Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Graduation Myth...

Robert Weissberg on our education system:
America lives in a fantasy world regarding education. We think that more years of schooling makes for more knowledgeable workers, when the truth is that we are promoting bad habits that are hard to reverse. Many business managers deal with that truth by hiring more motivated immigrants with solid work habits, giving their good employees more hours, or automating tasks.

As far as improving American education by turning out ever more graduates, the venerable Professor Pogo nailed it: we have met the enemy and he is us.
Read the whole thing...

Local Beauty...

The first plant below is one I couldn't identify.  I found it alongside the dirt road that goes uphill from our home.  The second plant below (two photos) is a Narcissus of some kind, one of zillions growing in our yard right now.

Curiosity Snaps...

A couple of interesting photos from today's image dump.  The top image reminds me of pebbles tumbled in water (smoothing them off) and collecting in a quiet place on a stream bottom.  The bottom image looks like a zillion veined rocks I've seen (here on Earth!):

Invisible Animals...

Animals have evolved some astonishingly good camouflage.  The photo at right shows a pika (a rodent in the U.S. Rocky Mountains); Debbie and I have experienced this critter's hiding ability first hand.  We've often heard them but were unable to see them – even though they were less than 50 feet away!

Here's a great collection of these invisible animals, in photos...

I'm No Longer Surprised...

I used to be really surprised when people don't know really obvious things, such as seen in the sign at right (photo sent by my mom).  But no more.  I've run into it way too often to be surprised any more.

Not so many years ago, I had a young fellow working for me.  He was married and had two kids (he now has four).  In a conversation with him one day, I discovered that he had no idea where peanuts came from.  He guessed they grew on trees or bushes.  When I told him they actually grew underground, he didn't believe me – until he googled it and discovered the truth.

I then began a quest to find all the obvious things he didn't know.  He surprised me over and over.  For example, he assumed that milk was made in a factory, like soda.  He had no idea that it originated in a cow.  His wife breast-fed his kids, so I know he's been exposed to the concept.  Once I told him this, and he googled to confirm it, he stopped drinking milk.

Then I found out that he had no idea where honey came from.  Once again, he assumed it was made in a factory, like molasses or sugar (there's a whole 'nother story there!).  When I told him it was made by bees, and harvested from their hives, he was absolutely incredulous.  He loved honey – had it on his toast or biscuits every morning.  No way was it regurgitated by bugs!  He googled it...and hasn't eaten honey since. 

I never asked him about bananas, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't know they're from plants. 

Oh, My...

Via my mom:
A guy asked a girl in a university library: "Do you mind if I sit beside you?”

The girl replied with a loud voice: "I DON'T WANT TO SPEND THE NIGHT WITH YOU!"

All the students in the library started staring at the guy; he was truly embarrassed.

After a couple of minutes, the girl walked quietly to the guy 's table and said: "I study psychology, and I know what a man is thinking. I guess you felt embarrassed, right?”

The guy then responded with a loud voice. “$500 FOR ONE NIGHT? THAT'S TOO MUCH!”

All the people in the library looked at the girl in shock.

The guy whispered in her ear: "I study law, and I know how to screw people".

Linux Command Line...

A free ebook on the Linux Command Line...

A New Low for a Lawyer?


This lawyer takes a woman he's known for many years as a divorce client.  He ends up having an affair with her.  He bills her for the times they were having sex.  Then he breaks up with her.  That same day, she tries to kill herself.  She survives, and accuses the lawyer.  He denies it all initially, but finally admits it.  He's been suspended from the practice of law indefinitely.

That's not all.  Back in 1997, he was put on probation because he bought cocaine from a client.


Oh, My Sides Hurt!

Even if you're not into electronics this is funny.  If you are into electronics, it's hysterical!

I can't decide whether the guy is making a joke, or this is his schtick to make his point, or if he's just really that dumb.  Doesn't matter.  It's funny!

A Fine Gun Control Rant...

From Rachel Lucas, of course:
There are countless other examples of things no gun-grabber ever says a word about banning even though doing so would save thousands of lives a year, because with those things, the gun-grabber seems to at least tenuously grasp the concept of the balance between personal liberty and “what keeps children from dying”. Nobody “needs” swimming pools or cars either, and unlike firearms, the right to possess them is certainly not protected by the Bill of Rights, and they’re involved in the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans every year, many of them children.

The president never talks about that, or goes to the homes of drowned kids to hug their parents for the cameras, or pretends to tear up on TV every time another 20 babies are killed in car accidents. Because drownings and traffic fatalities aren’t politically sexy or easy to demagogue.

If any of these gun-control jackoffs actually in point of fact cared about preventing the deaths of children, they would be agitating for the elimination of all inanimate objects that “cause” enormous numbers of kids to die, but they don’t agitate, because they don’t care. Hell, by the logic of Obama and Biden and their entire insane clown posse, we should be working on “parent control”. Bunches of kids are beaten to death by their own mothers and fathers every year. Maybe we need background checks and licensing before people can procreate.

What? Why not, you selfish bastard? You’re talk about your personal “rights” and “liberty” – how dare you. Don’t you care about the dead children? How many innocent little kids have to die before we take reasonable steps?

Gah. It’s all so fucking ridiculous. Grotesque kabuki theater.
Go read the whole thing...