Mail 747 Tuesday, October 23, 2012
I was on TWIT this week:
: Link to latest TWiT.
West London Free: Is this the strictest state school in Britain
“Cicero said ‘a mind without instruction can no more bear fruit than a field, however fertile, without cultivation’. So it is perhaps fitting that his head is on pupils’ blazer badges at one of London’s newest and most audacious schools.”
“Young refuses to accept that children from low-income and single-parent households or ethnic minorities should set their sights any lower than those from white, middle-class homes.
‘Too often schools make excuses for children, particularly children on free school meals, children from low-income families. We don’t do that,’ he says. ‘Critics said if you include Latin and expect children to do at least eight academic GCSEs you won’t have a single Special Education Needs applicant, but that has proved to be wrong.
‘We were also told that because of the classical liberal curriculum we would only attract rich, white children with educated, middle-class parents. Actually, 50 per cent of our intake have English as an additional language, and 35 per cent are black, Asian or minority ethnic. A quarter of our pupils are eligible for free school dinners.”
I liked this bit:
“Along the corridor, a group of children stood around a teacher singing What Do You Do With A Drunken Sailor? before sitting down and playing individual keyboards.”
Maybe there will someday again be an England.
We can all hope so. I hate the thought that England will be something else from what I grew up with.
rumor circulates that Obama has secretly recognized Iran’s nuclear rights
I have no comment. The official Obama position is that Iran will not get nuclear weapons.
Elections and predictions
On listening to Minnesota Public Radio, I heard a couple of predictions of the electoral vote. One estimate was 7-1 in favor of Obama gaining enough electoral votes; the other put the odds in Obama’s favor at 9-1. Past performance (one of these guessers came within 1 electoral vote when predicting the 2008 elections) doesn’t guarantee future accuracy, but it’s enough to worry me.
On the other hand, I’ve seen few Romney lawn signs, and NO Obama signs.
And a comment about political correctness: Mankato, Minnesota, is a pleasant city, with a mix of light industry and educational institutions. The largest mass execution ever held in the US took place in Mankato. The executed men were 38 Dakota (Sioux, in some references) at the conclusion of the Dakota Uprising in 1862.The public library was built on the ground where the hangings had taken place. (This is where PC rears its ugly head.)
Some years ago, a local gun collector had donated his collection, which included many historic rifles and pistols. This collection was displayed in the library. This was a handsome and historically worthwhile collection, available for public view, but not an in-your-face display. PC types pressed the library to remove the guns, for the usual reasons, although I doubt many of the guns had killed, or even shot at, anything other than food, and so the decision was made to remove the collection, which had been housed in the library since the building was completed.
The guns were put on display elsewhere.
The guns were all stolen. From the new National Guard armory.
The theft took place a few years ago, and so far as I know, no item from the collection has ever been recovered. Apparently, gun thieves don’t visit libraries.
I don’t predict elections unless I have to. I have generally been right when I had to do it, but it’s a lot of work to do right. My first cut through the data I have available shows Romney winning, possibly by a lot, but I won’t bet on that because I don’t have all the tools I used to have nor access to all the data. But if I absolutely had to bet, I’d say Romney, Republican House, and pretty close in the Senate.
The last big prediction I did was for Gingrich just before he became Speaker. I was quite close on that election.
Robots pass the Final Frontier,
Robots pass the Final Frontier: they can Dance.
Video: Navy’s Humanoid Robot Dances Gangnam Style:
Well, there’s worse things they could be doing.
Uh – yeah, I suppose.
Mitt Romney jokes at the Alfred E. Smith dinner:
This is funny!
These were pretty good. I think both Romney and Obama are good actors, since they don’t really like each other, and neither is all that comfortable being among the Catholics….
Subject: Free Education is Illegal in Minnesota
Yes, the headline is correct. Stanford-based startup Coursera has been informed that they cannot provide free college classes online to Minnesota residents. This is because the government of Minnesota requires that colleges receive approval of the state before they can teach anyone anything. Pushing back the frontiers of ignorance one learner at a time?
No one knows how the state government will be able to tell if any of its residents are taking any of the free online classes.
I believe they fixed that once it came out. One advantage of a free press.
Janissaries 1V – Mamalukes
When can I expect this book to be for sale ? The previous three books of this series are "classics", and for the series not to be completed would be "failing your duty to your followers". (The ‘Act’ of a Republican).
I look forward to hearing some good news
I did a thousand words on Mamelukes last week. I hope to finish this cycle shortly. You do understand that Rick and his troops can never leave Tran, and the story will go on…
Doesn’t this essay describe the background of one your books? I think it was Exile to Glory.
Worth reading. I don’t know how to fix the system. I do believe it’s broken.
The way to ‘fix’ the system is to apply the Philadelphia Constitution of 1787 as amended through the 13th Amendment. Reconsider all the rest of them. And enact the Sherman Anti=-Trust Act and add “And this time we really mean it.”. Then do a new Amendment that says that no person shall be deprived of the equal protection of the laws for reasons of race and this time we really mean it.
Trahsparency and subsidiarity coupled with rule of law and a long tradition of liberty produces happiness and prosperity. And we actually all pretty well know it. As to the losers in society, the poor you will always have with you: they are your opportunity to do right. Don’t let government take that right to be charitable away from you.
Xkcd on precedents in Presidential elections:
From where I’m sitting, the latest trend in phishing appears to be emails offering protection from child predators.
I haven’t seen those. I have seen some very interesting phishing offers. Of course I only read mail after it is converted to plaintext and I only follow links when I am sure of what I am looking at. And I don’t believe the stories they send me. I have probably lost my chance to become king of some interesting place…
Florida Passes Plan For Racially-Based Academic Goals
I’m sure you have seen this by now — Florida Passes Plan For Racially-Based Academic Goals:
Read ‘em and weep.
And we will see more this until it falls of its own weight…
: Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released… and here is the chart to prove it,
And I’m sure you have also seen this — Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released… and here is the chart to prove it:
I wonder what this will do to the defenders of the faith? Probably nothing, as the religiously committed never let mere data dissuade them.
Yes it s becoming clear that we do not understand climate at all. If you can’t predict el nino you can’t predict glacier formation – and that has more to do with climate trends than CO2. So there it is.
The five second rule.
I received what follows in the mail.
Study: Germs Trump ‘Five Second Rule’
San Diego State University researchers tested the myth that if something falls on the floor and one picks it up within five seconds, it is safe to consume. (My snide aside: This is cutting edge research?!)
Well, look at this paragraph:
The study, co-funded by Clorox and conducted by researchers at San Diego State University, found that germs do in fact attach themselves to edible items within that amount of time . . .
According to a survey conducted in tandem with the study by researchers at SDSU, a reported 65 percent of parents admitted to implementing the five second rule in their homes . . .
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta also warns against the dangers inherent in germs contaminating foods.
My correspondent went looking for the "study" and failed to find any published information, other than in the media. What I did find was the CV of Scott T. Kelley, Ph.D.
She found this:
Clorox Corporation Research Award 2011. Periodontal therapy using a diluted sodium hypochlorite mouth rinse. PI. $86,000
Clorox Corporation Research Award 2004-2009. Microbial diversity in the arena of public health. $160,000. PI.
Scientific Advisory Board Member
To which a friend replied:
I apply the five second rule so that I’ll eat what falls on the floor or rug. Introducing that known pathogen in small quantity allows me to develop antibodies and not suffer from an overly clean environment.
The film parallel is, of course, taking small doses of Iocane Powder in order to build immunity.
Clorox is good at killing germs. But I don’t want to live in a place that has killed EVERY germ.
I find Windex works pretty well. It also shoot flies and moths from the air with minimum collateral damage.
© 2012, jerrypournelle. All rights reserved.