Monday, March 31, 2008
That was back in the old days. Now, teachers have infrared microphones. Does this strike anyone else as a bit ... ridiculous? If there's any population in the universe with an instinctive understanding of escalation-of-conflict, it's second-graders. And handing out the mic to the kids so their questions and answers can be heard? Awesome, yeah, but I also have met a few second-graders, and the only ones who need a mic to be heard (even in an overcrowded DCPS classroom) are the dead ones. Plus, should we really be encouraging kids to try and be like rock stars?
Don't get me wrong: I'm all for kids being able to hear and be heard better in school. This just strikes me as a good way to, ahem, amplify the problems in DCPS, as opposed to actually addressing them (smaller classes, HVAC systems that work, etc.).
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
"Childhood's End" is my favorite of his novels, and since to pick favorites amongst his short works is essentially impossible, I'll name "The Star" and "The Nine Billion Names of God" as the two which, without fail and upon every single reading, kick my ass six ways from Sunday.
Two of my favorite Clarke quotes, which form a solid portion of how I try to live:
"The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible." (Clarke's Second Law)
"There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum."
Monday, March 03, 2008
A Scotish group has found preliminary evidence that two black tea constituents - theaflavins and thearubigins - appear to also mimic insulin's actions on blood glucose. The research is, again, pretty preliminary, so while a nice cup of tea is probably a good thing anyways, I wouldn't count on it to cure your diabetes.
The only real way to prevent type II diabetes (in most cases) is diet and exercise. Especially for kids, who, like their parents, are getting fatter and fatter every day. Johns Hopkins researchers found that outdoor activity and daily PE classes are, unsurprisingly, negatively associated with kids ending up obese. Skateboarding in particluar was associated with less tubbiness. So, NIMBY Tribunal, let them build that damn skate park, unless you'd rather put up with a dialysis center.
Speaking of parents and their children, a review of the literature may suggest that spanking kids leads to sexual health problems. Kids everywhere would love to tell their parents about this study, but it is a retrospective review, and the results seem a bit of a stretch. Plus, being into S+M is one of the "problems" listed, so that's an interesting question.
Now playing: Dragonette - Jesus Doesn't Love Me