Friday, July 29, 2005

Thanks for the Leftovers

Mmmmm, tasty. That is just disgusting. A quick way to get scrotum punched if you ask me. How does one vomit on command anyhow?

On a similar note, I got to clean up puke on a bus last year. But I already wrote about that.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Pointless Feud #11742

Why do I have so much fun being a jerk for no particular reason whatsoever?

Because I can.

A Hypothesis on Evolution

My friend posed an interesting question last evening. Why does lighting a match after one has "dropped a few friends off at the pool" mask the odor that is typically generated during such activities so well?

His question was more of a chemical one, one that I really don't have the answer to but it may or may not have to do with the ignition of the sulfur/phosphorous tip or something to do with the combustion process. I'm not really sure and I have no chemical experiments to suggest nor any other references as human poo odor does not seem to be the subject of too many published studies. It's probably an issue for Lysol or Glade, but as they are private companies and thus do not regularly publish the results of their studies they are of no significant or recognizable help.

But my conclusion last night was based more in a foundation of evolutionary pressures. Say you're walking through the woods one afternoon and you happen to come across a scat or two. Sure, the odor may be noticeable and even unpleasant. Now put a raging wildfire in the same scenario. Which is more important for the individual's survival? Avoiding stepping in poo or getting the hell out of Dodge?

I don't know about you, but I have difficulty in identifying smells when more than about 3 or 4 are present. But I think that there exist some smells that may be "more important" than others, especially when it comes to survival. So my answer to his question is that it is more important to be able to recognize the smell of fire than it is to smell a big pile of hot, steamy butt mud.

but what if it's a flaming poo?

Monday, July 25, 2005

If You Can't Beat the Heat, Join It!

Tomorrow morning I'm headed down to Borelando! Oh, it's not too terribly boring, it's just more fun to call it that. See, I had this ticket to Minneapolis in May but I ended up driving so I had to change my already purchased ticket. As it is quite difficult to plan trips during the school year, I had to use it for this week. I've got quite a few friends that ended up down that way so snap judgement chose the destination in May.

How fortunate is it that I land around 8 AM and there's something interesting happening nearby at around 10:30? That's been on my to-do list since I was about 5 years old. It only took 23 to get it done, if it happens.

Be back on Sunday. I may have access, so you might see a post or two. Perhaps I shouldn't be too hard on my job. Who the hell else gets this kind of vacation?

State of the Union

I'm very pleased that I live in a state where government employees are not allowed to unionize. Otherwise, I'd probably be required to join the ranks of the mentally retarded NEA and have their views expressed as my own using my own extorted money cleverly disguised as member dues.

Boortz put out a link today (God only knows why I still read his page, probably more habit than actual interest) to an article that attempts to negate the perceived benefits of home-schooling.

I do question the efficacy of some home-school models, and I have seen the results of several attempts that could best be described as failures. But on the other hand, I've also seen some students come out of home-school environments where they seem to have done quite well for their children. These models tend to involve tutors, some group classes with other home-schoolers and other methods. It's probably expensive, just think of property taxes and what the government spends on the average public school student... blah vs. mass production...blah... home-schooling can be successful.

Back to the article, what absolutely floors me is the idea that somehow public school teachers are somehow inherently more qualified than parents to educate their children.
So, why would some parents assume they know enough about every academic subject to home-school their children? You would think that they might leave this -- the shaping of their children’s minds, careers, and futures -- to trained professionals. That is, to those who have worked steadily at their profession for 10, 20, 30 years! Teachers!
First, I absolutely loath being called a professional. I'm sure it was a well intended euphemism, most of them are. But that type of designation lumps teachers in with lawyers, doctors, architects, engineers and others that require intense and extensive training. If I am to judge by my graduate school courses in education and the ability of my average colleague, this designation is absolutely an insult to those people in an actual professional career. I went from doing 40+ hours of "homework" per week in a non-education undergraduate program to being lucky if I had 40 hours of out-of-class work per semester in an education graduate program. That's their idea of extensive training? The most beneficial component of my teaching experience has been just that, experience. Try something, screw it up, fix it next time. Try that as a doctor. Try it as an architect. I'm sure that's how you'd want your lawyer to be certified as a professional.
Don’t most parents have a tough enough job teaching their children social, disciplinary and behavioral skills? They would be wise to help their children and themselves by leaving the responsibility of teaching math, science, art, writing, history, geography and other subjects to those who are knowledgeable, trained and motivated to do the best job possible.
I appreciate the empathy here. Teaching is a tough job. But here he goes again with the assertion that parents are not "knowledgeable, trained and motivated" to do the best job possible. I agree that some people take their kids out for home-schooling for wacky reasons without thinking through all of the factors that they will have to consider, but I do think that those people constitute a minority of the home-school population. How can you chastize parents for wanting to do the best for their children?

I'm sorry, but this article seems to be just a bit too offensive giving it the overall image of being too defensive. I imagine part of the rationale behind this stance is the reports of late that home-schooled kids are outperforming public school kids on standardized tests.

And the tag about the author at the end? He's a janitor. Sorry, I'm not being politically correct. He's not just any janitor, he's head custodian. While we're at euphemisms, let's go all out and call him a sanitation engineer. And as for the NEA's blurb that the author's view may not be theirs, then why on earth would you let it exist on your web site?


Imagine my surprise the other day when I opened my mailbox to find a very startling treat. No, it wasn't the latest issue of Maxim or a flaming bag of dog poo. It was a jury summons. Yay!

I look forward to participating in our nation's great justice system. I've been awaiting my selection ever since we took a field trip to the courthouse at some point during high school. We only saw a short segment of the jury selection process, but I always wanted to know what else they did, like what questions do they ask and do they give the defendants our addresses and work locations?

Of course, if I want to get picked, I'd probably have to lie my ass off. I don't imagine that being a teacher with mostly Libertarian-leanings and an average-sized cock provides much of an advantage. It may just end up being more of a learning experience than a participatory one but I still cherish the opportunity to find out more about our judicial system "from the inside."

The one problem I have is that they have summoned me during the week that I have to depart on a Thursday for a wedding in Tucson. I'll have to postpone my report date. Well, darn.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Fun With the Internet

The Internet: A mechanism created to assist procrastinators in the early to mid-90's rumored to have surpassed the procrastination-inducing ability of both whittling and masturbation.

Recommended reading for today.

1. Don't get it wet. Or feed it after midnight.

2. If she were a dude, she'd be so fired.

3. Ahh, creationists. Now they have to deal with that pesky Physics thing.

4. And finally, the inspiration for a new class I want to teach.

(links via Boortz, Brian, & Google)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Get Yo' Learn On!

The problem with pseudo-intellectualism has less to do with froo-froo PhD programs and more to do with the effect of doing more harm than good. Thanks to Mary Texiara, we now have (since 1996) yet another language to deal with in our country. If you don't know her, she's the one who proposed Ebonics as a valid foreign language. Yeah, I see the idea that if it's treated as a foreign language then maybe the ultimate effect may be that it will eventually be viewed as "not english," but is this really the best way?

In all of my "classes" for education where they addressed the cultural needs of minority students, the problem was not lack of empathy, lack of concern for student success, etc. The problem is that it all ends in excuses. The real problems are never addressed and the end result is that it seems that the whole world wants teachers to undo these things that are so deeply embedded in these youth that we'd have better luck picking the next winning lottery numbers. Yeah yeah, every youth is an open receptacle for knowledge, blah blah blah. Shut up and sit down, Peter Pan. I have difficulty accepting that anything that is done in public schools will change the increasingly dominating perception that intellectualism is a negative trait. It makes you an assimilationist, sellout, whitey, pussy, or whatever other Ebonics term appropriate.

What is our objective? How many countries are we? What society are we preparing students for? I know it's a weird situation with the Hispanic groups in the US. They seem to survive pretty effectively as a separate society within a society. Is that what it's like with our Black population as well. Is a similar situation desired? Should there be some type of separation of services? Isn't this what everyone was fighting against in the 50's and 60's? I am really perplexed on this one.

Mostly, I have difficulty understanding how one shows mastery of a language based in wrongness to begin with. Is the textbook like Spanish texts where instructions and translations are in English?

Johnny: Whitey, I'm ax'in you a quexshun.
Teacher: Sorry, Johnny. The correct answer is "Yo honky, I be's ax'in you a quexshun, yo!" You need to work on your usage of the word "yo."

Well, to be fair and balanced, this site is now available in Ebonics.
Update: It seems like Thomas Sowell reads my crappy posts and then makes them about eleventy-billion times better the very next day.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

One Last One For Today

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

(via Brian)

Fun With Search Engines

Man, I must be really bored today. Three posts in one day! I'm like Matt on a work day!

It's interesting to see the search queries I get first place honors for lately.

Illiteracy stats

illiteracy + 2005

georgia's smoking ban

georgia's 2005 smoking ban

statewide smoking ban rules in georgia

"mechanical Joe Frazier"

And #2 for:
"don't have kids"

types of hug

I am so not what these people were looking for.

Effectively polluting the Information Superhighway since 2003.


The only part of Live 8 that I gave a crap about. And for totally selfish reasons.

Nuts to more monetary aid for Africa. You never see these self-important rockers asking us to go in there and bust some sorry dictator ass. But even that reminds me of those dumb broads who stay in relationships with bonafide assholes because they're going to change him. We'll never change the African culture. Hell, we can't even fix our own.

I am so smrt.

I got a 110/110 on the Mythbusters Independence Day quiz.

Yes, on the first try.

Bust your own myths.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Missed It

But here's a picture.

Waiting patiently for streaming video where you don't have to watch the whole concert.