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April 2011

April 30, 2011

Sparknotes for Goodnight Moon

If you haven't read Goodnight Moon to a three-year old you might not be able to appreciate the huge significance of this.

But you can try.

(It's a joke, of course. McSweeney's.)

Health tip from Laird Hamilton

Betcha haven't heard of this one before:

One of my favorite things to do in the morning is to stand on golf balls and roll them along my arches. You have seventy-four hundred nerve endings on your feet, so you stimulate your whole metabolism when you do that.

April 29, 2011

My view: shut up and teach

"Discord in Harvard’s education school".

More than 50 doctoral students at the Harvard Graduate School of Education are demanding that the 91-year-old school redirect its mission. Over the last decade, they say, it has veered away from social justice issues in education toward more results-driven management and policy concerns. The students, who are groomed to be national leaders in education, said they fear the shift will hamper their professional development and tarnish the school’s reputation.

"It Happens"

ESPN Magazine goes where no sports magazine has ever gone before. Featuring "the ultimate, giant, chocolate mess".

"To Talk With Aliens, Learn to Speak With Dolphins"

Not something I want to do, but it's worth a shot for somebody.

April 28, 2011

The NFL draft is tonight . . .

. . . and here's an interesting piece on how difficult it is to draft QBs.

Let's consider a broader sample of quarterbacks, with enough time passed so we can properly evaluate their careers: all quarterbacks drafted during the 1990s. There were 104 quarterbacks drafted during that decade, 20 of them in the first round. Of those 20 quarterbacks, only eight started for the equivalent of five seasons (80 games) or more. Meanwhile, another eight of those 20 had careers lasting for the equivalent of fewer than two seasons. So for an entire decade's worth of first-round quarterback picks, you were just as likely to get a total bust as you were to get a QB with a decent career. That's with a first-round pick.

"As Yields Blast Past 25%, Here's Who Gets Pounded In The Inevitable Greek Restructuring"

French and German banks, mostly.

"Grease collectors spar over used cooking oil"

In a world of scarcity, almost everything has a price.

Link via my younger daughter.

"Quantum computing device hints at powerful future"

BBC News, 3/22:

"We're right at the bleeding edge of actually having a quantum processor," he said. "It's been years that a whole community has blossomed just looking at the idea of, once we have a quantum computer, what are we going to do with it?"

Rest easy, sir. I'm pretty sure somebody will figure out something.

April 27, 2011

"Education: The magic of hard work"

This whole article is interesting, but let me highlight two parts:

The educational establishment of Southern California divides fairly neatly into three groups: those who recognize the need for radical and sustained improvement but fear that it's impossible; those who actively oppose change because their allegiances require them to defend failure; and that small but growing and inspiring group of advocates who see a way to improve and are actually making it happen.

The Compton Unified School District board, which I discussed in this space last week, belongs in the second group. It has made it a mission to thwart reform and protect the vested interests of its failing schools. Elyse Colgan, by contrast, is part of the third group. She is improving the lives of children and, in the process, challenging long-held assumptions about learning.

Hmmm . . . "thwart reform and protect the vested interests of its failing schools": that doesn't sound good. But then there's this:

Colgan came to Southern California in 2008 and went to work at Charles R. Drew Middle School, where she taught eighth-grade math. Her message the first day was unequivocal: She expected her students to achieve, and she would do her part to see that they did. "I will show up every day," she told them.

They did not immediately believe her. At the end of that first day, several of her students asked if they would see her again. Many had not had consecutive weeks with the same teacher for years.

Let's repeat that: Many had not had consecutive weeks with the same teacher for years.

This is a system that the teachers' union wants to defend?

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