Sports Night, Brooklyn Bridge, Frank's Place, The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, Halt & Catch Fire, The Deuce.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

World Religions Map

Follow this Link. Zoom in with '+' and '-' icons. Toggle between religions by clicking on 'MENU' in upper right corner.

Source: PBS

College Mascot Family Tree

Click this Link. Left-click image to zoom in. Use scroll-bars at bottom and right of image to move across the chart.

Source: Deadspin

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Gambia

President Barrow, left, was seen off at Dakar airport by President Sall of Senegal (Getty Images)
You can read about Presdent Adama Barrow's return to The Gambia and see footage of his arrival on this BBC News page.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index

The Economist magazine from the United Kingdom updated their Democracy Index of the world's governments. Follow this link to visit their interactive map.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Latitude and Longitude

Here is a video to help you understand Latitude & Longitude:

Sunday, November 27, 2016

MLS Cup!!

Sounders advance to MLS Cup, defeating Colorado Rapids 1-0!

Nico Lodeiro

Roman and Herculez

Coach Schmetzer

Jordan Morris' Winning Goal
Photo credits: Major League Soccer, Major League Soccer, Sounders FC, Sounders FCMajor League Soccer, Q13FOXMLS WatercolorsJoe Towner

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Surabhi Mundada: Science Hero!!

Surabhi Mundada is a senior at Olympia High School and a NOVA graduate. In this video she discusses her MyHealth and MyGlove project. Surabhi has devoted over 100 hours per month over the past year working on this project. So very impressive, Surabhi!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Leonard Cohen 1934-2016

Leonard Cohen, a truly great poet and musician, passed away today at the age of 82. He wrote many, many great songs, and I've posted a few favorites below. If you're intrigued I'd encourage you to explore YouTube; there are so many Leonard Cohen gems. Cohen's most recent album, You Want It Darker, was released just three weeks ago. The song below, "It Seemed a Better Way," is from this album. Leonard Cohen will be missed.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Battleground Map

Mr. Gacek created this map using the website Click on the map below to create your prognostication for the 2016 United States Presidential Election.

Click the map to create your own at

Friday, November 4, 2016

Chicago Cast of Hamilton Sings "Go Cubs Go!"

It has come to my attention that some members of the sixth grade class are fans of the musical "Hamilton." I thought you might enjoy this rendition of the Chicago Cubs' theme song "Go Cubs Go!" as sung by the Chicago cast. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Dia de los Muertos 2016

Sounders 'Til I Die

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween 2016!!

To see this year's eighth graders as sixth graders on Halloween click here.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Gerrymandering Explained

The Washington Post's Christopher Ingraham wrote an excellent article about gerrymandering and how it will affect the 435 elections for the House of Representatives on November 8. Watch the video first and then read the article here.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Hip-Hop Story of Henrietta Lacks

"The Immortal Rap of Henrietta Lacks" was written and produced by eighth grade students from KIPP Bridge Charter School in Oakland, California. To learn the background of Henrietta Lacks and the production of the video, read this article from PBS. If you want to read the full story of Henrietta Lacks, please read the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Senator Al Franken drawing map of United States from memory

Senator Al Franken from Minnesota has gained some renown for his ability to draw the United States quickly from memory. Watch him in action!