Utterly Meaningless » 2006 » May

WOMEN + HOMESCHOOLING = LUNACY

Filed on May 31, 2006 at 9:04 pm under by dcobranchi

We report, you decide. :-)

I’M NOT SURPRISED

Filed on at 8:44 pm under by dcobranchi

I thought this tack was a long-shot, at best.

SAVE YOUR MONEY

Filed on at 6:24 pm under by dcobranchi

The list-servs have been buzzing about a new (HSLDA-affiliated) group, the U.S. Homeschool Association, that wants to separate you from your hard-earned dollars help you in your home educating endeavors. Their website really sucks, so you might not want to bother clicking over. I found this part particularly endearing:

One of the goals of the U.S. Homeschool Association is to be able to
provide a standardized diploma for all homeschooled graduates.

Thanks but no thanks.

UPDATE: Chris is unimpressed.

UPDATE II: Whois data:

Domain Name………. ushomeschoolassociation.com
Creation Date…….. 2006-02-23
Registration Date…. 2006-02-23
Expiry Date………. 2009-02-23
Organisation Name…. Sally Leach
Organisation Address. 120008 Southshore Blvd
Organisation Address. Suite 101
Organisation Address. Wellington
Organisation Address. 33414
Organisation Address. FL
Organisation Address. UNITED STATES

Admin Name……….. Sally Leach
Admin Address…….. 120008 Southshore Blvd
Admin Address…….. Suite 101
Admin Address…….. Wellington
Admin Address…….. 33414
Admin Address…….. FL
Admin Address…….. UNITED STATES
Admin Email………. sally@sallyleach.com
Admin Phone………. 5614223113
Admin Fax…………

Tech Name………… Sally Leach
Tech Address……… 120008 Southshore Blvd
Tech Address……… Suite 101
Tech Address……… Wellington
Tech Address……… 33414
Tech Address……… FL
Tech Address……… UNITED STATES
Tech Email……….. sally@sallyleach.com
Tech Phone……….. 5614223113
Tech Fax………….
Name Server………. ns1.west-datacenter.net
Name Server………. ns2.west-datacenter.net

HED OF THE DAY

Filed on May 30, 2006 at 5:08 pm under by dcobranchi

I’m not complaining but I wonder why the paper chose this particular headline:

Home-schooled Kline takes home increasingly popular juniors race

It’s a nice piece and worth a read. (Tip credit: Jill)

IT’S CARNIVAL TIME

Filed on at 5:03 pm under by dcobranchi

over at the DeputyMistress’ place.

WAG THE DOG

Filed on at 1:06 pm under by dcobranchi

Valerie at HEM has an interesting theory on why HSLDA is scaring the sheeple again. IAATN (It’s All About the Numbers). :-)

AND SPEAKING OF THE BEE

Filed on at 6:48 am under by dcobranchi

Some stats:

School Type:
196 public (71.28%)
37 home (13.45%)
26 private (9.45%)
13 parochial (4.73%)
3 charter (1.09%)

Of last year’s 273 spellers, 63.37% were public-schooled, 12.45% were home-schooled, 13.92% were private-schooled, 9.16% were parochial-schooled, and 1.1% were charter-schooled.

NOT JUST HEKs

Filed on at 6:45 am under by dcobranchi

Here’s a cute piece about Indian-American’s success in the National Spelling Bee.

COMMENTS WANTED

Filed on at 6:26 am under by dcobranchi

A blogger thinking out loud:

I think, possibly, I have come up with a decent criticism of homeschooling. I realize that most of the arguments against homeschooling (socialization and whatnot) are suspect at best. However, I am starting to wonder if a lack of competition is healthy?

He goes on to explain his hypothesis. At the end, he asks for feedback from home educators.

SPINNED?

Filed on at 6:00 am under by dcobranchi

Help Wanted ad spotted in the Wilmington News-Journal:

WANTED: Editorial page proofreader. Must be able to prevent paragraphs such as this:

“An infidel enemy who publicly second-guesses his tone of aggression gets spinned as admitting his cause is weaker than he originally said. Imagine the recruiting tool these words of regret will be used for to inspire more suicide bombers.”

HSLDA

Filed on May 29, 2006 at 9:35 pm under by dcobranchi

How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways:

1) HONDA 2003
2) HONDA 2005
3) Federal Marriage Amendment 2004
4) Fearmongering the sheeple. Multiple incidents as recently as last week.
5) Section 522 (2005)

These are just some egregious recent examples. Feel free to add more via the comments. And the naive home educator? If you want to have a conversation, you might make it possible for folks to at least register to comment.

BE NICE

Filed on at 7:05 pm under by dcobranchi

This home educator sounds nice. Naive, but nice.

I’ve been thinking a lot about HSLDA lately. I’m being really honest here, I don’t understand why some people are against it. I think they are a great organization. When I went to the HS convention just over a week ago, I didn’t feel any sense of fear to renew my membership. Chris Klicka did a great job with his speaking as the keynote speaker. And he was so down to earth and friendly when my dh and I met him. The type of guy you wish lived next door to you. I think we need something like this to protect homeschool freedoms. If not, we may lose it and there is a spiritual battle in our country; all over the world. I know not everyone who homeschools isn’t a Christian. However, our homeschooling freedoms affect all religions and beliefs.

Yeah, if you’re a conservative, Christian home educator who buys into all their non-homeschool-related governmental activity, HSLDA must look great.

TED NUGENT “HEARTS” THE PEARLS

Filed on at 4:00 pm under by dcobranchi

The brain-dead idiot candidate for the Republican nomination for MI Governor had lots to say in an interview with The Independent (UK). Among the gems:

“I saw the riding crop. A lot. I felt it, I think, just once. But corporal punishment is real good. It teaches dogs not to shit on the couch.”

I’M RETARDED

Filed on at 9:59 am under by dcobranchi

From the annals of poor marketing:

Charles Golvin of Forrester Research said a recent survey indicated few cellular customers choose a phone based on its usability, typically because they either don’t think there’s anything better or, like Bales in Kansas City, don’t think they need those services.

But Golvin said for the market to truly grow, the programs and phones themselves are going to have to become more graceful and not just the purview of tech-junkies.

“Early adopters are less retarded by the user interface,” he said. “As we’re moving from the early adopters to the more mainstream customers, it will make a huge difference.”

I use my cell phone (rarely) to make and receive calls. I’ve never sent a text message, and the phone doesn’t even have the ability to take pictures (not that I would send them anyway). IOW, I’m the marketer’s worst nightmare.

UPDATE: And, yes, I understand his use of the word was grammatically correct. From a sales and marketing perspective, though, he ought to buy himself a thesaurus.

WAY OT: A REQUIEM FOR OUR TIMES

Filed on at 8:57 am under by dcobranchi

Change “employees” to “citizens” in the following ‘graf (which was written about Ken Lay):

Are we now less likely to fall victim to the next charismatic, innovative leader? I still wonder whether we truly recognize and value the appropriate traits in our leaders. We want honest leaders who are decisive, creative, optimistic and even courageous, but we so easily settle for talk that marks those traits instead of action. Worse, we often don’t even look for one of the most critical traits of a leader: humility. A humble leader listens to others. He or she values input from employees and is ready to hear the truth, even if it is bad news. Humility is marked by an ability to admit mistakes.

Yeah, my mood is quite dark.

MEMORIAL DAY

Filed on at 3:47 am under by dcobranchi

The Wilmington (DE) News-Journal has a very moving piece on the folks who work at the Dover AFB mortuary.

BAAAAAA

Filed on at 3:30 am under by dcobranchi

And another. Who knew that there were so many gullible home educators? Oh, wait. I guess the folks who started pushing this meme knew.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

Filed on May 28, 2006 at 9:44 pm under by dcobranchi

One sheep scared:

I just read recently that there is a proclamation coming before the U.N. that would literally ban home schooling throughout the world and require all children to attend so-called “national” schools. Why? Because I believe that a “great Awakening” is taking place in the U.S. and abroad and that families are turning back to God in the deep desire and devotion to raise moral and Godly children. Home schoolers are taking the lead and they are indeed making an impact on our society. Those who hate Christians and Christianity want to force our children to be institutionalized and indoctrinated in the socialist anti-God dogma and rhetoric of modern humanistic philosophy.

PRODUCT ENDORSEMENTS

Filed on at 6:56 pm under by dcobranchi

1) Shurtape blue painter’s tape seems just a bit stickier than the 3M product and works very well. It’s also about a dollar/roll cheaper.

2) In an off-label use, Glad Press ‘n Seal Freezer can keep a roller tray (with paint) and roller “fresh” for several days. Just push the roller all the way into the tray (so that the handle doesn’t protrude beyond the back edge of the tray) and press the plastic wrap to the top edge of the tray. I’ve only tried this with water-based latex paints. YMMV.

Yes, I’ve been painting a lot lately.

WRITTEN TEST

Filed on at 6:06 pm under by dcobranchi

According to Money Magazine, the Northeast has the dumbest drivers (at least based on the results from this test). I’m not sure, though, that the test writers are all that smart, either. Check out question #17.

17. Which of the following must you obey of the other three: (Select one)

a. A steady red light

b. Police officer

c. Stop sign

d. Flashing red light

I missed only Question #7, which I think is another bogus question. Boo!!!

IT’S FICTION!

Filed on at 7:40 am under by dcobranchi

Life in Fayetteville:

Suggestion to Christians: Do not see the movie

“The Da Vinci Code” is full of errors. I do research for someone and if I turned in the falsehoods that Brown has in his book — I’d be fired!

The sad thing is Brown’s bashing Jesus Christ and a woman that was possessed by demons. We actually do not know what Mary Magdalene did. What we do know is that Jesus healed her afflictions.

Jesus’ divinity was long defined before the Council of Nicaea. Paul the apostle had direct contact with the divine Christ, which caused his conversion. All Christians acknowledged Jesus Christ as Lord! (Romans 10:9; Phillipians 2:11) Why is this acceptable by Christians to let writers like Brown insult our best friend Jesus Christ?

Throughout the book he makes the main woman character a tongue-tied idiot. Her dialogue isn’t worth reading, which makes me wonder — what does Brown really think of women?

Brown’s source for most of his books is books of myths about the Catholic Church. The European secret society that is known as the Priory of Sion was founded in 1099, according to Brown. In our reality, not the author’s, it was founded in the 1950s in France. This just happens to be the center of Brown’s plot.

My suggestion: If you love Jesus Christ, do not see the movie. Do not read the book. You cannot be entertained by reading, seeing or hearing Jesus blasphemed, can you? I know I could not see, hear or read such blasphemy!

Joanna M. Odom
Fayetteville

So, by her own admission, she’s neither read the book nor seen the film. Yet, she’s an expert on the plot, the dialog, and the errors therein.

INSOMNIAC BIRDS

Filed on at 1:17 am under by dcobranchi

I can’t sleep tonight and, evidently, neither can all the song birds in the woods surrounding our house. What a racket!

NOW I’M REALLY SCARED

Filed on at 12:09 am under by dcobranchi

Cavalor found an utterly bizarre page on the NSA website that is aimed at kids. [I don’t want to even think about what kinds of tracking cookies accessing that page sticks on your computer.] The super secret agency’s kids page tracks a group of future spooks, including HEF (home educated fox) Rosetta Stone.

OLD NON-NEWS

Filed on May 27, 2006 at 8:05 pm under by dcobranchi

Got to keep the sheep scared and in line:

A U.N. treaty conferring rights to children could make homeschooling illegal in the U.S. even though the Senate has not ratified it, a homeschooling association warns.

Michael Farris, chairman and general counsel of the Home School Legal Defense Association, or HSLDA, believes the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child could be binding on U.S. citizens because of activist judges, reports LifeSite News.

Farris said that according to a new interpretation of “customary international law,” some U.S. judges have ruled the convention applies to American parents.

“In the 2002 case of Beharry v. Reno, one federal court said that even though the convention was never ratified, it still has an impact on American law,” Farris explained, according to LifeSiteNews. “The fact that virtually every other nation in the world has adopted it has made it part of customary international law, and it means that it should be considered part of American jurisprudence.”

The convention places severe limitations on a parent’s right to direct and train their children, Farris contends.

The HSLDA produced a report in 1993 showing that under Article 13, parents could be subject to prosecution for any attempt to prevent their children from interacting with material they deem unacceptable.

I am so sick of this bullshit!

6000 BLOGS

Filed on at 7:53 pm under by dcobranchi

Lovely press release from Gena.

G-SCHOOLS, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

Filed on at 7:29 pm under by dcobranchi

I hadn’t realized the Declaration of Independence had been re-written:

COLUMBIA, S.C. – School choice is fueling the campaigns of several primary challengers to House incumbents. Supporters of Gov. Mark Sanford’s plan to give parents tax credits for private and home schools fault Republicans for the idea’s repeated death on the House floor.

Six-term incumbent Bill Cotty faces a challenge for his seat in suburban northeast Columbia by Sheri Few in the Republican primary because of his outspoken opposition the tax credit plan.

“This is a straight-up vote on, have you given up on public schools? That’s what this election’s about. I am not ashamed to be an outspoken advocate for public education. Our constituents know and agree with me that our state has an obligation to give every child in this state … a chance for life,” said Cotty, a former Richland 2 school board member.

LETTER OF THE DAY

Filed on at 8:01 am under by dcobranchi

“Terrorist” is the new “Nazi”:

Protesters are terrorists, perverting Christian teaching

I read the article about the picketers from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., protesting near the Marine’s funeral. This is a group of terrorists. They are in the same class of people as the ones who bombed the World Trade Center. I don’t know how they can justify upsetting the families of military personnel killed in action as God’s work. These men and women deserve respect and honor because they died serving their country. Maybe the people from this church should read the Bible, because the way they’re acting is not very Christian.

Debbie Rowland, Dover

The folks from Westboro are morons, idiots, despicable. But they’re not terrorists. AFAIK, there haven’t been any hearse-bombs. So, can we please cut the crap with the misuse of the word “terrorist”?

P.S. I blame GWB and Cheney for a lot of this, as for the first couple of years in the Iraq debacle, they labeled anyone fighting against American soldiers “terrorists.” Attacking civilians and civilian targets might be terrorism; attacking an occupying military force, definitely not.

I AM SO OLD

Filed on at 7:14 am under by dcobranchi

I read this post on Joanne Jacobs’ blog and then followed the link.

On Monday the charges flew: They were called little “stripper dolls” that encourage children to “engage in eroticized play.”

By Wednesday, Hasbro’s planned release of “The Pussycat Dolls,” a line of toys based on the all-female pop group of the same name, was canceled.

I read through almost the entire piece wondering how “Josie and the Pussycats” could be objectionable. I finally figured out that there must be a real band with the name “Pussycat Dolls.” All very confusing for an old fart like me.

CAN WE PLEASE GO HOME NOW?

Filed on May 26, 2006 at 9:18 pm under by dcobranchi

I really didn’t think Iraq could get any worse. I was wrong.

As first reported by TIME back in March, there is increasing evidence that a small number of Marines carried out unlawful and unwarranted killings of civilians in Western Iraq, including the Sunni-majority city of Haditha. On Friday, the New York Times reported that preliminary results of a military inquiry showed that the civilians killed in the city last November had not died from a makeshift bomb, as the Pentagon had initially stated, nor in a crossfire with insurgents, as was later announced.

Murdering women and children in our name. Oh, God!

THE RED SPOT

Filed on at 6:14 pm under by dcobranchi

I’ve often left on business trips with little or no cash in my wallet. After reading this tale, never again.

GOOD QUOTE, BAD QUOTE

Filed on at 5:32 pm under by dcobranchi

First the bad:

A Marion woman was convicted of allowing a 15-year-old within her custody to remain truant almost the entirety of a school year.

Williamson County Judge Ronald Eckiss on Wednesday found Kim Harris, of Marion, guilty of knowingly and willfully permitting her son to persist in truancy throughout the 2004-05 school year.

…The child had been truant from home-schooling from Oct. 8, 2004, to March 28, 2005, Garnati said.

Truant from home-schooling? Now there’s an intriguing idea.

OK, now for the good quote:

[Williamson County State’s Attorney Charles] Garnati said he believes the majority of Williamson County parents who are home-schooling children provide a satisfactory education. Harris was the exception and not the rule, Garnati said.

“I’m not against home-schooling in any way,” Garnati said. “In my opinion, 99.9 percent of parents who home-school do a great job. It’s a legitimate form of education. In this case, she was using home-schooling as an excuse.”

Tip credit: NuclearDruid

CAFFEINE, COCAINE– WHAT’S THE DIFF?

Filed on at 3:48 pm under by dcobranchi

I’m going to quote this article in its full glory. Y’all can just shake your heads in wonder at the utter stupidity of the folks who made this decision:

LOWER BURRELL, Pa. — A Lower Burrell school student is facing a three-day suspension for sharing gum with a classmate.

Jolt chewing gum has caffeine and ginseng.

The Lower Burrell school superintendent said consuming and passing out the gum violates the school’s drug awareness policy. That’s because caffeine is considered a stimulant.

Parents told Channel 11 they did not understand the suspension.

Resident Elizabeth Grombacher said, “I think it’s stupid. Everything’s getting too politically correct it’s so wrong.”

“It’s probably just like Mountain Dew or something like that. If it’s got a lot of caffeine in it and they probably sell the pop at school,” parent Nita Serene said.

Jolt chewing gum is sold over the counter at drug stores and vitamin distributors.

I wonder if there’s coffee or Coke in the teacher’s lounge. Surely, they must be subject to the “drug awareness program,” too. (Tip credit: Ulrike)

STRIKE WHILE THE IRON IS HOT

Filed on at 5:32 am under by dcobranchi

Salon‘s piece on the Pearls is up. Overall, I give it a B-, as it downplays their more egregious teachings in favor of balance. Doc, Carlotta, and Chris are all mentioned.

THE LAST WORD ON THE “S”-WORD

Filed on at 5:23 am under by dcobranchi

Homeschool.com has a good (if long) essay on socialization. Included in the article is a link to an even longer streamed interview with Diane Flynn Keith.

DOMINIONISM IN THE NEWS

Filed on May 25, 2006 at 9:33 pm under by dcobranchi

Michael Farris was interviewed yesterday on NPR’s Fresh Air concerning Patrick Henry Bible College’s faculty revolt. I haven’t been able to listen to it yet, as the Windows Media File appears to be corrupted.

And in a similar vein, Christian Dominionism is the subject of a new book by Michelle Goldberg. Helen Hegener has a lengthy essay as it relates to home education here. And Michelle Goldberg has been leading a very interesting discussion of her book at TPMCafe.

The book’s on my list of summer reading.

95% A-OK

Filed on at 6:16 pm under by dcobranchi

Believe it or not, I’m linking approvingly to a essay over at HSLDA. It’s really good, at least until the very end:

The Constitution is uncomfortably silent regarding parental rights. This is simply because, at the time of the Constitution’s writing, there was a cultural consensus that parents possessed ultimate authority over their children. Now, that consensus is gradually giving way to an “it takes a village” mentality. The proof of this drift is demonstrated by invasive homeschool laws such as Pennsylvania’s, with its burdensome reporting requirements. Our country needs a constitutional amendment protecting parental rights!

Home School Legal Defense Association has won many battles for parental rights. But the war can only be won when the Constitution explicitly guarantees our right to direct the upbringing and education of our children.

What is it with those folks and amending the Constitution?

WHISTLING PAST THE GRAVEYARD

Filed on May 24, 2006 at 5:31 pm under by dcobranchi

I have a feeling the parents told the g-schools exactly what they wanted to hear:

Home school report

The board received a summary of the home school survey completed by community education director Lisa Ippolite.

Twenty-two families in the district home school their children, which totals 40 children overall. Seven families, or 12 children, had a disconnected phone, or no phone number was listed. Four families, or eight children, were not reached. Eleven families, or 20 children, participated in the survey.

Ippolite noted that parents chose to home school their children mainly because they felt it was the best option for their children. They also felt they had control of what subject matter was taught (i.e., sex education, evolution, religion). Negativity toward public school was not a factor in home schooling.

Eight families said they had previously attended a public school, six of whom had attended Chetek. Two families will return to full-time Chetek enrollment.
Suggestions for educational programming included the following: eliminate human growth and development; add more summer school; and add drama, advanced reading, sewing, and other electives.

THOSE PROFESSIONAL TEACHERS

Filed on at 5:05 pm under by dcobranchi

Another perv in the g-schools:

9News has learned Bonnie Sue Davis was caught inside the home of one of the boys involved in the allegations. They were discovered by the mother of the other teenager. We want to make very clear, no sexual activity was witnessed. There was no drinking nor drugs. Everyone was fully clothed.

Nevertheless, 35-year-old Bonnie Davis was in a darkened bedroom with two of her male students, ages 14 and 15, on a Friday night in February. The mother of the 14-year-old, looking for her son, found him at the 15-year-old’s home with their teacher.

That conduct alone is a violation of Spotsylvania County, Virginia school policy. But Davis now faces far more serious allegations: six counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor; two counts of sodomy and one charge of having sex with a 14-year-old. Her attorney says those charges are false.

Does anyone else think that SPED teachers seem to be over-represented among the pervert/teacher class?

CANDIDATE JUDY

Filed on at 11:48 am under by dcobranchi

Judy Aron is running for the CT State House. (via Izzy)

A SMALL VICTORY

Filed on at 8:45 am under by dcobranchi

The Army has changed their homeschool recruiting URL. Valerie Moon has the details.

FARKILICIOUS

Filed on at 7:00 am under by dcobranchi

Chris pulled off an Onion-worthy expose’. Definitely worth a read.

TELLS US WHAT YOU REALLY THINK

Filed on May 23, 2006 at 4:12 pm under by dcobranchi

Dumb blog title of the day:

Home Schooling Should Be Outlawed!!!

Why? It’s all about the “S”-word. Nothing we haven’t beat down 1000 times before. An Opinionated Boob Bob thinks we all want to clone ourselves.

MMMMM, FOOD

Filed on at 4:04 pm under by dcobranchi

Dana at Principled Discovery is hosting the Carnival of Homeschooling over at her place. Don’t forget to bring a covered dish.

HONDA IS STILL DEAD

Filed on at 5:33 am under by dcobranchi

Not that it was likely to go anywhere in this election year, but an endorsement from the KKK probably doesn’t help.

STEALING BANDWIDTH

Filed on May 22, 2006 at 6:47 pm under by dcobranchi

Some pics from this weekend.


Those poor unsocialized homeschoolers. At 2 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, there was nobody else in the park to socialize with.


There were lots of cool cypress trees in the lake.


I promised Leah that I’d post this one.


Life is hard when you’re out in the woods.


Listening to an environmental lecture.


The most important part of any camping trip– the food!! The kids were responsible for a good part of the cooking and most of the cleaning-up.


Part of the 5-miler on Saturday.

CHILD ABUSE?

Filed on at 6:21 pm under by dcobranchi

Ignoring the Scientology bit, Tom Cruise seems to have his head on straight when it comes to parenting issues:

The kids, who are home-schooled by tutors from the Church of Scientology, are also encouraged to spend time outdoors.

He explains: “The kids have no computer games. And absolutely no television. None.

“They can listen to music and read just about any book they want, and they can choose the movies they want to see on the weekends, within reason.

“They also have chores, because I want them to know that it’s important to work. I had a job when I was eight years old delivering newspapers.

“So for me, it’s like: You want a clean room? Then you’ve got to clean your room. No one is going to do it for you.”

At least one blogger thinks this is beyond the pale.

Both children were adopted with former wife Nicole Kidman and were last seen trying to escape Cruise’s compound to return to the orphange.

CONGRATS

Filed on at 5:43 pm under by dcobranchi

You’ll have to be a really long-term reader of HE&OS in order to recognize original DHEAyankees member Carole, who passed along this bit of good news about DE HEKs:

The Tri-State Home School Science Olympiad team headed out to Indiana this past week to compete at the national level, the actual competition being held on Saturday, May 20. The team will be bringing home medals for two events: Storming the Castle and Mission Possible.

In Storming the Castle, students built a small trebuchet, a form of medieval seige equipment, that could fit within an area 1 meter square to propel a projectile such as a small ball some distance and hit a target. In previous years, hacky sacks have been used. This year a racket ball was the projectile. TSHS placed first in this event, a gold medal, for a 27 meter throw and two 28 meter throws.

Mission Possible required students to build a Rube Goldberg-type contraption to perform some specified task, utilizing the six simple machines—lever, pulley, screw, gear, inclined plane, and wheel and axle. This year, students had to drop a tennis ball onto a first class lever and make use of at least sixteen other simple machines before their contraption performed the final operation which was to unravel a roll of toilet paper from between twenty-five to thirty-five centimeters. There was also a mandatory time restriction which was announced shortly before students dropped their tennis ball. Students were allowed a brief interval so any necessary adjustments could be made. TSHS received a fifth place medal for this event.

Tri-state was the large support group we were in. Way to go, kids!

I’M BAAACK

Filed on at 6:38 am under by dcobranchi

We survived the camping trip and I’ll be catching up on blogging here, shortly. A note to Firefox users– Do not watch ANY videos on CNN if you have the Session Saver extension installed. The videos will cause the program to hang, and re-launching Firefox only manages to re-launch the stupid video. The only solution seems to be some very fast mousing.

EVOLUTION AT WORK

Filed on May 19, 2006 at 8:05 am under by dcobranchi

Via RedStateRabble comes this summary of some very cool recent research at Rice University.

Rice University biologists, using an ingenious experiment that forced bacteria to compete in a head-to-head contest for evolutionary dominance, today offer the first glimpse of how individual genetic-level adaptations play out as Darwinian natural selection in large populations. The results appear in the May 19 issue of Molecular Cell.

…Rice’s study involved the heat-loving bacteria G. stearothermophilus, which thrives at up to 73 degrees Celsius (163 F). Shamoo and graduate students Rafael Couñago and undergraduate Stephen Chen used a mutant strain of the microbe that was unable to make a key protein that the bacteria needed to regulate its metabolism at high temperatures. They grew the bacteria for one month in fermentor, raising the temperature a half degree Celsius each day.

Over a span of 1,500 generations, the percentage of mutant strains inside the fermentor ebbed and flowed as the single-celled microbes competed for dominance. Eventually, one strain squeezed out almost all the competition by virtue of its ability to most efficiently metabolize food at high temperature.

Possibly the highest compliment one can pay a scientist is to describe her work as “elegant.” This is an elegant experiment.

YIPPEE!!!

Filed on at 4:27 am under by dcobranchi

I’m sure this is good news. Right?

North Carolina selected for NCLB pilot program
5/18/2006 11:25 AM
By: News 14 Carolina Staff

(RALEIGH) — North Carolina has been selected to be a model for a No Child Left Behind pilot program.

Congressman Robin Hayes made the announcement Tuesday.

The program will create a new standard for measuring a child’s growth and achievement. The program is designed to make sure all kids perform at grade level by the year 2014.

It will also allow a teacher’s hard work to be showcased more accurately in state reporting.

North Carolina and Tennessee were the only two states selected to take part in the program.

UPDATE: The details.

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