As our school and college students prepare to head back to school, I thought I’d go ahead and round up some things I’ve said over the years (mostly, with a couple new links too) for your entertainment:
Because of a quirk of how children learn language, most children can relate to Ramona Beasley or Amelia Bedelia misunderstanding what they are told.
We adults might not like to think about it, but children are aware of sexual issues much earlier than puberty. Put CCSD’s issues in context.
The most messed up thing I have ever read for a class — any class — is the story of David Reimer.
I knew that “You can’t out-train a bad diet”. I didn’t know this was mathematically provable. Go ahead and plug some numbers into a calorie calculator and an activity calculator. You can eat a lot more calories than you can possibly burn in a day!
In Closing:follow the money, of course; nothing says “unbiased prosecutor” like potentially raising money for a guy who many think should face murder charges; Max on UBI; Aww I didn’t think they cared; interesting. Have a great week, folks!
Today I’d like to remind you that hand in hand with college drinking is the problem of sexual assault on campus. No victim blaming is intended here, but if you are headed off to college — especially if you are female — here are some things you need to remember:
Sexual assault is a crime and should be reported to police, not campus officials. It should be prosecuted in a real court and not a campus disciplinary panel designed to deal with such infringements as scholastic dishonesty.
Your campus may have a vested interest in making sure few serious crimes — including sexual assault — are reported. After all, they want to look parents of prospective students in the eye and talk about their low crime rate.
Victims of a crime have the right to have their complaint taken seriously, even if the alleged perpetrator is a campus hero.
More protectionsmight be coming, but they of course must be balanced against the rights of the accused (who are still “innocent until proven guilty”, and yes some are unjustly accused — another argument for involving the real police and real courts early).
Just like with most crimes, it is always a good idea to be a little proactive about not becoming a victim. Use common sense. Use the “buddy system” when you go out and keep an eye out for one another. Watch your consumption of booze and other intoxicants. Be aware that not-nice people exist. These tips are useful for preventing theft and the more mundane sort of assault too.
Look, I sincerely hope you never ever have to call the cops to report a crime on campus. Likewise, I hope you won’t hesitate if the need arises.
Sorry if this feels like a tab dump. I stored up a bunch of things I’d hoped to say more about, but it’s clearly not happening. From the top, please!
So, let’s start by talking about online college courses. First up is this nice little infographic. One little detail left out is that some schools have moved entire courses to “online only” as far as I can tell. It makes scheduling a whole lot easier, both for classes that many students must take (say, history 101) and for classes with limited interest (“seminar in 20th century politics”). I’ve taken multiple online classes, with satisfactory results. Here’s some perspective on online classes from a guy who actually understands higher ed.
Of course, not everybody makes it through college. Many drop out because they have trouble with the work, and many others drop out because they have trouble with money. Federal policies may make the latter worse. You know what might also be making things worse? Wall Street.
So, before you can get into college and start amassing student loan debt, you have to actually get into college, right? So is anybody at all surprised that upper class kids do better on the SAT?
Back to the beginning now. It turns out that all the calculators, manipulatives, and fun songs do less to teach kids math than good old fashioned “drilling the basics.” I’m not sure why it is that every few years we get away from the old-fashioned way of teaching math that actually works. I suspect it’s because the teachers get bored with the basics.
And finally, the silliness that is a super-hard kindergartenadmissionsexam. It seems to me that when I was 5, all they wanted to know was “does she know letters, numbers, and colors?”
In Closing: Ok, we got us a whole bunch of NSA stuff, including some items courtesy of Comrade Misfit; college graduation season is a nice time for life lessons, such as “it’s a bad idea to hide the fact that you’ve dropped out, and a worse idea to hide that fact by calling in a bomb threat to graduation”; the American worker is still screwed, more so if they are of color, and that’s partly because certainpeople in government thought it was more important to bail out the banks and businesses; I don’t even know what to make of this (EDIT!!); read the labels, people; oops, maybe appealing to science was a bad idea; I clearly don’t link Dave Johnson enough; the real reason for the War on Teachers?; introducingNaia; and Godzilla is growing.
I don’t normally talk about the so-called “rape culture”.
However, if what I am reading about what happens on our college campuses is even halfway true, we should all be outraged. All students — regardless of their gender — have a right to attend school without fear of assault, sexual or otherwise. The idea that some colleges want to cover up these assaults rather than make sure that criminals are prosecuted is absolutely outrageous. It is a travesty that some students feel that the only thing they can do is take matters into their own hands.
Of course, not all rapes happen on campus. It is a sad fact that all too many women have to deal with these issues, and sometimes little is actually done to help them.
More on the freaking NSA.
Glenn Greenwald has been beenmaking the interviewcircuit, both bringing attention to how little has changed when it comes to the NSA and hyping his new book on the topic. Let’s not forget that he wouldn’t have the story without this guy. In the meantime, remember how we were told that it would be harder to catch terrorists with this information out there? That might not be quite true.
Yes, the semester is almost over and that means it’s time to share a few choice thoughts.
There are people who are willing to wait for a spot 100 feet closer to the building, even in nice weather. In the meantime, I’ve parked in the next lot over, locked my car, walked to the building, and made it to the 3rd floor while That Guy is still waiting for an ever-so-slightly closer parking spot.
You’d be surprised how many people don’t show up to class regularly and still expect to do well in that class.
Sorry, I already knew that time management is important.
Cleaning staff never notice graffiti on the back of a bathroom stall door.
Spanish has two verbs that translate “to be.” Use one to ask “What kind of person is Juan” and the other to ask “How is Juan”. Use one to ask “Where is Maria” and the other to ask “Where is Maria from”. Use the wrong one, and you may well say “Teresa is boring” instead of “Teresa is bored.” Teresa would be understandably upset.
It’s alarmingly easy to mix up the verbs “to go” and “to see“.
You can do a lot with cognates. The one thing you can’t do is be sure you understand the correct thing.
Not only can viruses infect bacteria, they can accidentally take bacterial genetic material to the next bacterium when they leave.
The entire family of Penicillin related drugs works by pulling out the “molecular nails” that bacteria use to build cell walls. Resistant bacteria have an enzyme that breaks up the “nail-puller.” Viruses don’t have cell walls, and that’s why these drugs don’t effect them.
Look, you’re never ever going to wash every single germ off your hands. What’s more, you wouldn’t want to. The germs that normally live there help keep “opportunists” — that’s bad-guy germs — from setting up shop. So for pity sake, stop using that damned anti-bacterialsoap.
If you are trying to remember a whole bunch of acronyms (say, hormone names), you are better off memorizing the long version. Otherwise the “alphabet soup” will drive you mad. Besides, often the long version tells you what the darn thing does!
How much carbon dioxide you have in your body determines a lot more things than the amount of oxygen. It effects your respiration rate, the pH of your blood, and more.
The first thing your body does with any carbohydrate you eat is turn it into a simple sugar. So, should a diabetic be eating a lot of pasta?
There you go. Now let’s have some In Closing: GOP is upset that their Nevada organization doesn’t want to keep fighting a lost battle; on debt; it does at least put a roof over head; I wish I could refute this; even Mitt “Rmoney” thinks that the minimum wage is too low!; death penalty follow up; Subway CEO tosses owner operators under the bus; the ACLU on NSA reform and letting cops hack your computer.