conuly: (Default)
Some NSA Officials Favor Giving Snowden Limited Amnesty For All The Wrong Reasons

Feds joins battle on citrus disease

Obama to review changes in spy policy

Tech giants team up in anti-snooping effort

On the one hand: good for them! On the other, I am even more uncomfortable with corporate influence in the government than I am with the NSA, and that is saying an awful lot.

The Return of the Welfare Queen

Federal judge declares Utah polygamy law unconstitutional

This Ethiopian village has gained wealth, but has bred hostility

Because they aren't Christians or Muslims, basically.



As many commenters point out, not all of the "black" people on that modified Guess Who? board look unambiguously black. So there's that as well.

Surprise! Charity Buys 21 Sacred Katsinam for Hopi at Auction in Paris

Scientists discover double meaning in genetic code

How cholera evolved to be one of the deadliest diseases in history

This study shows how a good metaphor can change the world

Inside the Rainbow Gulag: The Technicolor Rise and Fall of Lisa Frank

The second operating system hiding in every mobile phone

A Pen That 3-D Prints Bone Right Onto Patients

In Ukraine, skepticism greets new vow on E.U.

Kindergartener signs song for deaf mom. It's the most adorable time of the year!

Teacher accused of feeding autistic student hot sauce rehired.

Either Florida has a serious teacher shortage or they really hate disabled kids down there.
conuly: (Default)
Children and Guns: The Hidden Toll

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Guns at School? If There’s a Will, There Are Ways

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conuly: (Default)
On science kits through the decades:

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One on antivirus companies:

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conuly: (Default)

This is an article basically decrying the lack of diversity in kidlit. It is apparently especially bad with regards to Hispanics. And even when books technically exist, there is no guarantee that families will easily be able to find those books. Not knowing specific titles and authors to look for (and having to ask for them to be specially ordered at the bookstore or library) can be a big barrier for any child.

Framing this article is a logical argument that runs pretty much like this:

1. Many children - and for that matter, many adults! - like to read books where they can easily identify with the protagonists.
2. Children need to practice a lot to learn a new skill. They need to read often, for long periods of time, to become fluent readers.
3. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that the lack of any real Hispanic in children's literature is a turnoff for many Hispanic children (especially those who already have trouble learning to read English, perhaps because it is not their home language), and makes them less eager to read. This, in turn, is not doing their reading skills a favor.
4. So it is important for publishers and booksellers to make a more diverse range of protagonists available to children.

This is fairly straightforward, right? I should know better than to ever glance at the comments to any article, but I confess, I'm filled with morbid curiosity regarding them.

The comments reinforced my notion that the people most likely to loudly trumpet their reading comprehension skills are the ones who most lack any such thing. From that simple proposition they widely got the impression that third grade teachers want to burn every "classic" book ever authored and not allow high schoolers to read Shakespeare. Also, it's acceptable to ask children who cannot read Spanish to any level of fluency to just wait until they are old enough to read Don Quixote in the original, because it is positively anathema to provide English language books for children that don't feature whites. (Then again, these people might just be against new publications on general principle. Few of them seem to have read any children's books published in the last half a century.) Several people commented with nostalgic approval about the good old days of whites-only Dick and Jane, those days when every child learned to read, even Johnny. If they're old enough to have learned from those basals they're presumably old enough to know better, but apparently not.

And of course, there is the ever popular rallying cry of "let's be colorblind". Advocating for a greater diversity in protagonists is racist because good books are accessible to every reader and apparently it's impossible for a good book to not prominently feature white children. Children don't see race until we teach them to, and providing books with nonwhite protagonists just teaches them to see race. Asians do well in school despite there being few books with Asian protagonists and therefore we shouldn't even consider changing a thing because the only thing that matters about kidlit is how well kids do in school, and it's insulting to suggest some children might do better if they had an easy hook. This total lack of diversity worked for ME, so it ought to be good enough for everybody. (Nevermind that a highly motivated reader is going to need less encouragement in general!) If parents care, they should just teach their children themselves (after school, natch, because homeschooling isn't the answer) and order books online. This presupposes that these parents have Internet access and time in the first place, but if you're not willing to give up your family time for this you're just an awful human being.

I tell you, sometimes it's delightful to find out what the Internet-connected public thinks. Usually it's not, but I try to amuse myself.

Edit: you know, it's the hypocrisy that gets me. These are people criticizing teachers for daring to suggest that children might like to, occasionally, read books about kids like themselves. First they say that no, kids should read about people different from them (which means that the preponderance of white characters is harmful to white kids, yes? How is this any better?) and then they inevitably rattle off a list of Good Books they think all kids should read.

Several hundred comments, and a handful of books listed. For all this talk about reading good books, to read these comments you'd think quality children's literature was limited to seven titles.

Maybe that's why they can't comprehend the concept of adding to the library. They aren't actually very well-read, at least not in this area. It's sad, it really is.
conuly: (Default)
If it's true, we already know it by looking at the results. And if it's not, it's just insulting by implying that we (and the kid) are just damn lazy.

Evangeline took a spelling test today. And she failed miserably. Which is funny because she got all those words right yesterday when I tested her on them! I'm putting under the cut the text of the email I sent Jenn about it.

Read more... )

It probably didn't help that she developed a headache this afternoon (she says "right after the test"), but a headache should not have produced this amount of difference between what she did yesterday and what she did today. A difference in how the words were presented might make that difference, I think.

It also doesn't help that it apparently never occurred to her to go back and check your answers after writing them down. I asked, and she said she didn't re-read that first section after writing any of it.

Ana also had a spelling test today, but I don't know how she did yet. I know that on one of her homework assignments she wrote "friendlly" and nobody corrected it, which wouldn't be such a big deal except that friendly is one of her spelling words. And because nobody corrected her she tried arguing with me when I pointed it out to her, naturally. Her teacher checked it and didn't correct it! But as I pointed out, if friend has no l, and -ly has one l, zero plus one still only equals one.
conuly: (Default)
In my earlier post, when I mention "PS 70 in Queens", I'm not just giving more information for the sake of giving more information. In NYC, different public schools can share the same number, so long as they're in different boroughs. So it's important to state which PS 70 or whatever it is. The administrative code for PS 70 would be ??Q070, if it were in Staten Island it'd be 31R070 (R for Richmond), in Brooklyn it'd be ??K070 (for Kings County) and so on. As it happens, the only other 70 in the city is in the Bronx, so that'd be ??X070. (The question marks refer to the district number, which I only know for Staten Island.)

You go to elementary school and typically middle school in your district with a few exceptions: If you're in the gifted program, you can go to any gifted program school in your borough (and it's several districts per borough with the exception of Staten Island, we all have the same district and it overlaps into Brooklyn as well), and all the self-contained special ed classes are in the same district (district 75, even on Statne Island) instead of being regional.

You can get to go to a public school out of district if they have space available OR if your school is seriously low-performing (and the school you want has space available, they register children in their district first.

And sometimes two or more schools will share a building. This can work out well, or it can work out very very badly.

This all excludes discussion of charter schools (a whole freaking can of worms!) and the high school admissions process. (Not to mention non-public schools.) All of you living outside of NYC should thank your lucky stars (individually and by name) that you never have to deal with the NYC high school admissions process.

The other day, passing by Stuy towards this awesome playground, Ana went "Could I try that out and change if I don't like it?" and I said "Yes... maybe." The truth is that Stuy can be a crazy pressure cooker in the best of circumstances, and already I'm thinking maybe not the best choice for Ana. (Plus, honestly, the quality of the teaching isn't any better than at any other school. In some cases it can be worse, if the teachers expect the students to teach themselves everything.)
conuly: (childish)
Better than Ana was at her actual age, but not quite as well as during the same part in her school career, if that makes sense.

Both of them had, at this point, a problem with guessing. But they guessed totally differently!

Ana, at this stage, would look at the first few letters and make a guess based on how they should all sound... even if it didn't make sense. So if she had a sentence that ran something like "We all live on the Earth" and she was tired by the end of it, she might read "Earth" as "earring" or "eats" or some nonsense word that sorta sounds right.

Evangeline, looking at that same sentence and being just as tired at the end of it, is much more likely to make a guess based upon the sense of the sentence. So HER guess might come out as "planet" or "world".

This has the result of making Evangeline sound like a much better reader, and the fact that she pays attention to what the words mean is very good... but in the end, I don't really want either one of them guessing at all. When they do (and they don't guess right), deep down I feel like shouting "STOP GUESSING! JUST READ IT! R E A D!"

But I try not to do that. I doubt it's helpful. I know, being able to figure things out from context is an important skill, and Ana, at least, is reading well above grade level, so why worry?

But it really annoys me. I mean, really.

Here's something else about reading, and I'm allowed to post this on the condition that none of you ever mentions it to anybody who might ever meet Evangeline, ever. You're swearing an oath by reading onwards!

When they read, they like to pretend they're characters in the books they're reading. (And to an extent they do this when watching TV too.) So if I read about how Omakayas felt bad because her sister Angeline teased her (we're reading The Birchbark House now. Good book, but it's about to get REALLY depressing), Evangeline will go "That's me, I feel bad!" or start to "cry" at the same time I'm reading because "My sister was mean to me". Evangeline especially listens very closely for any mention of HER chosen character in whatever book we're reading. (She was Diana when we read Anne of Green Gables. She still IS Diana sometimes.)
conuly: (cucumber)
So there's going to be a bunch of articles about school!

Ana was talking to me about her teachers and school, and boy did she ever have a lot to say! She doesn't like that her teachers always claim that when THEY were kids THEY always acted right and never were disrespectful or misbehaved in any way. This is clearly a lie. (And it clearly is, and a stupid one, no argument here.) She doesn't like that some kids get pulled out of class for special reasons and she never does. (After talking with her, I managed to get it across that they're not being pulled out of class because the teachers like them more, but because they probably need special help. It seems one of them won't do any of his work...?) She doesn't like that her kindergarten teacher was so awesome that she managed to set an impossibly high standard - seriously, she went on and on and ON about exactly why her kindergarten teacher was such a good teacher, using many specific details. I eventually told her she should write it all down and tell the woman next time she sees her, because it'd be helpful. (It'd be more helpful for the others, I guess, but how could that go over well? Forget it.)

And we talked about other things. Apparently, she thinks that the most popular girl in her grade is beautiful. Everybody thinks that. Except she's not very nice. (According to Ana, anyway.) And several other named people are pretty too. Which led to two discussions:

1. In five years, this girl A will think she's fat and want to be slender like Ana (Ana giggled, because the girl in question IS big compared to her - but then, who isn't?), that girl B will think she's too skinny and want to look more like A, a third girl C will just think she's ugly and want a face more like B's face, and D will want C's hair. And it's all a pointless waste of time.

2. There's pretty on the outside and there's pretty on the inside, and people can get over not having the first but very rarely get over not having the second. Ana apparently managed to completely and pointlessly antagonize That Popular Girl in her grade last year, and it didn't make her happy in the end (well, really, I could've told her that saying to the girl's face that she's mean was a bad idea, even if it IS true), but as I pointed out, there's probably lots of other kids who wish they could be brave and kind like Ana is. That doesn't mean they're going to be nice or are going to be her friend, but you have to take what you can get.

So we'll see what happens this year. Ana isn't convinced she doesn't want to transfer schools, but truthfully, I don't see her social problems (the extent of which she only was willing to talk about in June) as changing just because she changes schools. That's assuming that she has as many problems as she thinks. I pick her up, I see kids randomly hugging her as they say goodbye, and while it's possible they're all really being manipulative, they're not hugging everybody and calling out to them.

Anyway! Articles!

Growth scores give schools No Child Left Behind alternative

Basically they're saying that if you're evaluating teachers, evaluate by how much they taught, not whether they were magically able to pull 33 kids up to grade level from being 3 years behind. If they do a year's worth of work, that's a year's worth of teaching. I think that's fair.

PS 70 in Queens has the city's worst bedbug problem. I really only linked this for the first sentence:

This is one grade a Queens elementary school wished it hadn't scored highest in the city.

What an unusual way to form a sentence, don't you think?

And this piece on independent learning in a school
conuly: Fuzzy picture of the Verrazano Bridge. Quote in Cursive Hebrew (bridge)
Among Twists in Budget Woes, Tensions Over Teaching the Deaf

You should read the comments here and also here. Or maybe you shouldn't, as some of them are a little inane.

"I'm so glad my parents chose the path they chose!" Well, that's good, but when you start off with those words, the first thing I say is "Well, duh." Not only do you not know the alternative, but most people will tend to support what their parents did for them as children!

"As somebody with a hearing impairment for the past few months which will hopefully be cured soon, I think I understand this subject...." Is it just me, or is a recent, possibly short-term hearing impairment as an adult not even remotely the same as growing up deaf, or Deaf even? You may be right or you may be wrong, but your recent hearing impairment doesn't actually make you more credible, does it? (Then again, I get annoyed sometimes when people start off comments by throwing around their "credentials". Who can prove it?)

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A Sleepaway Camp Where Math Is the Main Sport

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conuly: (dragon theflyingace)
This makes sense if teachers rarely utilize the school library. We never did in any school I attended, with any teacher.

Of course, it would make MORE sense to make going to the library and doing research and likewise a regular part of the week.

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conuly: (Default)
One of these shows up every year. As always, the comments are really funny. For some reason, the ones that are all "Oh, we need lots of homework so our students can compete are always misspelled. "Our brain is like a mussel", anybody? (And who says that the best way to exercise is to do repetetetetetetive busywork? There's no exercising your brain by cooking, doing chores, taking music lessons, playing with your friends?)

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conuly: (Default)

Nevermind that they've been writing this article again and again since I was a kid, people never tire of talking about how Western civilization is about to fall because schools in America no longer emphasize cursive.

The comments are a morass of the usual fear-mongering:

OMG! If you don't write in cursive, you can't cash a check!!!

Yes, you can. There is no law, no, none requiring you to use any particular style when signing your name. The closest I can come to finding such a thing is a voter registration page for Ohio saying that sign means a "cursive style" mark unless you don't regularly use a cursive style mark in your business affairs, in which case your habitual mark in your own handwriting is what is desired, and that furthermore you can make an X if you can't sign your name at all.

Which sounds to me like you can write your name any damn way you please when voting in Ohio. And that is the only official information I can find on the subject.

OMG! If they can't write in cursive, they can't write a love letter or read the Declaration of Independence!

The first being beside the point (seriously? Only literate people love each other? And then only if they can write in a certain way?), anybody can read the Declaration of Independence in a printed form. You don't have to view the original.

Here's a dirty little secret about that, though. That pretty, official one that we all know about? That's not Jefferson's handwriting. They got a professional to write it out for them!

OMG! I can't spell, or use punctuation correctly, but I'm about to talk about declining standards!

STFU, hypocrite.

OMG! Teachers are too liberal! I'm going to go wildly off topic now! Also, I have no idea what a paragraph is!

See above.

OMG! If I can't write in cursive, my handwriting will be too slow when taking notes in class in college!

1. Learn shorthand.
2. Teach your kids to take notes - they should NOT be writing down every word. Not even in shorthand.
3. The premise here is debatable, but I'm not going to bother with that because let's go back to point 1. - this is why we have shorthand.

OMG! Like, the Scriptures are written in cursive, not printed!

WTF? Okay, maybe? But then they're in cursive Hebrew and Greek. I'm utterly failing to see your point here.

And, my personal favorite:

OMG! Kids today can't even recite the state capitals! followed by (exact quote) "Many things we learn aren't used after we leave school; that's no excuse not to to teach it."

1. Who the hell needs to know the state capitals at the drop of a hat? But if it's so important to you, I refer you back to Pippi, who has a very healthy take on this.

2. Actually, if something is truly useless for most of the population, won't kill you if you don't know it, and can be learned in adulthood, then yes, I kinda think that is an excuse to not teach it... or at least, to not teach it to elementary school kids. There are only six and a half hours in the school day, and some of that time is taken up with lunch and (hopefully) recess and gym. There simply isn't time to teach the kids everything on the off-chance that some of it might be useful one day.

Alternatively, if you think cursive writing is that important, teach it earlier. Start with cursive, and then have them learn print. Or teach print in kindergarten and the first half of first grade, and then they learn cursive and they're done. It does nobody any favors to spend three or more years teaching them to write one way, just to try to struggle to find time in the day to teach them another way when they already have all those printing habits. (And you don't have to tell me many teachers don't teach print very effectively either. I know, I know. Many teachers aren't taught how to teach any form of handwriting at all.)
conuly: Good Omens quote: "Kids! Bringing about Armageddon can be dangerous!" (armageddon)
Another article on "sovereign citizens", this time featuring a cop who wanted to become one, and now wants to take it back.

Two TSA employees were busted for stealing from baggage. Repeatedly. You have to admire their keen reasoning in only robbing from drug dealers on the grounds that they can't exactly go to the cops, but I wonder if either of them stopped to consider that people who won't go to the cops are exactly the sort of people you do NOT want to piss off. I think they got off lucky, frankly.

And then there's this two-year-old question at Yahoo. A teenager wants to know if it's okay to run a lending library of books her private school has banned. That is just awesome. (I want to know if it's okay to start charging money every time Ana lends out one of the household books to a friend. I don't trust her grubby little classmates!)
conuly: Good Omens quote: "Kids! Bringing about Armageddon can be dangerous!" (armageddon)
For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining. What went wrong—and how we can fix it.

I'm not entirely sure I believe this article, but there it is.

Here's a video on blizzards and long-term methods for traffic calming.

NYPD Cops' Training Included an Anti-Muslim Horror Flick. Other than the disturbing nature of this, it's not really worth reading past the title (which sums up what you need to know) unless you are masochistically inclined towards comment-reading. Half of them say that Muslims and Islam and Obama are all evil-evil-evil, and the others say that this video is the work of Zionist Jews who, along with Obama, are all evil-evil-evil.

Teachers are (unreasonably) cautious about teaching evolution in school. Again, I warn you - don't read the comments.

And there's this interesting article on a school in the Bronx. Actually, I have to say, the really interesting part is the pictures. My god, that school has got to have the ugliest uniform I have ever seen in a school. Orange and blue plaid? I fully admit that this is a shallow worldview, but... wow.

More on the school profiled is at Wikipedia.
conuly: Fuzzy picture of the Verrazano Bridge. Quote in Cursive Hebrew (bridge)
(Quite a lot of them have to do with the TSA situation, I'll try to group them together.)

Placards, kilts part of plans for scanner protests
Oversecured America
AP Exclusive: Color-coded terror alerts may end
Schneir on Security's recent update about it all
And an LJ link
An update from the ACLU saying the TSA isn't training its scanners
Why Cavity Bombs Would Make the TSA Irrelevant
TSA chief: Resisting scanners just means delays
For the First Time, the TSA Meets Resistance
TSA Chief: US Will Never Ease Screening Policy
You, apparently, can't just say "Screw it, I don't need to fly today"
Shirtless 8-Year-Old Boy Gets TSA Pat Down
A Pat's Papers article on flying dead bodies
And he happens to think the TSA blog is "actually sort of fun"

Whew! That's a lot!

Bizarre squidworm discovered

Behavior change causes changes in beliefs, not vice versa

On turkeys. Hey, could I raise my own heritage turkey for the holiday next year? You *can* keep poultry in the city if they aren't noisy. And we already have wild or feral turkeys in Staten Island, among other places.

On stuffing your turkey with White Castle burgers.

Coyotes have been released in Chicago to help keep down the rodent population. I suppose that's not very much different than encouraging peregrine* falcons in NYC.

*Peregrine means wandering, of course, and is related to the word pilgrim in the obvious way.

A fluffy little article on Yiddish.
And for that matter, you can check out a nifty language map to see where Yiddish is spoken in the US!

It's time to sign up for SantaThing. This also makes a good gift. However, I will get you nothing in return, so bear that in mind.

University Kicks Student With Down Syndrome Out Of Classroom; Other Students Protest And Are Ignored

On tattoos to improve/monitor your health

Our Disappearing Apples

On taxes

Some graphs on race and the death penalty

Obama, S. Korea leader agree to hold joint military exercise. If somebody manages to start the Korean war up again, I'll be very irked. I'm already irked, frankly, because I see the likelihood of this.

Allergic Teen Seeks High School Perfume Ban

Conservatives at odds with Vatican over condoms

Children Born 'Late Pre-Term' More Prone to Low IQ
Minnesota is using paperwork to deter induced labor

The use of braces for younger kids is increasing

And one from that's... just well-worth reading for the fun of it.

And FINALLY (I think) one on a school which banned... wait for it... wait for it...

conuly: A picture of the Castleton Castle. Quote: "Where are our dreams? Where are our castles?" (castle)
Ana's homework today was ANOTHER sheet where she's supposed to rewrite the sentence and add descriptive words. It's getting a bit repetitive, but it's a chance for her to practice - her cursive! (Yes, she has progressed enough that she's doing it on homework assignments!) Our focus this year is getting her sizing and spacing right. She finally seems to have her spacing down, but her sizing is... dubious, at best. Still, she's seven. I'm not worried. We're also still talking about holding her pencil properly, I should've been firmer about that back in kindergarten. (Evangeline gets to hear all about it now.)

And she had a math sheet, and she also had a page of paragraphs to read and answer context questions like "What does gaze mean in the paragraph above?"

The last gave me a chance to teach her a very useful trick - read the question first. By reading the question first she was actually able to ANSWER most of the questions without reading the paragraph above at all. Win! And the few she did have to read, she could skim because she knew what she was looking for. This is a useful skill, because next year she's starting a long and tedious career of test-taking. (Boo!)

Also, of course, it speeds up homework. Two pages of reading and questions boiled down to about 30 seconds of circling the answers.

Now, the nieces' school, of course, has uniforms - blue and navy. And PS 16 has uniforms, white and navy, and the charter sharing with Trinity Lutheran has uniforms, gold and navy, and Trinity Lutheran of course has white and navy, and PS 75, in the annex of PS 16 has uniforms, the dark green and khaki. (That last pisses me off. Every other school in the area has navy, and half the kids at 75 must have older brothers and sisters! I can understand having a different colored shirt so you can differentiate your kids from the ones at 16, you're sharing that space, but to make it so NOTHING can be handed down? There are families in this area with two or three kids, close in age, going to a different elementary school each (as they all scramble to stay out of 16 if they can, or if they can't to get into the bilingual program or the gifted program there), and you're screwing up the whole system by having your kids wear khaki!)

This of course is wildly different from when I was a kid, when only the non-public schools had uniforms. (Well, Trinity Lutheran isn't a public school anyway.) But a "law" was passed about a decade ago (if you call a totally opt-in ruling a "law") to encourage uniforms, and now something like 85 or 90% of the elementary schools have them, although they vary with how they're enforced and how strict the uniform is to begin with. (Some schools only ask for a certain color of shirt and whatever pants you like, which is sensible in a poorer neighborhood.)

As I recall, the rationale was primarily "Uniforms keep kids from arguing over who has better clothes, keeps the focus on schoolwork, and lessens gang activity in the schools". It seemed like a silly argument even then - surely, a determined enough gang will always find SOME way to differentiate themselves, and absolutely kids will find other ways to compare and contrast even if it's only by sneakers, but that's beside the point here.

The point is that it's only the elementary schools that require uniforms. After you leave the 5th grade, they don't. I mean, I think some charters do, but that's about it.

But... if the big push was "gang activity" and "let's not have them dividing themselves up by class", shouldn't uniforms START when kids are older? Pre-k kids are a lot less likely to do harm with any form of violence, even if they know what gangs *are*. And they're also less likely to try wearing very revealing clothes either.

Which leads us (sorta) into my segue here: The middle school options on the Island suck. I went to IS 61, and it wasn't a bad school then (academically, if you were in the "smart" classes... though they had a REAL problem with bullying, ask me how I know that - or don't, actually) but right now it's hideously overcrowded. And I don't see it getting better - we're finally getting new elementary schools (finally!), but the kids whose parents started pushing for this originally, they're already in the 4th and 5th grades!

And obviously the nieces will be zoned for the same school I was.

So the real solution right now is we need more middle schools. Charter school, regular public, I actually don't care, but we need more of them. And I have *no* idea how to go about doing that. But I'm actively trying to find out. (Everybody says I have to talk to Jackie down the block, who does know how to do things like this, but I'm putting it off and putting it off.)
conuly: Picture of a dandelion fluffball. Quote: "What is harmless about a dreamer?" (dreamer)
New Kellogg School Research Suggests a Colorblind Approach to Diversity May Frustrate Efforts to Identify and Confront Discrimination. No duh.

The Disease Called Perfection.

Time Lapse video of a compost pile

This WTF? inducing post by Nikki Grimes

An article on getting boys to read that confirms that literacy does not mean you understand logic.

"Dr. Robert Weis, a psychology professor at Denison University, confirmed this suspicion in a randomized controlled trial of the effect of video games on academic ability. Boys with video games at home, he found, spend more time playing them than reading, and their academic performance suffers substantially. Hard to believe, isn't it, but Science has spoken."

Or maybe boys who prefer video games to books are more likely to have video games than books.

"The secret to raising boys who read, I submit, is pretty simple—keep electronic media, especially video games and recreational Internet, under control (that is to say, almost completely absent). Then fill your shelves with good books. "

And you're also going to keep them from playing sports, you're going to keep them from exploring outside, you're going to keep them from having swordfights inside, you're going to keep them from masturbating, you're going to keep them from doing chores, right? Because the choice is screentime or books, not books and EVERYTHING ELSE, right?

That link comes from here which ultimately I got from here.

On bikeshare programs (and similar)

"But the question is whether most consumers would ever accept time share ownership of a bike or a blender. After a bike share program began in Denver, one gubernatorial candidate in Colorado attacked the program as un-American. "

Yup, you got it, a business model that allows you to pay to share a bike is un-American. Capitalism isn't American!

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Some Obama Allies Fear School Lunch Bill Could Rob Food Stamp Program

Read more... )

Old West Traditions, and Tensions, at Rodeo

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At Sukkah City, Religion Meets Whimsy

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This house is only a few blocks from mine

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Their Moon Shot and Ours

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Achieving Techno-Literacy

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conuly: Quote: "I'm blogging this" (blogging)
And I'm not even reading that many! But everybody links to some articles, and then I read Pat's Papers (which is awesome), and then the articles and stories there have links on the side, and all of a sudden I have ten pages of links up.


Well, the non-not-a-mosque articles up first.

First, a video clip that's not entirely about space toilets, except that it pretty much is. I gotta say, this is something I never contemplated while eating dehydrated astronaut ice cream!

One on a boy's school that's going to "cater to boy's learning styles". Good idea in theory, but it again makes the foolish assumption that all boys have the same learning style, and that's universally different from girls (who ALSO all have the same learning style), and that the "sit down and shut up" method of education is great for girls and ONLY detrimental to boys.

The comments are hilarious. Half of them are "Oh, these spoiled boys, they're never going to get a job and they're going to be bullies and they'll be on welfare just wait and see" and the other half are "Oh, see, this is all because of feminism and feminists are why we don't have gym class because girls are weak and pathetic and feminists want to hurt everybody and the idea that girls and boys might have ANYthing in common is a lie". Then there's this one person who works for the people who made this school and who wants to comment to EVERYBODY telling them how wonderful it is. There's a small handful of comments going "I'm a woman/I have a daughter, and this would've suited me/her" or "I'm a man/have a son and this would be TERRIBLE" or even "Well, of course, there are many many MANY learning styles and they don't match up evenly the way you think, even if there is some correlation...." but they're being voted down by damn near everybody, which is a shame.

More on bedbugs

An article on kids who don't want to give up their pediatrician even when, well, they're not kids anymore.

The youngest kids in the class are more likely to get (mis?)diagnosed ADHD

The newest set of college kids was born in 1992, and look - the reference list is updated!

Here's some nifty school supplies. Gotta say, the dry-erase crayons work really well.

And finally, a post about a guy who got a call in the middle of the night from a prostitute in his office.


Dear Rest-of-America: Take This Map, It's Why You're Wrong About the "Ground Zero Mosque"

The Ground Zero Coat

Where's the Ground Zero Terror Mosque? 39 Experts Explain!

I especially love “on the ash-strewn site of 3,000 dead Americans”. Guys? It's been nine years. We've, uh, we've kinda swept it up already. Although if you'd like to volunteer for clean-up efforts, even though the ash is gone I'm sure I can find you some gum to scrape off the sidewalk for us. You know - so the terrorists don't win and all.

The Wikipedia article on Mohammed Salman Hamdani

GOP calls Obama insensitive over stand on mosque

Nothing new there, but I love how it's written up. For some people, writing an article is an excuse to break out the melodrama. "Recalling the emotion of that deadly day" indeed! It was 9/11. You don't need to spell it out for us. We were (most of us) there. Or not, but you know what I mean.

Senate races in Louisiana and Nevada are suddenly about a construction project in distant Manhattan

The absurd controversy over the proposed Islamic center in New York shows that many Americans need to meet some Muslims.


Aug. 13th, 2010 11:50 am
conuly: (Default)
(Wow, it's like all I ever do anymore!)

So Pretzel Crisps has changed their icky ads to... MORE icky ads. This is a pity, because their pretzels actually taste pretty good.

Here's some information on actual shelf life (compared to use-by dates)

One on the media and 11 year old girls using the pill (most likely for medical reasons)

Another editorial on the NOT-A-MOSQUE that would NOT be at the WTC site. (Also, an interesting version of the twenty zillion words for snow myth.)

On using superheroes to teach philosophy

Apparently, orangutans will mime to communicate. Cool!

And here's aNOTHER editorial on the non-mosque. One of the comments goes "Why here, when there isn't a big Muslim population here?" Well, I don't know if many Muslims live in Lower Manhattan, but a lot of them work there. I have another article coming for a later post about two mosques in the area that have to regularly turn away worshippers due to lack of room. That kinda indicates to me that they need a new place to pray.

Apparently, you're legally required to have tons of bright lights and signage in Times Square. (Even the cops and the train station have neon lights.) I had no idea!

"What stimulus could mean if it included the formerly incarcerated"

On an article about prisons and voter representation. Fascinating and disturbing.

And finally, on the proposal to close schools in NYC for Muslim holidays. (Of course, IF we were to do this, we wouldn't have to cut school days. We could start the year earlier, or end it later. Or we could increase school HOURS somewhat to make up the lost instructional time. It needn't be in small increments, it could be one half-hour a week or something. There are so many options.)


conuly: (Default)

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