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From User: janelane

Current Topic: Miscellaneous

The Myth of Charter Schools by Diane Ravitch | The New York Review of Books
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:42 pm EDT, Jul  1, 2011

Some fact-checking is in order, and the place to start is with the film’s quiet acknowledgment that only one in five charter schools is able to get the “amazing results” that it celebrates. Nothing more is said about this astonishing statistic. It is drawn from a national study of charter schools by Stanford economist Margaret Raymond (the wife of Hanushek). Known as the CREDO study, it evaluated student progress on math tests in half the nation’s five thousand charter schools and concluded that 17 percent were superior to a matched traditional public school.

Lots of insight here about the realities of public education.

The Myth of Charter Schools by Diane Ravitch | The New York Review of Books


Peak Oil: Bugatti Makes a Car for the Ages | Product Reviews | Wired.com
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:24 pm EST, Mar  7, 2011

That same cash-filled briefcase could buy seven Ferrari 599s or every single 2009 model Mercedes. You could snap up a top-shelf Maybach and employ a chauffeur until well past the apocalypse. Hell, in this economy, $2.1 million is probably enough to make you a one-man special-interest group with some serious Washington clout.

But don’t. Buy a Grand Sport. Even if there were another 253-mph drop-top with more luxury appointments than a Bond villain’s boudoir, you wouldn’t want it. You’d want this exact car, because more than being a blast to drive, it is the greatest gasoline-powered vehicle that has ever been, or will ever be, built. Seriously.

This is, in fact, hillarious.

Peak Oil: Bugatti Makes a Car for the Ages | Product Reviews | Wired.com


Phys Ed: The Men Who Stare at Screens - Well Blog - NYTimes.com
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:48 am EDT, Jul 16, 2010

Men who spent more than 23 hours a week watching TV and sitting in their cars (as passengers or as drivers) had a 64 percent greater chance of dying from heart disease than those who sat for 11 hours a week or less. What was unexpected was that many of the men who sat long hours and developed heart problems also exercised.

What a counter-intuitive result...you can't sit for hours at a time even if you exercise regularly.

Its hopeless...

Phys Ed: The Men Who Stare at Screens - Well Blog - NYTimes.com


Survivor of 2 Atomic Bombs Dies at 93 - Obituary (Obit) - NYTimes.com
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:09 am EST, Jan  7, 2010

Mr. Yamaguchi, as a 29-year-old engineer for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, was on a business trip in Hiroshima when the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on the morning of Aug. 6, 1945. He was getting off a streetcar when the “Little Boy” device detonated above Hiroshima.

Mr. Yamaguchi said he was less than 2 miles away from ground zero. His eardrums were ruptured and his upper torso was burned by the blast, which destroyed most of the city’s buildings and killed 80,000 people.

Mr. Yamaguchi spent the night in a Hiroshima bomb shelter and returned to his hometown of Nagasaki the following day, according to interviews he gave over the years. The second bomb, known as “Fat Man,” was dropped on Nagasaki on Aug. 9, killing 70,000 people there.

Survivor of 2 Atomic Bombs Dies at 93 - Obituary (Obit) - NYTimes.com


Justices Reject Inmate Right to DNA Tests - NYTimes.com
Topic: Miscellaneous 3:14 pm EDT, Jun 19, 2009

WASHINGTON — Prisoners have no constitutional right to DNA testing that might prove their innocence, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday in a 5-to-4 decision.

This is an interesting case in that I can see both sides of the issue.

“After conviction,” Justice Alito added, “with nothing to lose, the defendant could demand DNA testing in the hope that some happy accident — for example, degradation or contamination of the evidence — would provide the basis for seeking postconviction relief.”

Is this concern reasonable - can DNS evidence degrade in a way that is both undetectable and which generates incorrect results.

Justices Reject Inmate Right to DNA Tests - NYTimes.com


Nerdy Tattoos
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:08 pm EDT, Apr 21, 2008

Abraham writes: "My fascination with Tesla started in elementary school, when my science teacher compared Tesla and Edison. I decided to pay my tribute to the wizard with a patent drawing on an electric magnetic motor, submitted by Tesla in the late 1800's."

Nerdy Tattoos


RE: Stop Stamnation!
Topic: Miscellaneous 2:47 pm EDT, Aug  1, 2007

janelane wrote:
Aack! The spammers are attacking! The spammers are attacking!



-janelane, fuck those blogs!

Hopefully in a few weeks you shouldn't really see them anymore. I'm working on it. I was under the mistaken impression that it mattered to them whether or not the stuff they were posting produced traffic/revenue/search ranking, and if it didn't, they'd ignore us. I was wrong. I've plugged every hole that could possibly be leading to them getting useful traffic. They keep coming back. I have two theories:

1. The people who pay the people who spam here aren't keeping track of whether or not the work that they do is worth the money they are spending.

2. Another website is paying these people to post stuff on competing sites.

Either way, I have some improvements to the site that I will be rolling out in phases over the next few weeks, and one of those phases will remove the current batch of spammers from view. The unfortunate downside is that it will also remove any other new users from view until one of the admins has the time to go in and bless them, or unless you like culling through the new users on the weblogs page to see if anyone has posted anything cool, but we've no choice. Most new users are spammers, by a huge margin. It makes more sense to be filtering in the good ones rather than filtering out the bad ones.

RE: Stop Stamnation!


RE: Southern Expressions: Part 3
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:29 am EDT, Apr 12, 2007

One of my favorite moments from William Gibson's Virtual Light, which I highly recommend if you haven't read it:

Nightmare Folk Art was like that, sandwiched between a dead hair-extension franchise and some kind of failing real estate place that sold insurance on the side. NIGHTMARE FOLK ART-SOUTHERN GOTHIC, the letters hand-painted all lumpy and hairy, like mosquito legs in a cartoon, white on black. But with a couple of expensive cars parked out front: a silver-gray Range Rover, looking like Gunhead dressed up for the prom, and one of those little antique Porsche two-seaters that always looked to
Rydell like the wind-up key had fallen off. He gave the Porsche a wide berth; cars like that tended to have hypersensitive anti-theft systems, not to mention hyper-aggressive.

There was a rentacop looking at him through the armored glass of the door; not IntenSecure, but some off brand. Rydell had borrowed a pair of pressed chinos from Kevin. They were a little tight in the waist, but they beat hell out of the orange trunks. He had on a black IntenSecure uniform-shirt with the patches ripped off, his Stetson, and his SWAT shoes. He wasn't sure black really made it with khaki. He pushed the button. The rentacop buzzed him in.

'Got an appointment with Justine Cooper,' he said, taking his sunglasses off.

'With a client,' the rentacop said. He looked about thirty, and like he should've been out on a farm in Kansas or somewhere. Rydell looked over and saw a skinny woman with black hair. She was talking to a fat man who had no hair at all. Trying to sell him something, it looked like.

'I'll wait,' Rydell said.

The farmer didn't answer. State law said he couldn't have a gun, just the industrial-strength stunner he wore in a beat-up plastic holster, but he probably did anyway. One of those little Russian hold-outs that chambered some godawful overheated caliber originally intended for killing the engine blocks of tanks. The Russians, never too safety-minded, had the market in Saturday-night specials.

Rydell looked around. That ol' Rapture was big at Nightmare Folk Art, he decided. Those kind of Christians, his father had always maintained, were just pathetic. There the Millennium had up, come, and gone, no Rapture to speak of, and here they were, still beating that same drum. Sublett and his folks down in their trailer-camp in Texas, watching old movies for Reverend Fallon-at least that had some kind of spin on it.

He tried to sneak a look, see what the lady was trying to sell to the fat man, but she caught his eye and that wasn't good. So he worked his way deeper into the shop, pretending to check out the merchandise. There was a whole section of these nasty-looking spidery wreath-things, behind glass in faded gilt frames. The wreaths looked to Rydell like they were made of frizzy old hair. There were tiny little baby coffins, all corroded, and one of them had been planted with ivy. There we... [ Read More (0.6k in body) ]

RE: Southern Expressions: Part 3


MoveOn.org Civic Action: Save NPR and PBS (again)
Topic: Miscellaneous 2:10 am EDT, Oct  4, 2006

House Republicans just voted to slash funding for NPR and PBS this year--and eliminate funding altogether in two years. We stopped them last year. We can stop them again. Sign our petition to Congress opposing these massive cuts to public broadcasting.

NPR is the only news on the radio that isn't preoccupied with explaining to me why the other side of the political spectrum sucks. Some googling on the issue seems to say that the Repbulicans are backing off of this after getting trounced last year. Support for CPB runs against the grain of my libertarian instincts, but you show me commerical radio programming that isn't stupid and I'll stop supporting federal funding for CPB.

MoveOn.org Civic Action: Save NPR and PBS (again)


The World Economy
Topic: Miscellaneous 2:09 pm EST, Nov  7, 2005

The addition of 75 million people each year to an already overcrowded globe is exacerbating the problems of pollution, desertification, underemployment, epidemics, and famine.

Wow, the CIA world fact book has an entry on the earth. Clearly this would only be necessary if they planned to add other planets as well. :-p

The World Economy


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