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November 27, 2014

"Alice's Restaurant - Original 1967 Recording"

A small bit of genius. Happy Thanksgiving.

(I didn't expect this: Mr. Guthrie now is a registered Republican and "often expound[s] libertarian themes".)

November 26, 2014

"The State of Education Reform"

Chester Finn reviews where we're at. Short take: a lot done, a lot more to do.

"The Justice Department becomes a schoolyard bully in Wisconsin"

George Will:

It is as remarkable as it is repulsive, the ingenuity with which the Obama administration uses the regulatory state’s intricacies to advance progressivism’s project of breaking nongovernmental institutions to government’s saddle. Eager to sacrifice low-income children to please teachers unions, the Justice Department wants to destroy Wisconsin’s school choice program. Feigning concern about access for disabled children, the department aims to handicap all disadvantaged children by denying their parents access to school choices of the sort affluent government lawyers enjoy.

"This Man's Brain Recovery Has Baffled Scientists And Provided Hope For Others"

Amazing and wonderful.

Then out of nowhere, a white Chevrolet van hit them at 75mph, an absurd speed for the neighbourhood. Marcy was killed outright and Lewis was so thoroughly broken that the paramedic on the scene took him for dead. The Chevrolet driver, meanwhile, fled the scene, and was never caught. That was the story the Times ran with – the destructive experience of a hit-and-run in a city where everyone drives everywhere.

Twenty years on, that crash continues to reverberate. Only this time, it’s a happier story, one that Lewis has told in a book, Rise and Shine, and before large audiences at numerous public events. It’s the story of his astonishing recovery, and it not only gives hope to sufferers of traumatic brain injury (TBI), but provides proof, in the most dramatic fashion, of the brain’s incredible ability to regenerate and reorganise itself.

"Undeniable Proof That Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Is The Only Snack That Matters"

I read this and I just had to buy a bag. (They are awfully good.)

November 25, 2014

"'Republicans have to show they can govern.' No, they don’t. Please stop saying that."

Beautifully on target.

The alternative to “show you can govern” is to keep President Obama from governing. Right?Keep him from accomplishing what he wants to get done in his final two years and then “go to the country,” as Karl Rove used to say, with a simple message: time for a change! This is not only a valid way to proceed, it’s a pretty likely outcome.

Link via Instapundit.

"Why are [North Carolina] Gas Taxes So High?"

The average voter--and almost all Liberals--don't know that this happens over and over again: monies dedicated to certain government uses just happen to be spent . . . elsewhere.

Link via Mike Munger.

"Looks Like The Medical Establishment Was Wrong About Fat"

Really wrong.

Establishment: so sorry if anybody got hurt. Suckers!

See also "The Last Anti-Fat Crusaders".

"Can a Teacher Be Too Dedicated?"

It's really smart for charter schools to take reasonable steps to prevent teacher burnout. If true, this is startling:

. . . nearly half of all teachers nationally leave the classroom within five years.

"5 Ways An Amazing Teacher Shaped My Life"

By the Primary Craig Newmark. (I hope the teacher is still around to read this. It will warm his heart.)

Sort of related: "100-Year-Old Math Teacher Is Still Teaching At An Elementary School In Brooklyn".

November 24, 2014

Now with even more Gruber!

Sorry, I just can't help myself.

"This Gruber-gate supercut video is positively enraging".

"Dear Democrats, Don't Even Think about Running from Jonathan Gruber".

"It’s Time For Leftist Gruber Truthers To Give It A Rest".

"Gruber's bad political analysis driven by bad economics".

"Earth in the Grubering".

Hitler finds out about Gruber.

And best of all, Megan McArdle's "GruberGate's Insider Problem".

So let me finish by noting what I actually find disturbing about the whole Gruber episode. It is not that voters aren't particularly well-informed; voters could not possibly be well-informed about all the issues that our government deals with. No one can be, which is why, when people ask me my opinions about foreign policy nowadays, I say, "I don't know. Looks like a hard problem to me."

Nor is it that politicians lie to voters. We reward them for lying, because we want to be told that we can have everything we want, plus a pony, and the only cost will be that some undeserving layabout will get their benefits cut off, or some very rich person we don't like will have to sell the second yacht and pay higher taxes instead. We should not be surprised when they tell us exactly that.  I'm not saying that I approve of this, mind you; I'm just saying that the way to stop it is not to tut-tut at the politicians, but for voters to stop demanding that they give us the pretty moon.

To which the right response is: expose the politicians' lies, embarass and shame the liars, and then elect new ones. Repeat until the costs of lying outweigh the benefits.

More on lying from Kevin D. Williamson:

The lies are everywhere: California teachers go to the mattresses to protect child-molesters while po-facedly insisting that whatever they do, they “do it for the children,” even as their colleagues do it to the children. LAPD promises “To Protect and Serve” even as the officers in its crime-ridden ranks plant evidence in hundreds of cases, as its gang task-force turns into a gang itself, as the traditional game of cops-and-robbers breaks down completely, with police robbing banks. Politics corrupts even our best institutions. “Semperfidelis”? Not at the top. In the upper echelons, “Saepe fidelis” would be more accurate.

"Lazy"

Michael Greenspan responds, excellently, to Randy Newman's anti-Romney-voter song. 

"'Grit' might be more important than IQ. Now schools need to learn to teach it."

Call me old-fashioned, but maybe this is mostly the parents' responsibility.

"Finally shred the charter-school cap"

Amen to this:

And for those who defend the arbitrary charter cap, it’s time to admit it: You’re not concerned because New Yorkers don’t want charter schools. You’re concerned because they do.

(Link via Instapundit.)

BTW more charters might well help with this: "There Are Nine Middle Schools In NYC That Are Tougher To Get Into Than Harvard".

Two more startling glimpses into modern physics

"The Grand Illusion: Does time have a future? Yes, but how much of a future depends on what the ultimate fate of the cosmos turns out to be."

"Video: Do We Live in a Multiverse?"

"Re-heating pasta may be the key to losing weight and staying healthy"

This could change everything.

An experiment on the TV programme Trust Me, I’m a Doctor has shown that eating reheated pasta is significantly healthier than consuming it freshly cooked.

The BBC show demonstrated that cooking, cooling and then reheating pasta, turning it into ‘resistant starch’, reduced the rise in volunteers’ blood glucose by 50 per cent.

Needless to say, real research is desperately needed.

November 23, 2014

"Watch Messi Break The All-Time La Liga Scoring Record"

Beautiful.

See also "This list of broken records shows how insanely good Lionel Messi is".

"The Definitive Celebrity NBA Fan Index"

Los Angeles and New York clearly win.

"Welcome To Ranger School, Where The Army's Toughest Soldiers Are Made"

I'm real glad these folks fight on our side.

November 22, 2014

"The Intersection of Race, Sports & Money: 'C'mon Man'"

Everett Glenn, "Pioneer in professional athlete representation," argues that Ol' Roy had to knowabout the goings-on at UNC-Chapel Hill. (Dang gummit!)

Related: "Bob Smizik: How best to punish UNC".

"From 'Balmor' To 'Trono': Here's How Locals Pronounce City And State Names"

Don't sound like a tourist.

"15 Classical Melodies You Totally Recognize And What They’re Actually Called"

Potentially helpful if you want to show off.

November 21, 2014

Often derided but never duplicated: New Jersey

"20 Things You Don't Understand About NJ (Unless You're From There)".

For more Jersey details, see this informative map.

"A good manager leads by example"

Dilbert deconstructs a maxim of management .

"Creeque Alley by The Mamas and The Papas"

More than everything you want to know about a good song.

November 20, 2014

"The six loneliest roads in North America for daring drivers"

They sound like six fine nominees. (Though I saw an article recently about the Trans-Labrador Highway. It deserves at least an Honorable Mention.)

"SF Rent Ordinance: Like a Bomb You Don't Hear Till It Hits"

Ah, Baghdad by the Bay: I'm so glad I turned down a chance to work there.

"The 25 Most Educated Cities In America"

Raleigh NC ranks second. (Second only to the People's Republic of Ann Arbor.)

"Defining Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables: A Nutrient Density Approach"

From the CDC.

Unsurprising but good to have confirmed: romaine is better for you than iceberg lettuce.

But watercress . . . watercress is a power food. 

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