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Education Round-up

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One of these days, I’ll start writing real posts on education topics. But, oddly enough, school is getting in the way of that right now.

So in the meantime, I thought I’d toss together a few links to noteworthy education stories from the past week.

I Have an Idea — No, Wait, It’s a Theory!

Of course, we must begin with the debacle in the Sunflower State: the great Kansas evolution devolution covered elegantly on Blogcritics by Pete Blackwell and Leoniceno.

Scientists in Kansas are starting to worry that they’ll have trouble recruiting top-notch colleagues, professors, and students because of the state’s anti-science reputation. And if the school board votes to water down evolution coverage, aspiring scientists who pass through Kansas public schools might have have a stigma to overcome when applying to collegiate science programs outside Kansas.

This evolution “debate” is happening in a state whose official website says: “Although Coronado is believed to be the first traveler to Kansas, it is also believed that Native Americans were the first inhabitants.” [emphasis mine]

These people aren’t even sure who was there first? Does anyone really know anything for sure in Kansas?

Teachers Doze While Computers Do Their Work

I have to say, this story just plain chaps my ass. If you’re a teacher and you can’t be bothered to read and grade the assignments you give your students, you should be fired. It’s that simple. Go find another line of work — maybe one where a computer can do your job for you — you lazy fuck. [I hope to write more on this story later.]

Whiffle Golf — Looks Great On Your College Application

Here’s the poster child for what’s wrong with the idea of one-size-fits all education: Isabel Gottlieb, a NH high school senior, will not graduate next month, even though she gets decent grades, takes AP classes, and has been accepted to college. The school is denying the diploma because Gottlieb, who transferred from another school last year, is missing a single physical education credit. The school told Gottlieb that she should drop a class, such as one of her AP classes or her calculus class, to make room for gym. She smartly declined — she plans to major in biology in college.

So Gottlieb will take the GED exam to satisfy her college’s entrance requirements, and her mother is giving her a “non-graduation” party.

11-Year-Old Arrested for Bringing Weapon to School

Actually, he brought 9 weapons: 3.5 inch nails, left over from a weekend Scouting trip. Obviously, this little sociopath needed arrestin’. After all, he was found with the nails jingling threateningly in his pocket.

You Wanna Pizza Me? I Wanna Pizza U!

Ave Maria University, the Catholic university opened in 2003 by Dominos Pizza founder Thomas Monaghan, graduated its first class last Saturday.

When asked what she learned at Ave Maria, one student replied, “I learned that Dominos Pizza is a lot like sex with college boys — even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good!”

And Dominos is always pretty bad.


Also posted at Bitch Has *Word*.

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  • Synthetic Biology (Gene Hacking, Biosensors, Biological computing)

    Did someone say you have 10 trillion cells in your body. Each with DNA software and computer- like functions.

    So if each cell functions at 1000 Gbits/sec. X 100 trillion cells – talking to each other.

    Are you really sure your alive…..

    DNA Computing – By Gaurav Gupta, Nipun Mehra & Shumpa Chakraverty.

    So after 10 iterations, the DNA is being replicated at a rate of about 1Mbit/sec; after 30 iterations it increases to 1000 Gbits/sec. This is beyond the sustained data rates of the fastest hard drives.
    “In contrast to electronic computers, there are computing machines in which all four components are nothing but molecules,” says Prof. Keinan. “For example, all biological systems, and even entire living organisms, are such computers.
    Every one of us is a bio-molecular computer, that is, a machine in which all four components are molecules “talking” to one another in a logical manner.