Sophont
Saturday, September 17, 2005
 
NYC School Chancellor: Reality Check- When does the idiocy end?
An Educational Voyage!:
Sir, it is time for a real hard reality check for you and your administrators.

Please show NYC teachers a floor plan of an honestly functional 'typical size' NYC classroom that has:


30-35 desks and chairs - arranged in cooperative groups (remember- larger children have larger furniture)

A teacher's desk and chair

A work space for an Educational Assistant. All adults deserve a chair. You have a chair, don't you?
The Famous Rocking Chair

A Classroom Library with a little space to browse.

Usable Reading, Math, Writing, and Science 'Centers' that are not so crammed together that only one child at a time can fit at them.
A Word Wall

A Bulletin Board wall

A Chalk Board Wall

A Wall with Windows and
A Computer area

that allows a logical traffic flow that teachers and children can move around in comfortably. NYC school buildings were just not built for the class sizes we have today. 15-18 child classes are few nd far between. Ah, yes, and what about the classroom with double exposure- 2 walls of windows? That's a whole other problem. It's time for a reality check!"

 
The Taming of theScrew
Forbes.com : "For centuries now the screw has held things together, and for almost as long it has been frustratingly inept at its central purpose. Concrete cracks when it is punctured by a screw. Plastic creeps away from the pressure, sliding down the threads so that even a tightened screw loosens almost instantly. Carmakers have to mold brass inserts into plastic parts to accept screws; otherwise they might loosen and cause a dreaded rattle.

Kenneth LeVey has a better idea. A product development director at Illinois Tool Works, the nation's biggest screwmaker, he has reinvented what the company dubs the threaded fastener in a way that lets it grip tight where it used to let loose--and compete with cheaper screws made by offshore rivals. "

Wednesday, September 14, 2005
 
New Orleans - the ideal place to get shot
Times Online: "I SPENT the early part of last year in New Orleans recovering from gunshot wounds received as I was being robbed. It happened in the early evening as I walked down a quiet street with my girlfriend. There was a football game in town and the streets near the French Quarter were empty. The police presence was elsewhere. The incident itself was over in a flash but it plays over and over in my head and perhaps one day it will make sense to me.

I found out later that there were fewer than 2,000 police in New Orleans at that time and it reached such a point that there was talk of the city was importing officers from Cleveland. Anyway, thanks to someone’s mobile phone, the police eventually got to the scene.

Later, as I was carried into the emergency room at Charity hospital, a doctor reassured me that “New Orleans really is the best place to get shot”. They had, he explained, had plenty of practice."
Ray Davies was lead singer of the Kinks. www.raydavies.info

Tuesday, September 13, 2005
 
eyeteeth: Their cousin called monotreme
"Monotremes are really weird. Everything about them seems to have been thought up past some kind of deadline. Take the method by which they reproduce: after mating, the female lays an egg (echidna) or two (platypus). Then she carries them around until they hatch. Monotremes are mammalian, even if what they have is a kind of free demo version of mammalianism without the really useful features like live birth, so they lactate. But they have no nipples. The milk just leaks right out of glands in their skin, and the baby monotreme laps it up with sweeps of its tiny bill."

 
Comment: 'Our dreams are gone'
mysanantonio.com: "I am disappointed. Women are going to lose their rights. Resolution 137 (which eliminates Iraqi family laws relative to women's rights and replaces it with Islamic legal doctrine) is coming back. Our civil family law will be canceled. We will go on Sharia law. We will be part of Iran.

..We, as constitution-drafting members, don't know what's happening. We finished on Aug. 15. The (big guys) started from zero. They changed everything in it. They are dividing the cake into pieces. It is personal. ... It is a shame we have reached this point. The big guys, every one counts how much he will benefit.

My request to the women of San Antonio, my friends, can you please support the Iraqi women, to bring back our rights? Or it is our own case, nobody will help?"

Dr. Rajaa Khuza, a member of the committee to write the Iraqi constitution, sent this e-mail Saturday.


Saturday, September 10, 2005
 
he Adventures of Cece Bibby: On and Off The Launch Pad
SPACE.com: "In 1959, Cecelia 'Cece' Bibby found her way into the RCA graphics arts department located at Patrick Air Force Base in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Arriving at the dawn of the space age, she would soon find herself surrounded by what was then the men-only world of high performance jets and rocketry.

An artist by trade, talent, and self-determination, Bibby would become the first to design and paint a logo on the outside of a U.S. manned spacecraft destined for orbit. She would work with three of the Mercury astronauts to customize their craft and in the process see her artwork become as recognizable as the astronauts themselves.

Bibby's path to becoming the first woman allowed on the launch pad was not one without its hurdles."

 
The world's first environmental porn movement
Independent Online Edition : "Their scheme is simple enough. Tommy and Leona advertise for like-minded souls to have sex for free on camera, then upload the finished movies and pictures on to their website. Subscribers pay $15 a month to access the pictures and movies, and the subscriptions are donated to save the world's forests. Though the product is amateur and invariably involves lots of twittering birds, insects and twigs as props, it seems even this kind of sex sells. The couple say they have collected more than $100,000 since the site went live in April last year. These days the site gets 800-1,000 subscribers each month, and extra cash is raised by selling their own branded T-shirts for $20 a pop. It's a success, they say, because their subject matter and charitable goal are intrinsically linked. 'Sexuality,' explains Tommy, as if I am a bit stupid, 'is a reee-ally natural thing. Like nature, you know? I think we're all a little bit afraid of the natural nowadays and I think that's why we're ignoring nature. I think if people all got a bit closer to that primitive voice inside them, then things would get better in the world. It's based on the old concept: make love, not war.'"

Thursday, September 08, 2005
 
Tom Ridge’s Duct Tape
Cold Fury: "Do you remember when the last Homeland Security Secretary, Tom Ridge, told us that to be prepared for emergencies, we should put together a readiness kit? I do. The kit layout is suggested at Ready.Gov. The portion of the kit for dealing with attacks and natural disasters should have, ideally, “at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food” and a corresponding amount of water - a gallon per day per person.

Yet when he announced the suggested measures that we all take to prepare for potential terror attacks or natural disasters, he was met with nothing but mockery. So much so, that his name is synonymous with duct tape - since that’s the only thing anybody in the MSM (or for that matter the lefty blogosphere) cared to discuss.

Thanks for undercutting it, my patriotic left wing friends, and calling it partisan scare mongering. What kind of a warped mind, can spin basic common sense as partisan bickering.

So answer me this, how many of the displaced persons in New Orleans secured a ready kit? If none, then why not? They can’t all be that poor - three days food and water is pretty cheap, especially if you’re buying the non-perishable staples (e.g. beans & stuff) recommended."

Sunday, September 04, 2005
 
Conics, then and now
Tall, Dark, and Mysterious
Alas, I don’t think that this meme will spread very well. But if I can get ti.com to the top of the Google results for "fucking graphing calculator", my purpose as a blogger will have been fulfilled.



Saturday, September 03, 2005
 
Read a Book, Get Oral Sex?

Yahoo! News
: "NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York officials were red-faced on Friday after they discovered that clothing ads on city buses that appeared to promote reading suggested a love of books could be rewarded with oral sex.
The advertisements that ran on about 200 buses across the city in recent months carried posters displaying a suggestively posed woman in hot pants kneeling among a pile of books beside the snappy slogan 'Read Books, Get Brain.'
What unhip, unsuspecting local transportation officials did not know was that 'get brain' is street slang for oral sex.
The ads -- from hip-hop clothing maker Akademiks, which intended the double-entendre -- was stripped off New York buses on Friday after transportation officials discovered the street slang meaning.
Metropolitan Transit Authority spokesman Tom Kelly condemned the 'vulgar street phrases' in the racy ads he said were 'demeaning women.'
'To me and I believe to everyone else, while it was done by a clothing line, it would give the impression that it was also promoting reading and literacy,' Kelly told Reuters.
'It's easy enough to understand how that would get by based upon someone not knowing the expression.'
A spokesman for the New York-based clothing maker noted the ad campaign had run since September and 'we hadn't had any complaints at all.'
New York officials may not be the only ones caught out.
Akademiks also placed the ads on buses and bus shelters in Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, San Francisco and Philadelphia, the company spokesman said.
Kelly, who said he was his 60s, said that after he was tipped to the hidden meaning of the phrase on Thursday he ran a test among some young MTA workers.
'I went downstairs to the mailroom and showed some of the young guys a copy of the ad,' he said. 'I was watching their faces and they all start smirking.
'Apparently it's on all the music, in music that's how they refer to it,' Kelly said. 'I didn't know anything about it and I'm sure the people that approved the ad didn't.'
Kelly said it was sad that 'you can't take things at face value any longer,' adding, 'We'll have to learn from experience before we accept ads.'"

 
Excite - News
Excite - News: "NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Army has long lured recruits with the slogan 'Be All You Can Be,' but now soldiers and their families can receive plastic surgery, including breast enlargements, on the taxpayers' dime.

The New Yorker magazine reports in its July 26th edition that members of all four branches of the U.S. military can get face-lifts, breast enlargements, liposuction and nose jobs for free -- something the military says helps surgeons practice their skills.

'Anyone wearing a uniform is eligible,' Dr. Bob Lyons, chief of plastic surgery at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio told the magazine, which said soldiers needed the approval of their commanding officers to get the time off.

Between 2000 and 2003, military doctors performed 496 breast enlargements and 1,361 liposuction surgeries on soldiers and their dependents, the magazine said.

The magazine quoted an Army spokeswoman as saying, 'the surgeons have to have someone to practice on.' "

Friday, September 02, 2005
 
Currently on c-span Rep. Tubb Jones is blathering on about the disaster relief as pert of a black caucus press conference. She is calling for cruise ships to come to house refugees (or the political correct term they're asking us to now use is "taxpaying american citizens").
Seems that she missed Brown discussing this on Wednesday, when he said the contracts were being negotiated. I'll bet there will be an announcement about this on Sunday, which she'll take credit for initiating.

Thursday, September 01, 2005
 
Guinea-pig breeding farm to shut down
edp24.co.uk: "The Hall family, who have been subjected to a six-year hate campaign by extremists, said they hoped the decision to close the business at the end of the year and return to traditional farming would prompt grave robbers to return the body of 82-year-old Gladys Hammond.

Mrs Hammond was the mother-in-law of Christopher Hall, who co-owns Darley Oaks Farm. Her body was stolen from a grave at St Peter's Church in nearby Yoxall last October

In a statement, the family said: “David Hall and Partners' involvement in breeding guinea pigs for biomedical research will cease at the end of 2005.

“The business, which has operated for over three decades, will undergo a phased closure until then to ensure the welfare of animals involved.”

A Save the Newchurch Guinea Pigs spokesman, who has been protesting peacefully at the farm for six years, said: “This is the most fantastic day of my life. It's a victory for the animals and it's a fundamental victory for the animal-rights movement."


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