Daily Archives: March 28, 2012

Curious about who is making the most money on this ongoing primary season?

I was, too. Then ProPublica put out a comprehensive chart on the receivers of these millions (and more) HERE.

Come back when you’re done.  – B.

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Billy Collins: Poems with Animations from the TED Conference.

I think we should be very thankful for the broad range of the TED Conferences, which include science and social engineering with poetry and the other arts.

Here’s former Poet Laureate of the US, Billy Collins, with poems and animations. Enjoy.

 

How to make public education worthless…

I guess new York City public school students will be the best motivators for home schooling in the future. Why? Read on…

This post was put up by Jonathan Turley, one of the legal bloggers I have the most respect for:

The New York City Department of Education has barred the use of “Dinosaur” on tests to avoid upsetting people who believe creationism.

Educations in New York decided that, with such things as Halloween and dancing, the reference to dinosaurs “could evoke unpleasant emotions in the students.” Also banned is the word “evolution.” It is basically designing a test for Sarah Palin to pass.

“Birthday” is also out because Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate birthdays.

Well, there’s a list of a couple of dozen more words which should not be included in the students’ education… words like “slavery”, “terrorism”, and “Religion.”

In commenting on the DOE, The New York Post came out with this:

Officials said there isn’t an absolute ban on the items, in that they do get included on some exams on a case-by-case basis.

“The intent is to avoid giving offense or disadvantage any test takers by privileging prior knowledge,” said Robert Pondiscio, a spokesman for the Core Knowledge Foundation, an education group.

“But the irony is they’re eliminating some subjects, like junk food, holidays and popular music, that the broadest number of kids are likely to know quite a lot about.”

This is the most absurd… most unbelievable approach to education that I’ve heard about anywhere. I’d love to know what New York teachers think and what they intend to do about the situation.
Any ideas?

Obama Campaign changes the focus on “Obamacare” – It’s a POSITIVE label

According to Reuters:

President Barack Obama’s campaign has embraced the term “Obamacare,” seeking to turn the negative name Republicans assigned to his healthcare reform effort into a positive branding tool just as the Supreme Court studies the law’s constitutionality.

“Happy birthday, Obamacare,” Jim Messina, the president’s campaign manager, wrote in an email to supporters last week to note the anniversary of the reform becoming law.

“If you’re tired of the other side throwing around that word like it’s an insult, then join me in sending a message that we’re proud of it,” he wrote.

While it may be a little late in getting around to this strategy, there’s a good chance it can work To help promote it, the Obama campaign  is reaching out with promoti0nal products:

T-shirts that say “I like Obamacare” are available on the campaign’s website for $35.

Buttons with the same message go for $5.

I expect to be seeing these around soon… perhaps on me.

Planet Under Pressure Conference in London – We’re getting close to irreversible climate changes…

While politicians argue with scientists, the climate actually goes on changing.. and not to our advantage. Reuters has been commenting on this conference that runs through tomorrow:

Global warming close to becoming irreversible-scientists

The world is close to reaching tipping points that will make it irreversibly hotter, making this decade critical in efforts to contain global warming, scientists warned on Monday.

Scientific estimates differ but the world’s temperature looks set to rise by six degrees Celsius by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are allowed to rise uncontrollably.

As emissions grow, scientists say the world is close to reaching thresholds beyond which the effects on the global climate will be irreversible, such as the melting of polar ice sheets and loss of rainforests.

“This is the critical decade. If we don’t get the curves turned around this decade we will cross those lines,” said Will Steffen, executive director of the Australian National University‘s climate change institute, speaking at a conference in London.

It’s amazing how many of the best scientific minds see the problem, yet they are faced with huge negative concepts by the politicians who would have to vote in the bucks to make changes.

As we argue this out for the rest of the decade, we can watch the polar ice caps melt and the tropical rain forests dry up and many species that we rely on disappear.

It is up to us as individuals to push our representatives into dealing with the truth. Right?